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


A Walkabout for Art Lovers in Nice, France

This Fall I plan to visit Nice, France, on the Cote d’Azur (blue sea) in the South of France. Also known as the French Riviera, it was a playground for artists – inspiring them to create art in a way that Paris could not, with the sun, sea and ocean breeze as subjects of their modernist paintings.

As an artist, I am looking forward to visiting the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice. Having a Jewish heritage myself, Monsuier Chagall is a favorite. I first saw his genius in the stained glass windows of the chapel in Haddassah Hospital outside Jerusalem, on my first tour of Israel. I was moved by his biblical scenes and my messianic-Jewish tour guide (a Jew who believes in Jesus) gave a delightful commentary as we visited the chapel. My favorite Chagall painting, La Mariee, is of a bride with violin-playing goat.

The Musee Marc Chagall was created with the cooperation of the artist himself, with large paintings illustrating the first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus; and Solomon’s Song of Songs or Canticles, which is a biblical meditation on love.

THE LIFE OF CHAGALL

Marc Chagall, born Moishe Zakharovich Shagalov; (1887 –– 1985) was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.

Chagall was born into Russian poverty (his father was a herring merchant) and he went on to live a life encompassing nearly 100 years. He lived the Russian revolution, arrived in Paris not speaking a word of French, returned to his village to marry his fiancé and was then trapped in Russia during WWI. He returned to Paris to become one of the Modernist masters, but even this couldn’t save him as a Jew during WWII and his family had to be smuggled out of France to America. During this time his Jewish hometown was decimated from a population of over 200,000 to just 118 survivors.

Despite this, his work is infused with joy and optimism, whimsical dreamlike symbols, and always evoking his humble childhood and faith.

CHAGALL ON THE RIVIERA

Chagall lived his final years in Saint Paul de Vence from 1966-1985, where he was constantly in motion on new projects, even up to the day he died at age 97 (his tomb can be found in the Saint Paul de Vence cemetery). His works can be found up and down the coast – and sometimes crop up in surprising places, like at the winery Sainte Roseline where a Chagall mosaic covers a wall in the chapel, or in the back of L’Ane Rouge restaurant in the Nice Port, where you can find a red ceramic donkey, a gift to his stubborn red-haired mistress, Anne, who he nicknamed L’Ane Rouge, and who then gave the name to her restaurant.

How to Get There:

Take bus Bus #15 Rimiez/St-George, which you can catch behind the Nice Etoile Shopping Center, behind Galeries Lafayette, or on rue Geoffredo. Once the bus is well up the hill and you have a great city view to your left, you know your stop is getting close. After you pass the ‘Rolland Garros’ stop, push the red button and get off at the ‘Musee Chagall’ stop. The museum is via the road on your left. The museum is on Avenue Docteur Menard, which is just off Boulevard de Cimiez.*

Voyages heureux à Nice – Miriam

Check out my memoirs available on Amazon.com in ebook or paperback
Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God.

*adapted from Allison Coe – Best of Nice, Blog.


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!


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!

Please share my post and cards with your friends! LIKE TWEET or PINTEREST above/below.

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


Miracle Shoes: A Devotion/Prayer

I’d like to share one of my devotions that has been published in Penned From the Heart last year to encourage you in your walk today with God. The devotion, or prayer, shows God’s faithfulness during my time as a Christian missionary visiting England.

May it bless you today…and may you find a miracle of your own!

Miracle Shoes

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 KJV

th-2I peered out the window at another rainy October day in Cranborne, England, What am I going to do? I only have summer shoes with me since I left my luggage back in London.

“Lord, I am trusting you for my finances as I travel as a visiting missionary. I need a pair of warm boots for this cold weather. My pocketbook is empty. Help!”

That afternoon I stopped at a shoe store on my way to speak at a prayer group. A pair of brown leather boots for 50 pounds was in the window. Those would be perfect, th-1Lord. At the meeting, the leader told me, “Miriam, we can support you with prayers but not financially, as we are all on a pension.”

Two days later, a check for 50 pounds arrived by mail from a woman at the group. God had miraculously meet my need. He cares about the little things, even keeping our toes warm. He increases our faith as we trust Him to supply all our needs.

Heavenly Father, I trust you to provide all I need, knowing every good and perfect gift comes from you.

Please share my devotion with your friends, by LIKE PINTEREST OR TWEET below.

So see my Scripture Art and greeting cards, click on ‘my art’ above or meadow  5 x 7 scanhref=”http://www.giftsofhisglory.com” target=”_blank”>www.giftsofhisglory.com


Baby Teeth and Birthday Blues

What do baby teeth and birthdays have in common? Well, for me, a lot. You see tomorrow I am having my last baby tooth pulled, tooth #T, so the dentist says. It has served me well for 53 years, as I was born without a permanent tooth below it. I also have a BIG birthday coming up on Saturday, January 3, and I am feeling depressed. About both.

As long as I had my baby tooth, I felt young and alive at heart. As long as I was in my early fifties, I still felt young and cute, especially since people say I look a decade younger. Turning 54 is not so cute anymore. And, it is definitely middle-aged. I am one year away from being 55 when you can get into the movies on Monday for $6, shop at Ross Dress For Less on Tuesday’s for 10% off, and an assortment of other treats. That’s what my MOTHER does, I think to myself.

But, what hit me most was how on Saturday I will wake up and still not have a husband. I implored of the Lord, “How did this happen that I am now a senior citizen and still unmarried? Did you forget to put the husband card in your day-timer of my life? Who will want me with all my sags, memory loss, and turkey neck? I still want to be a mother, and unless you are going to pull another Elizabeth or Sarah number on me, I will not be giving birth.

So the tears came. I know some of it was the after-Christmas blues, the ‘why haven’t you opened the door for me to move yet’ and disappointment of not going to Paris for Christmas, because I had to stay home and have my tooth pulled. But, I think it is mostly the realization that I am growing older, alone.

Yes, I have my sweet Savior as my best friend and spiritual husband. Yes, I love to spend time with him and go on fun adventures together. In fact, I plan on spending my birthday just with Him, taking English afternoon tea in a tea house in San Francisco and then walking through Golden Gate Park, hand in hand. However, the yearning for a family of my own, a real-live husband and child to spend my ‘glory’ years with tugs at my heart.

I laugh with my friends that if I do somehow have a miracle child, I will be too old to bend over and pick her/him up! When I run around the house looking for my glasses, only to find them on my face already or in the shower (huh?), I mourn the loss of both my estrogen and memory, not necessarily in that order. I wonder why I have suddenly started calling everyone ‘dear’ as my grandmother did?

So, I did what every good writer would do, I blogged about it. And as I write this, the Lord reminds me of the gift of life He has given me, when I should have died many times over in my life. That He will bless my birthday with surprises and a heart full of His love, for I am His princess, His daughter and the best is yet to come! My heart is lifted and I place my trust in Him.

Goodbye baby tooth, I will miss you!

To see my Scripture art and cards, click on ‘my art’ above or giftsofhisglory.com.

And share this with a friend LIKE TWEET PINTEREST GOOGLE above.


Packing by Faith…My Latest Adventure.

I sit at my desk surrounded by boxes packed and waiting to be sealed up. I am planning on moving after 13 years at my apartment in downtown San Carlos which has been both a blessing (location) and curse, facing many trials. But in my prayer time, the Lord finally whispered to me its time to move.

“Where, Lord,” I have petitioned Him over and over. My heart has been to go to Paris and finish my book by writing the ‘afterward’ at a cafe where famous writers have written their best sellers, such as Hemingway. I have wanted to go to walk the Siene river and paint where Picasso and Monet painted. It has been my dream trip and a door I believe the Lord will open for me soon.

My heart is also in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, amongst the quiet lifestyle of the Amish and farm country. Visiting four years ago, I feel in love with the people and the fall season of leaves turning red, yellow and orange, so unlike here in Northern California. I have desired to marry, to quilt, make my own soap, sew my future children’s clothes and get fresh milk from the dairy. I know it is a dichotomy to want to live in France and the Bible Belt of America. But those are the two sides of me.

God is good that way. He plants the desires of our heart and then gives them to us. Often waiting a VERY long time, as I have, for my dreams to come true. “How will you survive the long, snowy winters, Miriam? my friends ask. “Hopefully with a break and trip to Palm Springs desert,” I reply laughing.

So I began to pack up my apartment, not knowing the next step as to where God will first lead me, but I know He will. Over and over He gives me the Scripture “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I know he can do more than I ask or imagine, including bringing the resources I need to move; finances, home, plane ticket. I am trusting Him by faith. Sometimes God asks us to take that first step of faith, even though it seems strange or crazy to others.

After all, my relationship is with Him and I strive to be obedient. He knows the plan and the future, and that it is good. “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Stay tuned for my destination in my next blog post!

What step of faith is God asking you to take today? Leave me a comment and let me know!

To see my Thanksgiving and Christmas greeting cards with Scripture, see ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com. Special price on bundle of 6 cards! They make great gifts too!christmas poinsettias 5 x 7 greeting scan final


Under His Wings – A Devotion


 

For this post today, I would like to share one of my latest devotions, written after my last writers conference in April 2014. I usually don’t share my devotions due to copyright infringements (i.e people steal your writing), however, since this soon to be published, I gladly share it here.

Entitled “Under His Wings”, it shares an angelic encounter I had. I am sure many of you have experienced your own angel sightings or want to! Bless you as you consider how God can keep us all, “Under His Wings.”

Under His Wings by Miriam Sarzotti Copyright 2014.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:4 NLT)

The day after Easter Sunday, I was relaxing on my couch recovering from a long writers conference and the intensity of Holy Week. Feeling the Lord’s presence, I sat quietly with Him and envisioned myself cuddled in His arms. I thanked Him for the blessings He had bestowed on me, in particular keeping me safe from the devil’s schemes. He whispered for me to take His hand, and trust Him to guide me forward in my life. Suddenly, I saw a white fluffy item fall from the ceiling. Picking it up, I was amazed to discover a small feather. Soft to my touch, it didn’t resemble an animal’s feather. Instantly, I knew in my heart it was from a heavenly wing. Peace filled my soul. I saw feathers fall before during a service in Jerusalem, so was not totally surprised. God sent me a supernatural reminder that I was safe in the shelter of His wings.

Have you felt safe in God’s arms? He longs for us to run to Him to find shelter in His loving presence and promises in Scripture daily. Ask Him to show you signs of His love and protection today.

Please share with your friends by LIKE, TWEET or PINTEREST above or below

To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards, go to ‘my art’
above or www.giftsofhisglory.com

Fall Holiday greeting card Mums in Pumpkin

Fall Holiday greeting card Mums in Pumpkin