Parlez Vous Francais? Simple Online Language Lessons by Mango

Bonjour! (Good day, hello)

Today I would like to share my journey into re-familiarizing myself with the French language as I prepare to visit France. I took French for one semester 35 years ago while at U.C. Berkeley and for the past year, I have been watching movies with French subtitles, but needed more.

My local librarian introduced me to Mango, an online resource free through the library system that teaches online language lessons, including French. It is available also for a fee through the mobile app and at mangolanguages.com

I am thrilled to say I have been able to bring back the language through these simple, easy to understand and speak, interactive lessons. You will find them under Online Resources on your library website.

I am sitting here at Peets Coffee, smelling the freshly ground coffee, on this hot 96 degree summer day, probably annoying my fellow Peetniks by repeating the French phrases outloud!

Do you want to learn some easy French? Here is a sampling:

Bon Soir! (Good evening)
Ca Va? (How are you?)
Bon, ca va très bien, merci (Well, I am very well, thank you.)
Vous parlez anglais? (Do you speak English?)
Moi? Oui, je parle un peu anglais. (Yes, I speak English a little.)
Bien. Je ne comprends pas le français beaucoup (Good, I do not understand French very much.)
Bon, A tout a l’heure. (Well, see you later.)
Au Revoir, and Ciao. (Goodbye and Ciao)

See, I learned all this in the first five lessons, and I trust I will be able to get around Paris and the South of France. After all, the French appreciation it if you try to speak the language first, especially waiters, and then don’t think we are horrible Americans!

Please come back to my blog and learn more about France and my upcoming trip!

Salut and Ciao (goodbye and Ciao)

Read my spiritual journey and my path to moving to France in my new book Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God
available in paperback or ebook at amazon.com


Paris Here I Come: The Best Falafel in Paris Review

Yes, I am excited to say my long planned trip to Paris is finally coming to pass. I have been waiting for the Lord to provide the money to go, and voila, I have received a nice settlement from a car accident which will allow me to travel to France.

One of my desired things to do when I get to Paris is visit the Jewish Quarter, the Marais, and have a falafel at what I have been told is the best falafel restaurant. I hear they are out of this world, and having spent much time in Israel, I love to eat them. If you are going to Jerusalem anytime soon, the best place to get one is in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. They put French fries in them, which I love.

In the Marais district of Paris, long lines form in front of a tiny, dark green storefront, where tourists and locals alike await what just may be the best falafel sandwich in all of Europe. At least according to Lenny Kravitz, whose picture adorns this always crowded kosher eatery. Yes, while the City of Lights is renowned for its Michelin-starred restaurants and gourmet cuisine, one may not always feel up for a multi-course meal.

If you’re looking for something delicious and budget friendly, (a classic falafel pita cost 5 euro and will satisfy your appetite for hours and hours), head straight for the Marais district and don’t stop walking until you get to 34, rue des Rosiers.

The neighbourhood, the traditional Jewish quarter of Paris, is full of falafel joints, but L’As du Falafel is widely-known to be the best (Paris resident and professional food writer and blogger, David Lebovitz, puts L’As du falafel at number 2 on his list of 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris). Give your money to the Israeli guys standing outside, and get in line to pick up your order from the take-away window.

What you’ll get is a pita stuffed to the brim (you’ll need a fork and lots of napkins) with super-crisp, garlicky chickpea fritters, creamy hummus, lightly pickled red cabbage, salted cucumbers, fried eggplant and just-hot-enough harissa (ask for extra sauce piquant).

One word of advice: don’t save this meal for your last day on a Paris visit. Once you have one of these falafel sandwiches, you’ll want to come back again for another.

L’As du Falafel
34 rue des Rosiers (Métro Saint Paul), Paris
+33 (1) 48 87 63 60
Closed Saturdays

Bon Appetit! Wish me luck in my travels! – Miriam

Check out my book/memoirs: Becoming Miriam: A life transformed by God – click above or for sale at Amazon.com


A Virtual Trip to Paris on Christmas Day

is-1Joyeux Noel! Merry Christmas in French. It’s Christmas Day here outside San Francisco and I am writing my first blog post for my new theme C’est La Vie! (This is life!) I hope you are somewhere warm celebrating the birth of our dear Savior Jesus, who came to bring light to our darkness and freedom and hope for eternal life to each one of us.

Now that my first book, Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God is published and available for sale on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle/ebook img_1397formats, I can go forth with my plans of going to Paris and fulfilling my dream of being a writer and artist there. I plan on taking a long trip to write in the cafe where famous authors wrote during the Romance-age of Paris and paint where famous artists painted..

I plan to go to Cafe Les Deux Magots in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, which was the rendezvous of the literary and is-2intellectual society. I know the booth where Hemingway wrote and desire to sit with my laptop and work on my second book, which is a continuation of my first, how God is leading me to France to live and minister there. Think what inspiration this will be. Sipping on a Cafe Creme, letting a buttery croissant melt in my mouth. Watching all the people, hearing French spoken and using my limited French with the waiter.

After a day writing, I hope to take my pastels down to the river Seine, the main large river that runs through Paris in a snake shape, and paint the famous bridges. I will take a coffee and walk till I find that perfect one, perhaps with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background, Think what inspiration that will be, to imagine is-3how Picasso, Monet, and Chagall painted the same spot, and to be surrounded by other artists hoping to make their mark in the art world. I’ll capture how the sunlight dances on the dark green water, and the clouds floating by. Perhaps there will be a small child with a colorful balloon.

My heart will soar as my dream comes true, as God is a giver of good dreams. It has been a hard, long wait, with the passing of my father this summer, and recovery from a car accident of 14 months, along with a bout with melanoma cancer.

But our God promises to bring good out of evil and sickness, to give us the hope of life with a loving God who adopts us as His child, even when we are alone and abandoned by our own families. He will never leave us or abandon us, and will come live in our heart when we ask him to forgive our sins and give us a clear, new beginning.

You can learn how to have this personal relationship with God by reading my book, which shares how I found this same relationship is-4after a life that left me with a broken heart and damaged life. Jesus was faithful to restore me and can for you too, no matter how wounded you are.

Back to France…I have some resources to share with you if you would like to come along and dream with me about going to Paris. Read the book: The Paris Wife: The First Mrs. Hemingway, by Paula McLain.The Paris Wife takes place in the hopelessly romantic 1920s, as Hadley, a 28-year-old virgin, and Hemingway, a terribly ambitious 21-year-old wounded in the First World War, start their lives together in France.

is-5McLain smartly explores Hadley’s ambivalence about her role as supportive wife to a budding genius, and the novel is at its most powerful and devastating in its portrayal of two key moments in the marriage: when Hadley leaves a valise with her husband’s manuscripts on a train, only to see them stolen, and later, when she realizes he has left her out of his first novel,The Sun Also Rises.

It is a great read, and allows the reader to step into the romance of 1920s Paris. For a movie that does the same thing, I recommend the movie Midnight in Paris (2011), directed by Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams set in modern day Paris. While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, Gil, a writer, 220px-Midnight_in_Paris_Posterwalks the streets of Paris at midnight only to be offered a ride in a car that has him time traveling back to the romance of the 1920s. There he meets the greats: Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Picasso.

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip to Paris today, and will follow along on my blog to enjoy more! I also plan to go to the South of France and visit Nice, where Chagall and Picasso both have museums.

Blessings to you, dear reader on this Christmas Day.
Un joyeux Noël à tous nos lecteurs.

Au Revoir!

To read a synopsis of my book, click above or go to Amazon.com

To view my greeting cards that feature my art, click above or go to miriamsarzotti.com


My Book Becoming Miriam is Now For Sale!

isJust in time for Christmas and Hanukkah, that perfect present for a loved one or even yourself (think stocking!) BUY HERE

img_1397I am happy to announce that my first book, Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God is now for sale on amazon.com! It was a five year labor of love. Here’s the book synopsis:

A Surprising Discovery. A Journey of Faith. God’s Healing Touch.

Born into a Catholic family, the author Miriam discovers a family secret, only to embrace her true heritage along her journey of faith.

Discover how God miraculously appears throughout her life, from her dark valleys of child abuse, clinical depression, and being deceived into witchcraft, to her peaks of missionary work in Israel and abroad. God shows His steadfast love and faithfulness at every turn, bringing healing, deliverance, and restoration to her broken heart and damaged life.The good news is He can do this for you,too.

Find steps to healing from issues Miriam overcame, ones you struggle with today: abortion, eating disorders, loneliness, sexual abuse, anxiety, depressions, PTSD, addictions, abandonment, and cult/occult involvement.

Experience hope and miracles only God can bring, as you get to knowis-1 and build an intimate relationship with the Healer Himself.

Bonus: Learn how to write and publish that book God has placed on your heart, as well as how to start a ministry that brings Him glory!

Praise for Becoming Miriam:

“Miriam, you describe your intimate relationship with Jesus with such sweet tenderness and affection. Although God allowed for some very dark times in your life, it is clear that His arms were always outstretched waiting for you to come back to Him. Yours is a very
powerful testimony of how God is with us even amidst the storms of our lives.”

Patrice, El Granada, California

“Miriam, your book is the most inspirational and motivational book I have ever read! I couldn’t put it down and read it in ten days! It helped me so much as I have gone through much of what you have. I highlighted Scriptures and parts that touched my heart and I am referring back to them to find the healing you have found. I discovered God again reading your faith journey, and I am so grateful to you for writing your story.”

Wendy, Sunnyvale, California

BUY NOW ON amazon.com

Please share this post with your friends and help them find healing and miracles too!


My Summer Adventure: Sculpting

img_1469This past July, I had the wonderful opportunity to take a sculpting class at the local junior college, College of San Mateo. I was looking for a holiday adventure that would be fun and refresh me from the year-long doctor appointments from my car accident and melanoma.

Hmm…sculpting, that sounds fun. I have always wanted to see how artists sculpt out of stone or glass…and make statues. I am going to sign up.

img_1451For the next six weeks, I found my hidden gift of sculpting. 20 students and I, almost all younger ‘kids’ in their teens and early twenties, learned how to sculpt a nude statue out of red clay. Our professor, Rory, a famous sculptor himself, warned us it would take two hours to make a foot. And it did. Not having any experience with this, I thought as an artist, it would be easy. It was not.

img_1460

img_1459We met twice a week from 9-3:30 and boy were we busy! I came home every day bone tired form the mental and physical energy it takes to sculpt, to sit and stand all day long. But I was delighted to find how excited I was to come to class and do art all day in studio with other artists. This was an exhilarating experience for me and I felt completed as an artist.

We had to pick one medium to use so I chose glass. Rory warned us that “glass is fussy” but I did not heed his warning! I learned how to buy glass with a trip to the local glass store and chose my three projects: a blue/white Star of David plate for Jewish img_1516holidays, a cross and glass base, and a Jewish mezuzah with Scripture, which hangs on doorposts of Jewish homes. I shared my faith as a Jewish Christian, and while most were accepting, some gave me funny looks!

img_1475Sculpting with glass is an extremely frustrating thing to do, and with just some instructions from the professor, I was off, soon begging for help from Helen and Peggy, volunteers in the class. Wearing goggles, I measured my designs, then cut and sanded them. Then the next foray was to fire them in the kiln. Firing is a lot like Christmas morning, you don’t know what you are going to get until you open the package, or in this img_1499case, the kiln! My blue Star of David plate melted over the corners, a no-no, but I liked how it looked, so kept it that way. My purple marbled cross came out beautifully contoured and I was pleased.

I next made a mold outimg_1519 of clay and plastered it, filled it with cut green glass and fired it, making the base for the cross. I filled the mezuzah mold with colored glass bits, and fired it, satisfied to have it for my new home in France one day.img_1502

img_1473Other classmates sculpted stones, made plaster masks out of their faces, and fused metal. I loved learning from the younger kids, listening to their dreams and stories of their lives.

Our grade was based on all of our work, and I was happy to get an A- in the class. My clay statue, Gabriella, was given a “B” because her arms were not totally img_1528proportional. Oh, well, I did my best, and while she turned out looking like an idol, she sits on my bookshelf now at home.

img_1540We celebrated the end of our class with a potluck and photographs on our iphones. I am now ready to lay my paintbrush aside, and hope to continue in glass once I move to France where I will give God the glory through my art. Enjoy the pictures! img_1533

So see my art click on ‘my art’ above of go to giftsofhisglory.com


Celebrate! My Book “Becoming Miriam” is Published!

IMG_1397Four years and three months. That is the time it took to write, edit and self publish my first book of my memoirs entitled, “Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God.” And today, I received my first copies hot off the press, bringing tears to my eyes! It really was a miracle how God provided for me to write this book.

If you follow my blog, you know this was a dream for me to write a book, and the Lord gave me the go ahead to write my life story, to bring healing to myself and others. He provided for me to go three years in a row to a great writers conference nearby my home. He brought renowned authors to teach me and walk alongside me in my writing journey. Other writers to edit, critique and encourage me. The ability to self publish and do the production myself. All because He cares about the desires of our hearts.

Most of you know the victory this is: after losing my ability to write due to carpel tunnel and injuries to my arms and shoulder; a car accident; then three rounds of melanoma surgeries, all within two years. The devil was busy.

So my publication is sweet and I rejoice in God’s faithfulness. Self IMG_1396publishing wasn’t how i imagined it, that first year at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference, but the Lord knew His plans to give Himself glory.

The Lord instructed me to publish Becoming Miriam as my legacy to my future children and family one day in France. And to share with those I meet along my path who need a healing touch from Jesus.

I imagine you would like to read it, too! However, it is not for sale quite yet.
I am waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing to release the book to the general public. Stay tuned. Only He knows the date! But I wanted to share it with you today, because I know a lot of you have followed my story and even prayed for me to see the book published.

Please LIKE and follow my Facebook author page to keep informed when it will be cropped-th-2.jpgavailable for sale, under Miriam Sarzotti, Author and Artist, or subscribe to this blog via email.

Celebrate with me, as the angels in heaven are, giving God the Glory for bringing His book to fruition!

To see my paintings and greeting cards, go to www.giftsofhisglory.com.gerber daisies card


A New Beginning for a New Year 2016

3228931Happy New Year friends! Yes, it has been a few months since I last blogged. Life got tough with many trials and I somehow lost my writing voice. Since the new year rolled around, I have found my passion again and want to share with you what has been happening in my life during this time.

All year I have been longing to go to Paris, but one health crisis after another stopped me, along with the terrorism there. This year 2016, I know will bring that longed for trip and even a possible move to France. God has been promising me a new home, in a new a-september-view-of-the-eiffel-tower-photo_14408918-260tallland and put the nation of France on my heart. So much has happened to their nation, that I feel the call to use my spiritual gifts of evangelism, art and healing for the children and people of France.

IMG_1197All along the way, God has been putting hints and encouragements in my path. Everywhere I turn, I see images of the the Eiffel Tower, Paris scenes, movies about Paris, Christmas tree ornaments of Paris, French pastries, you name it, I find it! Hope continued to fill my heart that maybe this Christmas I could go. I bought myself some purple snow boots just in case for the snow and cold.

Then tragedy struck. I was a passenger in a car accident and injured my neck and back. This happened a few days before Halloween when the devil is certainly on the prowl. I was unable to sit or stand and in great pain. I could not write or paint, my creative process that brings me great joy. Now, after months of physical therapy, I am on the mend, but still not able to ride my bike and get around. But I am writing today!

Then tragedy struck again. Three days before Christmas a biopsy of a mole showed melanoma cells and needed to be cut out. For the second time since April. Right before the Holidays. My great surgeon at Stanford did a good job and was able to remove all the bad cells, but it was a time again of pain and sitting home on holidays with my leg up and my mood glum. Why was God allowing all of this? I cried out to Him in my pain, but through it all He gave me the hope of Paris. Maybe Valentines Day I could go Lord, to celebrate my love for you in the most romantic city on earth? “You know I love you, and will surprise you when it’s time to go,” He whispered back to me.

IMG_1164I spent New Year’s Day at the coast, renting a Zip rental car, finally able to use my leg, and so grateful I could walk along the seashore. As I sat by the ocean, the Lord whispered His plans for me this year. Plans to publish my first book, Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God. To continue working on my second book, a sequel to my first, that shares how God is leading me to France and my new life there.

For a new vision to use my art to reach the French with the gospel and to open a home for children to come who have been abused in any way for healing and respite. All these things swirled in my mind. And the most wonderful gift, a husband, a companion, who would love and cherish me, one I have been waiting for all my life.

IMG_1191And today, January 3rd, it is my 55th birthday. I am surprised I have lived this long with all the trauma and trials in my life. God has sustained me and kept me for a time such as this. While it is harder getting older, you grow an extra chin and forget everything, I am told the view only gets better from here.

My word for this year is Future. I am excited about leaving California and what God has for me abroad. I looking forward to getting married and having a child, creating a family that honors God, and being that homemaker I have wanted to be. I have been a business woman, missionary, teacher, artist and writer, but never been able to make my own soap or can my own fruit! It is time.

This year I am reading Jesus Calling: Experience Hope in God’s Presence by Sarah Young. I am learning to find hope in God’s unfailing love for me, and to lean on Him in good times and bad.

What is it you are hoping for in the new year? I hope you turn to Jesus to be that hope and love for yourself. He is waiting to be your Savior, to take your sin, key-to-hapiness-1give you unconditional love and the gift of eternal life. It can be yours, just for saying the following prayer with faith in your heart.

Dear Jesus:

I know I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Please forgive me for all my wrongdoings and iscome live in my heart. I ask you to be Lord over my life, and help me be the person you intended me to be. Show me your path for my life and help me to love and honor you. Thank you for placing your Holy Spirit in my heart to guide and protect me. I receive you forgiveness and the gift of eternal life with you. Thank you Jesus. I love you.

It’s that simple. Angels are rejoicing in Heaven right now as you are now a child of God and a member of His family. You have begun a personal relationship with Him and He is waiting to hear and answer you prayers and heart’s desires.

I hope the Lord will bless you with love, joy, peace and good health this coming year. He is able to do immeasurably more that you can think or imagine. Ephesians 3:20. Just trust Him. If you hope in Him you will find joy in His presence. Amen.

gerber daisies cardTo see my art and greeting cards, click on ‘my art’ or go to giftsofhisglory.com

Click LIKE TWEET or PINTEREST to share with your friends…


New Pastel Note Cards in Time for Fall Holidays

fall pumpkin with leaves cardAnnouncing….my latest pastel art note cards…perfect for sending or gifting this Fall season. I selected my best and favorite pastel paintings and made them into 5 x 7 blank
note cards on high quality note paper. Each card is an original print of my art, printed by hand…They are perfect to be framed and make a lovely gift to give for the upcoming holidays. Check out my Fall Pumpkin with Leaves card just for this purpose. I can add a greeting such as “Happy Thanksgiving” or your favorite Scripture to each card hand printed.

gerber daisies card

hibiscus card

tulip card

bouganviella card

magnolia card

Cards can be ordered through my website www.giftsofhisglory.com.

Send me an order/comment under the ‘Contact Miriam’ section with your selection. Cards are $6 each or special on a set of 6 for $32 (savings of $4) I can mail them to you for an additional $4 charge. I accept debit and credit cards or a check drawn on a local California bank. All communications on my website are secure, but you are welcome to place your order and send your financial information by telephone 650-454-4210 Please make sure to include your telephone number.

Please feel free to contact me at miriam@giftsofhisglory.com with any questions.

Enjoy!

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To see my other paintings and greeting cards click on ‘my art’ abovechristmas poinsettias 5 x 7 greeting scan final


Our Home – A Devotion

Today, I would like to share my latest devotion written at Valentine’s Day earlier this year. I hope your heart will be blessed…

Our Home.

“All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” John 14:23 NLT

At our church retreat, the speaker spoke on the booklet My Heart, Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger. He shared when Jesus is at the center of our being, we have total intimacy. All conflict or dissonance goes away, leaving just peace and joy. If we take off our masks, allowing Him to see our true selves, He will show us His true self, without our projections. In a moment of silence, the speaker asked us who was at the center of our lives? In a hushed voice, I heard the Lord say, “Yourself.” Shocked, I believed Jesus was already at the center, since I constantly seek His will in my life.

That night as I lay in my tent, looking up at the redwood trees, I prayed; “Lord, please come make your home in my heart.” His presence filled me. “I am the intimacy you seek. I can fill all those empty places you try to fill with other things. I am enough. I am the gift”. Amazed, I whispered, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Have you really given Jesus home in your heart? He wants to give you true intimacy with Him, if only you ask. -copyright 2015
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mums in pumpkin cropped imageTo see my Scripture paintings and Greeting Cards go to ‘my art’ above or giftsofhisglory.com

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NEW Book Review: “Drawing Fire” by Author Janice Cantore

During the summer, do you enjoy comprising a list of books you iswant to read and then spend every free moment doing so? Well, I do!

This summer, I have included one of my favorite author’s and writing friend, Janice Cantore, on my list. I met Janice at Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference in the Santa Cruz mountains, a few years back, where we talked writer talk over lunch.

test-logo1Janice, a retired Long Beach police officer, now writes Christian suspense novels, which is my favorite genre. I am hooked on television shows like The Closer and Major Crimes and anything involving police drama or cold cases. So I was happy to hear her first novel in the Cold Case Justice series was coming out entitled Drawing Fire, which I will be reviewing today.

drawing-21-200x300I love the strong women characters Janice develops, in this case Abby Hart, a dedicated homicide detective, who is determined to solve a cold case of her parent’s murders. Abby struggles with her faith in God throughout the story, as we all do, particularly how God could allow her parents to die in such a horrible fire, leaving her an orphan. But wait, enter Luke Murphy, a handsome and irritating Private Investigator, who is also interested in finding out who is responsible for their deaths, for his own personal reasons.

As Abby works together with Luke to unravel a serial killer case in the Long Beach area, sparks fly even though Abby is engaged to a mission’s pastor out on the mission field. Off duty, when they try to uncover evidence about the fire buried beneath years of deceit, they soon realize someone will do anything to make sure this case remains cold.

th-6The story line is suspenseful, and I found myself quickly turning the pages as I eagerly anticipated what was next in the plot. The author’s police background gives credibility to the scenes and dialogue, and creates some great police action.

It inspired me to see God working in Abby and Luke’s lives and the possibility of a new romance for them as the story ends. I saw His hand behind the scenes as he brought Justice to the cases, as only God can. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series to see what engrossing storyline the author will weave! I highly recommend Drawing Fire to you, my readers.

To read more about Author Janice Cantore and to purchase your copy of Drawing Fire visit: Janicecantore.com

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IMG_0623To see my Christian paintings and greeting cards, go to giftsofhisglory.com or click on
‘my art’ above.