Sunday, April 26, 2009

God is GOOD.

As I was driving home from the big party this evening, this huge smile made it's way across my face and I started to belly laugh. God has such a knack for details!

This morning I was to be at the Pocock's home just before 9 to leave for Signal de Bougy (HUGE park) for Chloe's birthday party. I was the 'activity director'. We arrived early and Julie was preparing nametags and came to deliver mine when she said "I don't know what to put on yours." I was confused, it's a nametag - obviously my name needs to be on it. She could see that I was confused and explained that everyone has their name and who they belong to/their title on it. (ie: Aedan - Chloe's brother) She said, "I thought about putting 'child-care provider', but that just sounds stuffy and impersonal... too distant. Then I thought we could put 'nanny', but that isn't family." I was honored to hear what she said next. "If you're up for it we can put 'Kids Favorite Girl'... or really we might as well put 'My Lauren', since that's what Chloe calls you anyway." We never did come up with an official 'title' since people started arriving and chaos began to break loose, but I just felt so loved at that moment! Haha. 'Kids Favorite Girl'... 'My Lauren'... Have I really only been here a mere three weeks?!

The party was lovely. Families from playgroups were there and I was able to get to know names a bit better and see siblings who don't usually come to playgroup or parents when I'm used to meeting the au pair/nanny. There was more than enough food, it was all delicious. Chloe (celebrating her 2nd birthday) did an amazing job opening her huge heap of presents and was genuinely excited about each and every one of them! (Pretty good for missing her morning rest!) We then went outside and played games... Yikes. Haha. I was in charge of directing the games for 15-20 kids ranging from 11 months to 6 or 7 years old. Duck, duck, goose was a big hit as it's surprisingly not played in Europe. Limbo was entertaining as most of the children didn't grasp the concept... Hot potato went over like a lead zepplin -- I'm pretty sure it didn't help that I couldn't remember the tune, so I made one up... Haha.

Once the families dispersed and the party was cleaned up, Aedan, Julie and I played miniature golf and enjoyed a cup of cafe and creme. Julie and I were able to talk about relationships and communication and psychology and possibilities for the future. We also talked about our families and how amazing it is for such different personalities to come together. Leaving Signal de Bougy was slightly difficult since Aedan and his four-year-old attitude thought it would be a good idea to use hurtful words towards Mom to get his way. (Signal de Bougy's his favorite place in the world and he didn't want to leave.) I hope he found that very wrong. We got onto the highway and he was out. Cold. We started heading home and Julie told me about vineyards Dad should go to (he's coming out in only 6 days!!!) She also mentioned that one exit would lead to Burtigny, Switzerland where my friend, Rachel, is currently attending 'University of the Nations' (a communication school through/connected to YWAM). We started just looking to see if we could find signs to Burtigny when we did find one we thought it a shame to get so close only to leave and we just kept getting closer and closer and closer until I was standing in Rachel's dining hall asking her friend Jose where she was. :) It was absolutely delightful. Such a pleasant surprise!

I love how Julie sees the world and life -- so much like I do! It blows me away how God puts everything together. BLOWS ME AWAY. Even the detail of her leaving Iowa to go to school in Oregon! She loves music and flowers and animals... she loves LIFE. She loves to explore and learn. Ah. I just am so blessed to be serving such a great God... especially in this way! I'm working with kids (who have stolen my heart, mind you.) LIVING in France. Learning crucial things about life and people and family... things you can really only learn through experience. It's just amazing.

While on our way home, Julie and I were talking. She's an amazing listener. She asked when I started getting involved with the church, a slightly difficult thing to answer. I think it was kind of a progression. Anyways, I shared with her a few highlights of my journey through life: when I was in second grade I had a WINGS teacher who when asked how she knew she was going to Heaven responded, "I don't think any of us really know we're going to Heaven, we just have to hope we make it there and do good until we find out." I shared with Julie how if that's really the case, there's no need to even consider Heaven. What's the point if we can't have any assurance, it's like working towards the lottery, you don't know what you're going to get. I then jumped ahead to the summer of 2001 when I heard the truth of Jesus and how you can actually have a personal relationship with him. I told her how I had learned this from the Bible and not from someone sharing their own opinion or experiences. That was pretty huge for me. I was then able to share with her the amazing story of how God provided a camera for me via my sweet Michelle. (I started praying hesitantly for camera and God provided one the NEXT day.) She asked why Michelle offered her camera without me even asking and I told her Shell's response was, "You need it more than I do." Julie said she had never heard that phrase. She said it was amazing and selfless and beautiful. :) God is so GOOD.

I wish I could share more details... but that would probably bore you and I've got to get back at it in a mere 6 hours. If only there were more hours in the day! Ooo... or even better yet, a day designated to rest... WAIT, there already is, I'm just a fool who forgot to do just that!

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