I am a home-school mom hoping to share the challenges, joys and disappointments in home-schooling,be an encouragement to others, seek advise and wisdom from those who have come before me and offer my insight to different curriculum by posting product reviews, etc
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
All But Normal: Life on Victory Road
Growing up, Shawn Thornton’s life was anything
but normal–but then, so was his mother. After awakening from a coma following a
car crash, Beverly Thornton’s once sweet and gentle disposition had been
replaced by violent mood swings, profanity-laced tirades, and uncontrollable fits of rage.
Inside the Thornton house, floors and countertops
were piled high with dirty laundry and garbage because Bev was unable to move
well enough to clean. Dinners were a Russian roulette of half-cooked meat,
spoiled milk, and foods well past their expiration dates. A moment of
frustration might prompt her to hurl a knife at Shawn, his brother, Troy, or
their dad or to vehemently cuss them out, only to shower them with love and
affection moments later as though nothing had happened. On several occasions,
Bev even tried to jump out of the car on the highway while Shawn and his
brother struggled to keep her inside.
Yet this same woman was also a devoted Bible
reader, Sunday school teacher, and friend to the elderly, poor, and
marginalized wherever she went. How the same woman could be a saint one minute
and a nightmare the next was a constant source of frustration for the family.
Then one day, after decades of embarrassing
outbursts, a surprise discovery finally helps the Thornton family come to grips
with Bev’s mysterious condition and brings Shawn to a startling realization
that changes the course of his life forever.
As a Social Worker I often deal with
clients who come into the office with traumas from their childhood that have continued
to manifested itself into adulthood. I greatly appreciated the open, direct and
encompassing view of the trauma that Shawn suffered, but also of Gods
redemptive power and the willingness of Shawn to be used by God through all his
trials. I am not really a big fan of memoirs, but I am glad I elected to read
this one and be reminded again of how God has a plan for each of us and all we
need to do is listen and act. What really captured my attention was the title of
this book. We each define “normal” in a different context. We all wear masks,
are labeled by society, but normal invites unease, because it says we have to conform
to be fixed, given up parts of our selves. We live in a broken and fallen world and sadly
there are too many children who grow up surrounded by all kids of trauma and
trials to walk through from the moment they are born. God has a plan and a
purpose for each of us that will allow us to thrive in the midst of the
brokenness. I found Paston Shawn’s memoir to be highly encouraging, thought
provoking and uplifting.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale publishing
in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
THORNTON serves as senior pastor of Calvary Community Church in Westlake
Village, California. He is also the Bible-teaching voice heard daily across
America on the half-hour radio program All Things New. Shawn has the honor of
serving on the board of directors of Awana Clubs International and on the board
of directors of the Joni & Friends Foundation. He blogs regularly at
PastorShawn. com. Shawn and his wife, Lesli, have three young adult
children-Jon, Katie, and Megan.
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