you’ve got mail

When I was a kid, I loved going to the post office. I can remember the anticipation of driving from our house, in our old Ford van, and jumping out of the car as soon as we were parked. To five-year-old Olivia, post offices were magical.

Fast forward twenty years. La Poste has become one of the most dreaded places I have to venture. France has stripped away the magic of going to the post office. More often than not, I leave in tears. Who knew that it is so difficult to purchase a stamp!?

I was recently trying to ship a package from France to Portugal. Easy enough, right? Thirty minutes later, and after some serious doubting of my ability to speak any language, the package was en route.

But, then, it never arrived. I tracked and tracked. The package was stuck somewhere in the south of France. Or possibly in Spain. Maybe even in Portugal. No one seemed to know where it was. I suffered through three trips to La Poste before the clerk gave me a number to call for additional help.

It took all my courage to dial the number. Talking on the phone in French is almost as stressful as going to La Post. I dialed. I pressed through the appropriate buttons, which I was praying would end with me speaking to a customer service agent. There was a hiccup. In order to speak to an agent, I needed to, in French, tell the automated machine my tracking number. This machine was not built for accents.

I said the number.

“The machine is unable to understand your number, goodbye.”

I was hung up on, by an automated machine!

I called again, practicing the pronunciation in my head.

“The machine is unable to understand your number, goodbye.”

This time, I practiced the number out loud as I dialed, putting on my best French accent.

“The machine is unable to understand your number, goodbye.”

Three times, I was hung up on, by a machine. No grace. No, we are sorry you have a thick accent, but rest assured, we are connecting you to a real person! No greeting other than a dial tone.

As I was reflecting on this experience, I was reminded of Revelations 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” I felt as if I was knocking, desperately, on the door trying to connect with La Poste. And, while my voice was heard, in a various inflections and accents, as I tried desperately to be understood, the door remained closed.

Then, I thought about all the times I have ignored the Lord. Times when I felt like He was nudging me to do something, and I didn’t listen. And then another nudge would appear, in a different form, in case I had just missed the first nudge. Similar to my attempts to pronounce the tracking number differently, I find the Lord uses many different methods, to try to get me to pay attention.

This month, I want to pay attention. I am praying the Lord opens my eyes to all the different ways He is speaking to me. I am praying that my heart becomes tuned to His voice, His accent, and all the different ways it appears in my life.

Love Always,




4 thoughts on “you’ve got mail

  1. Oh, Olivia! You captured the frustration and pain so well. I am SO SORRY!!!

    I loved the phrase “pay attention”. That is one of the phrases I have rumbling around in my brain. Look for Him. He is there-where are you seeing Him?

    How are you? I have missed our talks!

    I think of you often and am praying for you. My husband and I will be in the Geneva area in March. I will also be there again in October. I don’t know if that is a terrible trek for you, but it could be fun to meet in real life! In March we will be at a training at the YWAM base Chatel. We will have a free weekend to explore. In October (13-18) I will be at LeRucher solo for one week (haven’t bought my ticket yet) Le Rucher is in France, 5km (3 miles) west of the Swiss border, and 18 km from the center of Geneva. We are less than 1 km east of the centre of the village of Tutegny.

    Does any of that sound doable for you?




    1. I am doing really well this has been a good season. Geneva is so so close to me! Let me know your dates for March, I am not sure what my October schedule looks like yet, but I would love to come and see you!


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