Archives

An Arabian Night….

The weather at this time of the year is at its best in the UAE. A great dose of chilly air with a bit of sun thrown in and I am totally lovin’ it 🙂

I’m going to stay in the present and enjoy every bit of the season without letting my mind run off to the fact that the blissful weather will not stay long with us.

Last evening, I had a lovely open-air evening out with some Emirati friends. We sat around the fire drinking Arabian coffee – a wonderful blend of coffee and spices – eating dates, cakes, grill etc. It was just a lovely evening well spent; watching the logs crackle and burn, eating, listening to music, chatting about everything and nothing.

Though my inner throat was growling to snaffle all the goodies in sight, I held my self-respect like a cloak around me in the chilly night and indulged daintily. I am a foodie and believe me when I tell you that the struggle to behave myself around food is real, especially when it comes to sweet nibbles.

I keep having to tell the cookie monster in me that it’s all about balance and not either of the extremes – starving the craving or gobbling up everything – and I think that approach keeps her tamed, calm and contented.

Last night also reminded me that the deeply satisfying and pleasurable things in life are the simple things and most times these simple things are free: laughter, friendship, music, nature…and of course food 😉

It’s the start of a new work week, though mine started yesterday and wherever you may be at this point in time, remember that grace abounds. May your week be fulfilling and your hunger satisfied.

Advertisements

My Words Escaped…

zen, prayers, incense

Many times, I logged on, but I failed to say anything. Words milled around in my head, but they couldn’t transport to my fingers.

Where would I start? Is it the fact that I had a heart-stopping couple of weeks when I felt a suspicious bump in my bosom buddy? I was scared shitless!

I wondered about how I would have to start putting my house together and preparing my children for their journey through life without me. My thoughts were morbid. I was seized with fear. The emotions that raced through me were on another level. I couldn’t give words to them lest they took physical form and wings.

The visit to the doctors was nerve-wracking, to say the least, and I won’t bore you with the details, but I must tell you that I did a lot of soul-searching, had leaky eyes, ugly-cried and clutched my beads as I bargained with God.

Thankfully, fate has been merciful. The results came back. My Boobs are well. There is nothing to be alarmed about. Phew!

I felt guilty and not so guilty for having neglected my blog. My mind and heart were not in the right place and I needed a breather to realign myself.

My blog is my second home and I’m quite attached to it to such an extent that I found it difficult to come in and be blase about things when there’s so much going on with me. The connection I have with this blog transcends my ability to describe it and I guess it’s because I’ve invested a lot of my time and emotions into it. Strangely, I don’t have such affinity with other social platforms that I use.

Every day I consciously remind myself of the things that matter and I am learning each day as I journey on my path that the most important lesson – which hammers itself into my cranium – is that every moment we have been given is absolutely precious with a capital P.

I missed all of you.

Trusting You…An Open Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for everything. It’s me. Standing here in need to be heard. I try to keep a positive and upbeat attitude, but many times doubt creeps in through the cracks. I will not live in the debilitating fear of uncertainty. I will try not to worry ‘cos worry simply amplifies a problem. I will keep my faith and not fear about being unable to provide or to succeed. I believe that you’ll provide for us as you have always done and that success is my just reward.

Dear Lord, however, I can’t lie and I must confess to you that there are days that I fret so much about our finances and future. There are days that holding on seems such a struggle. Days that I fervently pray for calmness in the periods of storm and that your grace is sufficient unto that day.

Dear Lord, I try to pragmatically do just do what needs to be done, though most times I am not even sure anymore.

All I know is today. I am trusting you for today.

Amen

image credit 

We Planted The Seeds of Our Dreams…

Yes, we literally planted our dreams. Grabbing handfuls of the remaining Spring’s moments, I took the children to the park armed with our post-its and coloured pens. Each of us wrote out 5 dreams/aspiration of ours, folded the papers nicely, dug little holes around the tree and planted them amongst the grass. We had a few curious squirrels as observers and I guess they aren’t surprised ‘cos they’ve seen enough queer humans.

I told the children that though the paper might decay and become one with earth, the dreams have been sown into their hearts and that each day they must till the soil of their dreams, water and nurture them till they yield bountiful returns ‘cos every seedling has its season.

I also told them that sometimes our dreams and aspirations change and our harvest becomes different but that it’s okay ‘cos that’s the way life works at times. However, for each aspiration, they must plant it into the soil of their reality and not hold on to the seeds ‘cos the seeds alone will not yield abundance. ‘All great deeds begin as seeds.’ Months and years may pass before these seeds grow into full form and we see the glimpse of our harvest, but the birthing moment is as important as the harvest.

The land is green and the Earth is ripe for planting. Amidst the pressures of our modern lives, we tend to think that the conditions have to be right in order for us to start but time and time again my experience has shown that most times the simple act of starting is what makes the conditions right.

Love and Light Always,

Jacqueline

Where Did My Easter Eggs Go?

Easter Bunny, Christian celebrations, Childhood, Christianity, Living in the Middle East

Easter came and sidled past like any other day – not like the Easters of my yesteryears. As much as I try to recreate and inculcate some of these joyous traditions for my children, I sometimes feel defeated by the lack of that communal warmth, excitement and feel of such seasons because we live in a place where most Christian celebrations aren’t much of a thing, and as a matter of fact, they mostly happen to be work days as well. I guess it’s one of the sacrifices that come with living in a cosmopolitan city where most times feel you invisible, overwhelmed and lost in the frantic lifestyle.

Sometimes, I question myself about the choices that we have made migrating and I silently wonder where the road will eventually lead. I guess as a parent most of us want to pass on the wonderful experiences of our childhood to our children and this is one of the times that I feel as if I suck as a parent ‘cos I just don’t think that I’m doing enough to create those beautiful memories that they can hold on to and possibly pass on to their progeny.  I hope you had a lovely Easter break.

50 Shades Of Little Things That Make My Heart Glad.

As the days go by, my mind grows more attuned to the simple, little, beautiful sources of my pleasure and I would like to share them with you. These things don’t cost much if they cost anything at all.

Maybe because I’ve had to live life on a shoe string budget for quite some time – due to cutting back on full-time work to take care of my children – yes, some sacrifices are worth it at the end.Happiness, Contentment, Little Things, Joy, Life, Beautiful Things, 50 Shades

I must tell you that it’s tough, tough, tough, not having a steady income, but I’ve also learnt to literally become a minimalist and my sense of deep appreciation for the small things have deepened beyond measure.

I digress. Now to the 50 shades of things that make my heart glad. They are in no particular order.

  1. The cuddle and warmth of a new baby.
  2. The wonderful smell of a new book.
  3. The outlay of books in the library or bookstore.
  4. Office supplies and notepads.
  5. The frisky frolic of a happy puppy, baby animals excluding snakes and other creepy crawlies.
  6. Good music and Saturday mornings.
  7. A well-stocked pantry.
  8. An early morning walks when the air is crisp and fresh.
  9. The sounds of birds chirping. I try to decipher their conversation, unfortunately, I don’t speak chirp.
  10. Watching the sun rise and set.
  11. The tinkling laughter of a child.
  12. The quiet hum of my home in the wee hours of the morning.
  13. A scalp massage from the fingers of a dear one.
  14. Foot rub after a hard day.
  15. A pretty bud and fresh flowers.
  16. The rich smell of coffee and coffee shops. I think I’ll end up owning one 😉
  17. The sound of Beethoven that my husband plays when he’s shaving *don’t ask me why.
  18. An ice cream on a cone on a hot day.
  19. My bare feet planted on the cool floor under my work table.
  20. Singing loudly to myself – though I can barely carry a tune.
  21. The sound of rain.
  22. Smiles. When I make someone smile.
  23. Gazing up at the stars.
  24. Seeing happy people
  25. The smell of freshly cut grass.
  26. Watching my children dance.
  27. Dancing – I love dancing.
  28. Listening to my fave songs on repeat.
  29. Morning mist on untouched plants.
  30. Warm heartfelt hugs, forehead kisses, and deep conversations.
  31. Getting lost in the pages of a book.
  32. Sleeping on my bed or just lying in and lazing there.
  33. Quiet moments to myself.
  34. A nice soak in a warm bubble bath.
  35. Christmas time
  36. Sweets: chocolate, cheesecake, chocolate cake, hot chocolate. I am an unrepentant chocoholic.
  37. Finishing a crossword puzzle
  38. Things that make me laugh.
  39. Tea time with a pretty tea set – sounds silly but it just makes me sigh in contentment.
  40. Pretty candles and meditation.
  41. Cooking and watching others eat it with appreciation. Sharing food with others is filling.
  42. An unexpected gift.
  43. Seeing an elderly couple holding hands 🙂
  44. Freshly washed bed sheets.
  45. Looking at old photos and reminiscing.
  46. Finding bargains
  47. Making friends
  48. Picnics at the park – I can’t wait for the weather to get cooler.
  49. A clean house and family time.
  50. Finishing things on time.

As I wrote this list, I realized I had many more things that I could include, like the warm cup of corn and mushroom soup (homemade) that I’m enjoying right now. I will share the recipe with you in another post.

So tell me, what are your shades of pleasure?

Jacqueline

Product Details

Now Available

Amazon

Kindle

When I call Your Name…

Support, Love, Community, Together, Encouragement

As I write this post, the song from ‘Like A Prayer’ by Madonna hums in my head, except that I change it from ‘when you call my name,’ to ‘when I call your name.’

Indeed, it’s a prayer when we beseech others and they attend to us through the kindness of their hearts. Last week, I sent out an SOS post requesting for support from all of you to help me with pushing my new book ‘Unbridled’ and indeed I heard your voices.

Many of you responded with advice, tips, offers, reblogs, featuring and I am working slowly through the list of things to do. I am so thankful for the outpouring of support. I am down on my knees and bless God for being in the midst of the blessings of this community.

Indeed, your voice takes me higher. I am grateful and think of an African proverb that says ‘when relatives help each other, the community grows stronger.’ You are my relatives.

Below is a snippet of review from Aspen Book Tree Reviews

First, I do want to say that some of the poems may be triggering for those recovering from abuse.

Second, I want to say, this is beautiful poetry.

The free verse is strong, descriptive, haunting, lovely.  Jacqueline paints with her words. like an artist.

This is no Monet, this is a Helen Frankenthaler with her bold marks and colors.  There is a section which is written in relation to abuse and some of it is very dark.   Darkness is gut wrenching at times, but the light of hope that shines through is blinding.

My heart agonizes for the girl who has lived through excruciating torment.  But the woman she has become?  She is an Amazon; a warrior of her own heart.

I am very moved by Jacqueline’s words.  I already have my favorites and it’s amazing how Jacqueline reaches in and I feel the warmth.  The last 20 poems are exquisite and delightful.

I give this book a high recommendation, for yourself, for a friend… maybe for an Amazon you know.

Thank you, Jacqueline.  You are amazing.

To Purchase ‘Unbridled.’

Product Details

Amazon

Kindle