Stop waiting on someone else to do it.

Are you constantly thinking of starting a special ministry, planning an event, initiating that important discussion, forming a charity, inviting a particular person to church, starting a business or becoming more physically active, and you constantly find yourself just waiting to start?

What are you really waiting for? Do you expect someone else to start what is meant to be your purpose and your contribution to this World?

Are you the one in the family who always seems to be sentimental, wanting to build and encourage traditions, plan great adventures and capture memories and yet you are waiting for the others to come around? Well that waiting may be as long as your years on this earth!

Consider that maybe it is your place to initiate the action and that they are probably happy and content enough to follow you as you lead. Remember some are meant to be great followers.

The fact that you are unhappy with the current status, while others are comfortable with mediocrity, is indication enough that you need to action. The fact that you can easily identify sub-standard in your society, school, workplace and even church, is an indication that you need to contribute to that change you so desire. The time for excuses is over; you need to step-up.

As I look back over the years I have been blessed with, I am grateful for the many times I took action. But the reality is that there are also those times when I didn’t, simply out of doubt and fear, and I know that I missed experiencing something great as a result. I can be tempted to ask “What if?”, but I have learnt not to look back. Instead, I pick up my bundle of valuable lessons and move forward.

I know better now! I know that the fact that the ideas are repeatedly knocking on my hearts door is an indication that God wants to use me in that area to initiate something good. I must not sit on it contemplating or seeking to understand every detail. It’s not my business to try to see what is not yet revealed to me. It is also not my business to assess the people around me to see who may be better fit to execute my God-given assignment. It’s my responsibility to act, not tomorrow but today.

When we act, great relationships and bonds are formed, victories are realised, hope is re-ignited, death and sickness are defeated, and light and salt permeates our environment. Remember! It’s our responsibility to act, not tomorrow, but today.

The featured picture was taken at a beautiful spot in Levera, St. Patrick, next to “The Pond”, a naturally created pond just below the rocks at the shore line where villagers and visitors alike would enjoy a therapeutic see bath in a somewhat secluded area.

Take action to create wonderful memories with family and friends.

Friendship in Family

Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to be a better friend to my family. Here are some of the practical ways I came up with, some I have already been practicing, others I intend to start or increase. I am excited about sewing these seeds of friendship and watering those already sown. I wish to inspire you to invest in the relationship with your parents, siblings, children, husband or wife. Don’t keep putting of the need to make amends, pull off that surprise or just plan a lovely evening together.

Do what you can to strengthen your family ties.

  • Create a Birthday Calendar and place reminders on your mobile phone so that you would not forget their birthdays; try to do something special for them on their birthday. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, expensive or complexed. Simplicity can speak volumes.
  • Stay in touch by calling every now and then just to say “hi” and to enquire about their well-being.
  • Be quick to say or send congratulatory messages whenever they accomplish something they are proud of.
  • Be quick to give a word of encouragement when they are going through a difficult period.
  • Listen, without interrupting, when they need to vent.
  • Plan events and activities with them in mind.
  • Offer to assist them on a personal project that is important to them.
  • Accept their telephone calls and when it is impossible to do so right away, return the call as soon as you are able to.
  • Understand and appreciate their personality and where they are in their personal growth.
  • Surprise them by doing something really special out of the blues; no occasion needed.
  • Pray for them consistently.

I believe we often take those closest to us for granted and sit back and allow our relationships to deteriorate, growing distant and insensitive to those we should value the most. Remember to start at home. That’s where true love begins.

Have an awesome day!

Featured picture: My daughter and I

God blessed women so they can have sons

It’s a good day to reflect on the wonderful gift given to women by God, the gift of bearing, nurturing and raising children.

Please don’t call him little boy or greet him by exclaiming “You got so big!”. Think about something more engaging like “It’s so great to see you, how are you doing?”

You see he doesn’t need to hold my skirt anymore depending on my knees to be strong so that his knees could grow stronger. He can now rise to his feet, on his own, when he falls he gets up! I never taught him to stay down. I am his Mama and I am proud to be his.

He no longer needs me to complete his sentences. He has come a long way building his vocabulary daily. From the moment he was planted by God in my womb his intellect began to develop and now his vocabulary is big enough and wide enough to impress his Mama. God’s gift.

He is no longer 3 years’ old or 10 or 16 or 18. No, he’s older, wiser, smarter and yet, I still call him “Baby”. “Baby, are you okay? I know you are now 21 but you are still my baby and that will never change.”

I am a proud, blessed, woman. I am your Mama!

If you are blessed with a Son , take a minute and thank God for your gift and never take him for granted. Take your responsibility seriously, even when he is older!

God’s grace abounds!

Your family and purposeful living

Wherever you are in God’s beautiful world, I hope you are doing well. We watch the news daily and we hear good but more so bad news. It is extremely important for us to keep ourselves healthy and focused. This is not time for reckless, senseless living. It is time for purposeful and intentional living.

As 2021 came to an end I was determined to connect more with my family around the energy of purposeful living. My aim was to strengthen our bond by creating family goals and a mechanism designed to encourage each family member to achieve their individual goals which would in-turn strengthen the entire family.

Listen, you can be professional at home too. You can sit with pen and paper or a computer and plan; planning is not just for the workplace. Practice planning as a family unit. The Business of your family is your first business and the activities of this business is very, very important to God. Keep in mind that parents are God’s authority in the home and it is our responsibility to manage what He has entrusted to us to the best of our ability. Create various categories to group your goals & objectives into and be sure to include a “Spiritual” category.

Here are some suggested categories:

  • My Relationship with God
  • Family
  • Health
  • Education
  • My Social Life

Too many times we step out in style to create external businesses and our family’s affairs are in a mess. Well, for 2022 you can get your house in order and you can strengthen the business of your family.

In 2022, why not work towards better family planning. It doesn’t matter how old your children may be, it doesn’t matter if there are only two members in your family. There should be absolutely no excuses.

Here are some ways to strengthen your family business:

  1. Set goals and involve every member by allowing them to participate in goal setting. It is a family business so everyone needs to be involved.
  2. Break down these goals into objectives. Be sure to submit all your plans to God knowing that He may lead differently. Be open to changes that would cause you to alter your plans.
  3. Combine all these goals and objectives into one document get it printed and place a copy in every bedroom.
  4. In your goal setting agree to hold each other accountable and to motivate each other towards accomplishing their goals, even though it means offending them at times. Each member should agree to embrace criticism keeping in mind that it is being done out of unconditional love.
  5. Set a time during which you would meet to assess progress and discuss next steps, obstacles etc. Always end these sessions in prayer, re-submitting your plans to God.
  6. In your assessment sessions be sure to give attention to expressing thanks to God for what you have accomplished thus far. Reward each other as well.
  7. No matter what difficulties come your way, do not give up on each other and on your goals.
  8. Be ready to share your success with other families, so they too can grow and overcome. Don’t be selfish. Many families need to get their affairs in order and you can be the one to encourage them.

Oh just in case you are thinking it is too late for planning as January is already gone, think again, don’t allow excuses. We are just getting started and it is definitely not too late.

Make it fun, don’t make it feel like work 🙂 . By the way this will be great training for your kids.

My kids are growing so fast. Am I adjusting quick enough?

I now have a young adult son who is heading for 21 in January, and a teenaged daughter who is anticipating turning 15 in May of 2022. Well, the truth is none of them are really anticipating, they are truly baffled with the fast pace of time.

However, the point of this article is that over the last two years, I have been making a special effort to communicate more effectively with my kids keeping abreast with their intellectual changes. You see their ability to think, plan and execute their own affairs has matured and continues to mature. Consequently, when it comes to making plans I have been trying to keep them informed practicing inclusion, accommodation and compromise.

It is important to remember that as our kids grow they too would have plans for the day, they too would have recommendations for solving problems. They too would need their personal time and space. Our role is to groom them to thrive and succeed without a heavy reliance on us as parents. If we can keep this reality in mind, we would be ready when the adjustment is necessary.

Maybe you have not been adjusting well and feel a bit guilty. The good news is, it is not too late. You can seek to improve today! Here are some practical ways to support your teens and young adults as they discover themselves and grow to understand God’s purpose for their lives.

Avoid giving commands but rather respectfully ask for assistance.

Invite suggestions for solutions to problems you are trying to solve rather than proceeding to solve them on your own.

Whenever you are thinking of planning family events or activities ask them what they would like to do instead of telling them about your plans.

Respect their privacy; it is time to stop storming into their rooms without notice.

Avoid giving advice already given. Once you have told them before, trust them to act appropriately when the time comes.

Do not interrupt them when they are speaking to you assuming you know what they are about to say next.

When the hard questions come, put the escape answer “because I say so” to rest. It is time for real answers.

Never treat them as errand boys or girls, treat them as adults or to-be adults that needs to be given the opportunity to say “yes” or “no”. Once you have raised them to assist at home and to see helping others as well as asking for help as a critical aspect of their lives, they would know how to respond.

It is now time to provide guidance, not rules and instructions and in so doing explain how every choice or decision leads to consequences that would contribute to the quality of life they would later enjoy or detest. When your kids become teens and young adults, parenting begins anew. Unlike the sentiments of others, teenagers and young adults are still desperately in need of our love and guidance.

If we are able to adjust our parenting as our children get older, we would find that our relationship with them would transition smoothly into a beautiful friendship where our children feel safe to express their emerging emotions, desires and fears. Our teens and young adults would feel understood and supported.

What practical tips can you share to effectively parent teens and young adults?

Family Power

The term Family Power came to me out of no where. I knew I was not the first to think about such a term and that it may have other meanings apart from the one I was thinking of. With that in view I decided to do a quick search on the internet and I found out that “Family Power” was an Indian reality family game show. My understanding is that this game show was aired from November 2017 to April 2018 and was produced by Pixel Pictures Private Limited. Funds raised in the final episode were used on cochlear implant for children suffering from hearing loss. I went further and found one of the recorded shows on YouTube and sure enough the evidence of team work and co-operation was evident on the stage. As to why that show was named “Family power”, I am sure it is not farfetched to imagine that it had something to do with teamwork.

I also found out that there is a group called “Movement for Family Power”. Their goal is to fight to end the Foster System’s policing and punishment of families and to create a world where the dignity and integrity of all families is valued and supported. Their aim is to shrink the Foster care system. Then there is another movement called “Family Power” On their Website it states “Together we want to bring about a change. A change to care for vulnerable children in their own family and community.  I became interested in this movement and wanted to explore their website.

As one continues to search I am sure more will be discovered regarding the use of the term “Family Power”. I also found a definition which states “the ability of one individual to change the behavior of the other family members“.  Immediately after reading this I found my thoughts migrating to a negative perspective as the words “abuse” and “bribery” came to light. But I quickly nudged myself back to objectivity and continued my free thinking on the term. “Family Power” is not necessarily used negatively, right?

During my search I also found an article called “Sharing Power in Families” posted on the Website “Keep Connected”. I loved their discussion on “sharing power in families”. There were two statements that jumped out at me. The first states:- “Sharing power is the way we influence, learn from, and work with each other in our family relationships. Sharing power with kids helps prepare them to be responsible adults. The second statement nicely complimented the first ” Families grow stronger when they become intentional in how they share power and influence each other.”

Isn’t it amazing how much time we invest in exploring ideas and theories in an effort to ensure our lives are effective? We can find studies and discussions on practically any topic; we are never short of information. I didn’t know that this two-word phrase had already received so much attention. Feel free to further explore the phrase “Family Power”.

When I first thought about the term “Family Power”, I envisaged its meaning as the positive influence, support and encouragement that comes from one’s family that acts as a motivational force driving family members to dream, to embrace failure with growth in mind and to relentlessly pursue their goals. This was a result of my brainstorming. I was thinking of a unit that has the potential to produce powerful and influential people through unconditional care and support.

My brainstorming adventure lead me to think of “Family Power” as the force responsible for minority citizens achieving big things, for single parent moms raising NBA stars and for families having a taste for what miracles and impossibilities look like.

When I thought about family power, I thought about families surviving poverty, abuse, racism, teenage pregnancy, imprisonment, drugs and a world of crime. I remembered the life story of Serena and Venus Williams depicting a daring fearless dad who fought for the success of his girls.

Is my interpretation of “Family Power” any different from what I saw through the Indian game show and those social movements? I think the meanings are more alike than different. Whether it is a game show, a movement or a layman noting her thoughts, we may all agree that that the bottom line of these activities is to make families stronger.

The question is what are you doing today to make your family more resilient, richer, closer and more influential? Do you positively impact each other, are you uplifted by each other and motivated to excel or does your family constantly remind you of your failures and all the things that are impossible to do. As parents it is our duty to provide a home environment that promotes individuality, room for discovery and growth, sharing, co-operation and support and most of all unconditional love. When your family’s culture is healthy, every member can soar, every member can breathe through their challenges and finally experience success. This too is Family power!

Here are some ideas for strengthening your family:

  • Establish family values. You can start off by having a discussion on what members of your family think your family values should be. Make sure to involve them in the process.
  • Try to include educational activities a part of your family time, not just strictly fun activities. For example: Look at a video that speaks about “the long-term effects of insufficient sleep” or a documentary about “animals going extinct”.
  • Be involved in each other’s projects and lives. For example your son has an assignment to complete, you can offer to review the assignment before it is submitted or your daughter was invited to a beach picnic, be sure to be available to pick her up and drop her off or your parents have decided to start a garden, get on board by volunteering to wet the plants. These are all powerful ways to say “I am with you”, “I got you”. Psychologically and emotionally, this is power.
  • Commend your family when progress is made or when growth or improvement is achieved. Be careful not to praise them in a manner that encourages them to think that only 100% is acceptable. This is not a realistic view. Instead consistently encourage them to work towards their best.
  • Avoid highlighting failures and blunders negatively. Refer to failures for teaching purposes only. Remember words are extremely powerful. Speak success only!

As we experience this gift called “Life”, may we be always intentional with our words and actions. May we be constantly seeking to uplift others. The power of influence is real and effective whether within the ambits of the family or the community.

Be blessed.

My Hog Island Take-Aways

Here we are again. It is another school break and for my family it means organizing a couple of outdoor adventures or fun activities.  It means creating unforgettable moments after weeks of hustling, pushing our bodies beyond and above.  Now, it was time to exhale, to unwind.

Our choice of adventure was “a boat trip to Hog Island”.  A trip my family would remember for a long time.

On Saturday, I consulted with my teenagers on what we should carry on the trip. Having decided, we began to execute our plan. We had no idea how the day would unfold, but we anticipated a great time.

On Monday, 2nd August, a day celebrated on our Island as “Emancipation Day”, we boarded our friend’s fishing vessel at the Grand Mal Bay and headed South in search of Hog Island. Our adventure comprised of the journey by sea and of course, the Island itself.  As part of the journey we had the opportunity to feast on the beautiful landscape near the coastline as we travelled along the outskirts of communities such as Fontenoy, St. George’s, Grand Anse, Point Salines, True Blue and Lance Aux Epines.  Pure beauty! 

It was sunny day, slightly overcast, not a drop of rain fell.  It was the perfect day for our trip. As we approached   Point Saline’s, the southern peak of our Island, Grenada, the waters became rough and we were urged to hold on as the vessel rocked along with the jagged waves. As we identified the various communities we searched for key landmarks and structures; The Maurice Bishop International Airport, the St. George’s School of Medicine, the Light House at Lance Aux Epines and other familiar spots. We were privileged to see a plane descending as it prepared to land on the runway of the Airport which seemed so close to us.

After about one hour travelling on sea, Hog Island was in view. One of the first things I noticed was the sheds along the shoreline and the small speed boats transporting visitors to and from the Island. My mind immediately moved beyond what the eyes could behold and I wondered what the rest of the Island had to offer.

After docking, we decided to enjoy our lunch before heading off the boat and into the inner areas of Hog Island. We all pampered our taste buds with the delicious Pelau and Green Salad, prepared for the trip. Every passenger aboard was singing praises to the Cook in appreciation for a well satisfying meal.  We then headed out with our desert, water and our swimming gear.

Our Adventure accelerated as we ventured out to discover what’s beyond the shore and among the lush green vegetation. We discovered one of the many beaches and observed the water to be invitingly warm and refreshing. We enjoyed walking on the rocks along the coastline that lead us on the opposite side of the Island.  The side on which we entered was mostly swampy and tiny crabs of varied patterns could be seen roaming the dark sandy soil. But as we advanced deeper into the bushes we found dry land, green pastures and plants. I took it all in determined to detach myself from the cares of this world.  It worked!  I was able to enjoy the moment thoroughly and purely.

We walked quite a bit exploring the tracks that seemed recently trodden.  We were told about beaches one can discover by deeper exploration into the bushes.  The day climaxed with a lovely sea bath on one of the Island’s more accessible beaches. It was just what I needed.

Now, If you know me, you should understand that every activity I am engaged with has to be more than just an activity. There must be something to take-away from all this.

My Hog Island Take-aways.

1)First things first, I am extremely grateful to God for taking us to and from our destination safely.

2)From the moment I placed my feet on the vessel I was reminded that God was also present.  He is always with me.  The seas obey him, I had no need to be afraid.   This realization of truth allowed me to relax on sea and focus on the beauty around me.  The absence of fear allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the ride.

3)This trip allowed my family to deepen its bond and I am so happy that or idea bore fruit. We all wanted to make this adventure a reality and we did.

4)It was also great to connect with others, to make new friends and acquaintances.  When we mix and mingle intentionally, we allow others to see Christ in us and they are suddenly in a space that allows them to view life, pleasure and fun differently.  I am able to find joy and contentment in the simplest of ways. 

5)The more you venture out and explore is the more beauty you would experience.  Many times in life we hesitate to take the next step because we perceive that it will be difficult and our vision stops there.   Our walk around the island, up the slopes and grassy pastures, along the stony coastline and unfamiliar tracks led us to hidden treasures.  The willingness to explore allows you to enjoy the thrill of discovering something new.

Every detail of this day added to the beautiful moment we shared together. My body felt relaxed and rejuvenated. Just what I needed, just what we all needed.

What activities does your family look forward to during school breaks?

Family moments – Gratitude!

Family moments can be created around just about anything; humour, food, travelling, a movie, a game, a song, learning something new, welcoming a new baby, attending a sporting event, creating something together and the list goes on and on.    I am so passionate about family moments that I am always anticipating my weekends and public holidays.

How does your family build special memories? What are your favourite activities?

We often get caught up in the school-work-home cycle and many times prefer to just relax at home on weekends and on public holidays.  What works well is planning in advance and planning our activities at a time when we can afford to slow down a bit; a time when not too much is going on around us.    Some activities we enjoy are going to the beach, walking and hiking, visiting family, watching movies, attending church,  going to the theatre, watching basketball and more. I believe though, our most favourite moment, is just being home together.

Recently, we engaged ourselves in an activity that turned out to be much more meaningful than we expected.  Maybe you may wish to try this with your family.

Activity

Each person was asked to walk with pen and paper.  The timer was set for three minutes and everyone was expected to begin writing things they were grateful for.  At the end of the three minutes, each family member shared the items on their list.  If you had the same item on your list, you had to indicate so by raising your hand.

I was amazed by the number of things we thought of combined.  It was a lovely experience and we all enjoyed it.

I wish to share some of the things I wrote on my list. Some may seem insignificant or minor to you, but that’s o.k., as you would not know the story behind the gratitude being expressed.

Yesterday I was thankful for these things and today I am more thankful:

  • My Job
  • Quiet Time
  • Healthy food
  • Ice cream
  • The Rain and The Sun
  • God’s word
  • A Spiritual Foundation
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Hope
  • Dreams
  • Transportation
  • The ability to move
  • Peace
  • My Parents
  • Co-workers
  • A structured Government maintaining order
  • A vehicle of my own
  • Coconut water
  • Fresh air
  • The Beach
  • A bed
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Intelligence
  • Sounds
  • The ability to share
  • My body

What are your thankful for today?

I inspire you today to be the one to initiate a family activity.  Create great memories and don’t forget to pull out the camera.

They soon grow up and move out

Today, I am reflecting on the gift of my two kids, Jonathan, 19 and Janae 13. They are now old enough to consult with on major decisions and I feel grateful just acknowledging this blessing.

Some of my favourite moments with them are when we are reading and discussing God’s word, huddled on my bed, chatting and sharing jokes, eating, working on school projects, outdoor activities and watching movies. The older me is much more appreciative of these moments, I have learnt to slow down and smell the roses. More so, I find my self taking a closer look at their intricate designs.

It is very easy for me to get distracted with work and personal projects. Being an introvert with a very creative imaginative mind, I find myself most comfortable when I am alone and being creative. My creations often fall into the category of INSPIRATION. I always desire to share hope and to be that individual that would communicate a “yes you can” message to the unbeliever, the man, woman or child who continues to doubt their ability and the power of God.

Today I am learning to put more of that creative energy into my kids, now a young adult and a teenager. I have the honour of inspiring them to be go-getters, to dream and to take steps every day towards those dreams. I have the honour of being their cheerleader, reminding them that dreams do come true. I have the honour of grooming them for success, to face life’s challenges and to win. As parents, our job is an enormous one, but when we treasure our family, we do all in our power to make their development exciting and memorable. There is absolutely no room for excuses. We need to use the time we have today and not procrastinate for the tomorrow we cannot guarantee.

So, today as I inspire me I inspire you to be more present in the lives of your kids, no matter their ages. Do not underestimate the knowledge you have gained through your experiences in life. Saturate them with knowledge and sound principles that would provide them with a great foundation for experiencing fulfilled lives. It is our duty to do our very best today and not tomorrow.

Your kids deserve more than “Because I say so”.

I really don’t think the words “Because I say so” works. Not from what I have experienced. Maybe years ago, but, children these days? They require more from us, explanations, answers and reasons why they should obey or choose wisely. In fact, they need to be able to define what is “wise” as well.

Some of us may think that there are times when those words do apply, as the required explanations are too complexed for our child’s consumption. I get that feeling, I totally do. In those times I have found it better so say why I cannot explain, rather than “Because I say so”. You see there is merit in acting real as parents, there is merit in acting human. Sometimes, we do not have the answers and that’s okay.

I am not a bully mom, neither are my children growing to be kids; they are growing to be adults who can think and make sound decisions, communicate effectively and demonstrate other necessary skills and the intelligence to be successful in all spheres.

My role therefore is to speak to my kids in a manner that would educate them and build their confidence in facing life’s touch questions. “Because I say so” may be seen as an escape for parents who are too busy to sit and explain or too scared to touch the unpleasant. Parenting is about toughening up and facing our responsibilities head on. If we don’t know what to say, seek guidance first, pray, prepare thoroughly, but don’t take the escape route. It would not hurt to say to your child, “I cannot explain to you now, but I promise to do so before the day ends; I need you to trust me on this”.

Children accept our sincere attempts to respect them, value them and to teach them and they connect much better with us when they are able to perceive us as normal humans with lacks and weaknesses but also with experience and wisdom, seeking to lead them the best way we know how.

Here is a bonus tip. The more you spend quality time with your kids, the easier it becomes to discuss uncomfortable topics with them.