This morning I went “Back to School!” I LOVE school! I loved school as a young child and I still love school now!
As a young child I loved it when the ‘Back to School’ Ads started! It was time to get new clothes, new shoes, pick out a new backpack and lunch pail!
Then, when I “grew up,” I loved school so much I made it my career. This year marked 34 years of me going ‘Back to School ‘ professionally!
Going ‘Back to School’ today was unlike any other year I have ever faced.
Today we were going ‘Back to School’ after a two week break due to the FireStorms that ravaged our county. I stepped out of my car and witnessed the singed hills surrounding our school. Hills that two short weeks before were lush with green foliage. I could still smell the scent of “burn” as I walked from the parking lot to the playground. Surrounding me was the evidence that God had spared our school even as the flames threatened to destroy it. The fire lines drew a clear line all around our school. The flames had been so close that one man had used a hose to save the gym from burning down. My spirit was overwhelmed with the awareness that God is truly in control and I, nor any other man or woman, is not!

I entered the classroom to see three little girls in tears clinging to pink stuffed bunnies they had been given to them as an “I’m sorry” gift. They had all lost their homes! They were staying at hotels with their families, paid for by insurance.
Yes, we were all going “Back to School,” but nothing felt NORMAL. We had stepped into “A New Normal!”

The dictionary defines NORMAL like this:

“Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular.”

“The Common type, Usual, Regular, and Not Abnormal!

“COMMON”, nothing out of the ordinary, something we do or are use to everyday, like a toothbrush to brush our teeth, or a pan to boil water in. That is the “common” use of these objects. But what if we use a toothbrush to clean the grout that is impossible to get out without a small object? What if we give the pan to our grandchild to use as an instrument and pretend he/she is a band leader? We soon discover that the objects we called “common”, have taken on new life as they are used for more than one purpose!

“USUAL,” the practice of following a routine and doing the same thing over and over. For example, like waking up at 6:00 am and going to the gym each morning before you start your day. However, what if one Morning you wake up at 6:00am and take a walk and watch the sunrise? Or, what if you wake up at 6:00am and take a run around your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors? Or, what if you wake up at 6:00am and take a hike on a new trail and see things you had never noticed before?
You have changed the USUAL, to the UNUSUAL, and possibly increased your desire for exercise by breaking up the routine!

“REGULAR,” the standard way. Like having a “regular” cup of coffee in the morning. Or, eating a “regular” piece of toast. What if you added a touch of pumpkin purée to you coffee and a bit of almond milk? You would turn your “regular” cup of coffee into a healthy pumpkin spice latte and join the world of PSL Lovers! Imagine you add delicious avocado and a perfectly scrambled egg with a touch of sea salt and pepper to that “regular” toast? You would have yourself a power packed breakfast that tastes delicious and adds energy to your day!

“NOT ABNORMAL,” to not draw attention to anything out of the ordinary. Would you want to miss a shooting star flying through the sky? What about a brightly colored hot air ballon soaring overhead? Even the color change painting the night sky as the sun slowly sets, can be quite “Not Abnormal!”




The Final dictionary definition is; “THE COMMON TYPE,” eating what is common, saying what is common, wearing what is common etc, etc, etc…One BIG word comes to my mind just reading this definition…BORING!!!
What would life be like if we all ate the same “common” foods, and said the same “common” things and wore the same “common” clothes? We would all operate as BORING robots, who looked alike, acted alike, ate alike, and all wore boring beige!
That is not the way our Creative Creator intended us all to live! He gave us different personalities with bright, creative minds to develop new ideas and new choices! HE WANTS US TO USE THEM!

We are the ones who create for ourselves prisons of normalcy! We convince ourselves that being “right” and “correct” is by being “Normal.” The greatest problem of all is we allow the world to define what is “normal!”
Friend, ONLY God can determine our NORMAL, and as crazy as it may seem to the world, His “Normal” for us will be perfect! It will be NEW and FRESH and present a perspective we could never have arrived at on our own!

As difficult as it was to face my “New Normal” and go “Back to School,” with singed hills surrounding us, a deep smell of burn hanging in the air, and three beautiful little girls clinging to their new stuffed animals as they mourn the loss of their homes, I thanked God for my “New Normal”, and the fresh perspective He had given me through it!

I now saw that alougth the hills were burned, our school was not. That even though a singed smell lingered in the air, the air quality had improved, and even though three small girls had lost their houses, they were safe and sound and so were their families and pets!


Only God knows what will happen in our lives from one day to the next. However, when we allow Him to create a “NEW NORMAL,” in our lives, and let go of our “COMMON NORMAL,” He will graciously give us a fresh perspective as we walk anew in His Hope and Future for us!

Speak Truth Love

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