I wasn’t going to Slice this week. It would have been the first Tuesday I missed since signing up for the Slice of Life Challenge in March. Last week as hurricanes and storms devastated areas across the world, I was experiencing my own emotional storm. Facing sending my daughter to school, maternity leave ending, and a few other unexpected obstacles- I just wanted to run away and hide.
However, the universe always seems to give me what I need just when I need it. Yesterday, as my husband got out of bed to entertain our early risers, I heard him say, “We have to have breakfast so we’ll be ready for church.” I rolled over and thought, I don’t want to go to church today. But I rallied, not wanting to miss the time with my family and I’m glad I did.
At church, the preacher shared a second sermon in a series based on the book of Haggai. He shared stories that I’m sure most of us can relate to, regardless of beliefs and religion. The preacher talked about how when we compare things, we set expectations and often times we are left feeling discouraged. But he said it’s important to stay the course, knowing that there are people around us who will be there to support us and help us through. As I related these lessons to my toughest week as a parent yet (everything feels more dramatic while you’re in it), I knew I had to push through-stay the course, no matter how challenging that may be. It also helped me to look back and reflect on all of the people that have been there, holding me up and guiding me through.
As I’ve been thinking about this, I realize that this simple lesson can be applied to many situations in my life. As a wife, mom, friend, and teacher. This summer, I read a parenting blog that talked about expectations for cleaning up after play. The writer realized that she was expecting too much of her young children when she asked them to clean up the playroom- to her standards. So she, instead, decided to clean up herself and invite the kids to join in. She found that the kids actually wanted to help and they ended up finding this routine much more efficient and enjoyable.
How often do we set expectations that are unrealistic and then find ourselves discouraged? I’m going to continue thinking about this and reflecting throughout all areas of my life. I’m sure I’ll encounter many situations in the days, weeks, and months ahead where I will have to remind myself to check my expectations and adjust so that I can stay the course… just like I did today by continuing to Slice.