This was me in the waiting area at an outpatient surgery center. I had minor surgery yesterday. Something made a huge difference for me. After I was taken back to the room to be prepped, I noticed Christian music was playing. They had a local Christian radio station on.
As I laid in the prep area listening to worship songs, it was a blessing to pray for people. It was the calmest I have felt in years in a medical facility. Being able to listen too worship songs before surgery was a special suprise.
This weekend will be blogger chat Saturday morning in Zoom, relaxing at home the rest of the day Saturday, church Sunday morning, and coffee shop Sunday afternoon. It will be a weekend to take it easy.
The school where I teach in the mornings has a system of Gold Tickets. Gold Tickets are given to the children by any teacher or staff member who sees them do something kind to others or show good behavior. The classroom that leads in Gold Tickets gets to have the Eagle in the room. Of course even it needs to be safe during COVID.
One of the fifth grade classes is the proud host of the Eagle.
For my part, I try to have a brilliant joke ready each morning to share with other teachers and staff. This morning I let them know the new health directive if a child has an injury playing peak a boo. Take them to the I C U.
As I brought the bananas into the teacher’s lounge yesterday, I found out some are speculating as to what I would bring if the COVID dial gets down to green.
I told them it is top secret.
The moms in my Family Literacy class like to joke with me. Yesterday they asked me how old I am. They laughed as I reacted to their guesses. When I told them I am 22, one of the moms used Google Translate and read to me, teacher is lying. 🙂
We are trying to find small ways to keep school fun for the children and for us during this time of COVID.
It is safe for me to make my confession here in my blog because my students do not read my blog. They are still learning English 🙂
My confession- I am a sneaky teacher. It happens, well, every time I teach. I always look for ways to hook my students’ interest. Recently this has applied to the teenage children of my U.S. Citizenship students. In fact, I just did it last night.
One of my students is a Yazidi woman from Iraq. She told me sometimes her children make her busy, so she misses class. I asked her how old her oldest son is. She told me he is 16 years old. I told her to have him come sit with her because I wanted to talk with him for a minute.
He sat down next to his mom. I asked him to please help his mom by watching the younger children during her class with me, so she can be in class. I also asked him to help his mom practice at home for the test. I could see he was having the reaction one would expect from a 16 year old boy.
So I asked him if he wants to go to the university after he graduates high school. He said yes. Aha the hook was cast and bitten on. I explained to him that some scholarships he can apply for with only a green card but some he needs to be a citizen. That part is true. But this is where my confession comes into play. I know he will qualify for enough financial aid that he won’t need a scholarship, but it is a sin of omission.
I then told him that if his mom can become a citizen before he turns 18 that she can fill out the form to send in with the fee to make him a citizen. His attitude changed immediately. Perhaps Dr. Phil would be proud. 🙂 lol
Hook, line and sinker he was caught. I might have done the same with the teen children of other students in my citizenship class.
I have now confessed but I must also confess I will probably do similar things again often because I am a sneaky teacher.
Trafficking, sex trafficking, of children is a terrible evil in our world. The statistics are horrendous. When I contrast that with the pure love Jesus has for children, it causes me to want to get involved with efforts to save children.
The Super Bowl is coming soon and it saddens and angers me to know that children will be sex trafficked during the Super Bowl at the city it is held in. Perhaps one of the blessings of a pandemic is that not many people can attend the Super Bowl, so less trafficking might happen but it is only this year.
One of Trump’s policies that I hope Biden continues is a war on trafficking of children. So much needs to be done to combat it. When I think about the fact that an very wealthy man, Jeffrey Epstein, was involved in child sex trafficking, it horrifies me.
When I received my end of year tax info for donations to Love Justice, I thought about how I could have done more. Love Justice intercepts children and young women who are being trafficked. They also have group homes for children and young women in different countries for those who it is not safe to return where they came from.
Hero Bands is a small company started by Elizabeth Frazier. She was a victim of child sex trafficking. She began making Hero Bands for sale and donates from each band to organizations the fight child sex trafficking. A person can also pay for a donated band to be given to a child who has been rescued by Operation Underground Railroad. A video of Elizabeth’s story is at the end of my post.
I canceled my Netflix last year because of its movie Cuties that exploited 11 year old girls to make the movie. Each month I can use that money to pay for a donated band with Hero Bands.
Jesus has strong words for those who harm children. In Luke 17 we read:
It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
That is the attitude we all need. In the USA, we need a Federal Law with mandatory sentences, harsh mandatory sentences, for those guilty of child sex trafficking.
At the very least, we can pray for Jesus to raise up more people to fight against child trafficking.
As I was walking in the school where my morning Family Literacy Class meets, two children greeted me because they know I teach their moms.
They are both in 2nd Grade. The mother for one of them was in class last year. Her husband would join on Fridays. The little girl said hi to me. I greeted her in Spanish and asked her to tell her parents I said hi.
The other little one said, “I see you talk with my mom in the mornings when we come to school.” I told him yes and that his mom is a good student.
Brief interactions with the children of the moms in my class are always a blessing not only for them but also for me. The classic one for me was when a boy in 5th grade once asked me if I was a teacher, I told him yes. He asked me what kind of teacher I am. I told him I teach moms who have children in the school. He asked me if his mom was in my class. I asked him her name. He told me and I let him know yes she was in my class. Then he asked, “Is she doing good in class?”
Children need blessings especially now in these turbulent times. Even little affirmations of a teacher talking with them and recognizing them can lift their little spirits.
I am often mindful of what Jesus said of little children when the adults tried to keep them from “bothering” Jesus in Mark 10 in the bible:
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Notice the attitude of Jesus towards the people trying to keep the children away- indignant. Jesus then blessed the children.
During these times of turmoil, let’s remember the children are aware something is wrong. They are wearing masks in school, social distancing, some remote learning. Imagine the stress on them.
Going into Christmas, I knew it would not be a normal one for me at all. Normally I visit refugee/immigrant families and surprise them with candy and spend time drinking tea or coffee with them.
But due to COVID, that was not possible this year. Christmas Eve Service, which is my favorite part of Christmas, was only online for me. Instead of sulking about things, Jesus led me to bless a single mom and her two little girls.
I actually went Christmas shopping on December 23rd. That was way out of my comfort zone but so worth it. But what to buy two little girls aged 6 and 3?
I found two big Minnie Mouse dolls one for each. Then I found some stickers in a box that little girls would like. Next were princess coloring books and of course two boxes of crayons. I gave the gifts to my student from Guatemala and told her to tell her little girls the gifts are from her and not to say they are from me.
My student is a single mom who lost one job earlier this year due to COVID and found another job. The father is in Guatemala and has nothing to do with the girls. My student works, takes care of her little girls, and studies English to try to make a better future for her and her daughters.
She sent me three pictures of her little girls playing with the gifts. They had big smiles on their faces. Seeing the little girls with the gifts smiling was the best Christmas gift for me this year.
I used to love Christmas cookies, but since finding out I have Celiacs, those are out. However, I can still enjoy cranberry sauce, turkey and mashed potatoes. Those are my favorite foods for a Christmas Dinner.
I don’t decorate my apartment. I do however like Christmas trees with colorful lights and tinsel.
This is a tough one for me to choose just one. I absolutely love the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel. I love O Holy Night too.
When to open presents
This does not apply to me anymore being single, but when I was younger I enjoyed opening one present Christmas Eve night and then the rest of the presents Christmas morning after breakfast.
People to visit
I love to surprise visit refugee and immigrant families bringing candy for the children. I love to see the kiddos smile. Knowing their lives are not so easy, it is a blessing to be a small part of brightening their lives.
For me this is all about Christmas Eve Service. It is always a poignant moment when we sing Silent Night holding candles.
On my way home from my morning class yesterday, I stopped at a convenience store. The clerk is a young woman I have chatted with before. Talk about coincidence and timing, she had just had a call from her doctor 3 minutes before I walked in confirming she is pregnant. I was the first person she told. It is beyond me why people open up to me the way they do except to say it is a God thing.
Before I left the store, I shared a simple message with her saying, “Jesus loves your baby and he loves you too.”
Speaking of babies, one of my morning students from last school year rejoined class for the first time yesterday. She had a baby in July and has been busy taking care of her daughter. We held a baby shower for her in Zoom a few weeks before her baby was born. Today was the first time the class had a chance to see her baby.
Every year at least one mom in my morning class either has a baby or finds out she is pregnant. That has not happened yet this year. But we are not even half way done yet, so there is still time. 🙂
This all is a bit amusing for me because I have no idea about baby stuff. Having only held babies for a short time and giving them back to their mom or dad when they get fussy or something else happens, my experience is quite limited.
One thing I do know for sure is that Jesus indeed loves all babies.
Today, marks 3 years since the judge signed and sealed my youngest daughter legally and permanently into my care as her mother. I looked through the pictures from that day and all the feelings came rushing back. I saw the Hands of God move in that season. The adoption process is the most challenging journey…