Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Defining my Normal

I don't usually write two blog posts in one week. But something is nagging at my mind today to write another one. A real one. Not a writer's one. Or a marketing one. But the kind I used to write.

We've been in Florida now since March. I spend much of my time alone, thinking about my life and where the past few years have taken me. My husband turned 60 in August. I'm next. I can't help but count my future years and wonder how I'll fill them.

A few weeks ago, we flew home to PA to say good-bye to my father-in-law. During that week, we sided the home we've been building since the summer of 2013. We were supposed to live there forever and restart our business. Instead, we ran out of money and the jobs dried up over the winter. We got desperate and when my husband heard about work in FL, he jumped. We like to eat and pay our bills too.

So I sit here and think about when I'll live a normal life again. Never in my dreams did I imagine I'd not be in my own home at age 60, surrounded by close friends, attending a church I love and watching my grandchildren grow. Not once.

But God did.

I try to accept that this life in Naples is the new normal for me. Saving to finish our home. Creating friendships with people who have totally different lives than I do. Trying to find where I fit in.Trusting God to lead me along in this newness. Taking my hand and tugging me in the right directions when I want to run home, despite having the means to do it. Oh yes, I want to run home--to familiarity, to friends, to my house full of memories, to the future I once envisioned.

But how many other people planned for a specific future and didn't get it? My brother-in-law lost his life when he was in his early 40s, leaving behind two children and a widow. I'm sure they envisioned a different life than the one they were handed. A good friend got cancer. Another woman lost her husband to Alzheimer's.

Maybe that's my mistake. Thinking I knew what normal is.

So for today my new normal  is defined as moving around the country, building memories with my husband, and watching how God will use us in each setting. That's how I'm going to fill my remaining years. Living God's normal.

Have you been living under a description of normal you've created for yourself?


Ann Cooper McCauley said...

I think God wants us to accept His normal, which is never the same. In an instant He wants to lead us here and lead us there. Have us do this, and have us do that. When we allow this, there is joy in our journey. We see the surprises along the way. Divine appointments we would not have seen otherwise. Life with God cannot be normal. We cannot be normal. We were made for so much more! Kingdom living is an internal and eternal walking place filled with hopes, dreams, purposes, and callings. :)

Ann Cooper McCauley said...

"So I sit here and think about when I'll live a normal life again. Never in my dreams did I imagine I'd not be in my own home at age 60, surrounded by close friends, attending a church I love and watching my grandchildren grow. Not once.

But God did."

Now you know the truth. You are not normal. LOL

Lillian Robinson said...

That's one way I've been blessed throughout my life--accepting whatever it is. A couple of lengthy illnesses made me stronger about living the life given to me. It's too easy to get discouraged when we plan our lives and the plans don't work out.

Wanda said...

Hi Terri, it's actually my first time to visit your blog. Reading your words today remind me of just how important it is to embrace my now. We never know when our normal will change but we can trust that God walks with us.

Cheryl Wright said...

Oh Terri, oh Terri, oh Terri, you're thinking my thoughts. I will be 60 next September and thoughts like these have been whirling in my mind over the past two years, and they have turned into gale-force winds the last couple of months.

I can't shake them because God is demanding that I mull over them, understand them and see His hand in them - leading me, directing me and helping me accept, embrace and settle into His normal in my aging years.

While I've not been battling with these thoughts and many others, I have been questioning fears I've harboured and choices I've made.

Right now, I am in the "accepting stage". Your post has edged me closer to the "embracing stage". So I am confident that I will step into the "settling stage" soon.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your faith - they help and inspire me so much.

Sending you bucket-loads of love.

Great Grandma Lin said...

we all probably started out with the fairy tale in mind but then came the twist and challenges to enable us to grow...trust in God and faith in His plan is the only way to survive and thrive!

Anonymous said...

I love this Terri. And I get it! I will be 50 next year and life right now is not what I pictured, and I know I pushed my own agenda instead of God's over these past years.. The waves are definitely rocky causing an unsettled (not normal) feeling in my core, but He is in the boat with me.

Jeanette Levellie said...

You are not alone, Terri. We all had those ideals and dreams, then we realized they weren't God's normal. But somehow I think his plan is better than our ideal.

The secret is trusting him when it seems like it's not working out well. That's a challenge for me right now, with a mom with Alzheimer's and both kids and grandkids so far away, and no home of my own.

Shall we take trusting lessons together, dear friend?

Love you,

Tammy Theriault said...

I always think normal is based off of God's definition. Never our own. Always look for the positive and blessings in your life! :)

jviola79 said...

This is my first time visiting your blog. It's funny to me as last night I sat thinking along very similar thoughts. I read this verse, "Come, let us worship & bow down. Let us kneel before our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care." (Ps. 95:6-7, NLT). Praying He shows you His purposes right there in Naples! Glad to have visited from the Friday Finds :)