Life is for Living Every Day

Thoughts on Faith, Family, Friendship; Love, Laughter, Life


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Much has been given

the journey is the destination

 

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” ~ Luke 12:48 (NIV)

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Crop Over is in the air, and I heartily agree with a comment made once by Father Austin Carrington of the Christ Church Parish Church who encouraged Barbadians to embrace the positive aspects of our Festival while casting away the not-so-positive ones.  And here therefore is my “Once-Upon-a-Crop-Over-Long-Ago” story … which of course stars Nathan and Gale.

That particular year we went to the beach one Sunday afternoon with friends and family to enjoy some “Pan pun de Sand”. It was hot hot hot and very crowded but the sweet sweet sweet steel pan melodies soon distracted us from dwelling on the humidity. The musicians were talented and passionately threw their bodies all across the pans, reminding me of the reason I particularly loved this time of year; when I am so very proud to be a Bajan living in the midst of so much local creativity.

Unfortunately, the evening was slightly marred by an interesting interaction involving Nathan who, when it was time to leave, could not be contacted on his cell phone. We knew he had gone off with one of his friends soon after arriving on the beach but by 8 p.m. it was more than a little dark and even more crowded; yet he hadn’t returned to our group. After many frustrating moments of unanswered calls, a close friend contacted us to advise that Nathan was with his family and would be taken home. This was good because it meant Nate was safe, but it was also disappointing because as we found out later on, Nate never even had his cell phone with him! Apparently the battery had died so he simply left it in his room at home, jumped into the car and never once said a single word as we made our way to the venue.

Needless to say, Nathan could not understand the cause for concern.  As we argued, a thought unexpectedly popped into my mind: “to whom much is given, much is expected / required”.  Years ago, I worked and paid for my first (about the size of a flat, extra-large cucumber) cell phone.  I had no parent to gift it to me and yes, times were different since Nathan had his own (high-tech) phone at a much younger age but it is expected that by having this convenient communication tool one should be better able to reach him, especially in an emergency – not so? With this acquisition therefore came the responsibility of keeping it charged (Nathan) and topped up with airtime (Gale).

As Nathan further failed to see the point, both his phone and his I-pod were eventually confiscated by his big bad momma.  Why the I-pod? Because it was always charged so he could listen to music and as a result permanently attached to his hip.  The I-pod had of course accompanied him to the beach, but no phone … were we to call him on the I-pod then when it was time to leave? Was it supposed to ring? Who would have answered? But in reality, what could he have been thinking? And I don’t know why, but as the confiscator proceeded to confiscate items from the confiscatee, another verse sprung to mind, admittedly not in the truest context as presented in the bible: “the Lord giveth … and the Lord taketh away”.

I am still not sure all these years later if Nate has learnt his lesson i.e. the importance of being more responsible and accountable. Parenting is a continuous work in progress and sometimes it looks as though there is no progress at all but I do know that on that night way back then as we went to bed (very very early) I was able to acknowledge that in the same way I had been blessed in abundance with good friends, loving family, basic health, home, car, job and the ability to write creatively, so was I required to share these blessings with others whenever I could, and before for some reason they were taken away.

So here’s the question(s): what about you? What talents or material possessions has God given to you? What testimony is He expecting you to share? Is He expecting much of you as a result of His blessings? Definitely something to think about.

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” ~ Job 1:21 (NIV)

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Looking at You (aka Reflecting)

REFLECTING

I look at you
sometimes more than
once in a single day
eyes fully open
not wanting to miss
one single moment,
straining to really see
how much of me
is growing
with you, in you;
not wanting you to be me
(not at all!)
but acknowledging all
that I could ever wish for
is already there … within you …
my most amazing work of art.

© Gale Weithers, 2017

“A work of art is a world in itself reflecting senses and emotions of the artist’s world.”
~ Hans Hofmann

“Only mothers can think of the future – because they give birth to it in their children.”
~ Maxim Gorky

 

 

 


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Why I don’t want my kid growing up normal

As a parent there are so many things you want and/or do not want for your child. And yes, balancing these can drive you crazy!
For starters, you may not want her to be as poor as you were growing up but she still needs to appreciate the value of money, acknowledge the significance of delayed gratification, show empathy for those who do not have enough and embrace the gift of sharing with others. Even after 18 years, I still want Nathan to learn the necessary life lessons by simply listening to me and following my exact instructions … instead of living primarily to experience what happens when a different road is taken.

A lot of this post therefore covers so much of what I should say and how I should say it to my own offspring, that I’m simply going to reblog these words right here for him to see.

Now all I have to do is find a way to get him to read it …

larinnachandler

I don’t want you to grow up normal. I don’t want you to think that the only way to relieve a broken heart is a prescription for a bottle of pills. I want you to feel that hurt, to remember it… and if it was your fault too, I want you to fix that, and not do it again. I want you to learn and not depend on outside stimuli to get you through life.

I don’t want you to grow up normal. To feel that a standardized test is a true measure of your worth and that grades are what define you. I want you to spend time helping other people, growing and learning in your own time. To know that a helping hand to one in need is sometimes worth far more than a test score.

I don’t want you to grow up normal. To never leave the…

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Motherhood with Benefits

Photo by Gale E

My son is 18 years old. Now, instead of having to look after him 24/7 it seems as though I spend a fair deal of time reminding him I even exist. When he was born, I decided to totally dedicate 16 years to teaching him as many life lessons as possible. That was the small window I saw us having together before he left my influence. It was definitely a challenge but worth it!

There were lots of things I had to put on hold: parties, going to the gym, studying, working too late.  I’ve shared about being a parent here and here and here and the sacrificial list seemed endless but through it all one thing was clear: I learnt that women cannot truly ‘have it all’. Something has to give.

Life is all about trade-offs … and being in denial does not help. My advice to a younger me would be to make a decision on what I want and what I am willing to sacrifice to get what I want, bearing in mind that total commitment to a career (whether as an employee or entrepreneur) or a family means one or the other may suffer (for lack of a better way of describing it).

Maybe that’s not clear enough but thanks to www.begintobelieve for clarifying in this post My Journey from Motherhood to Other Important Stuff! which included part of a recent interview by Oprah Winfrey featuring Shonda Rhimes. I am a great admirer of Shonda, she is such a brilliant and talented writer! And I guess what’s most exciting is that she is a black woman with children making her dreams happen on her terms.

My final take away: may all women continue to rock on and be awesome – especially those with children and demanding but dreamed-of careers! Thanks for visiting 🙂

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“Son, there’s something I need to tell you …”

#Barbados #Son #Parenting #Mother

 

This is a photo of my son Nathan when he was a baby. Not yet a year old, he was cute and chubby and as you can see, loved posing for the camera. His dad (my husband at the time) loved him dearly (and still do!) and there was no lingering question as to the identity of his parents.

But I am familiar with the fact that life may not be as clear cut as Nathan’s, especially after coming across this beautifully written but very thought-provoking post by Laura A Lord. Of course, Laura’s title drew me in from the get-go (The Man You Call Dad, Is Not Your Father) and after my initial ‘yikes!’ I couldn’t wait to read what she had to say. Continue reading