Finders Givers

And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.  Psalm 39:7 (AMP)

Our kids have provided Jeff and I with some funny and memorable quotes.  I try to write them down before my aging memory loses them forever.  “finders givers” was one of those quotes. “You know when you find something and you say “finders keepers”.  Well, its kind of like that. Except you don’t keep it – you give it away.   Finders Givers!” they told me.  For some reason I’m inspired use this expression as the title for this post about expectations.  Maybe when you read to the end you’ll be able to make the connection also.

What kind of expectations do you have?  Always for the best, the way things should be, were meant to be…everything fair and right.

Here’s a good quote.  “An expectation is just an offence waiting to happen.”

Are you ever disappointed or offended when someone does not meet your expectations?

-Expecting my husband to be as expressive as I am.  Should he not be giving with his thoughts and feelings, especially about me?

– Reciprocation.

-I went to all this trouble and they didn’t even say thank you!

-I’m leaving this organization since I’m not getting the recognition and appreciation I deserve.

It’s easy to feel shortchanged and shafted at times like this.  Why? We expected to get something and didn’t get what we wanted.  The expectations I listed above reveal just how much I expect people to meet emotional needs. Sadly it’s also an example of giving…to get.

Here is an interesting thought.  Sometimes people do meet our expectations. Sometimes they give us what we want…and we take it, gladly.  Then since we have found a reliable “source”, we may go back to it and fill up again; like a thirsty person to a well.  But then later on we may complain that the water isn’t as cold as it once was.  Or maybe the water is dirty and we are not as happy with this “well” as we used to be.  This reveals that we are not interested in the person at all, only in what we could get from them.

So large are the demands I put on the poor souls that surround me!  My Jeff can attest to many a desperate cry from this little wife.  Give to me! Give me assurance, give me affection, give me intimacy! (Do you hear the neediness…the desperation?)

There is a still, true voice from inside me that says, “Take some time, go pray.  Only God can help you reconcile this.  Your soul cries out for something that Jeff can’t give.

“But I want him to give it to me!”

In John 4:4-26, Jesus approached an old well and there he met a woman drawing water.  In their conversation he tells her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.”…

She replies, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He says, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

Reading on from here we learn that this woman was very thirsty and has been trying to quench her thirst from the wrong source.  Men.  I can only imagine what her soul cried out to those men, give me affection, give me security, give me direction, and for crying out loud give me a ring!

We mistakenly expect so much out of poor human beings and expect so little from all-powerful God.  Unfortunately my attitude toward God can be that I’ll just take whatever comes from Him.  This can sound very healthy and mature.  It shows that I know He is really in control and that I am just content with what He gives me.  The sad part about this attitude is that I have no need to get too excited about asking Him for anything nor do I cry out to him in desperation.  He will just do what He will do.  This is not the relationship that my heavenly Father wants to have with me.  He wants me to ask, seek and knock.  I am convinced that there is no sweeter sound to Jesus than a desperate cry to him for help.  He wants active communication with us. Not just a passive relationship.  He has so much He wants to give me and show me, if I’ll just seek him for it instead of my husband.

And when I find my thirsty heart quenched by God’s living water, then I can give to Jeff.

pray with me

Oh Father how needy we are for You today!  Forgive me when I ignore you and look to my husband, family and friends to be what only You can be for me.  We need Your help to make us full.  Teach us to expect great things from You and let people be human so we can really give from an overflowing heart.  Amen.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.  Psalm 5:3

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:5

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  Ephesians 3:20

think with me

This truth has allowed me to enjoy people more fully, and experience a truly genuine exchange and peace in my relationships.

Has God revealed to you any “wells” that don’t satisfy?

Is it a “well” that you need to walk away from?

Or does God simply want you to start coming to Him so that you can relate to this other person in a different way?


Finder of Lost Things

So I’m taking my son Tony to school late on Monday morning and I have his little sister Fiona with me.  The tardiness was intentional – we had late nights and early mornings this weekend and he really needed the extra sleep.  I knew his teacher would thank me.  Fiona, my pre-schooler, walks down the hallway with us to Tony’s kindergarten classroom and is carrying her show-and-tell toy; a small doll with matching cradle that has a small purple mobile hanging on it -very cute.  Once Tony is settled in his kindergarten class, Fiona and I walk back down the long hallway, out the door and into our car.  Then we drive to pick up one of her pre-school classmates before taking them both to pre-school.

Soon we are in the pre-school parking lot and the two giggly girls pile out of the car. Presently, Fiona cries out in distress, “Mommy! The mobile is gone!”  Yes, her sweet mobile hangs very loosely over the small toy cradle. It must have dropped off during our travels this morning. It is dainty plastic, lavender in color and is about the size of a quarter.  I tell my daughter with confidence, “Hey Sis, don’t worry. Mom will find it.”  After Fiona and friend are settled in their pre-school classroom, I walk back to my car murmuring to myself, “I can’t believe I’m going back to search for this tiny piece of plastic.”  But I smile because that is what moms do, especially this mom. You see, I’m The Finder of Lost Things.  My family has given me this nick name.  I remember digging through the big dumpster at Amigos in college because I accidentally threw my small clear plastic retainer away – I found it, in the dark.  That happened a few other times.  I’ve searched my neighborhood for my small, sly Rat Terrier appropriately named Fox.  Missing keys, trinkets, legos, tools, shoes, toys – you name it, my family knows I’ll find it.  My OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) helps tremendously when it comes to keeping track of inventory! Many times I’m more excited to find the “lost thing” than anybody else.  I want the set complete, all the pieces to the puzzle, and every penny accounted for in my ledger.  This OCD clearly has it’s benefits. But to go find an insignificant piece of plastic for my daughter is much more than OCD.  It is my daughters love for the plastic accessory that makes it valuable.

When ever I’m looking hard for something I always think of The Parable of the Lost Coin from Luke 15:8-10.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.  Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”

I am that lady!

“And when she finds it she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Read Luke 15:1-7 to get an even better idea of what Jesus does when he finds someone who was wandering off.  He uses the example of a shepherd who leaves his whole flock to find the one sheep.  And oh the scolding that the shepherd gives the sheep once he finds him.  He smacks him with his staff all the way home. Then he makes an example of the sheep and shames him in front of the whole flock. Hey wait a second, that’s not how His story goes!  No just the opposite, the shepherd “joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” Then he gathers everyone together to honor the found sheep.

Praise God that he seeks us out when we wander off.  Life can be hard on a lost sheep.  All sorts of danger is out there when we are not staying close to our Shepherd. He searches and even puts people in our path to guide us back. He puts up road blocks that will force us to turn around and take the way back home.  Though we may think, “I’m just one little coin, or just one of a hundred other sheep, who is going to notice me?” This attitude makes it really easy to go off the path.  Sometime we want to see what we can get away with. Sometimes we want to get lost.  But our Shepherd is a good parent who loves us too much to see us go the wrong way. He sees our value.  All of His effort to find us and bring us gently home is worth it – and everyone in heaven hears about it!

pray with me

Dear Lord, I am so glad you are my Shepherd. Thank you for finding me whenever I wander off from your leadership and protection.  Sometimes I do not think I am worth very much but clearly Your words in Luke 15 tell me that I am very valuable to You!  Please help me to look at myself through Your eyes.  Grant me the blessing of a repentant and steadfast heart when I do wander away.  And then bless my humble heart to hear the praises of heaven and feel Your smile upon my soul. Amen.

I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:176

Oh, I did find the small plastic accessory for Fiona.  It was in the hallway of Tony’s school.  Did you doubt my nick name!?