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Well of Warmth – grateful musings

I know that life hasn’t been all sunshine and flowers for everyone – though some lucky folks got to see the Eclipse – not with all the ugly news filtering in from all around the world and when one listens to all these heavy news, it’s easy to get sucked under.

It’s easy to get depressed and to lose sight of the rays of the sun above the dark clouds. It’s easy to forget to remain in a state of thankfulness and to focus on the negativity. As if life is not tough enough already these days we wake up expecting another shoe to fall off, another dam to burst, another bomb explosion, another mad human mowing others down with a car, another Twitter outrage etc that we have almost become mentally conditioned to bad news that overshadows everything.Gratitude, Thankfulness

For me not to get immured in these negative things, I make a conscious effort to appreciate my little blessings wherever I find them. I focus on mindfulness and steer my brain away from the path of distress that it tends to venture to, to the path of wholesomeness. I also find that paying extra attention in showing kindness to others creates an emotional well of warmth – check this post on HuffPost.

As the week winds down, I am grateful for fruitful and grace-filled days. Though what I call my blessings may look insignificant in human eyes’, it’s wonderful to be alive and well. That is a priceless blessing. I hope you’ve got something to be thankful for?

Gratitude is my tonic. Jacqueline

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Divine Provision

Gratitude, Quote, Divine Provision, Blessings, Favour

The past few months have been challenging in more ways than one for me, more so financially that these days I am truly learning what it means to live by faith and obtaining Divine Provision.

I am often reminded of Matthew 6:26  and 27:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?

Who out of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?…

Learning to keep my eyes on the positive things and to leave worry that adds nothing extra but its own anxiety to my life is a journey that I undertake every day. Some days I can’t help but ask ‘Lord, I don’t understand why you are taking me through this route and what lessons I  am supposed to learn here? Anyway, since you want me to pass through this bumpy side, I guess you have your sandals on to keep me company while I find that way that you’ve designed for me and if I fall, I am trusting you to catch me.’

I share my innermost thoughts to encourage anyone who might be going through rough times.

There are certainly dark days when you wonder what comes next. There are certainly trials that would leave you numb and at loss for words, that all you want to do is to withdraw into your shell and wait out the storm. But, I say to you, it is in these moments that you should hold on to the promises of God.

It is in these moments that you should count your blessings even if you need a microscope to search and find one. It is in these moments that your gratitude must be amplified because the Lord inhabits the praise of His people and silent gratitude is heard by no one. You can interrupt that anxiety with gratitude.

Blessed be.

Jacqueline

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

 

Handfuls of Spring…Thankful reflections

Painting, Art, Spring, Beautiful Colours

Spring follows Winter seamlessly as it has done over the ages and time passes by so quickly, sometimes in a blur that we tend to take the itty-bitty parts of our lives for granted.

In Spring the heat of the sun gathers in momentum over here, that by Summer time it’s literally steaming and baking at such a degree that the heat wallops you in the face and every hidden part that it can get. I consider myself a child of the Sun, I love warmth, but not the unbelievable scorching sun of the Middle East that makes you feel as if you are dough brought out to rise and bake in the torrid desert heat.

As I drive around pursuing the days business, I see dots of umbrella’s waving down the streets sheltering the heads of their owners and I know untold pleasure and gratitude over having the comfort of my car and the air conditioner that keeps me from perspiring and swimming in my own sweat.

 I am thankful for the gift of being their mother as I listen to my children chatter and squabble over what radio channel to listen to as we drive home from school and I wonder how we take such comfort for granted.

Sometimes, my heart knows untold joy for things that I can’t explain and I wish I could freeze frame those moments so that I may look at the beautiful, divine colours that these moments make.

Spring is such a beautiful season, so does every other season that we are given hold its own beauty. We are only given a handful of Springs in our lifetime and one thought that stays with me as I write this is, may we thankfully plant in the Spring of opportunity of our lives so that we do have a great harvest in the Fall.

Peace be with you. What are you grateful for today?

Jacqueline

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

Counting The Words…personal

Writing, Life, Quotes, Gratitude

A hundred and sixty-five words! I bet a whole lot of these words need to be weeded out. Now I have to take the surgeon’s scalpel, the blacksmith’s hammer and the butcher’s knife to cut, shave, trim, tuck, beat this draft into shape and close the chapter.

I am thankful for having finished the first draft of my new book. It’s been a slowpoke journey writing this one. I thought that I would have it published by March, alas, balancing it along with all the other merry-go-round parts of my life has been interesting as well as hectic. I had to shelve other writing projects that I’m working on to focus on this one because it has been driving me to get it done with.

Each day, I am made more aware of the fact that the blessing of being a writer doesn’t come easy. Many days one is at loss for the right words to bring to life the thing that you want to say, yet, I found a hundred and sixty-five words and there’s more threatening to spill out.

This is not a novel, nor can it be classified as a memoir – though lots of bits and pieces of me are to be found within. However, it’s an exciting project that writing it has helped me beyond words. A book that took me full circle. In my head, I’ve got the song ‘ don’t you worry, don’t you worry child, heavens got a plan for you,’ on continuous shuffle.

I am grateful for the gift of writing.

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Whistling Happy Tunes

Lazy mornings are coming right up – at least no early school morning dashes for the next two weeks ‘cos the kiddos are going on a school break this weekend.

I’ll savour these forthcoming quiet early moments and take positive advantage of them by just lying in and devouring some pages of a good book, working on my book, clattering away on my laptop before duty calls.

I am thankful for these mini-breaks in the hectic transmission of the days of our lives and I’m whistling – Tra la, la twiddle dee, dee… 

Gratitude Journal, Thanks, Giving Thanks, Gratitude, Harmony, Postcards by Jackie Oby-Ikocha

I am just going to inhale lots of love, promote harmony and exhale gratitude. Jacqueline

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

 

This Moment In My Time…personal

Cease to search for the broken and crooked turns that your life took but let your focus be on the pleasant lanes that you walked through. Jacqueline

Gratitude, Life lessons, Quotes

Having my birthday two days ago sent me on an interesting thought spin. When I was in my 20’s I had no vision of what my life would be in my 40’s because my mind couldn’t think beyond certain things. I daresay this is the case with most people because truly none of us knows what the next hour has to offer not to talk about tomorrow or 20 years down the line.

I remember back then I decided that by the time I was thirty I would have my PhD. and would be deeply entrenched in a diplomatic career that would allow me to be a mediator amongst people and Nations and to travel the World.

My diplomatic career dream started off by working from The Tunisian Embassy to the French Embassy and then The Delegation of the European Commission (EU). I was on a roll.

Fast forward to the present time, I smile as I recall that earnest young lady of my twenties, who had it all worked out in her mind. I forgot that life happens when we are busy making plans. Somewhere in that dream a husband and children featured but the depth of their role was never clear to me. They were simply going to come in somewhere at some point in time.

The fascinating diplomatic career was tossed aside for diplomatic cooking with the kitchen apron and children clinging to my legs and the traveling has been eye-opening opportunities that I had never anticipated – my travel case is always ready to go  🙂

The PhD. is yet to materialize but the desire is not lost, just deferred to the near future. The mediation happens every day though in smaller, tight circles of settling sibling squabbles and gladly dishing out words of advice and wisdom that I’ve acquired along the way.

I’ve played many roles and occupied all sorts of positions spanning over a decade going to two decades, but in all these divergent directions there has remained a pattern of being true to myself and embracing each opportunity with every bit of me.

At this juncture in my life, I am glad. I am grateful for a loving family. I have been blessed by total strangers whom providence brought to me. I am thankful for friends that I have found in unexpected places and still finding, on the path of my journey. I am thankful that though my path has been winding, I see the lines falling pleasantly in place.

Thank you for being present in my life.

Jacqueline

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

Barbed Thorns…personal

Image result for Christs thorns

Life’s not all peaches and cream
many have barbed thorns
silent groans
and
priceless tears.

©

Jacqueline

For the day’s that I feel lost and my heart laden with so much burden, Lord, I give thanks. Forgive me for making you too small in my eyes.’

On days that depression hits me out of the blues, I don’t fight it. I welcome it inside. I give it a seat to hear what it’s got to say with a box of tissue in hand and I cry with her when she moves me with her tales.

I make her a strong cup of tea, or coffee, sometimes even some soup and remind her of the many things that are good about her life. I remind her that she should never put her God in a box, but allow He who began the good works in her to continue because He is faithful to the end.

I remind her of her journey and path to emotional freedom and mindfulness. I remind her of her talents and the burgeoning future before her eyes’.

I stoke her hope and remind her to keep her candle shining because the flickers of its light sends out good vibes and helps her to find her way in the dark

I remind her of her resilience, her unwavering positivity, and can-do spirit. I remind her that she’s resourceful, a source of light, the love of many people’s lives and I have her laughing in no time.

I gently show her the door and ask her to roam free. I ask her to go into the light and shine as bright as she can. I tell her that she’s welcome to visit anytime she feels lonely, but I’m quite sure that she knows she’s not alone because I see her light steps as she sprints down the street and her laughter rings in my heart.

This is me talking to one of my other selves.

You are not alone, Quote

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

Jacqueline