31 January 2012

"Normal" to Natalie...

1.  conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
2.  serving to establish a standard.

When Natalie originally started this blog, she named it Normal to Natalie so that the world could see what is "normal" to her on a daily basis - how our lives really are in regards to our kids, work, faith, etc.  This new journey we are on with Natalie has really made me think about what is "normal".  As Christians, we are called to be a part of this world, but different from the world.  As Romans 12:2 in the NIV Bible says, "Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...".  We are to be transformed through God and by God, not be transformed by what the world tells us or wants from us.  Yet circumstances love to come about that make it hard to continue that constant transformation process.   And a lot of times the circumstances are far beyond our ability to overcome (in our case, cancer), and can make us question our faith, our love, our strength...ultimately our will to live.

So how ARE we doing?  As mentioned in previous posts, we get asked this question a lot.  And no fault of their own, I know they mean well, and hey...people just may not know what else to say.  And we don't mind talking to people about it.  But we just don't necessarily have an answer.  Our first response (well...at least MY first response) is usually "fine", or "good".  I just don't know what the person is wanting to truly know.  I mean, I honestly haven't slept good in 6 or 7 months.  I STILL wake up at night to check on my wife, sometimes even waking her up in the process because I am checking for pulse or breathe.  Most days, I feel like I am in a fog, which I can overcome this with copious amounts of caffeine and prayer, but how do I tell someone how I am?

As father and husband, I am to encourage and lift up my family in prayer on a daily basis, and trust me...I have.  Probably more than I have the previous 8 years I have been a father, and the previous 11 years I have been a husband.  But why now?  Why does it take a hard circumstance?  Why wasn't I acting this way, praying this way, before this new journey?  Why does it take hitting bottom for us to figure out a way out?  What are we afraid of?

I am reminded of what Colossians 3:2 says in the Message version of the Bible - "Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is. See things from His perspective."

Here are a couple of other Bible verses I have been reading lately:

Proverbs 4:23 - "Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts"
Romans 12:1-2 - "...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."

So normal to us is a little different now, and I really don't know how we are doing most days.

I mean normal compared to what? :-)

Well, I now know the definition of oligoastrocytoma, and as I mentioned before, I know that grey is the color of brain cancer. I still work at Sewell and am getting used to the long hours, even though it is hard most days.  And I am thankful for my family and my friends.

And normal for Natalie is now making sure the kids stay on a routine even though most day she doesn't feel like she wants to. She really is a hero in my book for all that she does when I am not around (which is a lot recently, it seems).

I am far from perfect, nor do I try to be. And unfortunately it did take this circumstance for me to try to be a better father and husband. But all I have is now, all WE have is now. I don't want to shuffle around, in a fog. So I will take this opportunity to look up.

Until the next blog post, please don't wait until you hit bottom to be a better person, a better husband, a better father.  Why not start today?  Look up...

-   David D.


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Annabelle said...
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