Unrealistic Expectations

by Gina Mayfield

Recently we celebrated my daughter’s second birthday party. As a lot of moms do I began scouring the internet at party planning blogs and Pinterest to get ideas on what kind of theme to do. After a lot of searching I settled on a milk and cookies theme – cute and simple…or so I thought. I mean, how hard can it be to bake cookies and buy milk – right? pinterestlogo2With the help of ladies from work I gathered my cute containers (similar to the ones I had seen on Pinterest) and set out to plan my menu for the perfect milk and cookies party! I settled on eight different types of cookies, three types of milk, Oreo ice cream dessert and a birthday cake. Easy peasy…or so I thought.

As I was settling into the cookie baking I decided to start with chocolate chip cookies. I set out with my Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe and my mixer and went to baking. When I pulled them out of the oven – it was a giant cookie mess! They were not cookies, they were more of a cookie sheet as they had all combined together. I tried again and sat by the oven to watch – same result, tried again, same. I thought maybe it was the recipe so I decided to try another chocolate chip cookie recipe and that didn’t work either. At that point, I was losing it! It was over – I was not going to be able to pull this party off. I might as well go and purchase cookie dough. I threw those in the garbage and started on my other cookies and thankfully they all turned out well….and my chocolate chip cookies were made from cookie dough.



As I was having my cookie debacle the Lord began to speak to me, ” Gina – you have let impressing others with your cute party make you lose sight of everything. Lose sight of honoring and celebrating your little girl, lose sight of having people in your home and entertaining them and lose sight of Me. I have called you to love Me and love others not impress others with your parties”.

I know I am not the only one has let social media make you a crazy mess! But, why do we do it? Why do we make ourselves crazy in order to impress others? Why do we let comparison creep up on us? Why do we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. We need to be authentic with each other and stop the ugly comparison game. Some people can pull off gourmet meals and smock beautiful dresses and that is ok if I cannot do that. Instead of slamming myself for not being able to do that I can thank God for the gifts He has blessed those ladies with and thank Him for the gifts He has given me. My focus should be serving my family and friends but most of all be transformed into His image.

I’m learning that it’s often the little things that speak love to my friends and family most. It’s abandoning the dishes to play with my little girl. It’s making myself stay up late and watch that football game with my husband. It’s an impromptu visit to the park with friends. It’s being available.

While I’ll still try to make things pretty and creative, it’s not going to be my focus. My goal every day should be to show love to my friends and family instead of planning that Pinterest spectacular birthday party. When I am faced with the temptation to compare myself to the glories of others, I’m going to contemplate on the glory of God instead.


Night Light

 by Joy Hutzler

Image result for light bulb at night

It’s dark. I am awake and the clock is glaring a set of numbers that tells me I should really be sleeping, because I have to get up before too many more hours pass. But my mind is spinning a hundred miles a minute, and some concern is boring its way into my soul.

What is it about the middle of the night that has a way of magnifying your thoughts? Why do problems seem so much larger when it’s dark?

 I breathe a sigh of relief and frustration when the sun begins to rise- relief that the long night is over. The light of day eases my fears and concerns, but frustration creeps in because I didn’t get the rest I so desperately needed.

 In my experience, whatever it is keeping me awake in the middle of the night won’t seem so bad by tomorrow’s light. If it’s wrestling with the Lord I’m doing, I’ve learned to just submit and obey.

Last night, I was awakened by a hungry baby. As I lay trying to go back to sleep, some cares of the day before began to overwhelm me. I felt the familiar fears and nighttime overreaction coming on, and the Holy Spirit gently reminded, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” I couldn’t remember exactly where that verse came from in scripture, but I knew it was Jesus talking. When I looked it up later, I found it in both Luke 12:25 and Matthew 6:27. In these passages Jesus is reminding his followers that we can’t worry about tomorrow. If the Lord takes care of the ravens and the lilies, then he will provide what we need as well. Those words in that moment in the night were balm to my soul, and I let the peace of Jesus wash over me, which allowed me to rest again. Thinking how sufficient that verse was for me in that moment in the dark, another scripture came to mind. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Next time you find yourself getting worked up about life in the darkest hours of the night, remember that your Father is already in your tomorrow. His hand is already working out provision, guiding your steps. Submit your cares over into his capable hands; confess and repent if needed; listen for his gentle reminders; and rest your weary head, “casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.”