Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ugandan Mentality / American Home

This day last year I was stepping off of an airplane.

I had 1 child rapidly growing inside of me, 2 children walking beside me, one waiting to see his mama for the first time in weeks and another with her daddy, in Uganda, for an indefinite amount of time.

~I know I post this picture often, but it depicts EVERYTHING I felt at that moment~
As I walked through the airport with all the holiday decorations I felt so torn.
I knew God had our story in the palm of His hand, but the unknown made life feel so stale.

So cold.
So unfair!

I hated the hustle and bustle of the holidays buzzing all around me.
The blaring media screaming for all that one needed.

What is a "need" anyway?
The people in Uganda primarily live meal to meal with just the clothing on their backs.

It was nauseating...literally.
I remember crying with my Pastor's wife (you may remember that they had been there for a couple of weeks as well) as we tried to process these two realities.

The demand for cheer and thanksgiving were almost unbearable.

I wanted nothing to do with it.

"What do you want for Christmas?"
The question kept banging on my door.
What did I want?

The hope of knowing that my daughter would be able to come home.
A VISA for my daughter!
Assurance that it would all work out.
That's it.

Life was FAR from urgent and there was no "fast-paced" anything in this house.

I hated going anywhere.

Besides all the uncertainty of our circumstances and the hormones raging inside my pregnant body, there was something that had switched in the mentality of our entire family.

Perspective.    Urgency.    Priorities.

These things were all so fresh to me.  The ONLY things that felt real.

The Christmas parties, the gift exchanges, the festivities, the perfect holiday cards...all the things that cause so much stress to the average American, held no value to me in the least.


Two months later our daughter was granted her VISA and DID make it home.

But that perspective continued to linger.
We wanted it to!
We craved the simplicity of life in Uganda.
We longed for the freedom of perspective.
We never wanted to forget the eternal priorities that were so fresh.

There is something to say for the joy and peace that the Ugandan's have that Americans simply cannot grasp because of the distractions that cloud our perspectives.

Their lives are built on relationships.
Gifts are a blessing.
Education is a privilege.
Belongings are few.
They don't have to keep a calendar of events for everyone's extracurricular activities, and certainly don't feel pressured to have all of their children in music lessons or sports.
They didn't seem to fret over the little details of life.
Hard working, for sure!

Josh and I often discuss our lives and compare it to our time in Uganda.  We know life is just different in America.  It is what it is.  But that doesn't mean that we have to succumb to the pressure to get more, make more, do more...

We continue to fight the battle within our hearts to keep that mentality that so-often collides with life here in America.  But we're gonna keep fighting.  Because that is a priority.  It helps keep perspective and makes the urgent, not-so-urgent...
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