Special Deliveries Yesterday

Sitting at home is boring. It is funny how when life is going normal for me, I am so busy that I wish to have a day at home. But now freshly out of a hospital stay and with Thanksgiving Break, staying home is the last thing I want to do. 🙂

I am thankful for two special deliveries yesterday. The first was a drop off by the director of the Family Literacy Program I teach in. The students in my morning class made me get well cards. One of the students also made a plate of food for me. The director stopped by to drop them off for me along with a gift card to my favorite burger place in town.

Yesterday evening my new friends from Ukraine, Alexey and Ruslana, dropped off some food for me. I only told them I was sick without going into details. It was great to see them even if only for a few minutes. They are new grandparents with their first grandson being born last week here in my city. I am not sure if I will let my Ukrainian friends know I was in the hospital to have my heart shocked back into rhythm.

Cards made by hand, food so I don’t need to cook, and friendly faces are nice. However, I think I am feeling good enough for a visit to the coffee shop today. I had my day at home. It is time to get out for a little while. 🙂

Tomorrow I am invited over to a friend’s home for Thanksgiving. I like the start time of 4pm I can sleep late. If you are in the USA, what are your Thanksgiving Day plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Story from Ukraine That Got to This Teacher

As a teacher, one of the stories I heard at the Ukrainian Appreciation Dinner that really got to me was when Tania Synia shared about her work as a photographer and one encounter she had. Tania had a photography studio in Ukraine before the war. She focused on weddings, families etc. After Russia invaded, she stayed in Ukraine to photograph the effects of the war on people.

She came to one town to a school that had been destroyed. Two boys were getting into the school to look for books. They were excited to share with Tania that they found books they could study biology with. Most kids try to get out of studying, but being deprived of school due to the war gave the boys a desire to have their education continue. Tania has a website where she shares her photos. It is tetianasynia.com.

More stories to come. I am still on the mend. I do nebulizer treatments at home four times a day. That is a first for me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Grateful She Did Not Have Her Baby During Class

Yesterday afternoon the 21 year old daughter of the married couple from Ukraine came with them to my class at the high school. They had just come from the doctor’s office for her check up before she gives birth. She is due any day now. The doctor told her that she is close. When she told me that, I thought-“I hope this doesn’t happen during my class.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am happy that the baby did not come during my class. I am also happy for the family that they can have something wonderful happen after having to flee the war in Ukraine, for her and her husband. the birth of their first child and for her parents, the birth of their first grandchild.

My only plan for if she had gone into labor during my class was to call 911.

The family is eagerly awaiting the baby coming,

It makes me think about the 2nd coming of Jesus. Is the 2nd coming of Jesus something we are eagerly awaiting? We do not know when he will return, but we can look forward to Jesus coming again. It is something we need to be prepared for as Romans 13:11 says:

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

We do not know when Jesus will return, but one thing we do know is that each day brings us one day closer to his return.

Today I am grateful for two things, that Jesus is coming back-hopefully soon, and that my friend from Ukraine did not have the baby during my class. ::)

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- In Search of Pumpkins

This week I am on a search for pumpkins for a fall festival at the school where I teach in the mornings, so if you were hoping my post today is about Linus from Charlie Brown looking for the Great Pumpkin, sorry. 🙂

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Because of COVID, starting in August 2020 my church has been doing First Free Loves LPS-Lincoln Public Schools. We have done various things to show support for teachers and schools. So when I was asked if my church could help with money for the fall festival, I gladly asked. The answer was yes,

The problem? Somehow that also has meant the task of finding 60 mini pumpkins and 20 regular ones has fallen to me, to me the least likely person one would select for such a mission. Shopping ranks below doing laundry and is equal to going to the dentist in my mind.

The regular pumpkins are still plentiful to find, but those mini ones not so much. I will make one more valiant epic effort today to find some.

My search brought to mind what Jesus said about us in Luke 19:10:


“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus left heaven to be born as a human baby to grow to be a man to die for us, That is the extent Jesus was willing to go through on our behalf. Jesus seeks us out of his great love for us.

My search will continue today. Perhaps a rescue team will be needed to find me as I go out into that realm called shopping.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

All Children Are A Blessing

In my classroom in the evening, there are two world maps. It is so fitting the maps are in my classroom where I teach English for people from diverse countries. I asked my student from Vietnam to take this picture for me last night.

For me it represents what my life is about, which is to share the love of Jesus with refugees and immigrants from all over the world. I teach adults, but I am also aware of the struggles their children face.

In the mornings, I teach English for moms from other countries in the elementary school where their children go. I interact with children in the hallway. It has been my practice to try to bless them in various ways in the mornings. Sadly, they are aware of the harmful things being said in our public discourse. That is a huge motivation for me to speak words of affirmation to them or just to joke a little with them.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Monday morning I saw two sisters from Guatemala as we were entering the school. I greeted them in Spanish as I always do. One of them took my hand to walk into the school together. I greet the Hispanic children in Spanish because I want them to feel good about their language and culture. Sometimes I tease them in Spanish about how I think they want a lot of homework. I always wish them a good day in school in Spanish.

Monday morning I was talking with one of the 5th grade teachers outside her classroom as she was watching her students put on their coats to go outside for recess. A boy in her class came up and bowed to me, pointed at his teacher and said, “She is a great teacher.” Then he looked at me and said, “You are a great teacher.” He came here a few months ago as a refugee from Syria. I asked him his name and where he was from and then I greeted him in Arabic. He was surprised.

My interactions with the children in the school always reminds me of when Jesus blessed the children in Matthew 19:

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.”

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there”.

Children are important to Jesus. Children need affirmation, blessings, and encouragement. It concerns me that at an age that the only things they should be concerned about are spelling quizzes, recess, and hoping for snow days, the children I see every morning are exposed negativity in our culture. They hear it when the news is on.They hear comments out in public. Children pick up on a lot more than we realize.

So I will continue with my practice of joking with them. speaking blessings to them, and giving high fives in the hallway. All children all precious to Jesus and all children are a blessing.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wonderful Weekend, BUT, Then Monday Came

It was a wonderful weekend of visiting people. teaching people, going to church, and lunches. Sunday evening I had plans for Monday morning to get up and get some things done. I had Monday morning off due to fall break at the school where my morning class meets. I planned to go to an In Service, get started on some writing, and run some errands. But then reality interrupted.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I began the taper down part of my Prednisone prescription Sunday. I had a tapering dosage of 5 days of 3 tablets, 5 days of 2 tablets and 5 days of 1 tablets. 3 tablets is like rocket fuel at time. Tapering down can sometimes mean a let down as far as energy, which for a Spoonie, can lead to more than just feeling tired.

The term Spoonie comes from a young woman who used spoons as an example to explain limited energy while living with chronic illness. You can click on the highlighted Spoonie to read her article.

So Monday I woke up or should I say my eyes opened temporarily. I was down for the count. I had slept 11 hours and was still exhausted. I ended up staying in bed until 11am. When I finally got out of bed, I just sat for quite a while.

I turned on some worship music and gave what was left of the day to Jesus. I checked my blog, checked out post by other bloggers, and drank some coffee.

I prayed over my evening class and went to the college. In my evening class, I have a young woman who is in a wheelchair due to a condition similar to Cerebral Palsy. She has such joy just being able to be in a class. She is a Christian. She gave her presentation and did well. It is my privilege to help her with accommodations she needs to be in class.

A blogger I follow, retrospectivelily.com, wrote about her experience getting accommodations in college for her disability. The post is Disability Chat. Each evening I see my student in class, Lily’s article comes to mind.

So Monday I may not have accomplished much, but I was grateful to be there for my students in the evening. Tuesday was better. Hopefully today will be better still. My post is not much of an inspiration today, but I am mindful of a quote Big Sky Buckeye shared by Charles Kingsley:

Make it a rule, and pray to God to help you to keep it, never to lie down at night without being able to say, “I have made at least one human being a little wiser, a little happier, or a little better this day.”

Monday may have been a wash for most of the day for me, but at least I made the young woman in class a little happier, wiser, and better that day.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Answers :)

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop when I noticed two young women playing chess. One seemed to be teaching the other one how to play. I walked by and asked who won. The one who was learning said, “she did.” I found out they are cousins. We talked for a little bit and I found out the one teaching chess has lived in India and in Germany and has experience with learning language and a little experience teaching. She is a recent college grad who wants to be a Fullbright Scholar to teach English in a university in another country. The light went off in my head 🙂

Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

I needed a new assistant for my morning class that will start September 3rd. I had just prayed about it earlier that morning. I told her about it. She was interested, so I explained how to apply. I already knew I wanted her to be my assistant, but she still had to go through the process. Yesterday we interviewed her and hired her. I am so excited. I enjoy mentoring young people and seeing them gain new skills.

Sometimes God answers prayer quickly and sometimes it can seem like a slow boat. I am grateful he answered this one quickly.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

This experience was a great reminder for me of how God connects the dots for us. I went to the coffee shop at the same time my new assistant was there with her cousin. She was looking to get experience with teaching ESL because she wants to be a Fullbright Scholar teaching English in a university in August 2020. I enjoy mentoring young people. It is a good fit.

With God there is no such thing as coincidence. 🙂

A follow up to my question yesterday- Most popular was picture #2 of me with a short beard. No beard was second. However, I still think I will let it grow long for Christmas for the Santa look. Maybe I should do a drawing for which follower to embarrass by sitting next to them at their church for Christmas Eve service with a long white beard with Christmas ornaments attached. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.