My Favorite Things

It has been a crazy transition back to Lebanon. This post is going to very quickly and visually show you our lives, and I am going to share a few of my favorite things right now that are helping us master our lives!

This post does contain affiliate links, which will make it super fun if you purchase any of the things through this page because I will get a percentage with no extra cost to you!

We came back to Lebanon and found out that Kyrie Rebekah is allergic to sesame seeds.

However, after removing sesame seeds from her diet, she was still having tummy trouble. So, we took her to the doctor and they recommended getting blood and stool tests. Stress and sadness began to enter our lives, until I went to church on Sunday and a woman was talking to me about her newfound allergy, and says to me, “Make sure she doesn’t have any tahini. That’s sesame seed paste.”

Tahini!

The light bulbs started going on in my brain! Hummus is made with chickpeas and tahini, and in my desire to keep Kyrie eating, I had bought her a tub of hummus. No, I am not going to put an affiliate link for hummus here because there is no way it would taste as good as hummus from the Middle East. If you want good hummus, you will just have to visit us!

With that discovery, Kyrie has been fine, and all is well. Full health has returned to her, and she no longer feels sick.

Praise the Lord!

What are my favorite things to get through this time of stress?

My daily devotional which I have been reading all year, and think is amazing!

The devotional I have been using all year is the Moravian Daily Text for 2017. I mentioned this in a previous post sharing how my desire to Belong in my own skin has included searching into my heritage of being Moravian. Moravians were the founders of 24/7 prayer, and forged the way in so many missions movements. Each day has a verse from the Old Testament and New Testament along with a selection from a hymn for each verse. The text for the day ends with a prayer. It is encouraging to know there are so many others reading that same text and praying that prayer along with me every single day. I am so encouraged, and strive to do as Bonhoeffer asked his seminary students at Finkenwalde, to refuse to rise from the reading until my heart has shifted toward God.

Bath & Body Works, Signature Collection Body Lotion, Dark Kiss, 8 Ounce I love having a lotion that can make me feel calm and beautiful. This lotion is my favorite in the whole world! If you click through to buy you will make it even more my favorite because I will make a small amount of money and also will know that someone will be feeling as good as I feel when I use this lotion. Do yourself a favor and get some Dark Kiss, it is amazing!

This next fun item, I have never seen in America, and I am so excited to share it because all of my friends back home can have a taste of Lebanon in America because of Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial“>Amazon!

Lion Bars are our go to grocery store treat. When we take the kids shopping we all get one small treat for getting through the ordeal. If you haven’t taken our grocery store challenge to learn how to shop like you live in Lebanon, go put it on your calendar now. And if you just want a candy we commonly eat, go ahead and try Lion Bars.

Finally, I will end with a treat that we have never seen here until now. Tension Tamer is my all time favorite tea from Celestial Seasonings. When Louis and I went on the tour through the Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, the tour guide tried to stump the group by asking, “Which tea has hops?” I knew right away, and also the other strange ingredients that make up my favorite tea. If you haven’t had this amazing, unique blend, try it today. It truly does tame my tension.

Thus ends my post meant to bring a smile to your face, reassurance that we are all alive and well, and give you a taste for our lives here figuratively as well as literally.

And one final word about Amazon. I love Amazon. Being able to ship things to our families and friends for birthdays and holidays with no shipping costs because of Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial“>Amazon Prime has been a lifesaver for us. Now the video and book services have made it even a better deal. So, yes, if you get Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial“>Prime or any of these other fun items from this funny post, I will make a tiny bit, but also it is so worth it.

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Goals for 2017


Goals for 2017

1: Read 52 Books. Aka Read 1 Book Each Week

2: Read the entire Bible.

3: Consistency in Blogging, Homeschool, Arabic, and Home Life

4: Lose 50 lbs and be able to do 10 Real Pushups

These ended up being my 4 big goals. They were really under construction through March.

As I shared in my post about my ongoing habit progress, I am just getting to the point of being able to verbalize what has been going on over the first half of 2017. I wanted to share my goals even though it is “late” by regular seasonal standards because I know there are many of you out there who never got around to setting goals for the year or for reasons only you know have given up on your goals.

I did give up on my first run of goals. In December when Kyrie was healed and had a complete transformation into a joyful, energetic little girl, I knew that my goals were obsolete. And 2017 hadn’t even started! I have taken the first 5 months of this year to get to know this new little girl, and to see what life has to offer now that we are out from under the pressure of waiting on surgery.

RESEARCH

I ended up realizing that there were projects and events which were going to make up a large part of my year. I could not determine measurable goals for these categories, so instead I just decided to spend some time this year on vague ideas.

To make goals that would be achievable if I lived in the same place and could maintain a routine is ideal, but not reality. Instead I needed to be realistic about there being projects I needed to research, which couldn’t really count toward a book goal, even if I may read some books, other pieces would be articles, documentaries I could watch, discussion, experience, etc. So I did not raise my book goal. I also just couldn’t come up with a way to make a generic research goal, so I wrote down the topics I knew I want to research and know I will be adding to this list.

EVENTS

There are also many huge events that have made up the first half of the year and which are coming up. So, I took about half of my Goals for 2017 page to list big events.

Already completed:

Davy’s 4th Birthday Party (was extended into our America trip from November.)

Trip to America (January)

Move to Sin el Fil (a different city closer to Louis’ work)

Horizons Eastern Staff Summit

Kyrie’s 2nd Birthday / Healing Celebration

Louis Job Promotion

Visa Trip to Greece

Engaging Islam Institute Beirut (Currently Going On)

Adding an extra Weekly Session of Arabic

Coming Up:

Garden Show

America Partnership Development Trip June—August (CLICK HERE if you are in or around Arizona and want to meet with me personally to hear about Lebanon)

Davy’s 5th Birthday

Davy starting KG2

Kyrie starting daycare

Starting my Master’s program through Rutgers

Our Last Visa Trip of 2017 sometime in October

Adding an extra Weekly Session of Arabic

Can You Help Me Plug In?

The past few months I have been Unplugged in the best sense of the word. God has given me direction and purpose, and I am making leaps and bounds of progress in discipline, mothering, marriage, and inner peace and healing.

Some of you have seen our Give Forward page to raise money for Kyrie Rebekah’s surgery this coming December. We have been in a soft launch phase because I am not great with technology and I wanted to make sure I knew how everything worked before I spent a lot of time pushing the fundraiser. Well, now we are ready to launch an all out fundraiser for my wonderful daughter!

Kyrie Surgery Fundraiser Main Picture

Will you join me?

As I plug back in to the technological world of social media, blogging, and email newsletters, will you join me to make this fundraiser a success?

First, and most importantly, I need prayer warriors who can get on their knees and seek God.

I will be posting prayer updates each week with a short prayer for you to say for Kyrie and all of us as we come back to the States for this surgery.

We need prayer for things like ease of transition traveling to the States and back, for the dates to work well with Davy’s first year of school, family time that can be deep and loving rather than distracted by the surgery, and of course no complications.

If you are willing to join our prayer team, please CLICK HERE! You will receive a specific update to your email address every time I post a prayer request. If you already receive the Mommy Book Blog in your inbox, you are already signed up!

Feet on the Street

The next thing we need is for people in the States to help us out with sharing the need. We are creating a bulletin insert sized pamphlet, a poster, and prayer cards. We would love to send you a packet to distribute. If you are interested in distributing a packet or organizing a fundraiser for us please hit reply or leave a message. You can also join our facebook group to connect with us and combine prayers for Kyrie.

Finally, we need about $5,500 more into our Give Forward fund. If you can give even a few dollars to help us out, CLICK HERE.

Our family has been so blessed over the years to be surrounded by such a great team of loving support and we know that you are going to help make this an easy and peaceful time. We are going to be able to solve an issue before it can ever become a problem for our little girl, and you are already helping us by thinking about us and praying for us. Thank you so much!

Why I Unplugged for Two Months!

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Besides the 1 Samuel Blog Bible Study, I haven’t posted since June 16th! That post was about the amazing book I read 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by one of my favorite bloggers, Crystal Paine. So, why did I stop posting anything but Bible? I took the past two months to cleanse my brain and focus my energy into preparing for a new season of discipline. A Life edit as prescribed on day 15 of the 21 Days. It was lifegiving to simplify my life in this way.

When we began the summer, Louis and I sat down with the calendar and looked at the whole summer. We knew it was going to be hard with teams to organize, interns coming, preparing to send Davy to school, and visa trips. We would sit again at the beginning of each month to plan out the month. We felt prepared at the end of each of those meetings together. But then almost every week I was past done. I was frustrated with my feeling of weakness. I felt wiped out. I wanted to quit.

I can’t make it! I would shout to the heavens.

I wanted to take back all of that planning we had done. I wanted to give up on nearly every responsibility and relationship I have going in my life right now. I just couldn’t live up to it all!

Simultaneously, I felt God calling me deeper with Him, into waters that would involve even more discipline. “God, don’t You see how I am failing at this discipline thing? How can you expect me to do what You are telling me to do? I can’t even do the simplest part of this plan!” I exclaimed. I felt like I was falling on my face before Him, being vulnerable, giving Him my weakness.

His response was not what I expected.

I didn’t receive an “Oh, my poor little princess, you are right, you are overworked. It’s okay, you don’t have to do what I asked.”

Nope.

Instead, I heard God say, “Child, you are a Princess. You are an heir to my kingdom. That means there is work to be done. I am here with you, and I will equip you.” Words that I have heard many people share in testimonies for years. Words that have always sounded good when they were for someone else. But to hear them meant for me… Well, now they were real words. And I didn’t like them. I didn’t want God to step in beside me and help me out. I didn’t want to keep going. I wanted to stop and rest and have bonbons! (Still don’t know what a bonbon is, but isn’t that the highlight of being a stay at home mom?!) God coming and giving me strength meant I had to keep going. Like the Israelites complaining about food and water, it turned out the food and water wasn’t what I wanted.

I wanted an excuse to return to everything being exactly the same every day, even if it meant I was a slave.

Well, realizing something like that about myself made me want to change my heart, so I have taken the last two months to adjust my attitude. I was convicted. So I stopped and had a heart restart. I have gone through the steps from the 21 More Days to a Disciplined Life ebook several times, and one of the sessions I made my goal a new attitude, then taking a page from One More Step (book review coming) and life with Louis Liss, I prayed even bigger. I prayed for happiness. Happiness in the midst of the chaos and weakness and failure. It was a big prayer, but if God is going to get me through the giant tasks He is calling me into, I believe He can heal this other part of me that refuses to be happy, too.

Even with a clean house, well-behaved kids, and my husband doing everything I ask, I will NOT have PEACE if I am not doing what God has called me to do.

I return to this blog a new person. I have had reconciliation, purpose, and happiness reignited in my life. Actually the happiness part might be brand new in my life since childhood! So, I am happy to share with you that I am moving forward renewed!

This last picture is a selfie we took on our most recent visa trip. It captures us in this season, imperfect, but happy to be a family surrounded by God’s work (in this picture the ocean, which Kyrie couldn’t look away from for every selfie we tried). Happy to have wonderful people like you out there who pray for us and love us. Happy to be on God’s path, the safest and most secure path available.

Look forward to some new posts coming in the weeks ahead. Posts about life in Lebanon, how the summer has gone, parenting, books I have been reading, and more! PLUS, join us in our fundraiser for Kyrie’s surgery in December.