This guy asked to take H home with him!
Today is another great day! For the first year EVER, I am in a hurry to take down my Christmas decorations. I think it's because our villa was only decorated for about a week before I started decorating for Christmas. If you know me at all, you know that I tend to go O.VER.BOARD. on decorations when it comes to Christmas. I did scale back a bit this year, since I was scared to bring anything important out of fear it would be taken from me at Customs. Still, there are Santas, ornaments, snowmen, trees, elves, crosses, angels, and stars a plenty in my home right now. Time to pack it away for another 11 months! My mom will be here in 6 more sleeps, and I want the house to look like it would on a normal day...just cleaner :).
So, back to my title...
I had lunch with a fabulous lady today. I spend most Sunday mornings with her, and she is very inspiring to me. On our way home, in the back of a taxi, we had a nice conversation about the dedication of the Muslim people. It started by me stating how ironic it was to see all of the gun tower guards for our compound kneeling down, foreheads on the pavement, praying to Allah, with the call to prayer in the background, as we drove to Christmas Eve services. After I told her that, she said their dedication is something she admires. I agree. We both said there are hypocrites in every religion, and yes, you'll meet hateful Muslims. Mostly, though, this country is full of wonderful, devout people who love the God they worship! She went on to say that we will never be able to convert someone out of disrespect, hatred, or rudeness. I really started to think about what she was saying. I can't think of a time when I have been flat out, blatantly rude to a Muslim person here (except posting the pic of the prayer rug that came free with our car, might have been offensive). I felt shameful, though, for not being more tolerant and respectful of this country and its people. I am in a place where I can learn SO MUCH about how to truly worship and live a prayerful life. Do I pray enough? Do I stop what I am doing and pray 6 times a day, or is it an afterthought during some routine exercise? I want to challenge myself to be more compassionate to the people around me. I want to be more obedient in my walk with the Lord, and I want to challenge you to do the same. You don't have to be in Saudi for this. We are all surrounded by people of different religions! Lord knows, we ALL know people that NEED compassion. Can somebody say "BLESS YOUR HEART!"?
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Eph 4:31-32
Okay, that was pretty deep for today...about that lunch, it was at Le Meridien and probably the best food I have had in Saudi. We saw the lunch buffet, which looked amazing. We saw the price and walked away. We went to the little cafe in the hotel and smelled all the cigarettes...yuck. The place was full of Saudi men, so we headed back to the buffet. It was 15o SAR, but we decided to splurge. Yummy, yummy, yummy! I am full and happy.
Crazy facts for today:
1. Smoking is still allowed in the public places like malls and restaurants
2. 1 USD=3.75 SAR
3. Women must eat in a family section, and there are curtains for women to pull to take off their hijab to eat without other men seeing their face.
4. Homemade alcohol is definitely an acquired taste!
5. Everyone litters here. I can't believe people go down the road throwing trash out the windows.
6. The fine for littering is Bahrain is 10BD...around $30! Really????
7. Modern day slavery exists, and I see it everyday. This is the thing that bothers me most!
8. Showing a newly potty trained child an Eastern toilet will definitely set you back by MONTHS!
9. The black camel is a gorgeous animal.
10. The water is making my hair fall out. I could have made a wig for a small child or bald man by now!
None of those are funny, but hey, it's stuff you might not have known otherwise!
Arabic for the day:
Blessed be your day!