These are some of the lights put up in out little town, over the holidays.
The structure is a small scale replica of two great smokestacks that stand a kilometer or so west of that location. Here, it’s dressed for the Christmas season but last summer, city workers had that same steel structure planted top to bottom with flowers & vegetation… quite a feat really, extending the functionality of the decor over several seasons – ingenious.
The real towers are a throwback to the city’s industrial past and a winding staircase and platform make it possible to access the stacks and get a birds’ eye view of the city. So this tribute to them in the center of a major city traffic circle has been well done and well appreciated.
Closing Out 2019
Remember when I said that we weren’t going ANY-where over the holidays?
That changed… a little.
The kids were invited by the youth in Bordeaux to come and spend New Years with them and what you won’t do for your kids!?
We just drove them down, grabbed a Starbuck’s together along the river front and dropped them off before Liz & I headed back for a quiet New Year’s Eve at home, just the two of us.
Where we went to bed shortly after 12:30, the youth didn’t have lights out until roughly 7:00am…
New Year’s day was a normal service day in Bordeaux and the kids all took part – they all played their regular instruments and gave a few words of testimony as well… sharing what the Lord had done in 2019 and expressing their gratitude for a chance to hang with the local youth.
They. had. a. blast! … and came back on Thursday (Jan. 2) by train. We’re so grateful for the youth & pastor in Bordeaux!!
A Quiet New Year for Liz & I
Where the kids were in the throws of activity, things were quiet for Liz & I (taste of things to come??).
We could’ve done just about anything we wanted to, but we didn’t move from the house (except to pick up a Domino’s Pizza takeout order for supper).
We read, drank coffee and enjoyed the sound of silence in the house (while the dog connected with his inner hen – * insert eyeroll emoji *)
Barriers & Goals
Among other things, I read two really good articles on the notion of goal-setting (think “resolutions”). I’ve never been a NY Resolutions kind of person and Jeff Goins’ article both made me feel justified (they’re often short-lived) while challenging me at the same time.
You can find the full article here but he essentially suggests that rather than setting short-term goals (which can have their place – don’t get me wrong) we should go for a bit of a longer game by asking these four questions:
- What do I want?
- What will stop me from getting what I want?
- Who do I need to become in order to get what I want?
- Who do I have that will help me on this quest?
Great article & I’d suggest you read it in full. It has had me thinking over the past few days & while I don’t have a well developed answer yet, I’ve got a number of threads that are being woven together in my mind.
Like the grill-fence pictured above (that I photographed while waiting for the kids at the train station), individual weaknesses, challenges, inabilities (real or perceived), when intertwined, can form a formidable barrier to our being able to accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves, or more importantly the things that God has called us to achieve.
The next few weeks will involve a healthy mix of thought and action as I move between those four questions, informed by faith and knowing that, first and foremost, the Lord is my ever-present help (question 4) in all areas.
Happy New Year! and…
On behalf of Liz, the kids & myself, thank you for following our work in France. We wish you the very best for 2020. May this year be one more step in accomplishing both your short and long-term goals. If I could rewrite Jeff’s questions, for myself and for you they’d look like this:
- What do I want and what does the Lord want for me?
- What wants to prevent that from coming to fruition?
(people, circumstances, beliefs)
- Who do I need to become for (1) to take place?
(what needs to change, what do you need to do differently)
- The Lord is there to help me… and he’s put key people around me to help – do I know who they are? Find them.
God bless you in 2020.
Thank you for stopping by today!
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:Psalm 37: 3-5