Well, to say that language school and 7 kids is kicking out butts is an understatement! Obviously I have had no time to update this blog or even to send out our December newsletter. So this is going to be a very weird blog post because I just want to catch you up on several topics that you may be curious about.
First and foremost, we had a baby! Trinity Esther Baskin was born Oct 26th via c-section in Albertville, France. She is/was wonderfully healthy, and my hospital experience was wonderful and very different. A few differences–they give you some bread and a hot drink for breakfast…..which in my opinion doesn’t really last long when you’re post-surgery and breastfeeding. They have all of the moms come to a special room at 9:00 each morning to learn how to give their baby a bath and take care of other odds and ends (I loved that). They don’t wake you at night! That was awesome! You stay longer than in the states, I actually left a day before they wanted and I was there for 5 days! I think I cried every single day in the hospital for various reasons, one of them being French. But it seemed like when I was desperate to ask a question (since it was my first c-section I had a lot of questions), God would send me a midwife that spoke English that day. God took care of so many details. One time I was sitting in bed just crying and two friends from school just walked in. Praise God they did because Trinity needed her diaper changed, and I was in so much pain I couldn’t get up to change her. God was so near in those moments, what a gracious Father we serve.
So far Trinity has been an amazing baby by day, but a very difficult baby by night. She is typically up for 2-3 hours every night, not screaming, but crying off and on in stomach pain. She is almost two months old, but is still continuing with this habit. I am hopeful that it will end by 3 months, which is typically when colic resolves. Please pray that this ends quickly, but more so please pray for me to have the strength and patience to continue each day under complete exhaustion! I have broken down crying in class, I don’t even know how many times, because of how tired I am. I once cried just asking Darrell where the laundry basket was. Speaking of Darrell, he has been superman to me these past 7 weeks. He wakes up the kids for school each morning and dresses them, feeds them, and takes them off to school. All while doing all of the laundry for our family. He is my hero, I could not appreciate him and his servant heart more than I do this year.
Ok, moving on! God has provided so many loving and kind people here for us. Hanekke, a young woman from the Netherlands studying French here with us, comes over twice a week to do dishes, laundry, and to eat a meal with us. She does this all out of the amazing heart that God has given her. She loves us so well and never asks for anything in return. She even said to me one time, “I am giving to you the way God gives love to us, I don’t expect anything in return.” This woman is amazing.
Family worship time. Hanekke also inspired us to begin a nightly time of worship with our kids. She told us of how her family sits for worship after dinner each night and we thought that sounded lovely, but not with our kids! We decided to give it a try. It has now been two weeks that we have been doing this. It is hard guys, ugly and hard. Picture kids throwing stuffed animals, hanging upside down on the couch and hitting each other. It has been anything BUT worship. But each night Darrell and I have asked God to help us figure this out, how to get our kids involved without duct taping them to the floor. So the past few nights have actually been an improvement. We printed out words for the boys to read for songs and our next step is to print out a scripture for each reading child to read. We hope that by giving them this involvement they will begin to participate in this time other than by creating massive chaos and tempting Darrell and I to break the guitar over the coffee table. 😉
“Parents do not provoke your children to anger.” I have thought of this verse often the past 7 weeks as my fatigue has caused me to yell more, which in turn, provokes my children to anger. God has such truth in this verse, I pray I can follow it more closely even in difficult seasons.
French school: Wow, French school, I just can’t really say much other than wow. It’s hard, people. Very hard. Often in tears I say, “this is the most ridiculously hard thing I have ever done.” But somehow we continue to go day after day, week after week. I finished my first set of exams two weeks ago and was so thankful when I heard that I passed and was going to be moving on in class. Darrell is currently taking his exams and will finish on Tuesday. It will be one big party in this house when all the stress of school is relieved. This will be our last week of school before the Christmas break! Party Time!!!!
Kids: Our kids are continuing to do well at French public school. There have been some difficult days, teachers being physically aggressive (grabbing arms too hard, one of our kids was hit on the head by an angry swim coach, which was handled and reported but also completely devastating for all of us) or ripping papers in our kids’ faces, but other than those moments the kids are happy to go to school each day. The French school offers really interesting things for the kids. They have dance class, wrestling, cooking classes, and in the spring they will go skiing. I think that’s pretty awesome!
Well I hope that catches you up a little bit on our life here in France. God has carried us through each day here with His grace and steadfast love.
Thank you endlessly for your prayers for our family. On so many days I know that our strength is coming from those prayers. THANK YOU!