Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tropical Fruit, Skinny Dipping and a Song About Beans
It is very quiet in my little Birmingham home tonight. Vivian is tucked in. The dishwasher is running. I don't have anyone to talk to. This is usually the part of the day where Scott and I swap stories. And since he is asleep somewhere on a foam mattress in an African village, I thought I'd share my day with you all.
This has been a bittersweet week for several reasons. Obviously, Scott left for Uganda. He left for Uganda alone when we usually travel together as a family. This is also Vivian's last week of Wee School. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings since August she has been attending a wonderful preschool program at a local church while I go into work at the Pearl office. Since she's no longer in school I won't be going into the office any longer. Part of me is secretly glad for a change in pace and reprieve. Part of me thinks I might go a little crazy at home all day every single day. And part of me wonders how in the world I am going to get any ministry work done. I also have a feeling a certain little someone is going to be a bit sad not to go to class anymore.
On my way to pick her up after lunch, I swung into Winn Dixie to grab some milk and bananas. I forgot the bananas because I got distracted with the pineapples. I never buy pineapples because they are prickly, pricey and never as yummy as they are in Africa. But today I guess I was feeling very sentimental or something. I am terribly homesick for Uganda! I wanted a pineapple...bad. Especially when I saw they were only $1.99! Now we have a prickly piece of tropical love in our house. Let's just hope it tastes decent.
In the afternoon Vivian decided to carry on our "Ugandan shout out" day by stripping down to her birthday suit in the backyard so she could "bathe." What was she bathing in? A tub? A pool? Nope. A Styrofoam cooler. I keep it in the yard so she can pretend it is a fishing pond or fill it with bubbles. But today it was a tub and she stood happily in it for a quarter of an hour. (There really wasn't enough space for her to sit.) The image of a nude toddler standing ankle deep in a little pail in the grass reminded me more of Uganda than I can say. I have photos...but they're not exactly G rated.
And we closed our day with Veggie Tales...a new one. Thankfully Netflix made a few more available to watch instantly, because I was getting pretty tired of our copies of Pistachio and God Made You Special! Vivian's choice: Lord of the Beans, the vegetable's interpretation of Lord of the Rings. It was utterly ridiculous...infinitely more annoying than most Veggie Tales. So how did I end up responding at the end of it? I was in tears. Yep. I cried. Not because it was bad, but because despite the awful sporks, raspberry blowing trees and irritating silly song, the message was amazing.
Toto Baggypants was given the gift of a special bean and goes on a quest to learn what his gift is for. Others have used the gift of the bean for their own prosperity and gain, creating stuff and making themselves look better. But Toto believes there is more than that. In the end we learn that the point of the gift isn't to help ourselves, but to help others. No amount of ridiculousness could drown out the beauty of that clear, godly message. God gifts us so that we might gift others.
And so friends, thank you for letting me share my day with you. No, I don't plan on making a habit of this...for which I'm sure you're relieved! But tonight it has brought me ease to let the mundane details out. To close, I'll leave you with the final song of Lord of the Beans.
To have a gift is a wonderful thing
Your spirits will lift and your heart will sing
Though some might use it to live like a king
I finally know what its for!
At last your gift makes you feel like a king
When you see all the good and the help it can bring
And joy will bloom like the flowers in spring
When you finally know what its for!