Reasonable Expectations


The main storm of moving household, business, and farm has finally subsided.

19 years worth of stuff has been sold, given away, crammed into a storage unit and garage, and squeezed into the 28-foot-travel-trailer-masquerading-as-a-tiny-house that my husband and I will call home for at least a year. The business is stuffed into a small windowless warehouse space, and Daniel is actually getting Doorposts mail out the door again.

Now the rebuilding begins. I like rebuilding a lot more than I like tearing down. In fact, I could easily become obsessive about it. After so much chaos for so long, my soul longs for order and routine. So I tend to wring too much out of a 24-hour period, not wanting to stop until everything is exactly the way I want it.

But God knows I don’t need everything exactly the way I want it. I actually need to keep learning to be thankful and patient with things the way I don’t want them. He even used a fortune cookie to remind me of this.

One of my granddaughters and I stopped for Chinese food on a trip back and forth from our old town to our new one, and I had to smile when I pulled the slip of paper out of my cookie and read, “Keep your expectations reasonable.”

In other words, “In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Don’t expect everything to be perfect, and don’t expect everything to happen right now.

I can give thanks for the opportunity to park our trailer in the driveway of our son’s new house, even before he and his family are living in the house themselves.

I can give thanks for a house we can go into while we don’t have water or reliable power in our little trailer yet.

And I can give thanks for all the oddities and challenges that have come with that privilege and blessing over the past week – the shower that is missing its shower head, the oven that is missing its racks, the stovetop that’s missing the burner rings to support its burners, the lights that have no switches to turn them on, the outlets that have no power behind them, the breakers that trip when the toaster is on, the faucets that only yield cold water.

“Keep your expectations reasonable.” That little slip of paper is posted on my tiny refrigerator door, where I can read it over and over.

We’ve been here a week. Rebuilding takes time.

I can use the toaster now. I can walk through the garage without having to move boxes at every turn. I can turn on a faucet and hot water comes out. The dog has quit barking. When I plug in my hot plate, it works! Tomorrow we might even have water in the trailer! What luxury!

“Keep your expectations reasonable.”

“In every thing give thanks . . .”

This isn’t heaven. It’s preparing me for heaven. And for that I can give thanks.


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  1. What a wonderful reminder! I need to remember that children aren’t going to be perfect and they are not always going to learn a lesson the first, second, third time. I am going to keep my expectations reasonable! I am so happy to hear that you have finished moving and I will be praying for you as you begin to rebuild.

  2. Sigh. What a timely post!!! I am very unreasonable a lot of moments. Just lacking the ability to stop, process, and realize that what is happening that moment isn’t going to last forever.
    I am so happy that things are moving forward. What an exciting time for your family!!!! I would love to read along on this multi-gen adventure. It’s one we are praying about with my parents and our group of 8!!

  3. Wow! This couldn’t have come at a better time. It is refreshing to hear those words that can calm my anxious soul and remind me I am weak but HE is strong HIS timing is not my timing, and I do not have to have everything done just because my check list says I do. I will have this on my chalk board “Keep Your Expectations Reasonable.” You sound a lot like me always wanting to have that check list complete by the end of the day. Just when I feel like I am failing because not every lesson is done, the laundry is piling up, kids need to be brought here and there, and the to-do’s are longer than the hours in the day. So thank you for these four words that bring refreshing encouragement!

  4. Thank you for the reminder this is a very timely post for me! Moving is so hard and transition always seems to take longer than you think we have moved 5x in the last 3 years the first move being from Alaska to the lower 48. Everything that could come had to fit in a 15 foot trailer so we started with nothing after our move and had a few problems with his purchases that caused more moves then we wanted to make. But as we look back we definitely see the hand of God in each and every step! My husband lovingly calls these times growing times and I lovingly respond I’m tired of growing! Thank you for sharing and reminding us to trust Him with our expectations. Excited to hear more about your journey

  5. “How purchases”…..not “his purchases”….oops!

  6. “Home purchases”…..not “his purchases”….oops!