Heading to Paris

It’s happening.

I’ve been longing for it long enough, and it’s been so thrown in front of me that at this point it feels like disobedience not to go.

What, you ask?

I’m heading to Paris this fall, and I’m bringing you along!

Well, virtually anyway!

If you’ve been following me for a while, it may be no surprise to hear that I deeply love France, Paris, and the South of France.

But why?

I’ve studied French since I was seven, and what started as a bit of rebellion (because everyone else was taking Spanish!) became a full-blown love affair in high school and college as I realized how much typical (which is always stereotypical, with plenty of exceptions, of course!) French lifestyle provided an alternative to the illnesses of American culture:

  • Beautiful idleness, Sundays and Augusts where entire cities turn ‘off,’ and long, long meals, rather than ‘busy’ meaning ‘good’
  • Small portions of visually appealing food whose purity is protected by the government (!!), rather than big-food industry leading to a country of overweight and dieting
  • Femininity and sensual seduction perfectly meshing with powerful womanhood – it’s said that in France there was no ‘bra burning’ femininist revolution – because they didn’t need one!
  • Style and everyday gorgeousness even though it takes time and effort – rather than it being the thing sacrificed because ‘there is no time,’ to the detriment of our hope, joy, and pleasurable satisfaction outside of food.
  • A more nonchalant comfort with sex, rather than the demonizing and divinizing that church and secular culture have made of it.

Let’s just say, by the time I graduated college, I wished I had been born French!

In fact, after graduating college, moving to Paris to pursue graduate work was my #1 plan – and if you have watched the Bombshell series introducing you to my story, you know how that turned out! (If not, you can catch it here)

This country has been the stomping grounds of my battle with my body, my wrestling with God, my realization of my life priorities, my honeymoon and love with my husband – it’s a place of many turning points for me.

Which is why I can’t wait to go back this fall as I turn 30 and we mark our 5 year anniversary!

But I’ve also felt SO compelled to give back to this country, and the best gift I know is to spread the love and truth of God.

I know that to some, to say I want to do ministry in France sounds a little … absurd.

Yet my time there revealed some of its deepest pain points, and statistics back them up:

  • A persistent ethos of hopelessness, and feeling like there is no point to trying to get beyond how life already is.
  • Because of this, a near-worship of experiences now, sometimes to the detriment of godliness.
  • A sense that the church is completely obsolete, and when you visit a traditional French church, you can see why.
  • Evangelical Christian believers account for only 0.8% of the population. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (1.9% and 0.9%) have more Evangelicals per capita.
  • Church attendance is one of the lowest in Europe (6-8%, compared with 44% in the USA).
  • 80% of French people have never owned or seen a Bible.
  • Only 27% believe there is a God.
  • There are approximately 50,000 full-time practitioners of occult arts (tarot, fortune-telling, psychic healing, etc.) who easily out number the 35,000 full-time Christian workers in France.

I have been supporting the TSFM ministry outreach to France for the past year, and love their vision, simple strategy, and heart for the people there. You can see a video of their work and concept which includes these stats, some gorgeous views of the country and Paris, and the heartfelt reactions of people who are hearing that God loves them for the first time.

There is another reason, though, that I am so passionate about outreach and ministry to, in, and from France: their impact on the average American family.

Have you noticed how skinny jeans, androgyny, dance music, atheism, and millennial delays in getting married and having children have crept into ‘cool’ American culture in the last decade or so?

Those are hallmarks of young European lifestyle.

Louis XIV’s goal was to create France as the ‘gold standard’ of how to live, and to export French thought and products around the world.

France may not be the center of culture anymore, but it is still a profoundly beguiling and massively exported ‘dream land’ that tends to influence American culture dramatically.

Why exactly is it that in any random gift or homeware shop, there is something with French words or the Eiffel Tower on it, rather than something in Spanish or the image of Big Ben?

France has seduced us.

We, of course, are also influencing them! Few things have been as effectively exported across the world as Hollywood!

But what if instead of sending LA celebrity abroad, and bringing in a skepticism of traditional Christian morals, we sent the truth of God’s love and brought back powerful and secure femininity?

That, my friends, is one of my life’s missions:

Bring a relevant Gospel of a loving God to a country that grew up with irrelevant-seeming Catholicism and made atheism cool, and return with the tips and mindsets of women who adore their bodies and know exactly how to understand and love men. (All stereotypes again, remember!!)

So, for the first time, I am headed to France with a missions perspective. Just to get over there and pray, asking God what He might want this to look like.

I’ll be co-leading a women’s conference at an English speaking church there, teaching Body Stewardship and the pillars of the Biblical Bombshell, and I am thrilled and nervous and determined to follow God’s call.

I also hope to do a lot of reflecting as I turn my next decade and pause between children to make sure that my actions and daily thoughts and behaviors are in line with what I feel I’m called to do and what I want to accomplish in this lifetime.

Would you pray for me?

And, would you tell me how I can most help you?

One of my goals with this trip is to use the gorgeous Paris background as a photo and video backdrop for new content for you!

So I would love to hear what you’re most interested in:

  1. Just pretty pictures and thoughts from Paris
  2. New video content for The Bombshell Training
  3. As much of the new Intimate Intensive course on men, marriage, dating and sex as I can get done!

Join the convo in the Bombshell Facebook group (or comment below!) and let me know, PLUS see the $50 red gown I ordered from China for my photoshoot! 😉

Love you beautiful!

Jackie

 

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1 comment

  1. 1

    What a fantastic thing to do–may God bless you abundantly in this mission!
    I know just what you mean about loving France–I feel the same way about the lifestyle there! I also took French from kindergarten through the first year of college–such a pretty language!

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