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Something to smile about

It was Friday afternoon. We were at Centro Escolar El Rosario, somewhere in El Salvador.

The school kids were very intrigued by us, the Americans who could barely speak their language. As we engaged them, they would listen, laugh, and try to communicate with us.making_braceletsI tried out my best Spanish words on the kids in my group as we made “VIDA” bracelets together.
     ¿Cómo te llama
     ¿Cuántos años tienes?
     ¿Cuando es tu cumpleaños?

One beautiful girl read my name tag aloud: “Lisa.”
I smiled.
I tried to properly pronounce her name.
She smiled.crayon_names She surprised me by counting to ten in English. I counted to ten in Spanish. We used our crayons and taught each other the names of colors in our native tongues. Green—verde. Azul—blue.

We hugged, smiled. We made memories. We made friendship.

I want to keep her locked in my memory, in my heart, this sweet new girlfriend who called my name one more time as we pulled away in our bus: “Lisa!” my_schoolfriendI turned and looked.
And smiled and waved.
And stored another memory in my heart.

My friend Ed reminded me later that God delights in us in much the same way.

When we’re grateful for his gifts of hugs and grins and new friends, God must smile at us too.

And when we call him by name, he notices and listens.

I continued to watch kids smile all week. Whether blowing bubbles together or painting fingernails or singing about Jesus, joy was present.

The Lord was with us. painting_nailsblowing_bubblesOn the last day of our trip, we ran across this swing. swing I sat.
Jeff pushed.
And I imagine God smiled.

* * *

Will God smile at your delight in Him today?
What gift of his will he watch you enjoy?



Debbie Petras said...

Lisa, this is beautiful! Children can teach us so much as they delight in the simple pleasures. Blowing bubbles, swinging on a swing, counting to ten in a foreign language. Oh that we would delight in precious moments and memories. Yes, it is amazing that God delights in us. That is overwhelming to me.

Blessings and love,

Lisa notes... said...

You are living proof that we can delight in the simple pleasures of children, Debbie. I get so much out of reading your words and seeing the pictures you post of the kids you work with. Thanks for being a delight to me!

katdish said...

The story was wonderful. The pictures you share are just icing on the cake. Thank you for reminding me to delight in God's gifts, big and small.

Amy Nabors (@amykiane)m said...

Remember to delight in the smallest of gifts. Something God has been teaching me all year. Thanks for sharing this story.

Lisa notes... said...

It's kinda strange that sometimes it's the tiniest things that remind us the most that God is an overwhelmingly giving God. It is definitely reason to rejoice. I'm thanking him today that none of my houseplants died for the two weeks I was away from home. :-)

Louise Gallagher said...

This post has a very gentle and lyrical tone to it. Beautiful!

And a great reminder too.

Lisa notes... said...

Thanks, Louise. I think “very gentle” is a good way to sum up the experiences I had with those two children. I’m thankful God sometimes sends lessons our way that are quite easy to swallow.

Barbara H. said...

What beautiful memories to treasure, and what a sweet lesson.

Thanks so much for your comments on the Week In Words. It looks like there is sufficient interest in it to continue.

Michelle said...

The children are so sweet.
You'll cherish your time with them for years to come.

I imagine God smiled down on me as I spent time with Him this morning.
What an honor to spend time with Jesus.

Lisa notes... said...

I’m glad The Week in Words will continue. I enjoy it and always benefit by reading your quotes and those of others. I appreciate that you minister in this way (but we all understand if you don’t want to do it forever).

Anonymous said...

Lisa, this is so awesome. I feel the peace as I read it and the joy and delight are evident. Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

Lisa notes... said...

Yes, I imagine God did indeed smile on you as you shared your morning with Him. What a sweet blessing for both of you! I haven't done that much in the past few days but hopefully I will this afternoon. Thanks for your example.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful story! And I love the reminder that God takes delight in us.

Donna said...

Lisa, I smiled throughout reading your post today.

"And I imagine God smiled."
I imagine He smiled with you and the children. What a great story from your trip!

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful how much children can teach us about God!

Glynn said...

What great stories, Lisa. We have so much to see and hear if we only watch and listen, and you storied up so much. Great post.

a joyful noise said...

Loved your story and photos, such beautiful children and your helped teach them about Jesus and His joy. I can understand the simple joy of a balloon! I get that way when I bargain shop and find just the right purchase! I say, Thank you Jesus, and I believe He smiles!

Lisa notes... said...

My daughter Jenna and I went shopping on Monday for last-minute things for my oldest daughter’s wedding and for a few school supplies, and we found that simple delight you mentioned when you bargain shop (I got packs of printer paper for 50 cents each!).

I really feel Jesus wants us to be people of joy. I don’t always succeed at that, but my goal is to continue to find so much joy in him that it spills over into my everyday life.


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