Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Thought provoking- with a BIG message

What a lovely thought!

I woke up this morning and felt raring to go. Another day to fill with purpose and hopefully spend each moment doing what I ought to be doing. There are moments that I tend to get side tracked. One of my wee failings- I can be SO disciplined when I undertake tasks for others, but when I set tasks for myself- well that's a different story!

What is giving?

Do I give freely and generously? Not as much as I think I could.

Do you give?

What do you give - oh, and by the way, giving isn't sharing!
( Time, attention, money, goods, your new jacket- not that old worn out one, a warm meal, a place to rest, a seat at the table, advice, a warm handshake, your expertise knowledge, a helping hand)

Does giving come easily? Not always I am sad to say!

Have you ever regretted NOT giving? I know I have!

According to Wikipedia:

Giving may refer to:
Gift, the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return
Generosity, the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return
Charity (practice), the giving of help to those in need who are not related to the giver
Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, a book by Bill Clinton

According to the Good Book we can find many references to giving:

1 Corinthians 16:2, Acts 20:35, James 1:17, Luke 6:38, Proverbs 11:24,

The 8th of the Ten Commandments states: " thou shalt not steal" and millions of people can claim not to ever have stolen in their lives therefor upholding that commandment. This commandment came into a new light after reading a book called 'The Grace of Giving' by Marja Meijers which tells what one CAN do.

After watching a wee clip ( link on top of the page) which had landed on my Facebook page, I was touched ( as it ought to have been ) and I felt compelled to share this round. Not just on my Facebook but also here - where other readers visit. It made me wonder if I am at al times prepared to be a giver......? At ALL times, that's a LOT! And a challenge. Am I up to it?

Should this clip and it's subject touch you too, then please - spread the word and let others also know about GIVING freely, generously and without expectation.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Taking life one day at a time...

Many years ago I promised myself not to prebook engagements more than 2 weeks in advance. It was hard, but on the whole I pretty well stuck to my resolve.

Flaked out on the couch yesterday I recalled that decision and wondered why I had only kept that promise for one year. Recently younger friends commented that they were always in awe of all the activities that my husband and I attended, ran or had some connection with. According to them they wouldn't be able to keep up the pace!

It is time for me to reinstate my earlier resolve. I feel 'lived'  instead of living. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy and look forward to fun things, like the rest of us. It is no punishment to cook a dinner for 6, or attend a birthday celebration or an chosen annual event. Just as I love meeting new friends or reacquainting myself with friends from the past. Somewhere along the line the balance between doing and relaxing and allowing for some 'own time' has been lost.

The next weeks will be spent getting organised for our visit to the children and grandchildren. In wonderful anticipation I am slowly gathering bits and bobs around me that I will need to pack into my suitcase. The cupboards and garden need attention and I want to arrive fit and capable for the days spent being oma - so I am keeping a clear diary just to protect myself.

As I reflected on this situation for myself I realised that I am not alone in this whirlwind world. There appears to be less and less 'down tools time' to catch ones breath and slow down a moment to smell the roses. Sometimes even that luxury is squeezed in between a hectic schedule. Since we have reduced our car supply by one- I have to plan my days better, take more time to get somewhere -by bike or foot-  and be more selective in my timing. A discipline that I haven't had to enforce for a long time. And funnily enough, it feels liberating.

We are into autumn, dark earlier, chillier and more indoors time. There are some chores I am keen to get stuck into. Scanning old photos,  updating my albums, finishing an embroidery I started way back, being on time with my - dare I mention them - Christmas cards, that means updating my address files, another task not high on my priority list in the summer months. Where some people feel depressed about the looming dark months, I feel a sense of peace coming over me.

Time to chill out! Time to reflect, time to just BE. It is, like the saying goes, my light at the end of a beautifully decorated tunnel of fond memories.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Pre-planning is part of the fun

In February I received an early present from my children. My husband and I are going Down Under for a visit. A 60th birthday present from my three children who all live Down Under. Two in New Zealand, and one in Australia.

Since my last visit in  February of 2011 there have been two grandchildren born- I have yet to embrace them both.

The tickets were booked well in advance- and was necessary so we could plan the break to coincide with my son's work. He and his wife and one son will also be in New Zealand for this wonderful opportunity to reunite us as a family. How awesome is that?

As the summer ebbs away - slowly, we are already planning spring activities. Not here but in New Zealand, where spring is slowly taking hold and winter making room for warmer temperatures and vibrant new colour schemes.

It is time to get our heads around the time frame, wishes and possibilities while we are there. Where, when, who and what are the main themes of these discussions. There are birthdays (4), christenings ( 2) wedding anniversary (1) and part school holidays ( 1 week). Then the desire to catch up with some friends, the drive to see more of the country and the oma activities like baking pancakes and appletaart, doing the school run, going to Plunket with the babies and child minding moments. I get the strong impression we will need a holiday when we get home......

This is an exciting time. I can already feel the butterflies taking up residence now the date is getting closer. I have a few weeks yet- to prepare. Lots to do and in joyful anticipation I am SO thankful my children have made this trip possible.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

People needing people

The past few months have been rather turbulent. We have had a few more lows than highs- but nevertheless we remain standing. Others would have liked to see the results otherwise unfortunately. It never ceases to amaze me that there are people who need to lash out, to hurt, humiliate or degrade others. No matter how much time I spend on the matter- I still cannot fathom the motivation. Maybe just as well. All I can come up with that their hearts and souls are dark places where hurt, disappointments and rejections are stored.

I am a peace loving individual. Yes, I have opinions and long held ideals that I, when I have to, defend in discussions. It should also be said that I respect those who have their own held ideals and opinions and everyone has a right to those. This is what makes our world to interesting and challenging. It isn't uncommon for me to adapt my thinking should I be convinced my ideals are somewhat misplaced or need adjusting. What I also am is a positive realist. Someone who realises she doesn't have all the answers to life's questions but someone who is always on the lookout for more insights and truths in life. 

I have reached the ripe age of 60. Recently there were attacks on my and my husband's integrity and honesty that cut to the bone. Looking back I should not have even allowed myself to be so affected by these events- knowing that there was no truth in the matter. We were both so devastated- yet knew none of what was alleged was true. For some reason we were not able to do what some people can do - and that is to ignore such instances. Like water of a duck' s back so to speak!

I am slowly gathering myself- feeling bruised and battered. Most of all disillusioned in those who made the allegations. It has unsettled me and caused sleepless nights. I have recovered enough now, re-found my inner strength and trust in myself, through prayer, meditation and especially with the help of those around me who believe in me (us).

This is the second time in my life I have been so attacked. It took years to find peace within myself- my faith life which was so much part of me had ended up on a slow back burner and I felt uncomfortable and unworthy praying. Luckily for me, that has changed, grown into something beautiful and a richness that I do not plan to let go ever again.

I feel a sadness for those who need to lash out to those around them. There must be so much pain, anguish and sadness in those hearts that the light doesn't get shine there. Who am I to judge? I do my utmost to accept people as they are- it makes for so much diversity in my life and enriches me in so many ways. I watched an episode of Extreme Makeover recently where the ' reason for the renovation' was a young man who was blind and in a wheel chair. His words really struck me when he said " my blindness isn't a disability but an ability. All I see is what's on the inside. I am not distracted by colour, creed in any shape or form. I get to meet the REAL person". How respectful is that?

I wish all those who hurt for whatever reason- peace in their hearts. With a quote I will end this BLOG for today- An old saying which was instilled in me as a child and is still relevant today.