Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1/2 Year!

I can't believe I have been married half a year already. Time does go by really fast. My mother-in-law gave us a few pictures from our wedding days that I hadn't seen before so I thought I would show some. We had two wedding days because if you want to be married at a church you have to have a civil wedding first, according to Dutch law. So we did. We didn't invite anyone really except the three witnesses (our siblings and a friend of mine). My mom came, my aunt and uncle and a lady that worked with my mom because her husband works at the town hall and he told her I was getting married that day. So ok, fine.... One brother and my dad didn't make it unfortunately, but it's ok because we didn't really care so much about the civil wedding. It was kind of a funny day. I knew I was getting married on that day but I wasn't really really sure about the time, so I had to call them to ask again... then I wasn't sure if I had given the "right time" to my friend (the witness) and after calling her I had indeed given her the wrong time... an hour later! So the poor dear had to rush to get the train as she lived in another city. Oops. :( I knew what dress I was going to wear that day but I spent the morning looking through my mom's closet to see what I could put over it, and then as we headed out I broke a flower off of my mom's kitchen bouquet and put it in my hair. Raphael and my brother had to rush to the train station and pick up my friend, and then my uncle drove the rest of us to the town hall. My mom's friend and her husband were already at the town hall and as we were late she called to make sure we were still coming. We all got there at the same time... just a bit late, and parked in front of a supermarket close to the town hall. When we arrived we were about to enter the town hall the wrong way, until a funny man came out and told us we were supposed to enter through the "nice" stairs on the other side of the building. He mentioned he had been waiting for us so he could open the door for the bride. Most town halls in Holland have nice stairs where they usually take beautiful wedding pictures, so it must have been funny to him to see this group of people walking to the town hall, bride and all.

Once inside I was very happy, and it was just kind of cool. The lady that married us asked if she could speak in Dutch or if she had to do it in English for Raphael. Dutch was ok with Raphael... I jut had to tell him when to say "Ja!" After all was said and signed she took her hammer and with a "Bam" she pronounced us man and wife in the law, and congratulated us. So I think I hugged Raphael, and then we looked at her again...and she had a bit of a stunned look, and said "You can congratulate each other."... which I had just done, but ok... once more. I said "Congratulations!" and shook Raphael's hand...haha, the lady must have thought we were idiots. Oh well... it was a fun experience :) We should have invited her to the real wedding.

Both Bride and Groom were late... :( but happy :)

Our marriage lady, congratulating us ;)

I actually wore this dress before on my first wedding. See I got married some years before while a Senior in High School. For our Senior year we did a play called "The Taming of the Shrew" by Shakespeare and I was the Shrew! I got married in the play and wore this dress, and I thought..."If I ever get married for real, I will wear this dress again." That was years ago.

I just love the expressions on this pictures :)

I love you Amor!
You are truly a great blessing to me, and I'm so happy to be your wife... I'm definitely the one that "Married up" ;)
May God bless you always!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Two men went up...

Parable by Jesus


Pharisee: played by Himself
Publican: played by Himself(a collaborator of the Roman Empire known best for collecting taxes)
Narrator: Jesus


"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican." [Enter Pharisee and Publican] "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself..."

[standing and looking up] "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, [pointing at Publican] or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess."

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying..."


[Looking down and beating his breast] "God be merciful to me a sinner."

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."


Ref: Luke 18:9-18

Abased = lowered, humbled

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dear Doug...

Dear Doug,

Last week my husband and I spent some days in the mountains and as he loves to hike we went for a hike. I told him I was tired and didn't want to go for a long hike. So, after a light lunch in Valberg, a ski town, we went up to the mountains. These are not the really high mountains of the Alps... I was tired and the man at the gîte were we stayed saw that I had walking difficulties, so he suggested we go on a hike that was "flat", easy for my walking and not too tiring. When we got there we took a little "flat" path along the hill. It was so peaceful and beautiful. We walked for about 20-25 minutes and then we arrived at a lake were we sat down for a while. The weather was cool but sunny, so it felt just great. I told Raphael that if he wanted to go on and reach the top he could go and I would just stay there by the lake and have a nap. I hadn't slept well the night before, and we had been traveling quite a bit. So, he agreed to go on to the top without me and I stayed and had a lovely little nap next to the lake, in the sun, in the breeze... just in nature with no one around.

When Raphael got back I felt much better and we decided to go back to the car. I thought we would just take the same path back but he asked if I wanted to go another way. He took out the map and showed me how we could go back to the car another way. Not following a path, but just going down the mountain and then following the river. I didn't like that there was no path, and I kept asking him if he was sure about it, and at the same time I wanted to trust him and just let myself be led by him. I reminded him that I was a bit tired, but he assured me that it would be ok, that if I got tired we could just go up to one of the houses around and I could wait there while he went for the car. So off we went, down the mountain towards the river. It was very difficult to walk in some parts; I almost fell a few times, but I had a walking stick and Raphael was there to give me a hand when needed. At times I wasn't sure if he really knew where he was going, but I wanted to trust and follow him.

I thought about you and made sure to take pictures to show you. It won't look like much of a difficult hike to most people, but I'm sure you and I can appreciate that it does take a lot to go on such a walk. When we finished our hike and I looked back at all I had walked I thought that if Raphael had shown me beforehand how much we would walk I wouldn't have done it. I would have said "No way, I can't do it, I'm too tired for this!" And in the same way, just as for you I imagine, if God had shown me beforehand what I was to go through with TM, I would have said "No way! Not me, I can't... chose another or go alone!" It's a good thing He didn't show us right? I know it's not always a fun hike, sometimes you can fall, sometimes you are too tired to move, sometimes you think you are alone. Funny how sometimes life can be like a nice little flat path, and then after a little nap all of a sudden it's difficult to go on, it's not at all the same anymore... But isn't it great that He has brought us to a place where we depend on Him to go on... His helping hand, His guidance, His love, His company, His strength. I'm telling you to encourage you in your walk and show that even if we don't know where we are going but only have Him to guide us, He can lead us to really great places. When Raphael got home and shared with me that faith begins where we know we have reached our limits. It's when we know that we can't do it ourselves, like Sara laughing upon hearing that she would be a mother at her age! Anyway, just wanted to share this little "BIG" walk with you.

"Nice little flat path"

Lake where I took a nap :)

There I am!

Time to go back to the car!

Going down hill

Looking back at where we came from... up where the pine trees are.

Following Raphael

Moi! when we got down...

Then we saw some nice horses.

Coming to check Raphael out.

After following the river we started going up again

Nice grass :)

Looking back at where the horses were... they are somewhere behind the little lake

Up some more

And back on the nice flat path!

Fresh water to clean our faces and hands and drink some.

You can't see it but i had a big smile... :D

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
- II Corinthians 2:14

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So what do you do all day?

This is by far the most popular question I have gotten since I got married. "What do you do all day?" Second one... anyone wants to guess? "When are you going to get a job?" I'm not working for a "paycheck" so if I stay home "all day" what do I do? Hmmmm, I can just imagine what might go through some people's minds...

1. She sleeps in every day.
2. Watches tv while having brunch.
3. Puts music on loudly and dances wildly in her pajamas and socks.
4. Jumps on her unmade bed till she's hungry again.
5. Eats some more of what was put out for brunch.
6. Watches some more tv.
7. Looks out the window to see how many cars, dogs and crying babies go by.
8. Plays Solitaire on the computer.
9. Talks on the phone for hours.
10. Does her nails all afternoon.
11. Sings opera while taking long hot showers.
12. Pretends she's a goldfish in front of the mirror.
13. Looks all happy and pretty when husband gets back home.

I can laugh about it now, but it was kind of hard in the beginning when we were just married because even though I felt like I was doing as much as I could at home (cleaning, washing, scrubbing, ironing, decorating, and so on...) it was as if I wasn't doing anything really important as long as I was just a wife, just somebody that stays home all day. Learning to be a wife didn't come so easy either because once I was here with no one to manage and no boss to tell me how to do things, I didn't always know if I was doing things right, and it was very frustrating at times. But well... good news is that I'm extremely happy at home, I love learning all about the art of home keeping, and reading cook books, and I'm having fun trying to see how I can decorate the house, and getting some excellent advice from some sisters in Christ. My mom also came for a short visit which was a big help, and my Mother-in-law has also been very encouraging. I love getting to know my husband and searching my heart to see how I could be a better wife to him, and most importantly as my husband pointed out to me, I can make time to spend with God, to pray, to read His word, to listen to His guidance and believe it or not, sometimes I'm so busy at home I even miss to take time on this...which is not good really because He is my strength.

I guess the reason I'm writing about all this is because I have so many things on my mind lately. I'm learning so many new things and it's all related to my new role as a wife and manager of this house. And it's very important to me because I believe God has brought me here for a purpose, and if He has given me this home to take care of it is to bring glory to Him somehow... and I like that. So, if this is my purpose now, I want to do my best at it, just as I did when I was a teacher, and therapist, for the same purpose of glorifying Him. I want to be used by God, and right now my tools are not toys and paper, playdoh and markers, and scissors, but a mop, an apron, an old toothbrush, plastic gloves, a washing machine...can I do great things with these tools? Probably not, haha, but I just might if I offer them to God and let Him use them. Most definitely in fact. I mean, remember what He did with Moses' shepherding staff? He turned it into a snake in front of Pharaoh... and wasn't Moses used to shepherd His people out of Egypt, and...didn't Aaron's staff bloom now that I think of it? Now that would be cool, if my mop started to bloom, haha. But all joking aside, I know God wants to use me, and you, and no matter what we are doing right now, whether it's cleaning toilets or being the president of a company He CAN do great things if we let Him. Well.... that's enough for now... I think I will go back to jumping on my unmade bed...err, I mean scrapping the floor! \o/ Yay!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Home Sweet Home

After being away for two weeks it was good to come back home and to go to church this morning. Raphael had to work in Paris for a week, and after his mission we were able to spend a couple of days in the mountains. It was a very good time with family and each other, but it's good to be in our sweet little home. I am so blessed to be able to stay home and try to make our house a home... and trust me, I wasn't singing this tune some time ago when I didn't even know where to start. But well... it's time for bed now, but just wanted to post a few pictures I took this morning after church. We had lunch on the beach with some friends. It was a beautiful sunny cold day in Nice, and little Yann had tons of fun playing with Raphael. Yann is a lovely little boy, but he cannot stand pictures and makes it very clear that he doesn't like Paparazzi, or Mamarazzis either! :)

On Raphael's shoulders...

...in Raphael's arms...

...pushing Raphael...

...and running away with a big smile and a stone, after leaving Raphael exhausted on the beach...kids are great!

"et dit: Je vous le dis en vérité, si vous ne vous convertissez et si vous ne devenez comme les petits enfants, vous n'entrerez pas dans le royaume des cieux." - Matthieu 18:3

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mom's Visit

My mom was visiting me a week ago. I was very happy to show her were I live and what my life in France is like. During the weekend we stayed a night up in the Alps and then the next day my sweet husband gave us a 6 hour trip through the mountains back to the coast. I have over 100 pictures of this day. It wasn't snowing yet in the Alps, but two days after my mom left it started to snow and it is so beautiful when it snows. Maybe I'll get to go up there sometime soon again. The older I get, the more relationships I have, the longer old relationships last, the more I see of the world, the more in awe I am of God's love for us. A love comparable to the love between a loving husband and his wife, a father and a son, a mother and an unborn child, a potter and his craft, a shepherd and his flock, two good friends, sisters... how deep His love is and how present it is in all the good that surrounds us.

This is a waterfall in St.Martin-Vesubie. Sorry it's not very clear.

One of the many little village up on the mountains.

My mom fell in love with these mountains because they were redish/purplish/auberginish.

Mommy! I love my mom.

We wished we had our swimming suits to just jump in. Maybe next time.


Raphael and I


Candy Shop in Gourdon


And there are still many more pictures to come... but not tonight.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

...as a tree

"For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."
<<Jeremiah 17:8>>

Who was I again?

I have been trying for months now to get back to blogging. First because some people have asked me for an update, and secondly because I do love to write and share about my life and my walk with Christ in hopes that it could bless someone else, but where to start? I really don't know as I kind of forgot who this single girl in Holland that started this blog was, after 5 months of marriage and living in France. It's kind of hard to continue when the character (me) has changed so much. I'm in a new country, I have a permanent house mate now, I don't work as a teacher anymore... but on the other hand I'm still the same person, I still love children, I still struggle with TM from time to time, and above all, I still long and desire to know God more and more each day.

I could write about so many things right now, about France, about my husband and being a wife, about my church, new friends, house-keeping (ehem), so many new things but the most important thing is that God is good, He is here and He is blessing me beyond anything I ever imagined.

I know people love pictures so I will let them do the talking and show you the places and things I see in France. I have tons of pictures so I will put them in groups and post a group each time.

Nice. as in Nice, France.... but also nice of course ;)

Nice is packed with tourists during the Summer... I wonder how busy it is the rest of the year.

A good friend of mine was visiting us in August. She took this picture of us.

It was very cloudy on this day, which is not normal here. This is the Promenade des Anglais.

Coast, old Nice, and balcony on the Château.

Old Nice

Russian Cathedral in Nice. This church building has beautiful colours.

Just a quick hi and thank you to Sis. Julie who has been such a great blessing to me, even from a distance. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to anyone else that is reading, "Hello and thanks for stopping by" :)

God blesses...