{Dad’s} Expectations – and Lessons from Meeting Them

Today, as my five year-old son was getting ready for school, he began to dance in a bit of a circle whining/crying, “I don’t want you to be mad, I don’t want you to be mad!

To which I responded, “Sweety… you are trying to get ready… so I’m not going to be mad, even if it’s not happening fast. It’s when you stop focusing and goof off instead  of getting ready that I get upset!”

I gave him a hug and helped him with the final details of his school readiness routine.

I realize how often I’ve done this with my own dad.

Out of my love, respect, fear of disappointment… I often begin to despair that I’m disappointing him. I cry, I sulk, I whine… at my own failure, inadequacies, insufficiencies… all the ways I must be a waste of human flesh. Not doing the right things, doing all the wrong things… knowing what’s right and still choosing wrong. Or I do it all right for a long time… scraping by on my own ability to do anything, hoping it pleases him… that I’m exhausted but good.

Good enough for all he’s done for me.

Which I can never be (confession).


There’s no way I can make myself worth the sacrifices my dad has experienced on my behalf.

Yet I try.

Then I fail. And as my brother said recently, want to shout at him, “Well, you’ll have to be okay with that! That’s all I’ve got!”

And he smiles.

Because he’s been my dad a long time.

And there’s nothing about me that ever surprises him.

Then he pulls me in and whispers sweet reminders in my ear… that he chose me (a definite perk of adoption 🙂 )

Chose me knowing that I’m an imperfect human… that I would need a daddy to lean on, to guide me, to teach me.

That in the same way the four little heads I’ve been given make me smile and fill my heart and teary eyes…

He smiles for me.

Smiles that daddy smile when I trip, jump up, and say, “I’m okay!”

Smiles when I get a failing grade… but have learned a greater lesson, albeit painful.

And yes, smiles that loving smile (although it carries tears) when I need a good loving Father’s discipline… because he loves me too much to leave me in my foolish ways… and knows just the perfect touch to bring me back to his side.

My favorite place.

And then I realize that the expectations in my life… are my own. And they are WAY higher than my dad’s.

Because I’m still learning to trust that he loves me. That I don’t have to earn his affection.

He’s walked life out.

He’s seen the challenges, the heart ache, the disappointment… how this whole world is performance-based… and he brought me into it. To be a shelter from the storm.

Just like I try to be for my own children.

Who break my heart when they fear so much of displeasing me that they miss the moments of enjoying me.

I don’t want to miss moments of enjoying my dad by cowering behind my own unmet expectations.

And instead, to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate and my daddy… and know that I’m doing exactly what he expects… acting human. The human he loves desperately and deeply. The human that can never do anything so wrong that he will finally be surprised or find an end to his love for me.

Amazing grace.

If you don’t know my dad… I sure hope you get to.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 11 of 31 Days in 2012.

This is What is Real

Real is something I strive to be always.

Not just on Sundays.

Not just on Fridays.


Because REAL is what I expect for and hope to see in everyone. 

Not a facade. Not shallow stabs at relationship. Not a false sense of security that guards the heart from hurt… ans prevents it from joyful living. 

Transparency. Depth. Honesty. Sincerity. Genuineness. Realness.

This is what is real.

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.

I struggle daily with who is boss… me or food.

I have to choose daily to be intentional about “loving” my children in a way that shows it- not just says it. Because I’d often rather be curled up with a book, or sitting in a hot tub, or spending time with friends… then getting to the heart of their many childhood issues.

I’ve been married for nearly eight years and I’m finally a decent cook. It’s seriously taken that long. And I still rely on others to help me out now and then.

I hate shopping.

I am often critical of other singers because of my own insecurities. I grasp at the smallest faults to pump up my own scrambling ego… only to find that I equally criticize my own faults and failings. 

I’m a great networker… which works out far better for other than it does me. 

I long for the successes I help others achieve, directly or indirectly, in my worlds of writing, singing, traveling, being.

I want to matter. 

I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I know my inadequacies, though some may wonder if I do.

I love deeply… but you may not know it. I feel deeply… but it doesn’t show up in tears or shrieks of thrill. 



Christ stepped into my failings. Into my real.

He gathered all of my selfishness, greed, envy, lust, self righteousness, false humility, anger, pride, self-loathing, bitterness…

He gathered into a mountain of my mess. It heaved, rolled, spewed like a volcano at its limit.

He set the cross upon it.


His blood mingled with the lava of my flesh, the desires of my old self… covered it.

My mountain.

His blood.


The rains came. The mountain soothed. The cross gleamed. The God-man breathed. I’m new. 

All of me… all of me is covered. 

I choose life.

I choose grace and mercy and love and hope and faith and redemption and peace and joy and gratitude and abundance. 

The Redeemer stepped into my mess and made it holy. 

Covered it with His perfection.

Called me to believe, accept, and enjoy.

My heart, soul, mind, and strength kneel before the one who conquers death, calms stormy seas, commands spirits, frees the lost, heals the sick… 

before the One who set aside His own life and comfort to bring me into His dwelling… so that I can taste and see that He is good.

That He who raises the dead can raise the dead in me, can calm my inner storms, can command my freedom, can free me from my slavery to food, identity, and insecurities, can heal my wounds and brokenness.

He can see the real me. 

The me He created, dreamed of, designed, formed, breathed life into with purpose and vision and calling.

Even in my mountain of mess… He saw me.

And I mattered.

The me I’m meant to be.

He filled the gap. Made a bridge from the me I was to the me He wants me to be.


He fills my weakness with His strength.

He fills my inadequacy with His ability.

He adds to my lack of knowledge His wisdom and discernment.

He meets my insecurity and speaks healing words of love, acceptance, belonging.

He takes my empty and makes it overflow with a peace I can’t explain.

He touches my wounds with His stripes and I am healed.

He takes this orphan and calls her His own.

He takes this widow and restores her soul.

His cattle on a thousand hills are guided to my wasteland.

His springs run through my desert.

And I am whole.



This has been a Five Minute Friday, compliments of The Gypsy Mama. Click the logo to join in the art of writing for fun, unscripted, unthought out. I used today to get my brain on a creative track to start the day! Try it out!