Category Archives: France


There is a pervasive and dangerous image in our culture that blessings come in the form of: health, fame, awards, wealth, huge houses, fancy cars, nice clothes, etc… A first class life, rather than a ‘coach’ existence. But is that really a blessed life? What if blessings arrive in the midst of a storm, laughter through tears, or simply a downfall of tears? What if blessings arrive in the midst of pain, sickness, danger, loss, sorrow, suffering?

Laura Story has a beautiful and amazing song called Blessings. If you haven’t seen the video or heard the son, click on the link.

In my own life, the days of comfort have not produced gratitude as much as the dark, lonely moments. The times when I have felt ‘blessed’ according to our culture’s standards have not made me feel closer to God. But the days of loss and pain, when my husband lost his job, when my father passed away, those nights of loneliness when I was single, weeks and months of fear for my unborn child, those painful times produced a deep need in me, which drew me close to the only One who could help–God. It was in the midst of the storms of life when I felt His peace, not the peace this world provides through plenty.

Earlier this month, once again I found myself in the midst of a personal trial. We were on vacation in France, and my husband became very ill. If you’re my Facebook friend, then you probably followed along and prayed for us, and we so appreciated every prayer! He was admitted to a hospital in a small town in France, where few spoke English, and I spoke little French. The rest of my family returned home, but my husband and I were in France, feeling alone and uncertain. Yet, that is where we experienced so many blessings: the comfort and peace that only comes from God, the kindness of strangers, the love and prayers from so many family and friends. It was actually a sweet time, that week spent in Vernon, France, and I am grateful to our God who walked beside us and carried us through that fear; I am grateful to the strangers who offered help; I am grateful to friends and family who reached out from thousands of miles away to pray and to help. Oh the blessings we experienced!

I hope this post doesn’t make you think I don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ during good times, because I definitely do! But that relationship goes to a whole new level during difficult times. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14: 26-28 Have you experienced similar blessings? What does the word ‘blessings’ mean to you?

The Sound of English

As many of you know, while we were in France my husband became very ill and ended up in the hospital in the small town of Vernon, France. So for a week, I was pretty much alone in France without anyone who spoke English, other than my husband, who was stuck in a hospital bed. I have to say that those I met were super sweet and kind. Being in a smaller town, most people didn’t speak English, but boy were they friendly! ‘Bonjour, madame!’ is what I heard constantly. Occasionally someone would begin a conversation with me and be met with my wide-eyed ‘uh-oh what do I do?’ stare. Then I’d fumble my way through, “Pardon…” and apologize for not speaking French and ask if they spoke English. Most of the time, I was met with a shrug of their shoulders and sad shake of their head. Many times in dealing with the wonderful hospital staff, we resorted to sign language (and this was not real sign language more mime).

The first day after my family had left, I was very worried about my husband and feeling very alone. The phone our travel agent had given us to use in France rang. It was a woman I had never met before. A mutual friend had hooked us up via email. Pam, a missionary in the south of France, called me, and it was glorious to hear someone speaking English, who could understand me and pray for me. I will never forget that kindness of a phone call and what a blessing Pam was to me.

A few days later, I walked a few blocks to an outdoor market. There, I heard some Americans talking, and I found myself moving toward them, soaking up the English language. The group at first didn’t notice me, but then a few eyes cut in my direction, and I realized I was being rude. I don’t remember what they were saying, just that I could finally understand someone! And it was glorious.

The whole experience gave me a heart for those in this country who were not born here and who have a another language as their first language. I know folks from Russia, Hungary, China, Egypt, Mexico, etc… and I now understand how precious their language is. It’s not that I don’t think they should learn English, I do! And boy I was trying to learn as much French as I could while I was there and wished I had known more. Next time, I go to France, I hope to know even more.

I’ve always admired those who speak more than one language, but now I admire them even more! So, do you speak more than one language? If so, which languages do you speak? Or are you wanting to learn a new language? If so, which one?