Lifestyle: Discovering the Neighborhood

Hello friends, two weeks have gone by in our new place and I must say, we really are quietly blossoming there. I love coming home to family, to people that love unconditionally. We are all doing so very well life is unfolding quite meaningfully I might add. Circumstances worked out such that my son Jan stayed home longer and I didn’t drop him off to move-in on campus until just this week. This gave him an opportunity to explore the neighborhood and to bond with his nieces and we’ve had some lovely times of getting to know one another. It also gave me an opportunity to be home more instead of away at work, something I sorely needed even without realizing it.

This week we discovered our local library where I dropped Jan to for a few hours while I attended to other matters. We also discovered our local YMCA and the youth museum, all this within a 5-minute drive to our house. I must say, we are loving our new town so very much!! When we first came to America almost a decade ago now, this was the first town we lived in before moving elsewhere shortly afterwards owing to losing the home we’d come to live in to the recession. So you can imagine the warm feelings it gives rise to as we discover familiar places here and there -God really is a wonderful Father, He thinks of everything!

We finally got our washer and dryer hooked up and we can now do our laundry. Jan was very instrumental in helping me get the right parts as we browsed the Home Depot Store to ensure we had the right pieces. I am so very proud of this young man as he steps us to fill pretty big shoes that have been left open in that department. I drove him to campus daily and stayed at the library there all day until he was done with classes then we’d do the hour drive back home swapping stories of everything we’d learnt that day.


Back home, I’m learning so much from my sister Terry, just watching her be, watching her trust God for everything, watching her waiting on God, watching her care for her family -it’s amazing the things God will have you learn just by observing quietly. I watch how she stays in her lane and runs her race -it’s admirable. On many occasions I find myself saying: Be Like Terry.


If you’re reading this post Friday morning, then I’m making my way back across the pond, crossing back into the US. I’ll be driving straight to pick up Jan at campus as he’s coming home for the weekend. Oh, I forgot to tell you the most exciting part. We found a home-church right around the corner from our home on Church Street. It’s a Hispanic Church and the whole service took place in Spanish, but we had headphones translating all the songs and sermon to us. Everyone was nice and friendly and we made a few friends. Jan is coming home this weekend to do his laundry, to see his nieces, and to attend church with me.

I’ll tell you why this is exciting. While living in Belgium in the late 90s, one day I walked into a tiny French church with my toddler son, Jan, and found that no one spoke a word of English. We stayed. Three years later, I was the worship leader at this church, composing music and leading the congregation in singing French praise and worship songs. I had studied French at the Alliance Française but didn’t speak a word of it -until this opportunity for full immersion. It’s thanks to this exposure that Jan and I speak decent French today. Watch this space, for we will soon become eloquent Hispanophones if we keep this up!! Cheers y’all, Helena xoxo

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