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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

Take it not for granted…

Gratitude

The inability to be in an automatic state of gratitude is a shortcoming that most of us have because most times our thoughts are reactionary and not proactive. We are always waiting for something to happen so that we can feel thankful for it.

Our focus seems to zoom in far more on the details of all those things that are not going quite the way we want them, failing to give more precedence to those one’s that are working out.

Then again, when all our lines do fall into place, our worries are reduced and a sense of complacency and taking things for granted takes over our thought pattern.

Thankfulness should be as essential as taking in air, as we wake up each morning to the gift of a new day.

Indeed, there are days that I feel run off my feet or overwhelmed by many things that are not going quite as planned, however training my mind has thought me to learn when to ‘press the stop button on the moaning and to tune into grace.’

I am thankful for this continued transformation and the emboldening of my mind power.

Today, I walked into the nearest supermarket around me to grab a couple of things for cooking and I give thanks for the abundance of food that’s available and the fact that I can afford it when some may not be in a position to do so right now.

I always look at the name tag of the sales person who waited on me to call them by their given name and thank them for their assistance.

Many times I enjoy the reward of watching a face transform with a smile from this little gesture of acknowledgment.

In so many ways, my needs are being met and a lot of times in rather unexpected ways, for all these underserved measures, I give thanks.

It’s the start of Lent and a season of deeper reflection. May your reflections bring you enlightenment.

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.

As Fresh As Thyme…

Cooking, Mashed Potatoes, Photography

In auto mode, I quickly tossed ingredients into the bubbling sauce, rehashed a passage for my book in my head while trying to pay attention to the cacophony of my children’s voices milling around me in the kitchen.

They had just returned from school, each voice was relaying some information, each child wanted some form of attention and as usual, my three ears was listening to them, responding to their inquisition, addressing the accusation from my third child that I wasn’t paying him enough attention, stirring the saucepan, figuring out my passage and reminding myself respond to that request that had just popped into my mind as a reminder…and the crazy beat went on.

Why I haven’t gone batty is a question I ponder fleetingly. When will the hecticness stop, if ever?

My bubbly sauce was almost done, all that remained was to toss in the shredded fresh thyme and as I lifted the chopping board to scoop it in, I literally heard a voice whisper in my head, ‘enjoy the time.’

I smiled at the pun, enjoy the time while scooping in the thyme, but my ever roaming mind gripped those three words and allowed it to marinate.

I realized that in the near future these young children craving my attention right now would all fly out of my coop and spread their wings.

They will go in search of their own dreams and set up their own little spaces and they won’t be underfoot in the kitchen all talking at the same time.

The thought certainly gave me pause.

It reminds me that we should appreciate and enjoy each fresh moment of time that we are given.

To catch the time and hold it as close to our heart as possible because it’s delicate and fleeting.

I am reminded to gratefully relish these moments like no other because no two moments are the same.

Shall we eat?

© 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.

Every Little Step I Take – personal

Life, Gratitude, Higher Calling, Goals, Aspirations

The ring tone of the mobile cut into my reflection. I was just coming to the end of my evening walk. Answering the unknown number, her sweet Indian accented voice carried through and in a voice that I will place at 26 years, she chirpily informed me, Ms. Jacqueline, blah, blah, yadda, yadda… unfortunately, due to our employment policy, we can’t offer you the coveted position of events Manager since you are above 35 and too antiquated in my 4o’s (okay, I added this bit about antiquated).

Well, that gave me pause for mere minutes as I trudged up the bridge in front of me but the greatest emotion that I realized was that of relief that flooded me. An odd emotion I must say. I’ll analyze it later.

Let me give you a brief background. This is the latest venture in my attempt to find full-time gainful employment. One of the greatest challenges of being an accompanying spouse or should I say spice is the ‘not having a defined career and dependency on your spouse for periods of time that might cause discomfort.’

You could spend the better part of the time/if not all the time spent abroad searching for something suitable in the form of employment and yes, you learn frugality to the last letter y.

Except when one is up and pushing like I have to do each day – searching for freelance opportunities that come far and few in-between or occupying myself with things that enlarge my scope in the pursuit of my dreams to be a successful writer – one would probably end up a frustrated, emotional bag of chocolate cookie eating monster.

Over the years I’ve learnt to manage on what we can afford and sometimes squeeze out a bit for some side attractions but not having a strong earning power (yet) has stunted some things that I seek to do for myself.

If truth be told, my major interest for seeking this job is to earn in order to fund some self-development life-coaching programs that I want to attend and to save up to return to school next year without burdening my husband whose plate is full right now.

In my head, I was already trying to see how I would fit the job around my life that’s surprisingly full without a 9-5 job and was feeling somewhat stressed at the thought. Now, this explains my odd sense of relief when they informed me that they would rather seek a person with perkier body parts than mine, irrespective of the wealth of experience that I have to bring on board.

As a matter of fact, instead of feeling disappointed or upset about the rejection, last night I felt a deep sense of inexplicable peace and understanding. A quiet voice came to me with the verse of Jeremiah 29:11 saying:

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

By the time I went to sleep last night, I was all excited and grateful. I have no idea what lies before me, but I know deep inside me that God’s plans over my life are exceedingly bountiful.

I woke up this morning and quickly checked my emails. A notification I saw simply made me burst into tears and laughter. Tears at my foolishness and human sense of worry. Laughter at the beautiful surprise.

Gift and Gratitude

A voice said to me, go back to the work that you are doing. Go back and finish the book that has been dropped in your heart to write. It’s a book on ‘finding wisdom and purpose.’

The interesting thing is that I never had a plan to write such a book. I have novels that I am working on, but ever since the instruction to write this book came to me late last year, it has not allowed me much sleep and has taken precedence over the novels. I am several days behind due to neglecting it during my trip, but all things being equal, it will be ready by March.

All that I can say is that even when things are not looking the way we want them in our human eyes, keep your eye’s looking up. Be grateful for the much that you’ve been given, for out of it shall abundance flow.

To the sister who gave me this surprising gift, may your circle of blessings never run dry. May laughter fill your mouth and may praise remain your portion.

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.