Sunday, March 21, 2010


Today I am thankful for resilience....the ability to recover from adversity...the amazing phenomenon that this too shall pass. No one is safe from bad things happening. This has been illustrated quite clearly to me this week. Sometimes we are hurt by others and sometimes we hurt ourselves. Nevertheless, at the time, it seems like things are never going to be ok again. We cannot imagine, with the tools that we have at that moment, how we will move on. But we will. We always do.

There are some famous people that come to mind...Jackie Kennedy, Dana Reeves, Elizabeth Edwards, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus (to name a few) who have shown resilience... but it is the people that I know personally that have undergone their fair share of pain and have come out on the other side normal that give me hope... Kie who lost her precious baby this week, all the many people I know who have been through divorce, the person in my small group, my friend who lost her husband, the person that is worried that their business is in trouble, the precious girls that find themselves living in an orphanage in Guatemala, Jesus, and me. I have been through what I consider a fair amount of personal crisis over the past couple of years. Maybe you have too.

And what I know now is that our lives won't be the same after crisis...they will be better. Hard to imagine at the time of the pain. At the moment of the pain, we don't have the tools to deal with whatever crisis we are experiencing...we pick up those tools along the way. Those tools are picked up from a good friend that has some advice, from some stupid mistakes we figure out the wrong way to go, from a book we read, from love shown over a good lunch with someone who loves you, from our relationship with God, from the little millimeter our hearts expand after some time.

All of the crappy yucky things that have ever happened to me and me hope. Because I (and everyone else) have always managed to come out on the other side not just the same, but stronger. Yay resilience...thank God that we don't end up on a heap on the floor with ruined lives every time something bad happens to us...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beauty and Peace

Monjas Guatemala is my favorite place in the whole world. Its better than any beach vacation I have ever been on (and that was my previous favorite place in the whole world). Shadow of His Wings Orphanage houses 74 boys and girls (mostly girls) that have been rescued from either abuse, neglect or extreme poverty. It is a beautiful testament of God's love and how that love restores souls because these kids are...happy. And kind...and giving...and loving. Its amazing to step out of the car when you first arrive and have kids running to greet you and hug you and kiss you on the cheek...and just love you. Roberto is the newest addition to the group. He is actually eight but is the size of a two year old because of severe malnutrition. He and his sister actually lived locked in a room above a bar. The people that owned the bar would throw some leftover scraps their way every once in a while...definitely not every day. And he has scars all over his body from burns. I had heard his story before I arrived and expected to find a shy downtrodden child but what I found was quite the opposite. Roberto ran right up to me and gave me a big smile and stuck out his hand (he likes to shake hands). And then he hugged me (the first of many hugs he would give out that weekend). Beautiful.

I stayed at the Hotel Lopez which is $7 a day. I don't think I need to explain what kind of niceness of room you can get for $7 a day. One morning while I was waiting to leave to go to the home, I stepped out of my room (didn't want to hang around in there for too long) and there was a boy out on the sidewalk that ran over to hug me (He was actually the cleaning lady's son which made me feel a tad better about the room). He couldn't talk because he has something wrong with his mouth, but he could color. And so we sat on the sidewalk and colored and ate Goldfish crackers. Peaceful.

And then there's my girl Vivian. I first met her two months ago when I visited the home with my church. She found me sitting on a bench taking pictures of everyone else and SOMETHING just clicked. We don't speak the same language so we can't talk, but I feel like I know everything about her. We cry when we see each other and I think about her all of the time. And now I get to be her sponsor which means I get to write her and she can write me. I can't wait to see what God has in store for our relationship...but in the meantime I feel...blessed.