Birthday Expectations with a side of Valentine’s Day Angst

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope today finds you happy and healthy along with your families. Today is a day of high expectations for me because Andy’s birthday is tomorrow, and today is Valentine’s Day. Every year I search for separate gifts for the two days, and every year I feel like I come up just a little short. Most years I decide at Christmas what I’m going to get him. This year is one of those years where I’m just kind of winging it with no real plan which means that it’ll be a smorgasbord of unrelated items. We will be going out to eat dinner at Texas de Brazil on Wednesday, so I know that’ll be a success.

Still, I worry that he won’t like his gifts because they’re not what I’d like to be giving him. I’d love to be giving him the $1,200 drone from Costco because it’s really cool, but I couldn’t even do that for Christmas. Very frustrating, and it makes me look at what I did get him with a more jaded eye. Then I start wondering if the gifts will line up with his expectations of what he wants.

The thing is he has no idea what I would have liked to have gotten him. He doesn’t have the same perspective on the gifts because he’s not sharing my expectations. He just knows what is not what might have been.

I think we torture ourselves needlessly with that what might have been. Placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves and on others gives us the opportunity to live down to those negative expectations that just confirm our fears. I think loving people like Jesus wants us to love them is loving them without having any expectations about who they are, how they should act, or what they look like. Seeing people through God’s eyes means having only the expectation that Jesus loved them enough to die for them, too. We should explore and celebrate our differences and come together on the common ground of Jesus’ love. Aren’t we here to further the kingdom?

John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.


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