Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today I picked 5 people up from the airport. I picked up 5 people who are starting out on their own French adventure. 5 people who will get to grown and learn more about themselves, France, and life then they ever imagined.

I have known these five people would be joining my office for some time now. I have been excited for their arrival, for the most part because they are close to my age. However, today, a new excitement overcame me. One that makes me feel alive and a part of the French life. Today I was given the gift to give back all that has been given to me.

I was able to drive them around, get them settled into a temporary place to stay, walk them around like zombies when all they would want to do is sleep or cry. I was able to give direction to the directionless, and know that one day, sooner than they expect… they will be able to do this all on their own. I got to make them a meal and send them off to bed. And I got to dream, to dream about all that will come about for them in this next year.

I am excited for 5 new people. And the 5 new influences on my time here, learning, living, and loving in France.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Goodbye and Hello

The day before leaving I had the most incredible day, Filled with sunshine and a nice bike ride down The Pacific with a good friend. While cruising down the strand, all I could think was that life couldn’t get any better than that moment. The sky was a bright blue, with scattered puffy blue clouds, sounds of the ocean crashing played in the back ground, while my bike bell jingled and greeted those we passed by. While wearing a fun causual summer sundress, the smell of SPF lingered on my skin leaving the perfect scent of summer. The wind was blowing in my hair and left me feeling free from everything except my cherry red beach cruiser. It was perfection.

Flashforward to the next day when I landed in Paris. All the wonderful people at home imagine me in the center of the beautiful city, the Eiffle tower sparkling bright, and who could forget Notre Dame! (I mean, of course you see these out of the window of the plane when you land 40 minutes out of the city.) So imagine to my suprise when I landed and the first thing I see out the plane window is... a down pour of rain. I suppose it's time to trade in those flip flops for my parapluie (umbrella).

Good bye summer tan- Hello frizzy hair!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chosing Thankfulness

Everyday since my return to the grand USA has been filled with overflowing Joy, love, and appreciation for my life here. And with 5 days left the reality of my leaving becomes ever present in my life.

When I was in 7th grade someone gave me a card with this quote on it

“I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it.”

– Charles Swindoll

I have quoted and recalled this line many times throughout my whole 26 years of life and really believe in what this quote represents. Whenever I catch myself not wanting to return to France, one of my first reasons is because here life is so, “easy.” It just works, I understand it, I can work the systems, and it clicks without breaking invisible boundaries I never knew could exist.

However, we have never been called to a life of Easiness… We have been called to live a life of thankfulness. After this realization, Today I decided to meditate today on the things that I am thankful for not just here in my “easy” life, but also in the place where I am continually stretched and grown into the woman I am to be.

- I am thankful for the hard times, because they have taught me how to be stronger.
- I am thankful for the lonely times, because they taught me a new level of self-confidence and worth.
- I am thankful for the places I get to visit, not because of the magnificent views and world monuments I see, but for the people I meet, and the stories I know.
- I am thankful for my first French friend I met in Dance class, who just thinking upon her brings a smile on my face and what a blessing that friendship will always be.
- I am thankful to know what a real croissant should taste like, cause the one’s here simply do not cut it any longer.
- I am thankful for the families that took me in and had me over for dinner and made me part of their family when mine was so far away.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to still be a part of the French community and for those who know who I am. My produce guy, my boulangerie woman, and my herb lady- I look forward to continuing to growing relationships with all of them.
- I am thankful for the ability to intricately know the streets of Paris and my small town, that I am not forever lost, but know the back streets- as much as I know the streets to the place I have always called home.
- I am thankful for all those who have loved me enough to let me go, and to support me through all my time away, and prayed for me throughout the journey.
- I am thankful for the ability to live an exciting life adventure and to take people on it with me.
- I am thankful I am returning to a place I know, a language I am competent enough in, and a roommate to have shared experiences with.
- I am thankful to have the ability to continue to learn French through emersion.
- I am thankful of not knowing the adventures that lay ahead, but have the firm foundation to believe whatever happens, I have been prepared thus far to handle whatever situation comes my way, and to have the confidence in knowing God never gives us anything we cannot handle.
- I am thankful to have had this time home, to restore and go back to see Paris, and do ministry well.
- I am thankful for the reminder that attitude is everything, and the opportunity to practice.
- I am thankful for every supporter who believes in what I am doing and having the summer to share with each of them.
- I am thankful for each person who reads my blog and follows my journey along the way.
- I am thankful for the life I have been given, the ability to live out my dreams, and the expectancy of what growth and greatness exists in the year ahead.

I am going to chose thankfulness and through the process of choosing to be thankful watch the fruit of easiness bloom into my life abroad.