Grabbing Hold of Normal

What do you do when the world turns upside down? What do you say when unbelievable things you never in your life expected to see are happening to your friends and family?

What do you do when the world turns upside down? What do you say when unbelievable things you never in your life expected to see are happening to your friends and family?I live in Denham Springs, Louisiana. The small town east of Baton Rouge that has been rocked by historic floods this weekend. Where the waters are still rising in some areas and friends are still losing their cars, homes and everything they have worked so hard to build. I know more people who have lost everything than people who haven’t. “Unimaginable devastation” is not an exaggeration.

Blessed to have a friend who took us in when it looked like the water would come in my house.

Blessed that the water only made it exactly to the edge of the door but did not come in.

Blessed that both of my children are safe and dry, with just a little water in one house.

Blessed that we have power and can host friends who don’t.

Blessed that my biggest inconvenience is not having my home internet service.13895562_1223569507674940_5678790702379940517_n

I am the minority. And that is really hard. If I think of what my friends are facing, I just want to cry. We are a close-knit small community that has lost everything that holds us together. Our churches are destroyed. The few grocery stores that are open have lines hours long. The schools are closed “until further notice.”

But the one thing we haven’t lost is our faith and our love for each other (okay … that is two things, I know.) At one end of town, the cleanup has already started. Piles of smelly soaked carpet and soggy drywall dot the roadsides, waiting for the unknown day when garbage pickup will start again. At the other end of town, people are still being rescued from attics and rooftops, put on a helicopter and only told they are going “north.”

We’ll help each other until everything is restored. As the water recedes, we’ll rely on the very breath of God to dry our tears, air out our homes and refresh us when the weariness of it all threatens to overtake us.

But in the meantime, I need something … anything … to be normal. I need one tangible thing I can grab on to and know it won’t float away into the swirling, watery thoughts that drift towards the unfathomable ways my life will be different in the coming days.

That thing is right here. Do A New Thing and my blog. It may seem weird that I want to spend even one minute helping or serving someone who is miles away on the other side of a computer screen when there are such needs right in front of me. I will do as much as I can for my friends and family. But a pastor from a local church posted this last night:

How do we lay our heads down to rest knowing there is more to be done? Lives to save, mouths to feed, bodies to warm. We must look to the life of Christ, trust and be obedient. Some of us will work into the night, many will rise early and ready, but it’s crucial to remember that Jesus retreated from all the hurts in this world to spend time with the Father. Even, when it was storming, Jesus was found resting on the boat. He knew the importance of trust and obedience while the disciples had little faith. Church, each of us have means, abilities and resources to serve our community. The opportunities are overwhelming. We’re in a storm. Take one step at a time, pray, trust, and faithfully respond in obedience.   Casey Belgard, The Oaks Church, Denham Springs, LA

So I will retreat and spend time with the Father to fuel me. I’ll rest from the work and the emotional rollercoaster by continuing to do what God has called me to do here. It won’t be perfect. I’ll miss some deadlines and not do everything I want to, but it’s ok.

If you see me posting on my blog, promoting my upcoming course or engaging on social media about the next Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study, please don’t judge me. Please don’t think me insensitive to what is happening in my community. I’m just trying to grab a little normal in the spaces between obedience and standing in line for bread and milk. Anything normal will do.


We did have quite a bit of damage to my husband’s shop in our antique district. It is almost a total loss.  Thank you to everyone who has asked how you can help.  Our material needs right now are minimal compared to so many around us who have lost everything.  If you’d like to help, you can donate to my church.  Even though it was flooded with several feet of water, Amite Baptist Church is feeding people free meals and providing for other needs.  100% of your donation will go to serving our community and our members.  Click here to donate (Designate it to Disaster Relief).  Thank you!!

Before all this craziness started, I had planned to write a post about the first steps to take when you feel God has placed a calling for ministry on your life. We’ll save the post for another day, but I’d still love to make this new resource available to you.
Pinpoint (1)

Have you struggled to put your finger on what your calling looks like?

Or put into words your purpose and mission?

This free, three-part mini-ecourse will help you Pinpoint Your Purpose. Through these email lessons and accompanying worksheets, you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important to understand your purpose
  • How to find your purpose at the intersection of Why, Who and You
  • Three ways to use your purpose as a filter in the day-to-day decisions of your ministry

Linking up with Holley Gertz at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday and Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup

24 thoughts on “Grabbing Hold of Normal”

  1. Good word, Christa! Thank you! Flood waters have receded here, for the most part. But now the overwhelming task of clean up begins. Praying for you and your community, and our state! Love you!

  2. Difficult times can refine a community just as they refine people. We saw that in Nashville a few years back.
    I appreciate your encouragement at a time when I’m sure you need to receive it as well. Praying for your community.

  3. Amen Christa! Beautifully written and its in grabbing normal that your remember what you’re fighting to get back to. Praying for all of you, prayers of gratitude that you’re safe and prayers of strength and provision in the days to come.

  4. Christa, it’s hard to imagine, when the sun is shining and the sky is clear blue where I am living, what your community is going through. All those people who have lost everything, it must be devastating. Your God, your Savior, and your ministry are your anchor in the storm. I know how good that feels since my life has been topsy turvy, not devastating, these last couple of months.

  5. Hi Christa,
    So grateful that your home was not damaged and you are able to share your updates here with us. I can relate to your community shock through this unexpected event since my city of Orlando experienced a similar shock earlier this summer. But you’re right, it’s so beautiful to see the community pull together in times of turmoil that it takes your breath away how God is still working through it all. Praying for you and your city!

  6. Lifting you, your family, and your community up in prayer. I saw on the Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief listing over 60+ Baptist churches alone were flooded. Please let me know when your church has a workday planned. Would love come meet you and help out. Blessings!

  7. Just found you from Purposeful faith. Thank you for sharing your story and know I am praying for you and all affected by the flooding. I love your comment about grabbing on to something normal when everything is washing away. I think when we face rough times, normalcy help us stay grounded. Blessings to you and all of those affected by the flooding.


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