Sometimes I feel like other bloggers who write about expat life in France are less busy than I am. Or is it just my imagination? Life for them meanders by on a gently-flowing stream, whereas mine feels like it’s being heaved from the end of a catapult.
Although I’m tempted to blame life, I suspect it’s my own fault. I’m a magnet for busyness.
This weekend was no exception. For the past couple of weeks, I’d been working on our church’s annual Women’s Day. I’m usually the one responsible for the skit – writing and directing it – and baking for the tea that follows. This weekend I also had my daughter dancing.
On top of that, my son was participating in a national trumpet competition in Toulouse this same weekend, so my husband took both boys there. And two days before they left, the new workers we’d hired called to say they were ready to start the following day (which I said ‘no, not until after the weekend’ because I haven’t lost my mind completely).
The competition was great, even if Gabriel was nervous and played a little fast and fudged quite a few notes. He was still competing in an age-range above his own, and he still got a 2nd mention and finished with a score of 16 out of 20. However, he asked me not to make the video public because he’s not comfortable with the way he played. He’ll need to play the same piece for an independent jury in our home conservatory in a few weeks and if he does well, I’ll record it then and post it for you to hear.
The Women’s Day was fabulous. The theme was DANCE IN THE RAIN – how to keep one’s perspective in the midst of life’s storms. We had a main speaker from Dubai, who spent most of her adult life in India, as well as two local women who shared about their lives. Reine shared from the perspective of struggling with infertility in the African culture (where it’s not well-perceived) only to finish with getting pregnant and finding out her son was handicapped. She shared about the struggle, but also about the joys she has found in her situation. Laurence shared about how she lost her husband (he decided to divorce her), her job (which gave her immense satisfaction), and her health (she had breast cancer) all in the same year, and how (despite how hard it was) she wouldn’t have changed for anything the spiritual growth and closeness to God she gleaned as a result.
Interspersed was my skit, a mother-daughter duet, the African sisters performing a dance where they got the whole room up and moving, and my daughter and her friend dancing classical ballet – a piece they had choreographed themselves. We finished the day by eating all the pastries the women had made.
I’m going to put the video of the dance my daughter did at the bottom of the post. But first, here are some pictures. I’m sorry to say that some of them are likely to be upside down or sideways if you’re reading this from an e-mail because I uploaded them directly from my phone. In my experience, I’ll correct it and it works for the post, but not for the e-mail. I have no idea why. If you want to see the pictures properly, however, just click on over. 🙂
On Sunday, I was up at 6AM to frost the cupcakes (shown on the stand up there – lemon cupcakes with vanilla frosting & chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting, everything gluten-free). My daughter and I left for church, and I organised the classrooms for the children’s ministry, had rehearsals before church, translated the services for some English-speakers, had more rehearsals, oversaw the skit, translated for the Women’s Day, stayed until 5:30, then drove my friends home who had attended with me. When Juliet and I arrived at home, that’s when we found out how Gabriel did.
As exhausted as I was over the weekend, nothing slowed down because I needed to remove some stuff in preparation for the painting to begin and my husband was not arriving until Monday evening. Some of you will have been following our story the last year and a half, where we started construction then the company had problems and stopped.
We have some remaining money, which we’re using to cover all the damage from flooding and mold, and we’re going to put in stairs to cover the hole in our wall and replace the hot water heater. The rest will just have to wait. It’s been a long road. In the meantime, this is what my house looks like now.
which would all be well and good if it weren’t for the fact that my husband is incredibly busy with work and not available to oversee this, my friend from Canada is visiting, we have a wedding to go to (where my husband promised to take the pictures), and my dad is then arriving (I’m not sure if we’ll have a working kitchen). On top of it all, the workers announced when they broke the wall that they’re afraid we have termites!
So I don’t see myself coming up for air anytime soon. It feels busy. And sometimes it feels a little heavy and hard. I suppose it was no coincidence I was given the chance to equip myself to weather life’s storms this past weekend, hm?
Below is Juliet and Eléonore’s dance – Juliet is the blond dancer. It was the dress rehearsal so they were still ironing out spacing problems on the stage, and a few moments are not in sync. But the actual performance was absolutely perfect. I was so proud of them.
I hope your life is more sunshine and rainbows than storms right now.