18 months

We should probably blog more than once every six months. But if you want to know more, sign up for the prayer list we send that out every month.
This week we celebrated our 18 month anniversary of living in France. By celebrate I mean we acknowledged 18 months have passed since that morning when I had my first encounter with the dark Paris winter. The morning I woke Tony up and said,” I think all our clocks are messed up its almost 9 am and the sun still isn’t up”. Nope, clocks weren’t wrong. Welcome to Paris in the winter where the sunrise is very late, if it decides to come out at all.
So, initially I had thought about a blog post full of recent successes and then today occurred. Tony had back to back meetings all day, interns were off to help with various events, Fayth had a couple of events and Hannah and I would be home alone most of the day. As an introvert with a house full of people I was really looking forward to this day. The morning was going swimmingly as I picked Fayth up from her slumber party. Fayth even said she could understand what I was saying as I chatted with the other moms. Then the 24 hour clock struck. As an American, I struggle with the 24 hour clock. In fact last summer it was so bad Hannah’s eye doctor started calling us a few minutes prior to our appointments to make sure we had the right time. Hannah had wanted to have a couple of friends over and the plan was they were both supposed to come at 1:00/13h and leave around 3:00/15h. Again, perfect from my introverted being. Well, one friend came at 1:00/13h, and left at 3:00/15h. All the time we were wondering where the 2nd friend was. Just as friend one walked out the back gate the front gate bell was ringing. Friend number 2 arrived at 3pm/15h. Not sure how, but screwed that one up. Plus Hannah’s favorite thing to do with her friends is make American cookies, well we made two batches of American cookies today.
While the friend debacle was occurring, Jenn, our teammate, was graciously taking Fayth to a birthday party on the other side of town. Jenn was calling because she couldn’t find the house. Often in France houses our tucked away on side streets or numbered in a way that our American minds don’t understand. Street signs are difficult to find. Jenn was looking for a phone number, well the invitation only had 8 digits not the required 10 digits to make a call.
Never fear, Jenn was awesome and Fayth was delivered safely to her birthday party.
Just as I received the text that Fayth was there, I realized there was no end time on the invitation. Well, now I don’t really know where Fayth is and I don’t know when to pick her up plus Hannah has a friend at the house who will be staying till 5:30. All of this wouldn’t have been so bad as Fayth is fairly responsible but in this digital age she doesn’t know her phone number by memory.
Insert panicking mom moment. Well as soon as Hannah’s friend left I prepared myself to walk down to the party hoping that it was over but realizing I could just be going to find out what time to pick Fayth up. I knew if this was the case, Fayth would not be happy, (the anger of an embarrassed 11 year old can be somewhat frightening) as right now life is all about conforming and not looking different from everyone else.
Well finding Fayth meant some wandering and a desperate phone call to Jenn. Then a blessing from God, a face I recognized. One of the other moms was walking in a door and I knew she had a daughter in Fayth’s class. Praise God not only was this a familiar face leading me to my destination but it also meant I was on time. Off I dashed practically chasing this mother down in fear I would lose sight of her I some windy Paris side street. Well after the required politeness, we were all safe and sound at home by 6:30. Nothing on my list was accomplished and I was left frustrated and somewhat confused by all the mishaps of the day.
So after all of that what progress have we made in 18 months.
Well first accomplishment, Fayth said my French wasn’t too bad today. Yesterday I was celebrating my French as I talked with Hannah’s occupational therapist about treatment plans and how we could tell if she was making progress. I have made slow progress into some social circles. A few mom’s initiate short conversations and there about 12 people who I can say bonjour to on any given day and they say bonjour back. We know we have created a little buzz in the community as other English speaking families ask about the rumors they hear about us.
We are trying new things, we are trying English camp and a English game night. We successfully gave away 2000 glow sticks (it was amazing how skeptical many people were to take something free). We have a full house for June and July, we will steadily have 2 – 4 additional people with us.
Others will be staying elsewhere as a couple of families a one small group will be coming through Paris to serve. We have helped to find volunteers to help serve the missionaries here. We were so grateful to the Scharnberg family for painting a bathroom that had a water leak and needed some freshening up. Our interns have washed windows, cleaned awnings, and helped with childcare for the team of missionaries, handed out 2000 glowsticks. The interns have gotten involved in some of the small group activity at Trinity and our participating in a conversational English class, and a lunch that provides a free meal to those in need. Tony and I have other opportunities to serve presented to us and we are praying through those opportunities.
So 18 months and I can say this is my home on earth. It is a place that continues to grow on me (although some days more slowly than others). I am excited to see what another 18 months will bring. The lives that will be changed. How I will be changed. How my family will be changed. These are the things that make all the struggles worthwhile.

Jul 1, 2013 | Posted by in ENvision | 0 comments

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We should probably blog more than once every six months. But if you want to know more, sign up for the prayer list we send that out every month.
This week we celebrated our 18 month anniversary of living in France. By celebrate I mean we acknowledged 18 months have passed since that morning when I had my first encounter with the dark Paris winter. The morning I woke Tony up and said,” I think all our clocks are messed up its almost 9 am and the sun still isn’t up”. Nope, clocks weren’t wrong. Welcome to Paris in the winter where the sunrise is very late, if it decides to come out at all.
So, initially I had thought about a blog post full of recent successes and then today occurred. Tony had back to back meetings all day, interns were off to help with various events, Fayth had a couple of events and Hannah and I would be home alone most of the day. As an introvert with a house full of people I was really looking forward to this day. The morning was going swimmingly as I picked Fayth up from her slumber party. Fayth even said she could understand what I was saying as I chatted with the other moms. Then the 24 hour clock struck. As an American, I struggle with the 24 hour clock. In fact last summer it was so bad Hannah’s eye doctor started calling us a few minutes prior to our appointments to make sure we had the right time. Hannah had wanted to have a couple of friends over and the plan was they were both supposed to come at 1:00/13h and leave around 3:00/15h. Again, perfect from my introverted being. Well, one friend came at 1:00/13h, and left at 3:00/15h. All the time we were wondering where the 2nd friend was. Just as friend one walked out the back gate the front gate bell was ringing. Friend number 2 arrived at 3pm/15h. Not sure how, but screwed that one up. Plus Hannah’s favorite thing to do with her friends is make American cookies, well we made two batches of American cookies today.
While the friend debacle was occurring, Jenn, our teammate, was graciously taking Fayth to a birthday party on the other side of town. Jenn was calling because she couldn’t find the house. Often in France houses our tucked away on side streets or numbered in a way that our American minds don’t understand. Street signs are difficult to find. Jenn was looking for a phone number, well the invitation only had 8 digits not the required 10 digits to make a call.
Never fear, Jenn was awesome and Fayth was delivered safely to her birthday party.
Just as I received the text that Fayth was there, I realized there was no end time on the invitation. Well, now I don’t really know where Fayth is and I don’t know when to pick her up plus Hannah has a friend at the house who will be staying till 5:30. All of this wouldn’t have been so bad as Fayth is fairly responsible but in this digital age she doesn’t know her phone number by memory.
Insert panicking mom moment. Well as soon as Hannah’s friend left I prepared myself to walk down to the party hoping that it was over but realizing I could just be going to find out what time to pick Fayth up. I knew if this was the case, Fayth would not be happy, (the anger of an embarrassed 11 year old can be somewhat frightening) as right now life is all about conforming and not looking different from everyone else.
Well finding Fayth meant some wandering and a desperate phone call to Jenn. Then a blessing from God, a face I recognized. One of the other moms was walking in a door and I knew she had a daughter in Fayth’s class. Praise God not only was this a familiar face leading me to my destination but it also meant I was on time. Off I dashed practically chasing this mother down in fear I would lose sight of her I some windy Paris side street. Well after the required politeness, we were all safe and sound at home by 6:30. Nothing on my list was accomplished and I was left frustrated and somewhat confused by all the mishaps of the day.
So after all of that what progress have we made in 18 months.
Well first accomplishment, Fayth said my French wasn’t too bad today. Yesterday I was celebrating my French as I talked with Hannah’s occupational therapist about treatment plans and how we could tell if she was making progress. I have made slow progress into some social circles. A few mom’s initiate short conversations and there about 12 people who I can say bonjour to on any given day and they say bonjour back. We know we have created a little buzz in the community as other English speaking families ask about the rumors they hear about us.
We are trying new things, we are trying English camp and a English game night. We successfully gave away 2000 glow sticks (it was amazing how skeptical many people were to take something free). We have a full house for June and July, we will steadily have 2 – 4 additional people with us.
Others will be staying elsewhere as a couple of families a one small group will be coming through Paris to serve. We have helped to find volunteers to help serve the missionaries here. We were so grateful to the Scharnberg family for painting a bathroom that had a water leak and needed some freshening up. Our interns have washed windows, cleaned awnings, and helped with childcare for the team of missionaries, handed out 2000 glowsticks. The interns have gotten involved in some of the small group activity at Trinity and our participating in a conversational English class, and a lunch that provides a free meal to those in need. Tony and I have other opportunities to serve presented to us and we are praying through those opportunities.
So 18 months and I can say this is my home on earth. It is a place that continues to grow on me (although some days more slowly than others). I am excited to see what another 18 months will bring. The lives that will be changed. How I will be changed. How my family will be changed. These are the things that make all the struggles worthwhile.

Jul 1, 2013 | Posted by in ENvision | 0 comments

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