Category Archives: Language Linguistics

One Word Half-Way Update: Shine

I was reminded in an email that it is already the half-way mark to this year, which also means half-way through our One Word 2011 challenge.

I honestly cannot believe it’s already been half a year, when it seems like I just wrote the original post yesterday.

Instead of reflecting on how far I’ve come in the first half, I’m going to use this update as more of a “re-focus” for the second half.  I feel like I haven’t done the best job of always SHINING, especially in those dark moments of life.

I’m going to re-quote myself from my original post:

The truth is I can’t do it on my own, but I know the closer I am to HIS radiance, the brighter it will SHINE out through me… and that’s what I need to aim for.

I want to Be the Light. I want to SHINE brighter this year.

2011. I’m gonna get my SHINE on!

Time to re-focus on the 2nd half…..

I’m here.

To say that I’ve been frustrated and stressed lately is an understatement. There are moments when I just want to give up… to forget about Hebrew and Arabic… to try to find another way… but I know this is not an option for me right now.

For some reason it’s really been building up, and I’ve been so overwhelmed with it all.  Over our 2 week Pesach break, I was able to relax and devote all my extra time with ministry, which probably made my recent distaste for language studying escalate even more.

I’ve found in my life that when I’m discouraged and frustrated God has a way of putting little bits and pieces of comfort in my path.  

Today in Hebrew class we were discussing the idea of learning languages at a young age.  Our teacher then asked us how many years each of us have been learning Hebrew, to which I was a bit shocked at the answers.

I have been studying Hebrew for 2 years now… 2 LONG years; but out of everyone in my class I’ve been studying Hebrew the least amount of years. There are kids in my class who have been studying 4-10 years, and many of them have grown up in Jewish families, hearing Hebrew spoken all their lives.

I had a similar experience in Arabic class yesterday.  One of the girls in my class told me she’s been studying Arabic for 5 years now! 5 years! Me??? One.

As I sat there listening to the numbers I just thought, “What the heck am I doing in these classes with these groups?  No wonder I’m beyond stressed and mentally exhausted every night. No wonder why my mother is sick of hearing my cries every weekend…”

And then I thought of it in a new light.  Here I am, sitting in class, at the same level as these kids who have been around Hebrew their entire lives. Here I am sitting in Arabic class, reading and writing text, and just a year ago I couldn’t even recognize letters.  I might not get the highest grades on my tests or read at the same fluency as others, but I’M HERE!

I made it this far, so I might as well suck it up and keep on trekking.

Yes, I’m still frustrated…

Yes, I’m still stressed…

Yes, I’m still mentally exhausted……..

But, I’m Here!  And just that is encouragement for me today.

** Could you just say a little prayer for me this week (well, month for that matter)??? I’m really needing them! Thanks, bloggy friends!!!


Last night was the first time I’ve ever dreamt IN HEBREW!

You see, I’ve always had this theory that you are really finally THERE with a language when you start dreaming in it.  I’m not saying that I’m 100% THERE with Hebrew (cuz I don’t know if I’ll ever be there), but it does mean I must be getting closer.

I still remember the first time I dreamt in Portuguese, which was a monumental moment for me, and I do still dream in my love language once in a while.

I might not ace my Hebrew tests, but at least I can have a conversation in my head at night…. how can they compare!?! LOL

unbeknownst to me... while you were sleeping!

Major School Changes, Part 2…

Last year, I blogged about some HUGE changes in my life regarding schooling.  I had applied to the “regular” university at TAU, which meant I would be a Hebrew student instead of an overseas English one…. and I WAS ACCEPTED!  While I am still at the same school and still studying, it means big changes for me.

For one, all my classes will now be taught in Hebrew, not in English.  My language classes have always been taught in Hebrew and Arabic, but the core classes were in English.

Secondly, I will no longer be studying History, as I was before; I will be studying Arabic Literature.  I really am excited about this change, but it also means A LOT more dedication and studying for me.  This semester alone I have 10 hours of Arabic and 6 of Hebrew, purely language classes.  YIKES!

I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to, and I fear that with my new courses it might only become more sporadic… but please know that I’m not abandoning it all together.

I’m feeling so many emotions about this whole thing: excited, scared, nervous, hopeful, overwhelmed that I just can’t seem to muster up a post.

I hope I will still have some readers during this process, and just know that I am continually reading your blogs… even if I’m not writing my own. Thanks for sticking with me, all my blogging friends! ❤❤

One Word: Shine

I’m joining in with Alece’s ONE WORD challenge for the new year.  Instead of picking a New Years Resolution (which I never do anyways), I thought I should focus on ONE WORD.


That’s my one word this year.  It’s a significant word to me in many ways, and its a word that God has been pressing on me for some time.  It’s also the entire mission statement of my non-profit, Shine International, in one concept:

To Shine.  To Be The Light.

But the truth is I don’t always represent myself so well.  I don’t always feel liking shining.  I don’t always feel like being positive.  I don’t always feel like living out my mission.

And it’s in these moments when I have to dig deeper and pull in tighter to HIM.

Because the truth is I can’t do it on my own, but I know the closer I am to HIS radiance, the brighter it will SHINE out through me… and that’s what I need to aim for.

I want to Be the Light. I want to SHINE brighter this year.

2011. I’m gonna get my SHINE on!

Goodbye, Kita Bet (ב). I won’t miss you!

Today is the first day of my LAST week in Kita Bet (Level 2 of Hebrew) I’m soooo excited to be finished for many reasons:

1. It was an intensive summer class. 5 hours each day, 5 days a week. I’m just over it!

2. Finishing the class just brings me closer to my break and coming home for a few weeks!

3. Leaving ב (Bet) behind means that I move into ג (Gimel) in the Fall.  I’m moving on up….to the east side. lol

4. Ok. Really I only had 3 reasons, but number 4 is that I’m just REALLY, REALLY happy to be finished!!!

Agada Week

mime-attachment-18This week in Hebrew class we started reading Agadot (אגדות). An agada is a fairy tale or legend.  Depending on how it is used, it can also be a folk tale or a fable.  Today we read about Andromeda from Greek Mythology, which just happens to take places in Jaffa. (go figure!)

During the rest of the week, each student has to choose an agada and tell the story to the rest of the class IN HEBREW!  It’s our first oral presentation, and I’m a bit nervous about it.  Mine is on Thursday, so at least I have a few days to prepare.

I’ve decided to tell an African Folk Tale about Why Cheetah’s Cheeks Are Stained’. Before I left Africa I bought a book of African Folk Tales relating to all the animals in the bush.  This story is by far my most favorite of them all (not to mention the cheetah is my favorite cat as well).  So, now I need to go practice, practice, practice…..

%d bloggers like this: