Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

The New NoRmAl…


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  I hope that you did also.  I, ever-so-subtly (on Facebook), “suggested” that everyone in the world visit us for Thanksgiving because it would be our last one in the states (yes…I still plan on celebrating it in the DR) and I wanted everyone to share it with us.  Well…some people listened and actually came.   We had a blast eating, playing games, and laughing and laughing and laughing!

I really tried to stay in the moment…I really did try!  However, many times I would look around and think…”What will this look like next year?”…

…What will it look like to not have family and friends around?

…What will it look like to not have “fancy”?

…Will we be sitting around sharing food, playing games, and laughing with others?

…What will our New Normal look like?

I have two American friends that live in the Dominican.  Both of them have said “One of the difficult parts of doing relationship with people who speak a different language than you is that humor doesn’t translate well.”  SAY WHAT?  Ummm….that’s kinda  “my thing” with my friends.  We sit around a crack jokes and laugh…not like LOL…but REALLY laugh out loud.  The kind of laugh out loud where whatever you are drinking comes out your nose.

So then I get fearful and phrases pop in my head like “You won’t have any friends and will be lonely” …and… “You can’t do it”… and…”What the MESS are you thinking moving to a country where you can’t speak the language?”

Then I get all “You’re right, we can’t do this”…”You’re right,we are completely unprepared…and not the right family for this job”.

I think God accidentally dialed the wrong number when He came ‘calling’…and then it was too late because He already had our attention…and it would have been awkward for Him to say ‘Sorry, wrong number but you Ludlams are really nice people’…so He just went with…and now here we are.

Then I remember…God doesn’t make mistakes and He knows what He is doing.  He knows what He wants our New Normal to look like.

When I start to get scared or worried or like “Oh crap…what are we doing?”, I just remember…

If He takes you to it, He will equip you for it!

…and then my heart settles down…

…and I can enjoy the moment once again..


Was there a time that your “normal” changed?  Is your “New Normal” better than before?

10 thoughts on “The New NoRmAl…

  1. You’re funny no matter what language someone speaks!
    Isn’t it Larry the Cable guy that says ” that’s funny, I don’t care who you are!”
    So whether you’re cracking jokes in M’boro or in the DR, you’re funny! And your love & passion for people & the humor we get from each other, will certainly be part of your ” New Normal!”

  2. absolutely wonderful wording! if the missionary thing doesn’t work out – you should be a writer! 😉 …tamara, you are the most determined, focused person i know. God DOES know what he was doing when he chose your wonderful family to serve him in the DR…and you will do it well. I love you and believe in you and your abilities and skills that many will benefit from. My best always.

  3. Praying…this will be an awesome journey for you Ludlams!!!

  4. My “new normal” has changed multiple times throughout my life but the one that had the most impact was when I went through my divorce some 12 years ago now. My normal changed overnight! No preparation, no idea what direction to go and absolutely no ability to understand why it was happening. It was scary, it was lonely and it was completly out of my control. That was when I knew I could not survive without laying in all down and letting God handle it. It took some time for me to realize that holidays would never be the same, my living situation would never be the same and my life would never be what I had expected it to be. Was it better? I think I can honestly say yes! It was difficult to go through but in the end, I have been happier in so many ways than I was when I was married. I have been lonely at times but I have enjoyed so many wonderful experiences that might not have happened otherwise. I wish it could have been different and that my girls could have been raised in a happy, two parent home, but it didn’t work out that way. I realize things don’t always go the way “I” plan but they do go the way “He” plans. He has gone before me in every change to my normal and He has always made a way. He has gone before you too my friend. He is already there preparing your “new normal” and He is going to provide so many wonderful rewards for your faithful service. I am so very proud of you, Mo, Lauren and Lexie! What an amazing opportunity He has provided! Love you girlie!

  5. Tamra you make me smile! I love reading your blog and following your adventure. It’s amazing that you listened when God spoke as I know alot of others would not.

    Rod’s MS has changed every aspect of our lives. I never dreamed that it would be a “blessing” to us. It has changed the way I look at things, we have adapted and went with the flow.

    This statement had me
    If He takes you to it, He will equip you for it!

    Amen sister! God brings us into battle because we knows we can win the war, he brings us challenges because he knows we won’t stop fighting until peace reigns, he smacks us in the face to show us who is in control…………that’s our God!

    Blessings to you and your family on your amazing journey! I plan to follow you every step of the way 🙂

    • Angie, Thank you for your kind words. I think of and pray for your family often. I cannot imagine the changes that have occurred in your household. I am sure that your “new normal” will change often. I see your strength, love for God and your husband, and your true faith that God is in control. This is very encouraging and inspiring to many!

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