three things i learned while living in paris
Some of you may know that I recently studied abroad for two weeks in beautiful Paris (talk about DREAMY), & I've been itching to share my heart. It is good to be vulnerable & open & raw, so that's my goal here (& always).
1. You know how people say that New York is the city that never sleeps? Well, I think Paris should be nicknamed (if it isn't already) the city that never stops going. I noticed this as soon as I got off the plane -- people are ALWAYS on the go. It's literal chaos all the time. I was dumbfounded to see that the French walk up the ESCALATOR. What?! If you're not on the right side of the escalator you will get run over by hustling Parisians. The streets are just as chaotic as the life underneath them with its pushing & shoving & moving. People walk on all sides of the sidewalk & cars cut people off every second. The movement never seems to end.
2. Stillness doesn't come easy, & too often I think it will. I've told a few friends this, but I need to share it with everyone -- it was very hard for me to feel present with the Lord while being in Paris. Every day was go go go & it was hard enough for me to catch my breath just to get from one place to the next, let alone be intentional with the Father. The sun rises around 5:30am & sets around 10:30pm, therefore, the days are SUPER long & draining, especially when you try to fit in a bunch of touristy things every day. I can blame jet lag, a busy schedule, exhaustion, etc. etc. for lacking in my quiet time over the last two weeks, but are the excuses ever enough to compromise my walk with the Lord? Honestly, no. And I could've done better. I know this, but I also know that in that time He allowed me to acknowledge finding beauty in the chaos, stillness in the hustle, peace in the overwhelming. He calmed anxieties on the plane & reminded me what was to come. He brought me up above the clouds to bring me a new perspective. I remember looking out the plane window on the way to Paris & noticing that we were above the clouds. The people under those clouds were living their daily lives unaware of what was above the puffy white blobs that I was among. I instantly felt aware of how He is always above what is veiled from us, while we look up & see only the clouds & not yet what He is doing. I'm trying to say that He is all-knowing. He sees above & below, while we only see what He allows us to see. We can rest in the assurance that the Lord is working all things in His perfect timing for His glory & good.
3. Escaping the norm is good for the soul. Even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. Even if it means being an extrovert when all you want to do is close off & be alone. Read it again -- escaping what you know for something new is GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL, no matter how trying it will be. I don't know about you, but I crave adventure. Sometimes that adventure is as simple as driving thirty minutes down a back road, & other times it's flying across the Atlantic to unknown territory. I had always dreamed of going to Paris, probably because it always seemed so popular, but ultimately it doesn't matter where you go as long as you GO. Escape your norm & wherever that takes you, embrace it wholeheartedly. Dig into the culture, act like a local, be exposed to new perspectives, & cultivate your growth, no matter how big or small.