I never knew how significant they could be until yesterday morning.
Long story short, I've been sleeping on a box spring and mattress on the lower bunk since my arrival to Haiti a few weeks ago. Despite the funny appearance, it was working out fine for me, until Pierre graced us with his presence and my mattress became the centerpiece of our living room.
SIDENOTE: Pierre is doing really well! He has moved down to the Hope House and will continue to stay there in the days to come as more options for a permanent place are searched out. We are so thankful that his health is improving, but we're also sad is because he is no longer our houseguest and we MISS him! See why?
So shortly after the mommies came to retrieve him, I makeovered the apartment back to normal which included returning the mattress to our bunk bed. I decided that it was a good opportunity to remove the box spring since the mattress was off anyways, and so I proceeded to reef it off as best I could. This is when I discovered the harsh truth about our bunk: The lower bed frame only consisted of 2 metal slats. The side beams indicated places for about 8 slats spaced a few inches apart to fully support the mattress. At first, I didn't think it would be a big deal, but upon laying the mattress back on without the box spring support, the bed sagged in the center immediately on contact. Not good.
With no idea where to find the other metal slats, I searched out an alternative support system which involved using a side plank of our not-yet-assembled bookshelf to lie perpendicular to the 2 slats (improvisation to it's extreme). This is how I slept on Tuesday night. At first, it didn't seem to be much of an issue, especially compared to the 2 slats alone. The plank prevented the center part of the mattress to fold, however by the early hours of the morning, my body was getting tired of aligning myself with the center bookshelf beam as to not be gravity-pulled one way or the other.
Needless to say, I woke up the next morning knowing that I needed a better solution, and wishing Cheryl was here to give me an adjustment. By evening Sarah and I started on a hunt for the missing pieces to our bed. We began putting the word out and then made our way to the pink house where a lot of furniture is currently being stored, hopeful that the missing pieces to our bed would be there. We were in luck! When we flicked on the light, there were piles of mattresses and couches everywhere, but there in the center of it all lay... the missing slats. Cue heavenly music here.
So with lots of laughs (just picture 2 overtired girls in a hot apartment trying to move heavy equipment), we completed the task of assembling our bed. The missing pieces had made their way back, and I slept like a baby last night!
Sometimes in Haiti it's all about the little things.
And speaking of the little things, today I took a mountain walk. It was like any other mountain walk, except this time I did it without accompaniment. My fellow mountain walker, Sadrac, is now in the Dominican Republic attending university and living with his sister who is also studying there to become a doctor. It took me a while to bite the bullet and make the trek alone. It just feels so bizarre, and yet I knew most of my hesitation and worries were silly compared to the joy that comes from visiting my dear friends. This morning I tumbled through the farm fields in my flimsy sandals (next time I'll be sure to wear runners), and as I came into view of the tents ahead, the children ran to greet me. They take the cake for the best greeting committee ever.
I spent my visit going through a few of the basics of counting and alphabet letters with the children. This small amount of learning time that we did is a little thing too, but I believe that piece by piece a foundation will be built and that the Lord would enable and equip these children to achieve great things in their lives. Great things that can only be accredited to His love and grace.
Whether we recognize them or not, I think they have the potential to affect us for better or for worse. I remember many years ago reading a book about how to not sweat the 'small stuff'. I easily let speed bumps affect my attitude and outlook. Often one set back can define my day and ruin my joy. Just as the little pick ups brighten the dark spots, seemingly insignificant hiccups can throw me for a loop and my perspective is lost with the wind.
It's my prayer through the reminder of promises in His word and witnesses of His grace in those that I get to do life with, that I would be more fixed on the little pieces of joy that the Lord places in my life each day. That His presence would train me to be constant in the ups and downs of life. That His love that pours out in the most unexpected places will renew my hope. May we have the eyes to see the Light beyond the clouds and be a vessel to shine it onto others.