thanksgiving in k-town.

posted on: Monday, December 1, 2014

(just so you know we had all the fixins.) 

thanksgiving was pretty perfect as it could be being far from family. 
but we have family here too. and they make far feel like home. 

you'll forget your troubles

posted on: Saturday, November 15, 2014


the good life.

posted on: Wednesday, November 5, 2014




time is flying. we are wrapping up quarter 1 at school. it is so much work but i'm still loving it. sometimes dealing with the staff is harder than dealing with the kids or the workload. there is an exhaustion caused by others complaining. sometimes i hide from the teachers i know will be spitting it out. sometimes i try to encourage the ones who drive me nuts.
i had my first formal observation last week. as well as my first felt so sick i couldn't function week. my first sand storm. and my first field trip. we went to the grand mosque. unfortunately, i was too busy to take pictures. take my word for it, the tiles were incredibly beautiful.
on the first day of my observation my kids were brilliant. the second, beastly. i was sure i would get marked down. but turns out i scored a lot higher than i was expecting. praise. 
last weekend we found out that some of our friends here may have different plans for the future. but there are a lot of maybes and nothing sure. i think culture-shock has been setting in. especially for mr j. and it can feel like a lot of big things at once. 
i really don't know how long it takes to get fully adjusted. what does fully adjusted even mean?
i am officially a resident. i have to get more blood drawn, send in a paper, and i will have a civil ID. we are so close to having a car. which i know will make life seem a little more of our own. 
because j doesn't have his id yet he has to leave and re-enter the country. more reason to celebrate our two years in dubai. 

i have been praying for a greater boldness. i want to be brave. i don't want fear ever to hold me back. whether it is as a teacher, lover, friend. or even just as a soul. living. being. i want to live a full life. 

///
i wrote ^ sometime last week. and on thursday, i was a little braver. i prayed that i would see God move tangibly and i did. long story short, someone was hurt and after i prayed their pain went away.
i'm not sure why every person who gets prayed for doesn't get physically healed, but if i knew that answer i'd probably make the big bucks. i'll just stick with giving God the glory, whatever life looks like.

yesterday we celebrated our two years with a day spent at school. it ended with cheesecake and gilmore girls so i'm happy. yes, i am a happy wife because my husband watches gilmore girls re-runs with me.  tomorrow as soon as the bell rings, and admin approves mr to leave (dang report cards) we are headed to dubai for the weekend. i feel so bougie traveling for the weekend. but i'll take it.

the load that comes with teaching has seemed a lot lighter this last week. i think i am finally in the flow of things. and keeping positive which i think helps everything.

 it's a really interesting situation though working at our school. every morning at the elem assembly they cross their tiny arms and read from the q. their teachers walk the line and check their stance. "like little prisoners" someone noted. every morning i walk into this heaviness with a knot in my throat. i don't have it in me to make them join in. i can't. no matter how good my morning has been for the minute or so they sing, i am so sad. sometimes i'm not sure how to face this part of the day with love and honor. but i do my best. light in the darkness. joy in the mourning. peace in the heaviness.

i deeply miss my family and friends. sometimes i ache just for a hug from them. but i know this is a good thing. and we're in a good and healthy place.
minus the cool ranch dorritos and gilmore addictions.

and i just keep reminding myself to be eternally minded. that this life is just the beginning. heaven seems a little sweeter everyday.




posted on: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

last week i forced myself to stay in bed until 9am. vacay + rest is beautiful. 
but it really makes waking up at 430 impossible. 
and yet, it's 10:11 on a tuesday and i'm not sleeping? 
since our mode of transportation ended the week before eid we've started carpooling.
we leave at 5:30. 
i am so sleepy every minute of every day of this week.
but despite it, every morning i get this new strength when i see my littles. 
when i arrived after their arabic class today they greeted me with hugs and laughter.
i get to love on these kids. 
even if that means half my class loses recess. 
spare the discipline punish thy self. or something like that. 
everyday we talk about being world changers. how learning is in every part of being.
it is so fun pouring courage into them. 
it is also really exhausting. :)
tonight we had a b i b l e study with some teachers from our school. 
it's encouraging to be surrounded by like-hearted people. 
we talked about loving our neighbors. loving all peoples. 
and in order for me to do that fully, i must sleep.
goodnight.
-j

.

posted on: Saturday, October 4, 2014

yesterday marked four years of dating. this next month will mark two years of marriage. while we did talk of marriage on our first official date, three years after being best friends, i couldn't have told you, even imagined, that we'd be spending our days in the ME. but here we are, and i am so happy.

living overseas is a wild and calm lifestyle. this article sums it up pretty well.

we have been in the ME for 49 solid days. we have been working for 7 weeks, teaching for 4. this week many muslims will be celebrating eid which means a week off from work for us! yippeee! we also got our first paycheck which makes life a little easier. we are still waiting on residency and bank accounts and then we will get to buy a car. until then we have our taxi man and friends who help a ton. we have friends with 3 littles who takes us along to the sultan center. j takes the boys up stairs to grab a latte (and chocolate"crappacinos") and i explore with the little lady and reward her with a treat while their mom or dad loads up. saturdays (once or twice a month) also mean mani/pedis (for half the price). while j may have joined in the states on occasion, he can't do that here...unless he goes to a male only saloon. no thanks. hah

community is everything here. it is a part of the culture, one part that i really really love. sometimes life in the states feels so rushed. even though we still have (very) full-time jobs here there is so much space to know and be known by others. tonight we have a family night at cheesecake factory off gulf road (aka on the water). i mean... you know, we have it really tough.

it does get hard knowing loved ones are so far away. whatsapp and the internet do help, but i know when june rolls around i'm going to melt in the hugs and company of family+friends.
there are a ton of things i miss about the states, target...trader joes... i'll give you a full list eventually, but i am learning to love and appreciate my life here. we are one tree away from a fully decorated little home. we will share our little house with you soon. we are in to the swing of things as teachers. we love our community and the way they live out their lives fully and sure. we love the stories that come weekly of lives encountering truth and healing and love. this is the good life, i'm sure of it.

ps. we're going to egypt over christmas break. i mean, thanks Lord.

find ways

posted on: Friday, September 26, 2014



a month back i took a 2 day trip to bahrain where i had the chance to explore the grand masque. it was a chilling experience. hijab+abaya. our tour guide was loving and gentle. i think there needs be space to love and honor those who you disagree with. i mean how could we share life otherwise?





video




encounter others with love
extend grace a little further
find ways to love those we don't understand
spend a day in their shoes (...or clothes;))