There is something about loving normal things that, for me, makes normal days and normal tasks just wonderful.
I smile at simple things. Love a cup of coffee on a rainy morning.
There is nothing quite so satisfying as arriving at the end of full day, scratching things off my list and knowing what is on deck for tomorrow.
Because of how much I LOVE simplicity, schedules and genuine normalcy, I never dreamed I would be living this life that I’m living.
This so NOT normal overseas life.
Spending a year in France to learn French and sending my girls to school in a foreign country
Moving to Africa in the most eventful, stressful 24 hours yet
Working around the world from our families… an ocean away from my safest places.
Living with the constant threat of what could happen around us
Experiencing learning curves that make me cringe just thinking about them
The stress levels and unknowns marching through the moments of our days
Nothing about any of this “feels” normal.
Nothing about any of this is something I would have imagined in my little girl imaginings.
Everything feels outside the box. Every experience stretches my relational, personal, physical and mental skills…
All tasks are different. hard.
I think about this life that I’m living and I wonder how on earth I’m doing it.
I’m such a normal life kinda girl.
I LIKE normal.
I LIVE on boring.
I THRIVE in a peaceful, quiet setting.
I CRAVE knowing and understanding and being able to wrap my brain around the events and the people and the circumstances in my life.
I NEED consistency and schedules and to do lists.
Give me some coffee, a schedule, a to do list, a plan, a book… I’m quite content.
I like normal and nothing in my life fits these parameters anymore.
Parameters that include child beggers surrounding our truck at the gas station and the poorest conditions for families without access to clean water or safe medical care. Trash, sickness, danger all around.
Parameters that include inconsistent electricity, a ton of bugs, meat that is scarce and languages I do not fully understand.
Every day is new, the schedule is tentative, the life is slow and everything is hard work.
If I look at it like I’ve just written it, I wonder how on earth God could have called ME. How did God think I could do this?
Daily tasks that stretch me to the core of who I am.
I realized early in our missions journey that I thrive on normal. I also realized that although I dream of smallness, simplicity and schedules, God has me in a place where I’m being pushed mentally, physically and relationally on a daily basis.
But it is another pushing that matters more.
It is the spiritual stretching and pushing and pulling of this process that is really putting me to the test.
That is where the battle lies.
To be obedient in the face of complete opposition to normalcy.
To stay obedient when all parts of life feel out of my control.
To willingly be present in the process when I really just want to crawl into my normal life again.
I must let go of MY normal and embrace His.
It is in remembering why we are here. To rejoice in these moments. To make myself small and release my plans for His.
It is in trusting God’s plan, His heart, His ability to protect and guide. To be all that is required when I for sure am not.
It is in putting ourselves as far out there as we can go… way past our personal “normal” and wait to see what God will do in us and through us.
Faith without understanding.
Trust without borders.
Obedience no matter what.
One foot in front of the other. Enjoying the journey in the midst of crazy.
Pouring out to others when we feel there is nothing of us left to give.
Realizing that smallness is a part of our days if I am quiet and patient enough to see it in the bigger process of what God is doing in the heart of this normal loving girl.
Being willing to walk through survival mode and still sleep in peace
because He is with us.
Letting go of my normal and embracing God’s path, God’s way for my life.
Because this spiritual stretching is where the rubber meets the road.
The other kinds of stretching… physical, mental… they are happening too.
But it is the spiritual process that will keep this normal loving girl going in faith.
And as I walk this path, I know that in the not-normalness of each day, God is at work in me. He is doing something within the crazy.
He is making Himself known in me.
He is asking me to trust Him in this, to see him in the daily tasks, to know that He sees my wish for simple and small.
He is asking me to learn how to rest, how to follow, how to thrive HERE within this calling and place. To trust him in the swirling mix of new normal and crazy in daily overseas life.
He is reminding me of His love for me and that regardless of where I am, what I’m doing or how the day is going, I’m safe in the palm of His mighty hand.
Any other normal loving girls out there walking a not so normal life that they never imagined living?