Friday, September 18, 2015
SAND IN MY SHOES - by Heidi McLaughlin
The feeling of being barefoot and feeling sand squish between my toes evokes giddiness and freedom. When I flirt with the ocean I am a child experiencing the joy of the occasional splash of gorgeous, turquoise sea water and the sun warming my cheeks. I am free to frolic, run, laugh and giggle. Being barefoot in the sand unleashes a brazen abandon that I find in no other place.
When I wear shoes I do not enjoy the same freedom. It is blatantly unrealistic of me to think that I can frolic in the sand and not expect to get sand in my shoes. Those irritating grains of sand eventually find a little open crevice and rub at me until I either take off my shoes or leave the beach. Annoying, hurtful and disappointing!
An unrealistic expectation is like an irritating grain of sand-a silent thief that robs us of freedom and joy. When people do not meet our expectations we get mad, feel hurt, rejected, disappointed and blame them for letting us down. Here is a paradigm shift to reality.
Everything in this life is a created thing and has the potential to disappoint us. It’s a harsh statement, but once we get it, it will unleash the same kind of freedom as running barefoot on theI have found my greatest freedom in this life by identifying and learning to let go of unrealistic expectations. How do we do that? Realize that:
1. It is not other people’s job to make us happy.
2. Everyone sees the world through a different set of lenses.
3. People orchestrate their lives to make them feel loved and comfortable in the way that has been modeled for them.
4. We can never assume anything-always check the facts.
5. God has made us all unique, and we cannot expect people to climb into our life’s journey and be like us.
6. God is shaping each person’s character in a distinctive manner. It is not our job to shape other people’s characters.
7. It is unrealistic to think that granite countertops, a flashy career, a perfect spouse, a face lift, fitting into skinny jeans, or a diamond ring will bring us lasting, and fulfilling joy.
8. Everything in this life ends up in a box…one way or the other.
9. We need to treasure what God has placed in our hands and receive it as a gift to be held loosely while we are on this earth.
10. When we buy into unrealistic expectations we are setting ourselves up to be robbed of our freedom.
God is so kind and gracious to us. He tells us in John 8:31, 32 “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
What truth? It’s all right there in the bible-every word and story is a realistic expectation and promise to set us free from the hooks of this world. People and things were not put on this earth to give us freedom, only Christ can do that. Once we recognize and believe it, we will be empowered to make choices that will be as freeing as running near the ocean barefoot. No chance of gritty, annoying sand in our shoes.
Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at: www.heartconnection.ca
By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird How does your family celebrate Christmas? Is having a turkey at Christmas part of your tradition? Does your fami...
Free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd does not teach at the same WLU that I attended 1967-1971 - Denyse O'LearyThe difference religion makes is not what you might expect. My response to “How a ‘pronoun’ class got a young Canadian academic censured ” ...
Many words describe various parts of Christmas. “‘Tis the season to be jolly” one Christmas song instructs us. But although jolly ...
Despite the fact that the Christmas season revolves around the Saviour’s birth, even we who are Christian can become overwhelmed and ...
Christmas is a time to celebrate a birth. To thank the Lord, our God, for sending Christ to earth. We celebrate with presents...
Snow falls softly here as I write today. No doubt there’ll be more snow by the end of the day. People were out raking leaves just over...
For years I’ve begged my husband to bring me mustard seeds, eager to lay eyes on the tiniest Black mustard seeds grown in Canada seeds ...
Have you ever been neck deep in trouble? I've been there and it's not an entirely pleasant experience. I recall hanging upside down ...
This morning I’ve taken to wistful reminiscing . . . yep, again . I guess it’s a sign of my times. Numerous and varied events surrounding ...
While we had many wonderful experiences living in Europe, the time when we found it most difficult to be away from our home i...