"Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving for us this year - no turkey (too expensive in this country)."
"I'm not a good mum - I haven't been baking lately."
This past week, I'd heard many people telling me their life isn't "perfect".
Why? Because "it ain't normal."
"What's normal?" I asked.
"Who decides what's right or perfect or normal anyway?"
Santa Claus? (he's not here anymore)
Your neighbor? (he doesn't really care if you had turkey)
The whoever-she-was who wrote that "Perfect Man" article? (she might not even be married)
What's really normal?
Look at our Lord Jesus Christ.
He defied all definitions of what's acceptable and respectable and, yes, "normal" in His time.
He touched the leper. He spoke up for the women. He cleansed the temple.
He set people free.
Look at Mary.
She didn't just break that perfume bottle. She broke all fears of pressure and prejudice and what men in her time felt wasn't "normal" for her to do.
She did what she could and not what people wanted her to do - or not do.
She did a "good thing" for her Lord.
My "new normal" husband doesn't remember to compliment me every time I have a new dress or hairdo.
And he buys pots of plants for me, not bouquet (the botany major in him finds expensive dead flowers sub-normal).
My courageously "new normal" daughter has almost blonde hair, works from home, borrows my shoes (and clothes and scarves), and reaches out to abused and abandoned children..
As mum, I try to be as "new normal" as possible.
My baking sucks.
I'd never done porridge for my baby like all "normal" Chinese mothers would.
But I held her hand through her first ear pierce, took her to a Guggenheim art exhibition, and brought her to Mongolia, China, and the Seychelles on mission trips.
I bet if we allow the "new normals" into our lives every day, we'll appreciate more, whine less, cross more boundaries, and live life to the full.
Let's not be just normal.
Let's be more than normal.