Five Minute Friday: Expect

I thrive on busyness. Perpetual motion. Like this view from Times Square, the more tasks and opportunities I have to accomplish within my little kingdom, the higher my self-satisfaction climbs. My  lengthy to-do list fuels my addiction to achievement. There’s always something to do, right? So let’s get. it. done.

To be perfectly honest, I expect that if I keep doing, life will go well for me and my people. If I’m busy, I must be on the road to success. If I’m doing everything I can to ‘make it happen’, I expect my diligence will be rewarded.

Well. God has a way of refining us over time, doesn’t He? Over and over again in recent years, He has taught me to shift my focus. To set aside my self-absorbed expectations and turn my eyes to Him. Maybe He speaks His wisdom through sound advice from a trusted friend, or protects me from a lousy decision by guiding me through a different door, a door that opens to abundant blessings far better than anything I might’ve orchestrated on my own. Sometimes He leads me to a conference where I hear life-changing wisdom from a gifted teacher. {Shout out to Allen Arnold and The Story of With!}

I’m not a quick learner when it comes to adjusting my expectations. Stubborn and hard-headed more often than not. But the Creator of the universe knows this about me, and patiently teaches me to re-evaluate my short-sighted expectations, and instead bask in all that He has for me.

This week I had to let my expectations about a particular life path go. I had to stop demanding my own way and commit (yet again) to waiting on God’s timing. I’m not particularly happy about this. I expect that when I see an objective on the horizon, I’ll be able to snatch it promptly.

You’d think I’d know by now to not be surprised when life doesn’t work that way. Still, I puttered around the house, disillusioned by the circumstances surrounding me. Then I opened a package from a writer friend. It’s her first book, a beautiful novel releasing later this year. Tucked inside the cover was a lovely 5 x 7 photo on cardstock with the following verse:

“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”  -Exodus 14:14

Of course He will. God’s so clever, isn’t He? Using whatever means necessary to remind me of His Truth.

On Fridays we write for Five Minutes, unscripted, on a chosen prompt. Today I went waaaayyyy over 5 minutes. Thanks for reading this far. 🙂  By the way, there’s a whole fantastic community of writers who’d love to hear from you and read your thoughts on the word EXPECT. Click here to connect and share your own post. 


Photo credits: Luca Bravo and Allen Arnold


  1. Kelly Johnson:

    Love that verse from Exodus and have found it to be so true. Beautiful, encouraging words! Keep writing, sister! (stopping by from Five Minute Fridays)


    • Heidi:

      Thank you, Kelly! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment. 🙂


  2. Jeanne Takenaka:

    Heidi, I so appreciate your transparency here. I’ve been (and some days still AM) in that “I want it THIS way, God” boat. You’re so right, though. When we release our expectations into His hand, He brings about His plans for us in His timing. I appreciate the reminder that God is relational (I loved The Story of With too). I know He’s trustworthy, that He wants to hear from us. I sometimes forget that He wants more than my trust, He wants my heart, that relationship with Him. Thank you for your post, my friend.


    • Heidi:

      You’re welcome! Thank you for your insightful comments, as well. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  3. Lesley:

    I agree, it can be hard to let go of our expectations sometimes. It’s easy to think that God should do things the way we want sometimes. I love how he is patient and keeps speaking to us to remind us of the truth. Visiting from FMF #41.


    • Heidi:

      Hi, Lesley. It is so hard to let go of expectations, yet when I do, He always has something different and often better in store. Thanks for visiting my blog today.


  4. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser:

    Great post, Heidi, and even though I am the definition of a rustic (my wife says ‘hick’) I appreciate the picture of Times Square…perhaps because I was born across the river in Teaneck.

    I used to make busyness my definition until illness – now terminal – caught up with me. At first I considered it a major inconvenience, but as time went on I realized that my projects weren’t really about completion, not in God’s economy. They were about process, and about my devoting my full heart to the task at hand, without either anticipating the next or reliving the last.

    That’s made dying a lot easier, because you can pack an eternity into Now.

    #1 at FMF this week.


    • Heidi McCahan:

      Hi, Andrew. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here. “My projects aren’t about completion, not in God’s economy”. Love that! He definitely wants our devoted hearts and not our achievements. I’m so sorry to hear your illness is terminal. That stinks. I haven’t met you, yet I’ve read your comments on other blogs, so I feel like we’re both part of a larger writing community. As I stated in my comment on your post, may you continue to bask in the love and comfort of our Lord and Savior, keeping your eyes on Him.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *