15 Expectations

I like thinking about expectations. I have a lot of them. I think about what they are and measure how well God is doing in meeting them. I’m thinking of developing a grading system to make it easier to give God feedback, and reduce time needed on ‘prayer’. Perhaps there could be an app that measured my daily expectations and outcomes and gave God a score? Or maybe a chart on the fridge clearly outlining my expectations with rewards given when he meets them, next to my footprints on the sand magnet.

Anyway, I also find praising God when he meets my expectations to be a good technique. I like to ‘invite him into the room’ to discuss his performance. I either praise him, or sometimes I give him the cold shoulder or shake my fist. Either way the most important thing is that he gets the message loud and clear, that I have expectations, he needs to know what they are, and he has me to answer for if they are not met.

Most of the time he does a pretty good job, but occasionally he has a real balls up. Like off the Richter scale disappointing, painful and I am NOT HAPPY JAN.

I find the silent treatment is the only way to go at these times.

I can only hope that my expectations are met in heaven. *sigh/huff*

Frankly, I expected more from him.

Like, when is he going to update the bible to be more consumer friendly? Like this verse.

Luke 12:48     New International Version (NIV)

…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Wait… you have expectations of me? Since when? Lucky I haven’t been given much….

Also, I thought the whole you are the vine I am the branch verse meant that I am an awesomely connected branch so let’s get drunk on the wine people! But that might have been the BPV (Bec paraphrased version).

Ok, well let’s assume for the moment that the actual bible is better than the Bec paraphrased version, here’s the verses:

John 15New International Version (NIV)

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

Errr…. Verse 6 would rate low on my app.

So… you have expectations of me. Let’s not focus on that. Have you seen your rating today? Time for some praise… where’s my ipod.















4 Children.png So I went for a walk today. Imagine me, if you will, with my Lorna Janes on, striding forth listening to my worship playlist, my Fitbit recording every blessed step. Or you could imagine me trudging/waddling along mumbling to myself and resenting the perfection of my neighbour’s lawn. I’ll leave it to you.

Either way, I did go for a walk. As per my usual arrangement with God my walk commenced with my top 10 whinges for today. And on this day, number one on my list was what the heck am I going to write about on this stupid 30 day challenge I’ve set myself? I mean what were you thinking God when you let me set myself up this way?!

I had started to write this blog about children.

Obviously the super christian in me wanted to quote Jesus in this verse:

Matthew 18   New International Version (NIV)

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

So I pondered. What does he mean “become like little children?”

Does he mean we should stand there fiddling with ourselves, picking our nose, waiting for him to cut the crusts off our toast?

Does he mean we should throw ourselves on the ground and scream because he didn’t give us what we wanted?

Does he mean we should hold onto the first word we learnt….. “mine”…?

I’m guessing not.

But I wasn’t sure I understood what he did mean. So as a last resort, in pure desperation, I asked him. On my walk  in the burbs I mumbled under my breath... “So what did you mean?”.  Naturally after asking this question I swiftly moved onto the reaming 9 items on my whinge list.

As I walked/trudged along my mind wandered. I started to think about one of my favourite topics, my children. My heart skipped a beat as my mind fell onto a memory of my eldest son, Lawson.

On Lawson’s first birthday I tried and tried and tried but I just couldn’t buy him a birthday card. Looking back I’m not sure that buying a card for a one year old is that essential, but with my first born, on his first birthday it seemed like a parenting fail. Why couldn’t I buy him a card? I searched and searched but there was no card created in the known universe that came close to expressing what I wanted to say to my son on his first birthday. There were no words that could capture my overwhelming love for him.

I vividly remember that day. I sat there looking at him sitting in his play pen. Yes. We had a jail/play pen, purely so I could keep him safe and sound while I did the ironing (snort).

Anyhoo, I was sitting there watching him and my adoring gaze fell upon the back of his neck. My breath left me, and I gasped at how much I loved the soft curve of his neck, the smell of him, the purity and innocence of him took my breath away. It was so overwhelming, it was like I could only bear to take in that small part of him, because if I were to linger any longer, if I were to delve further into my love for him I might expire.

“That’s what I meant.” He said.

“That’s how I want you to come to me. Knowing that I love you like that.”

“Let me lift you out of your play pen. Yes, you may have to let go of some toys, but let me lift you into my arms, let me swing you around where your legs have no footings, that I might breath you in. Trust me, I love you.”

Or something like that.

Gotcha. Become like little children…


3 Perspective.png  


It’s ALL a matter of perspective right?

You know, when you are seeing things one way, but then some light gets shed and your perspective shifts and perhaps things are not the way that they seemed?

I’ve had some deeply defining moments in my life, where my perspective was critically flawed.

You know. Like that time when I was in the choir that I wasn’t in.

I’m sure you’ve all had that experience, where you end up on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers unexpectedly and you start to sing?

I was 14, so not at all hormonal and self-conscious. I was visiting an old church in Adelaide where my friend was singing in a choir. I was excited to see her, and so I raced up to say hello to her before the performance and wish her luck. We no doubt giggled and frolicked or something that sounds like girls from an Enid Blyton novel, I can’t really remember. After we said our hello’s we were ushered into the church (because in church you usher). How exciting, the performance was about to start!

We rushed excitedly through the church shaped door (because for some reason old church architects thought that the windows doors and walls all had to have the same pointy top). I sat next to my friend.

I’m not sure how long it took me to look up from where I was sitting and realise that sitting with my friend was not a good thing.

Perspective, and possibly bowel contents, successfully shifted. Heat rose from my chest and my eye started twitching as the realisation hit me. I had entered through the church shaped door into the choir stalls at the front of the church.

I was… in… the choir.

Oh Dear.

Now at this point a normal person would simply realise their error, get up and leave. But for some unexplained reason I decided that it would be prudent to add a freeze option to my fight or flight response. So froze I did.

I sat there. Dumbstruck.

My friend cast me a questioning look. I shrugged my shoulders. Now, it’s not like this was a big choir, there were maybe 20 people in it, so there was no hiding me.

The organ commenced.

The choir master stood up, hands poised, she scanned her vocal prodigies. As her gaze fell upon me her forehead creased, her neck stiffened and the pointy tips of her eyebrows clapped together like a high five so full of friction it could start a bonfire.

WTF... (why the face?)

Ever the professional, she didn’t miss a beat. Turning her palms up she instructed the choir to stand. So I stood (I mean what was I going to do? Sit?). In a flurry of hand waving the song commenced.

So, I sang.

Well… I pretended to sing. I didn’t know the song so I contorted my lips in a way that resembled someone dribbling profusely after recently having a tongue piercing.

Needless to say I was unconvincing.

Eventually the song ended.

Blessed relief. I finally came to my senses and realised that if I moved my legs they would carry me away from this nightmare. So I got up and left.

The End.

Ps. Sorry to anyone who was hoping for something slightly deep and meaningful :)


2 serenity Serenity : Content or composed; untroubled

If Jesus was Australian, would he rock up to the barbie in his flannie and his stubbies?

Would he bring the beer? Would he knock the top off a cold one, slump down on his fold out chair with his feet on the esky, take a swig and proclaim “ahhhh maaate, how’s the serenity?”

Or would Jesus float around with a cool calm and collected air about him? Seemingly above it all? Serene?

Cos Jesus was serene yeah?

Serenity mate. A bit of inner peace. That’s what we all want isn’t it? That’s what I want.

Angst. I hate angst.

In fact I will go to great lengths to live an angstless life.

But is that how Jesus lived?

Let’s see.

Matthew 26:36-46    The Message (MSG)

36-38 Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”

39 Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”

40-41 When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

42 He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.”

43-44 When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.

45-46 When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.”

I think I like the lazy dog sleeping by the fire life. Well actually… I don’t think, I know I TOTALLY ROCK that life. That sounds like serenity to me! But Jesus seemed to be like, a tad anxious. In fact he plunged into an agonising sorrow… “This sorrow is crushing my life out”. What a party pooper.

It doesn’t sound like he perched himself atop a mountain where he sat like a pretzel humming. I doesn't sound like he spent his time trying to escape life with all its responsibilities and angst. In fact, he fell on his face.

Then he says something interesting (I have found that Jesus quite often says interesting things). He says “There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

I’m going to take a stab and say that Jesus meant that a life that is eager and ready for anything in God is the kind of life we should pursue NOT the life that is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by a fire.

An old dog sleeping by the fire sounds like the picture of serenity to me! Sounds like the life I aspire to. One power ball and I’m a comatose dog bro.

Isn’t that the peace that surpasses all understanding? The one that makes you so lax you start to drool?

Or maybe (but hopefully not) whilst serenity is important, it isn’t a feeling we are asked to constantly pursue. Maybe we need to face our agony by face planting the ground and wrestling with it. Giving it to God doesn’t mean he will take it away, it doesn’t even mean he will stop you feeling sorrow and angst.

But if we can surrender and be ready for anything in God, perhaps his army will rise! Perhaps millions of sleeping dogs could become warriors? Because following Jesus isn’t about peaceful vibes on a Sunday morning, it’s not about feeling content, composed and untroubled, it’s about drinking the dregs.

Perhaps if Jesus was Australian he would throw a snagger on the barbie, crack open a cold one and say righto you lot, whose up for anything with God? Follow me.



I thought of you today

download Hey Kevin, how the bloody hell are ya?

(you remember Kevin? From my choose your own adventure blog)

I thought of you today as we primped and preened

And you were wheeled out into the street with the rats like a pathetic vending machine for loose change

I thought of you today as we drank champagne

And you wondered if someone, anyone would look into your eyes, or if your dismembered limbs would avert their gaze

I thought of you today as we laughed our shrill intoxicated laughs and compared our designer clothes

And you endured another day of your gruelling existence of isolation, loneliness and despair

I thought of you today, as we frittered away millions of dollars in a game, for fun, cos we can

And you knew no comfort, your body wasted away before you, malnourished, mistreated, laying in the stench of your own waste, waiting for the end

I thought of you today as we trotted around like turkeys, gaggling, clinking glasses

Hey Kevin, do you like my fascinator? *giggles*

What’s that Kevin? What’s a fascinator?

Oh, never mind, you wouldn’t understand.

“No. No, I wouldn’t.”

The letter

envelope-back Hey God,

When I was a kid I used to sing a song called Jehovah Jireh, do you remember? I think it was in the brown book? Anyhoo, I’ve never quite worked out what a Jireh is, but I DO remember the rest of the song… my provider, his grace is sufficient for me, for ME, FOR ME!

Cool, so you mean I can live my awesome life pretty much any way I want and your grace will be sufficient to get me “in”? *cheers* For a moment there I thought you might mean that your grace is sufficient, like, if that was ALL I had it would be enough.

Now, I do want to address the matter of the second part to the song. “My God shall supply all my needs”.  I’ve realised that this isn’t just in the brown book it’s in the BIBLE! Who knew?

SO glad I have you around and that you have made that promise to me. It’s a bit awkward about all those other people who are poor, maybe they don’t sing the right songs, isn’t it about time you did something about that?

But, whatever, about supplying my needs. I have a list. How does this work? Do I leave it out at night like the tooth fairy? Should I bring my list to Church like visiting Santa? Or do I just drop HEAVY hints during regular daily activities like I do for my husband around birthday time? Is there a genie type bottle to rub?

As it says in the Bec paraphrased version - Philippians 4:19  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches I am entitled to.

Woo hoo.

I’m so glad I invited you into my heart.

But annoyingly I also read the NIV version – Philippians 4:19  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

According to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Oh dear.

I’m wondering…  how did my life get to a point where that makes me feel disappointed?

According to the riches of his glory…

Cos, I’d rather have a nice car than be given riches that glorify Christ? What happened to me?

You will supply all I need. But will you supply all I want?

Stupid brown book.

You are all I need, please help you to be all I want. Not in a booby prize, martyr I will have to put up with JUST having you type way, but in a OMG… yes literally OH MY GOD, you are a pearl of great price, you are life, nothing comes close to you I want you SO BAD all else is useless under the sun type way.


Ps. I secretly think a Jireh means you like to bust a move