Saturday, August 3, 2013


So after quite I long absence I've moved over to:

I hope you'll head over and check it out.

Friday, December 14, 2012


it's ameera's birthday today! i'm annie and i'm taking over her blog to celebrate. ameera and i were born exactly two weeks apart, and in the six or so years we've been friends, we've always celebrated our birthdays in tandem.

ameera is overseas this year, so we're not able to celebrate in the way we've been able to in previous years. but i still want to make this a memorable birthday for her, and i want you to help! just leave a comment here with your birthday wishes or click to tweet this birthday message.

happy birthday ameera! you are one of my best friends and i am so blessed because of that. i hope you have an absolutely fabulous birthday!

ps. i don't suppose we could agree a year ahead of time to spend our 23rd birthdays in the same country at least? ;]

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Fresh Start

Remember that time I stopped blogging for over a month? And stopped tweeting? And kind of quit book club? And barely kept in contact with anyone from back home?

There is a very good explanation...I promise :)

Since I've been here in the UAE I haven't had internet at my apartment. Before school started and during the first couple of weeks I was able to do stuff from the school. However, as soon as I started teaching it became increasingly difficult to keep in touch.

So I'm asking for a fresh start. I still don't have internet in my apartment but we've been told it should happen this week.

I'll write some catch up posts in order to let you know what's been going on recently. Be looking for posts about my trip to Dubai, my Eid holiday in Oman and the joys and tribulations of being a first year teacher.

It would be impossible for me to catch up on all your posts...sorry :( It seems I've missed quite a lot in the blog world this past month. However, if anything incredibly important has happened in in your life please leave a comment with a link to a post about it.

I miss you girls so much!!!!! I can't wait to catch up with everyone.

Have a blessed Sunday :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Here, Master

Here, Master, in this quiet place, where anyone may kneel,
I also come to ask for grace believing you can heal.

If pain of body, stress of mind destroys my inward peace
In prayer for others may I find the secret of release.

If self upon its sickness feeds and turns my life to gall,
Let me not brood upon my needs but simply tell you all.

You never said “You ask too much” to any troubled soul.
I long to feel your healing touch. Will you not make me whole?

But if the thing I most desire is not your way for me,
May faith, when tested in the fire prove its integrity.

Of all my prayers let this be chief: Till faith is fully grown
Lord, disbelieve my unbelief and claim me as your own.

This is a liturgical piece from a hymnal at my alma mater. It was originally written with no music but one morning during our fellowship time at school we sang it. After hearing it the first time I went in search of the band who put music to the words but I couldn’t find it. I found out from one of my friends that someone from school probably put music to it. It saddened me not to be able to have the song on my iPod and be able to listen to it when I began to doubt. 

Just last night something, I still can’t remember what, brought this song to my mind and I did a Google search to try to find the lyrics. A video popped up and I was thrilled to see a student who graduated with me played it during his internship and put the video up on Vimeo. I’ve embedded it below for you. It’s a beautiful, moving and inspiring piece. When doubt threatens to undo me I turn to this piece to remind me of who my Father is.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Thousand Gifts: Perspective


The first chapter of Ann Voskamp’s A Thousand Gifts is a poignant set up for what I’m sure is going to be a life-altering read. Voskamp writes with such a raw, heart-breaking honesty I was moved to tears. I read this chapter during the first week of school, while experiencing a challenging transition, and it put things in perspective for me. During this week every fiber of my being wanted to quit, to give up and go home. Everything seemed too hard. Then I read about Aimee’s death. I read about Austin and Dietrich suffering from a terminal disease. I read about the Israelites wandering in the desert eating manna. 

My point of view completely shifted. I realized I was refusing to be nourished by the mystery. I wasn’t looking for God through the holes in my life. I was convicted but even more I was moved to action. I no longer want to clench my fists and say no to God. I accept the dare to live an emptier, fuller life.

“Just that maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Culture Shock: Beyond the Honeymoon

*Disclaimer- this post may seem a bit on the downer side but I wrote in an effort to be honest about the transition to living overseas.*

The honeymoon phase has worn off. I was expecting to last a bit longer than this. I was so excited to be back here and be in a culture I love and miss. Unlike many of the people here I actually am loving the desert heat. But when I woke up this morning those feelings of love and excitement had worn off.

Two days ago I found out (with 30 minutes notice) that I would be substituting for 3 periods because two of the Arabic teachers had quit. Then yesterday I found out I would be substituting for one of the fourth grade teachers because she got food poisoning the night before. It was a welcome change because the students haven't been tested for ESL so I haven't had any students so far this week. But after two days of teaching students I didn't know without any lesson plans I'm a bit worn down.

I didn't have a desire to get out of bed this morning. I want to talk to my family. I miss my friends. The time difference is getting to me. My frustration with the administration hit a breaking point yesterday. Things are different than Oman.

I had a really bad an awful attitude this morning (despite the fact that I'm reading A Thousand Gifts for book club tomorrow).

Then all of my training came flooding back to me. Culture shock is part of daily warfare. Everyday, I need to suit up and shield myself against the flaming arrows coming in the form homesickness, housing frustration and tiring days.

My Father is using this to form me and shape me. He is using this to strengthen my armor, to help me rely more on Him.

He is begging me to surrender. His desire is for me to cling to His grace.

It's hard and I'm not enjoying it.

But daily conversations with Abba are helping. Time in His precious Word is encouraging. I know He'll walk through this with me. I know He'll bring me out of this. I know He is all I need.

Sometimes it's hard to live that way.

Right now it's really hard.

Tomorrow, I'll share how chapter one of A Thousand Gifts has made it a bit easier.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Decorated Classroom (Sort Of)

Yesterday was the first day of school (yes our work week is Sunday to Thursday) and my classroom was sort of ready. Lucky for me I didn't have any students yesterday because the students haven't been tested or evaluated yet. Which means I got to spend a lot of time observing and catching up on work that I've been ignoring for the past few days due to the busyness of school. So here are some pictures (not great quality) of my (partially) decorated classroom. Let me know what you think!

An introductory SMARTBoard presentation...not finished yet

The bulletin board

I'm doing an international themed classroom...this is as many languages as I could figure out :)

Urdu and French

English, Italian, Spanish, German, Arabic 

Ukrainian and Hindi

What will eventually be the multimedia corner

Teacher Desk 2.0

My library

Our class rules

Class Library

Our reading corner

The full bulletin board

Where my superstar students will have their work displayed

Grammar corner :)

My very first official classroom

I haven't figured out how to get rid of the glare from the pictures. Any expert photographers out there who know how to fix it so my pictures have better quality, I would love some advice!