It Stinks Up in Here

10 Mar

What smell is it that transports you most quickly back to another time and place?  Since I’m determined to be honest on this site, I’ll tell you that a certain men’s cologne brings me right back to the side of my “first love.”  I don’t even know what the cologne is, but I know it when I smell it.  The reason smells are on my mind is that my home, which I’ll move out of in two weeks, has lately smelled kind of unpleasant.  Since there are babies with diapers here 24/7, I’ve been looking for some poopie diaper that didn’t make it to the trash can.  But I haven’t identified the source yet.

This apartment smell isn’t nearly as stinky as the attitude I’ve had off and on lately.  In general, I’m calm, cool, and collected.  But I’m going through something with a certain 8-year-old that I need to get a new attitude about.  I’ve decided that while it’s good to expect a lot out of children, I think I’ve been expecting too much out of Logan.  There, I said it.  I’ve been wrong!

I think my stinky attitude has been tied to that old nemesis of mine:  Expectations.  There are certain expectations that are okay, such as when training up children in the way they should go, such as regarding fulfilling one’s own responsibilities like a mature adult.  But some expectations can lead to no good.

Relationships are frequently destroyed by that multi-syllable word:  expectations.  For instance, when you marry someone with the intention of changing them.  Not good.  When you expect people to read your mind, such as a spouse who doesn’t have a clue what you’re dreaming about as a special surprise for your birthday, even though you hinted several times.  Not good.  Come out and say what you mean.  Guys don’t think the same way as gals.

Have you ever been in relationship with someone and you came to a place where you realized that your life would be much easier if you simply never have any expectations whatsoever of that person?  Since they never do what it certainly seems they should, you just quit expecting anything.  It saves you a lot of frustration but may also be an indication that the person, even if a family member, is creating a mysterious stench in your life and needs to be shown the door.

All this thought about smells and expectations got me to wondering what God expects of me today and how my life can be a sweet fragrance in his nostrils instead of a big stink.  Here’s an answer from the Bible:

“The LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.”  From Micah 6:8

How awesome that God would lead me to the scripture, which convicts me about expecting too much from Logan.  Because if I’m walking humbly before God, I will quit expecting more from others than what I harshly demand of myself.  (I’m not very harsh with myself and my flaws!)

Hey, just realized that repentance produces a sweet smell, no matter what else hangs in the atmosphere.  Nice!

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4 Responses to “It Stinks Up in Here”

  1. Carol Levergood March 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Always get myself in trouble with high expectations of myself and others—I now try to concentrate on expecting nothing in return. If I give something to someone–don’t expect it back—if I did something for someone–don’t expect a pat on the back—if I loved someone and they didn’t reciprocate–it’s alright—I will still love them. I don’t come through always, but my attitude has changed and I’ve slowed down enjoying the moments. I was unhappy till I changed how I looked at things through how God would treat me. God Bless you Stevie and enjoyed and was blessed by your honesty–hum!!! Good to hear these days–Carol

    • Stevie McHugh March 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Thank you, Carol. It’s kind of spooky to be so honest because I just seem to have so many flaws these days, but you’re right. Honesty alone has redeeming value, even when you reveal stinky things. 🙂

  2. Maddie Johnson March 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Thanks for this article, I really needed a reminder that expecting too much leads to disapointment. From my son to his dad I definitely set the bar too high sometimes and am too hard on them. I needed to change my perspective and this truly helped me do that. Thats gonna be one of the many things I am working on to be more like Christ wants me to be! Thanks again, I love your style and message!

    -Maddie

    • Stevie McHugh March 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Thank you so much for the affirmation that my ramblings do help people! (Sniffle) Bless you and your family, Maddie.

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