Nov 29, 2009

Sunday Solitude: Only Good will come if we Follow

We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him.   -Rom 8-28


I read many things into this line, it tells me each one of us is but a part of a greater whole.
We are all 'fitted' together for a purpose. Something that happens to one, has an impact direct and indirect on the rest. Something you read in someone's post will affect someone today.
So we should not be overly preocccupied with accidents and incidents, we should trust that they are part of God's big secret plan.
God is THE director, so then, we must be able to follow for it to come to pass.
And ultimately all will work out to our advantage and benefit, to enjoy at the end.
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. -Jn 14.6
St Catherine of Siena reflected  'Many want to go ahead of Christ not after him - by laying out a way to their own specifications. They seek to serve God and obtain virtue without effort.
But they deceive themselves for Christ is "the way"'

Nov 27, 2009

Taking the Ordinary for Granted

Over the years in meeting with different kinds of individuals you learn that nothing can be a norm even living within the same society,  in other words I should not take anything for granted..

- riding on 2 wheels - I learnt that when I was a kid with other kids, but I have friends who cannot. I couldn't imagine that (I was shocked) and then I thought about it. The reason is simple, they grew up without a bicycle, there was no opportunity for one among themselves or their neighbours, I had my neighbours bicycle to borrow and scratch my knees with. When I taught years ago, we brought in a couple of bicycles to teach those who did not have the opportunity. There's nothing like moving and balancing on your own steam and riding with the wind in your face.  To me, riding a 2-wheeler should be an elemental part of growing up years.

- swimming - I didn't learn it til I was in my late 30s. I had a colleague who laughed, and thought we were joking when we mentioned we wanted to arrange for an instructor. My colleague of the same age, couldn't believe that, why because she learnt it in school and everyone else she grew up with could. I think many of us couldn't afford such luxuries in those days. But I think I appreciate the fact more than she does.

- having a child that always takes one of the top 3 positions in the school every year for the past 13 years. My colleague takes her child for granted. She does not check on his school work.  She cannot understand why I take so much time out to spend with the kids over study and yet they are never near the top. Well she is lucky, and she complains he doesn't focus.  How does that happen? He just is smart.  Wow I can't imagine what life would be like, living with such a child.

- eating chocolates. Years ago when I taught, I had 1 student who had never had a chocolate. When he stood to tell his story about what foods they had never eaten before, the rest of the class laughed. I was shocked.  It was not that he could not afford it, but it was because his parents had forbidden it, they were against it for unknown health reasons.  Is it possible to go through life without ever tasting chocolates?

- watching TV.  I have a couple of friends married to each other and who are doctors; and when they had kids they decided they would not allow their kids to watch TV because of 'bad influence' and it 'distracts learning', something like that. I thought to myself 'poor kids'. I cannot imagine that for a kid. Anyway they had changed their minds by the time the oldest child was 11 or 12. The reason was because it had made no difference to the child's learning capability. If anything they weren't sure if it was the reason she was not as smart as mummy or daddy.  My kids cannot imagine that. Well it take all sorts doesn't it... 

- I have 3 kids, we tried and we had. Seemed simple  I know of at least six different women friends and colleagues who tried but could not and still do not have any kids. That is sad. I cannot imagine what that would be like. I am grateful.

- climbing a tree. My boys have never really climbed a tree, but I have. It is a memorable experience.  Have you?

I suppose there are many more things that we each take for granted.

Nov 23, 2009

Defending the Motherhood - plainly speaking...


In one of our studies for a project a while back we came across a lady who was a mother and wife and yet would not recommend marriage to the young or persuade them to have kids. I had talked about this in my earlier post on Family, it's a controversial subject today, arising out of a declining local population.  Most of the responses from men and women were mostly neutral and politically correct.

There was this one particular lady that stood out because she was probably the most pragmatic person in that group with her response. She did not talk about love and rewarding experiences. She used to teach until she had her first child.  She said that the young today have no patience. They have most awareness for themselves only. They have enjoyed life too much in their early age. How would they last in a partnership, how would they look after their child. I don't believe they can make that sacrifice. Especially young women.
For her own experience, she had found it a hard road but by sheer will, she made the sacrifice because it was expected and it was the right thing to do and they(husband and wife) had wanted kids. Her spouse, yes they were still married, she felt did not have to sacrifice and do as much, because they are not expected to or they did not feel the compulsion because they did not bear the child, eventhough they were his too. The responsibility was heavier on her. On hindsight, would she go through that again? No she would not. But don't mistake her " l love my children, I wouldn't turn back the clock" and her voice held a passion describing how they filled her life. She continued that many young people have had a taste of seeing the world, why would they stop themselves from more. Cost of living is high, as a couple even higher, add children in the mix and 'lifestyle is severely curtailed'. There was no bitterness in her tone that I could read.

No one argued or agreed with her. They were quite stunned by her response. She was not regretting the kids, she was regretting not having been able to live more. She also sounded like she was defending a cause. I suppose that was what it was about, young people should get married and have children for the right reasons, but by their own choosing and not because of  public campaigns and incentives.

Is it too harsh, are our youth really that materialistic. There was a lot of insight in her statements and hit home reality of thoughts of my own trials. After you take away the frills, it is in truth a vocation one must desire and be prepared to be responsible for at all costs - with sacrifice. You have to climb that mountain first, all the way to enjoy the reward at the peak.

We do lots for Love and therein lies the reward. As Mother Teresa said, that is what we will be judged on at the end - how much we love and not how many successes we scored or how much of the world we had seen.

Nov 22, 2009

A Prayer

I will bounce back again,
tomorrow is another day.
Today I am tired.
I am confused, what do I do next?
I am waiting on my children
to show me the way.
I will not force their way
until they are sure.
He is wearing me down.
Please show me the way, Lord,
if this is not the right one.
Help me to persevere.

Nov 20, 2009

Strength Wanes

The tide has turned
where love was once.
No more.
This, my response.
To the thunderstorm that bellows,
only breath flows.
Loud curses abound
to soft prayers resound.
Wicked eyes glare,
courage returns its’ stare.
Conspiracy, paranoia
rears its’ head,
but only innocence is abed.
Blind harassment,
meets silent resentment.
Vile verbal onslaught
is but empty, am not distraught.
Violent engagement to seek,
meets meekness yet not weak.
Evil is his game,
in God’s spirit I keep aim
Strength wanes.
Fear invades like a crease,
turmoil in the surround.
Still, follow the gentle breeze,
justice will soon crown.

(HA -Nov 2009)

Nov 18, 2009

Sharing the Flowers - from me to you.

I got a flower award from Farila  (sorry I'm late) who writes Chapters of My Life and now has another re-discovering her life,  very sweet of her. Thank you.



Time to share this  (it is a lovely feeling to receive but you have to work for it and anyhow it is a good excuse to touch base with other bloggers to whom I haven't passed on anything)

the rules are as follows:
1. Thank whoever gave this to you
2. Copy award
3. Post it in your blog
4. Tell us 7 things that your readers don’t know
5. Link 7 new bloggers
6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog
7. Keep being awesome!

And here are my seven choices:


please pass it on

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT MYSELF!
1. I love chocolates
2. I like blue and lately pink too..
3. I would love to have straight hair.
4. I hate liver(not my liver, the kind you eat!)
5. I love a good romance novel when life just gets too serious.
6. I hate cockroaches (not all God's creatures are lovable; they make me screech and some FLY)!
7. I would love to wear 8 inch stilletos but I would blow a tendon in my calf.


... to keep on being awesome..

Nov 16, 2009

A Day in the Life ..... a crisis of age and dress code


Trying my patience
My middle child's mission in life is to test my patience. I took him to get a couple of pieces of clothing which he would need for his school farewell functions. It was the weekend,  I asked him to check if he had the relevant colour shirt or pants for his themed 'black and white' night. He said no, then he tells me, he also needed some khaki or beige bermudas for a morning skid too.. 'ok lets go look for them now', he didn't hesitate. Usually he is not able to decide on the spot and needs to ponder on the slightest things.  I suggested that he could also wear a black top with his black jeans but NO, to him 'black and white' means just that; no white and white or black and black. No point trying to explain,  he just couldn't accept it. He didn't want to 'be embarrassed'.  OK I let  it go, This is one of his characteristics, when something appears defined in no uncertain terms by the school, that's the way it is,  it's hard to go into a grey area. I hope this aspect will improve with maturity.

We went to one of the major shoppings malls which also had a major department store.  'Almost formal' white shirts are not that common, especially for boys. So we left the department store and went into 'Kiddie Palace' which sells almost anything for kids 0 - 15 yrs old. He was not happy, he didn't want to go in. I had to drag him into the store. I had to drag him to look at the colours and then drag him to the changing room to try out the size for the bermudas. He didn't want to carry the clothes. He refused to try on the shirt, I placed it against his back to be sure it was not oversized, and let him go on that. But I was adamant he try on the bermudas. He created such a fuss, like I was doing this for my own benefit. Through the changing room door. he kept sighing and grumbling, he didn't want it. At this point you can imagine, I had steam coming out of my ears as I maintained control of my temper. The colour was right, so what was wrong, he refused to say.  I had to drag answers out of him on the fit through the door. I must have sounded like a mad woman to some of the shoppers, harassing my son. In the end we left the shop with the desired items for his events.

As we left the mall, and he was calmer, I asked him what was wrong with him. I reminded him that he's now assured he won't have to fret on the eve (like many a school occasion), he needed those items for his own comfort - to fit in, to conform - fine I could understand that.

The problem APPARENTLY was the name 'kiddie'. He's 12, in his mind he is not a 'kiddie', so he associated the clothing likewise; he felt he would be embarrassed by being seen in 'childish' clothes. There was really nothing childish about them, OMG  I thought! I explained to him that those clothing labels (brands) could also be found in the bigger department stores or any other non-'kiddie' labelled shop. And also that the store name was just that - a name because they sold items for kids upto 15 yrs at least. Mercifully,  he understood and accepted (sigh).  The alternative would have been to spend double on a Levi's bermudas just to ensure his comfort. That would have been acceptable because Levi's is not perceived as 'kiddie'.

Intricacies of a 12 year old (male) mind:
A little later on the way home,  I said to him, 'you are 12, technically you ARE a kid'.  He said  he didn't want to be 12. How old did he want to be.. he said 18. Boy oh boy and WHY IS that, he wants 'to drive a car'!!  I left it at that, 'you'll get there sooner than you realise'  my daily quota for reason had reached a limit.

When he gets to 18, I think I'll remind him of this story. I'm sure by then, he'll wish he was 12.
Well I still have a another boy to go through this age crisis, I'm sure I'll be still AMAZED again and again.

Nov 14, 2009

Are you up to the challenge?



Have you heard this story of the chicken and the pig  ... interesting really of how we  look at  'giving'.  One day Chicken and Pig walked by a sign outside a store that was calling for aid in kind and service to cook food for the homeless and poor. The chicken got all excited and said, 'Oh we can do our part too, I'll bring the eggs and you bring the ham". The pig thought for a minute and said, 'well the eggs are no problem for you, but the ham, well that's a challenge".
If everyone does a little it adds up, it's a simple thought really that starts it rolling. It is always  hard to commit time and effort (kids, work kids, work etc), so in some unspoken way, this was directed at me, the challenge this season is just that.
It came knocking on our door.  A few of us in the office decided we would volunteer our time and cars with a group akin to the Salvation Army - to do collection of food, gifts  and other items from people who call up to give  (which peaks particularly at this time of year). From each of us it is a small effort, together it frees up a fair bit of their resources. You feel good, the next person hears about it, and he wants to do his part too.
Guess what the boss is doing his part too.  He's letting us drive his car and better still, it's infectious,  the group has grown!
(Go ahead, take a copy of the badge above and spread your challenge story).

Nov 12, 2009

If I Imagine





If I imagine a world
it will be a world undivided by oceans
and no boundaries.

If I imagine a garden
it will be wider than my eye could see,
laden with fruit trees,
flowers of every colour and bird sanctuaries.

If I imagine a leader
like Solomon, he would be all knowing,
born of wisdom to astound
so Peace will abound.

If I imagine a sound
it will be sweet melodies of vocals,
the gentle voices of angels.
in harmony with a tantalizing breeze,
that surfs the ocean to tease.

If I imagine death
it will be slumber of a mother’s peace
Slowly I will float from the earth
tenderly carried on waves with ease.
No weight, no shame, nor guilt of grief.


(HA - Oct 2009)



Nov 10, 2009

Love - Simple & Difficult


"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."  Song Of Solomon 8:7.
But man can. Call me cynical,
I don't think that Love is instinctive; it's not some sentiment embedded deep in one's nature that it persists despite all else. It is a product of our upbringing and our social environment.  It is a choice made that gets buried so deep and therefore it implies it can be 'un-done',  (like water erodes the soil to expose the roots) dug away gradually until it appears near the surface and then our mind [and all it remembers] decides to love or not to love. We nurture it again or not  with reasons for that choice.
Love implies absolute acceptance - simple yet difficult, is it do-able ?

These statements from my earlier post The Choice to Make, ring true  - by M S Peck who said “The desire to love is not itself love….Love is an act of will …. Namely an intention and action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore not love despite our good intentions. On the other hand, whenever we do actually exert ourselves in the cause of spiritual growth, it is because we have chosen to do so. The choice to love has been made.”

If we choose it all the time and make it so, then there will be more ...as is implied by Mother Theresa who said  "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."   On the other hand this seems simple. 

Nov 7, 2009

'Superior Scribbler' Award



Janice has kindly passed the Superior Scribbler Award to me and I appreciate it. Janice scribbles daily and she writes straight from the heart, her blog is at http://janmrp.blogspot.com.

Got to admit it's kind of a cool name for a blog award.! .. but let's not feel superior about this ...
Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
* Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post  http://scholastic-scribe.blogspot.com/2008/10/200-this-blings-for-you.html   and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I  have carried out all the steps except for the first one so far. I am the 1197th person to be added on to the list of recipients.
I don't have that many followers so it should be easy, but then I have more than 5 so that's hard.  I know some of you already have this particular award (among the nominated too)  so I can skip you -  if you're got it,  you're got it right ... you're not better if you get the same award twice r..u  :). (grin!).. ok ok I'm just looking for excuses to narrow my choices.. .everyone who scribbles in posts or comments deserves this but I can only pick five..

And here goes, the five blog frens I would like to pass this on to:

Just Be Real who shares her real personal journey : http:justbereal77.blogspot.com/ 

Always a Mom (who's a musician I've lately discovered) : 
http://llmoore2.blogspot.com/ 

Andrea who's got 2 blog sites (and has lovely dogs):
 http://arise2write.blogspot.com/ 

Elizabeth who writes inspiringly on a few different sites :  http://www.blestatheist.com/

Judi at Lines Composed with curious lines of thoughts:  http://www.curiousjudi.com/

Nov 5, 2009

On me, Mother and being Mom

JBR's post  My guitar- cries with me touched a chord in me. It reminded me of my mother and thoughts on my motherhood. I  pray that JBR's mother will stop being a destructive force in her life.
In my post (eons ago) I mentioned  My Mother. I won't go into specific details but there have been sore points through the first 25 years that negatively affected me.  
Mothers can be tactless, they can say the wrong things and not say the right things not because of any intention to hurt but because they didn't know better. For me, I believe she did not know better.

But I am reminded too that I am a mother.  We have more reasons today to be perfect,  we are/should be more aware of what to say,  what not to say (to compare),  when to say and how to do things with our kids;  the 'right way' , the 'better way' -  because we are more exposed, better informed and probably better educated, with way more motivations.  But alas we overlook, get tired,  are slow,  work too fast, try too hard,  can't be everywhere, can't cover all the bases, we expect more of ourselves - and then we chide ourselves for our imperfections. Yes I am.
Ah, but then the difference today, is that kids are more vocal, more open, more exposed (not that they are more aware than we were,)  they expect(demand) more of us and they are less likely to be silent about it and that is where it can hurt more.   So we are both empowered, can I say we're even now.

It's funny as a child, I feel/felt  it my responsibility not to hurt my parents in any way.  And now as a mother,  I suppose I expect the same.  But I'm not sure, does this generation of children even feel or think the same or do they feel we owe them. Sometimes it feels like it. Kids talk about being stressed today, I never used the word til I was 30.   

For all of life, I always believe there will come a balance at some point in time.  Life(God) is always fair.

I have forgiven (no grudges) and I acknowledge her sacrifices, but now and again I am reminded. I think it's a reminder for my motherhood.  I hope I will be forgiven for my imperfections, not because I did not know better but because it was my best.  We are mothers but we are unfortunately human. Let's hope for sensitivity and wisdom for ourselves and our kids.

Nov 3, 2009

Hear The Silence






My mind wonders this path
of late in thoughts
of life, God, and our lots.

I am drawn
to the unceasing wonder
of nature, man and yonder.

What of meaning and purpose
do we constantly seek,
yet inside lies the answer, be humble and meek.

To appreciate life,
depreciate life within,
create a void and invite life in.

We open a window, but cannot see.
We touch but cannot feel.
Hear the wind but do not listen.
We cling to the noise of our haven.

Leave the shadows, go a distance,
move, move from the edge.
Step out into the light, embrace the silence.
No fears, we are creation with privilege.

(HA - 2009)

Nov 2, 2009

No change please

Imagine an angel came into your dream and asked you,
'pick one moment of your life in the past that you would like to change'.

I remember the moment. I was away on holiday with my folks, sitting by the beach on a rock, I had been thinking about my 'courtship' which was a couple of years old then.  In that moment I had had second thoughts about his(my husband's) suitability, 'rightness' for me.  But I retreated from those thoughts and did not dwell deeper.  Is that what they mean by the callowness of youth?

IF nothing else will change,  I would choose to change how my thoughts proceeded at that moment in time. 
But that would be impossible unless I forget all else that I have to be thankful for now because of that moment.   So dear Angel, I do not wish to change.

Our instincts work perfectly, we only see it in hindsight,  ....  it's just that our hearts don't always sync with our brain.  Life's like that, we know what must be done in our heads but the heart, is it stronger or does it just lag behind?  Maya Angelou(poet) is right to have said  'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel'.
So why would the angel ask me this?  Perhaps that's a sign - to purge that moment,  a gentle reminder to STOP dwelling on the past because now I know I would not change it. 

Voltaire said 'Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.' and he is right too.

Co-incidence

Co-incidence or a sign!
I had read Farila's(Chapters from my Life) short post on Friday last week that she had had a power failure and hence could not use the internet or blog and it felt like withdrawal. And I had commented that I understood what she meant.
So guess what, come Saturday, there is this wonderful lightning storm(which pulled down trees) and which for some strange reason disrupts just the internet line, (only and nothing else is wrong) and so then I had no internet connection for the entire weekend at home and none til Tuesday when they will send a technician.

What do you think? Was it a test for me, ok.. my hands aren't shaking...
Of course I had to jump on my blog first thing (at the office), this morning.
.. I think I'll survive .. til Wednesday ....mmmm ... maybe.

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