act normalOne night we invited our next-door neighbors to come over for dinner. We warned them ahead of time that it was going to be very “gringo” (North American-style). We started out by serving fresh-cut vegetables with onion dip as well as a bowl of chips and nachos. Next, we brought out the homemade pizzas that had just finished baking in the oven, microwave popcorn, and Coca-Cola. And then, to complete the meal, we brought out freshly-baked, homemade chocolate chip cookies.

My neighbor just looked at me and said, “This is so great, Kristin. You really made everything? Even the cookies? We usually don’t do that here. Everything is so good!”

Isn’t it funny that we take what we do as being the ‘normal’ way of doing it? Doesn’t everyone make homemade pizzas from time to time? Isn’t it normal to prepare and bake homemade cookies?

I remember some of the things that Max and I had to work through during our first year of marriage as well.

“You mean you leave the dishsoap on top of the counter? You don’t put it underneath in the cupboard?”

“You mean you always leave your shoes on while you’re in the house? You don’t take them off as soon as you come in and then leave them in the entryway?”

“You mean you just leave the toilet seat up? You don’t put it down?” (Okay…we HAD to change that one in our house!)

It’s good for us to be open-minded to new and different ways of doing things. A popular phrase in our home (that one of our friends taught our children here on the mission field) is…

“It’s not better; it’s not worse; it’s just different.”

These last 18 months, we have been learning a lot of different ways of doing things and it has been good. This practice has allowed us to realize that, oftentimes, there are many ways to accomplish something. It is good to learn from each other!

Mark 2:22 (NIV) And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.

Your turn to share: How has God asked you to do something different and new?