Guatemalan Fruit Salad

Susan- Antigua

Guatemala.  The map tells me exactly how many miles away it is, but now I know, it’s not that far at all.

Since I’ve been back, several different people have said/written to me a similar sentiment: “I hope you found what you were looking for”, which honestly has made me stop and think.  On the one hand, I am humbled and honored to be considered a “seeker”.  I think of people like Brennan Manning and Thomas Merton and C. S. Lewis.  Of Teresa of Avila and Donald Miller and Philip Yancey.  I have trouble putting myself in their company, and am not at all sure that is how the comments were intended.  In fact, there is another part of me that is a little defensive and confused.  Is that how I appear to others? Lost, searching, anchor-less?  Or is it just a case of the usual semantics confusion and misunderstanding of busy-ness and conversations cut short?

If I’m honest, I guess I can see where I might seem a little “crazy” from the outside.  After all, I am pretty open about my plans to get out of the army and probably medicine in the fall, as well as the fact that I’m pretty unsure of what I plan to do after that.  But the truth is, despite that, I am more peaceful than I have been in a long long time.  And although it’s taken me a few days to put coherent words to the multitude of thoughts, sights and experiences of the trip, I am more certain than ever that that peace is the real thing.

From the very beginning I knew this trip wasn’t about anything I was going to do.  I found the details sort of working themselves out despite my lack of planning or worry and almost before I even knew it I was stepping off a plane in Guatemala with a group of 20 soon-to-be close friends.  The next 4 days were full of plenty of walking, seeing, laughing, praying, doing and loving.  I met more selfless, gentle, peaceful people than I could have imagined, and at times the kindness and goodness and patience were almost unbelievable in their pervasiveness.  I am sure there will be more to say, but as I have thought back over the time I am struck again and again by the fruit of Him that I saw, experienced, received- for four sweet days when the real world and time as I usually experience it sort of just stood still.  So while I wasn’t searching for anything specific, I sure found some amazing gifts:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.                  Galatians 5:22-23

Love: An intense feeling of deep emotion

Emily-Oscar- Emily      katey happy smiles

Joy: Great pleasure, happiness, delight, gladness

Emily- Susan and Alene   Steph joy bu

Joy- Alene

Peace: Quiet and tranquility, calm, stillness

Emily peace      Cross Alene

Patience: Capacity to accept or tolerate suffering without getting angry or upset

Steph flowers in rocks   Steph Sheila

Kindness: Quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

cooking- Katey

Goodness: Generousity, virtuous, excellence of quality

Alene- PH volunteer and Carolina   Steph- kids

Faithfulness: Loyal, adhering firmly and devotedly

photo     Emily-Luis

Gentleness: Tenderness, power under control

Self-control: Soundness of mind, moderation, restraint, choosing the important thing over the urgent thing

Sara- Marlon   Steph crazy group

These amazing pictures were taken by Stephanie May (5,9,10,14), Alene Snodgrass (6,8,13), Katie Axelson (3,11,20) Susan Stillwell (1) and Emily Gallimore (2,4,7.15,19).  The others were taken on cell phones 🙂

22 thoughts on “Guatemalan Fruit Salad

  1. Scott Arthur February 12, 2013 / 10:12 am

    Awesome pictures and beautiful post. I enjoy reading these as I feel like I was there with you. Thanks for the glimpse.

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:50 am

      Scott- I am so glad you are reading and the feelings come across- thanks so much for all the sweet words 🙂 Wanna go to Guatemala? Have you read Wrecked??

  2. Susan Stilwell February 12, 2013 / 10:14 am

    Love it, Dawn! And I have no problem putting you in the company of Thomas Merton and Philip Yancey. You’re definitely NOT anchor-less, regardless of your vocational ponderings.

    I’m so glad I got to know you. Our conversations were a real blessing, and I’m excited to pray for you and watch the Lord’s plan unfold for you.

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:48 am

      Wow- all these sweet words from all you amazing writers 🙂 Thank Susan- I too am looking forward to continuing our conversations! (and I love “vocational ponderings 🙂 I’m gonna use that!

  3. Dayna Bickham February 12, 2013 / 11:27 am

    What an honor to have stood next to you as time stood still. One of the things I said to my husband when I got back was I kind of understood “God time” better. A day as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day…. I simply felt like those days on the ground in Guatemala were so full that I will be sifting through everything He did and said for years to come. I loved the post.

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:47 am

      It’s true- I didn’t really realize it until I got back, but I think you are right! Thanks for the kind words 😉

  4. Robyn Townsend February 12, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    I’m so glad you found a way to write just one one hundredth of your heart because this. Is absolutely take-your-breath-away beautiful. :*}

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:47 am

      I absolutely love the way you make everyone feel so incredily important and useful and loved. And you are MY sister- how lucky I am 🙂

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:46 am

      Well, thanks so much Katie- after seeing your pics and writing, I am very grateful for your comment 🙂

  5. Emily February 12, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    Love this! These words reflect your heart so well! You were such an example to me of peace, calm, and confidence. Just beautiful.

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:45 am

      Wow! Thanks Emily- that really means alot to me 🙂 Grateful for your new friendship!

  6. Alene Snodgrass (@AleneSnodgrass) February 13, 2013 / 4:45 am

    WOW I totally love this kind of fruit salad! You beautifully summarized the trip with words and pics. Can’t wait to see everyone again! You wanna come to Texas?

    • cupsrunningover February 14, 2013 / 6:44 am

      I didn’t have to say much all of you amazing photographers! I need to make a trip to TX ASAP- since Guatemala, my “family” there has greatly expanded!

  7. April February 18, 2013 / 6:07 pm

    Well I’m not sure I can write since I can’t see my phone screen for the tears streaming down my face (and btw how am I just now reading this blog??) like Rob said thank you for sharing just a glimpse of your heart with us! How hard that can be sometimes, putting yourself out there, being transparent, yet you do it so perfectly! I love you, I love your blogs, I love that you’re my sister, and I love that others notice my most favorite parts of you. Can’t wait to actually TALK to you!

  8. Dawn Muench March 17, 2013 / 1:12 am

    love you too April 🙂
    thanks for the sweet words 🙂

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