Growing up, Shawn Thornton's life was anything but normal - but then, so was his mother.
After waking from a coma following a car crash, Beverly Thornton's once sweet and gentle disposition had been replaced by violent mood swings, profanity-laced tirades, and uncontrollable fits of rage.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. And God help the family cat!
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 helped the Thornton family come to grips with Bev's mysterious condition and bring Shawn to a startling realization that changed the course of his life forever.
A heartwarming coming-of-age story, All but Normal is a powerful reminder that sometimes the "broken" people in our lives are the ones who need fixing the least.
©2016 Shawn Thornton (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I wish it would have depicted in the description that this was kind of a religious book. I wouldnt have bought,if I knew that it was going to be so religious.
This book will change your life. It did mine. it also made me laugh. I can relate to this story in a lot of ways.
This is an amazing story of Pastor Shawn Thornton's life growing up in an unusual family setting. In my opinion, this is a wonderful example of unconditional love, patience and forgiveness throughout very trying times. Also, an example of how God has a plan for each and everyone of us regardless of the circumstances of our childhood. Shawn does a great job of narrating his story. Listen and you will be encouraged and gain understanding for those around you with disabilities.
I just finished listening to this book. I love the fact that he did his own recording for his own life story. I appreciate the raw honesty and believe our world would be a better place if more people felt the freedom to share more openly. No life is perfect, but inviting Christ into it gives us reason to hope. Mental illness touches so many families, and I appreciate the way Shawn described it and the change he was willing to make in his way of approaching his mom. Stay with the story. It's very insightful in the end. I recommend this book to those who know someone (perhaps themselves) who is touched with mental illness. I recommend it for those who have questions about mental illness. But most of all, I recommend it to those who believe and teach if you tried harder to live like Jesus wants us to, you could be okay again. Of course that should be our goal; to ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, to study and meditate on the Bible, to talk to Him often, and to recognize the Holy Spirit's presence. But as important as that is, it doesn't erase mental illness any more than it does cancer. It would be wonderful in our opinion if it did, but God knows what He's doing. He uses the messy things in our lives to reach out to others. This book does an excellent job of showing just that.
This is the best inspirational listen I've had in years. Though the stories of our lives are different, I was taken back to the pains and joys of my own life over and over and the ways Jesus has been there through it all, building me to be an instrument of his love.
Warning! Don't start reading/listening to this book if you have to work in the morning. I couldn't stop.
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