An update

I thought I would write a sort of random post about how life is going and where I have been lately !

I finished the exams two weeks ago and I am very thankful the year is over. It will be, God willing, my last year of community pharmacy- my initial plan was to become your typical pharmacist but the Lord has other plans for me. If the Lord wills, I will start, in September, my Master’s degree in immunology, which hopefully will be the last year of my pharmacy program… unless I pursue another Master’s degree… School is so fun and I have always loved learning differents things !

Last week’s conference 

Last week, we went to Houlgate, a beach located in the North of France for a Christian conference in Arabic this time.

houlgate crabe

FYI, the crab was dead

 the topic of the preaching was on the short yet powerful book of Malachi and the great lesson I will remember from this weekend is that we ought to aim at honoring the Lord, that so often we honor humans more than we honor Him: “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 1:6). It made a deep impression upon me and recently, I have been feeling more intensely the conviction of the Holy Spirit to seek to honor the Lord, even when I am alone at home, and with my thoughts, because the truth is, He is always here, and is the most Majestic being in the Universe, and deserves all the honor and worship.

We can’t do this on our own. It is because He loved us first that we are enabled to love Him ! But recently, that conviction led me to stop giving God the last crumbs. The last minutes of the day. The occasional thought or prayer when I am bored and I have nothing to do but pray. Sometimes, instead of putting some music on, I feel the conviction, again, to intentionally seek to “integrate”, “include” the Lord while I do my everyday tasks, such as cleaning my appartment, cooking… I thought, no one would talk to a loved one out of boredom, right ? We have to be intentional !

 

Thoughts on being useful as a young single woman

I noticed something interesting during the conference: a lot of young girls, between 11 and 17 years old, wanted to chat with me- the kind of one-on-one talk. About lots of things: school, God, the Bible, guys, and whatnot. And I began to realize that all the struggles I have faced during my life, what the Lord has taught me, sometimes in painful ways, was found to be useful during those conversations. Chance is that if you begin to see those young teens as younger brothers and sisters in the faith, you might become a mentor to them, an older sister, and your experiences might be useful, not to mention that they need to talk to someone who has been there and understands. These moments fill me with gratitude because though the world might portray single as desperate and “waiting on the bench”, God has ways to use ordinary people to encourage others.

 

My new hobby

 

Watercoloring is so fun ! I bought myself a watercolor palette and I have been painting nearly every day since the last week (yep, even at 6 AM in the train, I was wide awake and ready to paint the Eiffel Tower). I hope my mom does not read my blog because the picture on the right, “Tea Time” is a painting I am intending to give her as a mother’s day gift and the first one was a quick sketch I made for a friend who works at the hospital with me- we are both fond of a jumbo lemon-flavored muffin they bake at the cafeteria so I had to paint it 🙂

That was everything for today !

Have a lovely weekend readers !

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A student’s diary: making your study sessions a lovely time

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Yes, a lovely time ! You know, after 5 years of being a uni student, I have come to realize that working in a clean, pleasant environment plays a big role in being able to stay focused on that page.

I don’t know if I have a attention-deficit disorder but sometimes I find it incredibly hard to focus on one page of a lecture… And I find that a routine and a certain setting really help, so as I am taking my 10 minutes break right now, I thought I would share a quick post on how to make your study time pleasant and something you will look forward to:

  1. A clutter-free desk makes everything clear ! If you can, start with a desk/a table in a calm environment and get rid of all that clutter on it: keep the bare minimum ! The textbook, a few sheets of paper to take notes and just the few pens and highlighters you need.
  2. A pleasant place: though I don’t like to put decorations on my desk as I feel that a cluttered place does not help, there are three items, apart from my study tools, that I like to keep: a pot of flower, a cup of tea and a candle. I was given beautiful white orchids by a friend, and they light up the whole room, along with the candle (which, for your safety, you must never leave burn when you are not in the room), and a delicious tea or fruit-infused water will ensure that you will have a bit of beauty, liveliness and sweetness as you study
  3. Color, color, color ! In most cases, I think that highlighting and making your lectures and notes something pleasant to the eye is not a waste of time but will help you memorize things.
  4. Of lipstick and perfumes and nails: now, this depends on your personality. I remember that during my first years in university, I felt like I had to sit at my desk in my pajamas and unbrushed hair and without makeup in order to have a “clean conscience”, meaning by that, that if I looked this tired, then GOOD ! It meant I was spending 27 hours/day studying… But to be honest, it was not really efficient. Now, I took the habit (though it’s true that I have less exams that a few years ago) to, even during the exams, take 5 minutes in the morning to fix my hair, do a quick makeup. Far from being a waste of time, it helps you, along with a cup of coffee, to lift your spirits and feel less miserable during those exams where motivation is required. I like to think of the Queen of England: she works every day in her office, and she works definitely very hard (she is probably the most informed woman in the world), and yet, even if she is at home, she is always properly dressed. Now, we can learn a lesson from that: far from being a waste of time and being frivolous, taking 5 minutes in the morning helps you work with joy and helps makes the most of the time and energy you have.

 

And now I am back to my lecture on smoking ! Have a lovely evening !

Becoming a homemaker: an introduction

 

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A few definitions from the dictionnary to start off…

Frugality:  the quality of being frugal, or prudent in saving; the lack ofwastefulness

Homemaker: A person who manages the household of his or her own family,especially as a principal occupation.

These few years of university, spent on my own/ with my brother for a few years taught me a lot about homemaking. Not only I learned that domestic skills such as cooking, cleaning and washing your clothes were important- sure they were, but something I have learned is that a homemaker has this unique ability to “set the tone” in her house. I have learned that you who are and how you manage your home will without doubt have an impact not only your immediate sphere of influence, such as your family and your guests, but beyond that, that will influence society. Home is the theatre of family, marriage, motherhood, fatherhood, interactions with siblings, quality time. It tells a lot about who we are really.

It is where you can extend hospitality. Where your husband, children, or friends, can find comfort and love and acceptance and a listening ear and loving hugs after a day where, maybe, things were not easy. Where things did not go as expected with the boss, where school was a burden, where temptations were constantly threatening your family. Where uplifting words are a rarity, and spiritual encouragement is clearly not a priority.

I am, as you can see, convinced that we women have this unique capacity to nurture others and use our creativity and talents to serve others, so that, for them, coming back to home will not feel like a chore, home will not be a place to be deserted and to escape as soon as possible but a place to which they will run because of the spirit of love they will find there.

When I was sixteen, for some reasonn I had to care for my siblings and I had zero knowledge of how to run a household. I clearly remember not knowing at which moment I had to throw pasta because I did not know if the water had to be just hot or boiling. Eventually I learned. Though I am far from being Martha Stewart, there are some things I learn every day that I thought I could share with younger girls.

Just a remark: as single young women, I realized that we have no idea of the impact we can have on younger girls/teens. By mentoring them, we are caring for the next generation and they are in great need, in this world where role models are rare, for an older sister, a mentor that will teach them godly things and at the same time, sympathize with them because they will have gone through similar things. Let us not waste that precious time called singleness ! It is not a time spent of the bench, but something to be used for the glory of God, and for others.

I have learned that homemaking does not necessarily imply being the perfect hostess, a gourmet chef or something that surpasses other. I will come back to that in a future post, God willing, but it is a way of life that aims at loving God and serve others through our skills.

I shared a definition of frugality because I believe frugality is a must as a homemaker: for lots of reasons I will detail later, I believe that a household cannot function efficiently if money is not well spent and if we are careless in the way we buy things and use them.

Grab a cup of tea, make yourself home, and join me as we talk and discuss about ways to make our home a place where godliness can flourish, and people can be loved.

 

Stéphanie

N:B: I want to thank every person who came to visit my blog since I start blogging. Reading your comments make my day !