A young boy got to thinking, “I wonder where babies come from.” He decided to go straight to the authority. “Mom, where do babies come from?” he asked. She replied, “The stork brings them.” Not satisfied he went to his grandmother and asked the same question and received the same answer. One day his friend asked him, “Where do you think babies come from.” His reply was, “I don’t know for sure but we haven’t had a normal birth in our family for three generations!”
Our family hasn’t had a normal Christmas the past two years. Last year our young granddaughter was the first to give a gift—the flu bug! It spread like gossip throughout our family with my wife ending up in urgent care while recovering from a surgery. We sort of skipped Christmas last year.
Last night was the memorial service for our daughter-in-law. Shortly after moving here from Cambodia she developed Lupus. She ended up in the hospital a couple times during flare-ups. A couple of weeks ago she ended up in ICU. She developed blisters all over her body. Turns out she had chicken pox, even though she had them as a child. Lupus affects the immune system so she wasn’t able to fight it off. The pox blisters ended up in her lungs, they put her on a respirator, and just over a week ago this beautiful 28-year-old young woman died. Sadly, we are faced with a new normal for Christmas.
Have you ever wondered what normal is supposed to look like in relationships? My wife has this saying, “We are the only normal ones left.” Attention please: Normal has left the room!
It’s important to not compare your relationship with others. Those of us in the counseling world call this “Relationship Envy.” If you get stuck in that hamster ball you will never be satisfied with any relationship.
One way to remain normal and have normal relationships, the Serenity Prayer is a lifesaver. Have you read the ENTIRE Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Of course, the greatest source of peace is the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ. He tells us,
“I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
May you know peace through the Prince of Peace this season. If you accept His peace, you will never be normal again! Merry Christmas.
(c) 2017 Wally Johnston