Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Your Normal...

Everyone has their own definition of what their "normal" is.  It could be the everyday tasks at home and work that you carry out, it could be the regularly planned vacation spot that you take every year or it could be something completely different.  We all know what our 'normal' feels and looks like.  Over the past many years of working and living overseas I have heard myself say on more than one occasion "my life is so not normal!" This is both true and not true, yes, my life is not "normal" when compared to the life I could be living in North America.  For example-here in Liberia the normal task of going to the grocery store can take a turn very quickly-riot, mob beating on the street, unexpected lack of groceries, president's convoy racing by...etc.  However, life here has become "normal" in many ways too.  It is normal for us to have lots of people coming and going, it has become normal (not taken for granted though) to fly on the SP plane or chopper to project sites, to see snakes, to expect chaotic traffic and even see the odd bribe exchange hands.

This not so normal life has become my norm.  Strange eh? This was very evident over this past month. My "normal" life was sorta tossed on it's head as the boys and I along with other SP expat dependents were evacuated due to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea that leaked into Liberia. Yes, we had planned a holiday up to London for the marathon weekend-but we had not planned for extra days of hotels, Kendell not being to run the marathon, and not returning to Liberia as expected.  

The day of the marathon-was one of the best days of the not-so normal ones...

During this time, the boys and I spent 3 weeks in the UK with 10 days of that being with some SP Liberia staff who were in London for meetings and the marathon.  We spent a lot of time on the tube (which is amazingly efficient) and we spent time with some great friends, who have the gift of hospitality.  We spent our last week with family in Pennsylvania-and were able to meet up with fellow Liberian missionaries who live in the same area.  All of these places and people were terrific and we were so blessed by all of them.  My gratitude to them for making a difficult situation a lot easier!
At the Ransberry's in the UK-a lovely time!

However, everyday I couldn't help but long for things to be "normal" again.  To go home to Liberia and get back to our normal schedule and life-even though it's not so normal.  To get back to normal programming in Foya, to get the boys back into their normal school routine...I wanted NORMAL!!!  

I was so preoccupied by this that I found myself not acting "normal"-shocking I know but let me explain.  I stopped running, yes, you read that right-something that is normal for me I stopped doing. And when I am not on some sort of running schedule (as strange as this may sound) everything else begins to go south.  I don't eat as well (which is made worse by being in countries where I can get all sorts of crap!) which, combined with not running equals an overall feeling of 'yuck'. I start to question things-I am not so quick to go to prayer or dig in the Word...not good my people, not good.  
It was a good wake up call for me-as my sister would say "It's time to put on your big girl panties!" I needed to suck.it.up. And not get caught up with what "normal" was, is or will be.  "Normal"  for Bev, no matter where I am is running, quick to pray, to read the Word, to live life with the passion God gave me-not matter what's going on. There is a piece of scripture that kept coming to my mind...I wished many times it would stop-but the Holy Spirit has a way of knocking until you open the flippn' door!  Philippians 4:11-12.  Being content in all circumstances. Yes, we have all read and heard this passage many times I am sure.  But when your "normal" is shaken up a bit-it shouldn't mean you can't be "normal" anymore right?  In all circumstances be normal, be content. 


Last week in PA I realized I needed to get running again. Luckily I had brought my running warm tights, it was cold-oh!  I started running and soon started to feel normal again...and a little sore. Now that I am back in Liberia, I have started another running plan as the Liberia marathon is just around the corner at the end of August. I have never run in the Liberia marathon-and I can't wait to do so with my SP friends who are also running it.  I am starting to feel normal again in my not so normal life...

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