Every time I sit down to write a blog post, I seem to get overwhelmed at how many stories I want to share. Each day brings post-worthy moments, but I can't always find the words to relive them.
So the same process happens again and again. I find myself in these moments FULL of lessons and revelations, but typing letters that form words that form sentences that form a whole story can be daunting.
But I feel the need to share an update about my new normal.
My daily work includes working with New Hope Creations, the New Hope workshop that employs vulnerable mothers. These women receive training, discipleship and an income that allows them to provide for their families with dignity. They begin each day in prayer and in scripture, for the workshop is designed to be more than just a place to work. Our desire is that the women form a community amongst themselves that serves as a safe place to share, grow, pray and find encouragement in.
My role consists of organizing and tracking inventory, checking in with the workshop, keeping up with social media accounts (follow us on Instagram!!) and designing advertising materials for New Hope, New Hope Creations and our products. The proceeds from products sold pour back into New Hope to provide an education and safe house services to girls ages 7-15. Shameless plug: Click here to explore our online store!
And while my primary role is one of business, it wasn't just my mind that made the move to La Vega. My heart for people paved the way, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to attach itself to all the people it could meet. People like my nine little housemates in the Luz y Esperanza safe house who have all hidden little pieces of my heart deep inside of theirs.
Oh, no, my position has never been (and never could be) just a marketing intern. My emotions would never allow it.
So when I'm done with the task list for the day, when the bigs are home from school and ready to run at the track and the littles get home and need help with homework and all of them need love and attention, I play the role of being theirs. I spell words for English homework and ask them about their days as they fall into my lap. I jump on the trampoline and recite endless amounts of handshake games. I remind them of the importance of apologies, table manners and being kind to animals. I cry when I think about us being separated one day and when they display the Lord in ways that prove there is light in darkness.
What precious children they are. What a life we share together.
As we conclude each evening with devotions around our much-used kitchen table, I often reflect on the moments that the day included.
It can be chaos.
Like the other night when nine were all yelling at the exact same time because they desire to be heard and one was scaling a column to escape our teething, two month old puppy and one of them slid across the floor because the same puppy peed where she wasn't supposed to and another one couldn't find her cup of juice anywhere until we noticed it had been hidden under the table and two of the littles were dipping their ham sandwiches in Kool-Aid and the nannies and I couldn't help but laugh.
It can be calm.
Like that same night when our tummies and hearts were full from dinner and devotions and the bigs were finishing homework and the littles were braiding my hair and one was sleeping in my lap and one of the caregivers was talking to one of the girls about her favorite worship music and everything was quiet.
It can be draining.
Like when it was too early one Saturday evening to just put them to bed and one was yelling about not wanting to eat soup for dinner and I was so so sick which is why we had soup in the first place and one took out her frustration and anger on me and I retreated in my room to lay down because my head was spinning and my heart was hurting.
It can be uplifting.
Like when they proudly hand me coloring pages and notes they spent an hour and countless crayons on and one of them writes a sweet song about each caregiver and there are more breakthroughs than breakdowns and smiles appear where they didn't exist before and we have the most spirit-filled prayer time sitting around our kitchen table together.
Some days I can't believe this is the life God has called me to live for this period of time. And the most amazing part is that each day I get to wake up and live it again.
-Lauren Sims, Intern