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I Am From

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I Am From by Adriel Booker

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I am from long hair and bushy ‘fro and Jesus People and community living. I am from wine country with no wine, bare feet, and flowered clothes.

I am from Keith Green and Bob Dylan, Amy Grant and Petra.

I am from the Phat Duck and sailing the Pacific and mumbling jibberish that turned out to be Fijian. I am from Whangarei and Manly and many harbors in between.

I am from rich Oregon forests and mountains towering over sunsets, high desert dust and air scented of pine and sage. I am from small town love and knowing your neighbor.

I am from 1234 NE 11th – the tiniest brown house with the black and white TV where Mr. Rogers taught us kindness and curiosity and always made time for make-believe. I am from 389-7317 and banana seat bikes and hiding my peas in my pocket before flushing them down the toilet.

I am from church planting and church growing and missionary hearts… and fighting it sometimes.

I am from Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Pony and Perry Mason and Gilligan’s Island after the latch-key was turned. I am from 3-2-1 Contact and Ramblin Rod. I am from the A Team.

I am from summer camping and family canoeing and rainy day puzzles at the beach. I am from long road trips to the tip of California, a sheet tied to the dome light to keep a certain pesky brother on his side.

I am from a Subaru wagon and a Dodge pick-up truck and an embarrassing old camper van named Betsy (that I would love to own now).

I am from over-achieving and over-performing and finding grace and growing into my own skin. I am from the host of the firstborns – power plays and paving the way and always, always having our say.

I am from finding my childhood faith at Camp Crestview and losing it again at Pine Martin Lodge.

I am from passing the offering plate and joining in song. I am from clapping and swaying, arms stretched wide open. I am from As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee. I am from My God is an awesome God.

I am from trains across Romania and the gates of hell in Poland. I am from ballet in Vienna and a moped in Greece. I am from the pub in London and the opera in Prague. I am from backpacks worn thin and Lonely Planets underlined and dog-eared. I am from the stolen and the given, the running away and coming home.

I am from high heels and business suits, ripped jeans and Doc Martins. I am from the office and the bar, the playground and the table. I am from punk rock shows and jazz records and folk guitars with soft voices.

I am from the land of Mosques and shukran, from habbibi and the Garbage City. I am from renewing my passport and becoming a citizen of heaven.

I am from the search for peace and reconciliation. I am from the doubts, the questions, the revelation. I am from Love.

I am from the Himalayas and the old woman who taught me to have my heart scattered into a million tiny pieces for a stranger. I am from the promise given and the song written and the life laid down.

I am from roti channai and dhal, and the Land of the Forgotten, and the Land of the Unexpected. I am from salted tea and seven seas, nameste and finding my way.

I am from the rocks thrown and the names called and the princess bed. I am from the long gravel road through Ethiopia and the rickshaw in Mumbai and her shrine in Calcutta.

I am from the poor and from the rich and I am both.

I am from 12th Street and Meerkat Avenue and Galveston Road and Broadway Place. I am from Lava Road and Porta Fira and Albion Road. I am from Samford Road and Church Street, Summer Street and Humphrey Street. I am from Leigh Street and a garage and a swing set to call our own.

I am from the Eastside and the Westside. I am from the North and I am from the South.

I am from the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit with earth stretched wide across red dusty desert and room to spread your wings and the promises of God and becoming an adult all over again.

I am from Espania and siestas and lemon trees, bent low with bounty. I am from learning to breathe again and diving in and “two stripes means positive”.

I am from America where my roots dig for freedom and my head spins for justice and my heart pumps for bold pioneering, extravagant celebration, and brave innovation. I am from Just Do It and Be All That You Can Be.

I am from small town living and village growing and city longing and heaven hoping.

I am from him. Tall man with tender heart and steady gaze and strong faith. The one who lifts me up to see and reach. The one who anchors me and grounds my feet.

I am from them. Little teachers who hold a mirror to show me myself, show me Him, show me the world in its truest sense. I am from one who made me a mother, one who showed me my own strength in adversity, and one who gave me life pouring right out from her death. (All have been grace.)

I am from belly stretched and empty womb and battle scars and triumphant entries. I am from against the odds. I am from hello. I am from goodbye.

I am from Bokoro and Josephine and Umi. I am from Love A Mama and women empowering women and linking arms to change the world.

I am from late nights and plinking keyboards and looking through lenses and seeking truth between pages and notes. I am from writing-as-praying and wondering and grappling and resting and finding my way under partly cloudy skies.

I am from story-telling and truth whispering and crying over strangers-turned-friends.

I am from gifts unwrapped and purpose solidified and dreams realized. I am from hope deferred and expectations dashed and desert living and the tension of the wait.

I am from giving up and starting over. I am from doubt and faith and wrestling and renewing. I am from new mercies. I am from resurrection. I am from Hope.

I am from before there was me.

I am from Him.

adriel and mom in beanies

Love,
A

p.s. For more beautiful pieces from the “I Am From” synchroblog, please visit SheLoves. (Image source from above is also SheLoves.)

10 Comments

  • Reply Alia Joy 26 September 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I love all these. Makes me want to play along. So much of your post, I was nodding along saying, hey, I’m from there too! 😉
    Alia Joy recently posted..On BelongingMy Profile

  • Reply Rachel 26 September 2013 at 11:08 pm

    I love this – and my heart smiled fondly at Samford road and Church street. How very glad I am that our paths crossed!
    Rachel recently posted..you are precisely my cup of teaMy Profile

  • Reply Cammie Bray 27 September 2013 at 1:14 am

    Love this so much.

  • Reply Michaela Evanow 27 September 2013 at 4:06 am

    “I am from trains across Romania and the gates of hell in Poland. I am from ballet in Vienna and a moped in Greece. I am from the pub in London and the opera in Prague. I am from backpacks worn thin and Lonely Planets underlined and dog-eared. I am from the stolen and the given, the running away and coming home.”
    –I love this bit SO much. Lush and lovely. The whole post was so thorough and detailed. Thanks for sharing!
    Michaela Evanow recently posted..He makes beautiful things out of the dust {I am from}My Profile

  • Reply Jody Collins 27 September 2013 at 5:10 am

    Ahhhhhhhh, Adriel, YOUR story and pics of your mom and dad. What could be better? This was great.
    Jody Collins recently posted..Book Launch Week! “Cracking Up”–KImberlee Conway IretonMy Profile

    • Reply Adriel 2 October 2013 at 9:06 am

      i never get tired of looking at old family photos. i only have a handful of them scanned in. need to someday digitalize all the old albums. i know it would be time well-spent. 🙂
      Adriel recently posted..Our stupid fish died. And our baby died, too. My Profile

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