Book Review: The Velveteen Bible

After a loooong journey, across the sea and sitting in customs for a while, my copy of the Velveteen Bible finally arrived.

This small, pocket-sized kids bible is perfect as a “first gift bible.  It comes inside a beautifully decorated holding box, which is a wonderful addition to the bible itself.  The inside cover has a few information pages for the child to fill out, such as, “about me” page and “my family” page etc.

Inside the pages at key verses, there are adorable storybook pictures to accompany the verses.  For example: Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother.  with a drawing of a baby elephant presenting flowers to his elephant mother.

The size is just an added bonus, wonderful for any little boy or girl…. such a wonderful gift for any child!


It’s JULY?!?

I know… I’ve been the worst blogger ever lately! I wrote once in June and sporadically in May, and I have a feeling July might be looking about the same. 😦 Here’s why:

* I have my Arabic Final July 13th…. and I’m a bit stressed and overwhelmed about it.

* I have to renew my visa at the end of the month, which has already caused me some headaches and trips to immigration.

* I’m trying to plan and put together a VBS outreach for the month of August. By myself. In Hebrew. Enough said.

Hopefully when I make it through this month I’ll have lots of good reports to write about….. stay tuned 🙂


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…..


May 26, (year confidential)

Today… on this day… during an undisclosed year… my best friend in the whole wide world was born!

She’s the first person I run to (or skype to, I should re-phrase) when I need ANYTHING: love, comfort, advise, stress release, family news, encouragement, and to just plain talk.

She’s MY MOM!

She wasn’t always my best friend, in fact, we’ve had our ups and down (enter teenage years); but when I finally grew up and realized what a jewel I had in my midst it all changed.  Now we love spending time together (when I’m home on furlough) doing mother-daughter things and also friend-friend things.

This past home visit my mom lost her mom.  Though it was extremely difficult for all of us, and I was also losing my grandma, I think the hardest part of it for me was seeing my mom lose her mom.  She is the only girl with 4 brothers, and I know she had a very close relationship with her mom, just like I have with her.  My mom and my grandma share so many amazing qualities, but most importantly they are STRONG WOMEN OF GOD and they love they families with the same love that God loves us: UNCONDITIONALLY.

One day I pray and hope that I will be a mom too, and when that day comes I want to be a mom just like mine. I want to instill in my children all the morals and values that she imparted in us.  I want to make her proud to be not only my mom, but my best friend.

I LOVE YOU MOM!!! Though I’m not there to see you blow out your (undisclosed number) of candles, you know that I’m sending you a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY hug your way….

our favorite pastime when I was a child 🙂

Christmas w/my mom and sisters

Show my mom some birthday love today….. 🙂


Our Generation

I was skyping the other day with my childhood friend, Jodi, who just had her first baby… which led us to the topic of raising children… which led us to reminiscing about our childhood.

We both agree that we were soooo lucky to have been born when we were, still the “simpler” times, but leading into the “technology” era. Kids today have NOOOO idea what it was like without cell phones, email, SMS-ing, X-Box.. etc.  And while all those things have made our lives a bit easier (and lazier) we couldn’t resist wishing that our children could experience childhood as we did:

  • When EVERY kid either walked to school or rode a bus… no parents driving them to and from school.
  • Running home after school to ride bikes with your friends around the neighborhood and play kickball in the yard, until you knew it was time to come home for dinner.
  • Rollerskating in the garage, pretending to be at a roller rink, with music booming from a boombox the size of a tire.
  • Spending your Friday night at the actual Roller Rink.
  • Making tents in the backyard out of blankets draped over the clothesline.
  • SPUD. (if you don’t know that game, you definitely didn’t grow up in my generation)
  • Spending 2 hours of your night out, driving around looking for your friends, because there was no way to contact them once your left the house. (but having a blast while you did it!)
While I could go on and on with my memories, the point is that even though we are only one generation away, we are truly WORLDS away… and while technology is a great thing, and I LOVE it, I also long for the simpler days of the past as well… when we got all our exercise from just living and being kids! 
Here I am feeding the ducks in the park with my dad (who will just LOVE that I posted this pic!), my grandma, and my aunt. (Or are we being attacked by them?!?)
Any special childhood memories of the simple times??? 

It’s that time of year!

Morning ritual:

6:22: alarm goes off (and I press snooze)

7 minutes later + another 7 minutes later: its ringing again

6:45: I’m finally up-ish. boil water for coffee. do morning stuff. 1st cup of hot coffee 🙂 hmmmmmmmm

7:35: leave for school with 2nd cup of hot coffee in my take-away mug.

BUT WAIT!

Summer has arrived (or is slowly arriving) so I’m losing my 2nd cup of take-away hot coffee and replacing it with an iced-cafe when I get home!

Even as I’m sitting here typing this blog, I’m sippin on my Iced-cafe…

Anyone else as excited as I am for warm weather and Iced-cafe’s???


Fitting in

Fitting in.

Most people relate “fitting in” to the teen-age or middle-school-age years when finding your crowd can come with many challenges. Being a former middle-school teacher, I’ve seen my fare share of kids trying to change and be someone they’re not in order to fit in with a group they want to be in. Not a fun time!

Fortunately, I never really struggled with the “fitting in” issue in school (not that I didn’t have other issues) but that wasn’t one of them.

Unfortunately, I struggle with it more now, as an adult.

It’s not for a lack of friends, cuz to be honest I have some GREAT ones! It’s also not for a lack of wanting to be in a group that I’m not in either…. the truth is: many times I just have a difficult time relating to others.

Living around the world in various cultures is a tremendous calling, but it’s also changed me beyond words.  Each new place has impacted me in new ways and changed my outlook and actions toward life, as well as changing me on the inside.  I’ve taken treasures from each culture, which translates into me becoming a “melting pot” of sorts.

While all this is wonderful and great, here’s the problem… I never 100% fit in.

When I go home to The States, I find it difficult to relate to others, as the “American” in me has dwindled down to less and less over the years.  Sure, I still love my country and the Detroit Red Wings (had to get that one in, Joseph) but there’s only so far you can go with these topics.

I could give examples from each place: Brazil, Africa, Israel… but it boils down to this… I rarely feel like I really fit in anywhere, and sometimes it’s a lonely, difficult cross to bare.

Although there probably aren’t too many people here on earth who truly understand me, I KNOW there is someone up there who does! And Someday…. well, it’s one place I know I’ll fit in 🙂


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