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Advent 2017: Expect the Best

Click here for a printable PDF of this post that includes a devotional journal page.

Early on Thanksgiving morning this year, I was frantically crying and prying plastic gravy and giblet packets from two frozen-solid turkeys in a struggle to get them in the oven ASAP. I was in a panic—this was happening on the holiday where turkey is THE most important feature of the meal ... and I wasn't even supposed to be the one doing this!

Flash back to the day before, when I was daydreaming about sleeping in because all of the food I was responsible to bring to Thanksgiving dinner was already finished. We had decided to do a giant family / friendsgiving to help alleviate the stress of any one person cooking everything, and to have a more inclusive time. Ah yes, I could see it: We would get up ... watch the parade ... laze around until it was time to go to


God is never failing in His love for us.


dinner ... get stuffed on pie, then go home and sleep.

Snap back. Waking me from a dead sleep at 8:30 a.m., I received a call informing me that the providers of the main dishes, due to unforeseeable drama, would not be there—and neither would the turkeys or dressing that were supposed to feed 40-50 people. My sister, also freaking out about this information, texted me and told me that she was running to Walmart to hurriedly buy gallons of spaghetti sauce and noodles to provide a substitute, to which my tradition-loving husband replied, "I WILL EAT SPAGHETTI ON THANKSGIVING OVER MY COLD, DEAD BODY!"

I had to think. AHA! Extremely randomly, we just happened to have not one but TWO extra turkeys in our freezer (a big THANK YOU JESUS goes upstairs for that miracle, because I’ve never in my life had extra turkey in my freezer). I quickly Googled how to cook a frozen turkey in 7 hours or less, and after much gnashing of teeth, we ended up with delicious turkey and a crisis that had been averted.

That day was nothing like we had planned. And you know what? Things like that will happen to you this holiday season, too. Maybe they already have. Maybe people didn't show up, do what they said they would do, or act in the way you wanted them to. Setting your expectations in man or things will, more often times than not, leave you disappointed, longing, angry, and waiting.

Through all of that shock, anxiety, and disappointment, the shining light and hope of our faithful God that I was grasping for was with me the entire time. It's what kept me sane. It also put things into perspective for me that if this was the worst thing happening to me that day, I had it pretty good.

I am SO thankful for the Good News that reigns eternal and ever true. God is never failing in His love for us—we CAN expect He will never leave us or forsake us. We CAN expect His salvation to be there for us always.

It's my belief that those expectations are the only ones ever worth having in this world.

Staci Bell is a mother, wife, seamstress and nonprofit technology specialist by trade who, as a human, specializes in being sometimes humorous, mostly awkward and always overly sensitive.

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