Wednesday, July 21, 2010

miranda lambert and the israelites

her new single has slipped all the way down to #6 on the country music charts. i guess she held steady at #1 for a few weeks there. and i can see why. it's a catchy, sweet song. and it pulls on those old heartstrings. what more could you ask for? i hear it in the car and start humming it while doing the dishes or washing judah's hair. but i resisted it for awhile. you know why? because it doesn't apply to me. oh, it's as american as songs can get, but it's not for me. we (americans, that is) like nostalgia. we like the heartland. we like going home (although it's been rumored that's not possible).

and july? well, that's like america's Christmas, you know? we break out flags, eat fried chicken and apple pie, and start talking baseball. and it's funny to me. because if those things were really that important, that integral, they wouldn't only happen in july. we'd hoist old glory every day of the year, if we truly loved her. we'd make time to eat dinners around a dining room (kitchen?) table, if it were truly important. right?

but like i said, that doesn't apply to me. and i'll tell you why. first of all it doesn't apply because my "home" is not a house. oh sure, i remember once going back to our childhood home and listening to the cupboards creak open and enjoying that sound. i enjoyed checking out our old tree house and reminiscing about all the sleepovers we had up there. that was a good time. but it didn't define me. and i certainly didn't need to go back and "touch" that place in order to "find myself." because that house (mobile home) isn't who i am. my family is who i am. and my Jesus.

so then my mind goes to abraham. who was he? what do i know of abraham? he was extremely wealthy. he was old. he had a barren wife. whom he passed off as his sister TWICE out of fear. and he was the first israelite. well, kinda. because they weren't called that then. mainly because israel was abraham's grandson. he was chosen. the Lord God chose this man abraham (abram) out of the whole earth's population and claimed him for Himself. God basically said, "you are Mine." and from this one man, the Lord started a nation. a nation that hadn't existed before. a people set apart as God's own people. although He created everybody, israel was special. israel is His.

God told abraham to leave his home. again, i think it's funny. we often use the same phrase as miranda does in her song, "you don't know me from adam." abraham didn't know this God who called him and ordered him to leave his home, from adam. but he believed, he trusted and he followed. hebrews tells us that "by faith abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. by faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country . . ." (hebrews 11: 8,9).

i think what i'm getting at is that we should not be nailed down, so to speak, and defined by a place or a building. our home is not who we are. our country, our land, or the empires we've built in this world. these things should not define us. our home is wherever the Lord has us. our home is the body of Christ. our home will one day be, and is already, in Heaven.

i'm not going to stop listening to this song. it's not harming me, it's just not applying to me either. because i'm not taking steps backward to figure out my life. i'm pressing on. i'm reaching up. i'm waiting on the Lord. in Him i will find my peace and my worth. and in His body (the "you and i") of the present time.

Monday, July 12, 2010


this morning i got up, pulled on some exercise clothes, went walking/jogging with my mama, did yard work, hung many loads of laundry, watched judah in the wading pool, pulled an old desk out of the shed, blasted it off with compressed air, sanded it, painted it and cleaned the kitchen once or twice. by about 5, i was dirty and tired. the weather today was up in the 90s and you could feel it.

do you know what i did?

i came into my air-conditioned house and i showered.

i simply turned on the faucet and showered.

and while i was in there i started thinking about my friends. friends in haiti. friends who have been "displaced."
i think "displaced" is kind of a funny word. they're not misplaced. we can find them. but they're surely not where they're supposed to be. they're not supposed to be in tents. on medians. outside.

in march when i visited haiti, two friends of mine, mireille and her mother (known as "mama" joassaint) described the living situation in port au prince like this:
"we're in the streets, you-you. we're all living out in the streets. where you throw your trash. we're not trash, you-you. we don't belong in the streets."

this evening, while showering, i thought about them. i thought about the fact that at the end of their days they are most likely much dirtier and much more tired than i ever am. and they don't have the option of going inside and turning on a faucet.

they never have.

when i stay in mama's courtyard, this is where i shower:

i take a small plastic tub of some kind, fill it with water from a basin and pour it over my head, all the while trying to avoid the three-inch long cockroaches climbing the walls, slipping into that gaping hole, and being seen over the metal "door" that comes up to about my shoulders.

and that's a typical haitian shower.

but even mama and mireille are lucky there. because they're merely sleeping under a tarp in their own courtyard. they're not in a tent city. and that cinder block stall you see pictured as where they've always showered.
others have it much worse.
because where do you shower here:

there is so much on my mind. the "re-building" of haiti. the friends still in tents. the fact that it's been six whole months. the people who are in the states longing to get back home. the people in haiti who want to be anywhere but. the people in haiti who are working day and night to minister to one another.

the bombings in uganda.

my friend who is going there on friday.

all i am saying is that we are beyond blessed. and i don't ever want to take it for granted. i don't want to get comfortable with the ability to shower. with the abundance of clean water. with electricity and food. because it's not a right. it's a blessing. and a great majority of this globe lives on less.

for a good article about haiti, check here.

please read this as it was meant. read it as encouragement to be grateful for what you have. not guilty. read it as a reminder that we are fortunate. read it and think about giving to others. time, talent and/or treasure. and maybe read it and then think about re-reading this.

(all photos via the miami herald except for the cinderblock shower, which i took.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

this is an award i will not be winning for blogging. i apologize. i "facebook" too much and neglect this corner of the world. so here are some updated pictures of judah to assure you that all is well in her world (and therefore, mine) by the grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ!!