It occurred to me that I haven’t written about me in quite some time.   I just love feeling like I’m getting to know all of you, and I want you to do the same. When I first began this blog, it was more of a creative writing space for me….as a wife and mom of two little ones. 
Somewhere along the way, I stopped writing as an escape….and that’s what writing is for me.  Whether it’s about furniture or my experiences as a mom, it is therapy for me.  There’s not much I love more…including painting furniture.
:)
So….there is this huge part of my life that I’ve only talked about here and there.  My relationship with God has been a constant…whether I’ve been ready to follow or not has been the variable.  But in college, it became real to me.  Like….I finally got it.  Not that I figured it all out, but I finally grasped that it’s not about me figuring it all out, but about Him doing that for me.
And before I start crying, and write my entire life’s story, I’ll get back to this particular post.
I’m not sure why it’s been on my mind lately, but I wanted to share this with you guys.  Please know this post has zero to do with uplifting me or us as a family, and all to do with something so much bigger than me.
I never pictured myself as a missionary.  Ever.  But again, that’s what He does….helping you do and experience things you never thought possible.

So when I met my husband and he began talking about his mission work in Honduras, I thought it sounded incredible, but I never actually entertained the thought of going. 
But as I grew up in ways beyond adding years to my life, I began to feel very drawn to the idea of trying to give of myself in that kind of way.
And let me tell you, it changed my life.
This is part of the huge capital city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

 

Beautiful, right?
Thanks to my husband, who had been 8 times and lived there one summer, we stepped out and led a group down there.  And have done the same several times since.
Doesn’t he look handsome with his tool belt on??
:)

The driving can be a bit precarious…
and the days long.   But the payoff is far greater. 
We have taken groups of 12 and as large as 30.  Still smaller groups, but hey, we’re just two goofy married people.  We can only be responsible for so many people.  (by the way, I’m in some of these and some I’m not–it’ll be like where’s waldo?)
This is also where my love of becoming a handier woman came about.  Working with Baxter Institute, a college who trains Honduran men to plant their own churches and a faith-filled minister, Leopoldo, our focus is building homes.  We usually have a VBS or something fun for the kids, and make bags of food and  household supplies for a few hundred families.  It involves some long, long days and hard work….
and teaching very petite girls how to use power tools…
The poverty in Honduras is literally unbelievable.  I had never known true need and still don’t, and am so thankful for the opportunity to have my eyes and heart opened.

Just to give you an idea of what makes up a typical home…
The actual house is usually a simple lean-to of scrap wood and tin or cardboard.  With a little time and work,
(yes, that’s me, making a door, I believe:)
and sometimes a little loft later…
there’s a new home for them to sleep in that night.  It’s a simple pitched-roof and at 16 x 16, it’s not somewhere we would all probably want to call home.  The people are so grateful and seeing their graciousness and thankfulness is so incredibly humbling and convicting.
As a matter of fact, I was so incredibly moved and in love with the people after my first visit, that Matt and I prayerfully decided to sell our home and live there for a year and a half.  We then were presented with the opportunity to keep the house and Matt’s job if we were to go for the summer, 3 months.  Again, after prayer, decided this was what we would do.  We were also fully intending on adopting a child while were there.  But I do believe in my heart there were other plans for us…for now.
A few months before we left, we unexpectedly found out we were pregnant with our first child.  And the rest, they say, is history.  We have been a few times since, but for now, our hat will hang in Alabama.
A fort of food bags holds rice, flour, shortening, coffee, beans, laundry detergent, soap, etc. that will feed and care for a family of 4 for 2 weeks.
 
My favorite part? 
Other than the empowerment I get from using the nail gun to build a wall :)….the children.
Oh my goodness, the children.  I ache for them.  I also rejoice for them….for their incessant smiles, uplifted spirits in the midst of the turmoil there. 
I want you to meet Jenny….
At every site, there are always tons of kids that come around to watch and play.  But there’s  always one or two that I’ll connect with a little more than the others.  They’ll stay right by my side and I’m constantly telling them to “cuidado, nino” or “be careful”, but secretly loving the time I get to share with them.
Jenny was one such little girl who immediately began throwing rocks at me, her way of showing her endearment.
We spent most of the day together, and through our time I saw pain in her little eyes.  I could tell somehow she was more poor than the rest, noticing no shoes on her feet and torn and filthy clothes.  The other kids even ridiculed her constantly, igniting my protection and a good opportunity for a lesson to show love to one another. :)
At one point I tried desperately hard to give her a shirt out of my backpack, and I almost couldn’t convince her to take it.  One of the little girls who spoke some English finally told me she was trying to tell me something.  She was telling me she couldn’t take it….that “they” would take it from her.  I didn’t know who “they” were, but I couldn’t imagine fearing a clean shirt as a little girl.
I’m telling you, I cried like a baby.  I am tearing up now as I recall that day.  I wanted to bathe her off, put bows in her hair and carry her home with me.  But as quickly as all that sadness came over her, we had a little talk, and one clean shirt later, she gleefully skipped away and for a while, took part of my heart with her.
And every time I’m there, I feel the same pull, the same conviction.  It’s what has lead us to adopt a child from Honduras one day.  Not just yet, but one day. 
I hope you enjoyed this little piece of my life….and if you’re a praying person….maybe say a prayer for the people there.  And I know I’ll be praying that I can obtain half the spirit and joy that they hold.
:)  
Blessings to you guys today….wherever you are and in whatever you are doing.
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