Great Expectations: Jennifer P. Williams

I’ve mentioned Jennifer here before, after I met her at Blissdom. She’s a Texan, wife, and working mother of two (a boy and a girl), and writes at Jennifer P. Williams. She’s a smart, hilarious, won’t take crap from anybody southerner, and she doesn’t pull any punches. She tells it like it is, with sass and grace. She writes creative fiction as well, and has started a summer series that I’m excited to keep reading.

Jennifer is also the co-author of Mom and Mommer, a real, relatable weight-loss blog. Here, Jennifer and Jodi talk about the good, bad, and ugly of trying to get and stay healthy.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Jennifer!

greatex.png

I’m a planner. Events, work schedules, potential conversations, arguments that will never happen… You name it. I plan it. Most of my plans never see fruition. Because most of my plans are based on expectations of what may happen.

When I was fourteen, I expected to never get married. To me, love was not a real thing. Then I met David and he changed all of that.

When I was 20, I expected to finish college and start my career within a couple of years. It was a four year degree after all. Real life got in the way of that plan, and it ended up taking me six more years to finish school.

I never expected to move away from our small home town area. Oh no, I expected to stay right where I was and find a good job. Graduation found me accepting a job offer in Houston.

I never expected to forgive my dad for all of the pain I blamed him for growing up. Maturity and the toll of carrying so much emotional baggage weakened my resolve. I found myself not only forgiving, but hoping to be forgiven as well.

With school behind me and well on my way to a successful career as an auditor, I expected that I would finally be able to have a baby. Seven years of infertility taught me a lot about unfulfilled expectations.

I always expected, in some part of my mind, that my marriage wouldn’t last. Not because I didn’t love David or because I didn’t want to be with him, but because that’s what people do. They get divorced. Thankfully, I married a man that was able to flip my expectations completely around. In July we will celebrate 23 years together.

Throwing myself 100 percent into my career for a large accounting firm had me traveling all over the world, which is something I had for sure never expected. But after it happened, I never expected that I would do anything else. Then I became a mom, and everything I knew about life changed in an instant. All of the previous great expectations I had for my life were flipped on their head overnight.

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to an unhappy life is one focused on unmet expectations. As I’ve gotten older, and left my well-laid plans in the dust of a full life, I’ve learned that God has so much more good for us than we could ever anticipate. No expectation I could ever dream of will measure up to what He has planned for me.

If you are mired in a list of unmet expectations, I have one life lesson I want to pass along. Focus on what you’ve been given. Not what you’ve missed.

You can follow Jennifer at her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter, and “like” the Mom and Mommer Facebook page while you’re at it!

42 Responses to Great Expectations: Jennifer P. Williams

  1. jwilliams057 says:

    Thanks so much for having me Greta. And I'm totally blushing at that fabulous intro. I think I'll have you write all of them for me in the future. 😉

  2. Alison says:

    I love that life lesson! Timely reminder.
    Great to see you here, Jennifer.

  3. […] Today I’m hanging out at Greta’s place, G-funk-ified. I would love for you to head over and read all about my great expectations. […]

  4. Elaine A. says:

    That last line is SO, so true, my sweet friend. And even though I know all these things about you, the way you worded it here really gave me more insight into you. We need another good talk on an airplane. Dammit that I'm not going to BlogHer! WAAAAAAAHHH!

    • jwilliams057 says:

      I'm already missing you. Every time I think about me going and you not… I get a little teary.

  5. Co-Pilot Mom says:

    Such wise words at the end, Jennifer – focusing on all we have is a great way to keep things in perspective.

  6. Julia's Math says:

    Your comment on how the road to life is paved is genius. Perfect wisdom. Thank you so very much for sharing. I pledge to repeat everyday.

    • jwilliams057 says:

      Thanks Julia! I'm glad you were able to get some value from my post. Which sounds kind a spammy, but it is totally sincere. 😉

  7. Mama Melch says:

    We make plans and God laughs, right? Your wisdom is well received today friend, and much needed. 🙂

  8. Andrea says:

    I absolutely love this post, and your whole take on all you've been given.

    Thanks for sharing it with all of us. 🙂

    • jwilliams057 says:

      Thanks Andrea. While going through these things I could not see the path in front of me, but now looking back I see how beautifully everything has worked out and got me to where I am today.

  9. Ilene says:

    Focus on what you've been given and not what you've missed. So true. So very very true. Not to mention, if I had been given all of the things that I THOUGHT I wanted in this life, my life would be a lot different and not necessarily better in any way. I love this post. Gorgeous writing, great message.

  10. This post is awesome. I'm a major planner too and I have had to learn that not only do my plans not really count, but the bigger plan is better than mine anyway. I love this.

    Also? 23 years? you must have been 10 when you got married.

    • jwilliams057 says:

      Totally. 10. We do that kind of thing young here in Texas. Kidding. I was 18, which isn't all that far from 10 when I think about it now.

  11. Lady Jennie says:

    I love this so much. And I've learned a lot about you that I didn't know. This is just excellent, how everything got flipped around, but only for the better!

  12. Shell says:

    Love this Jennifer!

    And 23 years together? that's amazing!

  13. nicole says:

    This is great! Honest and touching and real. And I love your ending.

  14. Thank you for the reminder. It's so hard to stay positive and we focused so much in what we haven't accomplished, met.

    • jwilliams057 says:

      Yep. I do that all the time. But then I catch myself and realize how great I really have it.

  15. Sean says:

    Such a great post Jennifer. But the best part about it is that it led me down a trail of learning more about you. I just read a good portion of your series about your Dad. And I'm in tears at my desk in my office. I commend you for writing about that and for being brave enough to come to terms with your relationship and reconcile. I'm going on 7 years of distance from my Dad and I can't even begin to put fingers to keys or imagine reconciliation of any kind. Such a heavy weight.

    • jwilliams057 says:

      It really was Sean, but I'm so thankful that I was led to do what I did. I understand it is not the right steps for everyone, but for me it was. Thanks so much for your comment and understanding.

  16. Brittany says:

    Such a great lesson and one I struggle with as I love to make big plans and then always feel pain and frustration as I don't see them happen! We celebrate 10 years in a week or so but 23 – you rock! Keep it moving forward babe and you will make it 50!

  17. Oh, wow. That's a lot of changed expectations! You cynic. 😉 I love that life has taught you some important stuff despite what you expected.

  18. Katy says:

    I love this post so much I wanna make out with it. And there's something about it–something very Fanny Flagg. I mean that as a compliment I hope you know.

    Great stuff here.

    • jwilliams057 says:

      Thanks Katy, and I know you mean it as a compliment, and I will take it as one.

  19. KeelyF says:

    Awesome lessons, sista. And did you REALLY meet your husband at 14?! Good gracious, that's awesome.

    • jwilliams057 says:

      Actually we met at 16. When I read this back through I realized I should have cleared that up.

  20. Carrie says:

    I can so relate to this…SO relate. I never in a million years thought I'd leave California…I even said I'd never leave, and I believed that…and here I am, going on almost 9 years in Texas. Now I tell myself I'll be in Texas forever, but then I remember that the one thing I'm learning as I get older is that I don't actually know what's going to happen or where I'm going to end up, and it's a lot more fun if I'm open to new experiences and where life is going to take me! And yet – I still have expectations and kind of freak out when things don't go as planned!

  21. arnebya says:

    The last sentence sums it up so perfectly. And yet, damn that is hard. It is so very hard. It's a constant work in progress for me. I suppose I should be glad that I'm doing that at least, but it's just…hard to not simply wallow in the muck of what I haven't got/done.

  22. Great write up! I really like the take away.

  23. Robbie says:

    I love this so very much and that last line is absolute perfection!