Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I See You

I sneezed...and then I sneezed again...and again. Three sneezes.

The man across the isle from me offers a “bless you” and smiles when I turn to give him a thankful nod. “I see you”, he’s saying with his gesture. “I hear you”. He sips his gin and tonic at 10 in the morning and for a 5 hour flight on Southwest I don’t blame him. I love Southwest but they’re not afraid to pack in the people and for long flights it gets a little... well, long.

Earlier I watched the flight attendant's face as he brought our drinks around on his plastic tray, balancing it all like a circus act as the plane shuffled in the wind. He is a smiler, but not an over-smiler. He offered the cokes and coffees and “adult beverages” with kindness, looking briefly into the passengers eyes but never lingering there. He’s probably found that to be the best way to interact with this plane of people all tightly squeezed together like family in a van on vacation to Florida, but not at all like family in a van on vacation to Florida because Lord knows we are not talking or playing games or even fighting with each other. Most of us are happy to remain quiet and anonymous.

Sneeze! Again. “Bless you!”. Mr. gin and tonic smiles once more.

Do you ever find yourself so far removed from the present that you forget where you are, who you are, when you are, if you even...are? Maybe it is just me but in those moments there is something about hearing my name said out loud, or the “bless you” from a stranger that jolts me back to reality with a gentle reminder that I do in fact, exist.

“I see you.”, “I hear you.”

Pregnancy sort of rules out anonymity. It’s like I have a red flashing light on my belly that says, “Look here! Check me out! Is this crazy or what?!”. People ask me questions and make comments as if it’s totally normal to bring attention to someone's current state of being. You never hear strangers say “Oh you’re short aren’t you!” or “Wow that’s a lot of makeup you have on today!”. Normally we don’t point out all the things we see about each other. But with pregnancy, people see you and they let you know. I’ve found it to be sort of comforting. A constant reminder that I am here, in this moment, with all these other souls who are also here, in this moment. And I want to remember this season with all it’s changing winds. I want to feel the shuffling plane as it moves through the air pockets, I want to smell the perfume of the woman near me. I want to feel my husbands knee resting against my leg as he dozes off.

I’m thankful that God gave pregnant women heightened senses. Maybe He didn’t want us to forget these months of such intense miracles happening right before us, inside us. Even this stuffy plane full of strangers is part of my story. I don’t want a gin and tonic to take the edge off. I want to feel this. I want to remember these days. And I embrace the red flashing light on my belly that seems to welcome the stares of everyone around me. Go ahead, see me. I see you too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sex Trafficking

After I wrote this blog I read this article where you can listen to an interview with a former child prostitute and it's a very interesting look into the psychological trauma these girls are put through. It was also brought to my attention that for the rest of February you can download the book Not For Sale for free at this website.Thanks Joanna!

Last night my husband and I attended a meeting led by a women at our church who heads up the Tennessee chapter of this organization called Not For Sale. It is estimated that there are 27 Million slaves in the world today, many of them women and children forced into the sex trade.

"Operating in various countries, Not For Sale Campaign educates and mobilizes an abolitionist movement through open-source activism. Nationally, the Campaign identifies trafficking rings, collaborates with law enforcement and community groups to shut them down and provides aid for victims. Internationally, the campaign partners with poorly resourced abolitionist groups to enhance their capacity."

I've mentioned the International Justice Mission before and there are several others working towards this same goal to free our brothers and sisters who are undergoing such suffering around the world.

I'm still digesting some of the stories we heard last night, including stories of the hundreds of thousands of sex slaves that are brought into the USA every year, into OUR cities, OUR neighborhoods, working out of houses on OUR streets. It is happening all around us, we don't have to go to India to see proof of this horror.

I could throw a bunch of statistics out there (that would shock you)
I could tell some true stories of children taken from their homes and brought to affluent US families to work as their slaves (this actually happens)
I could share verses in the bible that remind us how much this breaks the heart of God. (there are many)

I may do more of all that in the future. Today, I just want to bring this up, start a conversation, raise awareness, and remind myself and you reading to keep our hearts open. The truth is there are many amazing stories of rescue and redemption. There is hope and there are many ways we can be involved.

What ALL of us can do right now is become aware and pray.

Not For Sale works in many states around the country and you may be able to get involved in your own community. Check out their website and please pray. Please pray.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Traveling Friend

Below is a video of one of my best friends, Calais. We were inseparable all through school and have been through a lot together. I've written several songs and poems with her in mind and have always been inspired by her. Calais is an amazing artist and an avid traveler. She is applying for the STA World Traveler Internship and made this video as part of the application. She is the PERFECT person for this job and I know we would all have a blast following her and learning from her journey's, as many people already have from her past travels. If you have a minute, please watch the video below, show your friends, comment on the video, etc., it'll all help her out!
I love you Cal!

Monday, February 9, 2009

my thoughts to you

I haven't been blogging much cause all I can think to blog about are baby things. And I don't want to overwhelm you reading with baby things. But alas.... baby things.

Yesterday at church I realized that I've been talking to this child in my mind, as if since it is inside my body it can hear my thoughts. Would you call me crazy if I told you I actually thought the baby was affected by my thoughts? I won't go so far to say I think the baby can hear my thoughts, but I believe something must be happening in the spirit so this life can already sense joy and sadness, fear and anxiety. And I find myself very conscious of this during worship.

As the people around me stood, I sat and listened to the voices. They were singing:
Holy Holy Holy
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning, our song shall rise to thee!

and I was thinking:
These are Gods Children singing together, baby! Do you hear the voices? These are His sons and daughters, like you. Do you hear it? Isn't it the most beautiful sound?

When I take communion:
This is Jesus, baby. This is his grace that I'm giving you right now. I know it's nothing you haven't already tasted, bread and juice, but this is different. One day I'll try to explain but the truth is, I don't really understand myself. Your mom has made mistakes, baby. And I will with you, I know. I'm sorry. Already, I'm sorry I can't be perfect for you. But this is my manna. I will show you what I mean. Lord help me show this child... this is grace, baby. this is grace you're tasting.

and when I feel him or her moving, when I see the rumbles underneath my skin... I have no thoughts. It is often the only time I have no inner monologue. No song lyrics rushing by like a river, no worries standing up like boulders, no ponderings floating along like leaves. I have no thoughts, I only feel.

I want you to keep moving, because when you move my world stops.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've resisted.

and failed.

It's true, I joined twitter. I was a skeptic for a good while but decided to give it a shot. So if you know or care what twitter is, my username is allirogers.

maybe once I really get the hang of it I'll write a blog trying to convince you how great it is, but I'm still sorting out what I think. :) I have some friends like Justin and Keely who really love it so I'm taking their word for it!