mercredi 4 septembre 2013

Plan B

All my life has pretty well much gone according to plan.  I did well in school, had my choice of University with scholarship, met Nathanaël young, got married, have had no troubling conceiving...  When everything in your life goes according to plan it is very easy to believe in the illusion that you are in control.

This summer I read Pete Wilson's book Plan B (a book I had initially picked up to help me minister to others, because my life has been so plan A)...

And here we are Sept 4th in a Plan B situation.  Our plan B situation is not difficult or devastating like the loss of a family member, unemployment or illness, but this plan B still serves to remind us that there are a lot of things in life that we don't control.

Our house is still for sale (has been for just over 3 months), we haven't been able to purchase our tickets to head overseas yet because we need to wait for the house to be sold.  We thought we'd be packed and ready to go by now, but, we're still here.

Here's what Pete Wilson says about control in our lives:

`You know why these things frustrate and anger us? They're reminders that control is an illusion- and we don't like being reminded of that.  We want to control the outcomes in our lives.  We want to win if at all possible.  We want to be right.  We want it done our way.  This powerful desire leaks into our marriages, our jobs, our parenting.

And the danger for most of us is that not only are we tempted to think we hold the strings to our life; we really think we get to write the script...`(p.23)

So what do you do when life isn't going according to plan.  We trust God.  Here are some things God says about our lives:
    Jeremiah 29:11-13
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm youplans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
       Phillipians 4:6 
       Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and          petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

So last night Nathanaël and I prayed together with open hands a simple prayer.  Lord this is your house and our lives are yours.  We trust you.  We trust your plans for our lives.

dimanche 1 septembre 2013

The times they are a changing... (and my changing relationship with STUFF)

We are in the unique position of packing everything and sorting through all kinds of things.  We are keeping that which is really important to us and getting rid of the rest.  God has been, over the past 6 years, helping us become less attached to goods.... because as I like to say it's not going with us when we die!!

Many of you will know that 3 years ago we had to deal with a mould situation!  That 'forced' us to get rid of a lot of stuff we had been holding on to... For example 100$ English textbook I had been keeping just in case I might need it someday (instead of selling it back to the campus bookstore right after the course was done)... Mouldy = 0$ and garbage!  I couldn't even give it away!

Well, deciding what is worth storing is a great process... goodbye birthday cards from 5 years ago, goodbye class notes I haven't looked at once since graduating, goodbye photos from trip to the aquarium (the only photos that seem to really still be interesting a year later are those of people!!).

We also had an offer on our house that, unfortunately, fell through- but it included almost all our furniture- that was interesting, but really helpful in the end because we realized we were willing to get rid of more than we thought we wanted to...

One of the things that has held me back from wanting to get rid of furniture, was to think about the cost of replacement.   Definitely getting rid of a dresser (selling it on craigslist for 50 dollars for example) would cost much more to replace, if I were to buy brand new... But if I am willing to buy used then I haven't really lost anything because I can likely find something (if I am patient) for the same price I sold ours for.

So here are some little things I have learned

1- Buy used, sell when done, buy used, sell when done etc...  (cost of use becomes very little!)
2-If you haven't used it or looked at it in a year, you very probably don't need it!


Times are changing.  I had a huge box full of cards from Josué's birth, I have a small envelope for Noémie's.  Things are becoming more and more electronic (e-books, online streaming for videos) and some of this technology is helping us to have less material (physical) goods.

We discovered many perks to having less... it is easier to keep the house clean.
Less stuff means less upkeep and less mental space.  Less worry about theft or damage or loss too.

So happy sorting!

Noémie 6 semaines- Noémie 6 weeks

Voici notre princesse, maintenant, déjà 6 semaines... Tout se passe très bien avec elle.  Elle aime beaucoup dormir et pleure rarement plus que 10 secondes!   Ceci ne veut pas dire qu'on n'a pas besoin de la consoler, mais elle est consolée facilement en marchant, en la bercant, en bondissant sur la balle, en allaitant etc.
Le temps s'est arrêté pour nous la première semaine ou deux, on s'est juste concentrée sur elle, mais là, comme toujours le temps a recommencé et passe vite!!
Noémie se retrouve dans notre vie, un peu unique, de rangeage constante de la maison (pour la vente) et de tranquillement vendre des choses et faire nos baggages... Nous sommes très reconaissants à Dieu pour une petite princesse assez calme dans cette période de transition!!  Elle commence à sourire et à observer.  Elle est magnifique!!

Here is our little princess, already 6 weeks old.  She is what many would call an easy baby, easily comforted and still sleeping a lot!  We enjoyed the first week or two where time stopped a little for us and we focused just on her, but now time is whirring away again as we keep the house clean for showings, and get ourselves ready for the big trip.  She is smiling more now which is lovely.  We love her!!!

mercredi 31 juillet 2013

The economy of Craigslist

Preparing for baby number 3 was a completely different venture than preparing for baby number 1.  Here's what preparing for Josué looked like.

-2 hour long trip to Baby's R Us with good friend (already a mother) and using the store's checklist to go through and scan item by item onto the registry.
-Receiving multiple gifts from baby showers (we were blessed)
-Purchasing (and receiving as gifts) 500 dollar crib, mattress, mattress cover, change pad, change pad covers, high chair, bouncy chair, nursing pillow, baby bath, pack and play, play mat and the list goes on, baby carriers, stroller etc....

And here's what we discovered:

We didn't need half of it!!!

Over the past 6 years our priorities and our views have changed a lot- we have become a lot more environmentally conscious and we have discovered our parenting style (attachment parenting) which is actually a style that requires VERY little material goods.

We co-sleep (so there goes the crib, the mattress, the sheets, the pack and play- which honestly was a hassle to get baby down into to sleep anyways).
We breastfeed on demand (there goes the need for soothers, or bottles- we go right to cups when the time is right)
We carry our babies (there goes the need for a double stroller (although it does come in handy for a suitcase or two during travel)... which natural child spacing due to breastfeeding and the fact that we carry our babies a single stroller could have done us fine!

Here's what preparing for baby 3 looked like:

-Not needing any clothes (my very generous friend with a 2 year old daughter has passed on ample and more clothes for our baby girl)
-Ordering half a set of organic cloth diapers from motherease (we still have a half a functioning set from our 2nd)
-Finding a new toddler bed rail for our bed on craigslist (15$) Nat gave ours away by accident
-Buying an ergo baby insert (which was actually an exchange in a store for some girl clothes we received but didn't need).

And voilà our baby is good to go!!!

Over the past 6 years I have shed my snobbiness towards used goods and realized it is just plain smart to buy things used  (and then re-sell them).
My friend bought her ergo baby used off craigslist and sold it two years later after plenty of use for just 5$ less... She was able to use and enjoy one of the best (and most expensive) baby carriers out there for her for only 5$.

And that goes without mentioning the saved environmental impact!!!

Famille de 5 Family of 5

Well we are pleased to share the arrival of our newest Noémie... She is beautiful and so far a great nurser, great sleeper and pretty content!  God knew that she would be the 3rd child in our home and the aventures we'd be up too and so she is fitting in great with our family and we are truly enjoying getting to know her.  Here are some pictures you might enjoy.  Nat made some homemade hammocks that the boys really enjoyed.

Nous sommes heureux de célébrer l'arrivée de notre Noémie.  Elle est belle, boit bien, dort bien et est assez calme et heureuse.  Dieu savait qu'elle était notre 3e et que nous comptons sur elle pour s'adapter à nos aventures ;)  Nous sommes vraiments contents d'apprendre à la connaitre- Elle est vraiment un cadeau de Dieu.  Voici quelques photos (dont quelques unes dans le hammock que Nat a fabriqué)

dimanche 7 juillet 2013


We are about to embark on a very exciting adventure, a year abroad in France!  This is a unique opportunity, that many people never have, to sell our house, leave our jobs and create a new life for ourselves (at least temporarily)!

God has spoken to us over the past few years (through circumstance and through the Bible) about not being hoarders, not getting attached to material goods and moving abroad is another chance to take that one step further!

When thinking about storing our furniture for a whole year it has lead us to think about what is really important to us and what we really want to keep!  In fact last week we received an offer on the house that included most of our furniture!  (We are not sure the offer is going to go through, but it was a good process for us).

Letting go of our goods has been one process, but another process of letting go (in order to become something new) is letting go of our jobs and therefore professional identities.  Who we are next year will not be defined by the jobs we have (or don't have!).

Next year we will have the chance to decide how much to work, not based on the size of a mortgage, but based on our expenses and the things we would like to do.

We will have more time to build into our church community, strengthen our family connections (both immediate and extended) and take time to do things like cook healthy food and read.

Will we become French?  Nathanaël and I are looking forward to immersing the boys totally in French for a year and for them to experience a different culture.  Living in another culture always helps one re-evaluate the things we take for granted or come to expect.  Surely there will be challenges, but we look forward to a year of growth in lots of different ways.

And likely we will be able to blog more consistently about our experiences and share them with you.  Thanks for reading!