A couple years ago, I watched the 1946 movie Great Expectations on TV. I’d re-read the Charles Dickens novel about ten years earlier and was surprised to find I preferred the black-and-white movie, which still circles through my brain.


This is the time of year for great expectations: must-dos, shopping for food and presents at chaotic stores without ample parking, trying to second-guess recipients’ wishes, hurry up and finish cooking or sewing projects. Finish writing a book!

As children, we were hopeful Santa would deliver what we longed for. At age three, my husband asked Santa for a machine gun and an axe, which never appeared. Wonder why.

christmas tree lights

Do you still wish Santa would leave you an unexpected gift?

Do we ever outgrow our childlike expectations? That someone else will fulfill our wishes, some desires hidden in our heart, sometimes kept a secret.
Opportunities to spend time with family can be both nurturing and draining. Many of us miss loved-ones as we fondly recall the past and attempt to fill the void. Or maybe endeavor to lay aside heartache, because our expectations weren’t met. Life is not a movie set where the Director can say, “Cut! Reshoot.”

Among the gifts I’ve received from the Amish is the knowledge forgiveness heals relationships. Over the years, praying for those who have wronged me or even for strangers has blessed me and others in unexpected ways.

Are you dreading the happiest time of the year or are you basking in contentment without stress? If so, what’s your secret?

outdoors presents

My husband and I have decided to not exchange presents with each other this year in an effort to de-stress. Plus our house is near bursting. What do you think? Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment or freedom from unmet expectations?


I’d like to give one of you an unexpected gift. Leave a short comment and enter to win this 43” Amish-made Table Runner from Lancaster County, PA, plus a signed copy of a novel from The Legacy of Lancaster County Trilogy, CBA bestseller Leaving Lancaster, its sequel Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish. USA & Canada. Winner chosen at random and has 3 days to respond.