My first year as a missionary in France was the most difficult of my life. As a mother of four young children, trying to be on mission as a family and integrate into a foreign culture, I was drowning trying to hold everything together. ELAN helped me to discover that my self-denial would cause me to self destruct, and that in knowing myself better, taking time to sabbath, and leaning into the things for which God has designed me, helps me know Him better and that is really what matters. God wants my whole heart, my whole self, not just my dirty, tired, hands. Giving God your whole heart is easier said than done. For me Elan helped guide me through some of this process of liberation and grace. In this second year, Elan is set up to build my cultural muscles. I wouldn’t have moved to France if I didn’t have a heart for its people, but I feel that being a part of Elan has really pushed me to try understand and plant myself more deeply in the French soil.