Liz & I spent a wonderful few days celebrating our anniversary in Paris, while our kids enjoyed a few days with friends about 1.5hr south of here. It’s rare for us to be separated, but it was good for all of us.
It was upon our return from Paris, on Thursday, that we found out about yet another Terror-related attack in France. Two radicalized young men brutally killed an 83 year-old priest as he officiated mass in a small church in Normandy.
Let me go through our week first, starting with the happy…
Swimming Pool & Fireworks
After church last Sunday, we packed up our kids & headed south to the city of Saintes. My friend Sylvain‘s parents live there and had offered to look after our kids if ever we wanted to get away for a little bit; an anniversary seemed like a great time to take them up on their offer.
They have a swimming pool and had made plans to take the kids to a beach-side classical music concert – complete with fireworks – so we knew they’d not be twiddling their thumbs.
In fact there was one day when Timo spent 5hrs in the pool (we think he may be sprouting gills)! Dominic finished a Sherlocke Holmes book and Soph took the last little bit of school work and all but finished her last class (even school is just that much easier to work at when you’re pool-side!).
Our cozy “sleep-closet”
I’m in Paris alone more often than not so when it came time to plan our anniversary, I opted to spend it there, with Liz for a change. After all they do call it the city of Love.
We tried AirBnB for the first time and stayed in the west end of Paris (Passy). Let me just say that we had the typical Parisian-student experience: there’s a reason it’s described as “cozy”! 🙂
Our apartment is described as roughly 25 sq. meters (270 square feet – and I think that’s generous!). It was on the 6th floor of a classic art-deco building with a steep winding staircase or an elevator for 2 people (max. 150kg/330lb). That being said, the price was right and we could’ve easily paid double for a hotel room of the same size.
The only thing planned that wasn’t exclusively Liz & I was dinner with a couple of Friends that I met back when teaching French at the University of New Brunswick, some 16 years ago.
I am thankful for friends who, despite years of separation, make a point to seize the opportunity & connect, if only for a couple of hours.
Sometimes we wonder if we make a difference in the lives of people but when they seek to hook up, years down the road, it’s confirmation that it does happen.
After supper Liz & I strolled around the city for a little bit.
Hugs & Kisses
Our plan, to visit the city in a different way, was to follow a guidebook called “Where to kiss in Paris”. It takes you by over 130 spots – some easy to find, some more hidden – that are particularly romantic.
Some places are included because it was the spot for a famous kiss scene in a movie, others were restaurants, metro stations, etc. I saw lots of out-of-the way spots that I’d never seen before. (I’ll likely include pictures at some point… we hit about 35 locations. Also… there MAY or may NOT be a video of Liz & I waltzing on the Pont Neuf)
On our last day… having run out of steam and having found ourselves a fair way from any metro station (a rare problem) we opted – rather than walking another 45min to an hour – to rent some city bikes…meaning that we biked around part of Paris! How cool is that!?
Shout-out to you American friends today…
One thing I’d never seen up close (whether in Paris or NYC) is the Statue of Liberty, so on our final pass through the city and on our way back to the “closet” we walked the length of “Ile aux Cygnes” to get close to her. This miniature version of Lady Liberty stands holding out her flame in the direction of NYC’s famous statue.
Did you know?
NYC’s famous statue was originally a gift from France.
Spiritual or not-so-much?
You know, on one hand it feels a little odd to be giving you more about our personal goings-on than “spiritual” things that are happening here.
On the other hand, though, I’ve come to realize that all “work” and “responsibility” can put strain on and add staleness to our most important relationship(s). It’s important to have connect-time as a ministry couple for it shores-up the foundation upon which ministry is built. That has sometimes been a challenge for us and we’ve not always been the best at managing it… this week was a good chance to “come back to center.”
Back in the saddle…
We got home Thursday evening and jumped right into another outdoor Bible Study last night in the park. We had a powerful time of prayer and study.
With the murder of a priest, earlier in the week, both the Catholic clergy as well as Muslim leadership throughout France called for Friday (yesterday) to be a day of prayer & fasting as a way of showing solidarity. That’s not the reason we came together publicly, but it was definitely part of our prayer time.
This world is increasingly dark and downright scary but, to quote an oldie but a goodie… “The darker the night, the brighter the light.”
Lord, let the light of Christ shine increasingly brighter through each one that calls on your name and walks in your ways.
We were excited because one sister who had been unable to come for some time was back in attendance for the first time in nearly a year.
Thank you Lord for drawing the hungry!
Help us to feed them from your table…
fruit of hope, joy, peace and salvation in Jesus’ name!
Psalms 10 & 11 are an encouraging read in these days… though wickedness abounds, the Lord reigns and rules in righteousness (10.7-8), He loves justice (11.7). I trust in Him.
…for stopping by again today. You never know if yours is the prayer or financial gift that makes the difference in what God is doing here and in us… so please, keep up both.
If you are not currently a financial partner in mission, we could use your help. We are in need of 39 new partners as soon as possible. We know that God is able and he will work through one of you reading this today!
God bless you & thanks again!
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Together we’ll GROW the work in France
I’m so glad you both got to spend some together enjoying yourselves. You’re so right, couples needs some time to focus on them it refreshes your vision. It is spiritual 🙂 Blessings
Thank you so much Rhonda… appreciate it!
Sounds like you had a great anniversary; so glad you got some time away. God bless!
Thank you Liane! Miss you guys!