Carefree and curious, my daughter peeks out from behind the fabric of the hammock. I capture the moment of calm with my camera and wonder at the possibilities ahead of her.
On another day, my children watch The Incredibles in the backseat of the car. I listen to the blaring action of the movie and the stop-and-go-traffic and wonder why I can’t stop shoving Twizzler Cherry Nibs into my mouth.
The contrasting scenes leave me to wonder—the first with hope, the second with dismay.
Does every mother glimpse the potential in her child, feel inspired by awe and wish for the grandest fruition of those gifts? If so, why do we look upon ourselves with diminished eyesight, only seeing the limitations of our day-to-day reality?
Not everyone is trapped in traffic with too many Cherry Nibs but similar distractions like comparing ourselves to others or toiling in countless activities just fill up our time and emotions until we become less connected to actual people, less fulfilled in what we do and less confident in our choices. Overstuffed but still empty.
When these mixed-up outlooks cage me in, my husband counsels me to “lower your expectations.” At first I think he means stop being a perfectionist and just be happy with who you are and what you have. And he does mean that to some extent. Yet, I don’t believe he means that I need to set aside my dreams. On the contrary, he encourages them.
I might use these words: Hold on to your wonder-filled expectations without worrying about the Wonder Woman expectations.
Most of us do not want to be the woman who evokes amazement or the one everyone admires nor do we seek fame or the superiority of a super hero, but we still want to give our best in our sphere of influence with the talents we’ve been given. A natural desire for affirmation sometimes sidetracks that goal.
Ultimately, knowing and growing in our potential comes from inspiration on the inside and not comparisons or pressure from the outside. Personally, when I look beyond the threads of my circumstance at the awe-inspiring patterns God has created, only then can I see the wonder in me.
Update: This post won honorable mention in Scribbit’s July Write-Away Contest!