Baby it’s cold outside!

Yes, it’s true. It’s the first thing everyone says when I tell them I live in Minnesota. So far, I have made it through these very very very low temperatures, although I’m told it’s supposed to get colder. That’s right, cold-brrrrr. This weekend we hit -30 degrees Celsius (which is close to -14 degrees Fahrenheit). The coldest I have ever experienced. And I’m still alive. We also have gotten lots of snow. This of course calls for various sledging (or sledding) competitions, whether I’m racing South African snow-virgin Marisel or my five year old host kid… bring it on.

And finally, some other exciting news besides the weather: I attended my first ever Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. img_2556-2Probably not the kind of news you were hoping for, but it was so much fun I had to throw it in here. I didn’t realise that ugly Christmas sweaters (or jumpers, for you English out there) were an actual thing. In Germany everyone is way too serious to wear an ugly sweater, especially to a Christmas party. I was very excited, and although not everyone showed up wearing an ugly sweater, we had a great evening eating unhealthy food and watching Christmas movies. Thanks Meranda, for hosting such a fun night for the River Valley Woodbury worship team. img_2557

Although I enjoy this time of year, wearing ugly sweaters, eating really bad food or being outside in the snow, when my hands start freezing (and I mean I can’t feel my fingers anymore) and I spend 10 extra minutes trying to get my car ready to drive, and I have snow coming in the top of my boots because there’s so much of it, and your window is frozen shut so you have to walk through the drive through, and your snot freezes when you’re outside setting up welcome banners at church, I find myself wondering why on earth I want to stay here. I had various offers from Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, California and other warmer states, but I turned them down because for whatever crazy reason I know that God wants me here, in Minnesota, in the cold. Some of you may be rereading that last bit. That’s right, people, you heard me: This girl is staying in MN.

About three weeks ago while I was in Ohio busy prepping for the wedding, I got a phone call from a host mom, who lives about 25 minutes away from where I currently am. She needs an au pair for her 4 year old son. We talked, we laughed and we talked a little more. After a couple more phone calls and texts we agreed that I would come and meet her in person along with her son and their two labradors. My puppy-loving-heart be still! She showed me her house and explained the expectations she had. We connected instantly and she invited me to be part of her family as of mid January 2017. The crazy thing is, she wasn’t even on the au pair address list, and even if she had been, I would have thought nothing of it, since she has only had her current au pair for five months. Things didn’t work out, which is where I come in. I am so thankful to God for providing a job out of no where. I couldn’t have done anymore more than trust Him. Trust, that He would bring the right family at the right time. My next steps include getting a visa extension and moving all my stuff. Can we take a moment to appreciate that I have no weight limits on my bags this time. Hallelujah!

I hope this post finds every one well. Thank you for praying and standing with me in faith. I appreciate every single one of you! Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas! Lots of love, Sophie x

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