"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sowing Seed

Learning a foreign language seems so difficult to me.  I took two years of German in high school but never learned to actually speak it.  Two of my sons are fluent in a foreign language, as are my two daughters-in-law.  Even Ken is taking a Rosetta Stone language class on-line.  So I decided I wanted to learn French because I love the way the language sounds.  Here are some French songs to listen to while you read: French music Whenever a travel show is about Paris I fall in love with the idea of sitting in a sidewalk Bistro people watching and may just go someday so I really need to learn the language.  I also love French Country design so much that I've been decorating my dining room in a French Country style.  Like these roosters and copper pots:

I've had these "Petite Fleur" dishes for 35 years:

I have ironwork with French designs:

And of course fabrics:

So I decided one of my projects this year was to learn at least to pronounce French properly and learn some phrases.  I already had some cassettes tapes I picked up at a used book sale years ago to facilitate this.  I arranged a spot in a spare room in which to have some privacy and then....nothing.  I still dragged my feet about attempting it.  Finally, one day I did go to my special spot and followed along on the tape.  Then nothing again.  Here it was almost the end of February and I'd only listened to part of one tape once.  Then things started to conspire to get me back on track.

Yesterday I commented on Susan Branch's website about how I keep hoping her drawings would somehow sink into me and come out through my fingers one day.  She wrote back that's how she felt about French--like she should be able to speak it--that it should just come naturally to her.  Funny that she should mention French!

Then in one of my devotional readings this morning I read a verse in Ecclesiastes 11:6, "In the morning sow your seed..."  That's when I realized the only way French was going to stop being a foreign language to me would be for me to spend time with it every day, and the morning would be the best time for me because that is the only time I seem to be able to keep a habit going.  I found this out when it came to brushing Gabriel's teeth.  I never remembered to do it until I made it a part of his daily coat brushing in the morning.  Never mind that it's before his breakfast.  It's still made all the difference in the world.  I've noticed a vast improvement in his gums and teeth and will be avoiding great discomfort to him and great expense to me because otherwise he would have ended up under anesthesia having his teeth cleaned by the Vet.

The third thing that happened came a few minutes later when I checked my e-mail.  One of the newsletters I received had an advertisement for the Pimsleur Approach to language learning.  I'd never heard of it before.  The advertisement guaranteed you'll be able to speak a foreign language in 10 days by just spending 30 minutes a day listening to their CDs.  Being highly skeptical I decided not to spend even the $10 they were offering it for so I decided to check my library.  And there it was--only it's checked out at the moment.  The Simon & Schuster link above, however, offers a free 30-minute lesson which I intend to try while I wait for the library's copy of the short course version.  If you should decide to check into this, be vary of fraudulent offers for Pimsleur CDs.  Only Simon & Schuster holds the copyright and they don't sell it for "just $10".   I'll let you know how the library's short course goes!

What all this has shown me is this:  Like with my Soul Painting where I wrote on that wheel "I wouldn't take the risk of putting my hand to the tissue paper", meaning doing the painting, I also wouldn't put my "hand to the plow and sow the seed" of sitting down with that French tape every day to learn the language.  Like in a garden, it is our job to sow the seed, but it's God's job to grow the plant.  In fact, He provided the seed in the first place.  But unless we put it in the ground, it will not germinate.  I must do the work of spending time with those language tapes/CDs and whether or not I learn the language will depend on whether it's God's will or not.  That's not for me to have to decide.  It really takes a great deal of pressure off me.  

Father, thank You for showing me how to go about my dream of speaking French.  But more than that, thank You for showing me what my part is and what Your part is.

Link to scripture:http://esv.scripturetext.com/ecclesiastes/11-4.htm

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