The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7, NIV)
Satisfy us in the morning wi th your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14, NIV)
On November 13, 2012, my family and I flew into Haiti. Haiti is a small country located off the southern coast of Florida in the Caribbean Sea. It’s the poorest country in the western hemisphere and terrifically humid to boot. So why was my family of five there? We were there to meet a little boy for the very first time, the little boy we are in the process of adopting.
My family and I found our luggage, boarded our adoption group’s bus, and drove to the hotel. We checked in, unloaded are bags in our room, climbed back in the bus, and were driven to the orphanage. We drove over rocky roads that hadn’t been paved in more than 40 years. People walked by carrying baskets on their heads or sat by the side of the road selling things. When the bus was stopped in traffic, boys ran up. From outside the windows, they offered to clean the bus for money.
When my family and the other adopting families arrived at the orphanage, the kids were happy to see us and all the families were happy to meet the kids they were adopting. We stayed at the orphanage for around three hours. While my parents held my little brother, I got to spend time with some teenaged girls, Miliane and Addy. Miliane showed me how to play jacks with rocks. She and Addy took turns holding my camera and clicking through the hundreds of photos on the camera display three times or more! My little brother himself found entertainment with a plastic bottle cap and a sippy cup.
It surprised me how these kids found entertainment and joy in such simple things. Who knew what they had been through already in their lives? Surrounded by so much poverty, how could they still find joy in such simple things? But maybe it’s the opposite than what I’m thinking. Maybe the harder people’s lives are and the more desperately they must lean on God, the more He shows them the simple, beautiful things he puts in life to bring them joy.
Here in America where we have so much technology and so many things to do, our lives are so busy. I wonder how many times we passed up the beautiful things God puts in our lives to bless us. Try taking time today to slow down and see the things that God has blessed you with. I can guarantee that God’s gifts—no matter how big or small or simple—will bring you joy.
My name’s Danielle Dodge. I’ve found it’s a hard job to summarize fourteen years of life into a small paragraph so I’ll just mention a few things. I’m an avid writer and reader. I love to write young adult fiction/fantasy novels and devotionals. I’m a ballerina, a violinist, an amateur photographer and an amateur horseback rider. I like BIG words, bright colors, cats, and of course, chocolate. And if you didn’t guess already, I’m a born again Christian, follower of Jesus Christ.