Sep 26

Open Your Mind and Thrive (Short Story 7)

A story about the benefits of an open mind.

Meem Marsh Wren argued against new ideas until his friends found great success by embracing a satisfying new adventure while he just went hungry…

Bonnie and Benny, Blue Herons, liked to explore new things and places. They recently heard about how cattail plants were growing in Mellow Marsh. They decided to invite their friends, Molly and Meem—both Marsh Wrens—to accompany them to the Marsh.

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Molly squealed, “I’d love to go, especially when cattails are in bloom!”

Meem looked suspiciously at his friends. “It’s great right here at Paradise Pond. Why go all the way over to the Marsh? We’ve got plenty of mosquitoes to eat in our own backyard.”

“It’ll be fun and I want to enjoy the weather and chat along the way. I’m sure we’ll find something to eat at the Marsh,” explained Molly encouragingly.

“I agree,” Benny replied. “Who knows what we’ll find on such an adventure?”

Molly said, “Come on, Meem. It’ll be fantastic!”

Meem harrumphed. “No thanks, I’m staying here where the water’s nice and lunch is nearby.”

Bonnie, Benny, and Molly headed for Mellow Marsh. Upon arrival, they couldn’t believe their eyes! The mosquitoes swarmed everywhere and marsh grasses clumped perfectly for perching. They stuffed themselves and then perched to watch the world go by. They made several new friends, too. It was heavenly!

When they got home, Meem asked, “What took so long?”

“Oh, Meem, Mellow Marsh was wonderful!” Molly gasped. “We ate and watched the Marsh activity and then we ate again. Millions of tender mosquitoes surrounded us! We made new friends, too!”

Meem sighed. “I only caught 3 mosquitoes the whole time! I’m going on the next adventure,” Melvin said as his stomach growled.

Have you been adamant on staying in your comfort zone for so long and scared of venturing out?

Please, let’s hear your thoughts. 🙂

Sep 19

A Mouse Full of Fears (Story 6)

A story about overcoming insecurities in order to give back to a friend

Dida Mouse was afraid she didn’t measure up.

Would inviting over her friend prove she was right?

Dida Mouse chattered excitedly to her mother about her new friend.

“Sonya Mouse is kind and easy to be with. We have many things in common. We love having new adventures.”

Still, Dida felt that she wasn’t as smart, kind, or pleasant as Sonya.

mice2

Although Sonya often invited Dida over, Dida never reciprocated. She was afraid that Sonya would think less of her if she came over. Besides her personal “shortcomings,” Dida also compared her home to Sonya’s and came up short every time.

Dida had a mouthful of fears: “Why can’t I be as inviting and confident as Sonya?” she said to herself. “I can’t bring myself to do it. My carpet has that ugly worn spot. My house isn’t clean enough. Sonya’s a better cook than I am. I don’t know what to do!”

After having tea and dinner at Sonya’s once again, Dida decided, “I must do my part in this friendship. If Sonya doesn’t like me afterward, I’ll just have to deal with it!”

Dida planned a menu and bought a tablecloth. She invited Sonya to her place for dinner. Although Dida feared that she didn’t measure up, she bravely pushed forward with her plan. She cleaned and even invited Mother for a dinner rehearsal!

Mother said, “Everything is lovely! Don’t worry – you’ll do fine.”

As nervous as Dida felt, she was determined to entertain Sonya. After all, Sonya had invited her many times. Sonya was thrilled with Dida’s invitation and accepted happily.

When Sonya arrived, her smile brightened the room. Dida offered, “Welcome! I’m glad you’re here!” Then, they enjoyed a lovely dinner and fun times together once again – and just as good as ever!

Did the story speak to you directly? If yes, can you share any moment you’ve felt like Dida with a friend?

Share away, there’s love in sharing. 🙂

Sep 12

7 Hacks For Memorisation

 

Sep 08

The Hesitant Flower (Story 5)

The Hesitant Flower Book Cover The Hesitant Flower
Raheemah Odusote
Adult
8th September 2016
ebook
5

A Story about the importance of communicating feelings

Imran Iris was crazy about Leenah Lily, but he was afraid to tell her how he felt. Was Imran doomed to be alone forever?

iris lily

“Leenah is so beautiful,” Imran said to himself. “I want to spend more time with her. She’s brilliantly orange in color, and she’s so thoughtful. Too bad she is close to Toheeb.”

Imran often saw Leenah Lily during the spring. He closed up emotionally when he was near her and resorted to the usual pleasantries before moving on with his day. Later, Imran’s frustration would set in because he hadn’t shared his feelings.

Meanwhile, Leenah spent time with her classmate, Toheeb Tulip. Even though she sometimes disagreed with Toheeb, Leenah liked the way he said what was on his mind. Still, she didn’t have any feelings for Toheeb. Leenah wondered if she’d ever find another flower that saw something special in her and wanted her as a partner.

One day, a gust of wind blew and when Leenah looked up, she saw Imran Iris there beside her.

“Hi, Leenah. How are you?”

“I am practically getting scattered to the wind! But, it’s good to see you!” Leenah wrapped her long, thin leaves around her lower stem for support against the gusty breeze.

Imran took a deep breath. Hesitantly, Imran replied, “I am okay, but I would be happier if you would be my special flower. I think about you all the time and I want to get to know you better.”

Leenah’s petals opened wide. She felt happy.

“That is wonderful,” she exclaimed. “I’ve been thinking the same thing about you!”

Imran rejoiced and from that day forward, he and Leenah spent their days together, enjoying each other’s company.

Sharing your feelings can be pretty scary. You may be afraid that the person you’re interested in doesn’t share the same feelings. However, if you avoid sharing how you feel, you may be passing up the opportunity for a great relationship.

Do you agree?

Sep 02

How to Raise Better-Behaved Children

How to Raise Better-Behaved Children Book Cover How to Raise Better-Behaved Children
Suruurah Olayinka Ogunfemi
Paperback

The book is written by one of the sisters I know for a while now, and I’ve attended some of her training workshops. She is dedicated to helping parents to overcome parenting woes and stress that abound in various homes, be it, sibling rivalries, fights, quarrels and so on.
One of the lessons- was to focus on what you model to your children, they’ll pick up your traits. Here is an example; “You punched your Brother?” That is not what we do.”- This talk focused on the behaviour and not on the child by dishing out threats, curses, and insults. By using the negative approach, one is definitely stepping out of the boundary. This example by the author put in perspective the act of treating the behaviour rather than its conveyer.
Yelling and other forms of punishment only work for a limited time and doesn’t solve the problem permanently.
The book highlighted issues with the method of children upbringing used by most parents and gave proactive and practical solutions to them.
You just need to lay your hands on the book to get the necessary discipline tools to employ. I assure you that they are really practicable.
I implemented one of the training tools called self-calming. It is working for my son with a bit of struggle, but I intend to continue using it for him during his tantrums.
The book gives the reader tonnes of real life examples that one cannot but pick up and use because of their bright clarity.
One of the downside to the book is that some typographical errors require corrections to make for a better reading experience.
I will recommend the book for parents, minders/care givers and teachers.

Where can you get this book, you ask? Here

What actions are you taking on guiding your kids through a proper parenting style? Do you care to share with us?

If you enjoyed reading this review, kindly share with anyone you feel may need it. There is love in sharing.

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Aug 19

Optimism, Hope & Confidence

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Your experiences are shaped by your thinking. Even obstacles have a value when you can see it. You can develop convictions that will help you to feel happier and achieve more, regardless of the situation.

Consider these empowering beliefs that you can start using today to transform your life through the power of positive thinking.

Empowering Beliefs to Make You Smile 🙂

  1. I understand my potential. You can achieve amazing results when you put your mind to it. Feel excited about reaching your true potential.

     

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  2. I count my blessings. List each thing that you have to be grateful for. Remember to include the smaller items, like cloth on your back or food to eat. Expressing your appreciation reminds you of how rich you are.

  3. I learn from mistakes. You can make setbacks work for you by focusing on the lessons that they contain. Flubbing one job interview can teach you how to ace the next one.

  4. I find meaning in adversity. Tough times can be the most rewarding phase of your life. Know that you can emerge from any challenge with greater wisdom and courage. Look back at the obstacles you’ve already overcome, and reassure yourself that you can handle what’s ahead.

  5. I embrace change. Accept that life is a series of changes. Focus on the present moment, and prepare yourself to adapt to whatever circumstances come your way.

  6. I dream big. Expand your wish list. Setting demanding but attainable goals gives you adventures to look forward to each day.

  7. I practice forgiveness. Lighten your load by clearing away any resentment you’re holding onto from the past. Set reasonable boundaries while you respond with compassion when others disappoint you. Pardon yourself too.

  8. I give generously. Sharing your blessings makes you more powerful and joyful. Volunteer in your community and speak kindly to each person you meet today. Buy snacks or coffee for your co-workers or give your receptionist a gift.

So, how do you think positively to empower yourself? Are there things you do for yourself to make you smile and take on life struggles as they come?

Let’s hear your views.

Share and share away if you find this interesting. 🙂

Aug 19

The Floating Bubble (Short Story 4)

A story about learning from the mistakes of others.

Farah was a bubble waiting to be unleashed. As she waited, she made great plans for her journey soon to come. Could she make her dreams come true?

Day after day, Farah sat in the soapy water bottle watching as her owner, Sara, blew other bubbles away.

bubbles

She always dreamed about being the next bubble to be blown. Yet, she spent her days watching what the other bubbles did as Sara unleashed them. There were some bubbles that made bad choices, and popped as soon as they were blown and released.

“Oh no! Look at Mina floating towards the mulberry tree,” she exclaimed. “She knows that mulberries have a prickly exterior. She’s going to be in trouble soon!”

 And as Farah said it, it was done. As soon as Mina got next to the mulberry tree, she popped loudly and transformed into water droplets. The droplets landed in the lake below. Farah was upset that she lost her floating ability and, instead, had to flow along in the lake.

Farah kept reminding herself of her goal to float in the air currents for as long as possible.

The next day was her turn to be blown. As Sara shook the bottle and took out the bubble wand, Farah geared up for a great adventure.

Sara blew hard and formed Farah into one of the most beautiful bubbles ever created. “Wow! How beautiful,” said Sara. “I hope that bubble lasts a long time.”

Farah kept a mental note of Mina’s decision to float by the mulberry tree. She saw what happened to Mina, and decided against taking that same route.

Soap_bubble_sky_photo_resize

Instead, she floated over the areas where there weren’t many trees. That way, she was able to stay intact for a very long time. She was happy for the opportunity to see many places along her journey.

We should always pay attention to our surroundings. We can learn one or two things from people’s mistakes only when we pay attention. We avoid their mistakes being repeated by us.

Does the story resonate with you? Share with your friends and family you feel might benefit from it.

There is love in sharing. Keep sharing…:)

Aug 16

A Friendship Promise

A Friendship Promise Book Cover A Friendship Promise
Ruby Moore (Umm Zakiyyah)
Young Adult
Al-Walaa
2012
131



Maryam is the daughter of  Pakistani-American parents who has been brought up to be totally obedient to them and follow rules.

Joanne, Samira's mother got divorced and had to move back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. Joanne & Basma (Maryam's Mum)  were childhood friends. They had different upbringings and invariably each has different parenting styles, so there were arguments between them regarding the upbringing of their children.

Maryam became friends with Samira when her parents accepted to help Joanne with a friend for her daughter . This was after an argument between Maryam's parents that her father eventually accepted.
Although Samira lived in Saudi Arabia, she didn't know some of the unacceptable actions to avoid as a Muslim girl. Her attitude got her friends into trouble. She doesn't care for rules & regulations.

There's this heart to heart talk meeting the girls usually engage in, whereby they tell each other's  secrets and make a pledge not to tell anyone outside their circle. Can you guess whose idea it was? Yeah, you’ve got to read the book to get the answer.

The three friends battled with issues typical of teenagers which conflicted with the way they were brought up:
>Latifah was free with the opposite sex during a game of basketball in her school, involving inappropriate touching which she condoned because she enjoyed the attention.
>Maryam was caught by Samira while chatting with a boy online.
>Samira was talking online with a non-Muslim boy irrespective of her mother's warning on not using the internet except for homework.
All these misbehaviour culminated into something bigger than the three friends.

What did I enjoy most about this book? Hmmm….I enjoyed the way the author was able to portray the emotions and feelings the girls were going through as teens. She passed across real life situations most Muslim teens go through at adolescence.

My least favourite character is Faris, Maryam’s father. He was too self-righteous. He thought himself a more practicing Muslim than Samira's family. He believed Maryam would be influenced by Samira in a negative way. It’s only Allah that knows who’s righteous or not. We should all strive to do our best.

Adults can learn one or two things from the book even though it was meant for the young adult.

Do you think of reading this book? Did this review help you in deciding whether to read it or not?

Drop us your thoughts in the comment box. We love reading from you! 🙂

 


 

Aug 10

8 Important Life Skills to Teach Your Children



 

Although your children can learn to read and write at school, there are many beneficial life skills that schools rarely provide. These are skills that all adults and children should have.

If you or anyone you know really struggles with life, odds are that there is a lack of expertise in one of these areas. That’s how important they are!

 

Teaching your children these skills will benefit them throughout their lives:

 

  1. Asking questions. If you can’t figure out something that’s important to you, you can save yourself a lot of grief by asking questions of the appropriate person. You can also learn a lot by exploring and asking yourself questions.
    question mark
  2. The ability to solve problems. Life is full of challenges. Figuring out how to be successful in school, navigating through a new job, making the football team: these are all common challenges we must solve. Life is less intimidating when you learn processes that help you conquer challenges, whatever they may be.problem solving

Avoid the temptation to solve your children’s challenges for them. Let them strive to figure solutions out on their own.

  1. Finding a passion. No one ever trained us to go out and find the things that really excite and motivate us. Most of us were taught that working and having a job stinks, so you’d better get used to it. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! Everyone should have something they are passionate about and enough sense of independence to attach to it.

I’ve discovered my eldest loves writing and I took it as my duty to encourage her. I am getting her into a writing coaching class to enhance her gift. She recently wrote a story that was published in a newspaper.

 

  1. Independence. Children need to be nurtured to become more and more independent as they grow up. Many adults need to learn to be more independent as well. Strive to increase your child’s independence a little bit at a time.
  2. Being content when alone. Some children are incapable of spending even 15 minutes without the attention of others. As children grow up, they learn to attach to other things to find contentment. Buying silly things, the Internet, food, video games, and more can all become addictions in their own way to avoid being alone. Adults are no different.

There is a great power in being able to amuse yourself. It makes life easier, with fewer destructive temptations.

 

  1. Compassion. The ability to work well with others and control our own anger is directly tied to our ability to be compassionate toward others. Strive to be more compassionate in your everyday life and teach your children the same. Being compassionate is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

 

  1. Money Skill. Teach your children to earn & manage money at an early age, say from10 years. Some of them get this false sense of entitlement as they grow up and depend totally on their parents. Teach them to save from pocket money, open accounts for them, take them on trips to the market to have a first hand experience on handling money. This skill will help them in the long run.
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  2. Dealing with change. Change is one of the few constants in life. Those who can be flexible and deal with change effectively are much more successful and happier than those who can’t. Help your child to learn to deal with change and you’ll be doing them a huge favor.

Schools teach us many things but they don’t teach us everything. These necessary skills that aren’t taught in school can be more valuable than anything we learn during our formal education. Check yourself and your child for the presence of these skills. Your lives will be much better for it.

Feel free to add more important skills you think our children need to succeed in life. Do your children have these skills already? Drop us a comment below to get us talking.

Have you enjoyed reading this? Share with your friends and loved ones. 🙂

 

Aug 03

Misinformation Mayhem

A story about the perils of prattle

 

Sissy Spaniel listened to gossip and made decisions based on misinformation until the idle talk taught

her a valuable lesson… the hard way.

Bella Buns loved to eavesdrop and gab. She roamed her neighborhood hoping to hear something juicy to tell Prita and Sissy Spaniel.

spaniel dog

One day, Bella discovered some real juicy news, so she excitedly told Prita and Sissy, “You won’t believe what I heard! Thomas Terrier is moving! His house will be empty!”

Prita grimaced. “Not again,” she thought. “Bella is full of gossip.”

“Where did you hear about this?” asked Prita.

“I was on my way home and heard Thomas and Stanley Squirrel discussing how to quickly pack up items,” said Bella. “Sissy, this is good news for you!”

Sissy was pleased. “I’ve been searching for a new place and Thomas’ home is perfect! I’m going home now to pack!” Sissy left to gather her belongings, excited she would be moving. By sunset, she’d packed and loaded everything.

“This wagon is heavy,” Sissy thought, pulling it along. She headed toward Thomas Terrier’s home. Sissy told everyone she encountered she was moving into Thomas’ house. They were shocked about Thomas moving away.

When Sissy arrived at Thomas’ house, he greeted her happily. “Sissy, it’s great to see you! What is all that stuff in the wagon?”

Sissy said, “These are my belongings! How soon are you leaving? I’m moving into your home.”

Thomas looked confused. “Leaving? What are you talking about? I love it here and I’m staying forever! Would you like some tea?”

“Oh dear,” Sissy exclaimed, crestfallen. “I’ve packed up and left home! And I’ve told everyone you were leaving! What a mess! I know now not to believe Bella’s idle gossip!”

 

Hmmm……has any one of us fallen into this type of error? Believing a gossip and acting on it? Or knowing some one that carries tales and still believe them anyways whenever they come with one?

Tell your experience if such has happened to you……We are all ears. 🙂

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