God has really been teaching us a lot this month. We are so grateful for our home, jobs, cars, furnishings and food that He so graciously provides us with. We started this month on our highest of highs and a very low low.
The high was returning from Reynosa, Mexico. We spent a week building homes for a family who JUST had a baby girl. The trip was hard work, but God met us where we were and provided strength, when I wasn't sure I could go on. (Uh-hum, we were required to be at devotions at 6:30a.m. and lights out were suppose to be at 11pm. With the organizing, socializing and sharing, often I didn't get to bed until 1am. This lady NEEDS her sleep to function. It was an enduring week!) As mentioned, we would start the day with devotions, a little message and some breakfast. Then, off to the site by 8am. (It was only a 10 minute drive). At the site, we got organized and then held a small group devotion with our team of 10 or so. From that point, it was all kinds of work, play, and connecting with the families, the locals and especially the children. While I hear from "old timers" that this year was different, I still saw and played with many kiddos. We usually left the job site by 5pm, had dinner and worship around 8pm and free time from 9-11pm. Our free time was busy with buying stuff for three houses and anticipating the needs of the families.
We were lucky enough to be blessed by a family in the colonial. We had two AMAZING lunches prepared by one of the first families our church provided a home for. Their love, devotion and humbleness was hard to comprehend. These people were at Rooftop's three job sites EVERY day. They helped paint, move wood, build the roof, clean, organize and so on! AND they cooked lunch for 35 people! What a huge blessing Margarita and Armando were that week. (And every year, from what I remember!)
Jerret and I learned about a few families' situations and wanted to weep. Instead, we committed to praying for them and unfortunate circumstances. I guess what hit home the most is this: These people are FULL of God's love and JOY!
They didn't complain that they had no propane to work their stove, they didn't ask for more food, blankets or furnishings, and they never complained. They were humble and happy. Grateful we were there to help with a new home-type-structure. (A small structure with four walls and four windows.) It is still hard to understand how they could feel such joy without needing/wanting/asking for more.
By the time we were really able to understand the needs of the families, we left. We were a little heartbroken over a few things and hope to initiate something to help out financially with the community. I mean, we have SOOOOOO much compared to these families, yet I complain EVERY day. I'm not a super complainer, don't get me wrong. But, I do find fault in something Every day. My wifi won't connect on my phone, we are out of trash bags, I forgot to get printer paper at the store, my favorite TV show isn't on tonight, and so on. Silly things. Unimportant things. Yet, I am not satisfied or Joyful.
I learned a lot from these amazing Mexican families. Jerret and I have agreed that we enjoyed the experience so much that we are very interested in doing it again in the future.
The end of the trip also brings me to the lowest of lows for our little family. Its not anything health related or severe, it just helped put a lot MORE into perspective for us.
The little man, the love of our lives, the one we have THOUSANDS of photos of....the Big E-man....was Extremely mad/confused/upset/frustrated/annoyed/angry/disappointed in his momma and dad for leaving him for a week.
At 19 months, he wasn't sure what was going on when Gma Al took him away in the car. I know they had a good week together and he loved seeing Gma Ash, Gpa Gordo and Gpa Mike. No doubt he enjoyed being spoiled rotten, playing with lots of doggies and visiting with his aunties.
Its just that when he returned home, he had it out for us! After jet-lag and pure exhaustion, we thought we would sleep well the first night in our beds. NOPE! Little man was up around midnight and stayed up crying, fussing, and throwing fits until 4:30a.m. It was horrible!
As if that wasn't bad enough, he ended up hitting momma Every time I told him "No-no." It has taken weeks to break his rage of hitting, smacking and bopping me. He also suffered from some anxiety issues with mom and dad leaving either with him or for work. It has been a long month of re-training our toddler to love us! I think J and I really took for granted the fact that he wouldn't remember us leaving....and HE DID. Then, when we returned we (or at least I) pictured this homecoming of love, kisses, hugs and affection. I was greeted with a smack across the face!
We realized exactly how much we LOVE to spend time with our guy and how much he really means to our family happiness. God blessed us with some extra time with little man through snow days, MLK day and my Friday's off. We have reconnected with Eph, shared stories, videos and photos of our trip and hope one day he will understand that we left him to serve others.
Pics and videos to come of our time together this month.