"O Holy Night"

Josh and Beth Paulick on December 4, 2019

    In preparing our hearts for Christmas, Beth has started going through a book, “Advent, the weary world rejoices.”  The first chapter talks about the song “O Holy Night,” where the book gets the title from and talks about how the song was originally in another language but was translated into English in 1855.  I didn’t realize that this song was originally written in French, and like most songs it was not translated exactly like the original French, but holds a lot of the same sentiment with the hope of waiting to be delivered and that Jesus came to earth to be a Savior.  (If you want to listen to the French version, “Cantique de Noël,” here is a link).  “O Holy Night” has been one of Beth’s favorite Christmas songs and the lines, “the thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices….” resonates right now because of how much I see the world is so weary.  We are weary and I know so many of the other students here are, and I know, our teammates in Togo are too, but we can still rejoice and have hope in Jesus Christ. I pray that I can remember that always and remember to always put my hope in Him!
    Thursday is Josh and Beth’s 10 year wedding anniversary!  It’s so incredible to look back and see all that God has done in our marriage (and how much we have to grow!). But I am so thankful for Josh and still can not believe that here we are 10 years later with 4 kids living in another country and learning a new language.  Honestly, this has been one of the hardest year of our marriage, but I hope that we can say it’s also been a year of growth.  Of learning our need for dependency on God and encouraging each other.    
    On Friday, we have been asked by our kids to come in and share our traditions in America for Christmas.  We are praying that this might be an opportunity to show a little of who Jesus is (although we have to be careful because it is illegal to share about the gospel in the public schools in France.). Each of the classes in our kids school will have a parent that studies at our language school present about their traditions for Christmas.  We are going to be able to share in Avery’s class and are excited to be able to have this opportunity.  
    Another really fun thing about living in France is there are a lot of Christmas markets.  All the bigger cities have them and even the smaller towns have them on certain days.  It has been really fun to go and visit them, and we are really excited to celebrate someone else’s birth this month!  Elijah turns 8 on December 14th.  
    It is so hard to believe that we are so close to finishing up our time here in language school.  We have a week until our exams start on December 12th.  We will have exams, December 12th, 13th, 16th and 17th.  These exams cover grammar, being able to speak and write, being able to understand both reading and listening, and then also reading aloud.  Beth and Josh are both trying to prepare and study for these exams and to try and make sure we are as prepared as we can be.  We are so thankful for our time in Albertville and thankful for the progress that we have made, even though we both feel like we still have so much to learn.  
    After our exams are finished, we have our “graduation” ceremony on the 20th and then we have plane tickets for December 23rd.  It is so surreal to realize how quickly that is coming up!  Please pray for us as we are trying to make time for studying, packing, and still do the day to day things as well.  We are leaving here December 23rd and will be spending Christmas in the Dayton area with family and then in January will be going to Michigan for a 3 week growth and renewal retreat.  Our plan is to be heading to Togo shortly after that.  Thank you for all your prayers. 

IMG_3520 "The Heavens declare the glory of the Lord..." Psalm 19:1

Praises and Prayers
1.) Praise that we get to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this week!
2.) Pray for our presentation in the school
3.) Praise that we are finishing language school
4.) Pray that we will have a smooth time of transition and be able to get everything done that we need to in the coming weeks.