Thursday, April 26, 2012
The first time I questioned God I was 8 years old.
I was in the angry phase of grief. No one told me about those 5 phases (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). Alone with no one around to comfort a deeply grief stricken little girl, I lashed out at the only person I thought to blame.
My Sunday School teacher at our local Methodist church had taught me that everything comes from God. I thought she only meant fun things like.. Santa, potlucks and the tasty grape juice and crackers we ate once a month for communion.. not death.
"Why did you take my mother away?"
"What did I do wrong?"
"What am I going to do now?"
When my tears and questions came back unanswered I moved to anger.
"I hate you."
Last year when I was traveling in Kenya we were making our morning trek down to the school. It was already sweltering hot.. like so so Africa hot. On the way we passed a woman, she was making her way up the (super steep) hill from the school, she had an infant with a blanket draped over him/her slung over her shoulder. Janet stopped her, said a few words in Swahili and pulled back the blanket.
I sucked my breath in quickly as a baby almost dead or possibly already dead was revealed, it's eyes lolled back in it's sweet, sweaty head..my heart pounded hard in my chest.. the mother looked frantic..a mixture of fear and partial awe as she stood in front of a group of white people staring at her.
I had to look away.. A group of spoiled privileged Americans fawning over the suffering African baby.. how cliche.. bile churned in my stomach.
Have you ever thought about how intimate death is?
Janet said what we all knew, "the baby is not going to make it, she is on her way to the clinic, but I think it is too late." We turned, walked on..it was like our own little funeral procession.
My throat ached from holding back the sobs that wanted badly to escape. I was first to volunteer to go stack bricks.. behind the school.. alone.
The tears came quickly, I gulped for air as the bitter taste of grief made my stomach turn.. sweat mixed with kenyan dirt stung my eyes.. I tried desperately to shake the memory.. like tap my ruby slippers 3 times, wake up and have it all be a dream.
It was not a dream, then my heart took a turn I was a little surprised by.. again anger at God.
What made me so special? What had this child ever done to deserve this? Why is the world such an awful place? Why does death sting so badly? Suffering?
Here I was in a remote village in Kenya engaging in a major wrestling match with my Maker. It was not just the baby, or even loosing a parent.. but lots of things.. it just all came spilling out that very moment. The scales had finally tipped.. my soul needed to purge.
(Don't you think it's a little bit funny how we try to push, push, push all those things deep down..act like they don't bother us at all..then when you least expect it..BAM.. at that point it does not matter if you are in the grocery store, son's baseball game or remote Africa.. it's just gonna spill out.)
A few weeks ago I received the most amazing email...
"I have been meaning to tell you- that baby with malaria last year survived it- We did meet the mom on our second trip and she was so surprised that we remembered- Janet."
Tears streamed as I typed an overjoyed response and God quietly whispered to my soul..
Dear reader, I have no witty ending for this post.. I wish I could say that was the last time I lacked faith, wish it was the last time I became angry with this life's struggles. Wish it was the last time I raised my eyebrows and wondered if He really heard my prayers.
For now, and by now, I mean today.. minute by minute.. I lean not on my own understanding, but rather on that one whisper from my Maker.
Posted by Amber Rose at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Romantic get away for two, yes please. Coastal Nest.. it's where all the cool kids go:)
10. Dirt under the finger nails, 6 yards of top soil, green shoes, the smell of freshly mowed grass, birds, frogs, softball and Easter dinner eaten under the budding apple tree.. Spring, you like us, you really do!
9. Favorite spring trend??
The welcome return of slouchy clothes. I LOVE slouchy clothes. Not just for the obvious reason of tummy cover-up either.. but for mostly for comfort. I have a hard time wearing clothing that is uncomfortable.. it makes me crazy. Truthfully, if it was socially acceptable in places other than Wal-Mart I would embrace the wear your pajama pants to the grocery store trend.. nothing is more comfy than my pj's.. but lookie here.. we have slouchy clothes..next best thing!
8. 2nd favorite spring trend??
80's clothing. The hats, floral prints, Lycra black skirts. Channeling our inner Debbie Gibson once again.
Speaking of which..I dug this little nugget up on youtube..watch it.. you know you want to..come one.
(mullets and keytars!)
6. Favorite meal planning cheater item? The rotisserie chicken. If you are ever in a hurry.. or need a quick "make Amber look like a culinary genius" meal pick up one (or dos in my case) of these little beauties. Because some days I'm not able to channel my inner Julia Child (because I have to be available for my child(s)).
5. Well, looks like Mitt is going to be the nominee.. Deep question number 543. Do you really think posting political thoughts/polls/links/snide partisan comments on facebook is really going to change a person's political stance?
Some people think this word is scary. I'm normally not really an alone person.. I like a good posse surrounding me.. but as I get a bit older (40 is the new 30..right?) alone has taken on a very new meaning to me, and let me tell you, it's not one bit scary. In fact I kinda think it makes me a better person.
3. A really funny thing happened to me recently, I surprised myself.
Lila over at Bella Gets Real started training for a 12k. I know lots of people who run, I know lots of people who train hard.. honestly I've always thought that running should be reserved for times of emergency only.. like the Zombie apocalypse or when Starbucks is going to close in 3 minutes and you need that Americano to get through a late night batch of photo edits.. you know.. emergencies.
But for whatever reason this time when I read about running..I wanted to run.. so I did.
(late at night..when no one could make fun of me) (because I just might be an awkward runner)(and I seem to have acquired some extra jiggly bits, since I last jogged)
here is the funny part.
I actually like it.
Believe me, I'm just as shocked as you are right now.
2. Feeding the muse.
I'm in desperate need of feeding mine.. she is feeling a little starved for attention. Isn't it funny how we are bombarded with about a bazillion images every single day but yet still need inspiration. Actually I think the over stimulation of images for us creatives is the problem. It's a bit of a funny thought that walking away from visual stimulation would cause inspiration.. no?
1. Spring Fever.
I like spring, but I really love summer. I look at spring like I look at an appetizer.. like.."yay that's nice, but I am ready for the real food now." Spring, I'm oh so glad you joined us before July this year, you're cute and all but I'm ready for some real heat, with a whole lot of nothing to do and about 2 months to do it.
Summer + Road Trips = Amber's happy place.