Not A Normal Week

It's Holy Week. Truly one of my favorite weeks of the year. I really do like it more than the week leading up to Christmas. Maybe it's because the focus of Holy week is different. There's not a lot of nostalgia or sentimentality tied to it. It carries a greater weight; it just feels a little heavier and holier. Our attention hasn't shifted entirely to consumerism, but is more on what consumes us and we are filled with. There's reflection and focus. Focus on high, holy days of worship. Focus on preparation. Focus on Jesus. I.LOVE.IT.

Except this year I feel anything but focused. I feel like my Holy Week is scattered and shallow and unusual. I don't feel as committed with my devotional life as I usually am during this time. I don't feel as connected. I don't feel intentional. I feel tired. I feel strange. I feel different.

But these are all the things that I am feeling - and not necessarily what is true of this time in my life or this week. Yes, this week has been different, nothing like a "normal" week (whatever that is). The last couple months of my life haven't been what I would consider normal. And yet, in all the things that are different, God is so faithful. Even in the midst of what feels odd to me, I am finding freedom and depth and strength I didn't know I had. I am seeing how God breaks into our world in ways that we may have never considered.

While rocking our sweet boy tonight and thinking of my lack of focus or lack of what may feel sacred to me (basically, a mini pity party), God was quick to remind me of all the sacred things I have been fortunate enough to be a part of this week. Things that may be different, but no less holy than what a "normal" Holy Week looks like to me.

  • I have been able to make a quick trip to be at the bedside of my husband's grandmother who may not have much longer in this world.
  • We have received some of the best news in our situation with Sugar Ray - that he will not be moving across the country to Washington state to live with his grandmother.
  • Not only did we receive such news but we got it en route from visiting Shannon's grandmother and on our way to dinner on the beach with his parents.We were able to break bread and celebrate with our family! I was able to share this news with other family and friends while watching a gorgeous sunset over Pensacola Bay. I was able to shed those tears of joy and relief that I have so desperately been waiting for all while feeling the breeze of the ocean air. That is not normal - it is awesome!
  • I have had the privilege to be a part of a village of women who foster together and care deeply for one another. Today we celebrated one family getting a step closer to finalizing their adoption and prayed for another that awaits a DNA test to see what happens next with their little guy. 
  • I have prayed for and talked with another family who is concerned for the well being of a child in their family whom the system may or may not have failed today. 
  • I spent most of the day traveling with Grant and talking about life and other things that teenage boys like to talk about. 
  • On this trip, we saw a field of weeds that was absolutely breathtaking. Yellow flowers for miles - it looked like we had arrived in Oz and were ready to take the yellow brick road. "The prettiest weeds I have ever seen!" according to Grant.
  • Grant and I played basketball with a 14 year old boy who I have the privilege of trying to find him a forever family. My son and I were doing ministry together.
  • And as one friend suggested, I rocked our Sugar Ray tonight and whispered over him, "You don't have to go so far away."
It's been a beautiful, sacred and surprising Holy Week and it's only Wednesday.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of things that just aren't normal.

Our daughter's teacher posted this quote today, "Instead of saying, 'I don't want my child to be perceived as different' let's flip the script and say, 'I don't want my child to feel pressured to be normal'." 

God has flipped the script on me. Instead of having my normal week and feeling the pressure for things to be as they always are, He has given me new insight and freedom to rejoice in all that is different. Praise be.

May you have a not so normal Holy Week as well.