If you've been following our trip blog so far you know we're not really "roughing it" as far as the trip accommodations go: the sound of the Atlantic Ocean waves singing me a sweet lullaby at night and the beautiful colors of the sun setting over the ocean painting a lovely view from the dining room table each evening. I was running on the beach the other morning and my view consisted of ocean waves crashing down to my right, sandy white beaches straight ahead and the sun rising up over the mountains with a light fog to my left - talk about picturesque! As I ran and reveled in God's beautiful, elegant and peaceful handiwork, though, the thoughts and memories of all the poverty stricken areas we've seen, stories heard and experiences incurred reminded me that this is far from any form of Utopia. While I have many amazing stories I could ramble on and on about (to all my friends & family - don't you worry...you'll hear ALL my stories when I return), I'd like to share about our bed building experience today with Genevieve. This story is from a bit of a different perspective though as it's more about the mother figure than the child. She is 27 years old and lives with in a 2 story dome type structure along with 4 other family members (the total square footage of the dome might be the size of my living room). She and her sweet 7 year old daughter live in the tiny attic space of the dome. The space was so small we had to make a custom bed frame to fit the area. She didn't care though. She was so excited when we arrived -- just like a small child on Christmas morning. Her beautiful toothless smile was beaming as it stretched from ear to ear while she anxiously waited for us to assemble the twin size bed that she will share with her daughter. I didn't think it was possible for her excitement level to increase any more until she realized she was not only getting a new bed, comforter, linens and pillows, but that her bed was "a bed with legs" (mini custom size legs to be exact, but legs nonetheless). In her 27 years she had never had a proper bed, let alone a bed with legs! Being the same age as her I had a brief "what if that were me" moment and what would my attitude look like...would I be that joyful if I were in her circumstance? The simple joy she had for something we consider a "basic need" and far from a "want" or luxury made me realize not only how blessed we truly are, but also how much we can learn from others. It was such a humbling moment that I hope and pray I never forget it. I'm also hoping her joy was contagious so I can bring a little back home with me! :) Later on that morning we sat up in her tiny attic on her twin size bed and discussed all sorts of things, including a mutual love of reading. She had a stack of books she had read and when I asked her which was her favorite she pulled out one called Life Swap. Basically in her Cliff notes version of the book she told us it was about a rich woman and a poor woman switching lives. As you might have guessed, eventually they switched back at the end with a renewed clarity on life with that the "grass isn't always greener on the other side" mentality. Ironically enough, the poor woman's name in the book was Amber. So as you lay down tonight on your comfy pillowtop oversized mattress I ask that you think of sweet Genevieve and her daughter tucked away sleeping sweetly tonight in their first ever "bed with legs."
"Give thanks to the Lord, for is he good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1