Avenging Kayla Mueller’s shining spirit

Soon after I started this blog a news story caught my attention and my heart.A young woman volunteer, Kayla Jean Mueller, was abducted following a visit to a hospital operated by the medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Aleppo, Syria.

A young woman volunteer, Kayla Jean Mueller, was abducted following a visit to a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders

Perhaps there is now justice for humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller.

The ISIS leader responsible for her kidnapping, torture, and death has died at the hands of an American military operation fittingly named for her.

According to the New York Post Mueller, of Prescott, Ariz., was 25 when she was taken captive by ISIS in August 2013 after crossing the Turkish border into Syria to visit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo. She was held for 18 months before her death was announced in 2015. Her body was never recovered and her parents still are searching for closure. Read the report at this link.

Al-Baghdadi operation named after captured aid worker tortured by terrorist

Who was Kayla Mueller?

Soon after I started this blog a news story caught my attention and my heart.

A young woman volunteer, Kayla Jean Mueller, was abducted following a visit to a hospital operated by the medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Aleppo, Syria.

She was held in captivity by the Islamic State for 18 horrific months with three other American hostages.  Kayla died on February 6, 2015, reportedly following the bombing of a location where she was being held captive.

God hasn't called me to be successful, but to be faithful. quote Mother Teresa
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After reading  and watching the news reports about the life-and death- of Kayla, I wrote this.

I cannot think of anything else worth saying today other than to express my sadness  for and sympathy to the family of Kayla Mueller. On  the evening news last night I heard Kayla’s aunt describe her as “noble beyond her years.”

I had never heard of Kayla until a few days ago, but her story touches my heart. I have a son about the same age; and like her, his work and passions take him all over the world. I cannot imagine getting an email like the one her parents received confirming her death.

At only 26 years old, Kayla had already traveled to India, Israel, Palestine and Syria on humanitarian endeavors and in Arizona worked at a women’s shelter and with AIDS patients.

In a letter  to her family from captivity, she expressed regret that she was causing them pain. I hope the memory of this beautiful young woman brings some comfort to their grieving hearts.

Recently while reviewing my older posts, I wondered what happened to Kayla’s family after her death; perhaps someone had written about her, or established a memorial of some sort.

I am pleased to see that Kayla was not  forgotten, and her work was not in vain. I want to let you know what has happened since her capture and murder in 2015.

FOR KAYLA 

FOR KAYLA is a website devoted to  her  humanitarian projects, including quotes from her blog and the touching letter she wrote to her family from captivity.

Her are just a few of the quotes from her blog and letter.

This really is my life’s work, to go where there is suffering. I suppose, like us all, I’m learning how to deal with the suffering of the world inside myself… to deal with my own pain and most importantly to still have the ability to be proactive.

Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny. C.S. LEWIS

The gardener knows how to turn garbage into compost. Therefore our anger, sadness, and fear is the best compost for our compassion.

merciful God, release us from the time of trial that we may witness grief becoming joy and life rising from death. amen

I have been shown in darkness, light and have learned that even in prison, one can be free.

True liberation is freeing people from bonds that prevent them from giving their gifts to others.

KAYLA’S HANDS

Kayla’s family established a foundation in Kayla’s name, which they called Kayla’s Hands  a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation “to further her humanitarian efforts both locally and internationally.” On the website they write this about their daughter-

“Kayla devoted her life to helping others. Kayla’s heart was for the innocent children thrown into a life they should never be in; for moms trying to raise them alone and for families that needed help to stay as one; and for the soldiers, reporters and humanitarian workers who have seen such horror as well.

She wanted to help heal wounded hearts, minds and bodies bringing happiness and joy to all she could. It was this commitment that drove her to help victims in shelters near our home in Prescott, Arizona and to leave home for far away places she felt called to help.

She spent her life working for those who needed it most, using her voice to amplify those of others, and standing in solidarity with people as they struggle for their own rights and dignity. Even in captivity, she gave comfort to the Yazidi girls held with her and others suffering around her. If there was work to be done in service to others, she did it.”

you cannot love without giving. Amy Carmichael

Journalist Scott Peley remembers Kayla’s life in this video-

A REFLECTION ON KAYLA MEULLER’S SHINING SPIRIT

On the second anniversary of Kayla’s death, her family dissolved the foundation and donated $120,000 to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) an organization Kayla believed in and had worked with.

The foundation also donated funds to

  • Iraqi Bridge/Dr. Mirza , for  work on behalf of the Yazidi victims of genocide,
  • Save the Children , for  work to save the Syrian children and children throughout the world,
  • Syrian American Medical Society/SAMS who continue to work on behalf of Syria’s war victims,
  • Folds of Honor to provide educational scholarships to the families of America’s fallen and disabled service members
  •  Kiwanis Club of Prescott  Arizona who faithfully work “for the kids”.

Kayla Mueller Memorial Endowment Fund

Doctors Without Borders used the donation to establish an endowment fund in her memory. From their website-

“The endowment will be used to support medical and humanitarian aid programs operating in nearly 70 countries and providing care to more than 8 million people every year affected by armed conflicts, epidemics, as well as natural and man-made disasters.”

“By donating to Doctors Without Borders” noted her parents Marsha and Carl, “we can ensure Kayla’s spirit and her legacy of healing is continued in the world.”

Doctors Without Borders map of activities
map showing sites where Doctors Without Borders works, from a recent mailing

share the HEART of health

I invite you to browse the links above to learn more about these organizations and the work they do to bring the HEART of health to people around the world, work that I and this blog consider much needed and worthy of support.

(This blog is not compensated for listing this organizations here.)

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

 

 

 

 

 

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                              Dr. Aletha 

Kids learn more when they read

One of the most important ways we can help children learn is by reading to them.It helps children develop the mental processes of motivation, curiosity, and memory.

One of the most important ways we can help children learn is by reading to them.

  • It helps children develop the mental processes of motivation, curiosity, and memory.
  • It helps children develop early language skills.
  • It provides a time for one-to-one attention and affection, which encourages children to have positive feelings about reading.
  • It can help children cope during times of stress or tragedy.

Learn more at this link from the American Medical Association-

Reading to children-Advice for parents

 (This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase something at the link, this blog may earn a commission; thanks. )

statue of boy reading a book
a statue in Oklahoma dedicated to the children who died in the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing 1995
Fun for Kids of All Ages - Zookbooks STEM Books for Children Free baby board Books! World Vision helps children in some of the toughest, most dangerous countries, restoring lives and preserving futures. Support World Vision and help protect children today.

exploring the HEART of health through reading

Find out how reading changed my life from my guest post at Let’s Create.

Reading-The fastest way to everywhere

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

an open book with pages folded to make a heart
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Love, Lewis, and a letter from John

words of love from the Bible#1John#love

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.

Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

1 John 4:7-11, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Books by C.S. Lewis

sharing faith, hope, and love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

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                              Dr. Aletha 

Good Friday

Christians around the world observe the Friday before Easter as “Good Friday”, although the events remembered are dark and somber. For on this day, as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, died, and was buried.

The Cross, symbol of Christianity

Christians around the world observe the Friday before Easter as “Good Friday”, although the events remembered are dark and somber. For on this day, as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, died, and was buried.

Thus, a cross became perhaps the best known symbol of Christianity.

to the cross that the christian is challenged to follow his master. quote Hans Urs Von Balthasar
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“A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”).

Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross.” Mark 15 NLT

“Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.

take up thy cross and follow me
Photo by Dr. Aletha



Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, …… When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19, NLT

Jesus is buried in a tomb

“Then he (Joseph) took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation,[l as the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. “Luke 23, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Thanks for sharing these words of faith, hope, and love with me.

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

What is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is one of several “holidays”, or more correctly holy days that Christians “celebrate”, meaning observe, in the weeks before Easter which we call Lent.

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Jesus Enters Jerusalem
(Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-38; John 12.12-19)

The prophet Zechariah had said 

“Announce to the people
of Jerusalem:
‘Your king is coming to you!
He is humble
and rides on a donkey.
He comes on the colt
of a donkey.’ ”

The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on.

Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees. Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting,

Hooray for the Son of David!
God bless the one who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Hooray for God
in heaven above!”

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, “Who can this be?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew21 CEV

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

© 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.


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The “holidays” of Lent

Palm Sunday is one of several “holidays”, or more correctly holy days that Christians “celebrate”, meaning observe, in the weeks before Easter which we call Lent.

Lent starts with the well known Fat Tuesday-Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday.

Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, related in the story above. At my church on Palm Sunday, the preschool age children march into the auditorium waving palm branches and sing a song for us. The parents and grandparents sit up front, proudly taking pictures and video. It’s a day to celebrate before we observe solemn sad days before the week is over.

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sharing the HEART of health

FAITH LOVE HOPE- words created with letter tiles
These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

New Year’s Resolutions Approved by Grandmas

I’m a stickler for definitions so I checked to see what “resolution” means. It is a “firm determination to do something” or the “act of solving a problem.”

With people living such long lives now, most of us will spend a large portion of it as grandparents, even great-grandparents. But today’s grandmothers aren’t just sitting in rocking chairs knitting.

checkerboard between 2 rocking chairs

Modern grandmothers do everything. They run businesses and run for office.

There are grandmothers in Congress and on the Supreme Court.

Grandmothers run marathons, teach yoga, and compete in ballroom dancing (like me). 

Some retire from long successful careers and some start new careers.

And some grandmothers write blogs.

New Year's resolutions approved by grandmas

 

 

 

 

  These grandmothers’ blogs cover a variety of subjects

home,marriage, family, travel, cooking, fitness, retirement, faith, genealogy, crafts, gardening, books, health, DIY, and of course grandchildren.

find hidden opportunities hidden in each new day
Michael Josephson-ethics law professor– affiliate link 

 

 

 

2019 New Year’s Resolutions

Several of the other grandmother bloggers I know shared their new year’s resolutions online. Here is what I wrote-

I’m a stickler for definitions so I checked to see what “resolution” means. It is a “firm determination to do something” or the “act of solving a problem.”

So I don’t do New Year’s resolutions because I think we should be doing resolutions all the time; if we think of it as just a once a year process, we miss multiple opportunities to accomplish new things or solve problems.

So, I do resolve to continue learning new things and improving my skills. In 2019 I will be required to recertify as a family physician, so I have a “firm determination” to pass the exam.

I also want to improve my ballroom dancing skills, learn new steps and routines.

I want to update old blog posts with newer information and address important medical topics that I haven’t tackled before.

I want to spend quality time with my friends and family, nurture my faith and find new ways to give back to my community.

This bright new year is given to me to live each day with zest-William Arthur Ward
William Arthur Ward- author and pastor– affiliate link 

 

 

 

More grandmothers’ resolutions 

Here are summaries of what other grandmothers  shared with a link to their blogs.

Kimberly – Passing Down the Love:

  • finalize my retirement plans,
  • move my feet a little more and
  • look for happiness in the little things.

Donna – Retirement Reflections:

        healthy diet and increased exercise.

Sylvia – Grace for a Gypsy:

      to organize and publish my family research

Angie – Flippin Fanchers:

      fully transition my DIY blog to a grandma blog.

Louise – Going Ba-Nanas for Baby:

  • To pray with consistency, and not just when I need help.
  • To thank God for my blessings instead of complaining about my challenges
  • To request, each and every day, that my loved ones and I will be watched over from above, and always kept in the light of divine grace.

Marilyn – Marilyn’s Treats:

  • To simplify my life.
  • To spend more time taking care of “me” so I can be there to enjoy family and friends.

Cathy – Life of 2 Snowbirds:

      Start my healthy diet and exercise more.

Nikki – Gwin Gal Inside and Out:

     to host more family get-togethers much more frequently in the coming            months.

Renee – Grandmommin:

      to be more verbally appreciative

Pat – Mille Fiori Favoriti:

  • to live even more healthfully, with more exercise, and to
  • be proactive about going to exams and tests to monitor our health.

Marisa – All Our Way:

  •          I’m signing on with an agent which leaves me free to work on my blog
  •          I  want to double my page view by next year.

Christie – So What? Now What?:

 to accomplish or experience things during 2019, focusing on  health, joy, learning, and relationships.

Beverly – Across the Boulevard:

for blogging, to re-evaluate what I want to accomplish and to take steps that puts it on the path I want for it.

Your turn to resolve-

How about you? What do you resolve, plan, hope, or want to achieve in 2019? And why not ask your grandmother what her resolutions are?

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but a new you.

the HEART of health

Thanks for joining me to explore New Year’s resolutions and the HEART of health. Will you resolve to share this blog post and follow Watercress Words? I appreciate your support.

The graphics and photos in this post are from Lightstock.com, an affiliate that helps me fund this blog. Thank you for considering. 

Happy New Year. 

cheesy-free faith-focused stock photos

The photos in this post are from Lightstock-quality photos and graphics site- get a free photo here. 

(This is an affiliate link)

                              Dr. Aletha 

Wednesday AIM Link Party

Weekend Words from Hebrews

a plea for hospitality and care for the suffering #Hebrews#prisoners#TimChester

Hebrews 13:1-3 ,ERV

Worship That Pleases God

Continue loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. 
Always remember to help people by welcoming them into your home. Some people have done that and have helped angels without knowing it. 
Don’t forget those who are in prison. Remember them as though you were in prison with them.
And don’t forget those who are suffering. Remember them as though you were suffering with them.

quote from Tim Chester
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Dr Tim Chester is a pastor of Grace Church Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire; a faculty member of Crosslands; and author of over 40 books.

 

 

 

 

Weekend words is a regular feature of watercress words. At the end of the work week we share  words of faith, hope and love from the Bible and other carefully selected writings.