Books I have been reading:
-The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins
-A Stolen Innocence –Elisa Wall
-Love Wins: A book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived –Rob Bell
-Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith –Anne Lamott
While sitting on the beach in Mancora about a month or so ago, I had a conversation with Mary, a fellow YAV. We were talking about perspective, about looking at every troubling or difficult situation in a different light. Mary gave me the example of how we don’t necessarily enjoy riding in crowded buses for long periods of time in order to get around. She then continued to say that maybe instead of being frustrated or annoyed we should think of the hypothetical woman that rides the bus two hours to work each morning and then two hours home. She does this because she found a better job in a nicer district, however, she can’t move because she can’t afford to live in that district. So she can’t move, yet she has to work in order to provide for her son. We get annoyed because the bus is hot and crowded, yet this woman is losing four hours each day that she could be spending with her son, all because she needs to provide for him. Maybe our bus rides aren’t so bad after all.
Since that conversation, I have tried to give myself some perspective whenever I am frustrated or slightly annoyed. For example I tend to be cranky when I wake up at 5:30 am to run before work (who wouldn’t right?) But as soon as I leave my house to meet Bani Diego (my awesome running partner) I see the many women and men that clean the streets each morning before sunrise. I have no idea what time they actually start working, but I would guess it to be around 3 or 4 am. As you can imagine, this job isn’t glamorous and isn’t a choice for these people, but rather a necessity in order to provide for their families. So yes, I want to secretly crawl back in to bed and tell Bani we will run another day, but I continually remind myself that if these women and men can wake up super early to clean the streets with a smile on their faces, I can get up and run (a choice) with a good attitude. Another example is when I don’t think I could possible eat another plate of chicken and rice. It’s then that I try to think of the families that can’t afford rice, let alone chicken, and will once again be eating potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is in these moments that I thank God for how incredibly blessed I am, and pray for strength and support for all those who are not as fortunate.
Another thing I am always trying to find perspective for is the kids therapy group, and I’m starting to realize that it’s worth getting a bit stressed out in order to see the kids laugh and just be kids. Last week during the therapy group we talked about family. We read the story of The Prodigal Son and talked about some of the emotions we can have within our own families including happy, sad, jealous, and mad. We explained that we aren’t always incredibly happy with our families, but we need to communicate and forgive because we love each other. We then had the kids draw their families and explain who was in the drawing. The last project was to have all the kids write down one thing that they do really well at home such as: help out my mother, wash the dishes, take care of my little siblings etc. on a piece of paper. On another paper we had them write one thing that they needed and wanted to work on such as: listening, eating more, or sharing toys. Both of the pieces of paper were then put into balloons, blown up and taken home to help them remember what they wrote. And even though I felt like a crazy person that needed a nap, all the kids left with a smile, that’s enough perspective for me.
Now it’s off to plan more therapy groups for the kids. Hoping all is well at home. Much love to all!
The group in front of the lookout in Ayacucho