Expectations can be such a driving force in my life. I paint a picture in my mind of how things should go and often times reality comes out in a very different way. When we bought our van I expected we would be hitting the road, off on adventures and exploring the world right away. Turns out we spent the first two months of our adventure parked mostly at my parents place. Don’t feel sorry for me, my parents live in a little piece of paradise. A house right on the lake, and not just any spot on the lake but I dare say it is the most beautiful spot. Complete with beach access, a private bay for swimming, paddle boards, kayaks and stunning views. I grew up here every summer and might take it for granted sometimes.
It has been amazing spending time with family, sharing delicious meals, and taking time to modify things in our van. It is kind of like buying a new house and having to renovate to make things right for your family. I know what you are thinking, how much work can you actually do on a little van? You would be surprised!! Solar panels, curtains, pantry drawers, new kitchen backsplash, and the list goes on. All part of the process that comes with making a space your own.
I also expected Lee’s job to flow seamlessly into remote work and we would just slide right into this new lifestyle. Well that didn’t play out as I expected either. Instead we spent weekends painting houses with my sisters company. In the midst of unmet expectations I am learning we have a choice to make. How will we respond to the situation?
I will admit I tried the road of discouragement. This path definitely left me wanting. It led to me focusing on all the things I thought I lacked while crafting negative life statements. Anyone else do this? Mine went something like “What in the world are we doing? I’m in my forties, living at my parents, no career, no family, no future, haven’t accomplished anything, look at all the other successful people, I am a loser.” How often does this kind of voice rule in your own mind? I was giving it far too much air time. I knew we needed to try a different road.
I loved the Circle Maker book by Mark Batterson, and I remember some friends saying they had the 40 day prayer challenge that supplemented that book. We bought the book, launched in and prayed into what God has for us in this van, this new lifestyle, and Cultivate Connection. He slowed us down long enough to have to look at the motivations on our hearts. To come back to trusting Him and to remember He is in this with us, and to stop listening to the lies.
We crafted a new statement to come back to when the negative voices of discouragement try to come in. To daily remind ourselves of who we are and what God has called us to:
“We facilitate space for people to connect with God, receive His love and truth, to be transformed and released in the creative expression of worship and purpose they are created for.”Cultivate Connection
As I write this we are actually on our first trip in the van. We’re in Moses Lake, Washington, parked less than eight feet from the lakes shore with a breeze coming through the window. It is peaceful and my heart is filled with joy. I love this space, our home on wheels. I am encouraged and hopeful that God is unfolding the treasures He has for us to find. It wasn’t what I expected, but I am learning that sometimes when things don’t go the way we want, it is an opportunity for God to reveal something new.
Do you have unmet expectations? Is God inviting you into something new? What kind of life statements keep running through your head? It is time to craft something new? Would love to hear from you and would love to hear your life statement if you have one.