First Guest Post: New Normal

This is my first guest post!  My good friend, fellow prayer warrior and all out good girl Annie consented to do a guest post for me…. part of the reason I hadn’t written anything myself is because I’ve been going through a lot of stuff… but I’ve also been waiting for her to answer me 😉

Anyway, here it is! My first guest post!  (And when you’re done, hop over to Annie’s place and read her stuff… she’s very good…)



Have you ever tried to …

break an old habit?
go on a diet?
change a wrong behavior?

I discovered about a year and a half ago that my intestines don’t digest dairy very well at all.  (Some people call this lactose intolerance.  I don’t like labels.  Or excuses.  So I don’t say this.  I say I don’t eat dairy.  It’s a choice, not a victimization.  Anyway.)

When I discovered this, several things happened.  Firstly, I was relieved.  It explained several things that had troubled me for almost all of my life, and which I had asked the Lord many times to reveal to me what was going on.  Secondarily I was chagrined.  Really?? No dairy??  But I LOVE milk, butter, and cheese!  I grew up on them.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Thirdly, I knew from Scripture that the promised land was ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ and I had already looked up in the past the first occurrence in the Bible of eating dairy, and God Himself actually was the one who did.  Abraham served curds to God when He visited him (as the three men) before He went down to investigate Sodom and Gomorrah.  So.  I believed then (and I believe now) that my particular problem is a problem, and not normal.  So I’m still believing for the revelation on that.

At any rate, since that time, it has been a constant battle for me.  It is really hard to go out to eat and find non-dairy options.  This country’s cuisine depends on the cow like you would not believe.  The real war though, was in my taste buds.  The stuff just tastes so good.  I may know in my head all the consequences of eating a piece of pizza or taking a bite of that yummy Alfredo sauce pasta, but my taste buds are in denial.  They don’t consider the fact that if I eat it I’ll have to deal with the consequences.  They just know it will taste good.  And that’s all they know.

So I am left at the point of this decision.  Do I give in to my tongue?  Or do I respect the entire rest of my body and force myself away from it?

You know, when the Israelites left Egypt their physical situation changed.  They were no longer in bondage; they had freedom.  Yet even though their physical condition changed, in their minds (or hearts, as the Bible puts it) they were still longing for Egypt.  Egypt was still their ‘normal.’  They didn’t take ownership of where they were and say, “I’m free, in a desert, and pressing forward to the promised land.”  Instead they expected what they had had in Egypt.   They expected provision a certain way; they expected comfort a certain way.  And even though they knew that the precursor for having those things was bondage, they still didn’t give up wanting the ‘good tastes’ of Egypt.

So you’d think that after a year and a half I would have got this dairy thing down.  I mean, it’s the same decision every time.  But in my head you know … I always held on to the prospect of how good it would taste to eat it.

And finally I had an epiphany.

Psychologically, I hadn’t accepted that there had been a change.  I let my mind keeping thinking that ‘normal’ was everything I used to eat.  And therefore not eating it was ‘abnormal’ and ‘temporary.’  Light bulb!  I decided to change that.  So now, instead of looking behind me and ‘longing for Egypt,’ I created a ‘new normal.’  In my new normal … I just don’t eat dairy. It’s not something that’s forced on me; it’s not even something I regret.  It’s just … normal.

You see, in the past, feeling bad was normal.  And in my mind, I couldn’t break away from that.  Feeling good (when I didn’t eat dairy) was just a nice perk.  A temporary fluke.  It wasn’t normal.  I had put up with feeling bad for so long that it had come to feel comfortable to me.   And regardless of the fact that I had plenty of evidence to tell me that a ‘new normal’ was possible … my heart had never accepted it.

The epiphany came when I was willing to look at that and say, “It’s not normal for me to feel bad.  And look bad.  It’s normal for me to feel good.  And look good.”  The choice to not eat dairy was just a part of my new normal.

So I am happy to report that the last month or so I have lived in my new normal.  I’m not longing for Egypt anymore.

Normal never felt so good.
Has there been a ‘new normal’ in your life?  Would you like to share?

PS: for those who are interested in my symptoms and results, I would love to answer questions.  Most people, I think, wouldn’t, so I haven’t made that a part of this post.  🙂



23 Responses

  1. OMG I have a post! I had to comment on my own blog… I can’t believe it! Pray that I’m able to get back to the blogosphere… I missed you guys!

  2. Thanks Robert!

    (Oh, and PS to the PS … I realized just now that it sounds as if I’m saying that most people wouldn’t be interested in answering questions. I meant that to say that most people wouldn’t actually be interested in asking questions. 🙂 Just to clarify. 🙂 )

  3. Very good post Bajan, or should that be Annie? 😉

    Either way i think you have very well ‘captured’ a part of the human condition we need to be made more aware of, particularly those who want to move closer to God, but for any who wish to overcome their many ‘less-than-perfect’ attributes.

    A new normal in my life?? ummm… nothing ‘drastic’ that comes to mind – but now i have a way to help them along in those places i can see could do with some 🙂


  4. Great post as always Annie.

    New normal – goodness, there is SO much that is life right now which wasn’t part of my 12 months ago.

    And we’re moving from an apartment to a house, so our new normal living arrangements will manifest very soon 🙂

  5. * Thanks, Blove!

    *David – yeah, moving from an apartment to a house would be a ‘new normal!’ One that hopefully will be blissful to experience … (after the move, mind you. 🙂 ) This seems to be a season of change for a lot of people – it sure is for me!! Great to ‘see’ you again.

    And thanks, guys, for being faithful readers. I know you both have new posts – I haven’t been able to get to my Reader in quite some time. I will though!! God bless!

  6. Annie– Your writing is always amazing. I need to make it around to your place more often.

    A new normal for me, was a demotion at work, and relearning what my Job was and is.

    Peace and love.

    • Hey Ckroboth…. yeah I love her writing style 🙂 It is so deeeeep

      btw – you’re welcome to visit my place again too, hope u didn’t come by only coz Annie’s writing today…. 😆

      Welcome to the Hand of God!

    • Thank you, Carl! Good to see your face again! What a ‘new normal’ for you. Wow. I seem to be continually relearning what my job is. 🙂

  7. I love this Annie, and thanks Robert for thinking of having her do a post. Love the idea of having a new normal… an author friend Bill Mills who lives in Chicago but visits the Philippines often once said, and this was about church conflicts (not very much related to what you wrote about, but in a way somewhat related spiritually) that in the body of Christ, we were created in a way that we can go through anything with one another. It is a lie of the enemy that relational conflicts, go forever unresolved.

    IN your post, that is what you did. You took a step to remedy the situation, and stopped being a slave with a victim mindset… what you are saying is that we have the victor living in us, and He calls the shots, not the Enemy!

    Thanks for this post, Annie.

  8. Beauty – Thanks. And I so love that you brought up relational conflicts. That is very timely both to the author and to the host. It is an encouragement to be reminded to see it that way. “Stopped being a victim with a slave mindset.” Yes, that hit is on the nose. Yet the real victory (I think) was in seeing that the new way was, in fact, better than the old way. Even though I had that evidence clearly presented, I didn’t really accept it for a long time. Once I did … voila! It is better. 🙂

    • I cannot agree more, Annie…. well put

      Living my new normal, without my Gollum…. 😉 “We don’t … need you… ” I’m choosing every time a wrong thought wants to come up to pray, “Lord, remember your promise to satisfy me FULLY…help me to stay satisfied…” (” … Master looks after us now…”) (Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, for the uninitiated 😉 )

      And God has answered our prayers – relationship is AGAIN being restored…. OMG God is AWESOME ….

      • Robert, I’m LOVIN the LOTR analogy! lol. I know I can depend on you for that! God is so awesome. And I agree that that analogy fits pretty darn good!

        WOO HOO!!!! Thank you for removing the northern army!!!! (Seeing horse and warrior reeling around suddenly.) God is good!!!

  9. A new normal???

    I think I’m still trying to see it as normal, this new place where I understand His grace is sufficient. He will help me through the daily struggle of desiring “Egypt”…He will help me to see the Promised Land as a much better alternative…one where I can live free from the bondage I’ve left behind.

    Thanks, Sparkle! Whether here or there, or anywhere…you just make sense! Love you!

    Thanks, Robert for inviting her over… 😉

    • Yes indeed, Michelle! His great passion the whole way through the wilderness was to be intimate with Israel. You need something? Let Me do it. You’re tired? Let Me sustain you. You’re afraid? Let Me comfort you. You’re facing a mountain? Let Me be your strength. He was constantly there to do and be everything they needed for their journey to the Promised Land. It was the constant message, so that when they got to the Promised Land, they would KNOW who was their help, their supply, their bread of life, their strong tower. He always wants us to rely on Him. Continually. He takes great joy in being our All in All. Love it.

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad I ‘make sense’ to some people! Love you!

  10. I am planning another post using LoTR analogies to show where I am … but I’ll need time to pull it together. I can recite almost the entire script of all three movies almost by heart … but to write with feeling I’ll have to ‘research’…. hey! LoTR marathon, anyone? 😆

    So, stay tuned everyone!

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