Children Need Blessings Now More Than Ever

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.

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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.

Let’s bless the children like Jesus did.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Best Christmas Gift for Me This Year

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.

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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.

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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.

What was meaningful for you during Christmas?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Christmas My Favorite Things Tag

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Christmas My Favorite Things Tag has different categories, food, song, when to open presents, people to visit, celebrating Jesus. You may also add a category if you wish.

How to join in?

Share the link to the original post- Christmas My Favorite Things Tag.

Use any Christmas theme picture

Share your favorite things for each category.

Tag whoever you wish.

I will start with my favorite things.

Food

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.

Decorations

I don’t decorate my apartment. I do however like Christmas trees with colorful lights and tinsel.

Song

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.

Celebrating Jesus

For me this is all about Christmas Eve Service. It is always a poignant moment when we sing Silent Night holding candles.

If they choose to participate, I am tagging:

Viv

Renee

Big Sky Buckeye

Deandra

Princess Cynthia

Isaiah 46 Ministries

Fay

Georgetta

Crissy

Bethany

Another Coincidence About A Baby

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.

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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.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

We Need To Protect Children- How Jesus Feels

When we talk about Jesus, we often focus on his love and compassion. Those are definitely aspects I am very grateful for. But how often do we think about his anger?

I want to take a closer look at a verse I quoted earlier in the week, Mark 10:14:

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.”

The Greek for indignant gives an idea of annoyed and exasperated.

So the disciples were trying to prevent children from coming to Jesus thinking they were doing the will of Jesus. Jesus was annoyed by this. He was indignant.

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Now think about when he said it would be better for someone who harms a child to have a millstone tied around their neck and tossed into a lake then to face him on the Day of Judgement.

How do you think Jesus feels about child abuse, sex trafficking of children, children being exploited? Angry. Mad. Indignant.

There is a time for righteous indignation and children being harmed is certainly one of those times.

Love for children and anger at abusers who harm children are reasons I am passionate about supporting causes that free children from harm.

So if we want to be like Jesus, anger is appropriate when it comes to issues like child abuse and trafficking of children.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Beautiful Post- A letter to my daughter on the anniversary of her adoption. — Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful

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…

A letter to my daughter on the anniversary of her adoption. — Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful

We Need to Protect Children

Last month I decided to take the money I would have wasted on my monthly Netflix fee and put it to use to help children. I had canceled my Netflix because it produced the movie Cuties which exploits 11 year old girls to make a movie.

So I ordered Hero Bands again.

For only $10, I was able to pay to donate a band that will go to a child freed from sex trafficking. The band has the word Hero on it and also has my initials on it which lets the child know someone cares.

I had paid for one last month too and pray for the child who received the band for Jesus to bring healing into the child’s life and pure love. I will pray for the child who receives this band too.

I ordered one for myself with the word Faith on it.

The woman who makes and sells the bands donates $2 from each band sold to Operation Underground Railroad which frees children from sex slavery.

In the mornings, I teach moms from other countries English. I often have chances to interact with their children. One mom’s baby smiles when I greet her in Spanish.

My church has a project this year of First Free Loves LPS. We want to encourage schools, teachers, and staff during this difficult year. For my school, the focus was on winter hats and gloves for children since it is in a low income neighborhood. One morning I happened to stop by the office when a little Kindergarten girl needed a winter hat and gloves. She chose pink ones.

Children are gifts from God. They need to be protected, nurtured, and loved. As we love them and nurture them, we can appreciate God’s love for us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

FIRST DRAFT FINISHED!!!!!!!!

I have shared before about writing a book based on my short story- Jessica’s Encounter at the Harbor Coffee Shop.

I have to admit it has been a struggle at times and felt like I was experiencing spiritual warfare at times.

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Today was a big step. The first rough draft is finished!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Now it is time to go over it with a fine tooth comb for editing. Then I will need to explore publishing it, the hows of it, the when of it etc.

This is how it starts:

“God I don’t know if you are real. I don’t know anything about you. God I am so scared and I can’t take this anymore. Please God, if you are real, please help me. I can’t go on like this anymore,”

That was my simple prayer. I was a victim of human trafficking. It began before I was in their trap. It began with a man I met online who seemed nice. I was only a teenager at the time. I was living in another foster home and was tired of being treated badly. He told me he wanted to take care of me. He told me things I wanted to hear, but he was only leading me into a trap. This is my story.

Jessica

I would appreciate pray as I move forward for God to guide me in publication and everything it entails. I would also appreciate prayer that God would work through the book to raise awareness of sex trafficking, and rally God’s people to do something about it. I have decided to donate $1 to Love Justice and $1 to Underground Railroad from the sale of each book once it is published. Unless by some miracle a publisher wants to publish it and pays me, then it I will donate in a different way.

Please pray for me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thankful For My Life Group

First off I am happy to say that in keeping with We Need To Protect The Children and canceling my Netflix due to Cuties exploiting 11 year old girls, yesterday I paid for my monthly donated Hero Band that will be given to a child freed from sex trafficking. A child will benefit from my money not Netflix.

Each Friday evening, it is a blessing for me to meet in Zoom with my Life Group from church. We are studying through the book of John in the bible. Each week we also pray together, share about life, and laugh as we share stories from our week.

Each week I manage to slip in that I am the youngest person in our group. Last night I referred to myself as the baby of the group and of course there were rolled eyes and laughs. 🙂

My city went up to red on the dial this week meaning severe risk for COVID, but COVID has not stopped our group from meeting. We have met every Friday evening in Zoom since March when COVID hit.

It is a blessing to fellowship with others and hopefully the vaccine will come soon and this pandemic will come to an end so we can meet in person again. Until then we can meet in Zoom.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thankful for This Blogging Community

This week I am focusing on what I am thankful for. It isn’t so much because of the Thanksgiving Holiday is this month in the USA. It is to share something positive and to help me keep my focus on positive things during the CRAZY week.

In recent weeks, I have shared posts We Need to Protect The Children. It started with sharing about canceling Netflix due to the movie Cuties that exploits 11 year old girls. Last week I shared that I decided to donate what would have been my Netflix fee to Hero Bands. A person can donate a band to a child rescued from sex trafficking for only $10 or buy a band for themselves and $2 of the price will be donated to an organization that rescues children from sex slavery. Georgetta of journeythroughlifeministries.com read that post and ordered a Hero Band. I am so thankful a fellow blogger did so. Shout out to Georgetta.

I am thankful for my fellow bloggers especially the ones I interact with, who comment on my posts, whose posts I read, like and comment on. It is a blessing to read posts by fellow bloggers about various topics such as faith in Jesus, living with chronic illness, or life. Blogging has become a joyful part of my life.

I am thankful for the bloggers who join me on Saturday mornings for blogger chat in Zoom. We have had a baby shower in Zoom, have sung happy birthday off key to people, laughed, prayed together, and shared our faith. They are Temi, Vanessa, Alicia, Cheryl, Barb, Ruth, and Chuck. If you would like to join on a Saturday morning 10am EST USA, let me know.

Philippians 4:8 says- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

The number 1 way is to focus on Jesus. Expressing thankfulness is also a good way to follow the teaching of Philippians 4:8.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.