Redefining Your Expectations

Woman in wheat field arms out-stretched

Something S’more for Single Moms

Notes from Class at Calder Baptist Church – Beaumont, Texas

“Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

We Define Our Lives

We define our lives according to our desires, our preferences, and our tastes. We make choices. It might be a choice as simple as which courses we take in college, or as serious as whether to attend college. We decide if we are going to go to work on any given day. We accept or reject an invitation for a date. We choose the color of our walls, our car, and our clothes. We accept proposals of marriage or we fall in love and in bed with men of our choosing.  All of these decisions are ours and we own them. In the United States women have many more choices than women in other countries.

It is with these choices that we define our lives. Define means to mark-out, outline, or delineate. When we define our lives we create the boundaries that we want for ourselves. We decide what is important and what we will and will not tolerate.

To REdefine is to change some of the definitions we have created.

We make the assumption that once we have defined and established our lives, we will have control over any changes. A true test of maturity is our flexibility in the face of changes thrust upon us. Some situations are not reasonable and are in truth criminal. In such cases firm boundaries should be established and authorities called when appropriate. In our  relationships and job related issues, most of us resist alterations and adjustments that come our way against our will, especially if they come from one we feel is hurting us.

Single moms who must redefine their lives are faced with challenges. Some must accept that the father of their child refuses to be a part of his child’s life. Others must adjust to all the changes that come after a divorce. A widow faces the challenge of parenting alone with no hope of their father being around for their children. All these circumstances require the mom to redefine her life.

Realistic and Reasonable

Expectations can cause real problems if we aren’t realistic. Realistic expectations are reasonable, just not assured. When we are children we expect to be fed and clothed by our parents. This is reasonable. We expect to not be hurt or abused. This, too, is reasonable. As we mature into adulthood we realize that others will not always meet our expectations—even if we think our expectations are ‘reasonable.’

Famous people who were forced to accept unmet expectations

Hillary Clinton Unfaithful husband and loss of bid for presidency.

Katie Couric – anchor for CBS not turned out as expected

Would she have taken the job if she had known it would turn out this way? Couric hesitates. If Moonves had offered her the job she’s doing today, she admits, she would have thought twice about it. “It would have been less appealing to me,” she says. “It would have required a lot more thought.”

Abraham Lincoln

1832    Lost job & Defeated for state legislature

1833    Failed in business

1835    Sweetheart died

1836    Had nervous breakdown

1838    Defeated for Speaker


“What did I do to deserve this? Did I ever hit anyone who was calling for help? Haven’t I wept for those who live a hard life, been heartsick over the lot of the poor? But where did it get me? I expected good but evil showed up. I looked for light but darkness fell. My stomach’s in a constant churning, never settles down. Each day confronts me with more suffering. I walk under a black cloud. The sun is gone. I stand in the congregation and protest. I howl with the jackals, I hoot with the owls. I’m black-and-blue all over, burning up with fever. My fiddle plays nothing but the blues; my mouth harp wails laments.”    Job 30:23-25

James and John – Unexpected change in life work

A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fish nets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.                    Matthew 4:20-22

Salome, the mother of James and John 

“What do you want?” Jesus asked.

She said, “Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honor in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.”

Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you’re asking.” And he said to James and John, “Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?”

They said, “Sure, why not?”

Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.”

Matthew 20:21-23

The Unexpected Message

When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”             Mark 10:40-42

The Unexpected End

Jesus said, “You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble.”

Later, as he was sitting on Mount Olives in full view of the Temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew got him off by himself and asked, “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”   Mark 13:2-4

Jesus disciples expectations of the Kingdom He would bring in was not to be met. His kingdom is spiritual. It is much different from what they expected it to be.

What About You?

What definitions have you had in your life that weren’t reasonable?

What expectations have you had that have not been fulfilled?


“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.”

–         Henry Ward Beecher

I am a Certified Professional Coach and I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My Website.

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