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madewithOver (6)For my birthday this year, I asked my friends to give me words. As a collector of words, a lover of words, I thought it would be fun to receive words as gifts. Clearly, I am a nerd. But my friends, being lovely people, obliged. I received words that made me laugh, words that humbled me, words that made me so grateful for the people I am surrounded by each day.

One of my friends wrote something in her words that made me cry. She wrote about my future with assurance. She was specific and sure about my dreams. She wasn’t cliché; her sayings weren’t trite. They were simple. What made me cry is that she expected my dreams to come true.

Other friends asked me recently how they could help me. It’s something our group does that is beautiful and raw and scary. I replied, “Expect me to do things.”

It is extremely encouraging to be expected to do things. 

Think about the things we are expected to do. For a completely unromantic example, I am expected to pay my house note. I am expected to do this on time every single month. When I put a contract on the house, I said I would pay my house note every month and (after tons of paperwork and research and signatures), the mortgage company realized they could expect me to do that. They could expect me to do that because I said I would (and all those scores and checks and signatures backed me up).

Expecting someone to do something is a statement of their character. It means you believe they will follow through. You believe they will be loyal. You believe them at their word. You believe in them.

We hear all the time to lower our expectations—don’t get your expectations up. We try to save ourselves from disappointment by being pre-disappointed. If we don’t expect our friends to show up, when they don’t we aren’t heartbroken. When they do, it’s a pleasant surprise.

I think we need to start expecting more of one another.

Expect people to show up when you need them. Expect your coworkers to do their work. Expect her to write the book. Expect him to get the job. Expect us to do great things. Expect us to live as representatives of God on earth.

Let’s have great expectations. 

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