Inspirational Sunday

This is such a beautiful song! Boy have there been times when I didn't think I'd make it, but He carried me through. Thank You Jesus!


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Man-ificent Monday: Michael B. Jordan

With the release of George Lucas's Red Tails (a movie that I would love to see, but unfortunately it isn't out here in Abu least not yet), I decided to feature a cutie pie from the movie. Michael B. Jordan plays Maurice 'Bumps' Wilson in Red Tails. He's also known for his roles in The Wire, All My Children, Friday Night Lights, and Parenthood. Can I just say that he has a gorgeous smile? His teeth practically sparkle!

Word(s) To Describe: Adorable!


Inspirational Sunday

Have you ever wondered if you were making any headway in your obedience to God? He'd given you a task, you obediently took it (although it seemed so daunting) and now, it just doesn't seem like anything's happening. You'd asked God for a sign to let you know you were doing something right, but it doesn't seem like He hears you.

Yeah. I've felt that way...many times. I've felt that way just this past trimester. I knew God had sent me here to Abu Dhabi. I knew - for reasons only He knows - He put me in this specific class to teach these specific 3/4 year olds English, despite the fact that I haven't worked with kids that small in a classroom setting (I tend to avoid preschool aged kids). I must admit. I didn't want to. I prayed so hard for Him to put me with the older kids (a prayer I'm now glad He said no to). There were times when I struggled. Especially the times when I was left alone with 25+ preschoolers who didn't understand a word I was saying and who looked at me like I was an alien (which, I may as well have been since I was speaking an "alien" language). At the beginning, most were shy towards me and hardly ever talked. It was hard. And draining. And I wondered if I should give up and go home. I mean, I tried, right? But something within me - the Holy Spirit - kept me going. I kept asking God if I was doing it right. Was I reaching the kids? Did they feel His love through me?

I got my answer after our three-week break. When my kids saw me, they swarmed me with hugs as if - dare I say it - they missed me. They called out my name, snuggled their chubby faces in my neck, and grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go. At the end of the day, they eagerly waved bye to me, calling out my name from across the room (repeatedly, if I didn't answer right away), just to get my attention. This, my friends, is now an everyday occurrence. Even my shyest little angels make an effort to show me love. And OMG, their hugs! Man, but they make day! They spread their arms as wide as they could & squeeze. They race to see who would grab my hand first, like they want the privilege of holding Ms. Raenice's hand. I even got a sweet kiss on the cheek. One of my students, who never went for hugs last trimester, can't seem to get enough this trimester. He smiles at me everyday and sometimes, he's one of the first ones to grab my hand. And I just LOVE when they are so excited about showing me their work. "Ms. Raenice, shoofi!" Ahh, the joys of teaching.

I asked and God answered. Yes, they can feel His love shining brightly through me. Yes, I'm doing something right...reaching the children, despite the language barrier. Yes, I'm making some headway in this journey. They know Ms. Raenice is not like other people they've met, and I'd like to think it's cos of God's love. His love is what's drawing them to me. It's funny cos I've asked God to let His light shine through me so bright, that it draws His babies to me...and that's exactly what He's doing. God has given me the tools I need to succeed, even when it looks like I wouldn't. He's right here with me.

This trimester, I have a second class to teach. I still have my original babies, but now, I have double the chance to spread His love. I feel like I'm starting all over with these students. Some of them are shy and trying to feel me out. And yes, it's draining. But I believe just as God has used me to make an impact on my first group of babies, He will do the same with my second group. It's funny watching my first group look at kids in my second group with that "Who are you and what are you doing with my Ms. Raenice" look. And my second group looks at me like, "Who is this woman and why are they so into her." These kids have truly stolen my heart.

If you've been obedient to God, and it doesn't seem like you're going anywhere, I've got to tell you...KEEP GOING. You're obedience alone is moving you forward. If you give up, you'll miss the treasure God has in store for you. If you give up, you'll never see God's mighty power work through you. If you give up, you'll never be able to do some awesome things through God who gives you strength. His children has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, who's with us, leading and guiding us. When we need that push, the Holy Spirit will whisper, "Keep going." And every so often, God may send you a little...sign to let you know that, yes, you are doing something right. There is nothing like walking in His will for you. It's an amazing thing!


Tickle-Me Tuesday




Man-ificent Monday: Sendhil Ramamurthy

You may or may not recognize this week's cutie pie's name, but if you were a Heroes' fan like I was, you'd recognize his face. Sendhil Ramamurthy played Mohinder Suresh, a geneticist searching for the truth behind his father's death. You can see him every once in a while on the USA network's Covert Affairs as Jai Wilcox. He was also seen on a recent episode of CSI Miami.

Word(s) to Describe: Yummy!


Inspirational Sunday

"Look, God is greater than we can understand...We can't even imagine the greatness of his power."
Job 36:26; 37:5b

Rae's Thought: Try as you might, you will never be able to imagine the total greatness of God. No one will. Even the smartest, most brilliant minds won't be able to imagine His vastness. The truth is, God is way bigger than our human minds can think of. He's immeasurable. There isn't even a word in our vocabulary to describe how big He is. Big, huge, even ginormous don't even come close.

A few years ago, Louie Giglio, pastor and founder of the Passion Movement, spoke on God's vastness. In his DVD, How Great is Our God - a MUST see, by the way - he names a few of our universe's large stars. The largest star, VY Canis Majoris, is so large, it would take about 70 quadrillion (70,000,000,000,000,000) Earths to fill it up. And that's just the largest known star. Can you imagine something that big? Yet, God is bigger than that. I mean, He's the one who created the VY Canis Majoris along with our universe.

Mind-boggling isn't it?

When we try to fit God into the mold we made, we box Him in, making Him small. This god, the boxed-in god, is limited. He can only do what our minds allow him to do. But God, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob...Father of Jesus...creator of God is bigger than the largest star in the universe. And He's limitless. I don't know about you, but I enjoy worshipping a God whose vastness boggles the mind; One who I can't figure out and when I think I've figured Him out, He does something to prove me wrong; One who's vastness is unimaginable. This God, the One I serve, is capable of handling my biggest problems. This God, the One I serve, can take care of the world 24/7 without growing tired. This God, the One I serve, can send His Son to die for the sins of the man and raise His Son from the dead, defeating both death and Satan in a single bound. This God, the One I serve, is able "through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). That's the kind of God I serve.

I think it's about time we stop trying to figure God out and just let Him be God. Don't you?


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Man-ificent Monday: Arian Foster

The first Man-ificent Monday post is in honor of my football team, the Houston Texans, making it to the playoffs and having an awesome season. Arian Foster is a running back for the Texans, a team he's been with since 2009. He previously played football at the University of Tennessee. Arian Foster happens to be one of the best in the NFL...and MY team has him. How cool is that? The question Houston Texans fans have is: Can Arian Foster and the Houston Texans go all the way to the Superbowl? I have faith in my team, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say...YES!

Word(s) To Describe: Cutie Pie


Looking Back...Moving Forward

Happy New Year!

Can't believe 2012 is already here. 2011 passed by so quickly to me.

Looking Back

This time last year, I was struggling financially, trying to figure out if I should keep subbing or not, and having to move out of my beloved town home after the lease was up. I remember asking God what the theme for 2011 should be and Him telling me "Change." He told me I'd be going through some changes in 2011; some I'd like and some I wouldn't, but He promised He'd be with me along the way. Boy have I gone through changes - the biggest change being my move to Abu Dhabi.

I would have NEVER thought I'd be living on the other side of the world, away from family, friends, and everything I know. NEVER. And yet, here I am, a resident of the UAE. This move was obviously a God thing cos I wouldn't have done it on my own. It's definitely a HUGE step out of my comfort zone. Waaayy out of my zone. Like I'm not even in the same vicinity of my comfort zone. It's quite scary, actually, which is why I'm so glad I'm not doing it alone. God is right here with me, just like He promised.

By moving to Abu Dhabi, I took a giant leap of faith. I chose to go where God led me to go and I do NOT regret my decision. I'm loving it. Abu Dhabi is a beautiful place. And I've met some wonderful new friends. And I'm in a position where I have to lean on God and not my family. I've gone on a desert safari, rode a camel,tried new food, stayed in a few 5-star hotels, gone to 2 awesome concerts, visited Dubai several times, went into the tallest building in the world, lost 20 pounds, etc. I'm learning Arabic, teaching active, yet precious 3-4 year olds, living in a high-rise apartment (rent free), making tax-free salary, etc.

This time last year, I was broke, no money in the bank. Now, I have money in, not one bank, but TWO.

2011 was a monumental year in my life. 2012...2012 is gonna be even more awesome.

Moving Forward

I have goals for 2012. Some have to do with my health; some have to do with my writing; some have to do with my relationship with Jesus. I won't list all my goals, but here are a few:

  • Lose 50 more lbs
  • FINALLY finish novel #2
  • Revise novel #1; start search for agents
  • Use my spiritual gifts to glorify God
  • Finish business plan
  • Blog consistently

I also plan to do something "big" each trimester of my 1st year in AD. Last trimester, I went to see both Janet Jackson & Sade in concert. This trimester, I'm going to Morocco (in March). I haven't figured out what I'm going to do the last trimester of this school year, yet.

I can't wait to see what God has planned for me in 2012. Whatever He has planned, as long as He's with me, I'm good.