Sunday, February 3, 2013

Taking a Bath

We are so blessed to have been able to buy the house that we are in now. We bought at just the right time when the market was low. It was cheaply built but has tons of space for kids to run around. And we are working on home improvement projects here and there.

One of the things I love most about this house is my bathtub. It is a big soaking tub. And it just so happens that where we put our TV in our master bedroom, lines up perfectly so that I can see it while relaxing. So every night I run a bath. Josh puts on a show that he has recorded. And I unwind. I truly believe that having an en suite master bath is critical for surviving parenthood!

Every night I turn the water on full blast. It takes about 8 minutes to fill that big tub full of water. Full of hot water. EVERY day. The water is crystal clear and safe enough to drink. EVERY day. 

My kids tell me that they enjoyed fetching water. The liked it because they were lucky enough to have a borehole only a 100 yards away. They would go to the borehole and jump up and down holding on to the pump lever. They didn't really have toys but they still found ways to play and have fun.  I remember the girls telling me how many liters of water they were capable of carrying. They informed me that Ryan had not been required to carry water because he was too little. When we met them, he was 4 years old and wearing 18m and 2T clothes. If I remember correctly, Sarah could carry 3 liters (just under 1 gallon). At the time, she was 6 years old and wearing size 4/5.

Every night in Uganda we used to give the kids a bath. We would wash the red Uganda clay dirt off of them and get everyone into pajamas. They had never really had baths in the past, just scrub downs in a basin. Oh how they loved a bath! They always wanted a "hot bath". I would get the water running, tell them to get in, and then I would often go to grab something or do whatever only to hear shrieks of "guyochye! guyochye!" meaning "hot! hot!" At which point I would start yelling "get out! get out!" as I rushed over and yet they didn't understand what I was saying so they would continue to stand until I would wave them out to safety until I could cool things off. Their definition of a hot bath and my definition were two totally different things.

Just a few days ago Sylvia was saying that at times they got to take a "hot" bath while in Uganda. I asked her how they got hot water. She looked at me like I was ridiculous and silly at the same time as she said "we cooked IT!" Duh me!

3.4 Million people die per year due to a lack of clean safe drinking water. And here I sit in 50+ gallons of clean water EVERY day. I can't feign a lack of knowledge. I can't pretend that I don't know these facts. And this is just one example. In Uganda we made 6 hospital trips. Any fever brings the fear of malaria. Going to a "regular" hospital in Uganda cost $7 with medication (the private hospital was about $30 with mediation). This sounds so cheap but remember that most Ugandans live on a dollar or two a day. On one of these hospital trips, my driver shared with me that he had lost a daughter to malaria. She came home from school and had a low fever. They didn't go to the hospital. By morning she was too far gone.

I have struggled with how to live this life of privilege. How does God want us to deal with all of this? Last year we got home from Uganda 5 days before Thanksgiving. I went out in the wee hours of the morning of Black Friday to get bargains on hats and mittens for the kids. Just 6 days after bumping along the rough dirt roads of Uganda on our way out of the country, I found myself crying all the way from Walmart to Target. I was so very lost.

I know that God wants us to be happy. I know that He wants us to enjoy life. I don't think there is anything wrong with enjoying a hot bath even though people are dying every minute due to a lack of water or a dinner out at a restaurant even though $30 can feed and educate a child for a month. A couple years ago I received a big award at work which included a very lavish trip to Boston. They provided us with $125 for each dinner. I had always wanted to try a Boston lobster. That first night we went to a place that was way beyond our normal world. I had my lobster and Josh enjoyed a very nice steak. It was great. It was $150. Was that a bad thing to do? No. But we did decide that we were not comfortable doing that again. That became a part of our line. Do I think badly of you if you like going out for $150 dinners? No. Do I think that we all have obligations to help others? YES! Do I think that we are responsible to God for our actions? Yes. I sure hope I can find my way and keep my feet on His path and live a life that is pleasing to Him.

My compass is summarized by saying this:
If my heart breaks for nothing, my life has no breadth.
If my feet don't follow, my life has no depth.

1 comment:

  1. I so agree. We are reading a book in Sunday school and one thing that resonated with me in the portion we read last week is that there are 3 things that we truly need to survive(apart from basics); hope, love and purpose. Interestingly enough, wealth(on any level) and success are not among those things. Strangly enough, I have had to come to terms with the fact that we will not live the same way that my parents raised me, though I thought they were conservative with what we were surrounded by. Where my lack of luxery begins and ends does nothing to compare to what your kids and MANY others around the world and even in my town lack (have lacked) in basic needs every day. I pray that I can raise my three children(or more someday) to know their purpose, to have hope in a God that loves them more than I could dream of loving them and to love and be loved.


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