In my thankfulness section I have listed, neighbors, and love and this weekend I am thankful that both come together as a special young lady in my life, Lauren, gets married.

Lauren was my neighbor.  Now she is family.

We lived in some "low income' apartments that were not so glorious; but I miss the glorious times we had there.  God did miracles in our lives and the lives of so many others in our years at Timberwood Trace. 

2 years after we moved in, some new neighbors moved in.  I was excited to see that they had teenage girls and a son that looked to be my son's age and they had a baby.  We were friendly enough at first-nods and cordial waves. Polite but brief introductions.  We watched them come and go as I am sure they saw the same of us. 

in time...
The boys hit it off as boys tend to do-it only takes a ball and mere presence and you are best friends.  It is funny to hear the girls talk now about how each separately asked the boys about their sisters to get to the other.  Both girls were named "Brittany" (each spelled different) and they became best friends, through the years sisters.  Well, Brittany had an older sister Lauren.  I would watch her come and go with her friends and wondered what her life was like.  As she got into the car with her teenage friends and drove away I wondered: Was she going off to "party" as most teens do?  Staying out to all hours...imagining the worst because of my own poor life choices  and what of boys?

Well, I later found out that her mom referred to me as "the church lady" in a mocking way. She would hide her cigarettes if I was coming to talk.  It is so funny because we too have become great friends; and we DO laugh about the perceptions we had of each other.  It really wasn't that we had wrong perceptions it is just that our acceptance and understanding of those perceptions changed as we grew to "KNOW" and LOVE each other. 

So, we were the "Christian" goody-goody folks; and they were those, who like us, God died to save.  Brittany we later found out was newly a believer (some previous neighbors had been an example to her).  As the "brittany's" friendship grew-they spent more and more time together. Britt would go with us to church (we went A LOT) and she eventually went to summer camp with us.  Well, Lauren would never go.  It wasn't her thing.  Well, while we were away at camp, she went! -HUH? Weird. But amazing!  Well we got the call at camp and all the leadership jumped and shouted as we got the news that "Lauren had given her life to Christ."

It's kind of funny to think about why Lauren went when we weren't there. I imagine it was to check out this "Christianity" thing with out the pressure of our watchful eye.  Lauren is very much like my "Brittny". First born, serious (born 30), reserved...  She has a wall up for a bit before she decides if you are trust worthy.  We were grateful as her life changed to get to know this amazing young woman. To sit and counsel and just be present in her life.  As she let the walls down and let us into her life we were so privileged to see this young woman grow into a beloved daughter of Christ! 

In youth:
She served on leadership teams
Went on mission trips
She homeschooled herself
Stayed "free" of typical teenage drama
to name just a few...

Then (still grossly understating the reality...):
She went to bible college (hours away)
Worked to put herself through school (still working)
She decided not to "casually" date anyone, until "the one"
and now she is getting married!
Richard is a man approved by God.  Desiring to do God's work.  Serving the least!
I am delighted for their FUTURE together as man and wife! 

Praise God for a God who is in the LIFE CHANGING business!  and that He let's us be witness to every glorious bit.  We just have to be alert and look for it.

I am so grateful for these neighbors.  I am sad. too often, that we still don't have a worn grass path between our dwellings.  I am sad that miles separate.  But I am even MORE thankful that we will spend ETERNITY with this family because of the love Christ has shown us!

So, now all "my" girls are married (well not KK, who is also my girl). But I need to feel a little sappy right now.  Yeah for weddings! 

*Well, I will be absent from blogging (and email laine clayton :) for a time to attend this event. How will I ever catch us in my dashboard?

Prayer requests:
  • Pray for us as we travel 5.5 hours, not counting stops for babies and stroke patients.  
  • Girls and guys are traveling separately as the men have to work.   
  • Please pray for our car (guys driving) as it has some "mechanical difficulties" and will require much divine intervention to make it there and back.
  • Rejoice with me in a time for our entire family to be together to celebrate this blessed event.
  • Praise God for His miracles in allowing "coincidences" to turn into a place  to stay for FREE (3 bedroom town house-together! FREE) !  Our Lord is So good! 

Pray for Lauren & Richard as they begin their new life together; modeling God's love to the world through His creation: Family!


Laine said...

You have touched so many lives with the light of Christ in you; we are all blessed to have you as a friend, sister, and "mother"...I love you Jen Poe!

Deborah Ann said...

What a beautiful story! I love how God put your two family's together, even with the misperceptions! That is so cool!