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Attack of the Grateful Gingerbread Zombies: One More Long Gratitude Lesson from The Spectrum

Have you ever baked a batch of cookies?

You open your favorite cookbook or, more likely,

You do an online search.

You eyes lock onto a picture of a plateful of perfect gingerbread people.

You buy the ingredients.

You follow the recipe.

But when you pull them out of the oven…

The don’t look like the picture.

Those gingerbread people look less sugarplum village, more zombie apocalypse.

You’re disappointed.

The cookies didn’t meet your expectations.

The same is true with life. Life is NOT a television show where you drink coffee together EVERYDAY or walk the streets of New York in search of designer handbags & love.

Real life is not perfect. Real people are not perfect.

And guess what? At some point, you’ll be disappoint because your expectations were not met.

Not for lack of trying but just because…we’re human.

Sticky, messy, flour all over the counter, burned on the edges humans.

But what if we could surrender our expectations?

Our expectations of the Pinterest perfect picture of life.

One of the many painfully slow lesions I’ve learned through our autism journey is the lesson of surrendering my expectations to gratitude. It has been, continues to be, a loooooong journey. A daily surrendering of what my expectations and embracing the reality of what is in front of me WITH GRATITUDE.

Thomas is not on track to graduate with a high school diploma. I have had to surrender that ideal.

The reality is he LOVES going to school everyday. He loves the schedule and the people and the learning.

It’s that worthy of gratitude?

Those gingerbread people are not on track to be featured in Southern Living Magazine.

The reality is they still taste great.

It’s that worthy of gratitude?

Bonus: I spent time with Thomas in the making and baking process.

Thomas LOOOOVES the making and baking process.

It’s that worthy of gratitude?

Thomas may not act or respond like his typical peers but he is kind and funny and is growing in ways that I would not have dreamed of hoped were possible 15 years ago.

Surrendering my expectations to gratitude reminds me of something I read in Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society.

“There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.”

My expectations are experience.

Gratitude is patient acquisition and long apprenticeship.

Can you chose to surrender your expectations about JUST ONE THING today? Start with one. Trust me, you’ll get hungry for more gratitude in your life, even when life looks like gingerbread zombie apocalypse.

Here’s a verse from my favorite "life cookbook" for you.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them,

for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

Shine Bright 💡

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