It is becoming clear to me that I/we live in a bubble. It is a safe, happy bubble and I like it that way.
How is this all of a sudden becoming clear to me? Oh I don't know... the internet? The Renaissance Festival.
It's so true. Last October we went camping. I think I posted pre-camping and never posted post camping, but it was awesome. Can't wait to do it again. And by camping, we were in San Diego, about a mile away from a Ralph's and we had a pop-up trailer. And bathrooms. And showers. And that my friends was as camping as this girl will get. But while we were there I had two separate occasions where a stranger came up to me and complimented me on my parenting/loving/caring for of Lily. It was sweet. One lady was crying. So maybe a little awkward too, but it was sweet to hear the comments from these strangers. But weird too. At home, or shall I say in our bubble, no one sees what we do for Lily as different. Because we are in their bubble too. We are all friends. We share schools and church and grocery stores and we all live together doing good things and just keeping our bubble a bubble. Yes my dear friends say words of encouragement to me all the time, but we aren't some anomaly, we are the Nothdurft's. So that was weird to me to be pointed out and showed me how out of touch I am in this world.
I will read blogs that are written by special needs parents, like one a couple weeks ago for instance was about the things not to say to a special needs parent and I think, do people really ask those questions? Like it's been years since I heard the "what's wrong with her?" question, and by the way don't ask that. But other than the stares we get, that some days I do not have the patience for, we really don't seem to be a reason for unnecessary questioning. Occasionally someone will ask me questions, but they always end up being a therapist, or Dr, or someone who knows someone with a similar disorder OR just genuinely concerned and asking questions. And I love to talk about Lily, so I want those questions. I am eager to talk about our sweet girl. So I wonder, this must just be us living in our safe bubble again, I guess. Because I don't get asked those questions and I don't find the need to write a post all about how people are idiots for asking them. And I guess then my posts will never make it to the Huffington Post either, but that's totally fine. My bubble survives without the notoriety. It's cool like that.
Also recently I saw on Facebook I saw on my news feed posted by a local news station that someone wrote in the sky "forgive your enemies". Awesome, right?! Like super awesome, positive thing to say to the valley of the sun that perfect 80 degree March day. But then you read the comment section. And then you realize you don't understand people beyond your bubble. Because from this awesome post the comment section says things like racist remarks, justifying hating and people saying they would never forgive and I think wow. My bubble would say it is awesome. Because forgiveness is an awesome thing. When given and when accepted. Awesome thing.
For Andi's birthday last week we went to Blue 32 for dinner, her choice (yes our 9 year old daughter loves the local sports bar so what) and we ordered a lot of food. We laughed and had a really nice dinner. I was giving Andrew a hard time about how much the bill was going to be in front of our server (because he orders an obscene amount of food) and she says, "Oh your bill was already paid for" we were shocked and said "What? Who?" and she says "they already left, all they said to say was you are a good mom". Yes that happened in our bubble. Tears stung my eyes and I sat in shock and awe at what had just happened. I recounted the evening, thinking about how I was at dinner, what in the world did I do that made such a difference in these strangers eyes that made them cover our dinner. And I mean it was over $100. We were beyond blessed and shocked and amazed and realized that this bubble we are in, couldn't be a softer, safer place.
So I sit and think about things. Things I see and hear others do and say. And I think I am so glad I found this new place in my life. I have friends that go on missions, foster children, friends who rebuild a home in a tough neighborhood to turn from what was a crack house to a safe house providing community support. We volunteer together, we pray with each other and support each other, laugh with each other, we eat together, have community with each other. It is a safe and very happy, very comfortable place.
And I love our bubble.
I adore our bubble.
And I know our bubble exists because we all have faith in God. We do for others as they would have done for us. We love each other and care for each other because it is the right thing to do. It gives our lives meaning to not live self absorbed lives. And I couldn't have been placed anywhere else better.
Our lives aren't without stress or complications or heart break in our bubble, but we have a community to rebuild our strength from. Our bubble brings meals, sends gifts, prays.
But then I worry, is it all too safe? Too comfortable? Too easy? I know life isn't easy, but it sure is easier when supported by a great community. I can't imagine living our life not supported. Not having shoulders to cry on when things get too tough. I can't imagine not having a safe place to worship and pray and I can't imagine not having the freedom to believe what I believe. It's hard to be happy for yourself when you know others aren't as safe, aren't supported. And I sit and wonder what else can I do? And I don't know the answer. Volunteer more? Buy more shirts from Sevenly.org? I don't know. I don't even know what the purpose of this post is, honestly. I just realized we are so very fortunate and while I sit and think about how blessed, fortunate, what ever word you want to use, I know so many others aren't. And that sucks. And I want others to live knowing the world doesn't have to be a bad place. It doesn't have to be a place where you never forgive and you take any opportunity you can to find reasons to spew negativity. And I know I am preaching from a safe bubble. I haven't witnessed anyone being shot. I don't have parents who do drugs. I wasn't given up or abandoned. I am a girl who has lived a pretty safe life offering sympathy from a far away bubble and I realize that really isn't all that comforting.
Sigh. It's good to be comfortable and happy. But it is also good to have your eyes wide open to the realities of this world.
I want you all in my bubble.
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