A noun
1 expectation, outlook, prospect belief about (or mental picture of) the future
1: belief about (or mental picture of) the future [syn: outlook, prospect]
2: wishing with confidence of fulfillment [syn: anticipation]
3: the feeling that something is about to happen
4: the sum of the values of a random variable divided by the number of values [syn: arithmetic mean, first moment, expected value]
1. The state, or an attitude, of expecting.Thesaurus: anticipation, hope, eagerness, supposition, presumption, conjecture.
2. Something expected, whether good or bad.Form: expectations (often)
3. Money or property, etc that one expects to gain, especially by inheritance.Form: expectations (usually)

Type in definition of expectation in GOOGLE and you will get:

Results 1 - 10 of about 10,600,000 for definition expectation. (0.08 seconds)

I listed a few because you may not have time to read all 10,600,000; the general overall sentiment of the word being "something expected about the future". Some of you are saying get to the point already Jen and to you I say: go read another blog cause this is a novella; I
say it politely and with courtesy because I do not want to waste your time as you may have unmet expectations.

I have been pondering the word because I so often feel people don't meet my expectations; my husband and/or children didn't do what I expected; I didn't react how I expected; and my expectations are too high to actually be met. Expectations kept coming up over and over
about this past weekend. Expectations unmet, undone, and unnecessary.

Expectations started forming in my mind the minute Trent leaned over and asked with his usual whit and sarcasm "do you know anybody who would be interested in going to that?" after we heard an announcement about an event in Jekyll Island, Georgia called Worship Under the Stars and that the Clarion Hotel was offering greatly reduced rates to those attending the event. We had come off a weekend of "Emotional" work from a marriage training course called PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills) http://www.pairs.com/ . We attended thanks to Dr. Rick Marks at http://www.marriageforlife.org/ It was hard, painful but so absolutely worth it. We knew we needed to spend time reconnecting; not that we were disconnected totally but the future for marriage where there is little emotional intimacy have a tendency to end in the "D" word. And we are not going there.

I talked to a friend that lives in Georgia about what to do while in Jekyll Island and she directed me to a website. I explored nearly every link. I formed in my mind the things I thought we should do. I wanted to make reservations for things. I asked Trent to look at
the website and was sad when he acted distracted and uninterested. The next morning "So, Trent, I want to talk about expectations you have about the weekend before we go, like, do you want it to be a romantic weekend or a fun weekend." "Awh, see here we go now I feel all this pressure to make the weekend romantic or something can't we just go and figure it out when we get there?" "No pressure" I say, "I am just trying to figure things out, but if wing it is what you want that's what we'll do" cringing inside. I tell myself "no expectations, no expectations"
The morning of the trip Trent is talking about what time we should leave. He is predicting his day and in the back of my mind I am trying to think "no expectations, no expectations. He is predicting being home at 12 and asks me what I have to do, I precede to tell him with his response being "Well, that's a lot, I may be home before you and waiting" Oh, no you won't because I am the "waiter" in this relationship and ain't nobody going to take that from me, I think to myself. Now the pressure is on I thought I had until 3 to do my things and beat him ready by an hour, but now my schedule is moved up. I can do it. I stress a little, and by a little I mean a lot.

A call from Joan allows me to let off steam and vent a little. Also, ponder interesting facts about how males and females interact and WHY we can't say what we want! Okay, gotta go I have a lot to do in a little time. Stress was not unexpected. Thankfully my daughter has that soothing "get it together, woman attitude" and sets me straight. "It will be fine" she says as she is cleaning the dishes and kitchen AHHH! Thank you one less thing to do. So, you ask what time did he make it home? Well… I don't remember specifically but I know we were out the door at 4:00pm our original agreed upon departure time. All that rushing for nothing, It's what I expected.

The car ride up nothing eventful happened. Including the surfacey conversation. As expected. We find our hotel thanks to my great internet searching ability and directions as expected. (Except that one time going to Universal and we got lost cause the roads were rerouted-I didn't expect that) We go to the room what wasn't expected was the smell: musty; Trent makes a comment "it smells like old people and soap" He makes me laugh as expected. The room is nice, simple the basics, recently remodeled but you could still tell it was old. So we decide to go explore this island before we have to go to the concert because neither of us was really hungry. We don't make it far before Trent looks at his watch and realizes that we need to get to the concert. So we head towards the venue. I ask: should we get some chairs or a blanket to sit on or something? Do you think it will get real cold tonight after dark? Well, I didn't expect that attending an event called "Worship Under the Stars" would be held inside an auditorium. I realized all that thought about whether we should bring chairs or blankets was really unnecessary; and what IF we would have shown up with blanket, citronella, and lawn chairs,
wouldn't we have looked ridiculous. I was right about the cold part though it was freaking freezing in there. They spared no expense on the air conditioning, you could hang meat. Not exactly expected. We find seats, not where "I" would have chosen but it isn't about "I"
it is about "us" and "us" doesn't care where we sit. We look around and I wonder if the roof rolls back like one of those stadiums, highly unlikely, but still I wondered; it didn't. Expected. The event starts and I could go on about every detail of expected and unexpected but I am going to highlight the things the Lord showed me. As one that knows me might expect. As I was standing there praising God, I realized all of these expectations were me trying to know what the future holds which is impossible. God is blowing my mind and the word "expectations" keeps going through my mind because I realize I am receiving things that I didn't expect; and those were way cooler than the things I did expect. I sat down to journal my thoughts and here are some things I didn't expect and what I received:

Worship Under the Stars-not under the stars-we've covered that The Program had a song list with familiar song names but they turned out to be different songs. It was funny when we realized that we had expected the song to be "Rain Down" sung like Delirious (rain down, all around the world we're singing) and well let's just say it was very tribal and not at all the same song. Consuming Fire was NOT the Third Day favorite of mine which is also the ring tone for my bestest good friend Kim. Mildly disappointed but yet the other songs were nice. Okay. This one can offend. I mean this in humor and I apologize if I offend anyone by my next rambling. Okay, that said. Georgia. Well it is way more south than Florida. What do you mean you ask-you know what I mean. People who from GA are way more southern than us (by us I mean me). I was born and raised in Florida, mostly around northerners. I didn't realize how north I was until I went to Georgia and South Carolina. I got a kick out of the mix of people and personalities. "Diverse" would be a good word. I am used to attending worship events like this with legions of fans that are just like me, or student events where it is all young people except chaperones. Or ladies events like Beth Moore where it is all women. People like me there for the same purpose. Well these people, though very different on the outside, some more than others, were like me. Sinners saved by grace reveling in the opportunity to praise
our God. Now, that wasn't so offensive was it? Nothing is more annoying to me than knowing a song and then someone singing it differently. UGH! I want to sound good for my God; I want
to sing along; not be the only one belting out the chorus because you chose to add a gratuitous guitar solo and forgot to notify me and provide me with sheet music. Forced off beat and off key to be in sync with how outsiders feel in our churches. I LOVE to worship with the people in my church. Our church band http://www.ascensionworship.com/ performs at events and we follow them to support them and worship our God. Well we are very, very, familiar with those songs and performers. All known personally and most of them are good friends of mine. But going to something like this where everyone else seemed to know what I didn't put me at an advantage.

Advantage, bet you didn't expect that. See I was forced to not sing long, I had the opportunity to look around and just observe people praising their God. In all different styles some I was comfortable with some not so much. I could listen to the song instead of my own voice. I was made less so HE could be more to me. Here is what I wrote to Him: GOD THANK YOU FOR The heavy man in the blue shirt with is hands raised for every song. His arms must be tired. The elderly woman's weathered hand gently lifted while she sits praising her father. Bless her. The woman with the baby that wants so badly to worship you that she keeps disturbing everyone on the row as she goes in and out with her crying baby. The woman with her arms flailing in time with the music swaying and praising The young woman with the pony tail who sways in freedom half dancing, half almost using sign language to praise God. She later took the opportunity to use the aisle as her stage to dance before the Lord in freedom. Albeit freedom that I wasn't entirely comfortable with in public. Watching her do her ballerina like spins I ask myself why? Why because I guess I am so self-conscious in worship. The Hispanic man over my shoulder that was always standing and singing yet felt me look at him our eyes caught for a moment with the same purpose: to see each other as beautifully different. We rush to leave this wonderful worship experience, been there done that and now we need food and fast. Not fast food but food fast.

What wasn't expected was that this sleepy little island was apparently in the off off season and everything was basically closed before 9:30 which is when we left the concert. We tried to go to the recommended seafood restaurant but nope. Well I called the hotel to ask for a recommendation but in the meantime we found a hole-in-the-wall seafood place that would serve us. Yippee! The food was as expected. Palatable, nothing to write home about. We returned to the hotel room thankfully the musty smell was minimized by the A/C
that we left on freezing cold when we left. We hurry and get in the sheets… and that's where we'll leave that except to say it was better than expected.

I had asked Trent if we could watch the sunrise because that is on my list of things to do. I have a list, as expected. So, what was not expected is that I am an idiot and wondered if we missed the sunrise because it was light outside? Duh! So we go to a very uncomfortable
bench and snuggle to prepare for the great ball of fire. It was much more beautiful than I expected. Listening to the waves, calm silence and taking in the beauty of the Lord's creation was amazing. The clouds turned all different colors as the sun rose higher in the sky starting of white, to pale pink, to orangy pink to ablaze of fiery orange. Okay, there it is can we go back to bed now? I didn't sleep very well the night before. What was not expected was that checkout was at 11:00 and at 10:00 the cleaning lady who no speak very good English "are you check out today?" YES! I want to go give hear piece of my mind about waking sleeping people up and realize that I could have put a do not disturb sign on the door and avoided the issue. Check one for the cleaning lady. Me lose in a battle with myself not really expected. I usually talk myself into those things and win.

We decided to explore the island, no agenda, no plan mainly because Trent didn't want to go kayaking or do anything to get dirty, sweaty or otherwise because he would have nowhere to shower before going to Ascension Worship that night in the big city (and by big I mean
small) of Kingsland, Georgia. Trent has showering issues, I should have expected. I never even thought of it. We went to Driftwood Beach which was amazing. Crazy, ginormous trees laid over and stripped by wind and weather. Dead yet so full of life. Peering in a hole about the size of a softball we looked at the little things squiggling in there. So much life that we can't even see. I thought of it as it's own tiny universe diverse and vast and more than I could comprehend about a hole filled with salt water. I imagined our God looking down at us and felt so small. Yet I know He knows each of us, intimately, inside and out. He is the creator. I am his poem.

Done looking at dead, but not so dead trees so we take to driving around the island. It was nice. We stopped in the historic district and spent the next several hours looking for souvenirs for…you guessed it: the kids. Fairly unsuccessful at that venture which was not
expected; I want to DO something. So we play putt putt and have dippin dots! Yeah! It was a lot of fun; more than expected. I am not too bad at putt putt; not expected. So mark Jekyll Island as been there, done that! We have seen it! It was not exactly what we expected but that should be as expected.

Off to Kingsland to worship with our friends. We are meeting up with our kids (well most of them) there. AHH! Even though that tiny church was not home it felt like home; comfortable worship; which is not a totally good thing. While praising, singing and evaluating. I pondered our weekend and trying to determine if it met my expectations. I have this feeling that is difficult to put in words; like, that because my expectations weren't met I realized that God had other plans that were unexpected but better than my plans. I loved my weekend with God and my husband. I learned so much about all of us. It was amazing. And this blog...as expected...still pales to put it all in words. Hum… I guess that brings me to the end. Exhale loudly!

I suppose if I were to make up my own definition of this word I would have to say:

noun1. Jen's way of setting herself up to be miserable because she is constantly reaching down to get her measuring stick out instead of looking at what God has placed before her.
2. Aforementioned definition must be deleted and new expectations or unexpectations put into place

While I can not remove expectations from my life (if you know a trick-please share) I can live in the moment and enjoy the things that are before me. I expect that my definition of expectations will continue to morph and change as God works this out in my life. I expect
it will be worth it! I will expect the unexpected!