Friday, March 9, 2012

I fully admit I have been an awful blogger lately. I had every intention of blogging more frequently once we moved here to Guatemala and yet somehow the days just seem to get away from me. Before we came, I was a stay at home mom with 9 kids- and while my days were definitely full- they were nothing like they are now. I have come to realize that being the mom of 9, plus caring for 36 more- leaves little time for blogging. Yet I long to share our lives, the things the Lord is teaching us and the people he brings into our paths. There are days when the Internet is weak, the water and electricity go off... and days that I fall into bed at night too emotionally exhausted to think. And sometimes even on the days when things do go as planned- life here just doesn't run on the same pace we Americans are used to. Everything takes so much longer. There is no such thing as a quick trip to the store and no such thing as hurrying.

These past two weeks have been full of blessings and celebrations. Blessings being I was able to spend some time visiting with a friend who works for a non profit here in Guatemala. She took me to visit a couple of families who they had recentally worked with. No matter how much I see, no matter how much I try to prepare myself- it is never enough.  Because behind door after door that looks much like this...

is a story.

A story of life,
a story of love,
and a story of hope... .

This sweet family lives just right outside of Antigua with their 2 daughters- one of whom they adopted. :)

 They welcomed us into their home with open arms excited to have visitors.

They were thrilled to show me the garden my friend had helped them build by providing them with plants.

They also helped them build a new chicken coop- all right inside the 4 walls of their home. Assurance that there will be food and assurance of His love.

 What I think I loved most though was how they were also given a new floor made of cement blocks so that they would no longer have to sleep on the dirt floor. And yet this family wasn't worried about their sleep- they requested that the cement floor went in their prayer room instead because the Lord came first in their home. It was one of those moments where I was forced to stop and take a good long look at myself... and I have to be honest-it wasn't pretty. Would I have made the same request?

Before I could get over the ugly truth I just discovered about myself this sweet family quickly scurried into their 'kitchen' to share what little they had. Even at our protest a big cup of Cola was served. My friend Desi informed me that the reason they have Cola is because it's cheap and it makes your tummy feel full when there is nothing else to put in it. Again my heart began to ache as I forced the hot, generic, cola down my throat.

At our next stop we visited the home of a beautiful single mom.

This precious lady worked all day long trying to provide for her and her two children... without much success. The meager $8 a week she made when one of her table runners were sold was just not enough to pay back the bank from the loan she had taken out trying to provide her family with a home...

The home was basic, no windows...

 and no indoor plumbing

But it was home and they were trying... and they clung to the little hope they had.

This week Todd and I celebrated our 20 year Anniversary. When I say celebrated I don't mean we did anything out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, our day was pretty uneventful. No cards, no flowers, no gifts and no party. We celebrated in a much simpler way- thanking God for 20 years of holding us through the goods and the bads- and for the many, many blessings we have been given. Years ago I would dream of our 20 year anniversary imagining it nothing like it was. But living here and seeing what we see on a daily basis makes those dreams seem not quite so worth it any more. What we have here is so much more than we could ever hope for.God has already taken us to places we never thought we'd see and made our lives richer than we could ever imagine. In a world where 50% of all marriages end in divorce- just being here serving together is the greatest gift of all.
(old picture but you get the point;)

This week we also celebrate both Todd and I's birthdays.
Another year of life passed... and we marvel at how quickly the days go.
Each one a gift.
Each one an opportunity to make Him known.
And we are so grateful.

The 4th thing we celebrate this week is this little miracle...

2 years ago they placed her in my arms and our world was forever changed. Watching God take a child born in a grass hut in Ethiopia, 2 months premature to an HIV+ mother, who died giving birth to her- to becoming a healthy, hopping, bilingual 2 year old little girl who has no fear blows me away.. She makes us smile, shake our heads, laugh until our stomachs hurt and wonder what to do next... and we couldn't ask for more. Her story is nothing short of a miracle- from the way God hand chose her to be in our family, to the way He provided in full for her adoption. Through it all- we drew closer to the King, we felt His presence like never before- and we dared to be just a little bit more.

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Unknown said...

I love you, friend.

The Sequin Singer said...

amazing! God is so gracious! It is stories like those people who live with nothing but God's love, that bring me back to my knees. Let Him be enough! Please Lord help me want only you. Happy anniversary and birthday to you all!

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to help these two families specifically? Also is there a way to know how much she owes to the bank for the home? I'd like to do something if I can.
Thank you for telling their stories, it is so sobering.

Jennifer Applin said...

Happy Anniversary! It reminds me of when we celebrated our 10-year anniversary a few years ago. I had always imagined that we'd be spending it at some all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. Instead we were participating in our church's VBS program with our 4 birth children and the little Russian orphan we were hosting for a few weeks. That little girl, along with a little boy who participated in the hosting program, have since become our children! I love how God's plan for our anniversary was WAY better than anything we had hoped for :-)

Anonymous said...

Hola, inpiring post - I've seen some sad looking homes myself here in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico too (yes, indeed) and I am always brought back to remembering I am not the same person either when I first came here.. much has changed in me for the better -- and still changing..My husband and I will be moving to Guatemmala in the next few months to live and will be aidding farmers with life examples,tips and information on growing better crops.. I hope you'll be okay that I follow your blog..
Life is good and we are Blessed!

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

LOVE hearing about what God is doing in your lives. Thank you for taking time to share!




***How is it that larger families all tend to have events all close together??? he he he

lisa kindred said...

So happy you and Desi were able to share some time together. Our daughter is with her this week. Praying for you and your family as you serve HIM!!!!!
In Him, LIsa

AmberK said...

I don't even have words for these last two blogs, Amy.

My heart...

Hugs and Prayers, Friend,

AmberK said...

I don't even have words for these last two blogs, Amy.

My heart...

Hugs and Prayers, Friend,

Anonymous said...

What a precious blessed week for you. And others!!!


Isylla-Beth said...


Isylla-Beth said...


Lynn Jordan said...

My heart aches to get back to Guatemala. Thank you for answering God's call in your life. I respect you and Todd so much for beautifully living your testimony! Love you my special friend. Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary! March is an awesome month! Happy St. Patrick's Day's Desi's Birthday and my 28th wedding anniversary!
I am praying for you!