Here’s to the end of the first week of the new school year. To a fair extent, we’ve been on the receiving end of some lack of clarity, as school administrators deal with (and present) “nearly finalized” schedules, course objectives and even staffing!
It all reminds me of the pursuit of clarity. First though, let me give you the week’s highlights…
Good, Bad & Ugly
First the Good…
Everyone was a bit excited about school beginning again, despite hiccups. The kids were glad to get back to their friends and their respective programs:
- Sophie is in the final year of her French high school diploma focusing on literature. In France this also means 8h/week of philosophy and the resulting analysis.
- Dominic too is in 12th grade, in business & marketing track. Last year he worked with one of the teachers to develop and market the beginnings of a school clothing line (hoodies & t-shirts). He really wants to launch a P7 group in his school.
- Timo is doing something different than many of his friends and is in a semi-professional track for his last year of middle school. This will mean a quicker path to the work market which is, at this point, baking & pastries (if he needs taste-testers… I’m IN!) 🙂
As for Liz & I…
- Liz is better able to get back to translation work that she has struggled to work at regularly with a houseful of people. Also… she’s been busy with all of the apples, grapes & blackberries that the Lord’s allowed us to harvest. Our 2019-2020 jam supply is guaranteed!
- Me… well, I’m glad to be back teaching as it provides a bit of structure to my weekly timetable. I was also glad to have Liz all to myself again and we celebrated with a stroll downtown after dropping Timo off, getting some quiche & an apricot dessert and having a relaxing (& quiet) late lunch on the patio where all she had to do is sit & be waited on for a change!
The Bad & the Ugly
The bad & the ugly can be summed up in two things really…
- Firstly… Some of the last minute confusion around the kids school schedules. We were honestly a bit surprised at some of the things that were still in flux as the kids were arriving for their first day. 🙂 Oh well, chalk it up to “working out the kinks”.
- Secondly… whatever I picked up 2 weeks ago has still been solidly hanging on. My stiff upper lip Canadian side that says “Just wait it out… it’ll pass” lost out to my “sick & tired of being sick & tired” and I went to see a doctor. Nothing serious but under treatment.
As is often the case, I look back through photos on my phone to remember some of the things that stand out which I can share with you. This photo of the new eyeglasses frames I chose this week got me thinking about the idea of clarity:
Liz & I had our eyes tested last October (time flies!). We kept putting off checking out frames because we knew it would be an expensive proposition (eyeglasses are more expensive here than back home – even considering the “get the second pair free” offers). It was indeed expensive, but increasingly, my eyes get very tired very quickly (my current glasses are 4.5 years old so the correction is out of date). I finally bit the bullet but dealing with progressive lenses for the first time, the cost of the new glasses is almost like adding a second rent payment to our monthly finances (and THAT’s just for me… Liz still hasn’t gone.)
That being said… we need clarity of vision, which leads me to the second thing I’ll say about clarity…
After four and a half years here, I realize that clarity of vision – in terms of life & ministry – is both something constant while at the same time being a bit of a moving target.
We were clear about why we came to France and that clarity has remained unchanged.
On another level though, it can be easy for our short-term vision to become cloudy and un-clear with the requirements of daily life, paperwork and requests for documentation that come from near & far. It can make it difficult to see the forest for the trees.
We were reminded of that this week when we watched Matthew Tuttle’s #NAYC19 sermon “You Can’t Measure a Miracle“.
It’s very easy to lose track of the clear vision that God has conveyed – whether you’re on the foreign mission field or at home in the local mission field where God has called to to be and planted you to grow.
Lord, help me to be clear on what you want me to say, do & be today.
When you’re praying for missionaries, don’t expect that they’re super-Christians 100% of the time. Pray that God continually give them clarity of purpose… and feel free to pray that for yourself as well.
As today’s post highlights, there are always extra expenses and we are in need of financial support.
If you’d like to make a one-time donation to help off-set punctual costs like eyewear or become a monthly supporter, you can use our Partner in Mission card to do so.