has been fighting discouragement about his job search this spring, this doesn’t
negate the fact that this is always my favorite time of year and I’ve been
getting lots of encouragement! Let’s
start with 2 special birthday gifts from Jesus last month:
We have a French friend from church who is currently at a helicopter pilot school in Montreal. Out of the blue, she wrote and asked if I wanted to do conversational English via Skype with a fellow French student (a 40 yr old single man) who needed to improve his fluency to pass immigration tests. I hesitated, wondering if we would have anything in common to talk about. And then I had a dream that it went really well. So I said yes, and it has turned out to be a part-time dream job providing pocket money for this season in life, handed to me on a silver platter!
The second gift was being able to wear earrings on my birthday night out and the details are worth telling! My friend Christi had given me a purple hand-me-down designer dress and my mom had sent my grandmother’s amethyst earrings to Olivia. Except that she doesn’t have pierced ears. I do, but I haven’t been able to wear any metal in my ears for the last 20 yrs. But since they were gorgeous and matched the dress, I prayed for healing, put them on, and wore them all evening feeling like a princess!! The next day I tried on an old pair of my grandma’s diamonds, but the burning and swelling was immediate. Time to visit a jeweler and get to the bottom of this, to see if it’s more than a Cinderella story!
This month, the most encouraging activity has been weekly visits to our future home! The interior has been gutted, the outside walls re-plastered and the old roof tiles removed. The debris has been mounting inside and out because large trucks can’t get into our narrow street to deposit dumpsters. Talk about motivation to pray! But just today we got city approval to create temporary access via the fenced and raised county road that our cul-de-sac end butts up against. God is literally making a way where there was no way! The other beautiful thing is that the neighbors on our street are incredibly friendly and eager to chat each time we show up! This has not been our experience in Soultz, so we are ecstatic. (And my parents also seem to be riding on our breakthrough as they just bought their new house to downsize to – Yay!)
My Easter also held emotional breakthroughs: I usually have high expectations of myself to make this day special, whether it is by decorating, cooking or having an amazing Sunday school lesson. The trouble was that no one else did and that made it heavy. This being the first Easter since my fatigue set in, my expectations were re-booted. I felt impelled to attend the local mass on Saturday night and cried through most of it, as I simply received. I attended church Sunday morning empty-handed and left the cross bare. No children were in attendance, so there was no worry about how they were engaging with the holiday. Olivia had been sick all week and was just perking back up, so we ate leftovers after church and watched some of our favorite series together while I slow-roasted a leg of lamb for Easter Monday, also a holiday here. We had invited a retired pastoral couple over who had just officially joined our church council and she had an immobilized right shoulder post-surgery. All I had to do was compose some salads and roast some veggies to go with the lamb. I had ordered dessert from our local bakery. It was simple and lovely. That evening Olivia went back to school and I discovered a TV series about the gospels called The Chosen – Incredible!! As we become more aware of the pagan roots of our holiday calendar, it feels good to let the trappings go. Maybe next year I’ll attend a Seder!
Thoughts on Notre Dame next month!