Monday, December 7, 2015

The Christmas Tree and Unrealized Expectations

I've been thinking a lot about my Christmas tree over the past week.  You see, when we picked the tree out over a week ago, it looked perfect.  Then we got it home, set it up in our tree stand, and realized fairly quickly that it was not quite what we (I) thought we were getting.  It definitely has a bit of a "Charlie Brown Tree" flair to it.  For this recovering perfectionist, it is enough to drive me crazy if I let it.  And I did.  For the first couple of days after we got it, I complained multiple times to my poor husband, about how it was crooked, or lopsided, and NOT what I thought I was getting.  My response was just plain silly, and if I'm being honest, selfish.  Something didn't turn out like I expected, and instead of handling it with grace and thankfulness, I wallowed in a pit of self pity and ungratefulness...over a Christmas tree.

Now, you might be thinking that this picture of my tree looks just fine. And I would agree.  But I'm just showing you what I WANT you to see, which is the "good" side of the tree. Also, when I went looking for pictures to put with this post, I didn't have any pictures that highlighted the flaws. Why would I want to capture the very thing I didn't like?? I don't know about you, but I do this with other things in my life as well.  I sometimes have a hard time showing my struggles.  It's just easier to "put my best foot forward" or, in an attempt to not have to talk about the struggles, withdraw from connecting with others.

Thinking about our tree this year also reminded me of a time not so long ago when we moved back here to Oklahoma.  I had expectations of how I thought life would unfold.  When those expectations did not materialize, and things got tough, I responded the same way I did with this tree...I complained, I wallowed...and I withdrew.  Now, three years later, I can look back and be thankful that so many things didn't turn out like I had hoped they would at the time.  Because in many ways, life is so much better than I expected!  As for the tree, it has "fluffed out", and with the lights and ornaments on, looks just fine!  It's cozy and very imperfectly real and I wouldn't change a thing about it!  As we head into the second week of December, I hope that you be okay with imperfection and unrealized expectations and look for the things in your life that you can be grateful for!

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