Wonder-filled Expectations

My Daily Question: Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us today?

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.

This is an entry in the July Write-Away Contest at Scribbit.
Interested in entering? The topic is Wonder Woman and you have until July 16 to enter.

Update: This post won honorable mention in Scribbit’s July Write-Away Contest!


  1. Carrie
    Jul 3, 2008

    Thank you so much. That was exactly what I needed to hear this week. As a PhD candidate, there are many times that I can identify with the “overstuffed but still empty” feeling. I know those things in my life that make me truly happy (including my educational pursuits) but then it seems that the ideal gets lost in all the pressure to perform…publish…faster…and in higher profile journals. And what for? To get a high profile job that will do nothing but take me further from the ideal. I want high expectations, but I need to be sure those are my expectations and meet my ideal rather than the ideal set out by those around me; those who measure success and happiness differently than I do.

  2. Michelle at Scribbit
    Jul 4, 2008

    It’s so easy to compare isn’t it? You have a wonderful way with words. I wanted also to make sure I list you correctly–I’ve got it down as T.J. Hirt with Wonder-filled Expectations. Is that good or do you want it attributed differently?

  3. Gilit
    Jul 18, 2008

    Congratulations on your honorable mention. Well written!


  4. Alice Wills Gold
    Jul 18, 2008

    Love the photo. And we love The Incredibles too 🙂

  5. Mozi Esme's Mommy
    Jul 18, 2008

    Through God’s eyes we are all wonder women! Love your post . . .

  6. Sarah
    Jul 19, 2008

    Great job! Congrats on the honorable mention!

  7. Nellbe
    Jul 19, 2008

    Very well written, just love this post. Congrats on the honorable mention.

  8. themotherboard
    Jul 24, 2008

    I loved your opening paragraph… isn’t that the truth though? We see the brilliance that is our children, yet fail to recognize it in ourselves. That is tricky, but also the key. We are all wonderful women. Great post!

    ps. that photo is just stunning!

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