I took this picture of my kids playing the other day. Isn’t it sweet. I love to see them enjoying each other.
I was looking at this picture and I thought, “Wow. It’s really grungy.” The steps are scuffed and dirty. The chairs are dusty. Some of them are broken. The paint on the rails is chipped. The linoleum is cracked and dingy. This is directly outside my door. This is where we live. This is where my children play. It’s grungy.
But, that’s not all. I also thought, “Abram and Ellie sitting there are like two little spots of light in the midst of all that grunge.”
And that, my friends, is life in Taiwan. Grungy with spots of light. Taiwan is dirty. And hot. It’s like there’s a sweaty, grimy film coating everything. Except for when it’s cold, then it’s a shivery, grimy film.
But the people….the people are so beautifully kind that every gritty day is sprinkled with these spots of light. My bread seller who asks me if I’m feeling okay because she thinks I look a little rundown. The fruit vendor who hands my kids something almost every time we pass, even when we don’t buy anything. My neighbors who share all kinds of food with us. And, of course, my own two little spots-of-light-in-tow.
Last night when Jason started working on the redesign for this blog, I saw the concrete background and had to have it. I had that picture of the kids on the stairs in mind. I had our life in Taiwan in mind. I had life in general in mind. Grungy with spots of light.
But I had something else in mind too. Redeeming the ugly. Because you can’t go about dwelling on how grungy it all is. Because we’re all ugly, which is why we needed a Savior. And He came to take the ugly and make it new and beautiful.
I make a lot of mistakes. Mothering mistakes, wife mistakes, culture-learning mistakes, housekeeping mistakes, life mistakes, you name it. And I’m not always afraid to blog about them. Life is not charmed and I don’t want to pretend it is. But I want to do more. I want to redeem the ugly. Because if we don’t learn from our mistakes and grow from them, if we don’t redeem the ugly, then they are a complete waste of time and all we’re left with is the mess we started with.
So I hope you like the new look. Jason has, and is, working very hard on it….so at the very least give him some props because I think he did an incredible job. Plus, if you know me you know that I have never really been that cutesy, frilly girl, so concrete might not come as that much of a surprise.