25 Reflections: Loneliness

France has also taught me about loneliness. And honestly, this is one of the lessons I am most grateful for. My life for the past 4+ decades has been many things, but it hasn’t really been lonely. In fact, more often than not, I was starved for alone time with far too many demands on…

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25 Reflections: Real-life Captain America

I’d like to tell you the story of Audie Murphy. I had another post planned for today. But we were out running last-minute errands this afternoon (we leave to Zurich tomorrow!) and ended up driving through a neighboring village named Holtzwihr, which is where I learned about Audie Murphy. (I have gleaned additional information for…

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25 Reflections: Working with What Is

One thing that has impressed me about French cities and landscapes is that there is a deep respect for the history of the place. When someone wants to build something new, they don’t simply tear down what was there before, but rather, they work with what already exists. In the first photo above, this store…

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25 Reflections: Eating Like the French

Before we came to France, one of the things I was most curious about was the eating habits of French people. I had read that French people have better health outcomes than Americans overall, despite eating crazy amounts of cheese, bread, wine, and chocolate. I wanted in on this sorcery! When it comes to food…

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25 Reflections: Albert Schweitzer

Another gift this journey has given me is a new life hero: Albert Schweitzer. I first encountered the words of Dr. Albert Schweitzer when I was in college. His book, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, was assigned reading. Afterwards, I’m sure I wrote a paper or answered questions on a test. But none of…

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25 Reflections: God and Patterns

I have come to see God at work in my life, as I believe He is at work in all of our lives. For me, my journey to France has been part of that. One thing that God asks of us–and this seems to be consistent across faith traditions–is to do the hard work of…

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25 Reflections: Embracing My Uniqueness

As we come to the end of our splendid adventure and I look back at all the places we’ve been–I am reminded that every place is special. Every country and city we’ve visited has its own unique gifts to offer the world. I’m so glad that Greece isn’t trying to be Switzerland, and that Venice…

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25 Reflections: Civility

One of the observations that I have made is that, as a general rule, civility is more present in French culture than it is in American culture. This shows up in little ways. For example, when you enter a store you always greet, and are greeted by, the shopkeeper. When you leave, you say goodbye…

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25 Reflections: Learning New Recipes

One of the benefits of spending so much time in France is that I have been able to cook a lot, which I don’t usually do when we travel. At first it was a little bit challenging because things in the grocery store weren’t quite what I was used to back home. Rather than get…

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