Embracing my normal

What is normal? Does anyone really know?

I guess you can say normal is what the majority is doing. It’s easy to follow the status quo of how a typical American lives life.

Growing up I always wanted to be normal. I wore big glasses that everyone said looked like they were upside down. I had a big butt and felt uncomfortable with my skirts rising in the back. I didn’t wear the latest fashions and brand name designs.

Side bar, does anyone remember Gitano jeans? We shopped at Kmart and Hills, a stand alone clothing store in my small hometown. I was so excited to get my first pair of Levi’s.

Anyway, being normal is what every kid wants. But again I ask, what is normal?

As a teenager, normal was what the in crowd was doing, saying, and where they were going. Being normal was hanging out at the Friday night football game then going to Krystal’s afterwards. Being normal was going to a house or neighborhood party and get into business that wasn’t for teenagers.

Growing up a Pastor’s granddaughter, I missed some of those fun times. My cousins and I had countless conversations with our moms about why we weren’t normal because we couldn’t go to Riverbend or The Strut with our friends without them.

Into adulthood, being normal became going to college and graduating, getting a job, finding a boyfriend, marrying that boyfriend, having kids, buying a house, then riding off into happily ever after.

I did all of that…and in that order. But I was thrown for a loop along the way and it changed my view of normal forever.

Most of you know about Taj so I won’t bore you with his details again. What my husband and I thought would be a temporary situation and then work itself out, has turned into a lifetime lesson of our own personal normal.

Normal is what you make it. Normal isn’t the same for every person, place, or thing. Normal can change over time as you go through phases of life.

I stopped comparing my life to the lives of others. Would I like to call my mom to come and watch the kids while my husband and I go out? Yes.

Would I like to take our family on a summer vacation to another continent? Yes.

Would I like to take my kids to a park where all 3 can play without having Taj sit beside me and kids stare at him wondering what’s wrong with him? YES.

But that’s not my normal. My normal is strategically planning date nights with 2 babysitters. One to watch Zoe and Kai and a nurse to watch Taj. My mom would absolutely be there when I need her but she lives 9 hours away.

My normal is driving to Niagara Falls to see the waterfalls but not being able to ride the boat under the falls because Taj can’t get his trach wet.

My normal is going to the park and pushing Zoe and Kai on the swings then running back to Taj to make sure he’s ok.

My day to day is a little more challenging than others, but I’ve learned to not feel sad for myself or complain. I don’t like going down in the dumps, and I for sure don’t stay there when I have those moments.

How can I call myself a Christian and not trust Christ? I want people to look at me and see Jesus. Even if you don’t know me, you should be able to see God’s strength in me.

If you ever see me in public without my husband with my hands full but proudly handling everything with confidence, I’m not putting on a show. By ability comes from God. Without Him I’m a mess.

When you look at your life and start comparing yourself to others, think about what is normal for you. Who cares what everyone else is going. While you’re watching them trying to match them step for step, they’re probably watching you or someone else trying to figure out how you’re striving.

Embrace your normal and live life doing what makes YOU happy. God gave each of us a different assignment and calling. We must trust what He wants to do in our lives. It’s always grand and never mediocre.

What’s something you consider normal in your life that may not be normal for others? Don’t let shame and guilt rob you of your normal that you conform to someone else’s normal. I’m embracing my normal each morning I wake up. I pray that you do the same.

Sending love and hope your way!

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