Paris & Slow Traveling
So we meandered our way through Paris and loved it! After arriving a day late from airline failures without our
luggage we finally settled into our Homeaway apartment in historic Montmartre. Our place was small but had the perfect view of the Christmas lit cobble stone streets. It was everything one imagines it to be including
morning church bells, accordions echoing the alleys, adorable boutique shops, little old ladies dressed to the nines, bakeries full of freshly baked breads, wine and cheese shops full of local artisan goods and some less
appealing characteristics like the smell of gasoline and cigarette smoke literally everywhere.
If you've been following my Instagram feed, you may have caught what we're doing in my cryptic writing. But if not, I'll try and give you simpler insight here. We are on a 6 month journey which has been brought about through prayer, years of planning, working and a big leap of faith into the 'unknown'.
Some of our goals are as follows:
Help Non-Profit organizations with our skills (graphic design, website, branding, film, editing, photography, art education, workshops, etc)
Explore different cultures (historic landmarks, cuisines, nature, etc)
Connect with various communities
World-school our little one with first hand experiences
Learn new languages and cooking techniques
Last but not least, remain teachable
We did our best to see all the wonderful history through art and architecture while not overwhelming our stay
by rushing the moments... besides this is our life now, slow travel with a purpose. With that notion we made it
a point to remember to take in life with a 'where we are, is where we'll be' mentality.
As we wait for God to present opportunities, a person who could use a smile, a call back from local charities, we are taking it all in as a family, enjoying each other, learning and growing.
Stepping back into a big city was exhilaratingly refreshing, almost like the day I stepped foot into San
Francisco, CA in some ways. I throughly love seeing different ethnicities and hearing various languages spoken, but this was a bit different. We are foreigners, and in France, Americans aren't so much welcome.
I totally get it. Generally speaking, we come off arrogant. It could be from our media or history, but being hopeful romantics, we began this trip with a prayer and a scripture:
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."-Ephesians 4:2
We had to remind ourselves often to keep smiling, channel grace and connect beyond language or historic
barriers. Embarking on this journey wasn't simply to travel the world, see new things and taste new cuisines,
although we are definitely partaking in the beauty God has created. Everything God has been cultivating in
us has always been about bringing life and educating people on health, art and social media. While we may
think we are here to simply use our talents/skills to help non-profits in whatever area they need help in, it truly
is about building each other up as a family in the body of Christ as well as being teachable. Sometimes it's simply being there to listen
while at other times it's putting on your dirty clothes to help tear down walls and build new ones.
More times often than not, we have found the biggest impact has been through the way speak to each other,
engage with one another, ask the hard questions and be totally vulnerable in our sharing through our
marriage in trials and triumphs. Our hopes is that others can build on foundations that God has leveled out in
our own lives. I believe no tear has fallen unnoticed, every battle has been won by our Lord and He uses everything for His glory. (I roll with a sustainable God! hehe!)
We wrapped up this trip to Paris meeting a couple of our French family members from Porters D'espoir.
We are honored to be able to come alongside them and learn about the wonderful work they have been doing
in Paris to feed, clothe, educate and encourage others no matter their backgrounds or status. As most non-profit leaders, they have their heads down, busy keeping things functioning, organized and pouring
themselves into those in need mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. We are continuing to pray for whatever God has in store for us there whether it simply be a few requests or help in longer terms. Either way, it truly is a blessing to see what they have allowed God to do through them.
We may not know what our impact may be until we get to Heaven but when you hear a stranger from another land tell you "It's so good to see a family together." or watch a stone cold face melt into a smile because of the overflow of just living in the person God has created you to be, it truly feels like we're on the right path.
Paris knows how to cherish their milestones and preserve the reminders that changed
history while appreciating art and the artists that create timeless pieces that stop onlookers in their tracks while
drawing thousands from around the world to marvel at its beauty. Paris has reminded us to kiss more, hold each other more...And most of all, Paris, has shown me that there is a community that believes that when something is old or broken, do your best to fix it, restore and fall in love with it again.
I was able to save some of our Instastories to my phone, so here they are, in no particular order!
Hi, I'm Melissa I want you to gain back your confidence & energy in the way you think, speak and act through life-giving decisions. Health is an excellent way to exercise stewardship for the service of others.