I left for Guatemala rushed and frazzled. There were deadlines to meet and my to-do’s seemed overwhelming. The world was rushing and so was my soul. Traffic roared by, my phone constantly beeped, and the American way of life had sucked me in. Life was happening full-throttle.
My soul was longing for something more.
Having been to Guatemala three times in two years, you’d think I could remember what I love about this beautiful messy place.
I love the slower pace of life. The bright colors that make you smile and smile big.
I love that people walk everywhere. That children run up and down the street. I love that life seems to slow down.
I love waking up to roosters crowing. And that I can wake up and walk out on the roof and see God’s glory showing off in the volcano’s in the distance.
I love that you can’t put toilet paper in the toilet.
I love that you have to use your own water bottle to rinse when you brush your teeth.
I love that whatever clothes you wear doesn’t matter. And make-up — who cares!
I love that cell phones don’t beep continually.
And that you walk and ride crazy chicken buses everywhere.
You see Guatemala didn’t need me — I needed Guatemala.
We left as a team to serve Guatemala. I went longing to make a difference. I wanted to love, give hope, and bring smiles to others. I wanted to pour myself out for others until I couldn’t see straight. And the coolest thing happened along the way.
In my brokenness and the long days of serving others my heart found refreshment. The rainy season and hard rain showers daily were a cleansing all of their own. Healing rain was pouring down and I longed to splash around in it.
Who cared if I didn’t have an umbrella or poncho? Who cared if my hair was a mess? Healing rain was coming down and I was taking in every drop.
While I thought I had something to give, Guatemala gave me something so much more. Peace.
It was easy to stop and breathe — to live in the moment — and not rush from one thing to another barely being able to see where I was.
I had come to serve and that I did. But in the dirty, messy city dump community, I found myself again. Full of life and energy, I was broken.
The dirt and the mess broke me.
Serving those who barely have a roof overhead, no clean water, nor means to make enough for their family to survive off of reminded me what life is all about. It’s not about the fancy house, busy schedule, or lifestyle that screams more — no, it is about the simple.
If you have friends and family, you are blessed.
If you have great health, you are blessed.
If you have a dream of a better tomorrow, you are blessed.
Guatemala reminds me that this American-dream we all strive for and go crazy after is really not that important. Does that mean we should sit on the sidelines and do nothing? Absolutely not. It means that we should still remember the importance of family, friends, dreams and great health. Everything beyond that is the gift of immeasurably more!
Are you craving more?
Maybe like me what you are craving is the simple and peaceful life. If so, look for ways to sneak away and pour in to others who have less. I promise your heart will be filled with peace as you realize first hand what is really important.
I’ll be sharing more from our Guatemala trip as the days go by. Lives were changed, and mainly ours as a team. My heart is still wrecked and trying to process the emotions stirring. When dictionary words form out of these puddles of tears, I will share.
Until then, does you life feel out of control? Do you need to step back from the crazy busy life and soak in the simple?