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The Pursuit of Self

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

We recently moved into a fixer upper… like a REAL fixer upper. If you read my other blogs, you know this; I apologize for the redundancy!

Same fixer upper, new topic!

I gained an accessory during the first few weeks we moved in; my one-year-old crawler. That kid never left my hip. I had to carry him those first three weeks because the mystery of “What’s in the carpet?” was not something I cared to seek out.

The carpet situation, the rat and spider infestation, the 1800s musty smell, and lack of even a single closet to satisfy my will to organize felt like more than I could handle. This house, however, did come with a magic mirror.

You know when you buy a new mirror and it has that protective film on the outside of it? Well, this mirror was far form new and that film was long gone, but something still veiled its clarity. The longer we were there, the clearer it became and I didn't like what I began to see in the reflection.

All this time, I thought I was doing well. My selfless acts of serving on a prayer team, volunteering, giving money to those in need, letting others go in front of me in the grocery line, and even returning my cart to the corral. I was a selfless person. Who in the world was this self-centered woman staring back at me!

I heard a message a few years ago that I was reminded of recently in this season of my life. It was a message from Danny Silk, an author and speaker. He explained how there is a difference between expectation and expectancy. The problem comes when our expectations create standards, and suddenly we have a list and timelines for God to follow.

I’m a list maker. I love lists. I feel accomplished when I have successfully marked everything from a list that I strategically created. Whether it’s a to-do list, a grocery list, or prayer list. Sometimes I add things to my list I’ve already accomplished just so I can mark it off.


There’s another list I create, not so strategically, or even intentionally. It’s the expectations list. How I expect a situation to resolve. How I expect God to answer a prayer. How I expect God to bless me. And yes, these lists include timelines.

Expectations are taking what we know and analyzing it while we come up with a good solution for God to follow. Expectancy is simply trusting God’s goodness to actively work for our good. That trust produces hope.

Do I hope for a bedroom someday that can fit our queen size bed, frame and all? Yes. Do I hope to walk into my living room without tripping over a garment rack? Yes. Do I hope to have the freedom to take a shower without someone banging on the door because they just can’t hold their poo any longer? Yes. Yes, I do.

You might say, “Well that doesn’t sound so selfish.” I would have agreed with you not too long ago. However, the Lord is faithful to hold me to the things I profess to Him. All those worship songs I sing to Him during church or while I’m washing dishes… “I surrender all… take my life and let it be yours…” When I sing all, no matter how loudly and offkey, the Lord takes me seriously. He knows that when I do surrender all, He has the power and ability to bless it all!

Have we surrendered everything? Our living conditions? Our desire for marriage or children? The success of our business? The promotion? Our finances? Our health?

I love what Lysa Terkeurst said, “Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like.”

Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. Surrendering doesn’t mean we don’t have hope and pray for blessing on those things we’ve surrendered. It just means it’s not a condition to our will to serve the Lord. In other words, if God doesn’t answer our prayers how and when we expect, we remain steadfast in faith and continue to serve and love him without offense.

God promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, that he will give us the desires of our hearts. (Ps. 37:4) We can trust the Lord with those desires.

Complacency and I have never been friends. Never will be. Surrendering our will and choosing to be at peace (His peace), no matter our circumstance, while we serve Him wholeheartedly is not complacency, it’s faithfulness.

Let’s live in expectancy of God’s goodness. It’s in His nature. He is our Father, and like any loving dad, He desires to bless us. Living in the expectancy of God’s goodness and faithful intervention includes surrendering control and being okay with not understanding how or when God will do something.

Let God be God and loosen the control to Him. When we do, we don’t set ourselves up for disappointment. God is not disappointing. Ever. When we reduce God to work within the boundaries of what our finite minds can understand, we limit Him.

In this season we are choosing to be grateful. The wonderful thing about gratefulness is it has a supernatural way of producing peace and joy. That doesn’t mean I won’t have to pray for grace and do my best to refrain from a swear word escaping my lips as I trip over yet another pile of blankets, a mattress, scattered toys, backpacks, or step into a pile of pee. I have hope that my children will soon have bedrooms and we will have a living room again! I am sure that in the future I will appreciate the memories from this two-bedroom, one-bath home with our family of six; technically seven…that was puppy pee.

Lord, help us.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” - Melody Beattie

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