Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Au Pair Neededin Northern France!!!

To Faithful Readers and Your Networks:

I am no longer blogging as time and relationships do not allow or push me forward to do so. It is all too real and subjective for me to recount for public eye. However, my former host family is in desperate need of an au pair to help out with their three kids this coming year.

If you or someone you know, a young woman preferably with some French and English, is available to serve in this way now until summer 2010, even if for a few months, PLEASE leave a message and I will be in contact.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Walked Out

I walked out of the Crosses' home my first afternoon here, battling jetlag and in need a brisk walk around the village. The afternoon's wet air fell on my hair and tightly wrapped scarf, and I drank in the moment of this return. As if on cue, the church bells rang and my eyes brimmed with tears. Oh how I have missed this, the rhythms of a land whose churches still speak its hours though their God seems to have left long ago. My church history class is teaching me to think that perhaps it is not their God the French have rejected but their God's institutions...and all the human filth which accompanies their presence on earth. Impassion me to speak of a God apart from his church's sordid history and embolden me to serve the Church so that we are equipped to be his rightful witnesses.

I walked out this morning with the Crosses' au pair Rachel into the morning's fallen fog as it engulfed our steps on the way to the village boulangerie for fresh baguettes and pain au chocolat. The wetness of night still hung in the air and on leaves as scents of wood and waxy candles wafted out of olden crevices. Ah, France...the countryside, some things never change. How good it feels the hand of an old friend. We sat on concrete barriers over looking the church yard below. Lord, guide me to see your vision out from where you have set my feet, as it has been and as it will be. Call me to be a part if you will.

I walked out of Le Sylvia, my old Chantilly haunt of summer 2004, notebook in hand as Charles and I wrapped our vision-casting coffee that turned into lunch appointment. So much teems up and over that I cannot write, but it seems God is busy weaving as always. May we follow his hands as he brings together a whole.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My bicycle

I received the following words from Vincent my neighbor in a email planning our lunch. When I asked if he'd be up for a "tour de velo" (bike ride), he replied , "Pourquoi pas?" (why not?) then included,

Ton vélo n'a servi qu'une fois depuis ton départ ! Il t'attend !

Translation: Your bike has not been used one time since you left! It waits for you!

And all I could do was smile and laugh. I do believe a few bike rides are in order.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

As Careme Begins

While I'm busy typing away on a paper that has distracted me from all else, the following was received from L'Arche in Compiegne as we enter tomorrow into the season of Lent, Careme in French. I am reminded of how this desert season began last year, with a final night of jubilation and dancing as the morrow brought a waking attentiveness to Christ's suffering and our call to enter in with him. May these words guide you as they guide me and others. Pray for the country of France as they enter into this season, for the devout Catholics and emerging charismatic movement to be a light for Christ in the desert of roteness and dead tradition.

« Seigneur avec Toi, nous irons au désert… Les paroles de ce chant, propre au temps de carême, nous invitent à vivre une nouvelle étape dans notre année liturgique. Nous sommes invités à aller au désert, à aller dans ce lieu aride, sans végétation et sans habitation. Un lieu qui, à première vue, est sans intérêt. Rien ne semble s’y passer, rien ne semble arrêter notre attention. Pourtant, je suis bien invité à regarder, non pas autour de moi, mais en moi. Car c’est dans le calme et le silence que je peux entendre Dieu me parler cœur à cœur, que je peux recevoir la lumière de Dieu pour faire la vérité en moi. »
Extrait du Vivre Ensemble, Abbé Denis Raffray.

"Lord, with you we will go into the desert...The words of this song appropriately invite us into Lent, into a new stage in our liturgical year. We are invited to go into the desert, to go into this dry place, without green growth and without life. It is a place that upon first glance holds no interest. Nothing seems to pass by this place, nothing seems to take our attention. And yet, I am clearly invited to watch and look, not at that which is around me, but at myself alone. It is in this peace and in this silence that I can hear God speak to my heart from his, that I can receive the light of God to live truth from my being."

Jennifer's translation

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Afternoon Chat

After a long hiatus from skype, that magical system that lets me keep up with one million gazillion relationships that at any one point in time span one side of the globe and back around, I signed back on this afternoon for a chat with Natacha.

Oh my goodness! If I could leave for Compiegne tomorrow I would. It was wonderful to get a voice to voice, camera to camera update from her, exchange our news, plan for time in France in a little over two weeks, and pray together. I love praying with Natacha because always the response is "J'aimerais bien," meaning I would like to very much. It continues even over distance and time to be a privilege to walk with her and others through brief emails, skype chats, facebook messages. God continues to raise her up in enthusiasm and joy to be a thoughtful Christian who is contagious.

Someone told me today during a class break that they forget I'm Texan because I don't have much of an accent or seem to want to go back to the "motherland." I laughed and said, "Well, France is the motherland."

How does God wire us with other places so deeply imbedded in us we cannot shake it as much as we try?

To Natacha, skype, God's hand of goodness, and the land of France!