For better and for worse: Thank you!

It’s a journey that starts with a slap on the back, and you never know when it ends!It’s life! You’ll never get to know the famous ” Ups and Downs” until you experience it! You’ll never learn the lessons until the events are history and you’re looking back.

Live it, love it and embrace it. For  better and the worse, for richer and hpoorer, you ought to thank God!

Would you know the value of happiness, if you haven’t experienced sadness? Would you know the value of water, if you haven’t experienced thirst?  And I ask you, as I have asked myself, would you know how many blessings are shed on your life, if they weren’t taken from you, even for a short while?

We nag a lot, don’t we? we blame destiny for every wrong thing  we experience. We curse, we shout, we rebel for the tiniest and silliest reasons. How many times have you said: “It’s not fair!” or ” I don’t deserve this!” Or even worst ” Why me God? Why me!”

If you come to think about it, Are you the judge of what’s fair and what’s not? Who can be more fair than God? Can you? I have asked the question ” Why me God?” So many times, until I reached the answer ” Why not me?” The mighty God, who has given me so many blessings through my life, who has saved me from my own self and others, doesn’t he deserve my thanks and gratefulness when he puts me into trial? If I thank him and accept his judgment when I’m happy and healthy, doesn’t he deserve my thank you and acceptance when I’m sick and down? Is he my God only at my best, and during my worst I blame him?

For two months I was almost crippled, unable to walk, and perform the simplest everyday functions the way I used to. And guess what : that experience was the most in lighting and educative experience I’ve ever had! And I was sure to thank God for it, especially through my sickness. And that’s how I prayed through it.

” My God, I know that you are fair, and your judgments are just. If I’m sick because of all the sins that I’ve made through my life, then I thank you for the suffering I’m going through now instead of experimenting it after you take my soul. I pray that you would be erasing my sins through this suffering. If I’m sick, but not because of my sins, then I thank you for the purpose you intended for me, even if it’s hidden from me now, but I’m sure I will learn it later in life.  I pray that you lift this heavy burden off of me, if that’s your wish. Whatever you wish for me God, I accept it thankfully!”

Do this with me, think about your regular day, the one you might describe as boring. I guess you would say: I wake up, get out of bed, walk into the bathroom. I might change my clothes, or stay in my pijis. I have a cup of coffee….” In those three simple sentences, do you know how many actions you have done, and you have the Lord to thank for?  You might have never considered this before, I never did as well, until …

How would you feel, that on that same boring day, you woke up, but you couldn’t get out of bed? Your whole body was in terrible pain? unable to move your legs and having a serious wish to go to the WC. but the only way to do so is to ask for somebody’s help?! you can’t sit up straight to drink, and have to eat your meals lying on your back? you can’t walk, carry things or even dress yourself?!!! how hard is that? how tough?! Well now you know what a blessing it is to be able to do the simplest things, like walking, dressing, eating while you’re sitting up. and going to pee by yourself! You see how many things you’re blessed with? how thankful you should be? Before my experience I used to look to people on wheel chairs with pity, not in a bad form, but I used to be sorry for them. Now I see them through different lense: I respect them, for their courage, their strong will and their acceptance for God’s judgment. And for trying to make the best out of their condition.

Now I know, when I see crippled people in worship houses, that they’re there to pray for their own miracle, to ask for forgiveness and mercy and patience. They’re not there to put the blames on destiny, nor to rebel!

There are a few lines from an Arabic poetry that I came to admire so much, here’s my translation of these lines into English: You, who whines and weeps even though you are healthy , I wonder what would you do if you got sick? An evil person on this earth is the one   who wishes himself death every single day!

Indeed….

If you plant grapes, you shall not harvest  thorns!

Thank you to all those who prayed for me… your prayers gave me strength, and were definitely heard…

Thank you God for healing me…

Advertisements

Something Personal!

I’m writing this post while lying on my back and holding my laptop upside down, so excuse me for all the typing mistakes I might be making.

July has been a tough and sad month in my family. Tomorrow is the last day of this month and I can’t explain how happy I’ll be to say goodbye July and welcome August.

At the beginning of July, I hurt my back badly while moving a sofa on my balcony. I can’t tell you how many times I have moved this sofa, but for some mysterious reason on that day ,moving it gave me a terrible pain in my back! I didn’t give it much thought, took a five minutes rest and then carried on my usual house chores. Two days later I was unable to move, every muscle in my body was hurting. My husband rushed me to the nearest hospital where the doctor asked for an x-ray of my back. He later told me that I’m suffering from disc!! He wrote a prescription and asked me to rest, and not lift more than 5 kilos.

A week later after taking the medication and resting, the pain only grew worst! I wasn’t able to walk, and my husband had to carry me around! We went to see a new doctor, who decided I had to take B 12 injections because my nerves were all swallow. He ordered me to complete rest for 8 days, and warned me that this was serious.

I was unable to carry my baby girl or take care of her, she would be crying in her bed and I would be crying in mine at the same time! My sister came to help, she was taking care of my baby and my husband of cooking. The house was a total mess, and I wasn’t able to hire anyone to clean up. why? Because suddenly, no one in Lebanon wants to work as a house keeper!

Two days after I started my injections, my husband came home early from work! His right hand all wrapped! He had an accident at work, an electrical appliance exploded while he was using it. And caused him a second degree burn! “Thank God you’re still alive !” that’s what the doctor said when he saw him!

Two weeks later, my husband’s hand is 70% better, thank god! And the doctor said within two months it will heal completely. As for me, the injections didn’t work and I’ve entered into a new cycle of therapy. This is my last chance of getting better, the doctor says! For one week I should lay on my back, and move only if I had to go to the restroom. Or else I will not be able to move without a wheelchair ,surgical operations are not very much advised , especially for someone young like me ,but we’ll see what happens.

My little girl crawls over to where I’m laying, she stands up with some help from my left hand. She puts her little head on my shoulder and closes her eyes. She makes me cry, I grab some chocolate chips from a bag beside me and feed her one by one. She claps her little hands and says “za2if” , which means clap in Lebanese, I taught her that before I got sick.

I wonder whether I’ll be able to hold her again, whether I’ll be able to take care of her again. I wonder whether I’ll be able to live a normal life again. I look at my husband, as he takes care of our little girl with his hand still wrapped and I’m thinking they both deserve better. But still, I thank god for everything, even the pain because it made me realize how lucky I was to be able to do the simplest thing like walking, and carrying my little one.

And I pray, that August will come with all the goodness in the world to my family, me and all those who need it, I pray for a healing for my pain and sickness and that one day I look back to this phase of my life and smile at the memory, and thank god for healing me.

 

The miracles of Saint Charble, Lebanon!

We all search for that one miracle, that great spark of light to strike our lives and change everything for the better.

Some people are suffering from pain, or from seeing a loved one suffer! Some people are sad in heart and souls, but to those who have faith Our Lord has said :

 Matthew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

And he has also said : if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Because God is merciful, he has given those who ask in faith the relief they asked for.

Here , in my country Lebanon, My beloved Saint Charble became known for his miracles of healing the sick.  People from all over the world, came to Annaya Lebanon to ask the Blessed Saint to cure them, and from all religions. And they testified of his ability to heal their pain.

I believe that Saint Charble, is a blessed touch of God’s mercy to his sons here on earth, I always pray to him and he’s always answers my prayers.

Here are some of the miracles that Saint Charble has performed:

Samia Matta
Samia got lung cancer. The tests revealed that her situation was so critical and she needed to undergo a surgery. She asked her husband to take her to the tomb of Saint Charbel. During this visit, she asked Saint Charbel to heal her or to help her die peacefully and quickly to avoid suffering. She drank blessed oil. Afterwards, she went to the hospital to start the treatment. The relevant tests revealed that she was healed.
She visited the convent of Saint Marun in order to thank God for the grace she had through the intercession of Saint Charbel and she got her healing registered on the Holy Friday, on April 22, 2011.

Suzy Bordkan
Two swollen glands of 2 cm and 1.5 cm appeared in her breast. She asked her husband in Lebanon to visit the tomb of Saint Charbel and prayed. He went to Annaya and lit a candle asking the intercession of the saint. When she woke up early, she found out that the glands have disappeared. She was completely healed.
When she came back to Lebanon, she visited the convent of Saint Marun and got her healing registered on April 26, 2011.

Georges Wehbeh
After nine years of marriage, Georges didn’t have babies due to sterility. He visited the tomb of Saint Charbel and asked his intercession in order to have a baby. The saint answered his prayer and Georges had a son after nine months and he named him Charbel.
He came once again to the convent in order to get this miracle registered.

Christian and Elie el-Chartouny
After buying them a new car, their mother took them to participate in the holy mass in Abidjan for it was Saint Charbel’s Day, in May 8. However, Christian and Elie refused to go into church and decided to go for a round. Their mother knelt in front of the Saint’s photo asking him to protect them so that they come back safe. At about 11:30 p.m., she heard them when they came back home so she could sleep. When she woke up in the morning, she found them on the balcony, still awake, then they called her. When she got out, she saw the new car damaged. They told her that they were driving too fast and their car deviated and hit an electrical post, 10 km away from home. At that moment, an old monk showed up, but they didn’t see his face, he got close to the car and pulled it away from the post. He tied it to a cord and pulled it extremely fast, crossing these 10 km in two minutes. He stopped the car in front of their house, he removed the cord and disappeared.
The mother thanked Saint Charbel for saving her sons. She came on May 8, 2011 to the convent and got this miracle registered.

Jacqueline Hanna
Jacqueline, a Copt woman, was sick but didn’t know the kind of her illness. A Copt priest gave her a relic from Saint Charbel and told her that he was healed from a heart attack when he visited the hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul in Lebanon. He told her: “Pray Saint Charbel and he will heal you”. Thus, she was healed from her aches.
A child named Ram, was living next to Jacqueline and he was studying in the Maronite School in Egypt. He got a disease in his eye and he couldn’t see anymore, suffering from redness and itch for months. All medicines were in vain. One day, he visited with his parents the church of Sainte Rita in Egypt where they prayed in front of Saint Charbel’s statute. The child implored Saint Charbel: “Saint Charbel, I can’t see and it’s painful. Would you please heal me?”
In the morning, his eye was healed. They went once again to the church and they thanked God for the grace they got through the intercession of Saint Charbel.

But I will say no more about this Amazing Saint. I’ll give you the link to website, please visit it, read the miracles that he has performed, read the thank you letters and testimonies from all the world. And Pray my brothers, pray deeply, ask Saint Charble to help you, with all your faith in God the mighty, and you shall be given what you ask for.

http://www.saintcharbel.com/home.php?url=stcharbel_grp&lgid=0&depid=5&grpid=7&menu=51

If this link doesn’t open please search on google for ” Saint Charble, Lebanon” and it will take to the official site. I hope you’ll find the miracle and healing you need with Saint Charble, the man of God.

Please don’t forget to mention me in your prayers, and wish me to get better soon.

A Letter to My Baby Girl!

Dear Anna,

This is the first letter I write to you after your birth, and I’m very excited to tell you all the news that’s been happening in our lives lately. First let me start by telling you how much I’ve grown in love with you in these past eight months! From the moment I kissed your little hand in the hospital until this moment as you sit on the carpet playing with your toys and biting anything you could get your hands on! And I promise to keep loving you until the day I close my eyes and fall into my eternal sleep.

Baby girl, day by day, you’re teaching me how to be a mother, and a better human being. You’re eight months and two weeks old already, and every second of these eight months was an adventure. But there are certain moments that keep spinning through my mind every time I talk about you, I call these moments the peek memories. The first time I laid eyes on you when the doctor held you up after your delivery, and you were so blue and crying out so loud that your voice filled the operation room! That moment I was praying and crying and laughing at the same time!!! I was lost in that moment and all I wanted was to cuddle you and kiss you!

My second peek memory, was when we had a visit from some relatives who you’ve not seen before! When one of them tried to hold you up, you started crying and looked at me scared, and you tried to jump from the Lady‘s arms to mine!! I took you into my arms and for the first time I felt like a real mother, you were asking me to protect you  and I was there for you, and forever I ‘ll be there for you.

My third peek moment was the day you rolled over!! I was getting worried that you’re late to roll over and already seven months old! And one morning out of no where you rolled over! Me and your dad we were so excited, we were gazing at you not believing what just happened! And now you can’t stop rolling over and scooting yourself all over the house! I even caught you trying to pull over some of my decorative items! You’re so cute!

Here comes my Fourth and by so far my best peek moment! Your first tooth!!!! I’m super excited to tell you about this Anna, so last week you were biting on your plastic toy and suddenly you started screaming! Me and your dad rushed to pick you up, I thought you must have hurt your gum so I grabbed the teething gel and started rubbing your little swallow gum! I told your father : The poor thing must have heart herself hard, I can feel the cut beneath my finger! Thank God your father is the smart one in this family, LOL! He opened your mouth and saw your little tooth peeking out!

My poor baby, you have been really fuzzy through these few days. As another tooth peaked just right next to the other. And we haven’t been getting enough sleep. But I know it’s just a phase, another growth spurt that we’re experimenting together, and soon all the pain will go away and you’ll feel a lot better about those weird white things that appeared in your mouth all of a sudden!

OOOps  I forget to tell you about the day you first said Mama!!! But I wrote you a whole poem about that moment!

Anna, Me and your dad, we love you so much. Everything we do, every decision we take , we now do it with your best interest in mind. You’re the joy of our lives and the blessing in our house. And everyday we pray for God to give you a long healthy and happy life, and to give us the power to be there for you every step of the way and the good health to support you and watch you grow!

Until my second letter, stay as cute as you are, love you!

Mama

Let Us Pray!

Tonight when you say your prayers, don’t just murmur the words and recite them as if you’re about to have an exam!

Pray slowly, and meditate in each sentence. Ask yourself: “What Lessons did the Lord intend for me to learn through these words?”, When Lord Jesus taught us this prayer he said: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7. He said that informing us that it’s not the amount of words we say in our prayers that matters, but our intentions! It’s what’s in our heart that really matters, and our merciful father, he who examines the hearts will know our true intentions. And then he taught us how to pray properly, and what words to use. A most meaningful prayer if we took the time to meditate in its words.

Let us pray together, in one heart, meditating in the words of our Lord. Let us clear our minds and hearts and humble ourselves, so that our voices unite and knock on the door of heaven tonight my brothers. Our prayers shall be heard and answered, because our Lord promised us :Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

” In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holly spirit”

Amen

Our Father, who art in heaven We are addressing God directly as  ( Our Father) and Lord Jesus intended us to learn from this word is that God’s love towards us is much more than fatherly love!”
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, ” Think my dear brothers as you say these words, are you accepting God’s will in your lives? Do you embrace the good and the bad as a part of God’s will and bigger plan for you? Don’t just repeat this prayer without thinking about its every sentence, God has put so much wisdom in this prayer for us to understand!”
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread ” Are you really settling for your daily bread? are you thankful for having that food on your table? Or do you ask why others are rich? or have better material things than you? If so, it’s time to write down a thank you list titled” Thank you God” I’m sure you’ll find a lot of things to be grateful and thankful for, and then you’ll be more truthful as you repeat this prayer.”
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us. ” As we Forgive! What an amazing wisdom in these few words! Forgive us God as we forgive others! Show us the same mercy we show others! Are you forgiving others my friends? are you being merciful and helpful to others so that our father would show you mercy and help you? I think these words are worthy of your meditation!
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

My name is Rana, And I’m not a terrorist!

Yes my friends I am an Arab, a Lebanese who is proud of her country and her nationality. I’m writing this post after reading the post of my fellow blogger Aisha, who felt annoyed after watching a video on you tube, where a Muslim girl in veil appeared and the comments on that video were insulting to the girl and her religion.`

Unfortunately the stereo types of Muslims and Arabs that the media has spread around the world caused this! And after 9/11 the situation exploded! Hearts were filled with hatred and revenge. Since then when you mention the word Arab outside the Arabian countries the first picture that pops into minds is a person with a long beard, wrapped in old clothes, riding on a camel with a pistol on his side, and is ready to kill, rape and destroy in the name of God!!! And you are not to blame for having such an imagination, because Media ( Be it T.V or internet or any other form , has been planting this image in your minds since years ago). Now most of you have seen photos of me and my family, I mean come on do we look like we’ve been in the desert riding camels? or do we have the looks of a terrorist?

In my country Lebanon we have tasted the bitter cup of civil wars for over than thirty years, and we learned the hard way that this wasn’t the way of God! But the ways of the devil himself!!! We were fighting each other and killing each other in the name of God, when did God ask us to kill in his name?Show me in any religion in the world did God say it’s ok to kill? I thank God everyday that I was not yet born during that awful phase of our history. I’m unable to harm an ant!

And those people who kill and harm in the name of God, are led by the devil .  They know nothing about the Lord and his commandments,

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

As  an Arab Christian I feel insulted when someone insults the muslims in my country, because they are my brothers in humanity and my neighbors. And I keep in mind what my lord Jesus taught me:Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Since pictures speak louder than words, allow me my friends to post a picture that will tell it all about Lebanon.

Bless you.

The Most Loving Heart

If Someone loves you for who you are

be you beautiful or ugly

Loves you even more than your mother or father or spouse would ever do

If Someone is there for you your whole life

through the bitter and sweet

and even when every body else shuts their doors in your face

this someone will be near you to wipe your tears and promise you

of better days, and  a better place

If this someone forgives you

even though you hurt him

it’s enough to be truly sorry and be sure to never do it again

he’s the best friend you’ll ever find in your joy and even in your pain

He knows your secrets even if you don’t tell him,

he knows your plans,

the roads you take, even the very word your thinking right now

needn’t you say!

He always does what is best for you, even though most of the times

you’ll doubt his ways

he keeps telling you to ask of him

and he shall give you what you ask for

all you have to do is believe that he’s always there for you

I bet you’re wondering now: Oh really? As if such a person exists!! Show me someone like that and I’ll never let go of him… right?

My friend, can’t you feel him already?don’t open your eyes and gaze around! see with your heart, there you’ll find him. Perfect in all his existence, the greatest heart of all times. The most loving , forgiving, father and friend. Trust in God my friend, he’s all that and much more than my poor pen could bare to write. Now that you found him, never let go of him…

Another Random Thought!

Quote

We’re merely visitors on this earth, guests who are destined to one day leave. Be polite enough to maintain this earth pure and nice and to thank God for hosting us on one of his planets.

Rana

Only to you I kneel

James 4:6 ESV  : But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Micah 6:8 ESV  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Matthew 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

To you I come thirsty,

My throat hurts,

yet my tongue speaks the truth,

my lips are proud to repeat your name

only to you I kneel,

in pain I speak, the heavy burdens on my shoulders are becoming a part of my body

to you only , I reveal my weakness, and confess my sins…

Oh Father, Holy is your name

You lift my burdens, and ease my pain

Oh Father, Holy is your name,

you water my soul so I don’t feel the thirst,

Hear me Lord, to you I pray,

I light my candle, wipe oil on my forehead,and ask for your mercy

Holy is your name

Only to you I kneel  in shame of what my weak soul tempted me to do

I’m in pain because through my sins I made you sad,

forgive me Father I’m your little child

I deserve your punishment, but do not deprive me from your love

You have blessed me with your gifts

took away my pain

protected my soul and guided me to the right path again

Your generosity amazes me

your love softens my heart

isn’t it enough you carried a heavy cross, so I don’t

and you were crucified to save my spirit from doom

Hear my words of regret my Lord, and feel my tears

my soul is humbled by your presence and my heart craves your grace

To you I pray

This busy life with all its fake appearances has distracted us from meditating in your words

we forgot that you warned us that the devil will try to distract us as he disguises in many ways

Fashion, televisions , mobile phones, fancy cars, luxurious houses

do all these things really matter?

through your life you have shown us how little we need to be truly happy

in the most humble places you were born

and as a carpenter you have worked

you washed the feet of your students

and shared your dinner with the needy

you could have chosen any life you want

yet you chose to be poor and humble

help me reflect on your life

and learn from you my Lord, my teacher and savior

protect my soul Father

help me to be wise enough to hold on to my faith

let your beauty shine through my actions and my words

help me to be more modest and to remember that I’m from dust and to dust I shall one day return

Amen

Guilt!

Last week my baby girl fell down and bumped her head, while I was doing some chores around the house. She started crying, and I immediately rushed to pick her up. The moment I held her she stopped crying and cuddled me!

Knowing how serious and dangerous a head injury or concussion might be, I called her doctor. He asked whether she was vomiting or seemed to be sleepy or tired. Thank God she wasn’t! She was playing with her toy and giggling. He told me there was nothing to worry about , but I better keep a close eye for any of these symptoms for the next 24 hours.

That night I wasn’t able to sleep, I kept cuddling Anna and crying. I felt so guilty, for leaving her on her chair to do my chores. I had her sleep by my side and kept checking her breath all night! I even woke her several times just to make sure she’s ok. Since then, my guilt has been pursuing me, I don’t want to leave her at any moment of her awaking time! I only work around the house when she’s sleeping, which isn’t enough because she only takes little cat naps. And I wasn’t able to write any new posts, up until now.

I know that the guilt I felt was normal, and thank god my baby is fine. Her pedia told me that it’s always worst on the parents then it is on the baby ( psychologically speaking). But It was a good wake up call: I’m always worried about cleaning the house, cooking, inviting friends over, making sure people sees me, my house , my marriage ,my baby as ideal as possible. Now I know all these fake appearances don’t matter, what really counts is my baby’s health. What really matters is being there for her, even if I spend my whole day doing nothing but cuddling her and playing with her. Time passes so quickly, she’s already five months old and Soon I’ll be driving her to her first day of school without realizing how time went by. I don’t want to miss any moment of her growth.

How about you? do you have a similar story about your baby?

Or have you ever felt guilty about being distracted from a loved one when he needed you? I would love to hear from you, maybe my guilt will grow smaller…