Sunday, September 19, 2010

Getting Comfortable, but not TOO Comfortable

It's Sunday afternoon and I have just finished mon goûter. I had my usual: a strong cup of coffee with half of a hazelnut Milka bar. We've been in France for 8 weeks, and our life is starting to move with a rhythm that is somewhat predictable. We have goûter at 4 p.m. We know that a load of laundry in our washer/dryer combo will take three hours. We know that we will buy and eat a baguette every day. We know how to get four people in and out of one shower in time for school each morning. And we expect to do a minimum of two hours worth of homework each night.

If I were to compare my life now to my life at this same time last year, I would struggle to find similarities. Then I worked two different jobs, now I am a full time student. Then we lived on half an acre in a four bedroom house, now we live in a two bedroom apartment. Then none of us worried about how to order food in a restaurant, now we all practice our orders with each other before we dare to attempt them with the server. And we still get it wrong.

Then I think I might have even described myself as capable. Now, I am a rather helpless. I am needy. I continually find myself without any means of accomplishing that which I desire to do. It is humbling, to say the least. And you know what? I LOVE IT! I can almost feel myself growing. Everyday I understand a little bit more of the language. Everyday I feel a little bit more at-home in the culture. Everyday I depend a little bit more on my Jesus. Like I should have all along.

Mostly, I feel so deeply privileged to be in this place. Yes, geographically, but also emotionally, spiritually, and even mentally. I think, perhaps, I had been stagnating just bit back home. I was TOO comfortable, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I need a good "shake-down" to remind me of what really matters, and to keep me moving forward.

And just because I am loving this does not mean it is easy. I happen to like a challenge. Hard stuff inspires me. We have moments of extreme frustration, downright irritation, and even perspiration. I cry. Graham gets defensive. David retreats. Chandler pouts.

And then we pray.

And God sends His light.

And we realize that we are ready to climb the next mountain. That's the part I love. I love that when we get to the very end of all that we have and we can't even help each other, God faithfully gives us each what we need.

Oh to discover the secret of staying in this place of grace with Him! While I am thankful for some of the routines that are helping us integrate into France, I do not want to go back to a place of self-sufficiency, whether real or just imagined. I want to stay dependent on Him. Helpless. Needy. That's the stuff that real strength is made of!

1 comment:

  1. Jenn-- You have always helped me think out of the box. You have always inspired me. You are still doing both--- and thank you! Sending my love to you 4---