This is a little thank you note to appreciate every single one of you. To all those who have kept me company in this space through these months; to all those who found me worthy to honour with a blog award now and again, to all those who supported this blog in many little ways that kept it alive, I thank you.
Some days when I’m low in spirit, your bright posts, comments and encouragement peps me up. Many may consider this as ‘unreal friends’ because we are all online… but I don’t think so. You all impact my life from wherever you are. You all make me a better person and for some reason, you are in my heart.
It hurts my soul
to see people in need
and I can’t help
not because I don’t want to help
but because I don’t have the means
and in such moments
I despise my lean pocket.
How can you be my brother’s keeper when you barely have enough bread to break? Yes, you can! If you’ve got a dollar, that’s a whole lot of coins!
Please know that reaching out to share with others is not only when your basket of fish is overflowing, you can have one fish and still share out of it. I run into people – both online and in real time – who are in dire need of support and it leaves my heart aching when I am not able to assist as much as I would like to assist.
I know a number of great folks who have left blogging due to difficulties in sustaining themselves. To exist becomes a hardship when you know or see that no one cares, not to talk about thriving. Please don’t be in a haste to discount those whom you see in these tight corners – life happens.
Help, Help, and Help. There’s a sister amongst us in the blogging community whose constraints are quite dire right now and needs our support – I prefer not to call names for privacy sake, but she reached out to me.
If you can assist her through me, no gift is too small, please do so. Here’s my PayPal link.
On my honour, you have my word that whatever is raised through this means will be given to our friend. Thank you for your generosity.
Let us not fold our hands in anticipation that others should do that which we can help to do. Together, we can. Jacqueline
P.S. Because of how important this issue is to me, I want to give this post priority and will not be sharing another post today.
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.
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.
I would like to appreciate all my recent follows of the past few weeks. Forgive my tardiness for failing to do this earlier and for not stopping by to visit and say hello.
I am not that ill-mannered and can only offer the excuse of the deluge of emails, blog posts and duties that besiege me each day. That’s one hazard of blogging and running two blogs, but I am loving it nonetheless.
Now, a proper thank you to you and you and you. In this space, my vision is to keep things positive and warm, to engage and inspire others whenever possible and to build an interactive positive-minded community that hopefully transcends the online blogging community into our various lives.
This community is such a supportive one and in my own little way, I seek ways to create more cohesion in our midst and appreciate those around me. Asides from my regular posts, I have a series ‘featured posts’ where I share weekly posts of others and ‘author zone’ where I spotlight the published work of others.
Once again, you are welcome to my house in bloglandia. I look forward to furthering interactions with you and extending an early invitation to the month’s end blog party coming up on Sat/Sun 29/30th of July.
The first thing that drew my attention to Susie when I started blogging and during blogging 101 course which seems like eons ago is her consistent contribution and suggestions to a discussion. I find her frank talk refreshing and being in the business of trying to understand a personality through their words, I was drawn to her.
If my perception is not wrong, I would describe Susie as a gentle, conscientious, kind and tolerant woman.
Please read 🙂
A bit about me.
I am a 47-year-old woman, with a June birthday. I am a Syrian Christian by birth. I belong to the southern part of India. I come from a very loving background with caring, nurturing and guiding parents, who tried their best to instill Christian virtues in me. I went to a school that emphasized old-time values like love for one’s country, patriotism, helping others without care for who they were, and standing up for what was right. After school I went to a Medical School that had Christian values written all over it- this played a great role in my selection of this particular school for my higher education.
It was the first time I had stayed away from home and my parents. I was shocked beyond reprieve that the Christian values of care, love, putting others beyond self, helping one another, unity and patience were far from the real life of the people at the college. I went into an emotional and personal crisis at this stage. From being an A level student, I went to the bottom rungs of the academic ladder. Around this time, I lost belief in God and in my religion.
I wondered and pondered over a God that allowed all the atrocities that went on in the college in the name of Christianity. Injustice and blatant human right abuse abounded there. A system of ragging prevailed, that went to the heart and soul of a newcomer or a freshman to the college, which in many cases served to shatter the person from within. Being me, I protested openly against this and this made me hugely unpopular. A reign of terror was unleashed at me and I was made to feel hugely uncomfortable during my college life. Needless to say, I did not enjoy my college life.
It was divine intervention that helped me and kept me safe during this time and kept me away from the various vices a person could fall into while away from parental scrutiny. I survived and passed to become a doctor. A year after passing out, I married a man, who by some strange coincidence was from the same college. My marriage was a surprise to many of the naysayers in my college life as my husband was one of the most desirable bachelors of that college and I the least but again God brought us together. Over the years my faith in God has grown and I have come back to the fold like the lost sheep or the prodigal son.
I love writing. I have come to learn that I love listening to people. I can be a talker when I wish but I think I enjoy listening more and analyzing people and their thoughts and deeds. Most of these analyses lead me to life stories that I blog about. I guess I am an introvert.
I dislike two facedness. I am judgmental so am quick to find out if someone is not what he/she says he/she is.
I try to be a nurturer and love my two children very much. I am a dog lover by heart but the Good Lord has put so many cats in my life that I have lost count. I have come to believe that he really loves a good chuckle at my expense 🙂
The purpose of my blog.
At a low point in my life, about three years ago, I quit a job in Medical Research again because I didn’t believe in the work ethics of the place I was working at. I decided to move on, leaving a very respected job. For about a year and a half, I was unemployed and the object of a lot of ridicule. In an attempt to earn some money, I decided to do so by writing.
During this writing journey, I learned further that if one had a blog, writing jobs came easier. I didn’t land any major writing jobs but I got a blog and a lot of blog friends, many of whom are keepers. My blog is about my life. I have almost half a century of life lived behind me – perhaps I can be of good to some soul who has gone through issues like me and is hoping for a friendly listening ear.
I started this blog in order to write but became a reader and a listener by turn. So the objectives of my blog have done a U-turn now from when I started. When I started blogging, it was all about me and promoting myself. These days, it is more about being a listener and helping others, if that is possible. It seems to me that my blog is more about others now than myself.
I like the blogging world a lot except when it airs the political opinions of people who often don’t agree with my political thinking. When it gets beyond a limit, I stop reading their blogs. But otherwise, blogging has been a wonderful experience to me.
To be honest, I don’t motivate myself at all. I go for days without writing and then there is a deluge of writing with more silence. I like writing when I feel the whim and not when I am forced to do so. During moments of silence, I read others blogs and get inspiration from them, sometimes commenting on their posts that touched my heart or pulled a string somewhere in my being. Often times, these posts serve as inspiration for my own future posts. I have a long memory and so I have plenty of feed to write about inside my own head.
My Blogging Challenges.
I would say, not being able to express myself to my fullness, with absolute freedom for my words and my creativity. I am a little worried and scared about whether people I know and work with or live with will come to know of my blog and my blog opinions. So my blog posts will often be tempered down from what they actually should be. In the process, I have learnt diplomacy but perhaps lost out on some of my innate honesty.
My Word For Others.
Yes, I would surely encourage people to blog and especially if you are going through a personal crisis being a blogger certainly helps when you are down in the dumps. There are so many people out there, who are going through pain just like you and maybe more than you. Perhaps you can be a comfort to them and they, to you.
I would tell new time bloggers to keep writing, small posts frequently, till you reach that place where you can be a model of writing to others. So practice writing as often as your heart tells you. Also, I feel that one needs to write if one feels the urge and not when one feels that one has to join a group of people to belong to a certain belief group. Be honest to your own true self, as much as you can and your honest voice will reach others.
Spend a day with me.
I wake up hearing before the crack of dawn to prepare food for my human and animal family before I go to work. But the first thing I do is open ” Our Daily Bread” and read the readings for the day, reflect on them, pray about them and give thanks. Giving thanks is becoming a bigger part of my life with each passing day. It keeps me positive and hopeful that good things will happen if we go looking for them. After the cooking and packing of lunches and feeding of my strays, I shower and dress up to go to work.
I work as a research administrator in a university college and need to be at work at 8 am. Often being caught in rush hour traffic, I reach work only around 8:30but because I have an understanding supervisor, I often get away with it. Life has been getting easier as my children need less of me and my husband has become more independent in terms of their needs – so I have more time for myself. At work, I complete my day’s work in about an hour and the spare time I have, I sit at my desk and write or think about what to write. Sometimes I study Math to keep up with my daughter’s math homework. I read some books at my desk too and when my watch tells me I have been sitting too long, I take a walk around the corridors of my university.
Looking to the future plans.
First I would like to publish my own research in the world of medicine and make a few publications in my name and then I would like to see my own name in my publications – whether scientific or creative writing. I would like to earn some money from my blog and help other bloggers who so deserve the help they can get and I am working towards this aim. As to increasing the outreach of my blog, I am letting things take their own time and I am pretty casual about it for now. I get joy in seeing a new follower of my blog but more than numbers, I am now interested in making good friends, and people whose company I love. I learn a lot from my fellow bloggers and those I follow and I would like to learn more and more each day.
Anytime I see Eugenia’s tagline phrase ‘whimsical & capricious chatter’ I find myself wearing a smile. BrewNSpew is a blog that I’ve followed for almost as long as I started blogging. I’ve enjoyed dear Eugenia’s bright, witty thoughts and poetry, filled with chuckles and nuggets of wisdom. Whenever I visit, her style of writing reminds me that blogging is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.
She also authors another gem of a blog Thus N Such, and I’ve equally had the pleasure of interviewing her here, please do step in, have a cuppa and leave with a smile 🙂
My girlfriend, Tasha, the author of the blog Steps2Protect, is one gorgeous, smart lady and a beautiful soul. An admirable lady who runs her own safety business.
Her personality and posts always have me singing this song in a part of my mind ‘you’ve got a friend in me’ and interviewing her gave me the pleasure of getting to know this gorgeous lady a bit better.
The most interesting thing about the blogging world is the connections you build with people from all walks of life and one such person that I have been totally delighted to connect with is Adebisi.
I call her sis or ‘Nne’ – which means mother in my language, not just because we share a common bond of being Nigerians and her consistent support, but her loving and endearing spirit that shines through her work and her words.
A Bit About Me
I am the first of 6 siblings and my sisters and brothers call me madam action *Wink*. This stems from having to fill the shoes of being the oldest and wanting everyone to fall in line. On Saturdays, while growing up I would wake them all up and assign chores to everyone. We would scrub, clean and tidy up the house before anyone takes breakfast…now you get the picture! Now they are enjoying the dividends of that as adults running their own homes I imagine…well, I somehow know and I still behave like a mother hen to them.
I was also the end of year party organizer back then. All the teenagers in our neighbourhood or who were our friends looked forward to our Christmas party which normally holds on Boxing Day, 26th of December. Looking back now I laugh as I remember twisting my dad’s arms to foot the bill of our budget for the party.
If he didn’t have enough to cover for what we had in mind we would consult with our friends coming for the party and ask everyone to contribute towards making the party a success. Some would bake a cake or make pastries, others will make fresh drinks and it always was a lot of fun for everyone. Great fond memories that we still talk about till date were made.
I like reading story books a lot so much that my parents couldn’t keep up with buying me new ones. Any great story still catches my attention even now whether it is a movie or literature. Perhaps this hobby is why I am a writer today. My life’s passion and goal is to make a difference in people’s lives no matter what Job I find myself doing.
I dislike lazy people who just drag their feet when something needs to be done. So you may say I can be impatient sometimes.
Most importantly for me is my spirituality. I believe in God and see him as my father. Simply put, knowing Jesus is what gives my life a meaning.
What motivated me to start blogging?
Firstly, training on blogging at a workshop opened me up to the world of blogging. I was thrilled. It came at a time when I felt dissatisfied with how things were being run at my workplace. I felt choked and needed a space where I could express myself not necessarily about what was going on. It was just a place to pursue my passion of reaching out to others on my own terms and at my own pace.
One of the things I learned about blogging was to write about what I am passionate about. I know I am passionate about making life better for women and girls and so I decided to go in that direction. But since I started blogging I found out from the community and courses on WordPress that I could spice my purpose with writing about other things. It is interesting to know that your readers want to have a peep into who you are and what your life is all about. So I have learned to spice my blog with a few other ideas.
It can sometimes seem like I am barely floating with my blogging goal. At such times I try to post at least once a week.
Other things that keep me motivated are the fact that:
blogging is something I want to continue to do even after retirement
I really do not like disappointing my readers who have come to follow my blog watching out for new posts
I will like my blog to grow and be sustained so I must be consistent
I will like to be able to sustain the friendship I have come to enjoy in the blogging community. I mean it’s amazing that you can meet people from other parts of the world and become friends.
And I do want to make money with this thing someday so I need to keep writing and posting for people to take me seriously.
Challenging Bloggy Moments
My greatest challenge is juggling my job with my blogging goal. I can get really busy sometimes that I simply do not have time to spare blogging. At such times I try to share a bit of what I am up to with my followers/readers.
You too can become a blogger
Blogging can be fun and tedious at the same time. It takes hard work and consistency.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to have your say about any issue that is of interest to you.
I have come to know some blogs that started as a channel for relieving stress or a means to reach others going through the same challenges in any area of life ranging from health issues, parenting, cooking etc. So blogging allows you to meet other people like yourself doing the same thing you do or going through something you might be facing.
Blogging is self-discovery. It helps you to discover new things about yourself and you actually learn a lot meeting and reading other bloggers post.
Write about what you know and care about
Write at your own pace. Determine what works best for you and how many times you wish to post.
Be yourself don’t try to be like other bloggers but you can learn a few tips about what works for them.
Don’t be a wall expecting others to come to you, reach out and follow other bloggers.
Read, comment and like what others post on their blog and you will be expanding your reach
Seriously there will days and times you are not able to write or post so don’t beat * yourself.
Keep at it and keep doing your best
Blogging helps others as well as you
More Images from My Life
Taking it further
I’d love to publish some of my written work but I am yet to get there.
This interview has been fun.
Thanks Jacqueline for your friendship and the opportunity to share my life and story on your page. I call her Nne…
Blogging legally Is there a need to keep to the legal side of things while blogging? Share your thoughts on Bella’s blog.
My birthday It’s sweet Oneta’s birthday, not mine 😉 83 years is a blessed and grand age to be.
Estrangement This is a poignant read and here’s what I had to say:
This is so sad to read.
I believe in the power of positive thinking and the law of attractions. Start speaking positively what you want into being even when the contrary is happening.
Don’t be afraid to try to bridge the gap and offer an olive branch even if rejection is thrown in your face. Love will win over estrangement. Start believing. Stay blessed.
Body Renovations was born from my lifestyle transformation I underwent 9 years ago, with a focus on body, mind, and heart. It is hard to believe it has been that long already, as it seems like just yesterday I dropped the weight and have maintained it ever since.
That’s why I know it was a lifestyle change because I changed my way of life and have no intentions of ever going back to the old habits. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days when I struggle with my diet, but I am so much more aware of what my body tells me if I make poor food choices. I define goals every year and I pick an area that I need to focus on. This year it is Nutrition. I’m trying to learn more and incorporate clean eating.
I successfully transformed my thinking turning the negative thoughts around, to have a positive outlook on life. I began to love myself and life. Then I became more active, walking, hiking, biking, lifting and even learned how to swim at 52 years old! You are never too old, or it is never too late to do anything. If you don’t try you never know what you are missing out on.
I have been able to throw my medications away, no more blood pressure or cholesterol meds for me. Exercise and diet have made it possible to live medication free! I am sure changing my attitude and thoughts have also made and impact. It’s so easy to allow your mind to stay focused in the negative and play the victim card. You can turn that around by focusing on the good things in life.
One of my goals last year was to do more writing, someday I want to publish a book. The book idea has been on my goal list for several years, and I start and stop. Since I was stalling out I thought I might need to try a different approach…start smaller….write a blog. I might not post every day, and yes, life gets crazy and steals time from your time to write….but the main thing is to post when I can, don’t let it become a stressor. I don’t feel like writing comes easy for me, so I am working on developing the writer muscle so I will be able to publish a book someday. If you don’t try you never know what you are missing out on.
Sometimes we need to perform a remodel and Body Renovations covers the whole being. Body Renovations
Reading other blogs inspire and motivate me. If I am out on a walk, hike or bike ride I have ideas popping into my head and I think about how I could use that idea to write a blog post. Sometimes I get so excited about a topic and when I sit down to write I get a couple sentences drafted and then nothing! I will stay engage with writing for a while, but when it is evident that I have nothing else to expand on, then I leave it and come back to it another time and find that I can add to it and I have a blog post.
The most challenging thing for me with blogging is finding different ways to express myself in my writing. I’m not a natural writer…this is a stretch for me, it’s an opportunity for me to push myself to the edges. When I write, I want to be creative with my writing to draw people in, to influence and inspire small changes that readers can think about and apply in their lives.
The other thing is making time to write, as well as reading other blogs. They are so many inspiring writers out there, I didn’t have any idea until I started my blog. People started to follow me after my very first post, that was hard to process, I mean people that didn’t know me liked what I had to say. It started connections, with other bloggers and I have made friends with complete strangers from across the globe. It was our “thought likeness” that brought us together. It was the common bond of love where our paths crossed and we share our comments of support. It is a community where we lift each other up. It is a beautiful thing, this thing called blogging.
A Word To Others
I definitely would encourage everyone to create a blog. It’s a platform to share your passion, and let readers see the depths of your soul. I have found so much inspiration from other bloggers that I follow, and they touch my heart with their ability to draw a picture with their words like an artist painting a picture.
Writing is a way to expand your thinking, to challenge your mind to meet your heart and let your wisdom flow. It is a great way to get in touch with your inner being.
Have fun, release your inner child to guide you to your creativity!
I would like to thank you, dear Jacqueline, for this guest interview. I am both humbled and honored for this opportunity. I appreciate your support of fellow bloggers and the love and inspiration that pours from your heart into your writing. You are a blessing to the blogging community!
When I was a little girl, we would match to the beat of the school drum in our pinafore’s, singing in our high-pitched staccato voices ‘the day is bright, it’s bright and fair, oh happy day, a day of joy, the day is bright, it’s bright and fair, oh happy day of joy.’
The little girl in me has been humming this song each morning these past few days. Our weather is getting lovelier by the day. It’s no longer a melt in a puddle, burnt to bacon crisp temperature and I am so looking forward to making the best of this season.
The fact that nature blesses us with such respite is totally wonderful and yes, coupled with the fact that finally, I’ve launched my self-hosted blog, I feel light, merry and grateful.
I am fully aware that there are those who have multiple blog babies and quite frankly, I wondered how they kept up with all that and the rest of their lives with ease, but what each day teaches me is that once you set your heart on achieving something and you ask for the grace, it shall come in abundance.
Shall I tell you that my heart is filled with gratitude? Indeed it is! I didn’t expect the amount of support that I’ve received from you – my friends – once I announced that I’ve launched. You are truly an awesome community. Thank you.
When we ask, not only do we receive, but our abundance shall overflow.
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.
We will be having our monthly blog party this weekend – Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th. It’s a Halloween themed party. Stay tuned and hope to see you in your dreary, scary drags.