Barbecue and Deep Conversation with a Yazidi Family

Tuesday afternoon I visited a Yazidi family. The father is my student in my online class. He invited me to join his family for a barbecue.

It was a blessing to meet his family. I discovered his wife was in my Zoom summer school for Family Literacy. His daughter in 3rd grade was fun to talk with. She told that she likes eggs for breakfast, so I asked her a series of questions like- Do you like ice cream on your eggs.

As we were eating, I found out his oldest daughter is in high school. We talked about applications for college, scholarships and financial aid. I will be visiting the family in the future to help her with the process.

Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know my refugee/immigrant friends. It gives me the opportunity to discover how I can be of help. Being genuinely interested in helping them with their lives opens doors to share the love of Jesus.

That was the one social time in my hectic week and it was a wonderful time. The weekend is here and I have a feeling my bed will make me take a few naps. πŸ™‚ I do have a birthday barbecue this evening and church tomorrow, but my bed is letting me know naps will be required.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Steak and Deep Conversation

Yesterday I met with a Yazidi friend who is applying to Pharmacy School to go over his essays for the applications. We spent a few hours on them and then we went for lunch at Texas Roadhouse-his choice. Texas Roadhouse is a steak restaurant.

I ordered a 15 ounce NY Strip smothered in mushrooms. It felt like heaven on earth after a long summer of watching the food budget. Summers are normally that way for me. But my friend wanted to thank me so off for steaks we went.

As we talked, I learned more about my friend such as his refugee experience, how he fled to Kurdistan, and building his new life in America. We also talked about COVID. The shocker is that his wife found out she was pregnant the same month as the shutdown started where I live. Can you imagine?

He asked about what we do in church. He has never been in a church worship service. It was a blessing to share my faith with him.

It is a honor for me to be able to help my friends from other countries with their educational and career goals. The food is just an added bonus. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

An Energizing Day at My School

Yesterday I went to the school where my morning Family Literacy class is. Each August when I go to my classroom. I wonder how bad it will be. It was not too bad.

IMG_1476
halfway done

I got some of the room done and will finish it next week. School starts next Monday, but my Family Literacy Class starts September 7th. I have a few weeks to take care of many things such as finish lining up speakers for the fall for our Thursday Community Info time, meet with other teachers etc.

I got a new ID badge in June, but sent an email to the teachers I know well asking if I should have used this photo from a retirement party in May.

It may surprise you that it was a unanimous 100% yes from my colleagues. One even said it captures my personality. πŸ™‚

When the moms come back to class, they will make the word wall, the class calendar for September, and decorate the room. I like to have them do it because it builds community among them and also gives them ownership of the classroom. One item that will be included is this poster.

I like the message. I want the moms to think of themselves as being empowered in my class.

It was wonderful to interact with my fellow teachers yesterday. We had Open House. even though my day was teach online 12-2, at the school 2:30-6, and teach online 6:30-9:30, I felt energized as the reality of a new school year dawned on me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Sunshine and Rainbows Tag

I would like to thank my little sister Purple Rose for tagging me in on The Sunshine and Roses Tag. Her blog is relunctantpreachersdaughter.wordpress.com. She shares about her life and faith. I enjoy her blog posts and pray for her.

The sunshine & rainbows blog tag is an award created to show appreciation for bloggers who bring positivity and happiness into our lives!

The Rules:

Thank the blogger who tagged you
Share the badge and rules in your post
Include this blog tag statement: β€œThe sunshine & rainbows blog tag is an award created to show appreciation for bloggers who bring positivity and happiness into our lives!”
Answer the tag’s 5 questions
Tag 5-10 bloggers whose blogs you love reading!
Include a custom message to your nominees about why you tagged them
Keep on blogging! We love that you’re a part of the blogging world!

1. What are your favorite kinds of posts to write?

I love to share my faith in Jesus, my life as a teacher, my experiences with refugees and immigrants, and sometimes humorous posts.

2. What is a post you’d love to write, but haven’t yet?

I would love to travel and meet some of my fellow bloggers and write about that. If I had the money and the time, I would love to spend a year traveling and blogging. πŸ™‚

The ultimate would be to write a blog after Jesus comes back for his church, the rapture, but I don’t think I will be blogging then. lol

3. In what ways do you enjoy helping other people?

Helping through friendship and getting to know the person helps me to show the love of Jesus while helping others in any way God leads me. It has been a blessing to befriend and help people from all over the world.

4. What or who inspires you?

Jesus inspires me the most. Some of my fellow bloggers inspire me. Refugees and immigrants inspire me as I see them strive to make a new life in America.

5. What do you love to see on other people’s posts?

I enjoy reading about their faith, their lives and about other places whether in America or around the world. A bit of humor also gets my attention.

I would like to tag the following bloggers.

Alicia of forhispurpose.blog. She is the only blogger I have met in person so far. I love how she shares stories about her life and family and interweaves them with her faith.

Hannah of hannahmvandi.com. She has a bright smile and I love hearing her accent when she joins Blogger Chat with us. She writes creative poems in her blog.

David of davidsdailydose.org. He is a fellow educator/blogger. He shares his faith and about teaching in his blog.

Sally of newfoundlandhouswifestheology.com. . I enjoy her posts about life in Newfoundland Canada and her faith.

Peevee of peeveeblog.wordpress.com. She shares her art, her faith, and about life in the Philippines.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Chinese Buffet and Practicing Spanish

August is here already. In only a few short weeks it will be Back to School time for the children. I will be at the school doing things to prepare, but my class begins the Tuesday after Labor Day. Are you ready for Back to School?

Yesterday after my Saturday morning group at church, I went to lunch with two friends from Cuba. We went to a Mongolian Grill/China Buffet. I like the Mongolian Grill because I can choose the ingredients and not worry about gluten in the soy sauce.

Photo by u00d6nder u00d6rtel on Pexels.com

It surprised my Cuban friends that I can eat with chopsticks. A person learns little things like that spending time with diverse cultures πŸ™‚ During group at church, we spoke English, but during lunch it was all Spanish. I loved it. I enjoy practicing Spanish and learning new words.

At the end of our group time at church, we prayed for Cuba and for my friends’ families there. Cuba is in turmoil due to government crackdown against freedom protesters. It is the same reason I am trying to spend more time with my friends outside of group just to be a supportive listening ear.

Our server was someone who knew me. She is the niece of one of my former students from Guatemala. She has a good memory. She has only met me a few times but recognized me right away. The man cooking at the grill is from El Salvador. So I practiced Spanish with my server and the man at the grill.

Eating Chinese food and practicing Spanish is a wonderful combination. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Digging Up Clams As A Teen

One summer day when I was a teenager, some of my friends and I decided we should go to a local lake and get clams and have a clam bake like we saw in movies and on TV. So off we went wearing our blue jeans cut offs, sandals, and t-shirts to the lake. We went to a shallow area, took off our sandals and waded in the water.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

We used our feet to feel for the clams. We had buckets to put them in. We spent over an hour digging up clams with our feet and got good tans along with the clams. We filled four buckets with clams and were very excited to have a clam bake.

When we got back to my friend’s house, we showed his dad the clams and told him we were going to have a clam bake and he could join us. He told us, “Fresh water clams from lakes are no good. Throw them out or take them back to the lake.” Our spirits were dashed. We took them back and threw them in the lake.

If in our excitement we had talked with my friend’s dad before we went, we would have know it was not a good idea.

Too often we come up with our own ideas and then pray for God to bless them. It is much better to pray first and ask God for direction and guidance. The best opportunities I have had were after praying for opportunities.

By the way, funny thing is that one year later I worked part-time in a seafood restaurant. I tried clams and discovered I don’t like clams. πŸ™‚

Thank you for reading. God Bless,

When God Connects People

It is amazing to be a small part of God connecting people as he works in our lives. Good is the ultimate connector of the dots. Yesterday was a great reminder of that for me. It was during a funeral for a friend who died from liver cancer.

Photo by mohsen AMERI on Pexels.com

In a Christmas program for my church twenty years ago, I played the part of an elderly man who was blind and bedridden. My character had a conversation with a caregiver about how he missed the songs of Christmas. After the sketch, the congregation sang a Christmas hymn.

I had no idea that in the congregation was a man who I briefly met many years before that. He had an accident in his construction job a few months before that Christmas program. The accident resulted in him needing a cornea transplant. The performance touched him because he was blinded for a while after the accident. He came up to me after the service and talked with me.

That led to me visiting him and his wife in their home to do a bible study through John. He rededicated his life to Jesus and his wife trusted Jesus during our times together.

During the funeral, memories of our times together were a blessing. Knowing my friend is now in heaven enjoying his eternal home made the memories so worthwhile.

We do not see the dots being connected, but God does. If we follow him prayerfully, we can experience the wonders of seeing him at work.

Thank you for reading. God Bless,

Saturday Afternoon at the Coffee Shop

Yesterday afternoon I hung out at my favorite coffee shop. I know that comes as a surprise. πŸ™‚ I had Moroccan Mint Iced Tea and a gluten free blueberry muffin.

The past two years my teaching assistants were two young women I met at the coffee shop.

The first one for the school year 2019/2020 I joked with as she was playing chess with her cousin.That led to a conversation where I found out she had lived in other countries and had a little experience teaching English. I recruited her and she was a wonderful assistant, but she was preparing to move out of state the following school year.

The second one I met while she was working in the coffee shop. She was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘my one shirt’ so I joked with her that there needed to be a tip jar that said Hannah’s shirt fund. We got to talking and I found out she had helped with a preschool, I recruited her and she was the best possible assistant I could have had for the pandemic year with a blended class.

Lo and behold yesterday I saw a young woman studying and joked with her that homework is a lot of fun. We got to talking and I found our she is studying Early Childhood Education, I talked with her about my need for a new assistant for this coming school year. I think I may have found my assistant for 2021/2022.

My favorite coffee shop is a great place to connect with people. I also like that all of the coffee they serve is made from coffee beans from Ground for Change which is Fair for Life similar to Fair Trade. That means no child labor. One of my few splurges is to buy coffee beans for my home from the coffee shop. I usually buy the Brazil beans because I have visited Brazil twice and love Brazil. πŸ™‚

For some reason coffee shops are great environments for me to write. I did another proofreading of my upcoming book, wrote two blog posts, and checked out other blogs.

That was my Saturday. How was your Saturday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Treatment Starts This Week

Buyer’s remorse is when a person regrets a purchase for various reasons. I observed that a few times when I sold office furniture in the 1980s. I am experiencing buyers remorse but not about anything I bought.

After several years of advocating for myself, being gaslighted at times medically, being told I did not have what it ended up that I actually do have, seeing various specialists, I got the official diagnosis last Friday. It felt anti-climatic at the time.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

This week the reality of the treatment regiment is on my mind. I must confess I am one of those people who reads about meds and potential side effects. After reading about potential side effects, I almost wish I had not been diagnosed. Thankfully I can dialogue with others. One young woman who has what I have and is also a Christian shared this with me in a Facebook message.

“God will meet you where you are, but treatment is the start of a necessary journey that will help you, but know that it will take time.”

Such wisdom at a young age. No wonder I have always been impressed with her.

I will take my first dose Thursday evening. From what I understand, the next day can be a downtime day. So Friday I am planning to be a day to relax, listen to worship music, and binge watch some shows.

I would like to share one of my young friend’s YouTube videos about living with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Birthday in Brazil

My first trip to Brazil was in 2013. I landed in Rio de Janeiro on my birthday that year. The travel time from leaving my place to go to the airport to when I landed in Curitiba Brazil, my final stop, was about 24 hours. One thing about international travel is that I cannot sleep on planes. So there I was waiting in the Curitiba airport for an hour for my ride to Rio do Sul which was a three hour drive.

Photo by Tamis Souza on Pexels.com

I was exhausted as we approached Rio do Sul, so I asked the pastor if I would be going to my host home. He told me he needed to stop at the church first. We stopped there and went to the back and saw there was cake. They had two kinds of cake for my birthday. It was also the first time I drank Guarana which is a soda made from a berry that grows in Brazil and by the way has a lot of caffeine, After two pieces of cake and a few cups of Guarana, I had a caffeine/sugar buzz going which allowed me to stay for an hour. But then the crash came and it was time to go to my host home.

As the group of brothers and sisters in Christ I had just met sang Parabens to me, Brazilian birthday song, I thought best birthday ever to land in Brazil on my birthday.

What is one of your favorite birthday memories?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.