My (very blessed) (really cool) week in pictures !

This week was one emotional week, packed with celebrations, friends and new happenings. This week, on Thursday, I skipped class to attend my brother’s doctoral thesis defense and, in the small room where he presented his thesis, was overwhelmed with emotion as we heard the professors award him the summa cum laude honor !!! My parents, friends and I were so proud as he pronounced the oath of Galen !

pharmacist

My best friend, study buddy, inspiration and partner in crime, is now a PharmD !!!

food

Celebrating our champion at the restaurant, a few hours later ! 

Seeing my father bow his head in prayer as my brother pronounced the oath was something incredible to see. I’m extremely grateful for all the joy that my brother has brought to my parents, not only during the graduation ceremony but also during his life. My brother has been so good to me during the time we lived together as students and grew to be a strong man during these years. Seeing the pride, relief and happiness on Dad’s and Mom’s face, during that night, is something I will never forget. They worked so hard to help us make it through these years of pharm… We are definitely blessed with godly, wise, caring, generous, extremely loving parents.

 

raclette

After the celebration and a good night of sleep, my brother had to return at his workplace for an early Christmas Party-which left me a few hours to study some immunology before I celebrate something else. Ummmm, in fact, there was nothing in particular to celebrate, it’s just that my friends and I never have the time to catch up, being in different programs, so it was about time that we gather again for our kind of food, raclette. Bring on the cheese, the cheese, the cheese, the cold cuts, and, I almost forgot to mention, the cheese. And the baguette. And the pickles. And the potatoes. And the mannequin challenge !! We ended the night with a hilarious mannequin challenge, and obviously one of the girls had to crack up every time I almost caught a perfect scene on camera.

coffeeee

Today is a study day ! It might sound basic to a lot of people-especially if you are someone who is really organized and who plans everything in advancee, but I started to plan the day ahead as soon as I wake up. It takes a few minutes but saves you a lot of time and discouragement- I used to do homework and work on projects without much planning and scheduling and as the end of the day was nearing, I found myself discouraged, because I did not have a clear of idea of the progress I had done that day. Crossing items of your list definitely gives you a motivational boost !

me-running

Call CNN, Fox News, BBC, everyone !! I took up running ! In fact, I’m taking up crossfit-my brother runs marathons and IronMan and every sort of competitions; it was not always this way, however. We are not a family where physical exercice was something that important, and it was not until his 3d year of university that my brother started going to the gym, running, etc. Since we have flat feet, we have a small disadvantage when it comes to training but my brother is not the kind of person to find excuses and slowly but surely, began to run. 20 minutes. 40 minutes. 1h30. And then, a few years later, crossed the finish line of two marathons after 5 hours of running non-stop. He oftens says that he would get depressed without running, and today for the first time, I took advantage of the beautiful, foggy weather (nope, as an autumn lover, these words are not antonyms to me lol) and went for a run in the local part that is 5 minutes away from my home. It felt SO GOOD ! I went back home  energized, and wondered why I never started before ! If you have never done it, go ahead- you can thank me later.

Running across flamingos, peacocks, ducks and a wallaby makes the experience fantastic…

… And makes returning to work easier.

Thankful for this week mercies ! Have a beautiful weekend y’all !

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Today, I’m thankful for…

  • Green mint tea
  • A beautiful sunrise
  • Those last days of vacations- I’m so grateful that I could catch up on sleep and that I am now refreshed for my last month as a student !
  • A quiet Bible time this morning- I read Heb ch. 11 et 13

My blog is one year old !

Time flies ! WordPress just sent me a blog anniversary notification. I thought I would write, on this occasion, another “count your blessings” blog post !

I’m thankful for:

  • All the refreshments -water, water sprays and fans available during the heatwave
  • An easy start of the new school year, with an exciting (and busy !) program and friendly colleagues
  • My English professor who was kind enough to review my resume and my cover letter
  • The fact that we have access to medications: my father is now under antibiotics because he might have been bitten by a nasty tick… (= probability of Lyme disease 😦 )
  • Tomorrow, God willing, my mom will turn 56 ! She still looks like a little doll and  probably is the most beautiful and perfect 56 yo in town (Ok, I might be biaised but really is that beautiful both inside and out). I will never take my mom for granted. She is a cancer survivor and went through many hard times in her life and in spite of that, her optimism and joy in the Lord strucks me every day. I love her and I am so thankful for her- she is my best friend, my miracle and my joy.
  • All the school supplies that make studying fun, and more generally all the comforts I am able to benefit from as a student.
  • The hope that the Lord Jesus is near
  • Answered prayers: I prayed that He would make me bolder for Him. As I naturall am a people-pleasing person, He is teaching me, through many things and experience, to put Him first and not to be ashamed of Him.I realized that the more time you spend with Christ, the less you are afraid of man.
  • Puffed rice chocolate (OF COURSE THIS IS A BLESSING !)
  • A lesson I am learning right now: That there is no substitute for God. For example, no matter how spiritual and good someone might seem, he or she will never be able to fill the void in your life …

1000 gifts: count your blessings

  • A beautiful devotional with my family
  • time with my brother who just visited
  • my sister’s love for the Lord, for the Word and her maturity
  • my loving parents
  • a peaceful home
  • food
  • a vacation in Florida that allowed us to relax
  • The gentle discipline of the Lord
  • Tons of new books my mom got me at a Christian conference
  • The new affections the Lord has put in my heart
  • New clothes
  • My upcoming registration for my Master’s degree
  • Godly older women that are here for me
  • A “no” from the Lord that spared me much heartache
  • New friends
  • The opportunity to write letters
  • Safety during our travellings
  • Fellowship with believers
  • The end of my internship on August 31
  • One of my dear friends has been cleared of cancer…
  • The good times I had with cousins this summer

Memories of a loved girl to whom God said, “No”. Reflections built around a prayer from “The Valley of Vision” book.

sunset

Pinterest.

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power. -The Valley of Vision

As I watch the sunset by the window, the walls of the houses before me bathed in golden beams, I am reminded of a line of a prayer I read last weekend.

“I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness.”

I am sitting there, as one who has been rescued from an addiction by a Loving Father, as a child who has been kicking everything in his way, screaming and crying, and, after a long time, only to realize, that the deprivation that tortured him was actually his salvation.

“Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule.”

I had hard times last year. And instead of turning to the Lord in prayer, I imagined scenarios that exhausted me emotionally. I sought to please man rather than God. I did not ask for the faith that is needed to care only for the present day. Sometimes, although I could not see it, some of my desires that I thought to be godly ones…. Were sometimes hiding lots of pride, conditional love to the Lord, falsehood, unsecurity and fear.

“I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

He disciplined me and I hated it, though I would not say it or even think it, but my whole attitude of dejection, when seeing I was deprived of the said thing I was coveting, betrayed my heart: The Lord was good only when I got the thing. And I thought I hated the prosperity Gospel.

Yet.

“No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin.”

What are we to fear ? What are we to long for ? A instant of fleeting pleasure or the smile of God ?

“If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction.”

Our blessed Lord Jesus was the object of delight of the Father, yet, did He live a comfortable life ? No !

“Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee.”

Yesterday, during my prayer time, I realized how SWEET communion with the Father and His Son is. And I welcomed at last loneliness, and kissed the silence wafting in my room. I have learned to kiss the rock that throws me against the Rock of Ages.

“Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.”

If you are reading this, and going through a hard time, I don’t know what pains you are going through, and at times we just want a presence, not somebody to give us a sermon of “futile” encouragement. Sometimes the pain is so raging and almost hurts physically. I felt the pain in my chest. I know how it feels. But after 3 years, in my case, of seeing only nonsense about my particular situation, after feeling that the last crumbs I possessed were taken once again from me, one week ago, the pain came to an end. It was over. The Lord made me see why I could not have what I wanted. He took it- so I can be filled with a nectar, with a treasure, that is, Himself. It could not have worked with all my pretenses and facades. Thank you, Father.

“Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.”

Ideas of things to do when you are tempted to use your phone (for no reason)

  • Draw. Get a box of crayons or watercolor painting and make something pretty !
  • Write a letter to someone. A friend told me that she was sad she got plenty of Facebook messages for her wedding but only one or two handwritten letters (strange but true !)
  • Pray
  • Exercice !
  • Spa hour at home: my friend read a statistic evaluating the time lost on pointless time on phone to two.hours.yes.maam. We often complain we don’t have time, yet…
  • Clean a room while listening to music or a podcast
  • Open your eyes to the marvellous nature we were given: go out for a walk (and take those crayons with you !)
  • Think, and make a list of the people you think need most help. Is somebody lonely ? Is there a widow you know who might need a listening ear or a loving presence ?
  • Choose a chapter of the Bible, or a small book and read it, take notes, memorize some verses
  • Do something unexpected for someone.

A walk in nature

vendome verdure.jpg

Welcome to Vendôme, my hometown

Go out for a walk.

Seriously. Heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Today was not a perfect day. I found myself fighting and struggling with some thoughts and sins in different areas and, by the grace of God, I am learning to not get discouraged but to pick myself up and to run to God instead of running away from Him. So right after I finished my shift at 12:oo AM at the hospital, I headed for the local garden, a beautiful paradise we are lucky to have right in front of the hospital.

And so I took a long walk and it seems that there, time stops and you have all the time to reflect and pause. I love that place.

I watched the graceful mandarin ducks gliding on water. The beautiful peacock with its long train. Talkative littles budgies and colorful parrots of various breeds. Flamingos. Bamboos. Flowers of all kinds. A little farm with chickens and goats.

And honestly, somebody has to write a PhD or a dissertation about why nature feels so good. In my studies, I had the chance to study plants and their properties and recently, I took, for my sleeping troubles Passiflora Incarnata, which is the passion fruit flower: it works !

Passiflora-incarnata.696

Google images. What a stunning flower, too.

The genius of God never ceases to amaze me. Nature is such a beautiful theatre, a quiet place, a solace of rest and it’s no wonder the perfect early days in Eden took place in a garden.

If you are tired, maybe it’s time to turn off computers, grab a thermos of tea and go out for a walk. Honestly. It is a neglected medicine…

Sharing the goodness of the Lord

I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. (Ps 22:22)

I am writing this quick post before heading to work, as I’m eating my breakfast. I just wanted to share how GOOD the Lord is. In some particular area recently, He has been fighting for me, defeating my sin through His power and His Word… And He was been my refuge when everything seemed to fail. This verse was a great encouragement to me yesterday:

David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.” (1 Sam 30:6)

Have a lovely day, dear readers, and may you find strenght in the Lord our God.

 

1000 gifts

And the list goes on…

18. A deep conversation with one of my friends, at work, who apparently loves philosophy

19. A new, exciting project I’m thinking of for my last year of university

20. My new bus card- the prices are really affordable for students here 🙂

21. What is simmering in the pan while I’m writing !

22. Fresh bread from the bakery because Vive la France.

23. Gettting a bit of rest after a long day of work and school

24. New ideas, initiatives and projects that keep my thoughts busy

25. The fact that the Lord is using various experiences, sometimes painful ones, to teach me about Him.

26. This verse I read today: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” (1 Tim 6:6)