Great Expectations and A Pile of Poop

One year ago Saturday I started this blog. And, of course, I began it with great expectations. I was going to write daily. And, not write just anything, but write something profound or, at bare minimum, thought-provoking and at quite hopeful…life-changing. And thousands of people would read my blog daily and share their thoughts through comments. Here we are, one year later. I wrote exactly 49 posts last year – not even an average of one per week – and while the blog had 11,285 page views last year, that’s hardly the thousands I dreamed about daily.

So that’s the great expectations part, but this post is about a pile of poop, too. Specifically, this pile of poop.

Ok. So it’s not all poop, but it might as well have been based on the smell. It technically is compost with chicken and turkey poop, but the smell said 100% stinky to me. Cam and I spent the major portion of Saturday mixing the poop into the dirt surrounding each and every plant in my flower beds. After the 4,010th plant, I quit counting.
Cameron perhaps had the most profound question of the day. “Tell me again,” he said, “WHY are we doing this?” Well, you see, it all started with a single bag of the compost/manure mixture and this tiny flower bed about two months ago.

A precious friend gave me eight (and yes, I am counting correctly here!) canna bulbs. She brought them to me in an HEB bag, and it took me several days before I had a chance to plant them. I’ll spare you all the ugly details, but suffice it to say, by the time I got them in the ground, they were looking quite pathetic. Hmmm… what to do to ensure my friend didn’t label me the canna killer? Thinking, thinking, got it! A bag of compost! After all, compost is supposed to nitrogen-rich and equate to lush green growth (at least according to this website). So, one bag of compost, regular watering, and the gorgeous Texas sunshine, and voila! Take a look at these babies. I went from canna killer to canna queen in about two months. So… guess you’ve got this whole gig figured out. If one bag of compost with poop will give me these results, surely a whole truckload will transform my yard. More great expectations.

And, that’s exactly what I told Cameron. Of course, I might have made up a few other facts about spreading poop in flower beds  that I cannot substantiate with evidence, but parents do those things to their kids all the time, and I don’t think I’ve warped him too bad. Actually, I don’t think he listened to any of my rambling. The stench was impacting his ability to focus.

Anyway, all that poop and a blog anniversary got me to thinking about great expectations. I’ve always been the type of gal who dreams big. It keeps me busy. But, I have to be careful when my great expectations aren’t fulfilled because sometimes I point the finger and place the blame where it does not belong.

When our expectations aren’t met, we often pin the guilt on anything and everything but ourselves. We complain and cry about our circumstances, and maybe even blame God. The Israelites had great expectations… the Promised Land… the land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 33:3), yet they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. The problem wasn’t with their expectations. After all, their expectations were a promise from God – a sure thing. The problem was with their follow-through.

I think often times our problem with great expectations is the exact same thing. We lack follow through. I’m not talking about blogs and flower beds here. I’m talking about great expectations of God. We know all God’s magnificent promises in the Bible, and we say we believe, yet at the first sign of unpleasant or difficult circumstances, we question God’s follow-through, not our own.

When I find myself with circumstances I’m not liking very much, rather than questioning God, I’m learning to ask myself a few tough questions about MY follow-through:

How much time… real time… have I spent with God lately?
Have I spent more time complaining/worrying or more time praying?
Have I given God my long list of needs or wants for HIM to do or have I asked Him to show ME what I need to do?
Have I turned to God’s Word for wisdom or have I turned to my friends who I know will give me a sympathetic ear?
Have I walked in obedience to God or have I stayed on the path that is comfortable to me?

1 Thessalonians 5:24 reminds us, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” The question is… will we?

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