Expectations, Faith, Hope and a Smidgeon of Reality
By Sarah Weintraub

Expectations have been the killer of moments that I should have just taken the time to enjoy.  The moments where I expected others to act a certain way, feel a certain way, behave a certain way.  My expectations robbed me of just being in the moment.  An expectation according to the World Wide Web is “a belief that someone will or should achieve something” or “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future”.  The big issue with my earthly expectations is the human factor or reality.

Often, as a stepmom, my expectations hindered my relationships with my stepkiddos because the way I expected things to go wasn't how they wanted things. 

Even in the early years of marriage, how I expected my life to be with a husband, 2 young stepkiddos, one on the way, and hubby’s ex-wife was far from the reality of blended family life. 

Holidays were the worst!  First there was the stress of plane reservations and who was paying for the tickets.   Going back and forth over what times worked best for both homes.  How long were they staying?  What do we get them?  Does it stay here or go back?  Do we celebrate once or twice?  Do we do a big family gathering or just us? 

Next, came figuring out entertainment during the visit.   What do we do when they’re here?  How do we act?  Do we parent?  Do we have fun?  Do we do both?  Are they going to be bored?  Can we take vacation the whole time they are here?  Do we need to rob a bank to pull this off?  You know, typical blended family musings.

All the while in the planning, I had established expectations about how the visits would go, what we would do, how fun it would be and that nothing, absolutely nothing was going to ruin the Weintraub family traditions and holiday memory making time.  WRONG!!!!  My expectations were those of a Type A personality that wanted the perfect Pinteresty social-media perfection.  Good thing most of these “moments” were pre-social media and the Pinterest fad.  Some of our holidays would have landed on YouTube similar to the Walmart People videos – They did WHAT!?!?

Thankfully I've learned, although perhaps too late in some instances, to take a breath.
Turn it over to God and just live in the now. 

I still make plans and have expectations; however, I’m learning to let God direct my path (expectations).  When I choose not to, He graciously reminds me that my ways are not His ways. 

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Hebrews 11:1-3 – “1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.  3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

Hope as used in this passage is “To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.”  I have hope that even when I’m drowning in my own earthly expectation failures, God is not failing me.  I can expect God to show up in a big way.  Without my faith, I lose my hope, and without hope, my expectations are focused on earthly Pinteresty social media dreams instead of the bigger picture of my God given future. 

The best self-care ever is to let go of those Pinteresty social-media family expectations – your family is your family, Pinterest epic failures and all.  Who cares if that picture is not perfect or social media worthy!  Does it make you smile at the awkwardness of the moment or cry because it didn’t meet your expectations?  Hopefully laugh!  Learn to laugh again, love unconditionally, and most importantly activate your faith to find the evidence of things yet unseen.  Your Pinteresty social media picture perfect moment is now. 

~Stepmomhood Musings 





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