The end of 2013 wasn’t super easy for me. I had started potty training Miriam in October and soon discovered I was expecting baby number 2 (due some time towards the end of June 2014). Morning sickness and poopy knickers DO NOT mix well. In November I completely lost my voice for about 2 weeks, finally giving in and going to the doctors it turns out I had some kind of larynx infection (as far as I could work out). Four different medicines later my voice started to reappear and some energy returned. A tough 2 weeks for a language teacher and I was forced to take a week off which meant no income that week. Finally, Miriam got THE sick bug that seems to be going around the world, the week before Christmas. Thankfully it only lasted about 48 hours and by the end of the week Roger and I thought we had escaped. WRONG! The day after we arrived safe and sound at my in-laws for a relaxing family Christmas the bug ‘got me’. I managed a small plate of Christmas dinner by which time Roger had been ‘got’. So we are now home in France recovering from Christmas and trying to put on a bit of weight (not many people can say that after Christmas).
As a family unit the last few months of 2013 were tough. The honeymoon period, the excitement of being somewhere new, the new experiences, had all worn off by October and we were all missing the familiarity of the UK. We miss our families, we miss our friends, we miss coffee shops, we miss just not feeling like a foreigner all the time. Finally, and with this I’ll stop the POMing (Poor Old Me-ing) we are facing constant administrative battles with the French authorities which is rather tedious and tiring especially for Roger as he is having to find time between work and home to go and sort it out. Moving to another country is not easy.
Harumph! Ok ok enough of the depressing stuff.
Despite the difficulties we are looking forward to 2014. Here’s some of my goals, hopes and plans for this year:
- Really improve my French
- Have a baby
- Welcome friends and family to Lille to visit and to live here too
- Start a small group/community group for the church plant
- Get some French friends and deepen new friendships already started
- Roger to start a new job (he’s on the look out)
- To find something creative to do in the couple of days I have free while Mim is at her child-minder
- Mim to start school in Sept
- Meet parents at the school gate and through a baby group or 2
- Spend more time reading
- Have a holiday
- Think about re-training in something (no idea what)
- Worship and pray more as a family
I think that should keep us going for now.
The Holy Bit
I really like having fun, laughing is one of my favourite past times. Sometimes life can get a bit too serious for me and I really miss fun and laughter, I’ve definitely felt like this recently. With one of my work contracts ending recently and having some ‘spare time’ I’ve felt a little unsettled. However, God has reminded me that life often has seasons. Some seasons are there to make us stop and reflect, some are there to challenge and mould us, some give us a sense of security and stability, some keep us smiling and laughing. Psalm 42 has often been my help in spiritually dry seasons:
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I shall remember you (v5).
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life (v8)