Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why did I start this blog? WHY?!?

I'm sitting with my laptop by the window in my third floor apartment in France (which I learned is actually the 4th floor for Americans- there's 0, 1,2,3...). I'm still in my pajamas watching the sunbeams burst through my space. I feel compelled to write on this blog even before eating breakfast this morning. I think this is strange because I personally detest technology that interrupts regular life. I also do not like extra time-commitments that I feel obligated to fulfill when I am already very involved with other things. Hence, it's odd that this is my desire for early morning. I like to consider early morning my quiet time. Since I consider most networking/communication tools as barrage of busyness against my brain and its natural rhythm of peaceful thoughts, blogging should not be what I want to do during my quiet time.

So WHY would I, of all people feel so compelled to Blog?

Why would someone like me want to Blog? There are many reasons, but I figure I must be excited about my blog since I regularly eat breakfast before doing anything else. My hubby calls me to the table to eat with the family & I am hesitant, but then I realize I am writing this blog mainly because I long to connect with people. So I relent and go to the table to eat because after all my family is here waiting, and you really aren't here until later when you choose to log on and read this blog.

I started out thinking this would be a good way to keep in touch with news about our family ministry (it will be) but I feel this blog is morphing into something more.

I miss connecting with people on a deeper level. It's hard here in a foreign land for someone like me who loves to chit-chat and to have heart-to-heart conversations with a good friend. I've been journaling on my computer to help ease the transition from the States to a foreign land. Although it is a first world country, France is foreign to me and comes with some culture shock and stress. Journaling is very therapeutic, so I thought why not journal on a blog?! Then people would be connecting with what I write. I realize this about myself now, I have a strong need for people to understand me - even just a handful of people in the world who understand my heart and the words flowing from it.

My attempts to make deep friendships here have been limited to my ability to speak well in French. Well, I went to a home group here last night with my family & for once realized that my husband was talking more than I was. This never happens - except for now it always happens here. I lack the language skills to connect with people in the way that I want. I can understand some and still, of course, not all of what people are saying. I lack the ability to verbalize in French what it is that's on my heart or to even tell people what my life is really like. How do I explain myself and our family goals, when all I can tell them in French is: what my name is, and how many kids I have, and that I am American? (That's progress for me - so bravo to language learning!) So therein lies the extent of any conversation I can have at this point. I think my teacher understands me a bit more than any other French person - God bless her! She tries very, very hard to understand my broken French and my misplaced English words in the middle of a sentence.

I struggle often with the question of why must I learn French, God? I was at a decent level of Spanish (that's what I studied in high school), and I was able to connect with people so well in Spanish - why couldn't I be called to Latin America? Ahh, but I know the answer to that and will not write about it here. None-the-less, French is beautiful, but it has so many rules and patterns of speech that I have not yet mastered and so I feel muted whenever I am around French speakers who don't also speak English. It's like someone has put duct tape across my mouth. I thought it would be easier for me to connect with this particular home group last night since the leaders were originally from Latin America and so their first language is Spanish - YAY, a way for me to connect! Alas, it is extremely trying to think of Spanish words in a room and world full of French - they say that this is a good thing that my Spanish is be drowned out by French. (Who is this elusive they? Who sets up the goals required for learning languages, I wonder.) I suppose it is a good thing that French is taking over in my mind, but it is extremely frustrating at this point. (I did have a dream all in French last night - I've been in France about a month, so I wondered when that would start happening.) This merge from English/Spanish to French will benefit me in the end though. Learning French is my goal for bigger and better reasons (*soft pensive smile*). Ahh, so I will need to still find ways to connect while doing so, and perhaps it will mainly be with you for a while. Thanks for lending an ear to a heart that hopes to be near other hearts wherever I am.

I like to think of this blog as the kitchen table of my life, where for a while I sit and share stories of laughter and tears with a dear friend. Welcome to my table.
Welcome to my table.

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