Advancing in Weakness – Feb 2019

I spent much of February fighting a virus, so God
continues to emphasize my need for a season of rest while He accomplishes
things for me! Let’s start with the Valentine’s Day party as an example:

When I started feeling sick Thursday the 7th, I knew
it was Spirit-led when I had started cutting out hearts in January! In fact, all
of the party details were organized by the time I was bed-ridden, so the only concern
was having the energy to pull it off. God made good use of that week to talk to
me about a lot of things, like “What’s my motivation, esp. if no one shows up?”
That’s when I realized that I had to be doing it for Jesus first and let it go.
He was also talking to Manuela, the pastor’s wife, about my situation (being
attacked for wanting to celebrate brotherly love after my 3-month hiatus in
America) as a highlight of relational issues in our Body that need intercession!

So on Thursday the 14th, David decided the best Valentine he could give me was an afternoon of “gifts of service” on a ladder to lighten the decor load, hanging a dozen garlands 2 days in advance. He also single-handedly hauled over everything from our house that was pink or red and stacked 100 chairs. My coughing fits were louder than any thoughts of romance, but I’d never felt more loved.

Thankfully, Olivia would be home just in time to help
me and another young lady decorate the tables on Friday, while David perfected
the background music playlists and PowerPoint presentation. My tortured lungs
also decided that Olivia would make a great MC for the evening. (Essential oil
capsules recommended by the pharmacist were not a miracle cure…)  

Saturday we arrived early for last minute details and waited to see how many would show up. I had planned for 8 tables of 6. We filled 5 tables of 4. And none of my good friends were able to make it, with the exception of Pastor Luc and Manuela. But the ones that did come overcame lots of obstacles to be there and they felt very loved. They brought an abundance of red and pink aperitifs. They expressed appropriate awe when learning that Americans buy 1 billion Valentine cards per year. And they participated wholeheartedly in my original candy heart game. It felt like a cozy home group during the remaining time spent nibbling and sharing around the tables.

I have to say that David, Olivia and I made a really good
team and after their final cheers of thanks, we announced that we were too
tired to clean up. It could wait until the next day. But everyone insisted that
we go on home, while most of them stayed late to do it themselves!  All we had to do was come by later and gather
our pile of personal stuff. They also left us a big group thank you note and
all the leftover drinks and chocolates! So the love went both ways that evening…
and I think Jesus enjoyed it too!

On another topic, I have mentioned wanting to write a
children’s book, but though I was motivated, I struggled with the actual content.
But the first draft fell into place easily last month and I am even happier
with my 2nd draft that happened in just a couple of sittings this
month. Self-publishing isn’t an option for me because I want it to be a multi-sensory,
multi-lingual board book. But I’m encouraged to learn that France has a strong
publishing market, that many publishers are actually accepting manuscripts and that
none of them mention the word “agent”!
I believe I’m in the right place to take on this little dream, one step at a
time, as God continues to lead and inspire me.

In the same vein, I started my French Sunday school
blog exactly 2 years ago and posted my final post last September. It wasn’t
until last week that I finally got my first comment from a very complimentary
teacher in Strasbourg. She wanted to use my Lord’s Prayer craft for her
confirmation class, but spotted a typo and wanted help fixing it. My weekly
hits are also slowly climbing – encouraging timing as I start to identify
myself as an author!

The last week of Feb was the best one: my coughing stopped
and I felt well enough to get outside and enjoy some unusually warm, sunny
weather and…
we finally got an email with an appointment to sign for the house!!
It’s hard to believe that it’s actually going to happen after 15 months of
feeling powerless to move things forward any faster. Luc and Manuela had it
worse: They just lived 9 of those months without a bathroom in their apartment in
the chateau (and I never heard them complain once!) The house was gutted last
week and today we met together to pray over the renovation phase. Tuesday we
will sign the papers and a couple of weeks later, we will meet with the general
contractor.
Here’s hoping that this is a prophetic sign that our church building will
follow suit!

Resting and trusting, Angela

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