Great Expectations for this week – 7 of them!

For several weeks now, a friend of mine has been posting a list of three things she’s thankful for each day. Usually the lists are just that – three words or short phrases in a simple list format – just a quick statement of things she’s particularly thankful for that day. That practice got me thinking in lists. Today I made a list of some “Great Expectations” I have for this week. There are seven items on my list. I’m not nearly as concise as my friend, but here’s my list of “Great Expectations for this Week.”

  1. An inspiring and productive Writers Week at Whispering Winds. This week has been designated on our retreat calendar as “Retreat for Writers.” Several writers will be coming to Whispering Winds for a day or two to write, to be away from their distractions at home and to focus their energy entirely on writing. I expect each writer to have a wonderfully inspiring and productive time here.
  2. Safe travel for weekend guests. This coming weekend a couple guests are coming to Cambridge for the wedding of a friend. One is coming from the east coast. The other is coming from Europe. I trust each guest will have safe travels, joyful celebrations with their friends, and a relaxing and refreshing time at Whispering Winds.
  3. A good time of reflection at the women’s worship service at the county jail.  Reading Scripture, giving testimonies, singing hymns, and praying together with the chaplain and several inmates is a truly special time of sharing deep thoughts and feelings with each other and with God. I always look forward to playing the piano for these services and being invited to participate with the group in their sharing activities.
  4. Playing the pipe organ at Messiah

    Finding just the right organ music for next Sunday’s church service. As a church organist, I usually try to find a prelude and postlude, and sometimes other special music, that reinforces the main theme of the Scripture for that day. As I study the lectionary readings for Sunday, and flip through the pages of organ arrangements, I trust that just the right music will jump out at me. Almost always, that’s what happens. Sometimes the process takes an hour. Sometimes most of a day. My expectation is that the prelude will help people get in the right mindset for the message of the day, and that the postlude will help people remember what God is saying to them through the Scriptures, the sermon, and the hymns.

  5. My brand new great-great-nephew and his mom will go home from the hospital early this week. Ethan is the 2-day-old son of Christina and Josh. Christina is the daughter of my nephew Terry and his wife, Eng (originally from Cambodia). Terry is the oldest son of my sister, Nancy, and her husband, Clark. Family connections are wonderful – especially the longer they get. Just think of all the people who are rejoicing over the birth of Ethan – literally all around the world – because of how we all are connected.

    Marian’s grandfather plowing with horses.
  6. A smooth implementation of all the changes I just made on our website. Lots of new pictures. More information about the thread of hospitality that can be traced from the beginnings in 1908 when my grandparents bought the farm, through all the uses of the farm in the 104 years since then. Ending with some conjecture about how the farmhouse will be used next… Here’s a direct link to the new Past & Future section,
  7. That this blog post will prompt readers to ponder and be thankful for their own expectations for this week.

6 responses to “Great Expectations for this week – 7 of them!”

  1. Greetings. Love this approach to the week ahead. Will ponder what are my great expectations this week. Love to both M & M as well as Abbey.

    1. Good to hear from you, Roberta. Hope your expectations for this week are as great as mine. And the same for next week, and the next…

  2. I love hearing about how you plan for the prelude and postlude at worship.

    1. Planning the music is always one of my favorite things to do. There is so much wonderful music out there to discover.

  3. Cathy Thiltgen Avatar
    Cathy Thiltgen

    Your Great Expectations did indeed prompt me to do some pondering of my own. I would like to share some of my thoughts. As a Mother for 27 years, I am thankful that my youngest son made it home on July 1 safe and sound from Hungary where he has been living and going to school for the last five months. He is home for this week but will travel to Stevens Point this weekend to live and work there for the rest of the summer before he starts his senior year this fall as a Natural Resources student, also at Stevens Point. My expectation is that my husband and I will enjoy every minute we have with him this week at home. As a writer, I am thankful that I spent the day on July 2 at Whispering Winds where I focused on my personal writing projects. After spending nine hours thinking, reflecting, planning, praying, and, of course, eating, during that time, I felt nourished in many ways: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I even took a short walk around the house outside and spent two different break periods in the gazebo where I actually enjoyed the hot weather and felt myself appreciating the present as much as possible. That feeling doesn’t always happen for me. It is easy to think about the past or future but to think seriously about the present is sometimes difficult. Anyway, it felt good. I am thankful that I am able to spend another day at Whispering Winds later this week, too. My expectation tells me it will be another good day of writing.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cathy. It’s good to hear about your “great expectations” for your week with your son at home. Also good to hear that your expectations were well met for your day of writing on Monday, and that you’re looking forward to another “great” day of writing on Friday.

      As you know, you’re making one of my own “great expectations” for this week come true by your experiences at Whispering Winds. More proof that we’re all connected in this world.

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