Tonight I tried to make a mocha smoothie. It failed. It really sounded good, too. This is one smoothie I have not quite mastered the art of perfecting. In the mean time, I continue to stay addicted to mocha ice caps from Sweet Treats on Main St.
We had an engagement shoot on Saturday in which Kristi and I hiked into a gully. It was snow-covered and around 20 degrees, but the couple wanted snow. So we showed them snow! We were outside over an hour, but it was actually very fun.
My weekend has been pretty low-key and slightly lame. That's OK, though, every once in awhile. Sometimes, life gets so busy that I forget what having time to relax looks like, and I need weekends like this to remind me that they truly are a gift.
In church today I sat with two Hispanic brothers, ages 9 and 7. Their mother and two younger brothers sat behind us. They all have thick dark hair, big eyes, and dimples. They are absolutely irresistible.
It was the second service (after lunch). I found myself thinking and praying for them the whole time. In fact, I heard very little of the sermon. I kept thinking about them, their siblings... their parents.
They come from a rough family environment... a dysfunctional one. It's a situation in which they will likely learn the wrong behaviors and make the wrong decisions, because that is all they know. Yet at this age, at this innocent age, they are precious. How does a vicious cycle of broken lives become mended, so that a future of hope can take place? We are trying to figure that out.
The two boys I had charge over sat like perfect angels and played with toys from one large bag that was shared among all four. After they were finished with one activity, they neatly put it away and asked for another. Towards the end, the 7-year-old became fascinated with these little plastic pieces that have multiplication tables on them and red string to match the correct answer to the problem. I thought he would be too young, but he was quick and sharp. He answered several correctly.
Our family has become close with their mother and father. We are trying what we can as a family and church body to offer them the help they need. It is sometimes hard to discern the appropriate level of "help" to administer, but God gives guidance.
I am finding that the rough and tough, the underdogs, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the jailed, the beggars... what they really need is love. It sounds cliche, of course. But really. A little bit of attention and some loving care goes a long way.
They are not used to having the common luxuries that most of enjoy everyday. There is nothing consistently stable about their lives. And then I review my earlier sentence at the beginning of this post and find myself disgusted that I complained about a lame yet relaxing weekend.
God brings people and situations into our lives to teach us lessons. The older I get, the more I am finding how He shapes me through circumstances, and how I react to them. Whether or not I find joy in the journey is completely up to me and my obedience to the One who guides.
Love you all!