Music Mondays-I Need Thee/Great Is Thy Faithfulness Featuring Terrian

I love love love this video of Terrian and friends singing such rich hymns-worship songs.

How I need Jesus always and especially during these times of turmoil. Each morning I pray before I go teach knowing that I do so in the midst of a pandemic. I ask Jesus to help me be a blessing to the teachers, staff and students at the school.

God has indeed shown me how great is his faithfulness during the pandemic providing for me through his people.

Truly I need Jesus every hour as the song I need thee proclaims.

I hope this song blesses you and much or more than it has me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Oh Coffee Shops How I Miss You

One of my favorite things to do before the pandemic was hanging out at a coffee shop. I used to love hanging out, drinking coffee, and writing on my laptop.

I used to enjoy telling jokes to the people who worked there and sometimes fellow customers. Some examples:

When I would see someone reading their bible, I would walk by and say, “I read that book. Jesus wins in the end. Oh sorry I gave away the ending.”

If student nurses were studying, I would walk by and say, “please remember me so if you are ever my nurse in a hospital, you can remember to bring me ice cream.”

When I would hang out at coffee shops, I only drank my coffee black, none of that fancy stuff for me. I do not like to pollute my coffee.

One day I will be able to return to my favorite coffee shops. It has been 10 long months since I last was able to do so. How I miss thee my favorite coffee shops.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

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.

Last Day of Break-Back to Class Tuesday

This is my last day of winter break. It was nice to have several no alarm clock days, but I must admit I am looking forward to being in class again. I have not seen anyone in person since the day before break except cashiers and the one morning a friend took me to the eye specialist.

What did I accomplish? I rested A LOT, interacted with fellow bloggers, watched some movies online and most importantly spent some time with Jesus. In other words, I enjoyed the break 🙂

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But it is time to be in class again and see my students whether they are in class or in Zoom. It is also time to see my fellow teachers even if it is just waving at a window to their classroom.

My dream for this semester would be for the vaccine to work against this pandemic so that after Spring Break in March, we can all be in the classroom back to “normal.” Even if we could do so at the end of the semester. It would be wonderful to celebrate with a party in class with the moms bringing food to share like we did in previous years.

The pandemic is not over yet, so please keep praying for teachers and students and keep being kind to the teachers remembering they have no control over decisions.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Let’s Be Jesus to Others During This Pandemic

A wonderful blessing for me last year was meeting new friends even in the midst of the pandemic. God knows that I am very much a people person. Even when I travel, most of the pictures I take are of people not places.

Midway through last year, Jesus connected me with some Brazilians living in Winnipeg Canada for English lessons via Zoom. Our lesson times were some of the highlights for me week to week as I stayed home due to COVID. Jesus knows how much I love my Brazilian friends and even in the midst of the pandemic, he connected me with a few married couples in Winnipeg.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Studying online it is a bit more difficult to gage the impact meetings are having on a person. Visiting people in their homes or having them in person in my classroom is much easier to get a feel for how they are reacting.

Last Wednesday, I had my final lessons with the two couples. At the end of the second lesson, the wife started to thank me for our lesson times of the past year but burst into tears unable to communicate.

It was then that I realized what our lesson times meant to her. The shutdowns where she is living are much stricter that in my small Midwestern city. For her the shutdown experience is compounded by the fact that for her Canada is a foreign country and she has a only handful of Brazilian friends there. However, she cannot visit them in person, so she feels isolated.

As long as I am in this life, my desire is to represent Jesus to those who are suffering whatever the suffering may be.

Dear reader, let’s be the hands of Jesus in the midst of this pandemic.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Believe It Or Not- Some Things I Enjoyed about 2020

I realize it is difficult to believe anything about 2020 could have been enjoyable. It was certainly the most difficult year I can remember not just personally but for everyone.

However, there were some things I actually enjoyed that my fellow Spoonies, person living with chronic illness, will understand.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I enjoyed staying home in my comfortable hoodie and sweat pants.

I thought it was fun that I could teach online wearing a dress shirt and sweat pants or in the summer shorts and be barefoot. I had never ever taught while barefoot before.

I loved being able to take naps between classes if needed. Having 4 chronic illnesses that each has fatigue as a common symptom, naps are a blessing.

Were there any fun little aspects of 2020 you enjoyed?

Thanks for reading. God Bless.

Going from 2020 to 2021

Count me among the cynical when it comes to the holiday of New Years. In previous New Year’s Eve celebrations that I have attended, when the clock hit midnight and everyone else would go crazy, I would have one thought. This changes nothing. The problems and bills I had on December 30 will still be there January 1.

But this time seems different to me. So permit me to share a few reflections.

1st- 2020 set the bar VERY low what with the pandemic, lockdowns, social and political strife, remote learning and all.

So with the bar set so low, any improvement on those issues will make 2021 a spectacular year by comparison. 2021 does not need to do much to improve upon 2020.

HOWEVER

2nd- In the midst of all of the turmoil of 2020, God came through for me in so many different ways. He provided for me through my brothers and sisters in Jesus whether it was money, food, etc.

Personally for me 2020 was no match for Jesus in my life. I guess I could say that Jesus set the bar high as far as what I can look to him for.

Here’s the thing

No bar is too high for Jesus to go over and exceed what we hope for. 🙂

A song that meant a lot to me earlier in the year was rescue by Lauren Daigle. While I was listening to the song back in March one day, I prayed to Jesus and said- “I need you to rescue me again.” And boy did he ever!!! It makes me think of Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

I am sharing the song again today and also a post by a brother in Jesus who shared his experience with getting vaccinated for COVID. He is Pastor Chuck I met through blogger chat.

Pastor Chuck’s vaccination

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.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

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.

Music Mondays-Agnus Dei/King of Kings ft Brooke Ligertwood, Jenn Johnson and Chidima Ubah

As we come to the end of a year of trudging through life during a pandemic with all of the hardships it entailed, this week I have one main goal in mind-REFOCUS with Jesus.

Yes, a new year is coming soon, but as 2020 showed us, nothing in this life is certain.

But Jesus is the King of Kings. I love the lyrics-“in the darkness we were waiting without hope, without light, Til from heaven you came running, There was mercy in your eyes.”

This week while I have downtime my desire is to focus on Jesus. He is eternal. He has mercy in his eyes. He is hope and light.

I love this recent collaboration on Agnus Dei/King of Kings. I hope it blesses you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.