Five Year Olds Speak Boldly about Race

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“I know why her name is Nicky Brown, mom,” I stated confidently.

“Oh yeah?” she inquired.

“Yeah, because her skin is brown.”

I thought for sure I was on to something. Of course, I wasn’t. I didn’t understand the complexity of race in American culture or the history that hadn’t yet been covered in my kindergarten classroom. The beauty of five year young innocence is things are really that simple.

This morning, my kids were dancing to Nepali music videos in the living room. Their daddy and I laughed and commented on how they dance just like the heroes in the Youtube clips.

Keeping up the cultural theme, speaking Nepali, Daddy asked our kurtha surwal clad daughter who is running her fifth year if she was Nepali.

She quickly replied, “Yes,” then, “No. Because my face isn’t black!” Raising her arms, she added, “And neither are my hands!” (which were the only parts of her showing in this ethnic outfit).

Simple.

I didn’t care about the color of my little kindergartner friend’s skin. We liked to sit together, color, and giggle. A lot.

My daughter isn’t oblivious to the fact that she is a fluorescent fish in a school of brown swimmers. She knows she’s different and that her classmates think she’s a little goofy. After all, she’s the only one who eats a peanut butter sandwich instead of dal bhat every day.

But she loves her classmates. She comes home babbling about her new best friend every day and the drama of Saisha not loving her anymore, but if she apologizes she can come spend the night.

Simple. And beautiful.

I hope her thoughts on race remain this way. That she will continue seeing different colors, appreciating different cultures, and loving the people represented by each.

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Linking up with:

This post is part of Five Minute Friday where many writers join together each week to write for freely Five Minutes on the same prompt and encourage each other along the way. This week, our prompt is FIVE. Join the fun!

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Key:

*running her fifth year- closer to 5 years old than 4; how Nepalis describe age
*kurtha surwal- traditional dress consisting of shirt dress and what we Americans call hammer pants
*heroes- movie/music video stars
*dal bhat- lentils and rice, generally eaten twice a day by Nepali families
*Saisha- my daughters BFF who actually does love her

Five Minute Friday: The Wound that Never Heals

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I fractured my tail-bone four years ago during the hours of labor that led to the arrival of one of my greatest joys, a spunky girl who’s always singing but who was, at that time, just a sunny-side up miracle.

As my daughter grew, the pain in my back-side lessened, and I imagined that things back there were healing properly. However, strapped to a stretcher a little over a year later, the pain was back and more intense than ever. I had hurt that tender spot again.

One still-birth and one live-birth later, I’m in a mess of pain most days. We bump along the poorly-made and poorly-cared for streets of Kathmandu, and I wince and bite back the complaints on the tip of my tongue.

I often think, this wound will never heal, as it is constantly chipped at again and again.

As we bumped along on the way back to a hotel today to say good-bye to grandparents headed back to America after a sweet but short visit, my focus was more on the pain in my heart than on the bone that bounced upon the back-seat.

The wound there was big and gaping when we left for Nepal last March. Over-time, it began to heal and was bandaged by Face-time chats and care packages. But with each visit and each goodbye, cracks I thought were long-ago sealed re-emerge.

The TLC delivered is so needed and is medicine for motivation. My heart is certainly more helped than hurt, yet I am left with the somber presence of this thought, “I guess this wound will never heal.”

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And certainly it won’t for the Grandma and Grandpa with 6 grandbabies on 3 continents. I covet your prayers for these heroes of mine and the heavy hearts they are lugging back to America today.

Five Minute Friday: My Tiny Team


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We had a team. We had all our support raised, ready to join our friends in India who were working endlessly at getting a fledgling little church off the ground and headed towards independence.

They had gone before us and blazed the trail, learned the ropes, made all the mistakes they could keep us from making ourselves. I remember always joking that they were our test dummies, and I was glad we didn’t have to pioneer the field of New Delhi on our own.

There were some behind us, following the path of fundraising and raising awareness about the need of our field. They would join our team of two families and we would link arms with one heart to reach the country of India. God would work in our midst, and, together, we could see Him doing something there. We had all dreamed together for years. We were just dying to see those dreams manifest in reality on the other side of the world.

417911_10201205177995317_119377220_nBut months trickled by, and as the pages turned on the calendar, we realized what we feared had come to fruition. We weren’t getting entrance into the country we longed to live and minister in.

We were devastated. We found it hard not to question God as he crumpled up our plans and crafted something entirely different. It still looked like a torn apart mess to us, but we trusted it would unfold into a legible, beautiful story one day. We were honored to be a part of it.

But…he sent us somewhere without a team. No one we had any ties to resided in this new (to us) country, Nepal. Not a single family was behind us, aiming to join our side a year or two later.

It was so difficult to say goodbye to the dream of a team and embrace this new role as pioneers for our board. We’ve been so blessed to meet some wonderful new friends here, and truly, we are working together to reach this country with the gospel.

But I miss our team. We had a Bible-inspired name and sweet little babies to grow up together.

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Our team may only have 4 members, but they’re it. My tribe. My co-laborers. I know God will use this tiny team if we stop pining for more members and move forward alone, yet praying that God will add some bodies to the bench.

My kids don’t have ministry experience or much fundraising to speak of, but I believe they are an essential part to this team, and I know God will use Team Taube as we work together here for His glory.

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Who’s on your team? How can we work together to reach the world?
Talk to me in the comment section below!

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Five Minute Friday: HAPPY

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We are not public dancers, the Taubes. But we enjoy a little living room dancing every now and then to get the wiggles and giggles out of my little ones. For a couple years, my daughter has preferred the song, “Happy” from the Minions movie to get the jiving juices flowing.

She was happy (and not just because of all.the.presents).

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Happy.

That’s all anyone would have described baby Jo as, and that’s all she ever really was. Unless you robbed her of her fruit snacks, of course.

When we came to Nepal, the sad side emerged more and more. It was quiet and didn’t demand much attention most of the time. It was moody and morose but occasionally erupted in red-faced scream fests.

I figured she was a little bored at home and that the threes were just plain harder than twos which I had heard to be true. By four, I was, honestly, just grasping for anything to help bring the happy back.

I enrolled her in a nearby pre-school. I thought she might be sad to leave the house or scared to get on the bus with kids she didn’t know and who didn’t speak her language.

I was wrong.

She hopped on the bus like it was Grandma’s car with the car seat loaded up and cup-holders full of goldfish crackers.

She played, and sang, and danced and chatted her little English-speaking mouth to death. She came home and crashed on the couch each day. She was exhausted. And happy.

And mom was happy to have her joyful Jo and a house full of laughter again.

Sometimes the hardest decisions we make end up making us the most happy.

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A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones (Prov. 17:22).

What are hard decisions you’ve made that lead to your or your family’s happiness?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!

This post is part of Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung. I am enjoying being a part of this writing community and putting together these little posts and getting to know these wonderful people! Join the fun next Thursday night on Twitter!

Just a Tonka Truck

It was just a Tonka truck. Tucked into a 50 pound duffle bag of garage-sale gathered toddler clothes and toys.

It was thrown under a plane in Cincinnati, in Chicago, and again in Abu-Dabi along with other travelers’ jet-setting necessities and relocating families’ most prized possessions. It arrived in the back of our little Maruti Suzuki bursting with the gifts of doting grandparents finally arriving for a 10 day stay.

The next morning, it spilled out among the spoils spread out upon our marble floor. I nearly gasped at the sight! The previous Christmas, I had placed a Tonka truck on my Amazon wish list, not thinking much how unlikely and inconvenient this request was for a family living in a foreign land.

But leave it to Grandma to fulfill these crazy notions bound by far more than my imagination. She revealed to me that she had searched and even prayed while scavenging yard sales in my home town to find one of these golden vehicles of destructive delight.

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It was just a Tonka truck. But to me, it was so much more. It was a glowing, gleaming expression of an indestructible force- love. Though this tough love is threatened by thousands of miles, it plows and plunders through every obstacle and runs down each hill heaped up by hundreds of hardships.

Its work is HARD, and it is quietly admired by those privileged to behold its wonder. Its work is worth doing. Its work challenges and encourages me, though it is most often done without applause or praise.

Not many volunteer to take part in the cause. Most cringe a little at the mention at such a tedious, difficult task.

It speaks to me of a Savior that gives good gifts, no matter the cost. That toils to soften hard and frozen ground, to love those that are incapable of extending anything worth offering.

And it challenges me to love and give beyond myself. When it’s not quite cute and cozy and capable of being captured in a filtered photograph. I’ll roll up my sleeves and do the hard work of loving other people.

Across seas. Across cultures. Across the dining room table and down the hall.

Across the yellow-tape of my own comfort zone.

So thanks, MiMi, for the Tonka truck. Every time Shep vrooms it around the house or throws it down the stairs, I think of you (usually fondly, less so on the latter act). But mostly, I think of the hard work you’re doing.

And I thank God for a little boy so loved…

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…even if he doesn’t seem to appreciate it like I do.