Our title reflects the fact that I am updating previous stories mentioned in past newsletters. So for the convenience of our new or forgetful readers, I’ve included links to the newsletter I’m referring to. You’ll notice the format of our letter has a lighter, cleaner look that matches our newly designed website. I think the best improvement is the Support page. We hope you can navigate easily and find whatever you’re looking for. (Noah and Olivia’s pages are still under construction.)
To celebrate the beautiful fall weather we’re having, I’m including a photo of some common vine leaves that decorate much of Soultz. Does anyone else have pale pink leaves in their neighborhood? Our region is also enjoying a phenomenal grape harvest, producing huge apples, and an abundance of walnuts and chestnuts in the woods. Those who prayer walked and prayed around Alsace last summer are taking some credit for this, as it is not like this all over the country!
Follow-up on August Activities:
David and I are always trying to improve our fitness, and last (school) year’s country line dancing class was comical. While the French women, in tight jeans and cowboy boots, were enjoying the catchy country western melodies, we were cringing over the R-rated lyrics. Once in awhile we translated for them, adding to their amusement. Since the class only met every other week, I would forget the dances by the next session, which were painfully hard for me to learn in the first place! David had an easier time of it, and now we can dance the “Cotton-Eyed Joe” together, though I’m not sure how often this skill will be put to use!
This (school) year I’ve signed up for an exercise class that incorporates a little of everything, giving lots of variety, with great music, and a great location. David and Noah were hoping to shoot some hoops on the courts outside during my all-female class, but we learned that school-owned courts are not open to the public – surprise! – due to liability. Could this happen in Indiana?? What’s a Hoosier boy to do?!
Follow-up on Only in France (popcorn trauma):
I just wanted to let you all know that salty popcorn is now available at our nearest multiplex! Thanks for praying! ; )
Follow-up on Confession #1:
This year, half of Cyril’s infamous class graduated to 4th grade. That means I now have them for English. Their teacher and I were both a little nervous. But before my first class happened, I remembered to pray instead. Then I walked in with peace and authority and love for those 14 kids, while sending 4 of them out during the hour. What makes this class a joy is that the overly energetic ones are the most motivated students, adding a lot of positive energy to the games, crafts, and songs. (We’re avoiding worksheets due to low reading levels.) Even the thumb-sucker in the back row is amazing me! Usually, the least motivated are the loudest and creating a lot of negative energy, but in this class, those are “the invisible kids.” Here they are in all their glory.
Follow-up on Confession #2:
Within a couple of weeks of writing about our mountain of hand towel laundry, the director went out and ordered paper towel and soap dispensers – and no, she hadn’t read my newsletter!!
Follow-up on health remarks:
My migraines were cropping up 3x/week by the end of the summer, and my doctor decided to put me on a daily beta-blocker regimen that is really working. Can you say “Hallelujah!”? This, combined with alleviating my anemia, has had such an impact on my life that I feel like I’ve been born again, again!
Speaking of which, I can tell my iron levels are up because the thought of doing a little home improvement doesn’t sound insurmountable anymore! After pricing linoleum, I quickly decided we needed to continue improving the walls. Big rusty flowers with brown leaves on a field of gray have stood their ground in our bedroom while all of the other hideous paper has been ripped from the walls. For me, this wallpaper is screaming that we haven’t paid enough attention to our marriage since we moved in; otherwise, we would have made our “little haven” a priority. (However, for David, the paper’s screaming, “Back off, ’cause if you take me down, I’m takin’ the wall down with me!!” and he is not interested in sleeping in a construction zone.) But this year, we’ve really started shoring things up relationally, and the wallpaper needs to reflect our efforts and surrender. My French friend of 30 years will be coming for Thanksgiving this year and she has offered to help me put it up, which means I now have a deadline for getting the walls ready, (and David has a deadline for getting the room rewired!) God confirmed my timing the other day at a bargain bin store, where I stumbled upon some wallpaper that I fell in love with for only $2.50/roll. Now I’m really motivated! (Before and after photos soon to come.)
Last laugh: Can you imagine a stranger just walking into your home, mistaking it for a business? Doors can be rather anonymous in a village and it happened to us this week! As you can see in this night time shot, we don’t have curtains in the door windows because we’re so desperate for all the light we can get. And the hallway goes all the way to the back of the house with closed-off rooms coming off of it. So you might think our front door was an apartment building entrance, like a meter reader did once. I’d considered putting our name on the letter slot in our front door, and now I’m thinking this might be a good idea, esp. since the lady mistook us for the local undertaker down the street!
Next month: How our little church took a giant step of faith…