What I am learning from living in a 1940’s home…

download-13.jpgWe recently moved from our 2nd floor apartment to a 1940’s bungalow. I imagine it was built in the post-war era when the world was putting itself back together and trying to find normal again. Sometimes I sit on the porch sipping sweet tea and try to imagine what it was like back then. I plan to start doing more of this now that the temperatures have dipped and hopefully the mosquitos are gone. (We’ve had a bit of a stand-off as to whose porch it actually is.)

Living in this house has its charms and challenges.

I am also currently having a bit of a stand-off with a mouse, which makes me a bit nauseous. He/she ate an entire roll the other night. Don’t come between me and my carbs man. Now the trap is set, but it seems to be playing Houdini. This aspect is not so charming…

Then there’s the original wood floors, natural light, and arched doorways that make me swoon. Oh and the way the trees hold hands over the road. The girls and I love our daily walks under their big canopies.

I’ve noticed some things about the new neighborhood that make me ponder the olden days. One is that our main living space is on the front of the house. I feel like more recent homes put the living spaces in the back. Another thing is that the front yards are bigger than the back. I feel like this represents how things have changed when it comes to community and neighborhoods. Back then community and neighborhood were interchangeable. Your neighbors were your people and your people were your neighbors. Your social life would largely take place out in front of your home. Community didn’t have to compete with cell phones. People sat on porches and talked to their neighbors. Kids chased fireflies and I imagine the lines between yards blurred at times.

So living in this house reminds me that life is meant to be lived with people. Blinds are made to be opened. Porches are for sitting. Homes are meant to be shared. And even though it looks different in this decade (what do you call this? The 10’s?) I think we can still open our hearts and our homes and share our lives with the people around us.

Well one of my people is awake from her nap, so I’ll sign off here.

So find your people and enjoy them today!

Love,

Anna

 

 

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Trust and Buck the Rastafarian

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For those of you who don’t know in 2008, I joined a house of prayer in Washington DC.  We lived on the southeast side of town.

If you don’t know the DC metro area, the people that do are all picking up their chins off the floor right now.  I took Chuck by there last week just to show him our old stomping grounds.

One time we got pulled over by the cops (3 cops and the air-raid siren) and this is how the conversation went…

Policeman 1 (there were 3) : Do you know why you got pulled over?

Policeman 3: (putting some type of paraphernalia sensing device on our trunk)

House of Prayer teammate: Because we are white.

Luckilly, the policemen thought his joke was funny, and they let us go telling us that the only people who hung out in our neighborhood at that time of night were either buying drugs or praying.  Thankfully, they believed we were the latter.

Stories you should never tell your mom. 🙂

Before you draw the wrong conclusion, let me tell you that I love every ethnicity and am thankful that we are not all the same boring coat of paint.  I always knew deep down that i’d marry someone from another nation, I just didn’t think it’d be a white Canadian, who once brought a fleece blanket to a lake day.  Don’t be surprised if one day you get a Christmas card from us and it looks like we bought a round-the-world ticket and came back with a live souvenir from every nation.

I love diversity, but my point is, we were the minority in our neighborhood.  Hood being the key word there.

So one day, my cars blinker started acting crazy.  And for some reason, I remembered that our Rastafarian neighbor named Buck had told me that he fixed cars.  Sometime after I had dramatically fallen on my bunk-bed mumbling my need for a husband to my roommate, I sought Buck out for some car help.  *Note: at this point we were praying from 1-5am, and may I suggest that morning vitamin D is perhaps important to mental health.

I found Buck, which is really no big feat at all.  Buck could generally be found draped over a boat in his driveway, that never left the driveway.  He was always pretty relaxed if you will, and generally there was some Reggae.

Buck told me that he only did body repair work but that his nephew could fix my blinker.  I politely declined that offer.  Back to my bunk I went.  Not long after a teammate came up a little concerned, “umm, there’s a guy at the door for you.”  Great, Buck’s nephew makes house calls.

I found Bucks nephew to be strangely many years older than Buck, but didn’t ask any questions.

He told me where to buy the part, and that he would fix it for half of what the dealership wanted to charge.  I guess I’ll state the obvious here, I do love a good deal.

So, he fixed the blinker.  My friend Colleen and I drove to the ATM to get cash to pay him.  The blinker worked great, only one problem… Every time I turned right, the horn honked!

Colleen who happens to be a blonde Canadian and I got a lot of looks as we accidentally honked at many pedestrians in our neighborhood.

I told my new mechanic to which he responded, “those Pontiacs, once they get past a certain number of miles…”

Now, I am no push-over, and am up for confrontation now and then, but I choose to just nod and pretend it was the Pontiac and not the mechanic.

Thanks Buck’s nephew.  You saved me $300.  Too bad the horn just went out after you worked on it.

I called my dad, and he told me everything was going to be okay.  He said your car is not going to blow up.  He encouraged me to go to Starbucks and get a Frappuccino, and try to relax.  Now that’s wisdom right there folks.

He was right.  It was okay.  I was okay, and I was going to be okay.

I’ve learned through the years to use a little more judgement in choosing a mechanic.  Or maybe there just aren’t any Rastafarians in my current hood?

I am also learning that it is okay.  I am okay.  It is going to be okay.

While a trustworthy mechanic may be hard to find, we don’t have to look far to find One who we can truly trust.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

life lessons from Phoebe…

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I woke up this morning to the news that little Phoebe Fair has left this earth we call home.  With tears swelling in my eyes, we headed off to church.  On the way, I just kept thinking about how Phoebe was giggling the other day about the girl in the living room roaring like a lion.  My sister and I were texting back and forth a little as the service began, and she mentioned how she just read this verse in Hosea:

“They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west.” -Hosea 11:10

I got halfway through the verse on my iphone and had to pass Chuck the phone, because I couldn’t finish the verse.  Pastors came and greeted us asking how we were.  I replied, “good” with tear stained cheeks.  They probably wondered if there was a pre-service marriage discussion. 🙂 It seemed still to intimate to share the news and how my heart ached for Nathan, Amey, and the boys.

Worship begins and it’s John Mark McMillians song called “Death in Grave”.  I look across the crowd to see a young man passionately worshipping with a lion printed t-shirt.  With tears streaming down my face and my hands lifted high, I thanked Jesus that He truly put death in the grave.  Phoebe heard that lion roar and she knew her Father’s voice.  She knew in her strong spirit that a better home awaited her.  When the lion roared in Hosea, the children went home.

Then my mind moved onto Phoebe’s conversation with her mom awhile back,

Phoebe: “God loves us. God loves us and God is not a meanie.”
Amey: “That’s right Phoebe, God loves us very much.”
Phoebe: “And I am not afraid, say it Mom, say “I am not afraid.”
Amey, teary-eyed: “I am not afraid.”

I am amazed that in the midst of a battle bigger than most of us have ever known, she didn’t waver about the goodness of God. And now she rests, or perhaps dances in the arms of that good God she knows so well.

Please keep her family in your prayers during this fragile time.

For Phoebe’s full story visit her blog…

http://atypicalmiracle.com