Friday, September 28, 2007

A knock knock joke that I heard

I don't know - I just thought I would try a little knock knock joke just for fun reading...

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Bat who?
Bat you don't know who this is!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Treasured Gift from God

I haven't written for a long time - this is true. Life is soooo full and it is amazing how I say to myself, "Write today!" And I don't. A bit of laziness on my part, a bit of cowardness, a bit of self conscientiousness, and a lot of - what do I write?

But, today, I read my sister's blog - she is an awesome writer, mom, wife, sister, daughter, and everything else - (it is hard to follow that act!) - and I cried, because I remember really, really, really how blessed I am.

I have family members who haven't talked to other family members for years - and I would venture a guess, that those members have no idea why they don't talk anymore.... but the waste of such hard hearts toward each other and the resentment that is harbored in hearts... why, it is sinful! Full of murder - murder of the rich relationships and the loving memories that could have been....

I am blessed, however, to have a family member that enriches my life incredibly and makes me burst with pride. Not only is my sister beautiful on the outside, but she is full of love and compassion. Is generous. Enjoys life. Loves the Lord, her husband, her children, and those around her with great passion, and blows me away with her mature insight into the human pysche.

When I was 10, I prayed for a sister. I had three brothers. I was the oldest. Everyone around me had a sister it seemed but me. I longed for a sister with all my soul. I would cry at night, asking God why I didn't have a sister. I begged him for one - probably made a deal with him, too, for one. Until... when I turned 14, my mother announced that at 42 years old, she was going to have a baby! Her youngest was eight! Not a "whoops" baby - but a prayed for baby by the sister who coveted such a gift from the Lord. And I got that gift. It has been my greatest gift (other than my salvation) from God or anyone else! And like every gift that is a treasure, I hope that I have taken care of this gift with my love and attention and care.

Today I read my sister's blog, then, and I am reminded of this gift I got so long ago and realize that this is the gift that keeps on giving. She gives me joy and pride and gratitude that she is my gift from the Lord - and she has grown into an amazing mother and wife and woman that loves the Lord and ALL OF HIS CHILDREN that she comes into contact with.

I know I am rambling - but imagine if I was not talking to this family member - what a slap in the face the Lord would experience - after giving me this incredible gift. I just throw it back at him and say, "She is not worthy of my time or love." How dare I?

So - I know, I can truly say to God: God, I am blessed.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Survivor - the real reality

Alright. I had spring break last week and I came home to spend time with my nieces and nephews. I had this ideal idea that it would be really great (and easy) to have slumber parties with all of my nieces and nephews. Like... I work with 5th through 8th graders. I mean, this is a breeze. And my sister has four little ones - and being the older sister - I taught her everything she does with her little ones.... heehee.... and she is a great mom. So, yes, this is going to be a breeze.

Tuesday night (of course AFTER American Idol) I went to my sister's to have a slumber party with her four. Actually it ended up being only three - as Olie is too little and too much of a distraction to handle the sleeping-bag-in-the-living-room-on-the-hard-floor-and-let's-watch-a-movie-until(thankfully)-all-little-ones-under-eight-fall-asleep-and-then-the-adults-can-leave-and-sleep-in-a-comfortable-bed party. Cool! So, Noah found his spot in the living room, Isabel found hers, Maja jocked for her spot, I found a spot, and even Momma (seven months pregnant) found her spot on the HARD floor. Blankets were all over the place, pillows by feets, under heads, and (especially) under my hips. Did I mention the floor was hard? So, popped in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Watched for awhile. The kids were pretty quiet remarkably until Noah asked for popcorn. No, there's no popcorn. Soon, I looked longingly at the cushy sofa - thinking - am I going to survive this night? Yes. Buck up, Michelle! So, I fell asleep. Later, I woke up sore and aching from the HARD floor - yes, there was carpet, but must have had no carpet pad..... anyway, I noticed then that the pregnant lady had taken the sofa! Alright! If I wasn't so tired and sore, I would have wrestled that fat pregnant lady off that cushy couch and slept there....

The next morning - and several tylenol tablets later, I realized I woke up with Charlie and Chocolate Factory still playing! "Maja, did that movie play all night?" Eeekkkk!

Continued tomorrow when seven month old Zoe comes to slumber with Aunt Shell...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

TeAcher Quote

Quote of the day for those teachers out there! (Includes home school moms)

Teaching is 1/4 inspiration and 3/4 theater.

Phew! Good thing my inspiration comes from God and the drama part comes from my dysfunctional family unit!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Muslim Students Whom God Loves

I am a teacher.

I have taught eight years in a private Christian school. During these years of teaching, I had awesome students (for the most part) who loved the Lord and were committed to academic excellence. These students were supported in their faith and schooling excellence by parents who gave big dollar amount for a Christian education - wanting the Word and the Christian character to be taught and encouraged in the classroom alongside the three R's: Reading, riting, and rithmetic. Even though I dealt with some behavior problems, had long hours of planning and correcting, and overcommited myself to after school activities like speech meet, drama club, and yearbook - I look back now and think I had it easy. The classroom and hallway environments were full of the Spirit of the Lord. Prayer was rampant in the classrooms and my English lessons incorporated many Christian principles. Trials? They consisted of students who didn't get his work in and the frustrations that go with that .... Tribulations? Maybe a slight disagreement with a colleague on how to grade a particular project.... Persecution? Ummm... not really....

I now teach at a charter school in the inner city whose population is primarily 80% Somalian. Thse students have parents who were war refuges - and have been displaced in the world. They have traveled through many countries and struggled through much hardship to get to the land of opportunity: America. Many of my students take ESL classes: English as a Second Language. Many are below grade level. Many find writing and reading English hard. Many come from homes where I and my friends would find the beliefs antiquated: Women are second class citizens, boys and men are looked at as the favored ones in the household, etc. And many of them are of the Muslim faith....

Eek! Muslim? I have many friends question why I would as a Christian want to teach Muslim students. "Doesn't your spirit war with their spirits?" "How do you stay true to your Christian beliefs if you must support them in their Muslim customs and beliefs?" "Your brother is fighting against people like your students - why, a Muslim could kill your brother... and you support that!?" "Aren't Muslims getting an education here in the states so that they can learn the American customs and later use that knowledge to kill Americans?" "Are some of your students suicide bombers?" "Muslims hate Christians - do they know you are a Christian?"

Lots of questions. Here's what I know: I have never been more challenged in my faith as a Christian than this year teaching in a school of primarily Muslim children. I have grown and, hopefully can say I have gotten stronger in my Christian walk. I have a greater love and appreciation for my Lord Jesus Christ - seeing the differences between the Muslim faith of blame and works and the Christian faith of love and forgiveness (and grace). I have seen the power of Christ and noticed the lack of power in the dead Mohammad. But most importantly, I have seen the opportunities that God has given me to speak about my faith in a non threatening, non confrontive, trusting way. I have developed a relationship of trust with my students - and so when I have a student say to me one day, "Miss Jacobs, we are studying the human body and its limitations. How on earth did your Jesus ever hang on a cross for hours and hours?" Yes! What a great opening... and going from that question to "Why would your Jesus ever want to put Himself through that much pain and suffering?" Well, let me tell you why...... (could I get a better opening to share the gospel?)............

I had a great time at my private Christian school because it was a great bunch of kids that knew they were loved by God and lived their lives knowing that. I will never regret those years and I count them all joy...

But, too, I am having a great time at my charter school because it has a great bunch of kids who are loved by God and He wants me to share Him with them - what an honor, what a priviledge, what a challenge! I look into big brown eyes and see what God sees in them: His children. And I imagine them living and then dying and not knowing the One who created them and loved them - being separated for all eternity.... and it breaks my heart. (Can't even imagine what it does to God's heart. I shudder at the thought.)

Pray for me - those who understand the compassion and love Jesus Christ has for the lost souls of the Muslim nation. Today at school, because of the priviledge I am given, I say, "Thanks, God. I am blessed."

Monday, March 20, 2006

How Awesome is That?

Yesterday, I got a great email from my brother who is 38 and serving in Iraq. He has been there for 2 weeks. When he is in the states he lives with his beautiful wife Christine and two gorgeous daughters, Jessica (5) and Baylee (almost 3). (Jessi looks like me!) And since they live four hours away, I see them maybe once a month. They are a phone call away, but I may call or I may not. Either way, I know that they are in the states, they are relatively safe. I don't worry. If I don't hear or see them for a long period of time, I know in the back of my mind, I will see them soon - just like the rest of my family. Yes, as we all do, it is taken much for granted that we will see our loved ones the next week, the next month, even the next day.

Now, I have finally heard from my brother after only two weeks away but 2000 miles away, and I think... "I miss him." I receive a great email from my brother - about 10 words in cryptic code - and think about where he is and what he is doing. And I cry. And I worry. And I think. And most of all I pray.... because I know that my brother's safety and his livelihood is truly in God's hands. It says we do not know the hour nor the time that He will call each one of us home. Even as a Christian we are not guaranteed that we won't have trials, tribulations, sorrows, hurts, misunderstandings, etc., - in fact, we are to carry our cross and follow him - and we will be persecuted and put to the test. And to top it off - all that happens to us we are to count it great joy!

I pray that my brother will come home safe and whole and that the experiences he receives while serving his country for my freedom and the Iraqis freedoms will make him become an even greater and stronger man than he is now - one full of compassion and love for the more unfortunate. (Remember the beatitudes?) That throughout his service, he will be a blessing to those that he serves, whether his army buddies or the Iraqis (And don't let the media fool you! There are millions of Iraqis who are beyond grateful to have the American troops on their soil liberating and helping them build up a new nation). And I know through my faithfulness to pray for my brother and others in the same situation, I become a stronger and greater woman of God. And... the cool thing is.... God calls us to pray! We have the power to move God's heart through our prayers! Like, how awesome is that? So, through my prayer, I say, Thanks, God! I am blessed!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

American Idol 40 +

I watched American Idol last night. Yes, I must admit that I am a fan. I don't know why. I really don't listen to pop culture music, I don't really like the judges much, I'm not a fan of the name "Ryan" (now, even more so), and most times the singers are wearing less than I wear at bed time. And the word IDOL stirs up some bad connotations.... Sooo..... I think I watch because I remember the times I stood in front of the bathroom mirror with my toothbrush in hand, belting out "My Country Tis of Thee" - and imagining the cheers and ooohs and aahs that a great performer like me is receiving at the great Kennedy Center. (Never the Grand Ole Opry because I only saw performers with gingham on, and, really gingham never looked good on me. We won't discuss the Dolly Pardonness dresses.) And, how after I sang, I would sign autographs and everyone wanted to be like me. And, because this was my imagination during the tough junior high years full of self-doubt, confusion, and a face full of acne, I would think about my five year high school reunion. And imagine seeing the jealousy highlighted on the face of the classmate who use to make fun of me unmercilessly - who was now 20 pounds overweight, had five children, two exhusbands, and a premier job at Walmart's shoe department. And I would graciously give her an autograph and say, "Daaarrrlinnnngggg." And then turn away and go on with my most glamous life. I would imagine all this as I started my next song entitled "Home on the Range" or a great classic "the Star-Spangled Banner". I would shake, rattle, and roll in front of that bathroom mirror, waving the toothbrush as my microphone, hearing the roar of the applause in my head..... until..... the banging on the locked bathroom door interupts the concert of a lifetime.... not an announcer, but my brother yelling, "What are you doing?! Let me in! I have to go!"

Bummer about houses with only one bathroom and five kids.... Never got much further in my singing career than the bathroom mirror. But, I do play a mean radio AND I have a beautiful voice in the shower. So, while I watch American Idol, I see myself somewhere in one of them. Wishing I was 20 years younger, having a much better voice, and a more gracious reason why I would want to be an American Idol than as a revenge factor, I enjoy watching.... imagining.... planning.... thinking.... Ummm, Do you think maybe there would be American Idol 40+?

Wouldn't that be cool? I could say on TV, after I have won the title of American Idol 40+, "Wow! Thanks, God! I am blessed!"