What is Normal?

Posted: January 14, 2016 by Patrice Miles in Egbe, Egbe Nigeria, Miles In Missions, Missionaries, Nigeria, Patrice Miles

What is normal? Google says normal is conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

Miles Family

Before God called me to Africa normal was;                   -a job I went to every day of the week that paid me in American dollars                                                                  -a house I paid a mortgage on that had AC in the winter an awesome fireplace for the winter
-a church in a building with amazing worship talent, small groups and many other activities to get involved in
-a school for my kids that I paid tuition for and I tried to get involved in
-3 meals a day with food that I could drive 5 minutes away to purchase
-weekly dining out dates with my family and or husband
-weekends full of events from sports to birthday parties
-changing weather from hot to cold every year
-once the weekend was finished, I did it all over again the next week

I loved my normal! It was comfortable and I knew what was expected of me and what I expected of others. I normally felt in control because everyday was the usual, typical day.

Miles Family PicSince moving to Africa, the normal is;
-a ministry I am apart of everyday that pays me in smiles, thank you’s and stress.
-a house I rent with undependable electricity, bugs, windows that stay open year round and currently Harmattan everywhere
-a small church in my home worshipping God with my husband and two children in our family room
– a school for my kids that is free and they are the only two children
– 3 meals a day all with my family with food freshly killed or store bought over 7 hours away
– weekly dining out at the Guesthouse with fellow missionaries
– weekends filled with hiking, bush rides, bead making, getting a suntan or just hanging out.
– changing weather from hot to hotter and hottest
– once the weekend is over I have no clue what next week will hold and have stopped trying to plan it or guess what might happen.

I love my new normal! It is very uncomfortable but not in the way you would think. I don’t know what to expect and I don’t always understand what others expect of me. I never feel in control. Everyday holds new problems and stresses that I am not prepared to handle. I have to sit at my makers feet every morning in order to be prepared for the day. It can be freeing if I let it, but then it can also be stressful if I try to do it on my own.

I encourage you to embrace your normal, but to always be open to a new normal God might be calling you to. Weather it is a new job, switching kids to a new school, a new friend, a new home or maybe a move around the world. Whatever your normal or new normal might be, you cannot do it alone. Trust in him and have faith he will always provide what you need even if it may not be what you exspected.



  1. Gary Polsgrove says:

    So well written and lived. I love you

  2. This blog totally went out without me pushing POST, then the internet went down so I couldn’t go in and change it…Nigeria! It is pretty now so enjoy.

  3. George Schultz says:

    Good word!


  4. Andy LaBreche says:

    That is a great letter… really enjoyed reading it. J


  5. Victoria Lemke says:

    I love both versions, both the not so perfect and the next!

  6. Linda Johnson says:

    He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
    Love and prayers! Linda Johnson, Center City Baptist Church, Texas

  7. Mary Eicher says:

    I love you no matter what God does with you or where He takes any of us. You and Lenny and the children are amazing. Love, Old Grandma in Texas I love that Jolie said that. It was a priceless moment with her

  8. Ms Ken says:

    This is really heart touching, I respect the heart behind the decisions and the adaptations, I love the last few lines….

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