Homemade High Expectations

It’s the weekend of the 4th of July.  Like most families on the 4th, we fly the flag, grill some hamburgers, have a little too much fun with fireworks, and my personal favorite, make some homemade ice cream.  Now, I have always used a hand freezer to make the ice cream.  My dad used to do all the work while I sat and watched, but now that I have gotten a little bit bigger I often find myself doing a lot of the work.  “It builds character” is my dad’s response anytime we prepare to make another batch.  

This 4th of July was no different as I took my place in the chair and began to turn the hand crank.  Now you may think that I am a little weird, but I counted how many times I turned the crank.  One hundred with the right and a hundred with the left, it helps me to keep both arms equally as strong.  After about five hundred, it was still really easy to turn so I began to worry.  Like I said, homemade ice cream is quite possibly my favorite part of the 4th so I hoped that I had not ruined it.  I pushed on for another three hundred turns until my dad took over for me so I could go eat supper.  After a couple of minutes my dad brought the ice cream maker in and had that look of worry on his face.  I was terrified.  I had ruined the annual 4th of July ice cream and worse yet, I did not get any!  As my mom took the lid off we waited in suspense to see the finished product.  The result was a ring of frozen ice cream about two inches thick around the edge and a middle of unfrozen ingredients.  

Though I was worried because I did not think there was going to be enough we had just enough for everyone to enjoy the perfect finish to the 4th of July.  When I started, I expected to have everything work perfectly and more ice cream than I knew what to do with.  My little ice cream fiasco taught me that what you set out for or what your expectations are may not always be the outcome.  

How often do we expect one thing, but get another?  Just because we don’t get what we expect does not necessarily make it bad.  I used to be guilty of thinking that if it did not come out exactly as planned, it was a failure.  As we face challenges this year it’s important to remember that they may not always go as planned.  Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”  This year I challenge you to shoot for the moon and don’t be afraid if things don’t turn out perfectly because some of the rewards we get may be just as sweet as homemade ice cream.