Unrealistic Expectations and Scratchy Wool Sweaters

I think there is a reason we are told to approach Jesus as a little child. There is a freedom in being uneducated in pomp and circumstance. With a child-like attitude, we come to Him with vulnerability and authenticity. Concerning ourselves with the rightness or the wrongness of our approach is far from our minds.

When I began my writing journey, I knew so little about how to write. I had to google “blog” to find out what a blog is. I wrote for the joy of writing. Putting my thoughts and learned life lessons out there for a few in the big wide web to read. Then, I began to educate myself on how to write. Once the concept of doing it correctly entered my perfectionist mind, the joy of writing tried to leave my anxious heart. I continue to fight feelings of inadequacy. Do you ever feel inadequate?  

Wool Thread

Unrealistic expectations feel like a scratchy wool sweater. We are wearing them, but they are itching like the dickens. We squirm and tug and wish we could pull them off. Jesus does not place those kinds of expectations on us. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)

Going forward, I want the emails you receive from me to be communications between friends. You might not notice a big difference, but my heart will. Gosh, I want our conversation to be easy, you know? Working at conversation is not something I usually need to do. I like to visit. When did I decide to make writing so hard? Let’s visit on our “screen” porches, support each other, and hopefully, learn some things together.

Just this morning while praying and pondering, I was reminded of the seeds of negativity planted in our hearts. Last fall we did a remodel of our front landscaping. We replaced some scragglers with healthy plants. Y’all, the unhealthy plants left seeds behind, and I have fought those invaders every day since. 

For most of us, seeds of negativity were planted in abundance, early,  and many around us fertilize them. We also feed them regularly with our unhealthy script.

What can we do?

We can stop internalizing unhealthy words spoken by others, and we can stop them in their tracks as they come out of our mouths. Every time we hear ourselves rehearsing the negative script, stop it. I do it all the time. Carmen, stop it. What you are saying is not true. Notice, I said I do it all the time. Yep. Them seeds are sown deep within me. I have allowed others to fertilize them, and I have dumped a big ole scoop of miracle grow on them myself.

We can ask God to pull bad seeds up by the roots. “He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.” (Matthew 15:13 ESV) That’s a good prayer, right there. Lord, pull up every seed not planted by you out of my life.

Unrealistic expectations might feel like that scratchy wool sweater but the freedom we receive daily through God’s grace and mercy slips on like a soft, well-worn pair of jeans. It just feels right.

Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash


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  1. Thank you for your words! So true I have worn a scratchy sweater most of my life. It became normal for me! I met Jesus and received a new sweater.