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When Expectations Become Frustrations

I have a love-hate relationship with online grocery shopping. I admit the convenience is stellar; however, I struggle to let someone else pick my fresh fruits and veggies. I like my bananas only so ripe. I want firm apples. I squeeze the head of lettuce ever so slightly to check for freshness. And I pick BIG cantaloupes when paying a flat price per melon.

Fast forward to a recent instant cart experience. I was thrilled my time had been multiplied, seriously. However, as I pulled my cantaloupe from the brown paper bag, I gasped at the tininess, especially since it cost me 2.49! It was hardly bigger than an apple. It would NOT be enough to fill my hungry tummy, much less mine and the two big guys currently in my home. My Expectation became a Frustration.

Have you ever expected a certain result only to be disappointed by the outcome? I have! Sometimes, it is the smallest of things that turn into big frustrations. Can you relate? Next time your expectation becomes a frustration, remember these steps. They have helped me through the years, and I believe it will encourage you too.

It helps me to pause. Breathe deep. It is good for me to walk away from the situation for a few minutes until I can re-engage with a calm spirit. I must not react until my emotions are in tack and my mouth is controlled. There is no need for me to say something I will regret later. No backstabbing will make my situation better. Negative complaints will not change my frustration. I am learning to be careful with my reactions and my responses. James 1: 19-20 (ESV) reads, "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."

It helps to ponder the situation from another perspective. Examine it with fresh eyes. What difference does it make in the grand scheme of life if I have a small cantaloupe? I must step back to reevaluate and change my thought pattern. Ponder the reason for the disappointment. Observe how to make changes for improvement in the future. Choose to move forward. Often, it is not the situation that truly matters; but our reaction to the disappointment matters.

Sometimes, I need to choose to roll with it. Embrace the process. Once I accepted my tiny melon and tasted the flesh of the fruit, I realized it was the sweetest cantaloupe I had ever put into my mouth! Life lesson: When you embrace the processes, unfulfilled expectations can become fun and new experiences. Let go and be open to the new. However, sometimes, the result is not so good. I understand. This is when I have to trust His promise. God will 'work all things for my good." Either way, I can choose contentment. "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)

Friend, I get it. Life will have frustrations. However, I promise it is a little sweeter when you pause, ponder, and embrace the process. Don't let your disappointments derail you. It has been said, "Today is a good day for a good day." Go have a good day!

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