Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daybook: The French Pastries will be the End of Me" Edition

Outside my window... Finally, after a very rainy month of April, the 'beau temps" have returned.  Sunny and in the 70's this weekend.  Lovely, lovely, lovely.

::Listening to... Sounds of all the people down in the street below our apartment.  This is unusual for 2 reasons.  1, the weather is finally nice enough to open the window.  2, there are actually people out there on a Sunday.  Usually it's super quiet on Sundays since everything is closed.  But today is the semi-annual "braderie".  Think, enormous, city-wide yard sale.  (PNG friends, it's like a "Top O' the Hill Sale" on steroids.)   Because of this, many of the cafes are open as well.  Living in France is never dull, folks.

::Giving thanks for... Increasing confidence in speaking the French language.  Many opportunities for fellowship.  Lovely weather.  Opportunities to connect with my hubby.

::Pondering... I have a sweet friend who gave birth to twins at 25 weeks back in November.  Amazingly, they both lived (although both are still dealing with residual issues related to their prematurity) and were recently discharged from the hospital.  I just read their latest update in which she shared that her life consists completely of feeding them, changing them, holding them, and trying to get them to sleep.  Long, tiring days, to be sure.  She shared how the other day she was starting to feel sorry for herself because of the sleep deprivation and all of that, and then realized that she shouldn't.   She is sleep deprived because God has seen fit to bless their family with two sweet children to raise for His glory.  He saw fit to allow them both to live (not something that you take for granted when you deliver at 25 weeks!)  She realized anew how she needs to savor and appreciate every moment she gets to spend with these little blessings that God has given them, even the ones that come in the middle of the night.   I was really convicted by that.   Thankfully, we are beyond the sleep-deprivation phase of parenting, but there are definitely other challenges that we do face in the stage we are in.  I confess that in the last couple of weeks I have been focusing on the challenges and not enjoying my children as I should.  Lord, help me to recognize that these little people in my home are blessings straight from Your hand, and the challenges along the way are opportunities to learn to depend more on your strength and wisdom.

::Living the Educational Life... School is going well from a "the kids are making progress" perspective, and not so well from a "mama is organized" perspective.   I think the next few weeks we are going to do 3-4 days/week rather than taking our traditional full week off, to make up for the vacation week we are going to take at the end of May.  Hopefully an "off" day each week will let me feel a little more caught up on life.

::Preparing in the Kitchen... Haven't MADE anything interesting lately...but have made several food related observations in the past week. First of all, how is one supposed to decide what to have for dessert when the dessert buffet looks like this?

(Confession: I couldn't decide.  I ate far more off of this table than I care to admit.  I paid for it in wacky blood sugar for the next 48 hours...but oh my, I almost think it was worth it....)

Second food related observation: only in France would you attend a barbeque where the hot dogs are served in baguettes instead of buns along with a little paper cup of red wine...

::Following These Links... Another fantastic, timely, convicting post from the folks over at Doorposts...
::Turning Pages... I really enjoyed reading Redifining Home last week.  I could relate on so many levels to the experiences of the author, although she lives in China and I've lived in PNG/France/Africa.   If you are a lady living cross-culturally - I'd recommend it.  And if you're not, but you'd like to better understand some of the challenges facing ladies living overseas...I'd reccomend it to you too.

::Finding Rhythm... I'm thinking we need to work more outdoor time into our rhythm.  This nice weather is calling to me...

::Kiddos this week... Well, actually last week...we had a project day.  We needed to push the reset button so, we did.  We had so much fun baking cookies, drawing in our nature journals, reading stories together, and painting.

::Praying... For wisdom in evaluating my priorities and using my time well, and senstivity to the Lord's guidance as I go through each day. And that we will be able to make some French friends, so we will have more opportunities to practice speaking French outside of our class times.  Praise: I am going to a French ladies Bible study tomorrow night!

::Planning the week ahead... Well, we get our new schedule tomorrow.  And then Tuesday is a public holiday (French labor day).   And then back to the grind.  Need to find some study time and figure out the plus-que-parfait.  And organize my papers from the last month.  And run errands.  You get the idea. =)

Hope yours is a good week too!

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