About the Author

Jennifer is an artist living in rural Nebraska with her US Army veteran husband. She loves to create and seeks to reflect the beauty of Christ and encourage others in meaningful, beautiful ways. You can find her and see more of her art on Studio JRU.

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things we love
& you will too!
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  1. Jennifer,
    You wrote this just for me, right?? I can be the queen of great expectations. I get notions in my head of how things “should” be or how others’ lives “seem” on the outside and wonder why my world doesn’t look like that. Actually expectation is just another twist on the comparison game (which is always a losing game). I/we compare what we want with what we think God should deliver. While God is working out HIS plan, I know I can get disappointed because it’s not the way I would have worked it out. I am learning (albeit slowly) in my old age to drop the expectations and just let God work. He has shown me time and time again that HIS plan totally blows my plan right out of the water every time. His love is able to do more than we can ever possibly ask or imagine. Even at what seems to be the darkest hour, God is at work weaving things together for good. Expectation or Trust…I have a choice. I am finding that placing my hope in “Trust” reaps better rewards than putting hope in unmet expectations. Spot on post, Jennifer!
    Advent blessings,

    • Oh I hear you, Bev! It is hard to let go of expectations and it is something I am always working on. Yes… trust! Trust, trust, trust! Thank you for your thoughtful comment today!

    • Bev,

      Amen! God has plans for our lives and they don’t always fit ours. Back in 2007 my mom (82) was in and out of hospital & rehab for 1.5 months. When she got home her dementia worsened to the point she was bedridden. My poor dad (82) took care of her 24/7. I prayed a long time for God to just take her home with Him. He didn’t for two years. I couldn’t understand why He was taking His time. Turns out His plans were perfect. My dad was reading the New Testament daily. He talked with my pastor and long story short he got re-baptized (immersion style). God was doing a work on my dad. For a while my dad would come to church with me.
      That’s why Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse!

      Have a blessed & happy Christmas with family!

  2. Jennifer,

    This brought me a great sense of peace. If I don’t expect it, I’ll appreciate what He does for me even more. You’ve reminded us that it’s not really any different than teaching our children, not to be demanding.
    Have a blessed day,


  3. An expectation I’m letting go of…. our family Christmas photo. It’s a great pic yet the coloring didn’t print out how I would have liked. But that’s okay…it’s just one photo for one year. It’s okay!. I’m letting go.

  4. I love this – “Just think . . . the greatest Gift of all could have been rejected because it didn’t fit expectations.” That applies to me in everyday life, in everyday situations. We are often given gifts that we don’t recognize because the package is square instead of rectangular and the contents aren’t even close to what we ordered. But instead of following our specifications laid out by our finite, human minds, the gift of His design was sent- the one with eternal implications, lasting impact, and change for our souls to make us more like Him. Thank you for your perspective on this, which has helped me so much in a very difficult health situation today.

  5. “Just think . . . the greatest Gift of all could have been rejected because it didn’t fit expectations.”

    This statement convicts me that I should be open to all people and all circumstances, because God works in mysterious ways that I cannot understand or even imagine. How wonderful that He works the way that He does!

    I pray everyone unwraps and accepts the Gift of Jesus at Christmas and always.

  6. My husband I are in the process of doing in vitro fertilization. We found out yesterday 4 of our eggs fertilized…. Which is wonderful! Now we are praying for these 4 to continue to grow and be healthy. I must remember that God knows which embryo’s, if any, we need to create our family…. His ways are better than mine. We of course want all 4 to be perfect and healthy…. That way we have four chances at becoming parents….. And I have it in my mind at least 3 children would make our family complete…. A fourth would be a wonderful bonus. Please pray for peace and trust in God’s will and plan for our family!

  7. Christmas is the season of Great Expectations, but not for parties and doing everything perfectly, but for expecting great things from an awesome God because we are reminded at Christmas that nothing is impossible with Him.

  8. Expectations can keep you from enjoying the moment. I used to be so disappointed when “things” didn’t turn out the way I hoped.
    This applied to birthdays, anniversaries, etc and not just Christmas. Now, my motto is “Blessed are those who expect nothing because they will not be disappointed”

  9. I have always had Great Expectations, ( not just the Charles Dickens novel ), but God has even greater ones, mainly to step aside or sit back and rest in His love. He can do do much for us if we stop trying to control it all.

  10. Waiting, it not something we have ever requested in prayer. “Please let me wait longer” said no daughter ever!

    But in the wait we grow. Like a seed buried deep in the ground From darkness into light. From our image into His. There is growth in waiting.

  11. Jennifer,

    People seem to have high expectations for Christmas & the holidays. We’ve lost the real meaning of Christmas in light of the perfect tree, decorations, etc. During this advent season God wants one thing…our hearts and minds settled on Him.

    I have played the waiting game with God. A couple of times in my life I have asked God to gently take one parent home with Him. His answer was not their time yet. Hard to know why during that season. Later on He reveals His plans to you. First one my dad got re-baptized at (83). He started coming to church with me again. The second time I said that prayer He chose to show me a miracle and completely heal my aging dad from severe dementia. I get to enjoy more time with him.

    I believe in simplicity. We put up a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. It is small, but suits our purposes. It is just the two of us and we don’t usually buy much if anything for each other for Christmas. It is all about giving to others.

    Blessings 🙂 Have a blessed & happy Christmas with family & friends!

  12. Please pray for my family. Both of my daughters live out of state and will be home for Christmas. Daughter #1 and her husband spent all of 2106 doing various fertility treatments with no success. Daughter #2 had her first baby in August (our first grandchild). This is such a difficult season for one, and a joyous season for the other. I can’t understand God’s timing or purpose but know there is one. I guess I would ask for my girls to have soft hearts for each other, and I would have wisdom as I host them here in our home, which has always been where we come together to love and enjoy each other. That we can focus on the most precious gift ever given, our Jesus, and remain strong as a family while we wait for God ‘s plan to unfold, now or in the future.

    Interestingly, Psalm 62:5 is my life verse….only for God, waits my soul, all hushed.

  13. Only four weeks ago I was diagnosed with Cancer and My Family Friends and I have been through a roller coaster of emotions as we try to come to terms with it. Surgery and Chemo are not an option, as I already have many Chronic illnesses and knew one day they would collide, this is now. My only chance is radiotherapy which carries high risks because of my complex combination of Chronic. I started radiotherapy last week and my body is already struggling to tolerate it. I declare that by His stripes I will be healed and what man cannot do, God can. My only expectations for Christmas is to receive the Peace I need to endure another 5 weeks of radiotherapy and to enjoy God’s, Family and friends Presence and not presents. We are more than conquerors and during times of weakness God is our strength and will never leave or forsake us. I pray that we remember so many suffering, grieving and alone and as Christians reach out to them because that’s what Christians should do.