This is a photo of Arminda and her family. I met them while traveling with World Vision’s Bolivia Bloggers in August of 2011. You can read more about the trip here.
I don’t know what happened to Arminda’s birth father, he may have left their community to find work . . . something that’s very common in the small villages of Bolivia. Her birth mother abandoned her when life became too difficult.
Neighbors walked her door to door trying to find a family to care for her. Finally a couple with very little to offer her besides love and four brothers opened their hearts to her and made her part of their family. When no one had room, they made room in a one room stall they called home, next to their pigs, ducks, and chickens.
Last summer a gift made it possible for them to build a house separate from their animals. A house with solid walls, floors, a kitchen and bath. Even though they are more comfortable, I wonder if Arminda and her family are happier.
You see, they were happy before.
Every picture I’ve seen of Arminda shows her wearing a huge beautiful smile. She also has an infectious giggle that melted our hearts that August day in 2011. No one would blame her if she was sad and angry. Yet, she was and is happy. She isn’t waiting for something to make her happy. So….
What are you waiting for?
I often wonder if we don’t waste precious time waiting for our lives to look like our dreams to be happy. I wonder if we aren’t setting our children up for unhappiness when we try to prevent boredom with entertainment and stuff.
I don’t have any answers myself – but I believe God has some answers in the Bible:
When the righteous see God in action they’ll laugh, they’ll sing, they’ll laugh and sing for joy. Psalm 68:3
Day after day they went to the house of God together. In their houses they ate their food together. Their hearts were happy. Acts 25:46
My soul will be happy in the Lord. It will be full of joy because He saves. Psalm 35:9
Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, and whose hope is in the Lord his God. Psalm 146:5
Father, Give us grace to count our blessings. Help us to find our happiness in You. Help us to joyfully care for and share with each other. Forgive us and fill us with Your presence. In Jesus name. Amen.