Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unattainable Goals

"The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth (Proverbs 17:24 ESV).

My study Bible says "the ends of the earth" refers to unattainable goals. So, I asked myself:
What are some unattainable goals I've made for myself and even for those I love?

MYSELF: To have a perfectly ordered house. Laundry done at all times. Dishes washed within 10 minutes of a meal. To never get angry at the kids or Matt. To have a model body. To be an incredible cook.

MATT: To always understand my feelings. (ha!) To be a natural-born leader. To be romantic every day. To remember everything I say.

KEAGAN: To talk as well as other toddlers. To eat neatly. To conquer potty training NOW! To eat every meal. To never have accidents.

KATE: To reach milestones when or before Keagan did. To have the exact same schedule every single day. To walk NOW!

As I write these, I recognize how ridiculous they truly are. Yet, I've found myself fully expecting them on some level.
Here's the truth:

MYSELF: Keagan dumped his basket of HotWheels in the living room floor last night, and I was too tired to pick them up. Last night we had dinner early, but had to rush off to visit family who lives states away, so my kitchen is a mess right now. I probably have more than 50 loads of laundry waiting for me in our closet. I need to wash the sheets on our bed. Our bath tub needs a little attention. I'm no model, and I'm too short to ever be. There it is. And my menu looks strangely familiar every month.

MATT: Matt's a male, which means his thought process consists of numbers, statistics, and plans of action--not feelings. And he thinks I'm crazy for mine. He wasn't taught to be a leader. He's been learning on his own, and I have to help with that--encourage rather than point out flaws. And no matter how many times I tell him who is in the hospital, he won't remember it tomorrow--breathe in and tell him again.

KEAGAN: Keagan is Keagan and no one else. He is stubborn and will accomplish things when he sees fit, not when I or the rest of the world see fit. He is still just 2; he will spill things and wipe jelly on the wall. His stomach is quite small, and I can't force food in there--he'll eat when he's hungry enough. And he is going to have plenty of accidents, but I must see them as teaching moments...not moments of shame.

KATE: Anyone who knows this little thunder bolt knows Kate is just...Kate. She will come and go as she pleases, thank you very much. She is demanding, and I have to help her with that, not get angry with her. I don't have the exact same schedule on everything every day, so why do I think she will? If she doesn't want to walk right now, then she won't. And when she does, she will. Period.

Lord, help me to remember these truths and compare them with the misconceptions I have of the way life should be. Give me patience with myself and my family, as well as room for learning and growth. Thank you for the joys You've offered with them and also the obstacles, as I know they will only make me lean on You all the more.

Have you set any unattainable goals for yourself or those you cherish? Ask the Lord to redirect those goals with Christ's perspective on things.

Peace of Christ to you,


  1. I have learned in my angry oments or my moments where I feel rejected or hurt by someone's words that the first thing I need to do is focus inward. I ask myself the question: How have my expectations caused my disappointment? Are my expectatins realistic? Usually the answers are a resounding yes, and then a no. Nine out of every ten times in life that I'm let down or hurt by someone else it's because I expected too much out of them. I learned this lesson yesterday yet again. I think you know. =) Love ya girly.

  2. Great post! My devotion this morning was about expectations and am I ever guilty of that. I can totally relate to your expectations or unattainable goals. If you get a chance you can go read my most recent "expectations" blog. It is always encouraging to hear that I am not the only one struggling with this issue.

  3. Hey, Cara. I came across your blog and wanted to tell you that it is so inspirational. You have such a good heart and I love how open and honest you are. This particular post really touched me. Thank you for sharing.
    ~Kacy Odom

  4. awesome post girl. Thanks for making me think about this and helping me to be more aware of it