January 21, 2014

Beautiful Things

To catch you up - I had the amazing opportunity to serve at the Judah Quy Home for Precious Little Ones - the orphanage in Santa Cruz Bolivia that a percentage of CooCube sales supports.  Showing love to children in need is an important part of who we are and this will continue to evolve as we establish ourselves as a business.  I am grateful for the timing of  this opportunity- just as the CooCube story is starting,  as it will be woven into the core of who we become.  Below I share a reflection of the trip.  Enjoy!

There is something magic that happens when you give yourself away. If you can get over the mountain of fear that holds you back - you end up gaining so much more.  I got a first-hand look at how a generous human spirit matched with hope can make room for the unimagined.  As a creative it's easy for me to imagine making beautiful things out of, well, other beautiful things.  But a true triumph is in restoring beauty to where it seems void.  Some of that victory is in simply re-writing that definition of beauty. 

In starting CooCube I knew that I wanted to contribute to the force of good in the world.  Little ol me with big ol dreams- a dream to have resources to give away.  What I am learning though, is that the key, is to give the little that I have now.  While I didn't have a lot of money to send to Judah Quy based on my first 3 months of sales - I did have myself and this seemed much more costly.  I am not going to lie - deciding to take this trip was difficult for me.  I was letting me get in the way.  I knew I would have to get over my fears  -  of flying, of finances, of leaving my family, of a different language…but ultimately I knew I had to make room, to clear out the clutter and let something bigger in.   

I finally left my home and set out on this adventure. I started to find forgotten pieces of me on the plane ride over and by 20 some hours into it I was excited at the week in front of me.  Just as I was feeling empowered to serve I walked into Judah Quy for the first time.  I was hit with the raw reality of brokeness, of imperfect conditions, of "abnormal" bodies and mis-shapen faces. I wasn't exactly prepared to face my most intimate fears - the ones that hide inside. The ones that are sort of-kind of, well, ugly.  And then again, I wasn't prepared for the beautiful truth of redemption that followed. 

What I saw scared me.  In that moment I saw dusty floors,  dirty clothes, mis-mashed toys, eggs on top of the fridge (what? they don't refrigerate those), worn out bibs, stained sheets and then the hardest of all…before me were the blind children,  children that couldn't walk, children laying on the floor rolling around, a cleft palette, 3 year olds in cloth baby diapers, the sound of the cough of the child that couldn't quite eat properly and the smell of not so fresh diapers.  I faced my ugliest thoughts on that day and the days to come as I sat on the dirty floor with them, changed their diapers, wiped their faces, carried them to their crib and force fed them bottles to gain that weight that they so desperately needed.  As I gave myself away a new heart was being formed.

And then I heard it.  I heard a voice from the other room pierce through the dark.  "You are beautiful. You are strong. You have a purpose and there is a plan for you. You are not Fatherless. You are important and you are loved."  It was Sarah, the assistant director of the home, speaking truth into one of the children. 

I became undone. 

Needless to say, a lot happened that week and as I said goodbye to each child and took one last look I didn't see the dirt or smell the poop - I saw a beautiful thing.  I saw the deepness of love in their eyes,  I heard the resounding giggle of a soul inside of a broken body,  I saw the courage of the heart determined to walk and the spirit of the once unwanted finding acceptance.  I saw life in fullness. 

And here I am - home safe, some fears conquered and knowing that these were the forgotten children, the ones that no one wanted and now their story is being rewritten. Love is ushering in life and beauty is being restored.   

I am inspired to work harder then ever before and determined to give myself away.  I am so excited and honored to join in the force of those making beautiful things. Whether that is you and enabling you to make your special CooCubes or with Sarah at Judah Quy enabling children to thrive.  I am looking forward to embracing each story of creative potential. 2014 - here we come!