I proudly own a T-shirt that says:
NORMAL IS OVER
I bought that shirt while in Thailand. How appropriate. What I knew as “normal” before I left was something completely different from what it was when I came back. I knew it would be, I prayed ahead of time that I would be prepared when I got back. I knew the trip would shake my world, but I really had no idea of what level the shaking would be.
God took me on a journey of epic proportions. Normal is over. At first glance that doesn’t frighten me at all really. It’s exciting… I’ve been there and changed what I knew to be as “normal” many times already. [Foster Care/Adoption just a couple of things that will change what you know as normal.] But then, when I realize just how He’s calling me to be- WHO He is calling me to be- well that is a little frightening. I have to move outside of this “protective shell” I’ve placed around myself. For lack of better words, I will just say it: I have a fear. Fear of upsetting others. I’m a peacekeeper in my own mind. I definitely shy away from confrontation [unless I happen to be fighting with my husband-TRUTH]. Debates are frightening. Hurting feelings or having someone upset at me would shake me to the core.
I am listening and slowly learning that this new creation He is asking me to be is outside of myself. Awesome. Things He is asking me to do are out of my ‘comfort-zone’ [somehow I still have one]. Being vulnerable HERE in print is one of those ways. Being so outside of myself that it only leaves room for His light to shine through. A place I had always wanted to be, but now a place I YEARN to be. He is pressing in to me to realize the things that I am.
Things that I AM, not that “I am just a…”
I apologize a lot. Too much I’m sure of it. I want to KNOW who I am, to be comfortable, strong. To not backdown or be timid. I want to NO LONGER apologize or backdown from what I am in HIM.
Things I am that He is teaching me to stand up for [which means for me to speak out about], things I wish I would have been more able to grasp in my 20’s:
I am His.
I am His Darling. I went on a love affair journey to the other side of the planet with my heavenly father like I never imagined could happen. I now have a tattoo and a Facebook note to prove it. At risk of sounding “so heavenly mind, I’m no earthly good” or sounding to some like a “fruitcake” . . . I used to think those crippling thoughts. Now I shall not be quiet as I am His and He is mine. I’m His Darling. Where He goes, I’ll go. Where He sends me- I’m there.
I am married to my very best friend.
I have THE BEST relationship with my spouse than any other person I know- ANY OTHER PERSON- on the entire planet. Failed marriages are surrounding and suffocating me. My heart breaks. Listening to heart wrenching stories makes me back down from being completely honest about us. We are more in love now than we ever we before. It’s work, but it’s worth it. I’m blessed and I know it, I’m not bragging just being honest. I’m not going to adjust or hide in the culture around me.
I have great kids.
I was able to choose to be a stay-at-home mom. I want to refuse to say these words: “I’m just a stay-at-home mom.” I caught myself mid sentence while in Thailand saying that very sentence. I am not JUST a stay-at-home mom, my life is MUCH more than that. I have been on both sides of that ever-battled coin. Working-mom vs. Stay-at-home mom. I have loved both sides of that coin. I want to walk everyday in knowing that I am where God wants me to be. Right now, I need to be home with my kids. Even as I type that, I battle the thoughts that tell me “if you say it like that, someone will feel badly that they have to work right now” or “you remember working and wanting to stay home, you are going to offend someone.” I’ve been taught that that is stinkin’ thinkin’ and I need to change it. I have great kids. They are human just like your great kids are. I am a stay-at-home mom, and I’m proud. I won’t feel badly telling someone that. What I am doing life the same to me as being that CEO of that big company.
Normal is over.
Romans 12:1 in the Message version says this:
Place Your Life Before God
1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I came back from Thailand with this section of scripture on my heart. “Your everyday, ordinary life. . . fix your attention on God. . . God brings the best out of you.” Even all of the words in-between are special to me. I pray He takes my everyday, ordinary life and accepts it as my offering to Him. I am standing on this: my attention is on Him and I know He promises that He will change me from the inside out. That I can do. Focus on Him.
My everyday ordinary life is normal [to me]. I’m sure someone looking from the outside in would think my life is anything BUT normal, but this is my everyday ordinary life. . . and I’m loving every minute of it. I am going to do my best to share a little bit of me and my everyday life here. My prayer is that if anyone reads this, it would make them start to realize that they should think different too. We should KNOW in our “knower” that we are His favorite, that our spouse is the best person on the planet, and that we have the best kids. I pray your NORMAL ends soon, that your NEW NORMAL begins and that God brings out the best of us all.