Normal Hope

Guess what? A large college fair is not a good place to bring a wheelchair, or a ten-year old girl who may feel slightly conspicuous with all the stares coming her way, even though I’m pretty sure most of those stares were because she looked so stinkin’ cute.


That’s right, a college fair. I am now old enough to have a daughter who is attending college fairs. It’s funny how you’ll be going along with life, and everything is just normal, and then BOOM, it hits you, all is not normal.

Want to hear something funny? Life with a young Rwanda girl who doesn’t speak much English and requires carrying to get around sometimes seems quite normal. I find myself wondering what everybody is looking at, and then I realize, oh yeah, I have this very black and beautiful girl on my hip with a complicated contraption on her leg. But I’m just running into Target to get a posterboard. It’s no biggie, and yet it’s a big biggie.

Here are some other things that seem normal at our house these days:

Rebeka’s artwork is accumulating on our windows.


It’s been a long time since we’ve had pink stools in our house.


Notice the Curious George Memory game. It’s not unusual to play memory, Rebeka’s favorite, four or five times a day. I now know the card with the scratch on it is the “laundry” card, the ones with slightly bent corners are the “chef” cards, and the one with the very bent corner is the “blue boy” card, which goes with the only card that has a sticker on the back. This is normal.


Is this normal? I don’t think so . . .

There is one thing that I  always want to be “normal” in my life. Living with hope. I was recently reminded of that “hopeful” feeling when I finished another draft of a manuscript. A writer lives with a lot of hope. Hope that I’ll finish the book, find an agent, a publisher, readers, get the next book published, etc. Each time I reach the end of one “hope,” there is another hope waiting for me.

Molly is always full of hope: hope you’ll drop something on the floor she can eat, hope you will rub her belly, hope you will let her lick your sweat . . .

Going to the college fair with Alayna reminded me of how it felt when I went to a similar fair when I was in high school. I had all these hopes about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. All those shiny catalogs and chipper representatives were like Christmas morning, and I couldn’t wait to get home and lay all my goodies out and pore over them.

Tuesdays have become all about hope in our house these days. It’s the new normal. That’s because on Tuesday nights, we get to unwrap Rebeka’s cast and see her new and improved foot. It’s like Christmas morning, unwinding all those white bandages. This Tuesday, we were very pleased with what we found.

Each week it looks a little straighter. Tomorrow morning we’ll head to Dell and see what her doctor has to say. This has also become part of our normal routine, our Wednesday trips to Dell. It is the extraordinary ordinary, or the ordinary extraordinary. It is life, in all it’s glorious normality, and we are filled with hope.


Hope is the thing with feathers

Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops—at all

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm

I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

2 Responses to “Normal Hope”

  1. Mom

    Have I ever told you how much I respect, admire, and love you? You are an amazingly precious woman and it fills my heart with wonder to see what God is doing in and through your life. I will be waiting and watching with wonder to see all that God will accomplish in Rebeka’s life because you were willing to jump into this “adventure” of faith and trust. I am so proud of you.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)