If there was one theme that best characterized our week, it’d have to be “a return to normal” … with all the excitement and regrets that that entails: From great church last Sunday and a return to school Monday, to a tough goodbye on Thursday.
Let’s Start with Church
Last Sunday we brought chapter one of a two-chapter series on the direction that the Lord is taking our church in the new year. Nehemiah was a man of vision who took to heart the state of his people and the city of Jerusalem and he laid a foundation before rebuilding. We talked about laying a foundation and to preparing to move ahead to accomplish the vision.
Tomorrow, I’ll bring chapter two. It’ll focus on a book I picked up this summer from one of our pastors in the USA. When I got into it in November, I had a strong sense that it had a message for our church in the new year.
After church, we did out annual family photo in front of the Christmas tree (even though a bit late), and this year it was good to have mom in it again (first time since 2014).
Back to the Grind
Oh Monday morning was hard!
I know I’m not teaching you anything you hadn’t already experienced personally – first day back to work after a vacation.
I drop the kids at the train station at 6:40am and from there we go our separate ways – they, to Poitiers and me to Angers (2hr drive). The one saving grace…. my drive sometimes takes me through simply delightful little villages.
Teaching doesn’t represent “extra money” … allowing us to live large, over and above our church support. Currently, church support is insufficient to keep us in France so teaching is essential and we thank God for opening the door. It allows us to continue our work with the church here in Châtellerault even though it puts some limits on our availability and energy.
All good things come to an end and mom’s visit was no different.
On Wednesday morning, after getting the kids off to school, Mom & I headed to Paris for one final day before she headed back to Canada.
This was her third visit…after having been once with Dad & I in 1991, and once in 2016 on her last visit.
It was a special day
We drove right into the city, parked beneath the Louvre and started out by walking through the Tuileries Gardens.
It was cold and windy so we hopped the metro down to Notre Dame and had a coffee & some fruitcake at La Charlotte de l’Ile, on île St.Louis – a delightfully whimsical tea room.
We had a few minutes of sun before sheets of hail beat down on us causing us to take shelter in the famous English-lanugage bookstore Shakespeare & Company.
From there, supper at Le Nemous (right beside the Comédie Française), one last stroll through the Louvre courtyard, grab the car & drive up the Champs Élysées before leaving town & heading to the airport.
(The signs of destruction still marr parts of the roadway from protests… what a shame & what a statement our need for the Lord in our life to keep us from our baser tendencies.)
I’m not sure it gets easier with practice… although you’d think it would. Just like last time… it was very tough.
I headed back down to Paris for a couple of hours just lose myself in the city and process mom’s departure (and our separation). I enjoyed seeing more of the Luxembourg Gardens than I’d ever seen.
(Who knew there was a little statue of liberty there!? … or a teaching bee-yard!? … very cool!)
Last time she left, in 2016, I really struggled with it.
This time, I strolled and thought… and prayed: “Lord, I give you my pain. Honour her sacrifice, and ours… let it make a difference.” Beyond that… it’s hard to convey in words that struggle between pain and faith… We don’t have much else to say other than that “the Lord knows” and perhaps “I believe Lord, help my unbelief.”
Bible School Prep
After the day in Paris, I headed out of the city to spend the night with friends. They both teach so after having supper together Thursday night, I enjoyed a quiet day at their place on Friday.
Cold, wet drizzle outside contrasted with the fire in the woodstove which warmed me as I prepared to teach at Bible School.
The Lord does indeed know just what we need – after weeks of busyness, lots of people, driving, etc… a quiet day by the fire was a huge blessing!
Thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate your indulgence to my sometimes-rambling.
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God bless you this week!