Plans better than her own

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps ~ Proverbs 16:9

You know when you’ve made a decision, followed it through and then asked yourself: Why EVER did I do that? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?

Yeah, well, that’s pretty much how I’m feeling right now. Plus empty, albeit confused. Well, if you want to know how not to do something, you might be able to learn a trick or two from me. Sigh.

Last year, God blessed me with exactly what I wanted. ME. Little ole me. The previous year my heart had been set on going to France, and I hoped to be able to live with Christian girls in a Christian coloc. And what did He bless me with? A job in France, and a home with Christian girl housemates. And SO MUCH MORE.

He gave me the desires of my heart.

 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

Okay, so it was also partly difficult; the work was difficult. But everything else? Pretty much perfect blessings from God. And even the difficult work brought me blessings. So you might be able to understand why I feel confused – as I’ve kinda just walked away from all that. (WHY!?)

I even met a lady in my church on Sunday – a newcomer, new to the area. We talk for a few minutes, and then we stumble upon the fact that I’m leaving the day after. And what do I start doing? Trying to hold back a puddle of tears ready to spill over, I excuse myself. I’ve probably scared the poor family away!

Okay, so as people have said, the door to go back is still ajar. I could go back. Next week even – as I’ve ironically got a pre-booked ticket going back there next week. I honestly have. But now I have no idea where God is leading me. Taking a ‘leap of faith’ has resulted in me feeling like this. Totallyconfused.com.

Have you ever been in 2 minds about something? Or make that 3, no 4, no actually, 7?!?

But it’s promised – that God is not a God of confusion.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 14:33

It’s promised that when we are weak, then we are strong. That God didn’t call us to a life without suffering, without pain – but that He will be with us wherever we go.

But this doesn’t change the fact, that it’s still difficult sometimes. I’m just looking forward to when I can look back, and see what God has taught me through all of this. I just wish I could see God’s bigger picture now, and not just the one tiny puzzle piece that I see, which just doesn’t make sense on its own. Only in God’s massive plan does it make sense.

Leaving for France on Saturday morning, I read in one of my daily devotionals the following verses:

  • Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
  • [Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
  • The children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord their God of their fathers.
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  • Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
  • It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
  • The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
  • Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him. Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
  • There is no want for those who fear Him.

They remind me that I’ve got to continue to trust.

Here’s one encouraging blog post about a lady and God’s plans for her: https://lifeasfine.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/not-my-plans/

Plans better than her own.

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Take a break. Take a Kitkat break.

The holidays.

Time to breathe out. Ahhhh.

Right now, I’m back in my hometown. CARDIFF ūüôā (The capital of Wales, incase you didn’t know…) Just finished reading my lil bro a story about Freddie the Firefighter; dad’s watching the snooker and I’m a-sitting on the sooorrrffa with me lappy on me lap. Chilled!

I’ve had a great time catching up with family this past week. As usual, time spent with them is always too short. Yet I now feel like my home is in Lille, in FRANCE, across the sea. WHO KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN. With some new sisterchicks in Christ, of course!

But I miss my family – ¬†love them to pieces! Even those I’ve not seen this time around, I think about them often.

TIME!? Where does it go.

My lil bro says I’m the prettiest girl in the world. Not sure if it’s my dad who’s brainwashed him – but either way I’m flattered!

Nearly 23 years old and I’m starting to feel old already.

A lady actually said to me today –¬†because my dad is looking so ‘YOUTHFUL’ (her word), that¬†she wasn’t sure whether me and my dad were (wait for the freaky factor) –¬†TOGETHER! As in, the guardians of my little bro. Wow. I must be looking older right?! AND one of my dad’s clients (who I met last year) looked at me this week, gobsmacked, as though I was somebody new altogether. Matured, I say, like a cheddar¬†cheese.

Life. It’s a funny old thing!

I’m Still Standing, Yeah Yeah Yeah

Okay, so it has been A WEEK. It’s over, thank goodness. I think it went pretty fast too because there wasn’t much preparation to do – because it was revision week etc. In the classes in the centre, we had to basically revise everything we have done up to now. Only problem – the parents came along to OBSERVE. This is quite a nerve-wracking experience. After say, just over 12 weeks in this job (with very little experience before hand) and then I have people OBSERVE the way I’m teaching their own kid, or kids. Let’s just say, it’s not the most pleasant experience, especially if one or two children start playing up and there’s my inexperienced self failing to gain control in front of expectant parents. My credibility gone down the drain…gulp. But I got through it! Woop! Well more or less, I have one more hour to survive with said parents watching me like hawks…

At this present time, I am, as usual, (not good I know…) but quite BEHIND with my work. This is not helped by the fact that I have pupil evaluations to do. Which also, I’ve never done before, until now. This is furthermore not helped by the fact that I barely know these kids. I mean, I teach over 200 a week. And some kids, I see for only half an hour a week. HALF AN HOUR times 12, well that equals 6 hours. So, I’ve seen, for example 75 4/5 year olds for a grand total of around SIX HOURS. Even less, cos of the two weeks holiday I already had. And now what, I’m expected to say how much each one remembers from that 6 hours, and makes notes on how much each participates and behaves? I can barely remember their names after spending half an hour a week with groups of 15 at a time.

I’m gonna have to make badges for the next semesters so that my next evaluations will be a lot easier. Sigh. Gotta learn the hard way.

Although I may be drowning in a pile of yet to be sorted paperwork and the like, I have many things to be thankful for. Number one – CHRISTMAS IS VERY SOON, and more importantly, THE HOLIDAYS! I don’t feel very happy actually that I move around quite a lot during the holidays; it’d be nice to stay here for a week or so to enjoy simply being here or travel a bit in France, and not rushing from place to place with work constantly there in the back of my mind. But at the same time, I know I will love catching up with different family members. And at my Mum’s place where there are less people about, I’ll enjoy that quality time with her and my twintwin, and some downtime to myself.

I just know that those hols will go fast. But I guess, that is life. And some people don’t even have HOLIDAYS! I’m the lucky one here.

Still not 100% health-wise, which doesn’t surprise me in Lilleland. Not got that much of a cold now, but coughing every now and again, and my ears are not right. But I can hear! I just would like to get a doc to check them out… but again, these irritations are not serious ones, so again I have a lot to be joyful about.

I’m going to go swimming methinks, tonight. After I finish my “reglisse menthe”. Have you tried it? You should, it’s very calming! The weather at the moment is quite representative of the north NORTH FRANCE methinks: grey, cold and rainy. But oh well. Feels like home, then, I guess.

Bisous mes amis.

A plus!

On The Other Side

On the megabus travelling from Cardiff to London today, I had time to write a few words of reflection. Here they are.

The weather is a little horrific. Grey skies. Raindrops running down the glass windows of this megabus coach. Rain. Wind. Wet roads. Big puddles. Welcome to the UK. In November. Or rather, in my case, it’s see ya later alligator. I’ll be back in just under 2 months.

I’ve had a really lovely 10 days away from Franceland. One hard thing was not seeing everyone who is so special to me. But in Cardiff especially, there are many who are so special to me, and in just a few days I didn’t have time to see all of those whom I store loyally in my heart.

In any case, I spent a few lovely days with my dad, little brother and sister, as well as a night with my nan where I caught up with 2 sets of aunties and uncles too. Not forgetting my 5 days spent in Beds with my mum and sister, including a pleasant girly weekend with an aunty from North Wales.

Going back to France now, I don’t really know how to feel.

Firstly I hope I catch my eurostar in time. Still on my way to Llundain and it’s past 10am. My eurostar leaves at 12:58…it’s OK, we’re due into Victoria Coach Station for 10:30am. Praying!

So as I was saying, not really sure how to feel re.commencing Chapter 2 of my Lille life. Like a kid, I look forward to travelling on the eurostar again and get excited when I hear people chatting away in French.

Re.work though, I’m feeling a little more anxious about the whole thing. I’ve even had a nosy on job sites to see a bit what’s out there – if I don’t survive past January.

I would love to stay in Lille for the whole year as planned. I’m just not sure I can hack teaching for the whole time. Perhaps throwing myself in the deep end wasn’t such a good idea.

Anyway; amidst my many blessings I am in a certain way unafraid. I have many security blankets – them being my friends, family, in Wales, UK and even in France.

One little nugget of information for you: over my time away, I met a Christian. Apparently only a Christian for the past 2/3 years, he admitted to me something about God –¬† ‘I live because of Him, and I live for Him’. He said this to me, unafraid and self-assured. It was touching!

Challenges will arise in this life, wherever I am, wherever we are.¬† And God is there in every one. He knows about every one. It’s our attitude which we must adapt.

Although things may be grey. Rainy. Albeit, horrific. God sees the bigger picture. We will have trials on this earth – but remember-¬†this earth isn’t our home! Our eternal home and treasures¬†are with God in Heaven – there is another side.

She is fierce

Diverse-City

So today I had two sessions with 2 year olds, there was even a 1 year old present! I admit, I enjoy these sessions once I’m doing them! Before that, I’m feeling a bit nervous, as usual! Still can see I’ve lots to learn though. Quick thought, once I’ve got through next week, I will have been teaching for a month in the school! Ahhhh!

Just wanted to say¬†a quick note about how interesting it is working with people from all over! I have colleagues from America, Ireland, Portugal, France (of course!) and then the UK too. I like that there’s a Welshie i.e. myself, as part of the mix! Cymru am byth!

 

You’re uncomfortable? You’re evolving.

My three weeks in Lille so far can be defined as such:

Week 1: Croaky voice

Week 2: Sore throat (+ ulcer)

Week 3: Sniffly nose

Animal-wise this is how I’ve seen myself:

Week 1: Frog

Week 2: Ill Frog

Week 3: Frog turned Elephant

I wonder what Week 4 has up its sleeve.

Thankfully, my doctor in France didn’t hesitate to hand me a tissue when I welled up and then provide me with this impressive lot: a throat spray, paracetamol, a kind of syrup, and even a nasal spray.

NB: The title of this post – just some advice from my funny father.