Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Time to say goodbye!

To put it simply, today was an amazing day. I used my last day off to wander around the city that I’ve come to love and reflect on the last five months here. I now sit here tonight, writing my last blog post from the very same seat in Chelsea Potter that I wrote my first one. It’s funny how God has a way of bringing things full circle.

There will never be enough words to describe how grateful I am for the time He’s given me in London. There will never be enough time to share all the memories nor all the things that I’ve learned while being here. To put it simply, I feel as though there has been a shift in my heart. That God has used the past five months to slowly mold me and shape me- to propel into the woman He created me to be.

I came here without expectations; without motive or agenda. I didn’t have a clue what God was going to do in my heart or how He planned to weave his spirit and teachings in and out of my days. His call for me in London was simple: to Come Away with him. Through this season, I have learned more about myself, than I think I ever have before. I’ve learned my likes and dislikes, what brings me joy and what brings me heartache. I’ve learned the importance of my faith and in a place of desperation that the only thing I need is my relationship with Christ. That He alone will sustain me. That each day- with or without seeing a familiar face or touching someone that I love—I can be filled. I can wake up  refreshed, full, and happy to be who I am- for solely relying on Him… I think that overall, that’s been one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned since being here.

Now, that being said- it’s also taught me how incredibly blessed I am to have the relationships that I do, and the importance in cherishing and sustaining those bonds. It seems like forever since I have been in and amongst a community of people who KNOW me. Who understand me without explanation or expectations, and who will allow me to just be me. Although I've taken full advantage of my alone time here- I am eager to get home and be surrounded once again by loved ones!

Dana and I went out for dinner earlier this week and it wasn't until then that I realized how much I’m going to miss working for this family. Somehow, Dana and the girls have woven themselves into the deepest parts of my heart and are so much of my life here in London. As a tribute to what the little ones have taught me- here is a lesson I wrote about a few months ago:


I find it a little amusing sitting in the middle of a pub, journaling about a Bible verse and what I’ve learned. But I must admit- I’m so happy here! I’m so happy in this place! I love having a cold Guinness and talking about the love of God… even if it's only to myself. Beer and the Bible… two of my favorite things. 

Back to Proverbs 31. I understand that this passage was written quite some time ago and speaks about things that I can't fully relate to (selecting wool and flax… sewing linens for the kiddos.. yada yada). However, aside from the minor differences in eras, I found this passage to be simple, yet revolutionary. I long to be a woman of noble character- and somewhere inside, I feel that I am slowly becoming just that. I may stumble (more often than not) but I am doing my best to fulfill these wise words. I would be honored for someone to one day say, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue”. And that’s not even touching on the confidence her husband has in her, or that she brings him good and not evil, or that she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy!

There is much to take away from reading this proverb, but one of the lines that has been speaking to me is, ‘She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks’. When I first read this, I thought to myself- if a woman of noble character works vigorously on her tasks- not matter how small… I better pick up the pace!

If I’m going to be honest with myself, before this week I was beginning to “let go of things”… not taking too much joy in washing dishes or cleaning the toys. I had become indifferent to some of the tasks that being a nanny entails and found the daily chores to be quite mundane. As many of you know, I’m already a skilled procrastinator—now imagine my To-Do List containing scrubbing the baby oil out of the greased up tub, emptying the diaper bins, or pureeing broccoli and cauliflower (it smells just as bad as the diaper bin). Yes, those were the last and I mean the very LAST things on my list.

However, after reading Proverbs 31, something changed inside of me. I began to realize that if I want to be a woman of noble character- I need to make some adjustments. I want my future husband to be proud of the woman that which he’s married. I want not only to honor myself through my everyday actions, but more importantly, bring honor to God. 

Once again, this little seed of a passage began to take root in my everyday actions. To put it simply- I started seeing things with a totally new perspective. These were no longer miniscule tasks on my To-Do List… they became my means to serve. Not necessarily serving one person in particular, but serving the God inside each of them. I know it sounds silly- but its true! Even the smallest request- the smallest task, I took on with great pride. I was determined to set about my work vigorously! I was going to scrub that tub until it was shiny. The diaper bin never reached its limit! And the pureeing? I steamed that broccoli and cauliflower as it it was a sweet fragrance! My embarrassment from singing nursery rhymes on the streets moved to joy as I took on the role of ‘Little Bo Peep’ and of course ‘ Ol mcDonald’. My frustration with getting puked and peed on turned into pleasantry as I knew I would be wiping clean a beautiful child.

My tasks may seem small to you- but they have become life to me. I am both honored and blessed to serve a 6 and 20 month old. They are not only those that I serve, but my teachers and sources of love and affection as well. I will be forever grateful for what these two have taught me about growing into a woman of Proverbs 31. 
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
   bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
   and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.


As much as I am going to miss the little munchkins here- I am more at peace with moving home than I could have imagined. I take this season and chapter of my life for what it is and will forever be filled with joy when thinking about it. However, I know that my time here is over and I'm okay with that. I'm ready to return to Michigan and pour into the next step that God has planned for me. To be honest, I still don’t know what that is. Is it something as extravagant as moving across the ocean? No, but I know in my heart that it’s right. I’ve been praying for guidance for months now and am at last simply taking refuge in His promise- that His will is perfect. Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing- His work is being done.

For those of you who have ended up reading this- thanks for bearing with me. I apologize for my major lack of updates! I apologize all the more for the birthdays, weddings, graduation parties, showers, and special events that I have missed out on since being over here-- please know that I love you and wished more than anything that I could be there! 

It's now approximately 48 hours until I land on American soil and couldn't be more excited to see you all! Pray for safe travels and I will see you shortly!

Monday, 2 May 2011

It's a doozy...

Prepare yourself.... it really is a doozy. And by doozy, I mean long. 

Apologies for the lack of updates! I finally found some time to sit and write this morning--  I've realized that more than anything- writing helps me. It gives structure to my thought process and allows me to project a constant flow of ideas and emotions without feeling as though I am rambling on and on- burdening my listener. When I write, the only one listening is the computer- and that’s simply to hear the clicking of the letters as my words begin to take shape. Thank goodness for this. For I have a lot on my mind and little rhyme or reason to getting it out today. I apologize to those reading… yet again, this may come out a wee bit scrambled! 

As many of you know, I traveled back to the States with Dana, Jim, and the girls for just under three weeks in April. While there, I spent a week at their home in the Hamptons, a weekend in New York City, and the last week with the family in Key West. Although traveling back to America was for the most part relaxing and enjoyable, I must admit- I am very happy to be back in London! I have been living in London two months now and have started getting used to things-- understanding my surroundings and little by little, am making this place my own. I couldn’t be happier to be sitting in Café Nero this morning and writing to you from my favorite chair, drinking my favorite coffee- this is familiar to me, and it tastes so good.


As I mentioned earlier, I spent the first week in America at Dana and Jim’s home in the Hamptons. Their home was stunning and located in a very quiet area… allowing for ample time to relax and spend time with my little ladies. While there, Dana’s sister, Megan and her daughters came to visit for the weekend. The two girls were born at 25 weeks and put up one heck of a fight to enter in this world. Nia and Nevy battled for 3 ½ months in an incubator before walking out the hospital doors as healthy babies.

As I listened to Megan tell the story of their birth, I couldn’t take my eyes off the two little ones in front of me- precious and perfectly healthy. More than once, I felt my eyes sting with the onset of tears and my insides being ripped between joy and sadness, heartache and thankfulness. These girls have seen and experienced more traumas in their few months of life than many see throughout their entire lives. I ached not only for their little bodies, but for their parents as well. To see Megan’s strength behind her words and pride when looking upon her girls, gave me the chills. She’s overcome more than I can imagine and has come out believing in the best. Their story is one of determination and tenacious hope- one that deserves to be told.

Since it’s often difficult for me to explain my train of thought… here’s a glimpse of my journal the night they left.

One simple statement Megan said has gotten my wheels turning all weekend. She mentioned the ‘purpose’ of Nia and Nevy and her belief that they are destined to do great things in this world. They must be. Having gone through hell to get here- they were put on this earth for a reason. With Your help, they fought to stay.

After Megan mentioned this, I was consumed with the thought of one’s ‘purpose’ and the plan You have for each of us. You made these two with intention… You knit them together in their mother’s womb and their lives were written before time. It was not a mistake or tragedy that they were born early, it was their time- one that You appointed for them. It is part of their life story- the prologue to their novels.

I’m beginning to grasp this concept- that you’ve made every one of us with intention and have a purpose for each of our lives. I used to think that I needed to find my ‘purpose’ in life- that’s how I could finally identify myself, define who I am… it would give me meaning. You are teaching me that I am not just made for one thing, one grandiose idea that You came up with one day. But rather, that my life has a new purpose everyday. At the brink of every sunrise, at the breath of each new morning- I am sustained once more for a specific reason... for a purpose that You have set apart for me.

As I was looking into Nevy's eyes this afternoon, it hit me. For today, that was it- exactly why I was there. My purpose was small, yet ever so meaningful. It was merely to love them, to cherish them, to whisper prayers into their little ears. For that moment in time, they beheld Your image to me- pure, unblemished and perfect in every way. You gave me the honor to be Your hands and share in Your love for them- to be their caregiver and comforter.

I’m learning that as much as I love traveling and serving you around the world- I don’t have to be in a third world country to feel your pain and your heart for Your. You give that freely, no matter where I am. The thought that Your Spirit lives within me is one of the most incredible ideas to ponder… You are with me and in me wherever I go, whatever I do. When you say, ‘I am with you always, until the very end of age’.... I believe you. 

I believe that You give us different purposes for different seasons, some big- others small. Right now, I am focusing on the small. Doing my best to wake up each morning and ask what is Your will for me today? How will You use my life? Then actively seek that out. I think that too often we look past how You use us everyday. We forget that we are here for a reason, each of us. We look beyond the smile given to a stranger, the hug to a loved one, the simple acts of kindness that we show- what if that alone was our purpose for the day and we’ve passed it by?

Our purposes for living and our reasons for life will never be fulfilled until the day You call us home. I don’t believe that a day of our lives will go wasted or be lived in vain if we are living for You. Somehow, someway- Your work is being done. You make all things good.

And that’s it, a lesson from these little ones. I'm sorry it was nothing clever... no hitch or climax- just my thoughts, streaming out into a blur of black and white… or white and green in this case.

New York City

Allow me to first say how utterly blessed I am to have the sisters that I do. Honestly, they are two of the greatest women I know. If I haven’t told you already, Nay and Kiki flew to New York for the weekend so that I could spend my birthday weekend with them! The thing is, my sisters aren’t the best because they flew a few hundred miles to make sure I didn’t turn 23 alone… my sisters are phenomenal women for countless reasons. I truly do not know what I would do or who I would be without their relentless love and support in my life. I wish I had more words to describe how blessed I am. They deserve it- they deserve the world. Since I can remember, Renee and Kristen have always made me feel special- always making sure I knew how valued and appreciated I am. In hard times, they've been there. I am so pleased that now, in the best times of my life, they are still here- encouraging my every move. Gosh, I just can’t get over how lucky I am to have them in my life. That not only are they a part of my life- but they are a part of me. The Lord chose to weave me into an incredible family and I will forever be grateful!

Moving on… while in NYC, we stayed with some of Kristen’s AMAZING friends in Manhattan. I couldn’t thank these women enough-- not only opening their homes, but the city to us as well! Rather than bearing all the gory details of the weekend, I’ll simply provide you with the itinerary for each day…

Devoted to exploring NYC! (my first time)
Walk through Central Park
Toured the MET
Created the ‘58th St Dragon’ at Bill’s
Took a peak at  Rockefellar
Shopped (just a little, Mom) at Banana… we couldn’t resist!
Saw the lights of Time Square
Birthday dinner at Wo Hop (I’ve been missing my Sesame Chicken and Fry Ry)
Spent the rest of the evening celebrating on the town!

All you can drink Mexican buffet at Vamos!
Birthday celebrating and daytime drinks on Lisa’s rooftop!
Skyline sunset to conclude a wonderful day!

Car pick up at 6am.. WAY too early for Lindsey.
Departure back to nanny life

Key West

My last week in the US was a little more difficult than the rest. As many of you know, I'm interviewing for position at a school in Grand Rapids for this coming Fall. While in Florida, this interview was the small chip that began an avalanche of emotions. As I was filling out my application for this position, I found myself stuck at the question: how does this position fit into your short term and long term goals? That’s when it hit me. Ut-oh... I don’t have any goals right now! How is this job going to fit into a place in my life, when I’m not sure that place even exists? Where do I want to go after London? Where do I see myself in 10 years? Is this position even right for me? Am I cut out to be a teacher? What if I don’t have what it takes? I’m only 23, do I really want to move back to Grand Rapids right now and settle down? Ah, am I signing my life away?

After one big breakdown on the porch in Key West, and a few big conversations with loving and influential people -- the chains began to loosen, my breathing began to slow, and the tears in my eyes began to cease. I was reminded once again that although these feelings are okay to feel and visit- I cannot allow them to control who I am, my actions, or decisions. At the time, I felt alone and unable to hear God’s voice in the situation- to me, that’s what scared me most.

While my mind was spinning, I kept thinking about my life in America- full of responsibilities and things to check off my ‘life to-do list’. You know… the ‘go to college, get a job, pay off student loans, find a home, a husband, build a family, and live happily ever after’ checklist. Although it’s a very appealing list- and eventually all things I would love to accomplish… I just don’t think that is my list right now.

I asked a friend a while ago what made him come alive- what made him feel free and like he was truly living. When he returned the question to me, it once again, got my wheels turning... What does make me come alive? I began to compile a list and found that I feel most alive when I can see love in action. Whether that’s through traveling, worshiping, working with people who have special needs, spending time with loved ones, writing or exploring—all of those things make me feel as though I am truly living! They are what gets me going, what makes me light up, what fuels me.

To tie this all together…these are the things I want on my checklist- the things that make me come alive! I want to walk through this life knowing that I, myself, am a glimpse of God’s love in action. Now can this be done while crossing off the checklist I mentioned earlier? You bet, and someday I will… just not today.

If I’m going to be completely honest and vulnerable with you… I have no idea what I’m going to do when Fall rolls around. I have no idea where in the world I will be. In fact, I’m still uncertain of what exactly my short term and long term goals are. But what I’m realizing is that is ok! Just because I don’t have a plan right now, doesn’t mean that I’m drifting or wandering- it doesn’t mean that I am running from something. I’m not denying my responsibilities when I come home- but I am exploring all the opportunities layed out before me. I am 23 years old- exploring the world, loving to the best of my ability, and choosing to walk by faith and not by sight.

Those last few days in Florida, the Lord confirmed the lesson he’d begun teaching me in the Hamptons… To stop searching for my purpose in the future and begin acknowledging my purpose in each day. To move one step at a time and trust him with the next. When the time is right, I believe He will lead me and guide me. He will not let me drown in the crashing waters of life or the storms yet to come.

Much like many of my lessons, this one in particular was brought forth in a tangible way- one that helped me understand God's heart and perspective.  Surprisingly enough my teacher in this lesson was little miss Victoria. Who wouldn’t want to learn a few things from someone as cute as this?

Victoria offered a glimpse of God's perspective whenever we would climb into the pool together. Here she would cling- in fear that I might let go of her or the waves would eventually consume her. I almost couldn’t help but giggle whenever she did this. In my mind, I would do everything in my power to hold her and protect her. Letting go was out of the question. As much as I wanted to show her this and make her believe me- there was nothing else I could do. It killed me that she was too blinded by fear to just trust me. I tried my hardest to tell her and hoped she would understand. The best I could do was hold her close and whisper in her ear; do not fear, I am here, trust me, I will take care of you, I will protect you, I will hold you up.

This is where the lesson portion comes in. Those simple words to Victoria parallel with our Father’s words to us in Isaiah:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

…Often times I read the Bible and have a hard time connecting with what the scriptures are portraying, or the perspective of which the Lord is speaking from. However, after my lessons with Victoria- God’s words took root and came alive before my eyes.

In short, this is how I learn. This is my thought process and how I’ve found that God talks to me. It’s not always clear; in fact- it’s quite messy. But I believe that as long as I keep my heart open and seek His truth and voice in every situation… He will continue to teach me. (We all know I have a lot more to learn!) Maybe I couldn’t hear God’s voice regarding my future, because he was subtly moving in other ways… just none that I was looking for.Sometimes we're quick to say that God isn’t there simply because we are looking for him in all the wrong places- when most times, He’s ministering to us in the most obvious ways.


My second holiday in London, and Lindsey is still flyin solo! Again, I would feel sorry for myself had I not taken advantage of this alone time! Although I thoroughly missed spending Easter with my family and having a massive meal with loved ones- I was content this year with going to church and treating myself to an Easter lunch with the Big Man. For probably the first time, I spent my Easter day diving into the Word and relishing in the meaning of what Easter is all about. Of course I’ve heard the shpeel countless times over the years- but this was the first that I went in with intention and determination to find revelation. At the end of the day, I felt like a child all over again, like I had rediscovered God’s love for me, and the reality that He died for me. He knew what He was getting into when He wrote my name in Heaven, and He gladly bore my sins anyway… that’s just crazy!

That Sunday was an incredible reminder of how big God is and how little we are. So often I take for granted the sacrifices He’s made for me.. for all the awful things that I’ve done and pain that I’ve caused. I’m forgiven. That’s reality and it’s a beautiful thing. Certainly something that deserves more than just one church service or day of thanksgiving and praise. He deserves all my heart, all the time. It’s good to be reminded of that.


Ze Royal Wedding

For those of you who have asked, no I did not attending the Royal Wedding, and no my invitation did not get lost in the mail. Sadly, Parliament requested I stayed away from the wedding… they simply didn’t want me stealing the thunder of the William and Kate. I suppose I can share the lime light for just one day!

Seeing as I had to work on Friday, I didn’t have the chance to walk down to Buckingham, Westminster, or The Mall. However, I could hear the crowds loud and clear when I stepped outside the house! The streets of London were painted in British flags, banners, balloons, and posters congratulating the couple on their marriage. There were block parties and festivals everywhere- you could hear the broadcast coming from every pub, restaurant, and home window you walked past! It’s hard to really even describe the hype over here- it was quite insane!

Since I was unable to celebrate with the masses during the day, I spent my evening with a few friends celebrating the nuptials of our royal mates….

So… this has been an incredibly long post and I apologize, once again for the lack of excitement--- however, you knew what you were getting into when reading! I'm sorry if sometimes it seems like I'm preaching more than I am story telling... it's just- those are the things that are on my heart right now... I'm a better story teller in person anyways :) Maybe that will give you some incentive to Skype? Yes, I'm talking to you. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Familiar Faces

Tonight I am in a heaven of my own. I’ve settled in with my personal homemade barbeque chicken pizza (no Jets- but it’ll do!), a bottle of wine, some good tunes and my journal- ready and prepared for a night of writing. Once I finish this, I fully intend to end my night with a hot bath, a bowl of ice cream and a fresh pedicure. I hope you aren’t mistaking this 22 year old in London on a Saturday night, for an old maid… however- if the shoe fits, call me what you will!

I’ve been thinking about people, loved ones and community quite a bit lately. Every morning here, I walk down to my favorite coffee shop and spend an hour or so reading, writing, or simply just being. I often am swept away in the gradual process of watching this city waken. Slowly but surely, citizens begin to creep out of their homes and crowd the streets. Horns blow, bicycles cruise, women strut, men stomp, children hustle- all the while, I sit. I sit through it all and I love it. I love watching the world move around me- it’s as if I’m a ‘drop in the ocean’, looking on at all the creatures swarming around me. It’s so easy for me to get wrapped up in my own life and my own world. But looking out the window of Café Nero every morning is a reminder that with me or without me, the world spins madly on. It’s not all about my wants and needs- it’s so much bigger than anything I could imagine… than any of us can imagine.

I know I have shared many of the happy times I’ve had in London thus far- and don’t get me wrong, it has indeed been amazing! However, I must admit that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies across the ocean. As you can imagine, there have definitely been times of weakness and loneliness in such a large city by myself. Although I have fallen in love with my alone time with God, I still find it difficult to be without friends and family who are tangibly with me. Thanks to technology (Sir Skype, Madame Facebook, Mr. Email and Mrs BBM) I have been able to keep in contact with many people from home- but it’s not the same as having someone with me- someone beside me to experience adventures, share emotions, and make memories with.

I was blessed this past week to share in time with some familiar faces of friends around the globe. On Thursday evening, I was able to go to a concert with my friend Ruth, (who I mentioned before is moving to Mozambique). Together, we ventured to the HMV Forum to see Tim Hughes and various other artists perform a live recording of their new album. This was an unexpected, but amazing night we were able to spend together before she leaves.

The night following my outing with Ruth (I feel like an old lady when I say ‘outing’.. as if it’s the first I’ve had in ages!) I was again blessed to spend time with some other friendly faces. This time, it was dinner and drinks with a couple from Holland- Carolyn and Dan. These two love birds recently followed God's heart for them in Switzerland, where they are working with YWAM. I can’t describe how good it felt to be amongst others that have come from where I have and understand what it’s like to live abroad. It was so freeing to have a night where I didn’t have to dance around particular conversations of positions or beliefs, a night where I felt like I could truly be myself and just share in friendship. It has been over a month now since I’ve felt that kind of comfort, and I am so thankful for it! Both Carolyn and Dan shine with such a light that is contagious- it is uplifting and encouraging. They are a beautiful couple and I’m blessed to know them-- even more blessed to spend another evening with them tomorrow night!

Since I am on the topic of friends, new and old- I ought to share a bit about my new friendships as well! Some of you have heard about my dear friend, Barbara, already. For those of you who have not—allow me to give you a glimpse of who this little lady is... First of all, she was my first friend here in London. We met thanks to our common interest of ‘alone time’ at the pubs on Kings Rd.  (I like to call it destiny). My first week in London, I had noticed Barbara from afar- she had been sitting by herself, enjoying a glass or four of Chardonnay at the Chelsea Potter. As I watched her, I was intrigued by  her character and confidence… tourists could easily mistake her for the queen of Kings Rd. Each night she’d take up her throne at the pub, accepting kisses and hugs from countless visitors- stopping by just to say hello. It was clear that her small stature did not do justice to her larger than life personality! Over time, I eventually gained the courage to introduce myself to this feisty little woman.

Through weeks of conversations and bottles of Chardonnay, I almost feel as though Barbara is a glimpse at myself in my later years! As it turns out, her husband passed away from lung cancer 6 months ago and she is still dealing with it. From what I’ve gathered, she's had a stroke somewhere along the line and has lost movement on the left side of her face… As for the speech, I’ll attribute the slurring to the wine. Anyways, she comes to the pubs along King’s Rd every night so that she can be around people and ‘feel alive’ again. She comes to be surrounded by others- whether she knows them or not- she longs to see lives that are being lived… it’s funny because I find myself doing the exact same thing. Maybe that’s why we found each other- to teach one another to live a little more than we had before. Either way, I am thankful for a new friendship- a new footstep on my path and name on my heart.

Ps. She’s celebrating her 90th birthday in May and has invited me to be her escort for the evening (she has three parties awaiting her). Cross your fingers there are some lads I can make conversation with! (preferrably  those who can walk without the assistance of a cane, walker, or nurse for that matter.)


I can't put this blog up without sharing one of my lessons learned this week! So, here it goes...

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days I have seen in London yet—the sun shone its rays all day, without a passing cloud in the sky. This is quite the rarity here, and must be taken advantage of!  The morning began with taking Miss Kat on a stroll to the post office, then a quick stop at the library (she's a bookworm, just like myself). From the library, we walked to St. Luke’s Park, where to our pleasant surprise- the flowers were in bloom and proudly boasting their colors. We eventually settled in on a dry piece of grass and cracked the covers of our newly borrowed books.

It wasn’t until Miss Kat was snuggled up in my lap, that I realized how much my heart was chasing that of a 1 1/2 year old child (a little embarrassing, I know). But I couldn’t help it- the faint smell of baby powder and her rosy cheeks brought a smile to my face as I held on to the moment as long as I could. It didn’t take long for this little one to toss her books down and hit the ground running. Weaving in and out of park benches and flower beds, she ran with freedom. She ran with innocence, with a light in her eye and curiosity in her step.

I was captivated watching her- adoring this little bundle of joy from afar. She ran and ran, often times looking back to see I was still there- still watching and protecting her. In the moments where curiosity got the best of her- I'd call out to be careful, fearing she may hurt herself. During those times, she would look at me with those mischievous eyes and disregard anything I said-- simply wanting to see things for herself. I would then, take a step back and give her the space she needed, the freedom to make mistakes and learn on her own. I believe that as often as she pushes me away- there is still a piece of her heart that secretly wants me there- to love her and smother her with hugs and kisses. 

Having been her nanny for over a month now, I have pulled out all the stops- I've tried every trick in my book to have her look at me and love me. Literally... I’ve gotten stuck in the doll house, put on extraordinary performances of hippos and bunnies becoming friends, sang loud and proud into a stroller on Kings Rd, jumped on the mini merry-go-round at the playground while the other nannies looked at my like I was crazy... the list goes on. Day after day, I’ve made a fool out of myself to simply be noticed by this little girl. I watch her grow and only hope that I am being a light to her and making a difference in her life. She can have her moments of fits and anger, however- when I look at her, all that I can see is the tender and loyal heart she bears. She is beautiful, she is blameless, she is beyond what this world has to offer her. More importantly, she is His...

These words and emotions may sound familiar to some, and foreign to others- yet they are truth to us all. The piece of my heart that I am sharing with you today is much like the Father’s heart for every last one of us. He chases after us, looking on with joy and adoration. He aches to be heard, to be noticed by His children. He is jealous for our time, pulling out all the stops- just to get a moment or two with us. As we teeter on the edge of danger, He calls out- warning us of the pain it may cause. Yet He steps back, allowing us to make our own decisions and mistakes, allowing us to grow. Through our constant failures and sinful nature, he can’t help but to look upon us all and see us as beauty, as His masterpiece.

WhenI told Kat it was time to go yesterday afternoon, I did the same thing that I've done everyday for the past month... I knelt to the ground- held out my arms and told her to ‘come on’. Each time I do this, a part of me always hopes that she'll run into my arms- yet I'm never surprised when she runs right by me and straight into the arms of her buggy. Today however, I saw something different in her eye as she began running. (I half expected another drive by, but hoped for more). Her hair blown back and giggles escaping with every step- she was the image of innocence. When she reached me- it was as if time slowed down… her arms began to open, stretching wide- running towards a sweet embrace- simply waiting to be caught. I was immediately overcome with abounding joy— ‘at last' I thought, 'she's come'! She has opened up and allowed me- if just for the moment- to slip into a pocket of her heart.

I was so excited that as I caught her- I lifted her high above my head, swinging her around and around- until at last, she was settled safely in my arms. We sat for a few extra moments on the grass, where she look up at me and silently placed her head against mine. That simple, unspoken act, meant so much more to me than any words could ever say.

As I write this, I can only imagine how the Lord feel every time we enter His presence. The sadness He feels all those times we choose to run past him, on to something else. Yet the joy felt when at last, we run into His awaiting embrace. When we finally- if just for a moment- allow Him to slip into the pockets of our own hearts. No matter what we’ve done, or how filthy we are- we are the image of innocence. I imagine Him picking me up, and lifting me high above His head- spinning me around and around until I am settled safely in his arms. Tonight, I place my head against His. I thank Him for His love and willingness to share His heart with me.