Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Getting to Paris
I returned home from Paris on Sunday and I can't stop thinking about it. Paris is pure magic! It's like Anthropologie times 1000! It is compeltely different from where I live. Everything is classy, fantastic, creative, and like nothing I've ever seen before. Paris has changed the way I want to live and I have a lot to share about it along with about 500 photos to go through as well. The weather was freezing reaching minus 0* celsius while we were there. This was combined with sideways wind and pouring rain when it warmed up a bit. Many times my umbrella was blown inside out and lets just say that I did not look very pretty on many occasions in Paris because of walking around in the crazy weather. I already long to go back. Paris has kept a piece of my heart. I know that experiencing Christmas in Paris will always be in the top 5 experiences of my life and I could not be more grateful.
I've dreamed about going to Paris for years and years. There is nowhere in the world that I've wanted to see more, especially the eiffel tower. It always seemed like I might not get there until the girls were much older and I would pray that one day I could see Paris.
I don't know if you've followed me from my Humble Pie blog days but if you have you know that life has brought me some curve balls. I've known some pretty hard days and the Lord has seen me through them all! In October I remember clearly cleaning the bathroom and saying aloud, "Lord, one day I'd like to go to Paris!" thinking that maybe in a year or two there might be a way with his help. The VERY NEXT WEEK my husband texted me at school and asked me if I'd like to meet for lunch. During lunch he told me he had a work trip coming up in December to England and asked me to come along. At first I was hesitant because of having to ask people to watch my kids during the crazy holiday season but I felt the Holy Spirit gently urge, "don't say no to anything I have for you." So I arranged for my kids to be cared for and called a friend of mine to tell her of my upcoming adventure. During our conversation she said, "you do realize that Paris in just a short distance from England, don't you?" It still seemed like an impossibility. Just for kicks my husband looked into airfare and we could get to Paris for 200 dollars! It still seemed to good to be true...
Before you knew it there was an email in my inbox showing confirmation for 2 flights from England to PARIS! My heart LEPT! The kids and dog were being cared for and my dream was about to come true! Now I know that God is not Santa Claus or a genie who grants our every wish, however, this trip felt like such a reward from him. Kind of a "well done!" coming straight from my heavenly Father! Almost as if he was saying to me, "you made it! I'm so proud of you. Now let me bless you!!" With all my heart I knew that this was a gift from my heavenly father! And to go at CHRISTMAS! I could hardly believe it!
Well then we got to England and things kept going wrong! We were having a very hard time there. It's hard to explain. I completely fried my hair while I was there (which is all getting cut off today) and was so disappointed that it was ruined before we even got to Paris. Then on the way to the airport we got into a car accident and then we were detained in security at the airport for almost an hour. I said to Neal, "it's almost as if someone is trying to keep us from going to Paris!" We made our flight with 5 minutes to spare and we had originally thought that we'd have a couple of hours to eat dinner before departing. This ended up being a huge blessing because we enjoyed the most romantic dinner in Paris instead but that is a story for another time.
Well long story short, we arrived in Paris. It's just like people say. People dress AMAZING in Paris! Every single person looks like they work at Downtown Nordstrom! Upon arriving at our hotel on Rue Cler we dropped off our bags and headed straight for the Eiffel Tower.
Seeing it in person for the very first time was one of the most amazing things in the world. It's huge and beautiful and brilliant! Breathtaking doesn't even begin to describe it. We got there 15 minutes before the lights all over the tower began to sparkle and when they did....
I just threw my hands in the air and kept saying over and over, "Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus!" Not just for getting to see it and the amazing twinkling lights, but for all he's brought us through. As if this was the stamp on our lives stating, "you made it! you done good kids! I'm so proud you! Enjoy this blessing that I've given to you!" I feel like my heavenly father was smiling as he enjoyed watching Neal and I bask in this moment." THIS was the greatest moment of my life. Neal and I can't look at this picture without tears.
Two days later we received the awful news about the horrific shooting at the elementary school and, of course, all we wanted to do at that point was to get home to our children. We went to church on Sunday morning and were so blessed to feel the healing presence of the Holy Spirit and we wept and prayed for the families affected just as I'm sure you did.
I want to conclude this story by saying, "throw off everything that hinders you" and run the race that God has called you to! You may be enduring incredible pain right now, but joy comes in the morning. God is Faithful and true and he LOVES his children with an extravagant love. He is HOPE! HE is Christmas! Joyeux Noel!