From the monthly archives:
Trish and I (and 10 other amazing women from all over the country) got back from a week-long trip to Haiti on Friday. We had no expectations going into the trip – but we knew we’d be volunteering with some orphanages.
Every single day seemed like a month – we packed so much in and visited so many kids. We were exhausted, but woke up every day with a kind of euphoria that’s hard to put into words.
When you give a 9 year-old child their first soccer ball, and watch how incredibly overjoyed they are, and grateful, and excited, something in you changes forever.
When you watch 81 orphans lead their own church/choir service on a Sunday morning, singing their little hearts out, clutching their faces in emotion, you know you’ll never be the same.
When you tell a small child in Haiti that they’re beautiful, and they look up at you and smile at you as if you’re an angel, you know you’ll go home and just…be…different.
On the plane home Friday, I wondered ‘but HOW will this play out? I know I feel different, but I’m not sure what that means.’ And now, five days later, I can tell you this: I am more relaxed. I know for certain that our kids are more than ok. They are healthy. They are well taken care of. They get as much food as they need every single day. They have excellent medical care. And they did JUST fine without me for an entire week. Things may not have gotten done just the way I like them done, but it JUST DOESN’T MATTER. When you get a glimpse into the bigger picture of this world, and see how happy children in a third world country are with so little, your priorities just suddenly shift.
Give me a few weeks, and I’m sure I’ll slide into my ‘normal’ way of thinking…I’ll stress out about some project my son has to get done, or that they’re not going to bed on time. Or maybe I won’t, at least not as much.
I love my kids, and now I have a lesson from those beautiful Haitian kids that I keep having flashbacks about: Look at what you have, not what you don’t.