We’re far enough into our Guatemala trip now that I am beginning to shift many of my thoughts towards coming home. (In fact, I am getting really really ready to be home.) But before I go there, I want to pause and reflect. Without reflection, life becomes so flat as I rush from one experience to the next. I rarely have time for adequate reflection in my life, but I am learning how truly important a practice it is.

Here is some of what I have learned during our time here in Guatemala:

  • I don’t need much stuff. I packed less than one small drawer worth of my own clothes, a few books, my camera, and essentials like a toothbrush and water bottle. I ┬álacked nothing. In fact, I found a lot of freedom in the simplicity of my wardrobe and my other possessions here.
  • My kids don’t need much stuff. A few clothes and one toy each – a cheap tea set for Lilia and a set of stacking cups for Elayna, along with a few of their favorite books and coloring supplies, is all we brought in addition to clothes and diapers. They too lacked nothing.
  • Home is wherever I’m with you. Ryan and I = family for each other and we = family for our girls. I value having a place that is cultivated as a nurturing home environment, but when it comes down to it, it is the people that make a home. I am oh so grateful that I got to have this experience with my husband and my girls.
  • The world is small and nothing really shocks me anymore. I laughed over lunch as a Grand Rapids friend here realized she went to high school with the wife of a Guatemalan friend here. I also saw some really weighty things here, both gut-wrenching poverty and gross displays of the “prosperity gospel.” For better or worse I realized that none of it shocked me, as much as some of it saddened me. I guess the more I see of the world the more I realize that every place has its joys and its sorrows and every place is a place that is empty without Christ.
  • My husband is a mountain man. Okay this one wasn’t new information, but seriously, get that man where he can see mountains, even in the distance, and his heart comes alive. I am so glad he had the chance to climb a volcano (twice) and drive through some insanely beautiful mountains.
  • Living in fear is no way to live. I overcame a lot of fears on this trip. I submitted Ryan and my babies to Jesus, and I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t freak out once or twice, but I had a real and pervasive peace in my heart – a peace that only comes through trust and surrender.

IMG_0196favorite family selfie to date


looking back to look ahead