Mother’s Day, near as I can tell, is a moving target and there’s always a little nagging question in the back of our minds… “Is it this week? …in North America it’s ___, but in Belgium it’s ___. Hmm.. is France the same?”
Every. Blessed. Year.
(thank heavens for Google!)
Father’s day is a little better, but not much. While it’s the same, in France, as back home, it still falls a week later than celebrations in Belgium (where Liz’s dad is). Still, we managed to get everyone in and celebrated rather uniquely here. I’ll get to that, but first, let’s get caught up.
France Opens Back Up
Most of the Covid restrictions have now been lifted in France, with the exception of mask-wearing indoors.
As case numbers recede and vaccination rates increase it has been easier for the government to justify relaxing measures that have been in place, for the most part, since last fall.
On June 9th, restaurants were finally able to open up for indoor dining as opposed to outdoor service only. Liz, Sophie & I took advantage and were the first customers back to Citron et Cerise, our absolutely favourite little tea room, where we had breakfast.
It’s not that we’re out to restaurants often, but my goodness it was nice to have the choice to go.
News from Spain
Dominic’s two-month internship in Spain is drawing to a close and he has learned a lot in that time. Work is very flexible, but as an intern, he has discovered that the work itself can be tedious as he gets the impression that they mostly give he and the other intern work that they aren’t interested in doing themselves. A bit disappointing, but a learning experience nonetheless.
He has loved the church family there and they surprised him last weekend with a surprise birthday party after their regional youth conference. He preached last Sunday in the English service as well. What an honour for him!
He was well and truly thrilled to discover a Tim Horton’s (a Canadian “Krispy Kreme / Dunkin’ Donuts”) not far from his work. On the day he called us from there… he was on his second order and had already tried one of every timbit on the menu. A taste of home… in Spain.
Father’s Day Weekend
We were not going to be having a service on Father’s day (last Sunday – more on that later), so we spent time together last Saturday in stead. There was some clean-up that needed doing in the yard so the men came together Saturday morning, did that and then we ate together on-site.
With lunch, each of the men also received a little bundle… a Barber Shop mug and a notebook that I encouraged them to use as a prayer journal.
Barber shops are typically very masculine places and usually quite different than hair salons. Staff is trained specifically for simple, men’s haircuts and grooming… the service is tailored to the client. The encouragement was two-fold:
- God deals with us, as men, on an individual basis. He knows exactly what we need and doesn’t answer our prayers according to someone else’s ‘style’… it’s a tailored fit.
- When you’re having your daily coffee, use it as a time to connect with the Lord. Combine that with prayer… for the things that you are facing and the people in your life. It’s a way to come together as the men of the church.
…and now, as to why we weren’t having service last Sunday.
Youth Weekend in Bordeaux
In the absence of being able to have a national youth convention, churches were encouraged to participate in a couple of regional events and for us… that meant Bordeaux.
Four of our youth had gone down on Friday but Timo was unable to join them as he was working his own internship on Saturday. So we decided to drive him down, Sunday morning, attend service there and then drive back Sunday afternoon (Timo came back in the car with the youth).
All that meant for a bit of a long day – 2.5hrs down by highway and about 3.5hrs back by regional roads, just to change things up. Great day though!
The youth of Bordeaux have been consistently amazing about including our youth. It almost feels like one youth group split in two locations.
Youth and More Youth
Last night, the youth spent the evening together again, but this time at the church where we have a huge yard. They were celebrating one young person who finished high school last week.
They tossed around a football, played another ball-game, gorged themselves on home-made pizza and, after Sophie led them in a short devotion, they topped things off with smores roasted over the bonfire that had been burning.
It was a wonderful, wonderful evening… much like many of the youth nights I remember as a kid… but this time, led by our kids. The Lord is definitely doing something special in our youth right now!
I’ll finish up for today with three more things…
- I mentioned Timo’s internship earlier. He’s studying optometry and has been working in an optometrist shop for the last three weeks. It’s unpaid but he has really enjoyed it. It’s in a small village about 15mins away from Châtellerault, but since it’s smaller and more quiet, he’s had a chance to do more hands-on work and they’ve had more time to teach him. He was even initiated into sales and did several. Today is his last day.
- Ice cream: This is completely random, but there are times when I really miss the 4L (1 gallon) tubs of ice cream back home. Here, the biggest I’ve seen is 2L, but for the most part, they’re just 1L tubs. I mean really… you’re lucky to get 4 bowls out of that! 🙂 On the upside… we’ve cut back our overall ice cream consumption.
- I had the joy of introducing a friend to beekeeping last week. She’d been wanting bees for some time, so I started a colony for her back in April and relocated them to her and her husband’s home last Wednesday. It’s nice to share competencies & pass along.
That’s been a few of the highlights from the past two weeks.
Thanks for stopping by to connect.
God bless you this week!