My soul waits silently for God alone,
I remember a time when I was a little girl and my dad was away on a business trip. He told me in a phone conversation one night that he was bringing a surprise home for me, something I had always wanted.
I hung up the phone and ran joyfully off to my bedroom knowing exactly what my dad would bring me…a monkey, a real live monkey to have as my very own pet. That had to be the surprise because I had always wanted a monkey of my very own.
I waited with great anticipation for Daddy to arrive home a couple of days later. I was so excited! I had been thinking about that monkey almost every moment of every day since that phone conversation. It seemed too good to be true…a dream come true…my very own monkey on his way to me.
My dad got home, and I couldn’t wait to hug that little monkey! As my father was unpacking his bag, he pulled out a long box. The long box did not look like it contained a living, breathing monkey to call my own…still my hopes were high. As my father proudly presented me with the gift that he had brought his little girl, his tomboy little girl, I might add, I slowly began to realize that the gift I had waited my entire life for was not in his suitcase…there was no monkey.
Instead of a monkey, my dad gave me with a chin up bar that I could affix to the door jamb leading into my bedroom. True, I had seen television ads and thought it would be cool to own one. But when my dad had told me that he was bringing me something that I had always wanted, a chin up bar had not come to mind.
I forced a smile as I accepted the “surprise” from my dad. But on the inside, I was profoundly disappointed. Chin up bars and monkeys don’t compare when you’re talking about “always wanted” kinds of gifts. My expectations of a real, live, funny little monkey had been so high, it would take a while for me to get over the disappointment.
The profound disappointment I felt that day is maybe why I remember the incident. But I do remember. As an adult and parent, myself now, I realize how totally unrealistic my expectation had been. I also recognize that it would not have been a wise or prudent thing to have given me a monkey as a pet.
I never told my dad about the “surprise” I had truly hoped to receive. I didn’t want him to know of my great disappointment. That incident has taught me much about myself as I have reflected on it over the years. For one thing, I can have a pretty fantastic imagination that is far removed from practicality and reality. For another, I can have great expectations that have sometimes led to great disappointment…all because my expectations were misguided and dependent on others in an unhealthy way.
Psalm 62:5 encourages us that our expectations should be grounded in God alone: “My soul, waits silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” (New King James) The Message version reads, “God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I hope for comes from Him, so why not?
I still have a fantastic imagination; I think it is a gift from God. But, my hope and my expectations in life need to be anchored in God. He knows everything about me and has good plans for me. He knows the true deepest desires of my heart and He can fulfill them in ways I cannot even imagine. As we head into a new year, we can put all our hopes and dreams and expectations into God’s capable and loving hands. He is BIG enough to handle them all. Happy New Year!
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.