Expectations – How I Started to Crash and Burn This Week…

Posted on October 10, 2013 by


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I try to share when I blow it because:

  • I want to be transparent.
  • I don’t want you to think I am remotely perfect on my own.  Anything good in me is TOTALLY a God thing!
  • I know y’all like to enjoy – I mean – to learn from my mistakes. 🙂
  • It keeps me humble, and I need that!  I have to watch out for pride!!
  • I have a chance to dissect where I went wrong and that helps me in the future.

One issue we have had in our marriage has been the TV being on at night before we go to sleep.

  • Greg loves having the TV on pretty late.
  • I can’t sleep with the TV on and have some frustrating sleep issues.

Some things that make this more complicated are my own idiosyncrasies – the details of which I will not bore you with here.  I am very aware of what I need to get sleep – total quiet and no light.  I just can’t always make those things happen in a house with 3 other people.

My biggest concern for this post is not what I could do to get more sleep (Greg and I are dealing with that together), but to be sure I am honoring Christ with the way I handle things when I can’t get what I need.

MONDAY:

I emailed Greg and said, “I’d really love to have the TV off by 10pm every night.  I stay so exhausted.   I have GOT to change some things I am doing to try to get more sleep. Thanks!”

Greg turned off the TV at 10:00pm that night – without me saying anything about it – except “thank you!”  I was asleep a little after 11:00pm.

WOW!  Much better than my usual 12:30am or later.

Yes, I woke up at 2:30 for a bit and then probably didn’t sleep after 5:30, but that was possibly the best night’s sleep I have had in a year or more.  WOOHOO!

I felt a lot better the next day.

TUESDAY:

I cracked opened the door in my mind a little bit to think about how important my need for sleep is and how I haven’t been getting the sleep I have needed for MANY, MANY years (for a variety of reasons).  I started to feel a bit resentful.  I began to hear that old voice

  • “You need to think about yourself more.”
  • “Greg SHOULD….”
  • “Your sleep is really important.  You need to make sure you do whatever it takes to get it.”

My sinful nature roared to life.  That was all it took.

I snapped at Greg when I was cleaning up the homework room.  He totally did not deserve it.  That was my first externally evident disrespect issue that evening.  I quickly apologized.  But my head was still not on straight.  I needed to take some time to get right with God, but I didn’t.

THE 6th GRADE ENGLISH PROJECT

Greg ended up helping Brandon with a very involved English project.  Greg has REALLY stepped up this year as the academic load has greatly increased for our son.  He is on top of what Brandon needs to do and he has been helping him study and stay organized.  I am SO proud of Greg and thankful for the many hours he has been spending each week with our son.  There is no way I could help Brandon enough AND get our 6 year old daughter ready for bed every night, too.  I have to give Greg an A+ as a dad… he is so much more patient with Brandon than I am and he is tireless as he helps him study.

Greg decided to import the hieroglyphic alphabet onto our computer as a new font so that Brandon could have that on his report – which was a requirement on that project.  Greg was up until 10:30 doing that in the great room – that is not a normal thing.  Usually, he is in bed by 8:00.

I got in bed at 8:30 and tried to sleep in the dark awake for 2 hours. I usually don’t get in bed until 10:00.  Of course, I couldn’t go to sleep.  I can’t ever sleep when Greg is home but not in bed and I just knew he’d be coming “any minute.”  I was really looking forward to some time to cuddle and talk together.  As the minutes ticked by after 10:00, I began to feel resentful.

  • resentful toward Greg spending so much time on the computer, even though he had a great reason to be on the computer and I was really proud of him as a dad.
  • resentful toward him not being in bed with me after I made so much effort to get in bed early again that night.  Not that he had promised me anything at all.
  • resentful toward my body and my crazy brain that I can’t sleep without Greg in the room and that I can’t sleep with the TV on.
  • most resentful that I wasted all that time lying there doing nothing that I could have been with Greg or could have been blogging!
  • resentful at myself that I was feeling resentful.

****** Looking back –  I should have turned on the light, grabbed my prayer journal and spent some  of that time in serious confession and prayer!!!!!!  I have to write stuff down to really confess properly.  It just isn’t the same when I do it in my head. Then I wouldn’t have wasted that time and I would have been better prepared to talk to Greg.  But that is not what I did. 😦

As one of my readers quoted to me: “Expectations are premeditated resentment.”  SO TRUE!

Around 10:30pm, I went to the great room with a definite “tone” to my voice and an unhappy expression on my face and I inquired about when Greg might be coming to bed.

I ALLOWED MYSELF TO HAVE AN EXPECTATION THAT I WOULD GO TO SLEEP MUCH EARLIER FROM NOW ON, AND WHEN THAT EXPECTATION WAS NOT FULFILLED, I FELT ANGRY.

  • It’s not wrong for me to want to go to sleep earlier.  That is a great thing.
  • It’s not wrong for Greg to want to help Brandon by importing a new hieroglyphics font onto our computer – even if it takes longer than he expected.
  • What IS wrong is for me to get resentful toward Greg and to treat him with disrespect.  That is sin on my part.

Greg finished up and came to bed.

He didn’t turn on the TV once all night.  I hadn’t said a thing about it. That was some seriously sacrificial, selfless love.

  • All that thinking about “my needs” and what Greg “should do” left me angry, resentful, frustrated, upset and devoid of grace, gratitude and joy very quickly.  NOT GOOD!  I seriously cannot go there!

I apologized for my disrespect and my expectations and my ugly, free fall into a very sinful attitude.

Greg forgave me right away.  We actually had a very sweet time together after that.  Let me just say – years ago, it would have taken a few days for us to recover from something like that – not 5 minutes.

WEDNESDAY MORNING

  • My brain wasn’t working well – surprise!  That is what happens when I only sleep 4-5 hours.  I totally forgot to make Greg’s lunch!  ARGH!  He was not upset at all, but I felt awful.
  • I lost my temper with my son who was hiding in the dark playing his Nintendo 3DS instead of putting on his shoes and fixing his hair 5 minutes before it was time to leave for school.

Thankfully, then… I had some MUCH NEEDED time with God and wrote a page of confessions of sin of pride, selfishness, resentment, disrespect, etc.  I spent some serious time killing my sinful nature and putting it back on the cross where it belongs.

DIE, old self, DIE!

Whew… God’s peace returned to my soul.

THE REST OF THE DAY

I had to fast for 12 hours for an appointment to have blood work done at Greg’s office building at 9:30 Wed am.  I haven’t seen Greg’s office at this new-to-him building.  So I was pleasantly surprised that Greg decided to help me find the room where his agency was offering blood screenings when I got there.  I was grateful because I am AWFUL with directions!  He gave me a tour of his office and introduced me to some coworkers.

Then… my sweet hubby asked me on a date!  Greg took me out to lunch (breakfast for me).  We haven’t had a date in a few weeks, I think.  So it was particularly wonderful.

I enjoyed the time with him very much.

MY PLAN GOING FORWARD:

  • I am going to have to think about it as, “I would like to try to go to bed and have the TV off by 10:00pm whenever possible” and be able to be flexible if it doesn’t happen instead of “I MUST get to bed/sleep by this time or it is a disaster!”
  • Maybe I won’t get in bed until Greg is in bed.  That may help me not get hung up on expectations and feeling like I am wasting time.  Or maybe I can read a great book as I wait.  Or maybe I will write posts… even though that may be too “stimulating” it is better than being resentful!
  • I cannot afford to have expectations that  Greg “SHOULD” do something – it is WAY too easy for me to end up bitter and resentful.  NOT WORTH IT!  I get into so much trouble with that “he should” phrase!
  • I can ask for what I want/need, but then I have to be able to be gracious about it no matter how it ends up working out.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Greg helped Brandon study and monitored him working on his project until 10:00pm.  I’m so thankful for all he is doing with Brandon!  He didn’t turn on the TV.  He tried playing different “sleep music” for me – I don’t like sleep music, maybe some nature sounds, but that is it.  It was very thoughtful of him to try.   I think I slept around 7 hours!  WOOHOO!  That is seriously a record – I am not sure I have slept that much in one night in years!  Thank You, GOD!  And thanks, Greg!

RELATED:

My Demon

Expectations ( Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)

The Respect Dare – Day 1 – Expectations  (in marriage)

Is the TV More Important to Him than I Am?

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