All Things New – Easter 2024

Easter Sunday 2024 

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Easter Family Photo 2024

King Lear in London – Easter Weekend

Easter Egg Hunt 2024

– John Hugh

Happy Easter, He is Risen Indeed!  We all love to say this.  It is true, yet find it can become a cliche.  Easter is a great reminder of this constant truth for all those in Christ.

I have said this before:   in Christ, all affliction only leads to resurrection.   The greatest affliction is arguably death itself – we do not want to die, nor do I believe we were made for death.  It’s an enemy to us.  Paul calls it this in 1 Corinthians 15.  Yet he also calls it a defeated enemy.  Thus, if the greatest affliction only leads to resurrection, then all the other of life’s afflictions lead to resurrection, new life, here on earth.

Our move to France afflicted us in different ways and changed so many different rhythms, challenges, and changes.  Many things (as Linda speaks of below) had to change.  And it’s never easy, and it’s certainly painful.  Yet as Easter Sunday speaks of new life, we rejoice in Christ bringing new life – on this side of heaven and on this side of the pond too!

Thus, the “afflictions” of less sports (yes, a big deal for me), not having regular baseball (although we’ve found a team!), not being as involved in the kids’ schools (French public school has less parent involvement), not having backyards (although a national forest has become our new backyard), and all the little things such as language, society, culture have cumulated to change us.

But it’s been good, and all used for good in us too!  I now think much more seriously about how each human being is not simply of one place or one personality, but a variety of giftedness God has given him or her.

So if you are in a new season of life with a different setting, season, or different aspect of yourself developing, a richness of being created in the image of God remains.  Sometimes, He desires for some seasons to die, so others can be born, or for some affliction to take place, so resurrection can occur.  And often you have to be afflicted to see where God is bringing new gifts.  He does, make all things new.

Thus, Happy Easter, wherever you are, to you and yours.  He is Risen, and He brings about resurrection in all things.


Christ has Risen – He has Risen Indeed, Alleluia!  Christ est ressuscité! Il est vraiment ressuscité, Alléluia!

Easter Sunday is about new life that never ends.   We have been in France for over 2.5 years.  I had no idea the new life God had for us when we moved to France in Aug 2021 with boys aged 14, 12, and 8.

I was naive, really naive, to think we could transplant our family rhythm from the US onto France.

What we eat changed (smaller refrigerator, junk food is expensive).

What clothes we wear changed (broke all my shoes 1st year in France, no one wears yoga pants).

The length of our school day changed (longest in Europe, my oldest finishes at 5pm some days).

How we travel changed (by foot and metro – only sneakers to save my feet).

The length of our lunches with friends changed (from 1 hour in the US to 5 hours in France).

How much help my kids need with homework changed (nothing to 2-3 hours every night).

The time we eat dinner changed (6pm in the US to 8/9pm in France).

The number of family vacations I need to plan changed (2 a year in the US to 5+ a year in France).

Time it takes me to accomplish a new simple task changed (5 minutes in the US to 30 min/1 hour in France).

Family time for fun traditions changed (lots of after-school time and free weekends in the US to rushing with longer school days & loads of homework & fewer activities in France).

This is the abbreviated list.   It’s not a judgement on France or the US, but the reality that I am a new person in France.  

Honestly, it’s been uncomfortable.  I wanted to cling to family traditions we set in the US.   When our lives molded into new unfamiliar rhythms and I found myself consumed with the arduous task of learning to speak and understand French well, I fought back.    I insisted I just need a little more time to get organized, and we will return to what we used to do in the US.

This Easter, John Hugh reminded me that new life lasts forever (find us at @eicrivegauche or, but that means we begin anew every day.    We can’t cling to seasons that are finished and chapters that are closed.   Some of my best memories are rooted in Mississippi, and nothing will deter me from staying connected with dear friends.   But I have changed.

Although we say we love new things, we can shy away from the unfamiliar.  Moving to France,I jumped like a canon ball into the unfamiliar:  a non-Francophile, no French language for 4 of the 5 family members, arriving with no clear plan for a special needs child.

This Easter is a marker for me.  We say as Christians that death has no dominion over us when we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection.  I have always struggled with transitions that create distance in friendships or letting go of a season of parenting or life that I cannot re-enter.

But if God promises daily spiritual renewal – even on earth – the unfamiliar is now the new normal.  I am moving to a peace, an acknowledgement, in the depths of my heart, that I will never get back to our rhythm in the US.   The “death” or change of expectations has no spiritual dominion over me – if I choose so.  Behind every little “death” is a new moment with the Lord.

It’s hard to accept, because I felt so in control of my life in the US.   I had engineered a life where I was surely on top of all my little lists, all my little chicks at home, all my little connections in school, ministry, and friendships.

Swimming upstream in a foreign culture – where language is a huge barrier  and cultural expectations catch me by surprise DAILY – new life means I have no choice.  I have no choices and prayer not only seems like a quaint, good idea, but a lifeline to battle undulating waves of fear.

Easter Sunday is about the hope of never-ending communion with God.  Jesus defeated death to leave no obstacle between us and God.  For me, this Easter, means I am learning how to not to mourn what is no longer in physical proximity nor traditions that nurtured my family for years.

We are in a new season.  Newness means life abundant. I am, however, no longer the driver of my destiny in even the smallest details. It’s an adventure we desired, and God has not disappointed.   We are being stretched to the maximum.   Newness is like a snow ball that keeps growing the longer we stay.    It’s an adventure that may continue beyond France, and I am learning to enjoy the ride.

Happy Easter to You and Yours!


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  1. As I soon enter my 92nd year of life I find myself having to enjoy each day. I have been so blessed with eleven great-grandchildren ages 14 to 1 (10 girls and one boy). I stay busy with St. Marks senior friends activities, still in the choir, and on the whole healthy for my age. Covid got me the week after Christmas but it wasn’t bad, just irritating. Saying all this, adjustments need to be made on what I can do to some extent.
    I really enjoy the news from your family and wish you all the best. Seems like only yesterday I was knitting a blanket for Jack and look at him and his handsome brothers now!

    • Hello June, I love hearing from you and all the beautiful blessings of great-grandchildren. It does seem like yesterday you were knitting a blanket for Jack! I am glad you can keep up with us via the blog. Please pray for us when you think of us and much love to all your family! Love, Linda

  2. love and miss you guys! thanks always for the updates! prayers continue 🙂

    • Dear Susan,
      I never properly thanked you for the Easter card you sent ONE YEAR ago!! Your prayers are lifting us up in a challenging but fruitful season. Miss having a chat with you, and I hope one day we can see you in Paris. Love, Linda