A Day in Paris

So late. So sorry. It has been a mad house around here and I have been beyond busy. I finally got around to editing some of the pictures from our day trip to Paris two weeks ago and wanted to share them with you.

Please enjoy, and know that I did!

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Monet!

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Picasso

But no Van Gogh, because they were on strike and that portion of the Musée D’Orsay was closed.

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More to come soon from a trip to the Royal Gardens and another day trip to Bruges.

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Coffee Shop Acquisition

I think I have finally found my coffee shop.

I love having a coffee shop. Sablon_Fotor

Seriously! I work at a coffee shop back stateside, I love coffee ,and I love the environment that a good coffee shop can provide. Enough comfort that I can relax and enough people around that I feel like I need to be productive. Sablon3_FotorIt’s it adorable!?! My friend showed me this place a couple of weeks ago, and then the students came and I life got a little insane for a bit. After that Oklahoma Tornado left, I was able to settle back in, and I thought about this place. This is my 3rd time here this week, and it is now official, I love it. It can get a bit busy, but if you get here earlier enough, you’re good. And there are little plug-ins in super convenient places.Sablon2_Fotor There are also excellent seat right by the windows looking out to the street for days that I just want to read and enjoy a cup of coffee. Oh! And did I mention that the roast IN HOUSE! This place! I am going to miss it in a few months.

That’s really all for today. Things are going well. I went to one of the open air markets for fruits and veggies yesterday and I was very proud of my spoils from the trip.

Market Spoils_FotorAlso, I am teaching tonight at Youth so… Exciting! If it goes well, I might just post my notes from it on here tomorrow.

Quick Photo Tour of My Day!

Bonjour mes amis!

Today I was able to spend some time walking around my town and enjoying some more of the town. Getting to traveling around and explore with the students last week motivated me to go exploring some more.

So I did.

Here are some of the results.

Enjoy!

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This was a beyond delightful cup of coffee! It was a Costa Rican Monte Brisas – Red Honey Processed! DELISH! Naturally sweet, smooth as can be, big flavor but still mild… Not really sure how that works but…

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Town 3_FotorI snagged the picture above real quick on the Metro because it seemed like a perfect representation of this city. A mix of what you would expect from Europe, with the infusion of Muslim culture, complete with the tension between the two. Had to snap it.

Shenanigans with my Students

I tried guys… I tried really hard. But the students were only here for 5 full days and we busy all week. Their schedule was packed trying to get everything in. One of them said he’s take care of the update for me… so here is his contribution for us all.

IMG_0951Hi this is Jackson I’m not going to use any punctuation during this because I just don’t feel like it. Except for periods because they are necessary. Blog finished. 🙂 have a fabulous day, you are all beautiful… almost all of you 😉 jk all of the pretty ones.

Well… Teenagers. Gotta love em. – Isn’t he great! ❤

Sorry for the delay in updating. I had been prepping for the student team and then they were here, and now they are gone! So I have spent the past week with 9 of my wonderful students. Having them here with me has been so refreshing and relaxing. IMG_7856Here is quick run down of all that we did.

Sunday I spent the day having lunch with women from the Food Bank and it was Moroccan style so delicious and non-stop eating for about 3-4 hours. This was such an amazing time of being invited into this amazing woman’s home and getting to struggle through French and just share love with these amazing women. The students did prayer walking in the city and just tried to stay awake to kick that Jet Lag.

Monday the Students helped up with English Classes and set up a Doctors Office, Train Station and then a Restaurant. Student Team 5It was really great to see them be so open with the students in the class and bold in speaking with them. We also spent time prayer walking in the city in a heavily Muslim area and in a red-light district. This was a really great time for me because I got to really see the students hearts and one of the students and I talked for a long time about what God has been doing in her life and how He has been calling her in different ways.

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Tuesday the students has an Amazing Race style scavenger hunt where they ran all over town and had to find their way without help. It was interesting to see them get excited about their victories and then struggle when they got lost or frustrated. IMG_7929 I am so bad at not helping, but Dr. Willie kept me in check. It is a valuable skill for them to learn to be able to find their way through a city, ask or help and learn public transportation systems. Then that evening we did some prayer walking and had a night on the town.

Wednesday we had our Youth English Classes and the students just killed it again. That evening was probably my favorite night of the week. We had all the students get together, Belgian and American, and we played games and just hung out, but then we had a great time of sharing testimonies and of the students telling about what God was doing in their lives. The honesty with which my students from home shared with was amazing, and truly, the Belgian students too. I was just so amazed by their transparency and honesty, and by what God was doing in their lives.  IMG_0987I was also beyond excited to see my two guy students maintaining relationships this night and really reaching out a friend of theirs who is not a Christian and being intention in loving him and speaking Truth to him. I am so proud of those boys.

Thursday we took them to a Arab Market and just let them enjoy that cultural experience. Then we went to the food bank and the students got to serve and learn to struggle through language barrier and communicate regardless. I was so impressed with their willingness to jump in and go for it. Then we came back to my apartment and prepared for Next Level with the Belgian students. It was crazy doing a study of the Word in French and English,but it was great.Student Team 10 All the students were giving their input and being involved. It was wonderful.

Friday, yesterday, they flew out early. Now all I have to remember them is the memories, picture (as you can see) and this one lonely bag that was left with me. IMG_1009

I’ll stop there, but I could go on for pages and pages about these kids and how great they were and how much fun we had. I just love them. It’s kinda crazy.

Beyond what’s been going on the student team, I am just trying to figure out all the things that I am supposed to be doing and just trying spend quality time with the Lord. We always need the Lord, but for me, it is beyond apparent for me when I am here. I need Him everyday when I leave my flat to be able to be effective and intentionally. Distractions lie everywhere. I am trying to phase out my social media back some, but kick it up here in Belgium with the students here. I finished my study of 2 Timothy which was a really great place to start when I got here, and now I am moving on to Colossians.

I’ll be updating again soon, hopefully.

Praises

  • This was such an amazingly refreshing week for me with my students here. I don’t think I can even begin to thank God for them and the joy they brought to me this week.
  • I am getting more comfortable trying to speak out in French and being OK with failing.
  • I have been getting some positive responses to wanting to hang out and study the Word together so that should kicking off strongly very soon.

Request

  • That the students would not just return to normal this week as they get back into school and life. That this experience and time here will draw them closer to the Lord and that this change they way they look at their ministries at home and the impact they can have on their schools and communities.
  • I will be teaching at Youth this upcoming Friday about a sensitive situation that has come up. They sought me out specifically because of my counseling experience. Please be lifting that up.
  • Always, always…. LANGUAGE. Especially with Youth Camp coming up here in a few weeks.

Question for you: (I am enjoying getting to know my readers more and more!)

What was the most life changing experience that you have ever had?

How did it change you?

Impromptu Adventures!

Today my dear friend Laura and I spent the day together. First off, we went to lunch, our fav, Pho. If you do not know what Pho is, it is a Vietnamese Noodle soup made from Beef Broth with noodles, the meat of your choice, onions, and your choice of how much sweet basil, jalapeño, sprouts, lime, and Sriracha you wish to include. It’s delightful, spicy and surprisingly light. Low calorie and full flavor.

Then we ran around down in Bricktown, OKC for a while. We walked up and down the riverwalk and over to the Centennial Land Run Monument. This is a pretty legit monument, or rather series of monuments.

I took some pictures for you.

Enjoy!

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I edited them all separately, so they all look a bit different… And I am not a photographer… or an editor. I am using Fotor on my MacBook Air for crying out loud… I do what I can. Lolz!

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[I also included lots of pictures to be nice, because my next entry will be a poem that is a heck of a lot longer than I meant for it to be… but I want to share it anyway.]

After wandering around Bricktown (Home of The Thunder), we went to mall, which got evacuated for a false fire alarm, then back on home for me to finally finish my personal joy task for the holiday season, re-watching the LOTR originals. Finished Return of the King today. Ya know… Samwise Gamgee! I mean, wow! I need a friend like Sam in my life.

I am off for bed now… working at the Coffee Shop tomorrow bight and early.

Longings of a Would-be Novelist

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This is my view from my room, right outside my window. I love this view when it rains. it’s so pretty. This morning, I work up and started working on my French Lessons (getting ready for my trip to Belgium!) and enjoying the rain. Dreary weather like this always prompts me to two different actions. Either I want to curl up with my favorite book and my favorite blanket and get lost in another time and place. Or, I want to go to a small hole in the wall coffee shop, get either a London Fog or just black coffee and write, write, write. As it turns out, I am usually working as my coffee shop, or I have far too many plans to call and audible and cancel things. Today for instance, Dentist appointment, mentoring, meeting with my supervisor, counseling session, meeting about my trip, cooking for a christmas party, then Christmas Party.

I just wanna stay home and write. I want to write my book. I want to write about how Miriam meeting Russell, and how Petru begins to believe Dominik’s conspiracy theories may be more than just that. I want to write about Stefan’s worry for the future and love for his family. I WANT TO WRITE!

Can someone take all my responsibilities for a couple of days so I can just write for a bit? No… No Takers? Oh well. I get a break from school starting next week for a couple of weeks, that will be nice. Maybe I can find some time to write then. So far now, I will appease my writing fiend by blogging, until the time comes to be able to throw myself head first into my book for a few hours.

Any other writers struggle to be able to write in their novels in short spans of like 30 minutes to an hour? It takes me so much time to get my mind wrapped back into the story, remember what I wrote and get back into character (for lack of a better phrase) before I can actually get ready to put substantial words to paper (or computer). Anyone else know this struggle?

Fall Moving to Winter

Do you ever have those days where you just want to be alone? That was me today. I spent all last weekend alone because I was sick and quarantined upstairs in my room. However, since then, I have literally had almost no down time to relax and unwind. I need to be alone for a while!

[I am not sure when I became this introvert version of myself… really. This is new to me!]

As a result of this need to be by myself, when I got home from work today, I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood. I spent 45 minutes walking and enjoying the 65° weather in December and the time alone. While I was walking, I was astonished by the beauty of the muted colors of the fall moving to winter. Everything is a strange mixture of grey, brown and random pops of red and orange. It’s simply beautiful.

So I took some pictures.

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And I like to share!

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Enjoy!

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What happened to Fall?

Here at home we literally went from 70’s one day to just barely in the 30’s the next.

That’s awful. The fall is my favorite time of year! Everything turns pretty, pumpkins, orange/brown/yellow, candy corn, Thanksgiving, Football, need I continue. So I am officially upset about not having much of a fall and jumping straight to winter.

There is nothing wrong with winter and Christmas, but I mean come on please! Look at this picture! LOOK!

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This is fall beauty! There are two trees in my neighborhood that remind me of my hometown. That is one of them. The other is even brighter and fantastic… but I was failing epically on the editing so, maybe that picture will come soon.

Pretty much, don’t neglect fall. Justt because it tends to be shorter and the summer tries to take it over, same with winter, and that is not fair! Protect the fall!!!

[Note: I did take these pictures, but I also edited them, which means who knows how they look technically and such. I have no experience editing or anything, consider yourselves warned.]