Building on Normal

Hi there! It’s been a while. Life has been a whirlwind of busyness. For the last three weeks I’ve been stuck on an animal showground site in Somerset, a beautiful landscape in the English countryside. I was there for work.

On my last trip to America, I had some people ask me if I worked for a wine company. The answer is no, but I do work for an organization called New Wine. It’s difficult to describe exactly what the organization does, because there are lots of pieces that make up its pie. But I’ll try to explain:

New Wine began as a movement of the Holy Spirit within the church in England back in the 70’s. Since that time, thousands of churches from across the nation have come together under a unity that I’m not sure exists anywhere else in the world. Many of the churches are from an Anglican background, but it also consists of Vineyard, Baptist, Free churches, etc.

Throughout the year New Wine hosts conferences and events. There is also a network of thousands of church leaders that are committed to meeting together and encouraging each other in their local context. New Wine provides various free resources for Christians nationally and internationally: magazines, podcasts, and study videos.

The last few weeks were the biggest of New Wine’s year. Every summer the nation comes together for a week of worship, teaching, and family fun. The whole production is massive. An arena is constructed, as well as scores of other venues, some for special needs children, church leaders, people who aren’t yet sold on the whole Christian conference thing and only want to look.

Over twenty thousand people joined in for a week (or two) of camping, come rain or shine. Food vendors provided hot Belgian waffles, burgers, and fresh fruit smoothies. A huge marketplace was made available for delegates to come and browse – whether to buy a good book and sit down with a coffee, or to wonder through an art gallery, or set aside some time to relax and get a massage. A venue was prepared for kids, fully equipped with a sandy beach and paddling pools. It was like a two week haven from reality.

It was So. Much. Fun.

And it was a lot of work – both physically and mentally. Setting up the site, long days working the venues, late nights, early starts, being away from home and family. Months and months of work went into preparing for the two weeks on site. Emails, print offs, laminating signs, making badges, ordering supplies, booking tickets, talking to volunteers. Lots of little things. Boring things. Things that were necessary to make the conference happen.

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All that work was definitely worth it. The conference was a blast. I feel pretty lucky to get to do something so fun.

And now that the fun is over, I’m trying to settle back into normalcy. Back into the office. Back into a 9-5 schedule. Back into a steady stream of laundry and cooking. It’s a strange feeling. Because I loved the excitement and the energy of the conference, and part of me didn’t want it to end.

But I know deep down, it wouldn’t be possible to keep up that lifestyle. As much as I hate to admit it, I need normal. I need to have some kind of routine. I need to set my mind to mundane tasks. I need to build on my normal.

Because the life I aim towards is built by doing normal things, everyday things.

It’s these day-to-day things that make up where I am going…

It’s the conversation I had over a coffee…which then led to a speaking engagement.

It’s the asking for help with my project…which then led to meeting a lovely couple that are looking to adopt, who I am getting to share my experience and advice with. Something I would love to spend my future doing.

It’s building on my normal which propels me forward. Normal is okay. In fact, normal is great! Sometimes I need to be reminded that the thing I am doing today is leading toward something for tomorrow. In thinking this way, the little things no longer seem mundane. Everything I do has a purpose.

That is what inspires me to do more.

I look back at my life and realize there was a lot of little things that got me where I am today, and I am encouraged.

And, it is that very thought which is enabling me to conquer this mountain of laundry I have to do after 2+ weeks of having my family on a campsite!

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