“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
You learn a lot when you spend a week with a group of teenagers on a beach in Portugal. I am now up to date with all the hip French slag (weshhhh), have rememorized all the lyrics to Taylor Swift and was reminded that no matter how hard I try, I still can’t dance. But it was also on that beach that I learned any dreams I might have had of being a pro surfer, are as good as dead. I didn’t go in overly optimistic, but I thought, maybe, just maybe, I was born to be a surfer. Nope. Pas du tout. Not at all. After the first day, my surf instructor told me that it was good that I feared the water, because that meant that I respected the power the of ocean (it was a very Disney-esque moment, minus the singing animals). On my second day, my instructor was not as nice, and told me that I would be able to surf if I just stopped nose-diving. The problem was, I could not figure out how to stop nose-diving. I had one final attempt. I have seen enough sports movies to know how this is supposed to end, at the buzzer, in the final moments, double overtime, I was supposed to ride the wave all the way back to camp. Instead I nose-dived. And then a wave crashed on top of me. And then I stood up! And then I as knocked down by another wave. And then in the last moment when I thought I was in the clear, BAM, I was taken out by my surf board. After that I knew that it was time for me to hang up the wetsuit.
But as I hid out on the beach, standing as far as was socially acceptable from the water, I got to watch and cheer for everyone in my cabin, and watch them stand up on their boards!! There is a beautiful joy getting to watch a friend succeed. The joy of getting to share in their moment with them, the joy of being invited into the laughter and the celebration of success.
This is one of my favorite parts of my job. I love being able to celebrate successes. Most of all, I love to celebrate the successes of my middle and high school friends. This is one of the many reasons why I love camp so much. We get to be stuck together, for a week, without distractions, and celebrate and learn and talk about Jesus. What a rare opportunity. Also at camp, we get the chance to celebrate campers finding the Lord. I love watching a kid stand up at the last club and say, proudly, “I have made the decision to follow Jesus”. Typing that makes me want to dance.
I am so thankful for celebration. I am thankful for dance parties. I am thankful (kind of) for surfing. I am thankful for joy, and the way Jesus uses joy to reveal himself to us. Luke 15 tells three different stories of things that were lost; a sheep, a coin and then a son. Each one of the stories ends the same way, with celebration. I love getting to celebrate life’s little victories, but in my opinion the greatest victory is celebrating the salvation of one who was once lost. Sharing the Gospel gives me a beautiful reason to celebrate. My prayer is that we would not give up sharing with those who are lost, and celebrating with those who are found! Let’s be a people who jump, who laugh and dance, and lose our voices from singing Taylor Swift nonstop, and for the sake of the Gospel, let’s celebrate!
I am so thankful for the summer here in Grenoble! It is insanely hot. No one warned me about the heat, but I haven’t melted yet, and I have an (extremely short) list of the places that have air conditioning. The heat has brought a ridiculous number of bugs (gross I know, but at least you are not the one who has to kill them). This month I experienced the tragic loss of the pancake mix my sister had brought me from the US. Somehow it got infected with moths (super, super gross, I know, I am sorry). Never in my life did I think I would cry over pancake mix, but it happened. Then, a week after the loss of the pancake mix, I went to camp, AND FROM THE US SOMEONE ELSE BROUGHT ME THE SAME PANCAKE MIX!!! It might sound like a little stupid thing, but sometimes pancake mix is more than just pancake mix. For me, it was a beautiful sign of God’s provision.
We got back from camp two weeks ago. It was such a wonderful week. I took three girls from Grenoble, and we had a blast!! I feel so honored to get to have shared the week with them. I would not have wanted to have humiliated myself surfing with anyone else! The most wonderful part about camp is getting to come back to Grenoble together! We got together last week and made tacos and cinnamon rolls (and of course danced to Taylor Swift). Please let me know if you would like to know more about camp! I would love to share more with you the amazing things the Lord is doing!
I am starting the process of renewing my visa. If there is something the French love more than cheese, it is paper work. Please pray for me as I prepare and make sure that I have all the documents I need. Thankfully I can renew it from Grenoble. Please pray for grace and favor with the prefecture. My appointment will be August 18th.
I love and I am so thankful for you!!