Saturday, August 4, 2012

the last one.

Well I guess now would be a good time to tell everyone that I've been back in the States for three days. ;) I'm experiencing a little bit of reentry culture shock so hot water coming out of faucets and police sirens are still a little surprising to me. 

I have so many drafts for blog posts that I wanted to write but never had the time. This will probably be my last blog post and I am sad but also excited to start the next  adventure of my life. This whole summer has been unbelievable and I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you readers. Thank you for your comments, encouraging words and most of all. your prayers. Dios te bendiga!! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


just a few more pictures of some kiddos + i. can't even describe how precious these children are. 

one photo.

pc: taylor 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

water fun.

Today the kids didn't have school. Horror movie? Nope. Not when you have a slip and slide available.

The day started out with my kids watched the little boys from Casa Samuel enjoy their fun. I felt so bad for them, but they hadn't gotten the "okay" so I had to let them stand by. And I took pictures. And I got a huge soapy hug from someone (ahem Chris). That was fun.

Finally they were able to go in and enjoyed their time immensely. When you put together 35 kids, 10 adults, a huge hill, a tarp, water, shampoo, and dirt all together it becomes a crazy party. Enjoy these pictures but know that they don't do the immense amount of fun justice.

It was so messy but so awesome. 

No more hugs please. 

Another quick story, Lauren was going down with some girls and then a boy came down and crashed into all of them. It was actually really funny to watch. :) 

She's my hug buddy. 

Love these girls so much. :) 

It was such a fun morning. What a cool way to entertain the kids... and the helpers. Haha. :) 


I have 8 days left in Guatemala.

I don't even know what to say right now except that my heart is torn between two places. Here, with the precious children, the tons of rice, the mountains, the laughter, the crying, the emotions, and home. Home with it's comfortable lifestyle, amazing friends and family, Chik-fil-a, and cars that don't try to run over people as they cross the road.

I have learned more than I ever imagined I would learn here. I have been surrounded by the best team ever. Kids of all ages have loved on me these two months. I have had the opportunity to love and stretch my heart to places I never knew it could go. I'm sad I had to come to Guatemala to learn the lessons I did.

But I guess that's how God works. When we step out in faith and do what He's called us to do, He changes us. It's not like He CAN'T work in our hometowns, of course He does. I think it's special though, when we go out of our comfort zone and follow Him and only have Him to lean on. When we are without familiarity, we only have Him.

That's what I learned here in Guatemala. I have God always. In the good, the bad, the horrible, the uncomfortable, the ease, He's there. He's always carrying me and giving me strength for the next step even if I'm not thinking about Him.

I've been savoring these last moments with the kiddos I've grown to love so much. A few nights ago, the kids were NOT good for Taylor and I. After a long and exhausting night, I was giving them all kisses and rubbing their backs. Those seconds before they drifted off to sleep were precious. It didn't matter that the last two hours had practically been hell. I love these children with all of my heart. I didn't quite understand how much I loved them until that night, when I had seen them at their worst (and ahem they probably saw me at my worst...) and then when they fell asleep. These kids are special. I love them.

Yesterday was the birthday of a little boy in our house. He is so cute :) Of course, we had cake, ice-cream, pizza, everything. This little kid is one of the sweetest boys you will ever meet. He rarely gets in trouble, is kind to all of the kids, and has the cutest smile. It was a lot of fun to celebrate him.

Expect quite a few blog posts, I'm working on catching up. :) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

what? blog?

Yeah sorry about that. I guess I took a little break...? Moving on. 

First order of business, we only have two weeks left here. FOURTEEN DAYS. What in the world? I'm not ready! But I am. But I'm not!! I can't believe I have to say goodbye to this place soon... okay not thinking about it. 

Since I last posted, I've lived a lot of life. ;) Every day is pretty much the same: Get up at get to the house by 7,  kids go to school, play with the four youngest until 11:45, pick up the other kiddos, play for an hour, have lunch, do dishes, put the kids down for a nap, get a two hour break, go back and play and eat and go to bed. Then we have downtime all evening. 

Because every day is the same (obviously there are minor differences...) it can get tedious. Sometimes I'm like, "I am telling this kid to share for the twentieth time in the last five minutes... WHAT AM I DOING." Like today. I was trying to talk to someone and J and L came up to me and told me that M wasn't sharing. I tell them that L is after M and M has five more minutes (hopefully the initials are helping and not hurting this story haha). Two seconds later, "M es no conparti!!" I almost lost it. God is giving me so much grace though - to be gracious to these kids and love them even when they are so annoying. They are precious and special and God loves them a whole bunch. 

My Spanish is definitely improving which I am grateful for. I had a small conversation with a kid from Nuevo Pacto - the oldest boys house and we could understand each other!  It was like an encouragement from the Lord because one of the things I was worried about before coming here was the speaking Spanish part. And I've only spoken "toddler Spanish" for the last month and a half.  He has been faithful. 

God has been blessing my relationships with people on my team - specifically a few of the girls. I've loved getting to know them more because they are all crazy fun and amazing. I work with Taylor in the toddler house and we had a really cool conversation while we were washing dishes. It's those little moments that I am grateful - pieces of conversation and connection that get put into our lives. 

I don't know what else to write - my days are pretty much all the same. There is much laughter, blessing, happiness, and fulfillment. At the same time there are definitely tears and difficult times, but God is here and He is good. Eighteen days until I see my family. Let the countdown begin. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

update on life in guat.

So I have a couple posts about our recent team excursion to Lake Atitlan planned, but I wanted to give a quick update since I haven't posted in a little bit. :)

Friday was a crazy day. It was the first day back from the lake, and also the house parents in the toddler house are not here. They are in Costa Rica for a baseball tournament! Their son is on the Guatemala nation baseball team - pretty cool. Learning how to run a house of 14 toddlers without them is exhausting but definitely fun. ;) 

I'm working this weekend so I got to the house yesterday at 7. It was a beautiful day outside so we spent a lot of it on the cancha and playing with "jugetes" and "bicicletas," toys and bicycles. I hear all day, and this is no joke, kids telling me that the other kids aren't sharing. They are so funny because they will give a toy to someone, and then turn around and tell me that the other kid isn't sharing! I have just started laughing. ;) Also, sometimes they will come up to me and start talking in rapid Spanish and then burst out crying and fall on the floor. They are all so dramatic. But I love them so much. 

This morning we had church and it was a really fun service. A visiting worship group came and lead worship. They were loud, fun, and definitely loved the Lord. It was so fun to see all of the little kids jumping around and dancing. They were praising the Lord. 

Something I have learned here is how precious children really are. Each and every kid at this orphanage is so special to me. God has given me His heart for them and for children in general. I want to go back to the States and view children differently. I'm excited to apply everything God is teaching me here in Guatemala to my life in the States.

Another thing I am grateful for is the ability to hang out with team members throughout the day. Sometimes many of the houses come outside and as the kids play, team members can have conversations. It's a nice break... and I can speak English. ;) 

This afternoon was more playing on the cancha, eating lunch, and watching Ice Age. My break (their nap time) is almost done so I've got to wrap this up. Below is a video. Have I mentioned how much I love these children?