From Heaven to My Heart

Considering It has been just over a month since I was in the largest church service I have ever been too, I am a little late with this post. It remains, however, a monumental part of my summer, of my year, and of my life, so I have decided to write about it anyway, because the message I received might help some of you 🙂

NAYC19 MK Family

On August 1, 2019, my brothers and I hopped aboard three flights and found ourselves (on our lonesome) in St. Louis, Missouri for North American Youth Congress 2019. This marked the beginning of what would be three busy, but life-changing days. Similarly to NAYC17, my brothers and I would spend Congress with other missionary kids from around the world, both state-side and abroad. Compared to last NAYC, however, there was a difference: two years ago we had been introduced to the MKs for the first time, whereas this year, after two years of phone calls, face-times, and texting that drew us closer to one another, we were reunited, not even as friends, but as the weirdest, most eclectic family one can find. It was as though we had never left each other. The craziness we had become accustomed to did not change and only got worse over the course of the conference.

For as long as I could talk about the MKs, they are not the main subject of this post, though they played a great role in my experience.

Thirty-seven thousand people– that is, approximately, how many were in attendance at Youth Congress 2019. Despite this multitude of people, however, there were a couple moments where I was alone with the only One in the stadium who truly mattered.

filling “the Dome”, four floors of apostolics

In a stadium as large as “the Dome” was, one can very easily feel minuscule, like an ant in New York or any city for that matter, and such a feeling can be staggering and can take adjustment. On the first night of Congress, I remember arriving at the stadium and having to attach myself to other MKs, as we tried to keep our eyes on the flag that was being held up by the tallest among us. That person of 6’6 was trying to navigate us through the tight crowd of apostolics, all anxious to get inside. My amazement only grew after getting inside and having the crowd be just as dense as it was outside. Finding our seats took about 10 minutes, but from those seats we could watch the people file into the building.

Why, exactly, did I just spend a whole paragraph describing the multitude that is NAYC? Because, dear reader, there was something very important about said crowd. You see, it wasn’t just any crowd; 37,000 apostolics didn’t simply invade St. Louis for quality time with friends and good gospel music. No sirree! Those pentecostal young people came expecting God to do something great! They were gathered in His name, and as Matthew 18:20 tells us, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” So in case I did not make it obvious enough, honey, there were way more than two or three. There was no possible way God was not a part of those meetings.

Photo by AnaRáchel Thompson

Bro. Josh Carson preached the opening message, which would be the theme for the following services; he preached on “Kingdom Come,” and although I cannot remember all the specifics, I remember it spoke directly to my heart and brought me to my knees. The sound in the stadium, after the word was preached, was deafening, and the voices of thousands were raised so that they could be heard from blocks away. The noise was intense, yet, while I found myself weeping on my knees, it was just me and God. See, what was happening was God was taking a girl who had accepted where she’d been placed as a reality and He was giving her a purpose. He was speaking to her, not with words, but to her heart; it is an experience hardly describable, but when it happens, it is undeniable. I am speaking as a narrator, but that girl was me. God was reassuring me that I had a purpose and a calling, even if that calling might not be for the long-term. This moment was crucial for my life, and once I had been reminded of my purpose, I began feeling a burden for the people in France; the people that constantly surround me who are ignorant of the hope I possess. What this told me is that I am exactly where God wants me to be, and that if I make myself available to be used, God will use me to bring His kingdom to France.

Moments like that one happened every day, and God kept reinforcing the message by speaking through several of my friends. In hindsight, this insistence is making me realize how important it is to allow God to work through us. Many Christians, with a heart for God, pray to be used, but do not realize they have not made themselves available. God sometimes give us opportunities that we’re too afraid, hesitant, or proud to take because of how we might be perceived or because of how others may react. This is a flaw that I have noticed in myself and since discovering it, I have been praying for courage and pride in my Apostolic identity. I am not ashamed of what sets me apart from the world. After what Jesus did for me, how dare I be? He died so that I may live, that is a fact to be proud of.

Photo from MK Ministries

The Friday night service was one for the books and one I will probably remember for years to come. That night, the missionary kids, being beneficiaries of SFC (Sheaves For Christ, [the focus of the last service]), were asked on stage, to pray over the congregation. This was a tremendous honour and privilege for me; that we would be asked to pray over a gathering of people, who support missionaries, such as my family and those of my friends, through funds and prayer was something I could not take lightly. I pray now that we were able to bless those people who gave, even if it was solely through our two minutes of prayer on stage. We stood on that stage, in front of thousands of people, thanks to those who gave to Sheaves For Christ. Standing there, the silent message was, “thank you for your giving and for your investment in the Kingdom. Thank you for putting your trust in us and in our families. And thank you for allowing us to be your hands and your voices all across the globe, reaching the lost and broken, and spreading the gospel.”

Photo from MK Ministries

That night, Bro. Matthew Tuttle preached the message, “You Can’t Measure A Miracle” and he said, “we’ll never reach our world if we keep talking about our limitations.” Yet again, a message meant for me. God had been speaking to me of my purpose, but I often discouraged myself by putting limitations on myself, like so many others. We are human and, for some reason, we cannot seem to keep ourselves from comparing what we have, to what that person has. We say things like, “I’m not as good a singer or musician as he/she“, or “I’m not as outgoing as he/she, I can’t talk to them about that“, “I don’t know the Bible as much as he/she.” I know we all struggle with these thoughts, because I struggle with these thoughts, but as I am finding out, God can use whoever makes him or herself available. There is a world out there, beyond the safety boundaries of the church, that is hurting, broken, and searching to fill a God-shaped hole. We cannot afford to put worldly limitations on ourselves, because in doing so, we limit the God we glorify as omnipotent, almighty, and able to beyond what our minds can even comprehend. What we think to be limitations are self-inflicted. God can surpass those limitations, so I am going to start saying, “here’s what I have Lord, multiply.”

Picture from UPCI Youth Ministries: Can’t measure a miracle

 

Ready, here we go. summary:

Over the span of three days, God was speaking to me and transforming the way I viewed my position, my purpose, and my potential. God let me know that I was placed in France for a reason and that I am still needed here; He confirmed my position. The city of Châtellerault, where our church is located, and the surrounding areas need to know that there is a church that serves a living God. As I prayed at the altar and even in my seat, I felt a burden for my friends that do not yet know of the freedom that there is in Christ; God specified my purpose. When He knew the doubts I would have with regards to my calling, he reaffirmed his identity by reminding me to stop measuring miracles. He was telling me to stop focusing on my limits and start seeing what He could accomplish through me; God redefined my potential.

God can do the same for you, He is just THAT awesome! 🙂

 

 

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A Voice of Poitiers

Imagine the narrow, resonating cobblestone streets underneath a grey misty sky. The sound of French voices fills the air as people stroll in and out of street-side shops with bags hanging on their arms, proof of recent purchases. Many hide under hats with furry pompoms or giant scarves to protect them from November’s chill as they walk with friends at their sides or a significant other on their arm. No one is alone.

Above the blend of voices, one stood out as it sang an old tune, accompanied by the skillful strum of a wooden guitar. It was a deep, raspy sound that came from deep within to send a chill down the spine of any attentive listener, however, it’s charm fell on many deaf ears; all except two. Two girls followed the song to it’s source and found a slim, grey-haired, middle-aged man with an open guitar case at his feet. His eyes followed passerbys as he sang and the girls stood smiling and taking in the uniqueness of his voice.

IMG_1992

Our busker

There was something else about his voice; a result of the emotion with which he sang. Despite the lyrics of love and joy, a frown sat on his face; a frown that was probably the reason so many passed him by without a second glance. It was only after the song came to an end that the girls saw another side to the musician. It became very evident that he wasn’t a Frenchman but rather an English immigrant. The girl who could speak English and understand him couldn’t help but be shocked by this man’s bitter speech. Despite his bitterness, the girl spoke calmly in an effort to abate the man’s anger, encouraging him that a smile and a better attitude might be the difference between a passerby and listener’s donation. Twenty-some minutes later, the girl ended the encounter by singing “Amazing Grace” and giving a donation of her own.

Fast-forward to a couple months later, the same girl who had spoken to this Englishman was walking the same streets with some friends of hers when she passed the same man accompanied by his faithful guitar. She offering a quick “hello” before following her friends into a store, but there was something that tugged at her. With a quick word to her friends, she left the store and made her way to the singer who had just decided to break. The man greeted her and immediately began speaking (being a man with a lot to say), only this time with personal complaints. He didn’t complain about the French, or the cold that made playing the guitar a difficult task, but rather he confided in the girl. It’s at this point that she realized that this man, whom she’d only talked to a couple times, had enough trust in her to tell her about things that the next person over might’ve kept to himself.

***

This little novel-ish type post (a little different than my previous posts) has been in my drafts for several months now, and I’ve decided to share it with you all now. I’m a girl who loves to meet people, and this true story tells of an encounter I had last year with a lost, angry, and broken man whose name I won’t reveal to protect his privacy. Before meeting him, I’d never met someone so angry with the world and I’ll admit that it had shocked me. My view on life compared to his seemed to be completely opposite, yet he allowed me to become his friend.

I wanted to share this encounter with you all and ask you to help me pray for this man who so desperately needs to feel God’s love, and who needs to know that his life is more than a mere existence, but that he is valued by a heavenly Father who wants to give him a life filled with His joy and His purpose.

It’s only an end

Near the edge

My summer of four months is slowly coming to a close as “La Rentrée” (back to school) approaches more rapidly than I care to admit… anyone else got those feels?

I can’t really complain, yet I do, because that’s what students do. I suppose it’s partly due to the fear of the school year. In previous years, I never had to worry because I would do the same thing I’d always done: sit at my home desk for 9-10 months and do the same 5-6 classes… in the same order… every day. This year, I’m jumping into something completely different; not to mention something different in French!

Come on! Science was bad enough when I couldn’t understand it in English, now I’m expected to understand it in a French class?! Excuse me!

I couldn’t jump, I had my phone

I may be exaggerating a tad. It’s not as terrifying as that. I’ve had lots of people to assure me, that I will most likely NOT be that awkward loner that eats alone at a lunch table. Said people have also really helped me understand and prepare to enter into a french high school (lycée) by teaching me the “comme tu veux” (as you wish) mentality, which is a blessing and a curse for someone trying to gather supplies.

delinquent selfie ❤

Not only will getting out of the house every day be a big change from my past school years, I will actually need to be transported to my school. Why is this a big deal? If you haven’t guessed yet, I’ve been home-schooled my entire life. The only transportation I ever needed was my feet that transported me up and down stairs for 10 years. Come Tuesday (tomorrow), I will be taking a train and a bus to school.

Fun!

Is the excessive dry humour in this post hinting at my current mental state yet? I’m in a muddled state of mind. Excitement and nervousness are both present emotions going through my head right now, but these past couple of weeks, I’ve had the best people around to cope with.

the twins are ready

In the past two weeks alone, I’ve face-timed and called more than I have in 3-4 years. Since MK retreat and my family’s return to France, I’ve kept pretty impeccable contact with my MK family, partly because they cause withdrawals. Since everyone is in different parts of the world, face-timing means late night calls for some and early morning calls for others, but there’s no better way to exhaust myself than in an MK group call or a call from my bestie. They have all helped me cope with this new adventure in life. Some delinquent bike rides with the Twin might’ve also been a result of me going crazy, but we’re all a little crazy sometimes; a little craziness makes life interesting.

Enjoy these few pictures of my delinquency. There are about 200 more on my camera roll where I’m behind the camera, but I won’t bother with those ones 😉

My summer adventures are over, but that’s only an end. Pray for me as I start this new adventure, y’all; your prayers are very much appreciated!

 

 

The Return and Recap

The world is full of mysteries and incomprehensible realities, but would you like to know one that boggles my mind? How is it, that nearly three months seem to have disappeared? To me, that’s a mystery.

early mornings

 

This past Monday, my family’s 17 pieces of luggage and I landed on French soil once again, and everything that happened this summer now feels like a dream; only the many journal entries and pictures are the physical evidence of two and a half months spent in North America, everything else is a memory.

too many bags

 

I’ve had to ask myself things like, “Did I really graduate?” “Did I actually spend seven weeks at my home church?” “I didn’t seriously experience a whole four days with my MK family, did I?” Thinking back at everything I’ve been able to attend and all I’ve been able to do seems surreal, and yet, I sit here, three months later, with countless memories to treasure.

Now that I’m back in the quiet of my home, and the comfort of my own room, I’ve found myself thinking back. God’s provision made my return home possible, and his blessing made it refreshing. Beyond the traveling and attended events, I was able to be refreshed spiritually. I will remember a couple specific church services where God was almost tangible in the room, and where He spoke so clearly and directly.

That regeneration was so important, because being on the mission field, relatively alone in my faith, took its toll, and I needed to be reminded that I wasn’t alone; It’s my enemy that tries to convince me otherwise. But thank God I was reminded that He doesn’t disappear on me, and that there are so many people who understand and truly care about me.

trio adventures

My summer adventures were great, and I’m sorry I can’t share them all with you, but being back home doesn’t mean they’re over, in fact they’re only just beginning. Life is about to heat up for this non-french-yet-french girl, and I look forward to continue sharing my experiences with you.

 

Youth Camp as an “Adult”

Alert! Diary-sounding entry to follow!

Alrighty, if I’m being honest and technical, I became an adult two weeks ago, but in everything other than number, I still haven’t quite gotten there yet.

first night sunset

My latest adventure of this summer was at the Atlantic District Youth Camp, in New Brunswick, which took place at the Greenhill Lake Camp, June 27-July 1. Five days roughing it in a cabin with six other girls made me nervous at first, until I stepped foot onto the campground. I shared a room with some dear friends and some new people, who I quickly became acquainted and friends with (sharing a room can do that).

amazing roommates ❤

We arrived Wednesday afternoon, and from that day forth the schedule was always the same: breakfast at 8:30 a.m, devotions at 10:00 a.m, lunch at noon, team games, separate boy’s and girl’s swimming, supper at 5:00 p.m, and nightly service at 7:00 p.m. Just to give you a feel for the setting, if you’re familiar with the Little House on the Prairie, you would know everyone traveled to church in a wagon or on foot; it was very pleasantly similar at camp. Every service, people walked from their cabins, in the sun and rain, to get to the sanctuary for church.

our sanctuary

And what anointed and powerful church services we had! The sanctuary floor was not built to withstand an apostolic praise break, and on a couple occasions, someone had to speak up, because there was a concern that we would fall through the floor. People spread out, but not even that could stop our praise!

I take no credit for this great edit

Bro. Galloway, the camp’s invited speaker, ministered incredibly and sincerely to the young people. I speak for myself in saying that every one of his messages touched my heart. He spoke about identity, value, having power in our voices, and letting God write out the story of our lives– each of those things being so important for me to hear as a young girl just out of high school.

You don’t have camp without having fun, and boy did I enjoy myself! One depressing, grey day, when the girls were banished to a basement, while the boys had their water time, I found out I wasn’t half bad at painting. Since I’m a pretty positive person, I’ll say the painting wasn’t half bad, rather, it was half good.

my first painting

One night, the campers played capture the flag in the dark and each got glow sticks; that was fun, except for the water that got in my shoes. One thing to know about me, is that I’m not sporty; however, I won gold for (my) team seven– also called GFN during the budget olympics. GFN (God’s Favourite Number) ended up winning the scavenger hunt with twenty-one points, which, I believe is the reason our team placed first at the end of camp. Allow me to brag for a minute: *clears throat* “GFN! GFN! GFN!”

 

I bet there was good service there…

I’ll tell you why I thrived in the Greenhill camp atmosphere. No internet meant not much phone usage, with the exception of taking pictures and videos of the pre-service dances. I talked to people. I reconnected with childhood friends and met new ones. It was an old-school environment, where social media and the internet hardly existed, and I loved every second.

silliness is accepted

God has made this summer the most eventful one of my life so far, and I have been so blessed to be able to take part in this much already; and I’m excited to say that it’s still not over yet. There is more to come, and I may just freak out a little bit.

last day with my people

 

I hope this diary-like post didn’t bore you; sometimes it’s hard to explain the pure awesomeness of an actual thing, especially when what happened was completely above words.

Love, Frenchie 🙂

Blue Pillow Cases

I’m a graduate and it’s still very hard to believe… that’s probably why I’m blogging about it; blogging always makes me think about what I’m talking about.

Before I elaborate on what it feels like to be a high school drop– uh… graduate, why don’t I tell you all about the biggest weekend of my life and the weekend that began my “adult” life.

For those of you who only know me as a blogger, you might not have know that I’ve never gone to school a day in my life, the reason being I’d been homeschooled from start to finish. The majority of those years, I’d been educated with Abeka Academy, a distance education program based in Pensacola, Florida. I started doing video classes with Abeka in grade 7, which allowed me to become part of a class with teachers that I could favour or dislike as I pleased. Completing my studies in Abeka’s accredited program was what allowed me to attend the Abeka graduation, along with some 510 graduates.

Now that history is settled, and you know everything about me,  let me tell you about the weekend were the fun happened.

several other of my video teachers

Everything began on Friday, and the excitement as well as numbness was real! We arrived on the Pensacola Christian College campus where most of the weekend’s activities would take place. After an assembly in an auditorium that seated several thousand people, I took a tour of the college campus and was very impressed with what I saw; I knew if I became a student there, I’d get lost among all the pretty buildings that could easily make up a tiny city. Probably the most exciting was seeing the video teachers in person and touring the Pensacola Christian Academy (PCA). As I roamed the colourful halls and saw the familiar video classrooms, all those classes I’d taken suddenly came to life; all those students and teachers that I’d watched for years became real gosh-darn people.

Friday evening was the Sports Centre Spectacular, where the graduates and their families could enjoy an evening of free games and activities. As if I wasn’t already impressed enough by the campus, they completely outdid themselves by having an indoor ice rink, one of the biggest college campus rockwalls, a rollerskating track,  bowling alleys, and so much more. I promise I’m not being payed to promote, I’m just a little graduate extremely impressed at everything that made my weekend remarkable. At the Spectacular I got to meet and chat with several of the video teachers, and was in awe of how each of their characters shone.

Where graduation took place

My all-time favourite teacher, Mr. Smith

Saturday was the big day that started very early for all us graduates, as we had rehearsals for most of the morning. We practiced the ins and outs of the ceremony and by noon, we were ready for lunch. At the video luncheon (as they called it) my family and I were seated with another graduate and his family, and after eating, I delivered some French cheese to my all-time favourite teacher before leaving to get ready for the real ceremony.

 

I should’ve been nervous, or shaking in my cap and gown but I wasn’t; I felt calm. I even started making conversation with a couple of my graduate classmates as we waited in line for the walk to start. Then the time came. I marched in the processional with 509 other graduates, and smiled at the back of the head of the girl in front of me like I was told. It went by so quickly! Before I knew it, I was walking across the stage in front of thousands of people, and livestreamers, shaking the hand of the school president and receiving my empty diploma case. Could it really be over, just like that?

Yup.

international graduates

The moment I accepted that diploma (not that I could very well refuse it… that would be a first), my 12-ish years of schooling were over. That’s still weird to wrap my head around, probably because I’m not quite ready to be an adult… ask my brothers; I found something from my childhood and used it, despite being a supposedly mature near-18-year-old. Growing up is overrated.

My blue pillow case

So… Adios to that adventure, and Bonjour to the adventures to come 🙂

Would I if I Could?

Would you ever go back?  Off the bat, I can’t remember if I have ever been asked that question, but I know how I would answer it:

Nopitty, nope, no. Absolutely not.

Now, I have been asked if I would rather have stayed in Canada than journey to the unknown country of France. That’s a hard question to answer now that I have lived here for three years. However, had I been asked that before leaving Canada, I probably would’ve chosen to stay in my comfort-zone.

But time has flown since that 14-year-old girl left home to live in the beautiful, picturesque, sometimes aggravating country of France. I am senior in high school, with only a month left of school, and just over a month until graduating, and I can easily say that I wouldn’t go back for the world. The reason? Because this journey has given me so much that Canada never could’ve given me.

Do I miss home? Of course I do. I miss my city, church, friends, and amazing family. In a way, it’ll always be “home”, but then again, home is wherever you choose to leave a piece of your heart. A country (maybe two), a house, or even a person can be home. Home can be defined as a safe place, where one feels comfortable and secure. Moving to France took me out of that comfort-zone, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Let me tell you why.

Consequently, I met a ton of new people (as I so love to do). These people have helped me come into the world of baguettes, traffic circles, castles, and horrible customer service. Thanks to my French friends, my French has gotten much better since arriving. Not only have I met people in France, but by becoming an MK, I’ve met kids from around the world who understand the things I go through. In a previous post, I talked about NAYC17, which is were I met this motley assortment of people. They’re a family to say the least. In three days, I met people who have since become some of my closest friends. If I did press a button that could change my past so that I had never left Canada, I wouldn’t have all these amazing people in my life.

People aren’t the only blessings this journey has given me. I’m not ready to announce this just yet, so allow me to be ambiguous. For just over a year, I have been working on a project that my younger self wouldn’t have believed or thought of doing (let your imaginations run wild with that one;) My life in Canada would never have allowed me the time to think about, or even start this project, seeing as it takes time. I’m excited and terrified to reveal this project, but I should be ready to share this secret with y’all soon.

These reasons are only a couple of the major reasons why I would never trade this life for my past one. My life has changed, and honestly, I’m okay with that now, because I’ve allowed myself to see how God has used this journey to enrich my life.

That’s all for this post folks. I hope you all have a terrific day!

 

A Much-Needed Weekend

Last weekend, when the parents announced we were heading down to Bordeaux for a special youth service, my first reaction wasn’t a very enthusiastic one. Not because I don’t like going to Bordeaux, or the people there scare me, but rather because the introverted, mole side of me cringed at the thought of emerging from my little mole-hole.

Unlike back home, the youth service took place Saturday evening. The family and I arrived early, so we decided to kill some time by walking around downtown and ordering a Starbucks. (Yay, another Starbucks three hours away!) *fist pumps*

EPU de Bordeaux, jeunes

A group of young people from the church went out evangelizing earlier that afternoon, which resulted in a couple newcomers to that evening’s service. The invited guest speaker was Samuel Sheikadam, the national youth president of France, who came with his wife Lisa. It was a great service! I was amazed by the fervency of the youth. At the altar call, I was emotional. I could feel God’s spirit reaching the deep parts of me that I prefer to keep hidden: the insecurities, fears, all the feelings that I hide from the world. All those things that others can’t see, but that God can… yeah. It can be scary to know He sees everything, but it can also be comforting.

After the service, the youth headed to Stake n’ Shake for some good ‘Merican food and fellowship. I have to tell you… I needed some youth fellowship. The feeling of laughing till the muscles in my cheeks hurt, and being surrounded by Godly, fun young people was so refreshing.

While the rest of my family shared their little hotel room, I stayed the night with the pastor’s daughter and amused myself by killing gigantic spiders at 11:30 p.m. Safe to say I was her hero 😉 What really made my night was staying up till the early hours talking with said pastor’s daughter. For me it was like old times, only with new people.

Sunday morning rolled around quickly, and what another great service! Two people were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and had their sins washed away; one having received the Holy Ghost just the day before! Praise God for bringing two more beautiful souls into his kingdom!

It’s silly, but I felt incredibly nervous about that little trip. I was not at my best mentally, and was certainly not feeling like showing my face to the world. Before leaving, I asked God for confidence, and it’s a prayer I continually pray. I’m praying for what I lack. Do you want to know something? On the drive back home, I realized that God answered my prayer, He DID give me confidence. He gave me enough so that I wouldn’t close in on myself. I’m so glad for a prayer-answering God who cares for me!

Let me give a moral to this blog post. Sometimes we worry about the silliest little things. We waste away worrying, and in the end, the thing we end up worrying about turns out to be just what we needed. That’s exactly what happened to me last weekend.

We may not always know the why’s, but God does, and He knows what we need. Sometimes, He has to drag us out of our mole-holes to give it to us, and even though we may do it kicking and screaming… (worrying), when we see why God did it, we see how silly we were not to have trusted Him.

Between us, I’m still learning. It’s not always easy, but like this weekend taught me… it’s worth it.

My Year – 2017

The year is quickly coming to a close (in fact, 2017 will end in exactly 57 minutes from the time I’m writing ing this), and 2018 will arrive before anyone knows it. I say this a lot and I truly mean it: time does fly.

Let me say something in all honesty… A lot of people complain about how bad 2016 was, then they complain about how their 2017 was supposed to be “their” year and it wasn’t. Now we’re repeating the same process. Here’s what you and I must realize: The year will be what we make it.

Let me shine some light on one of the things that made my year: People.

Since moving to France I’ve really had no choice but to meet people, seeing as I knew no one, but this year in particular has led to many new acquaintances. If you’ve been reading my sporadic blog posts for a while you may remember a previous post entitled “That Was Unexpected.” If you’re new, welcome! Moving on. I wrote that post when I met one of the many people this year has brought into my life.

I’m not even going to count the people I’ve met with year because I don’t want to leave anyone out, but what I can say for certain is that each new acquaintance that I’ve made has been in response to my first prayer upon arriving in France: God send me friends.

I’ve made acquaintances at weddings, through my brothers, through social media, and my favourite… NAYC17. At Congress alone I met at least 30 people, all of which I shared a connection with without having previously known them. That wouldn’t have been possible had God not sent my family to France.

I stay in contact with some more than with others, but that doesn’t mean the other people mean less. I truly believe that God placed each one into my life in answer to that prayer that I prayed three years ago. Whether they were from North or South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, (I have yet to meet someone from Antarctica, but six continents out of seven is still pretty impressive 😉 Little old me somehow managed to find people from all around the world.

So. What made my year? People did. New friends did. That bearded bus driver, the one that waves to me and smiles every morning, he did. God did.

I think everyone should take a step back and think for a minute, because I’m sure if you looked hard enough, you would find at least one good thing that made your 2017. A gesture, an act of kindness, thoughtfulness, a new friend, a stranger buying your coffee, or finally publishing that book of yours.

Little or small, it couldn’t have been all bad. How good was your 2017, really?

🙂

 

Ready Aim Release

I’ll have to admit something… life as a homeschooler in France, when your brothers are away in private school isn’t the most exciting lifestyle. but I’m not complaining, After classes, I’m perfectly content to stay at home, chill, light a candle, play some instrumental music, dim the lights to set the mood, and either read or write (or watch a movie, if I’m being honest). I’m happy with this life, the only thing that disturbs me is everything I’m missing because of my bat-like life.

BUT… “I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there”, and tell you how my hermit life became a little less of a hermit life 😉

Why not take to calling me Kat? Why? Since September, my normally bland week now has an activity, that activity being archery, hence the nickname. I’m currently a Katniss in training. Some people were surprised by my choosing this sport (yes, it is a sport), but I just found it appealing, and I thought I’d like to learn more about it.

If you remember my title “Ready Aim Release” I’ll tell you what I have in mind. I learned a lot in my first lesson of archery. Things like safety rules, how to arm and disarm a bow, how to hold the bow, “the stance”, and how to aim and shoot.

Image result for princess mia, archery

After coming home late from class (because sometimes time isn’t well managed… all the better for practice), a thought came to me. In class, I learned, first hand, that stance and positioning do matter and greatly determine the arrow’s trajectory. When using the eye, an archer aims by looking at the point of the arrow. For the arrow to go where the archer wants it (which is normally the center), the archer needs to take time to aim, position his hand in the correct place, and pull back far enough to give the arrow enough force to strike the target accurately.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” -1 Corinthians 3:11

I started to apply this idea of position, aim, and release to life. For the arrow to hit the target, a strong core and foundation are needed; this example is the one I applied to life. Think of your life as the arrow, and the center of the target is God’s plan for you, the perfect future he has planned. Now, for your life to follow God’s plan, you need a strong foundation, but what every person has to figure out for himself is what makes up his foundation. Is it something solid or shaky? The answer to that question will determine where that arrow (your life, my life) will go.

Hold your head up, straighten your back, pull back your shoulders, suck in that gut, ready your arrow, pull back, aim, and release. I believe the greatest release will be when our life hits the center where God’s plan lies. 10 points in the game, much more in life.