Today is a good day to introduce you to another, newer suziebeezielander. Let's see if you can figure out why today is a good day to introduce her as you read. :)
Samara and I have just become friends during the past year. We were in book club together, bonded over the Twilight series together (she's the friend who brought me back the coffee), and are in a "small group" together -- a group of women who get together periodically to pray for and encourage each other. But I've known about Samara for several years, because she is a teacher at the school Claire attends.
What I know of Samara is that she is thoughtful, romantic (she likes all the best books!), open, and faithful. I really like her.
Samara was born and raised here in nearby Pasadena, and teaches at the school where she was formerly a student! :)Here is more about Samara, in her own words:
I was born December 22, 1971, and brought home Christmas day in a Christmas stocking. My parents named me Samara, which means "guarded by God."
I was very blessed to grow up in a home that loved the Lord. I heard His calling at a young age and began my personal relationship with the Lord with the help of my mom.
Christian schooling and close friends and family have helped in the growth of my relationship with Christ. I am grateful to say that the Lord has really guarded me from many of the struggles that many people experience. That is not to say that life is always easy and wonderful. The Lord has placed other challenges in my life.
Fourteen years ago, when I started teaching, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Treatment was started immediately, and it seemed a wonderful testimony and encouragement for other men to have themselves checked.
In the process of seeing if the cancer had spread, while checking the lymph nodes, a cut was made in my dad's intestines, causing peritonitis. Emergency surgery was performed successfully, and during the recovery process, on an x-ray that started up too far on the torso, his thyroid cancer was found. It did not metastasize or spread from the prostate.
Dad’s thyroid was removed, taking with it some of his vocal cord nerves, which resulted in his talking with a raspy voice. He was still struggling a bit with eating and such, and with further investigation esophageal cancer was found, again not having spread from another source.
Three months after having his esophagus removed, he passed away. I lost my dad, one of the few people who knew me so well.
Talk about rocking one's world . . . if I did not have Christ as my anchor, I really don’t know where I would be.
The Lord was patient with me and graciously encircled me with his love as I got frustrated and mad and sad. My dad was the person in my life who knew exactly when I needed encouragement and what to say.
Having that taken away was hard, but it’s forced me to turn to the only one who has the answers, the one who is the truth. How do I know it is the truth?
John 7:17-18 says, “If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
Christ spoke to honor and glorify his father. Today, as I struggle with still being single, and as each day presents itself with new challenges, I know that I am here to do God’s will, to glorify Him. He is my anchor, He is my joy, and He is my all-in all because I am found complete in Him.
What am I up to now? After graduation from Azusa Pacific University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, I spent a number of summers working summer camp under the camp name "Moonchaser." In 1996, I began my teaching career by teaching sixth grade. I went back to school in 2000 to earn a Master of Arts degree in Educational Technology, which complemented my second role at school as curriculum technology coordinator. Then, in 2004, I took the position of my former history teacher, who was retiring, and became the seventh grade geography and eighth grade U.S. history teacher, as well as the annual Washington D.C. trip coordinator.
In addition to traveling, I enjoy hiking in Washington State with family, reading up a storm, and expressing my creativity through scrapbooking and quilting.