Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Abnormal Life

Life is pretty good these days.

Southern California is having amazing weather. I literally blow kisses to the clear blue sky while the sun shines on my face in February. I love it here. Always have.

I am almost 14 weeks pregnant if you can believe that! All is well. Healthy mom and healthy baby.

Dustin is growing like a weed. I just got him new shoes today as his toes were hanging over the front of his sandals. He is the big 4 now after all (since January 7th) and truly growing up, revealing his God given gifts more each day. In the grocery store this afternoon I watched him volunteer to help one of the employees arrange a crate of fresh salsa containers in a box of crushed ice for display. The employee was so sweet to oblige him and together they set out forty containers or so in perfect rows. I waited patiently with my cart and beamed with pride. My son has a rare and special disposition. He really does. I praised him for his helpfulness and thanked the employee for his participation. It is a beautiful thing to encourage character, even in a four-year-old. Dustin gave me a smile as we walked away. Just another ordinary day for him. I could see that he was quite content to be of use. God blessed my sock off when He gave me my son. And he is a blessing to many more than just me.

My tea company is finally getting off the ground. Our forward motion is exciting to say the least. We are only weeks away from our official keep us on your radar! I'd love to bless you with tea in the very near future.

All the drama with my puppy seems to have come to an end. When she ran away last Thursday I was a mess. I thought for sure she had been hit by a car. The fear of losing her really got to me, but the worst case scenario was not realized and she miraculously ended up at our local Humane Society. I picked her up the next morning and met her with "scolding" hugs for scaring me like that. However, on Monday she got out AGAIN, this time by digging her way out under the side fence. I was furious. I guess puppies just don't understand grace! Clearly she wanted to push her luck...or perhaps she was just doing what puppies do. It is hard to say. This time my neighbors saw her escaping and put her in their backyard until they saw we were home. A knock on the door that evening revealed our teenage neighbor holding our 35 lb puppy like a baby to prevent her from running away again in transit. I was thankful, and relieved, despite my frustration. My husband fixed the hole immediately, despite having twenty more important things to do, and so far "Chevelle the Escape Artist" seems to be at least for now.

Things are getting back to normal I guess you could say.

Or not.

I don't even know what I am saying.


I hate that word.

What is normal anyway?

I will tell you what normal was.

Normal was calling my family to tell them I was pregnant and five weeks later calling again to tell them it was TWINS! Normal was measuring my explorer to see if three car seats would fit in the back side by side. Normal was searching Craig's List for a double stroller. Normal was potty training my son at two years old so that I would not have three in diapers. Normal was climbing in bed at night will a growing belly and a fast asleep two year old in his toddler bed feeling that all was as it should be.

But it is not as it should be anymore.

Normal is a naive word with no place in my life anymore. I think now I use it only to make other people feel better about my life. I describe things (life after losing my babies) as normal and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. But I know it is not really normal at all.

It is abnormal.

I am comfortable describing my life as abnormal. Abnormally blessed, abnormally ordinary, abnormally hard, abnormally sad, abnormally _______________. Whatever fits, it all makes for a proper description of life after loss.

My life is still abnormally difficult. Yet filled with abnormal joy. I mean, think about it. There is nothing normal about having joy after such sadness or normal about experiencing goodness again after so much pain.

Normal implies what we are used to, and no one gets used to living without their children. I certainly haven't. And I won't.

I have experienced all kinds of things since my daughters died. Grief, sorrow, guilt, sadness, anger, peace, joy, restoration...the list goes on. But normalcy is not one of them.

Life is abnormal from here on out. From the moment of Aubrey and Ellie's last heartbeat, normal faded away never to be seen or heard of again.

It is only a matter of time until we all lose our normal. Like me, some of you already have. Normalcy may be an illusion anyway, like control. It is all relative.

But one thing is not relative. One promise remains. Our life may be normal one day and abnormal the next, but God remains the same; good, loving, gracious and merciful. He is our only constant in an otherwise schizophrenic existence. He is our only hope to successfully navigate this constantly changing terrain.

I have been reoriented by His power alone. My life does not need to be normal, it only needs to be His. Only Christ can transform an abnormal life into something meaningful.

Only Christ can take something so bad and use it for good...and their is nothing normal about that.

It seems that an abnormal life might have a few redeeming qualities after all.


  1. Beautiful post, Rachel. I agree, there is nothing normal about life anymore. And you're right it certainly isn't normal to experience hope or joy or contentment after your world turns upside down. Praise God for his constant and faithful relationship to us that makes all these possible.


  2. No, definitely not normal anymore but I'm learning to live the abnormal with God's help.

  3. I got nervous when I read your title-so glad everything with your bean and your son is OK. (Happy B-Day to Dustin, BTW!!) He sounds like a wonderful kid. But how could he not be, with such an amazing mom?
    Abnormal is the word, that's for sure. The adjective for the rest of our lives. Im just starting to get used to it.

  4. I love this post, Rachel! I feel like you so elequently wrote what my heart feels. I use the word normal to merely calm the fears of those around me. But life will forever be abnormal. I am praying that God will walk long the abnormal path with me, and I can reach that "abnormal joy" that you spoke of!


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