Friday, May 23, 2008


I made it to the park finally!
I had been planning on it for days… weeks it seems like, but the weather kept on getting in my way. Turns out all the storms were a blessing… they say Aix is never this lush! The park was gleaming green. All that rain made it worth the wait.
Tuesday was my first staff meeting. We have staff meetings every Tues from 9am-12, then the staff took me out for a welcome lunch! Then we had another meeting, for our upcoming kids camp afterwards… so after being in meetings ALL day long I went to Michele’s, bought watercolors, and a stack of paper, and heading to the park were I painted for hours.
It seems that my entire trip has been a perfect balance of work and relaxing. My heart hasn’t longed for this much alone time ever; but I am soaking up every ounce of it! I live alone, about a 30min walk outside the city. I do most things alone. I knew this would happen, and before I left for my trip I was really dealing with the fear of being secluded so much.
I don’t feel lonely though. I feel rejuvenated. No, I feel like I’m on my way to getting rejuvenated! I have gone through a lot, emotionally and physically this last year and it has done a toll on me!
I had become exhausted, and sick.
This time I have in France is just what my heart has been longing for.
On Tuesday I was with the amazing staff of ICCP talking about ministry all day long, and in the evening I sat under a tree and painted at the park. I feel like God is handing me the vary thing I need on a golden platter, and allowing me to just feast.
I am feasting on the intimacy of Christ. He is constantly reminding me that I am His beloved, and is renewing my soul. He reminds me that He loves me to the extent of wanting my soul to be flourishing, not just surviving.
I have space here to breath. And Think. And just be.
This is a very unique time in my life.
I am in a time of renewal now. I am basking in the goodness of love. “I am in love Himself” (The Great Divorce, C.S Lewis)

The Staff I am working with is amazing! I am so fortunate to be with them this summer, and doing ministry along side of them. I am so looking forward to all the times I will get to spend with them.

Through everything point to Christ. That is the truth I have been sitting in. Rejoice in your sufferings. Paul’s letters have been speaking so much more truth to me recently. I have been going through a lot medically, and through that I am reminded that “Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
I am allowing this time of pain to sill reflect the goodness of God. I will reflect Him through it all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Getting lost in the City

I did this for the first few days here unintentionally, but today I got lost on purpose. I allowed myself to stroll through the city, with no particular place to go. With my eyes wide open I soaked in this unique city more than I had ever before. When I first got here, I felt as if I was walking through the narrow streets with tunnel vision. But with this new intent to notice I found more that the city had to offer.
Just by my favorite art store, ‘Michele’ there is a passage way leading into Le Palis De Justice, which is the towns courthouse. I hadn’t noticed the passage until today. Its easily overlooked with its small arched stone entrance. Just down the passage I found Sperpa, I felt at home right when I walked in! This was a little hippy/earthy store that posses some of the most gorgeous items I’ve ever seen! So I bought four of them! I bought three oversized handkerchiefs, that act more as wall décor, and a scarf. I’m getting exited to decorate my room next year at school. The lady that works there was very generous with the little French I know.
After walking around Center Ville (the center of town) for quite some time I made it back to a book store Kerri took me too a few days before. The ‘Book and Bar’ is a English book store, which serves coffee and tea! I will be finding myself there a great deal I think. This time I found myself overhearing a book club discussing their current adventure book. The club was full of English speaking international adults anywhere from 30-50 years old. A new dream of mine is to be apart of such book club in a foreign country one day. It was just brilliant to listen to them… all extremely interesting, well traveled, full of life and intrigued with literature.
Right before I started on my thirty minute walk home I stopped and energized myself on some good ol’ American Ben and Jerry’s. Horrible decision…. One small scoop of cherry Garcia later I spent over five US dollars. I should have just gotten gelato.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The begginings...

Its raining here, which is quite odd! It rained a bit yesturday as well while I was walking around town, but its been windy and rainy all day today! I was planning on going into town - getting some water colors, and heading to the gorgeous park to paint, and write. But the rain has changed my plans.
Instead I have been organizing things here at the apartment, and have been reading ALL morning long (Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers) . My glorious jet lag woke me up at 5am... so Ive had quite a bit of time on my hands! This is wierd for me.
Im use to consantly working, and staying busy.
It's really refreashing.
Julie (Julie and Darren are the head pastors/missonaries of iccp) told me yesturday that I need to take advantage of the space I have now, and relax without feeling guily! Soon Ministry will pick up, and I will be more busy.
I have a feeling that it will still be a slower pace than what I am used to though.
Shops dont open till 9am... same with peoples front doors. They take nice, leisurely lunch's, and arn't moved as much by the high pace society I am use to... being a full time college student along with all my other responsibilities.

Yesturday (my first day in Aix) I met up with Kerri (another missonary) and she took me through town. I was in a juxtapose of everything feeling so familiar from last year, and everything being so new and foreign! Aix is breathtaking! One of the main streets is lined with tall lush trees that automatically take your gaze straight up toward the heavens. It's the city of fountains. There are fountians everywhere around town. That with the cobble stone, narrow paths it makes Aix such a perfect quaint little city! I am going to have such a unique summer!

I will be meeting with Megan (the missonary im interning under) in the next few days, and will talk about my responsibilities this summer. So far I know that we have staff meetings on tues, youth on wed and church on sun. Along with doing the youth adventure camp, and the kids camp in a month.

Ill find out more soon!
I can feel God preparing me. He seems to have His hands very securely around me right now - I can feel Him. He has been sitting with me all morning - relaxing my spirit; preparing me for what is to come.
I have never enjoyed being alone so much before. I thought I would be restless. But I am cherishing it. Yet I know that 2 months of this might rub me a bit. :)

My goal is to embrace the seasons I will be going through in the next couple months. Embrace them as Christ would.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Norwegian gods

I was flying among the gods, with Sillia, the goddess of music to my left and Thor the god of thunder and lightning to my left. For ten hours I basked in their wisdom that seemed to surpassed the ages.
After we all exchanged the meaning and history behind our names she corrected my crocheting skills. “All you Americans do it like that. It is as if you are stabbing it to death. You will never be able to crochet silk in that manner my dear. Here…”
At that she took away my hat, or as he liked to call it my “egg warmer”, and showed me how to do it proper.
Thor and I chatted about his time in the Norwegian military. He had trained to be an officer, but got out of the service soon after his time was up. Thor let me into glimpse of his world throughout the whole flight. I could see him slipping in and out of consciousness while we were talking about his youth.
“I remember when Germany had invaded Norway. They complexly took over, and we were under their rule for quite some time“
“War is a scary thing” I said.
“Yes, it should always be the last result. We shouldn’t ever have to end in war.” he remarked, while fading off into his memories.
Sillia was writing Thor love letter during his time in the service. The thing that gave him hope. His goddess had left the country while she was in High School and was off studying abroad in Medford Oregon, become very fluent in her English.
“It looked a great deal like Norway. Very green and beautiful. I enjoyed it very much. Yes, I was very pleased with Oregon” I agreed with her, I long for Oregon quite often now.
They thought things were getting better when they were my age.
“I remember when the Berlin wall fell. I thought then, ‘now its going to get better‘. Equal rights… no more rape. I thought the world was getting better.” Sillia said to me through her thick accent.
“Humanity is still innately the same though” I said “We will always deal with those issues, because there will always be evil in the world we have to fight against.”
We then went on an awfully long tangent about the current day sex trade industry.
Two women very passionate about fighting the evil in the world, exchanging titles of books we’ve been reading about the issue, and encouraging each other in the war against injustice.
“We cant stop fighting though, just because it is getting worse. You know, I really believe that - it is getting worse. The world wasn’t this bad when I was 21. We just have to fight harder.”
We went on and on about world issues, politics, religion and our pasts. I felt right at home, sitting in between the gods of Norway while flying to Amsterdam. I wouldn’t have started my trip any other way.