Failing at Your Expectations.

Ever since the day I found I was pregnant with our first son I always assumed that I would make an awesome mom. I even remember one of the first dates I ever went on with Nick where I told him my one dream in life was to be a mother. I told him it was one of the few things I knew I would be good at. Most things in life do not come easy to me, but when it came to taking care of kids I have always been a natural. So it was safe for me to assume that when the time came for me to have my own kids it would be something that would come easy for me. I quickly realized once my kids were born that 1. having your own kids is very different from watching someone else's and 2. there is so much responsibility that comes with raising little humans.

"Expectations ruin relationships" is a quote I heard in the past and seemed to stick with me. In life whenever I have been disappointed with my husband, friends, family, or kids it was because my expectations were not met. Recently, I have noticed I have a short temper and my patience is running on empty. In my mind, I try to blame-shift but really I am failing at my own expectations. I expect to always know how to correctly discipline my kids. I expect to know how to rightly balance my social, personal, and church life. I expect to be liked and loved by everyone. I expect to be listened to. I expect too much and then my expectations are not met. I expect to be this unrealistic super mom who can measure up to all the other moms I see but in the midst of it all I fail to see what I am doing well and right in the here-and-now. 

Instead of having a heart that cries out to God and waives a surrender flag, I am finding myself asking God why don't I have the answers? Why are my kids not listening to me? Why aren't my hours spent reading parenting books working? Why are my recipes not coming out right? And the lists go on.

Jen Pollock Michel wrote in her book Teach Us to Want, "Struggle is the prerequisite to surrender." The struggle part has been happening for quite a few months now and finally I am at surrender. Failing at your own expectations only leads you down a road where you focus on what is not working instead of a road to surrender, asking for help, and becoming more thankful. 

I will never be the mom I always dreamed of being if I set myself up failure from the start. I can't expect everyday to go as planned or prepare for every scenario. My kids are not going to obey me everyday and I can't take that personally. Their sinfulness is not mine, just like my sinfulness is not theirs. My desire for control will keep me from being the mother and wife I want to be if I don't surrender my inabilities and insecurities to the Lord. My worth and identity can't be found in what I can or cannot do, but rather in who I am already in Christ. Thankfully, I serve a God who will never fail and who has clearly laid out what I can expect from him in his Word and through his promises to me and my children.

Jen Pollock Michel goes on to say in her book: 

But the gospel moves us beyond getting stuck in the guilt and shame of our unholy desires. We can courageously own the truth about ourselves because of the sacrificial death of God’s son, Jesus; his innocence has been substituted for our guilt.

Instead of walking in shame and guilt for what I am not, I want the desire of my heart to be that I am pleasing God. God asks for perfect obedience and trust. Knowing our sinfulness and inability to achieve this standard, God sent his Son to do what we could not. God gives us the perfect obedience he requires of us in Jesus. May we rest in the knowledge that Christ has accomplished God's perfect expectations on our behalf. We can't do anything to gain his love and approval, it is a free gift. That is love!!!

Are you failing at your own expectations? Do you wish you could live up to something that is an unattainable self? Be reminded of the truth and remember that God knows our deepest desires of who we want to be, both the good and the bad. And he gifts us with a more satisfying identity through his son, Jesus.


My nemesis...the playroom

My nemesis...the playroom

Poop emoji pumpkin was the special request from max.

Poop emoji pumpkin was the special request from max.


Leo- 3 Months Old

Leo is such a smiley baby. He wakes up with insane bed hair and is always found with drool on him thanks to Max's wet kisses. He puts himself to bed during the day for naps but is pretty fussy still in the evenings (darn witching hours). Currently he is up for 60-75 min and then goes down for a nap and this happens on repeat all day long. For naps and bedtime I sing him the Gloria Patri and Doxology and then put his sound machine on. Within a few minutes he finds his thumb and is out. Leo's colic is slowly subsiding and thankfully we have more smiley days than days of crying. I also have started to slowly re-introduce dairy and gluten back into my diet and he seems to be doing well. 

I still have about 8 lbs to go to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. My mom and I go on a 2 mile walk 3 times a week and every day I do about 20 min of leg and core Pilates at home when Leo is napping.  I am quickly seeing that recovery takes a lot longer after a third pregnancy and there are curves in places I never had before. With all the nursing Leo does it is hard to keep up with staying hydrated but I am trying hard to keep track of how much I am drinking.

Leo's 3 Month Stats

Weight: 14 lbs

Diapers: Size 2

Clothes: 6 months

Eating: Every 2-2.5 hours (nursing only) but praying he will take a bottle of BM again soon

Likes: fans, his brothers, naps, sucking his thumb, bath time and being talked to

Dislikes: Getting his clothes changed, spitting-up, car rides, being over-tired, and loud noises


Leo is the perfect addition to our family and with him being our last biological child I am trying to soak up every minute of him being a baby. 

throwback to 3 months ago  

throwback to 3 months ago  

28 years of life events.

Today is my 28th birthday! Last year I wrote 27 facts about myself HERE and this year I thought it could be cool to share a short timeline of my life thus far. I always love getting to know the face behind a blog so I thought I would do something similar. 

The hardest part about getting old  is that I still feel like a kid on the inside. I know I have grown a lot over the years but a lot of my habits, emotions, and views on life are the same and for that reason I still feel like I am 6 years old at times. 

Today I am getting a massage with my sister Michelle and then will be eating my traditional birthday meal of corned beef, mashed potatoes, and candied carrots. For dessert we will have rice crispy treats and a big bowl of pomegranate (yes, I eat this almost every year).  I wanted to try something new this year though and would love your help in making this a new tradition. Would you consider doing a random act of kindness in my honor? It could be something simple like bringing your neighbors trash cans in or bringing coffee to your child's teacher at school or even something big like surprsing your friend or spouse with a fun dinner. But I would love to hear what RAOK you did for someone in the comments below and then I hope to write them all up and share them back on here next week. 

I think this will be a fun tradition to start with my kids and will also help put into perspective that life isnt always all about us and our little bubbles. There is always going to be more ways to serve and love on those around us. Thanks so much in joining me on my birthday in this small way.

Gina's Timeline

1989- Born at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut weighing in over 9 lbs

1990- Became a big sister

1992- Became a big sister again

1995- Parents got divorced

2004- Moved across country to San Diego, CA

2004- Started high school

2006- Learned to drive

2007- Graduated high school 

2007- Attended college at San Diego State University

2008- Joined Alpha Delta Chi sorority

2009- Met Nick at Chick-fil-A 

2010- Married Nick at Westminster Seminary California

2011- Graduated from SDSU. Go Aztecs!!!

2012- Gave birth to my first son, Calvin Nicholas and also became a stay-at-home mom

2014- Gave birth to my second son, Maddox James

2015- Became a Pastor's wife when Nick was ordained in the PCA (Presbyterian Church of America)

2016- Pregnant with our 3rd son

2017+ ... (Hoping my best friend gives birth to her precious son today)

It's all about the little things. 

It's all about the little things. 

Is it time to sing "happy birthday" yet? 

Is it time to sing "happy birthday" yet?