The Accidental Shoplifter & Happy Medium in French
Ramasser and Oursin + vocabulary section

Lacher prise & How I found Peace

1-X-jean-marc kristin
He taught me how to eat cheese--and, lately, how to lâcher prise. Photo of Jean-Marc and me taken in 1993, at La Cloche aux Fromages in Marseilles.

TODAY'S WORD: lâcher prise

        : to let go

ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's French word: Download Lacher-prise

by Kristi Espinasse


Today is the big day

Lately I've been thinking about
all the peace I feel
When I feared it would be


I wonder at what point
I began to
let go

Perhaps it took this move
or the previous
or the one before

I could have stayed here
in the land of
milk and honey

Squeezed sweetness out of
This dry ground
A broken farmer's soul


...were it not for His whisper
Trust me
Lâche prise

You Dear Reader
may feel sad
Have I resigned?

I wonder
at what point
I let go

Began to feel
This peace

*    *    *


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Trudy Ramirez

Beautiful post today. Just simply beautiful. Bon courage.

Audrey Wilson

And may peace stay with you Kristin in this time of uncertainty for you.

Suzanna Atkinson

Best Wishes & Love to you both. Peace will come with a Pathway.

Eileen Burns

This is beautiful Kristi. Just keep on being beautiful! LOVE, Eileen


Good luck with whatever you do next, wherever you may go. You have touched many people with your posts. Thank you for your generosity, your honesty and your bravery. Bon courage is the word for today.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

Gorgeous post! I had to go back and reread it because it is so beautiful! I reread Jean Marc's letter too. I hope you find the peace you are looking for! Thank you so much for sharing with us and peace be with you!


The end of one and start of a new adventure. Embrace it. Xxxxx

Jackie Sand

Lovely thoughts, lovely words. Wishing you the very best of your hopes and dreams.


Beautiful photo, beautiful words... sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go, and trust. Once you do this, all fits in the universe. Courage!


A beautiful post today, Kristi. The right road will rise before you.You both have courage and faith...there's not much more that we really need in life.

nicola baird

Oh good luck. Lacher prise... Nicola


Hi Kristi,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey. You have touched so many lives. Bon Voyage.

Oliver Keating

A broken farmer's soul.
My dear Kristi you and Jean-Marc have been a part of my life for so long. In that time I have lost a love, raised two boys, and gained a love.

The look on Jean-Marc's face...the fruit of his labour's on his shirt.
That far away look in his eye's, the look of love when he's looking at you.
And you Lady...the depth of feeling when you write, you can always bring me to tears.

Keep on the path your on Kristi, it leads to happiness.


Hi Kristi, you have shared your most difficult struggle and voyage. Just letting go and allowing a new dream with its own journey evolve. Breathe and pray. Trust that this will be the next right step whatever it is. We are all with you in spirit!

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

And really, what could be more important than Love and Peace? You have them both.

Brenda Prowse

Thank you for your most lovely post and for sharing your difficult journey. I love that term, Lâcher-prise. Love and bisous to you and Jean-Marc.


We all need to let go of the present to openly meet the future. thank you for a lovely, inspiring post, Kristi.


Kristi, my heart goes out to you in your difficult circumstances. You know - or if not then do remember - you don't have to be perfect!

And thank you for reminding me, with tears in my eyes, to stand and stare and reflect - and pray. Very best wishes
from Margaret


Thank you Kristi for today's post. Pas facile mais nécessaire. Bon courage pour nous deux. xoxo


Love this! A beautiful answer to the prayers I have offered up over you and Jean-Marc!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

These have to be the most beautiful and touching words you have written so far, a signature post. The peace you feel spills over into the heart of this reader and tears wash away fears. Have you resigned? I think have not given in. You and Jean-Marc are moving through the passages of life and a feeling of freedom can come from letting go.

As your future unfolds, may it reinforce the decisions bringing you to today. God bless you both.


Such simple words to convey such deep meaning. It is absolutely lovely. I wish you both much love and success and happiness and peace. Someday soon, you will look back on this day, not with sadness, but with fondness and warm memories. Bon chance!

Eileen Kelly

When one door closes, another door opens! Does this phrase/sentiment exist in French?

Your babies have left the nest! It is time for you and your soul mate to embark on your next journey! Who knows what awaits you! Bon voyage!

With sincere warmth and best wishes,

Ellen A.

Beautiful poem. Strong hearts.

Susan McCain

A beautiful and encouraging post for all of us who have come to love you and your family. I will pray for God's continued peace and guidance for you. As a lover of all things french, I love your blog and eagerly await for it in my inbox. Best wishes for this season and all seasons to come.

Suzanne Codi

I can't say anything more than has already been said by your eloquent and wise readers, except that I'm proud of you both! Here's to the future and to wonderful memories ( and to making new ones!!) I hope I'm as brave as you are when my time comes to lacher prise...


What an extraordinarily beautiful poem, Kristin. Full of faith and courage. My heart and prayers are with you.


Simple and thoughtful words...yet powerful...
Beautiful...simply beautiful. Good things will
come your way.

mary tindukasiri

Blessings and prayers. It is the journey, and how we live it, that counts the most. xoxo Mary

Kate Dickerson

Beautifully written. With your attitude toward life, you will find happiness anywhere. I'm looking forward to following your future adventures, wherever they take you!


Yes, I feel that peace for you
Life is a journey

Patricia Sands

A beautiful post, Kristi ~ your words are soaring as you travel on this journey. You brought this song into my head: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven ..." (Turn, Turn, Turn -Pete Seeger - words from the Book of Ecclesiastes)
Bon courage :-)

p.s. And thanks for teaching me "lâcher prise.

Ronald Turner

So sad you are leaving. I feel as though I am leaving too, for in reality, I know I will one day have to face the same departure from my little bit of Paradise.
Good luck.

joie in Carmel

When you have love and peace in your heart life will be good. Beautifully written.

Aleta Thomas

This is just beautiful. No matter when you land you will have beauty and peace. When we have to fight too hard for something, it probably means that there are only better things waiting for us. More peace, more happiness, more of everything !

I love reading your posts, thank you for sharing your life with us.


Beautiful, Kristi! I have been reading your blog for a long time, but only commented once or twice. Carpe diem!

Marie-Louise LaFond

I wish you peace and happiness. You have become an important part of my life and I will miss you. Please don't stay gone.

Stephanie Sabourin

Beautiful. Letting go is one of the hardest but most important things we need to learn, and if your man has helped you to learn that as he has learned it himself, than I would say you have a truly successful marriage because you are helping each other to grow.


Thank you for teaching me lacher prise today. It is such a coincidence because last night I also decided to Let go, Let God. I often forget this as I struggle to attain the things I want and end up being disappointed when I don't get them. But letting go is so much better than the struggle.

Alyssa Eppich

You are so strong. I think you have done the right thing, letting go is peace. Bonne chance!

Alice Freeman

Cheering you on!

Betsy Shequine

Merci mille fois for letting us in on your journey, both the highs and the lows. It takes a lot of courage, but you have that, even in dark moments, know that your story is helping many others feel more open, more vulnerable, but en fin, much stronger.


I wish you and your family a wonderful New Journey . It really is amazing sometimes how the hardest things we think we are doing can turn into joy and new beginnings. A new surprise awaits you . Sometimes we just don't know we are doing the right thing until we do it - et voila !!! I am so happy I read "French Word a Day" a few years back and have been able to enjoy your writings and learned some delicious new French phrases. Merci, Patricia........ Lache Prise - perfect.

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Beautiful. Peace.

Susan Ambrose

Somehow I always felt you would experience this sense of peace with letting go. Have been following you a long time. You will find another place to put down roots, ( literally and figurative), and then will come the excitement of a new venture and new stability in your lives. It will all be for the good. You'll see.
I think I am speaking for all of your readers in that we wish the very best for you and your family, and that comes from love.

colette malik

You have found the Perfect Solution. May you all be well.

Pamela Harnois

Wishing you love and blessings as you move forward. I have truly loved reading your life's stories. May peace, love and joy guide you and your lovely family always. Hugs.


Blessings to you always - what a beautiful sentiment. Be at peace, endure in love.

Susan in Colorado

I have admired your writing and stories for many years. I, too, rarely comment on your posts, but felt called to today. I am sending warm thoughts to you and J-M. Your courage, strength and embrace of life's crooked path inspires so many of us.


Wishing you peace and calm as you start the new chapter in your life. Please continue to take us along.


Your post today made me cry. It must be very hard to let go of such a beautiful place. I spent a couple of weeks in Velaux and Marseille last summer andapplied for a job in Marseille because I fell in love with the south of France. I am glad that you have found peace. May the next step in your life bring much joy and beauty.


Sending you peace and love. I wish you the best, and as my friend says "THAWOWO", Things Have A Way of Working Out.

Carolyn Chase

At my age there have been many places left and many new beginnings. There are now friends in many places whom I rarely see or hear from, but like flowers in the desert, the friendship blooms when we do connect. All along the path there have also been losses of friends and family that are more permanent. The "lâcher prise" aspect of life is difficult for me, but to learn to accomplish it gracefully is an important part of spiritual development. The more you are invested in life and being present to the moment, the more you enjoy life, and the more difficult it is to let go, but it frees you for the next moment, the next adventure. And as you move on, not everything is left behind - you have memories of the times and places and people that you can treasure, and which enrich your life, and in your case what you share with us enriches ours as well.

Patricia Cowan

As someone very wise once said...Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. That helped me through the death of my husband.

Jan Hersh

Keep the memories and begin a new adventure. I am glad you have made a decision.


All things can be faced and even enjoyed when there is love.


Dear Kristi:
I was so touched by this poem and the photo of Jean Marc. To let go means to start anew.
It is not where we live, but HOW we live that defines who we are. You and J.M. will bring your wonderful love wherever you go. Sending you blessings as you journey ahead,

jackie clark mancuso

I am in my third act, and highly recommend it! please keep writing to tell us about your new adventures.

Josephine G.

It is hard to finish a chapter in your lives. But remember it is only in that way that you can open the new one before you that waits to be written.
Bises et Bon Courage!

Judi Dunn

.. Kristi & Jean Marc! How wonderfully exciting that you have come to this decision. Carolyn Chase, said it beautifully up above..... she is a smart and very sensitive woman. Making the decision to 'let go' is the hardest part and now that is done! You both will have so many memories in your 'memory bank' from you life there and the people you have met, it will be overflowing and sustain you for eons to come. I am as certain as the sun rises you both will embrace your new adventures and challenges with determination and the indomitable
spirit you both possess! You were meant to be in love and life together..... go forward with a happy heart and the spirit of a warrior! We all look forward to seeing how the next chapter unfolds...... bon courage.. Judi...Tallahassee, Fl.

Pam Wing

Sun rise always comes after the sun set. There is much more for you and your family. I am so looking forward to see where life will take you.

This was such a lovely post today. Bless you and your family.

Cheryl B.

I believe this is one of the most beautiful things you have written. Life is all about surrendering and trusting that God has such higher and better plans for our lives than we can ever hope or imagine. If we cling to what we think is best, we are not free with open hands to grab onto what is next. He knows the future. Continue to surrender your will and trust His leading. Down the road you will see what a pivotal point this was for you. Often we cannot see the next step until we have let go of the map that we think guides us. You are on an incredible journey and your guide is faithful! God bless you both.


Our dear Kristi,
What a beautiful poem,one written by a beautiful,kind,and thoughtful soul.
What makes us happiest,though,is that you have found peace,and will take the next steps forward with a smile on both your face and in your heart.
In my life most of the overcoming of challenges has been shown by closed doors as well as open ones.Change has always been there,looming on the horizon.
You have given us example of how to get to there from here
with certainty that how we are guided is no accident.
Thank you!
Blessings and prayers to you both.
Natalia. xo

Kathleen from Connecticut

For us Christians, this is a new season, the birth of the Messiah. This is a new season for you to find a new direction, to go forth and start new beginnings. Have faith that things will come together and you and MJ will start a new chapter in your lives.
Please keep up your writing, I and many, any more have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to it in our inbox.
Bon chance👍


So beautiful, Kristi, and so relatable for me at this time. Uncertainty is not easy to embrace, even for those who have grown accustomed to it. Sending you and JM so much love!

Virginia Newton

Everything will be ok. You don't have to decide everything today. One day at a time. Letting go is the hardest thing to do, but the best thing to do to keep growing and learning and living. Thanks as always for your soulful writing.

Cynthia Lewis

An honest and exquisite poem which is full of your emotions as you look to the future ... a wonderful future, I'm certain. My best wishes as you and Jean-Marc make these decisions.

Jeanne in Oregon

A beautiful post from a beautiful young woman. I thought you might like to know how it ties in to a tea luncheon I am hosting for a few friends on New Year's Eve. Our theme is "Elegant Endings ... and Bountiful Beginnings." I wish you were here in Oregon to attend, but you will be in my heart as I share with the ladies about my own endings and beginnings. I love you, dear friend.


As long as you're together, you're home, wherever you go! ❤️


Valerie Meluskey

Thank you, Oliver, you speak for many of us. We ache for Jean Marc's soulful endeavors, and we love you and your extended family...and Smokey!

Polly Adkins

I have had this posted on my bathroom mirror for years. It reminds me to face those unexpected things that always happen in everyone's life:
"The world breaks everyone. Then some become stronger at the broken places." Hemingway
Bon courage. And peace.


Hi Kristi. Such a beautiful writing today. My thoughts are with you and your family. I will continue to follow your blog and look forward to seeing where the future takes you. Love.

Valerie Meluskey

Dearest Kristi,
Thank you for your gift of sharing yourself and your life with us. I've saved all of your mail messages. My unrequited French self is sweetened and cheered by your sharing. {My mother's family was French, and my Irish father spent WWI flying for the Allies in France--then he worked for a NY law firm in their Paris branch, and eventually married my mother in NY City, and took her to live in Paris. I wasn't born until much later, and have longed for more France and Paris and Provence.
Currently, I'm in the middle of a move (from Princeton NJ to 5 miles south in Lawrenceville. I have no words to describe how arduous this can be, but I'm alive to say, YOU CAN DO IT with élan!
You now have a larger "family" who love and appreciate you and Jean-Marc.

robert garrett

As a 'friend of Bills" I can so appreciate today's word. Perhaps you guys will end up in our great state of Colorado after all

Jane Hoppe

Beautiful, touching poem and photo, Kristi. Keep listening for His whispers, looking for His fingerprints, feeling His loving arms around you. You are letting go of a dream way more gracefully than I usually do. Bon courage.

Judi in Lake Balboa

Carolyn, I echo your beautiful words. Kristi, your words have brought peace to me this morning, in a time where I have only been facing the unknown. I think you and all your readers for their words and heartfelt feelings!

Judi in Lake Balboa

Patricia, I understand, completely!

Faye LaFleur

Reflecting on your lovely poem, Kristi, I remember the times my father, also a farmer, (and mother) went thru their own brokenness, or so it seemed. I can now appreciate and respect them even more for all they went thru. And it all worked out better than they ever dreamed it would!

Thank you, Polly, for Hemingway''s words. They apply to all of us at one time or another.

Elizabeth Dawson

Breath in joy. Breath out joy.
Shannon Crossman wrote, "understand the need for smouldering ash. An essential pieace of my operating system is being overwritten. I will not emerge the same."
From reading your posts, I believe that where ever/what ever comes next , you both will be beautiful souls.


Beautiful post! You and Jean-Marc deserve the best, and whatever you decide will take you there.

Take good care.

Ruth, Carlsbad, CA

Dear Kristi,

So beautifully written. Through your courage and peace, we will find ours. You are so inspirational.


Thank you Kristin! Beautiful post and words for those of us to hold in our hearts in this post-US election era and in a world where fascism seems to once again becoming ascendant.

Faye in Glenden Beach, OR

Beautiful words Kristin. But I'm hopelessly behind --- I'm not sure if you are moving, staying or in between. We all have many journeys in our lives ---- We were a military family for 20 years and my kids always said: We're the adventure people! It was a super positive way to look at our frequent moves. I wish you many adventures !!

Faye in Glenden Beach, OR

Interesting how you combine post-US election era with fascism. I see it as freedom from high taxes, regulations, open borders, and unvetted migrants.

Faye in Glenden Beach, OR

Hi Jeanne --- I'm in Oregon. I just want to say I am impressed with your theme: Elegant Endings and Bountiful Beginnings. It is thought provoking and lovely. Thanks.

Leslie F.

You asked for our prayers and God responded with His peace!
How wonderful is that?


Dear Kristin: Loved the pic of you in 1993;you continue to be the lovely couple. You will succeed where ever and whatever. Please continue writing and especially including the vocabulary. Vaya con Dios. Vivian

Irene Thomas

Dear Kristin, Your beautiful post is the reminder I needed. Peace is our reward for Letting Go. I am so happy for you.

Kitty Wilson-Pote

YES to such peace, and to its subtle arrival, Kristi. You poem's power is remarkable, and I love how, in its form and its spareness, it reveals the sublime simplicity of inner peace recognized by the heart.
YES: all IS well now, now, and now. Much love to you both.

(For my own reflection en français, I like this brief blog ...
"Lâcher prise, c’est renoncer à tout contrôler, à vouloir le bien de l’autre, c’est renoncer à prouver quoi que ce soit, c’est accepter que l’autre est l’autre et que moi-même, je suis qui je suis et non pas qui j’avais rêvé d’être.

Lâcher prise, c’est faire confiance, c’est signer un chèque en blanc sur l’avenir, sur cette vie et sur ce qui lui fait suite.

Lâcher prise, c’est cesser de faire le procès de la vie qui ne nous donne pas ce que nous en attendions.

En fait, lâcher prise, c’est commencer à être vraiment heureux, car le bonheur, c’est comme un sillage, il suit fidèlement celui qui ne le poursuit pas. Si l’on s’arrête pour le contempler, pour le saisir, il s’évanouit aussitôt.

À partir du moment où l’on peut lâcher prise, où l’on ne désire plus être heureux à tout prix, on découvre que le bonheur, c’est cette capacité de garder les mains ouvertes plutôt que de les laisser agrippées sur ce que nous croyons nous être indispensable. — Rosette Poletti et Barbara Dobbs - (Petites douceurs pour le coeur, p. 25)

Pensée de la semaine : La souffrance naît de notre attachement à nos problèmes et de notre résistance. Elle témoigne de notre refus de nous laisser couler avec confiance et abandon avec la Vie."


Dear Kristin,

You have both been so busy for many years and worked so hard to follow your dreams
sharing your journey with us. You did it ,Their is no failure , it's just time for new beginnings.
Rest in the peace you now have and recharge for the next stage.....Gods timing is perfect .
He will guide you. thank you for such enjoyment , and help in your posts.....

Karen Cafarella

Sending you all love and light.


Hazel Schlesinger

Dear Kristi,

Your post today was so very beautiful.

I hope you continue your postings during your new adventure. I look forward to your on line smiles.
I have learned so many wonderful things from your writings. Two favorites that bring a smile to my face.
#1 your amazing summer tomato & mustard tart recipe..the best!
#2. your fantastic story of your fig tree and the fig wasp. I even googled the fig wasp to learn more and watched the video....who would have thought such a strange process for a simple fig to be ripened!
Good luck and the very best to you and your wonderful family for the New Years and for your new beginnings.
I hope to see you and your family again where ever in the world that might be....thinking of you in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Give a big hello to your mother for me too!

Hazel Schlesinger


All of your faithful readers will look forward to the next chapter of your book.....Go forward with clear visions.

Bettye Dew

Beautiful, elegant poem, Kristi. You are a writer, and writing helped make you strong, helped you gain insight, helped bring peace. Bon courage.

Linda Karber

Dear Jean-Marc & Kristi,

The beautiful words of the poem touched my heart. Thank you so much for again posting the photo of you two in 1993. I love, love, love that photo and promise to save it this time, along with your wedding photo. My prayers are with you.



Look at all you two have already accomplished together. The future can sometimes be scary and fears try to take over. Don't let them. When I was going through a very rough patch this year I asked my wise boss for words of encouragement. He said "be calm and everything will work out in your favor". Very inspiring and I hope those words encourage you as well.


Dear Kristi,
You have brought tears to my eyes more than once in the years that I have been reading your posts, and this one touched me more than ever. You and JM are going to start another phase of your lives and although leaving the "Land of Milk and Honey" will be bittersweet, the best is yet to come. I hope whatever you & JM undertake in the future, you will continue to write and share your endearing views on life, love and the environment. You may remain in France or wherever the Mistral takes you... scary but so exciting at the same time. Just as it was when you & JM first met, yes?

Cerelle Bolon

Dear Jean-Marc, Thank you for 'baring your soul'..and yes, we friends feel almost like family. I think your reasoning is sound. You have worked so hard, much TOO hard, and it would be unending. If you cannot hire help, indeed you would destroy your own health. This was a wonderful few chapters in your life, but there are other places to see, and other adventures to experience. I hope you make a good sale of your house, and find a great place for the next chapter! Don't forget about Arizona...there are some lovely places that are not too hot, and not too cold..and might be a nice place to live, and if not, be sure to visit us.
I feel that I know you both, and was lucky to meet you when you were here at Vincent's Market some years back. Blessings on you both and hold fast to each other. You are each other's greatest treasures! Fondly, Cerelle


Dear Kristin, how beautifully put and Oliver Keatings repliied so wonderfully to you, he speaks for all of us who have followed you for so long and grown so fond, at a distance, of you and your family. You have shared your life so generously with us that we feel your disrupted life keenly. I like that old saying, it's not where you are, it's who you're with. Thank heavens you and Jean-Marc have each other. Long ago my husband and I decided that life is simply a series of adventures and that resignation is not the answer, it's simply defeatist, adaptability and embracing the new, no matter what it is, frees one up to enjoy whatever comes next and remember what that wonderful woman Nora Ephron said, it's all copy!

Marti Hinman

Beau post aujourd'hui.
Peu à peu, vous trouverez le bon moment, le bon endroit ou vous et Marc se réinstalleron et commenceron
un nouveau chaputre dans vos vie. Tout ira bien.
Vos lectereurs aiment votre façon franche de partager
votre vie grâce à ce merveilleux blog.
Bon courage 🙅

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