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December 13, 2014

The day I thought about leaving Islam....

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Muslim prayer beads
Muslim prayer beads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Becoming a Muslim almost 5 and half years ago. Has not been very easy. With so much change and knowledge I had to learn to be a good Muslim. Not having good Islamic roles models around me personally to show me the right way to do things in prayer, fasting or how to dress. I literally had to learn from YouTube or online information. Even in small group settings of Muslim woman that I had joined online. Only a small few have actually embraced me as a sister. There were a few converts who have sent me my first Hijabs to wear.  That I am very thankful for. Because if it wasn't for them I wouldn't know what to do or how far I would have gone in Islam.

As time went by it was coming out to my family and explaining to them why I chose a different religious path. It was not easy at all; My mother did not accept it and could not accept it; Until she disowned me completely. My husband (at that time) was so fed up with it that he made me choose between my belief or our marriage. Of course I picked my Religion where I felt closer to God. It was a big change in my life... a big step. My kids thought it was crazy and didn't understand. My ex-husband thought maybe it was just a phase. But after sticking to it my kids did learn to accept it and are okay with my hijab, Qur'an and prayers. Eventually my ex-husband also came to accept it even though we are no longer together. He came to learn some things about it that he is okay with but isn't something he would follow.

Then it came time for me to reach out to my Muslim community. I never really had close friends I hung out with; because I was mostly stuck at home with 6 children living day in and day out with my family. My kids were my world and I never really had much time to mingle outside the home. The friends I did have were mostly online and lived far away. Except one who I am friends with even today. But still we were very different people and had different beliefs. I never really had that one friend who was a Muslim sister that I could actually look up to and learn the ways of Islam. Everything I learned was online and from books. But after awhile you yearn for that companionship that is just like you.

I decided to reach out to my local mosque by email and explained to them my situation and asked for information about the mosque and what I need to know. I never heard back from them. Not one email. So one day I got up enough nerve to go to the mosque. I went in and one lady welcomed me.  I got to sit in while the children were doing lessons. After the Lessons was snack time and while there were adult woman all around no one even greeted me. Here a new convert, a stranger to them sat in the corner smiling nervously feeling like a total outcast to this new place I have never even known before becoming Muslim. I bet I looked pretty pitiful and nervous in my little corner. I did not know what to do.

Maybe I would of felt better if sisters approached me and asked me my name and wanted to know something about me. Maybe they would of hugged me and welcomed me into the family of Muslim sisters. Instead they just stood in little circle cluster of groups. Looking over their shoulders or eyes peeking my direction. Whispering to each other. I have never felt so alone and like I didn't belong until that day. I ended up not staying longer I quietly disappeared out the back door with tears in my eyes. Never wanting to go back again.

I fought for days and days thinking maybe this whole Muslim thing was not a good idea. Maybe I would never be accepted as a sister. Why was it so wrong to be a convert? It just wasn't fair. I kept telling myself you cant do this alone you already lost almost all your family and friends. You have NOBODY! Maybe you should just go back to Christianity at least people accept you there. But how can I go back to something I knew was not the answer for me. I knew Islam was the answer but how could I possibly go backwards. I do not like being a hypocrite and I like to mean what I say and never back down. I shook the thought from my head and moved on.

I did meet a friend who was not a Muslim but when she saw me and we spent time together she accepted Islam and we wore hijab together and prayed together.  It was somewhat odd for me because here I was a convert myself teaching another to be a Muslim when I had no idea what I was doing really. But I had faith that what I was doing was right from what I learned. It was good to have someone who looked up to me and actually had a Muslim sister to do things with even if I was the one she looked up too. Then one day I had to move away up north to get away from the past and go somewhere I could start over. I had to leave my friend behind. Then one day she changed, because of her family teasing and negativity she left Islam.

I was already living up north and still alone without that Muslim companionship I have yet to meet a Muslim Friend. But I have been greeted more by black Muslims then Arab Muslims who tend to have that same habit of whispering and talking after greeting me. The black Muslims are very nice and are always the first to greet you with a smile when they see you. I never really thought about race as a issue but I have heard that it is normal in Arab community to be a somewhat "stuck up" kinda of attitude. I cant say this for all Arab Muslims though but I haven't found one to not deny that comment as of yet.  I am sure there are really nice Arabic Muslims all over the world that wouldn't act like that but sadly in this world racism plays a big role in many peoples lives.

But, I have not let that keep me away from learning and living a Islamic lifestyle. I love Islam and I love Allah and nothing will ever make me leave Islam.

But a note to other Muslimahs out there who are not converts. Sister if you see a new face at your Mosque or in your circle. Embrace her, love her like she has been your best friend for years. Converts need love and acceptance because surely most converts have been rejected by their families or lost their own friends who don't understand. When you convert we need that push that acceptance to make us feel like everything will be okay and we have that "family" again. We long to be accepted that is a natural feeling and sometimes those who do not feel wanted or accepted tend to fall back away from Islam and give up totally. So please sisters do not make new converts feel like outcast but embrace them with love and compassion as a new sister. That will mean everything to them who has more likely lost everything around them. Accept them for who they are no matter what color they are, if they are rich or poor or what their past was like. They need you to show them that Islam is not about rejecting and whose better then who.  Islam is about Love and Peace and being good to people. What will it show them if you reject them and leave them to fend for themselves in a way of life that is not familiar to them.   So sisters they are your new sisters in Islam and love them for the sake of Allah. Even if you so not speak good English sometimes a hug is enough to say "Welcome, I love you in the sake of Allah and I am very happy to have you in the family".

December 12, 2014

Recipes: My First week of Freezer Meals

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A header for the "Meals" infobox tem...

I have finally put together a weeks worth of frozen meals for my family. I am very excited to do these and hope they come out as good as they looked on the site where I got them.  Here is the list for the first week:

Honey Teriyaki Chicken

5-6 chicken breasts
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tsp diced garlic
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
add to sauce at the end
4 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water

4-6 hours on low

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 pkg cooked meatballs
1 diced onion
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced red pepper
1 bottle sweet and sour sauce
add one hour before serving
1 can pineapple tidbits

4 hours on low

BBQ Chicken

5-6 chicken breasts
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onions
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp minced garlic
1 bottle BBQ sauce

6-8 hours on low

  Salsa Chicken
5-6 chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 can diced tomatoes {14 oz}
1 diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 pkg taco seasoning
add when serving
3 Tbsp sour cream

8 hours on low
6 hours on medium
4 hours on high

Butter Chicken

5-6 chicken breasts
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced red pepper
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 bottle butter chicken sauce {340 ml}

6-7 hours on low

 and yes our family eats A LOT of Chicken lol....
You can find these recipes and other recipes below:

My Bucket list

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Film poster for The Bucket List - Copyright 20...
Film poster for The Bucket List - Copyright 2007, Warner Bros. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been watching YouTube lately and I came across some YouTube videos some sad ones. I know I shouldn’t be watching things that are depressing but sometimes you cant help but be engulfed in these peoples lives. Some children and some adult. There is even many inspiration stories that left you smiling and crying. You wonder how anyone can handle most of the things I myself as a mother would not be able to handle. Such as a loss of a child. I do not know what I would do if I lost one of my children. I do not even know if I could cope with it.
I got to thinking about my own death. What would I leave behind for my children. What memories would I leave would it impact them or would it just be no big deal and forgot about. No one likes to think about if they died and what would happen to those around them.

I remember a movie I've watched before called the "Bucket List" where these two men who are dying put together a Bucket list of things they wanted to do and did. So I decided I would put together my own bucket list and inshallah one day I hope to be able to have the opportunity to do before I died. So below is the list I put together for 10 things Id like to do before I die.

  1. Travel to Morocco
  2. Travel to Egypt and see all the Historical places in Egypt
  3. Ride a Camel
  4. Learn Arabic
  5. Own a Lama
  6. Get my Masters Degree in Psychology
  7. Live on a Farm
  8. Open up my own Bakery
  9. Learn to sew like a Pro 
  10. Spindle my own yarn 

I am pretty sure these will change or more will be added but I got a few very good things I want to do before I die. inshallah

December 11, 2014

Trying out Freezer Meals

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Groceries shopping is coming soon again for us here. We try to shop at least one time a month in bulk and  I freeze pretty much everything.  I have been hearing about this Freezer Meal in a bag idea for a few weeks. I did some research on YouTube and the internet about it. Sounded like something I could do. So I got together some recipes from Pintrest and wrote down all the recipes. (Which is here) So now all I need to do is break down all the recipes for my shopping list. I should be good to go when it is out grocery shopping day.

I really like the idea of the Frozen Meal in a Bag. You put all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and Wall-a! your done and throw them in the freezer and don’t have to pull them out until you need to use them. Put them in a crock-pot and its dinner in a couple hours.
If you want to try these Freezer Meal Ideas check out my board on Pintrest . I have tons of pins with recipes. Try one out!
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