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Joy In It All

We just returned from Guatemala with a sweet team of four ladies and one toddler. What an adventure! We were able to spend time with mommas in our adopted village while they worked on their embroidery and learned nutritional cooking and taking care of themselves.

As we spent time around the table, with the language barrier right in the middle, we still sensed the joy these ladies had. Their smiles lit up the room. Their stories are not much different than ours; they worry about their families, they want to be good wives and mommas, they have been through hard days and hard years. Haven't we all? Life is hard. But that does not need to define our lives. We can learn through the hardships or become bitter. I never want to stop learning and growing and becoming more like Christ.

As we cooked together and washed dishes, I knew their lives were much harder than mine. Could I do what they do every day and still have the joy they have? They cook over outside stoves and make tortillas every day after cooking corn and getting it milled. They wash dishes in outdoor sinks, if there is water. They sweep concrete floors. And they sit around tables to work on embroidery while laughing at the small talk. They finger paint the sweetest pictures to place in their homes. They stand around a table to cut tomatoes, onions and fresh cooked corn to make a salad to share. Could I do what they do as they fellowship and love their neighbors so well?

I want to grow up to be like them! Hardworking but still making time for others. Learning daily with their neighbors on how to love each other and God better. Filling rooms with laughter, even in the midst of very hard days.

We live in a country where everything is at our fingertips. Meals can be cooked in a short time, cleaning lasts no more than 30 minutes, dishwashers take care of dirty dishes and we barely touch our laundry as it goes directly into machines to wash them. We should have plenty of time to chat with our neighbors, fix meals together and take time to laugh. But do we? I would encourage you this week to find time to spend with a friend, bake cookies for a neighbor or host a meal for a family. You will not regret it. It's not things we have to do, it's things we get to do.

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