ARE YOU AN ONLY CHILD?

Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I have been half expecting. With a slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’

Are you an only child and did you know why you became one literally? Perhaps it is a health or a financial circumstance beyond parent’s control or unfortunate situation of loss of parent making it not possible to have siblings. The parents of an only son have written a letter to him explaining their choice and decision to him alone. The letter stated that mother found out ‘last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked a question Daddy and was half expecting. With slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’ I kissed the top of your head, squeezed you closer and momentarily panicked about how on earth to answer. At four years and four months, you are clearly starting to notice many of friends at nursery talk of siblings or babies. And thankfully this time, you gave me a reprieve turning your attention straight to dinosaur story read to you.’ Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I half expected. With a slight ripple across your brow and blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister? But I know one day the ‘why’ will become more persistent. Daddy and I are far from alone in deciding to stop at one child. Apparently by 7years, half of all families in this country will only have one offspring. Not that it stops me from feeling occasional pang of guilt. I know there will be many positives to decision like our undivided attention for starters so you never know a prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives. How about sibling rough and tumble you’ll miss out on? A constant companionship for better or worse? I cannot pretend it hasn’t been a real dilemma. Yes, there have been moments when my resolve wobbled particularly as you get closer to starting school so baby no more. Who doesn’t get broody when they see a tiny newborn enfolded in a mother’s arms. But deep down, I know we’ve made the most responsible choice. I just hope, as you grow older, you agree. The truth is Daddy and I would loved another child but quite simply are too old. We liked the idea of two or maybe more, Daddy even hoped for twins! We imagined you all together and nobody ever short of a playmate, bundling you all into the bath after a day at the beach or the park. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years. Will you wonder what we were doing all that time? know many positives to our decision of undivided attention, helps you thrive. But I turned 44 last year, a day you and Daddy helped me devour the birthday cake I’d made. ‘That’s REALLY old!’ you exclaimed. In terms of having another baby, you were right. More women are have babies well into 40s and beyond but risks proven to be grater for mum and baby not least Down’s Syndrome or other birth defects. I wonder if we left it too late to start family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years so wondering what we were doing all this time? We met through mutual friends in our mid-20s, drawn together by similarities: we’re both driven, determined, sociable and aspire to wring the most from life. But like many of our generation, chose naively it turned out to let time slip by. Distracted by careers, Daddy as a chartered surveyor and board director, and me as a journalist, we saved like mad for our future, bought property, played hard and enjoyed exciting holidays all over the world. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. For 19 years prepared in advance for your arrival. Family and friends badgered us about settling down but we felt buying a home together was the greatest commitment. I know there will be many positives to our decision — all that undivided attention, for starters, and you’ll never know that prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives There were the more important things paying off a mortgage, for example than a wedding to spend money on. As for having a family, conscious of getting older, of course, honestly didn’t think leaving it to late 30s was a problem. After all, many friends in a similar situation. And in February 2011 of 12 years together, finally married at a beautiful country house in North Yorkshire. By then we were financially secure, happy, had bought a spacious barn conversion and wanted nothing more than to have a little family. But three months after our wedding, early one cool, grey May morning, my own beautiful, adoring mummy your granny died. She’d had cancer for four agonising years, and in the end the doctors and nurses couldn’t do anything more to save her. If I had just one wish in life it was that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile traits you share with her. Losing her made me all the more desperate to become a mum. I wanted to love and nurture another little person the way she’d always loved my brother and me. I longed to watch her warmth, wisdom and trademark cheerfulness live on in her grandchild. Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months.Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months. I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway 

I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, after almost two years of trying to have a baby, doctors confirmed that the shock of losing Granny had caused my body to shut down. I was almost 40 by so we referred for IVF. That’s when something magical happened against all the odds. In late January 2013, I went to fertility clinic in outskirt of Nottingham for some initial scans before starting a treatment. After minutes, sonographer took off her glasses, wiped a tear from her eye and said: ‘You’re not going to believe this you are already pregnant!’ I was around five weeks, but there you were on the sonographer’s screen, a microscopic dot. I cried, and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy. We were elated you arrived in September that year by a planned Caesarean section. I adored you in an instant with your cute little face and love of a cuddle. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile 

But I admit I struggled emotionally for a long time. Within a space of under two and a half years went through the two significant events in a woman’s life losing my mum and having a baby of my own. Not having Granny around at that time was heart-wrenching. During the three days that you and I were in hospital, I longed for my mum to walk in, beaming and saying: ‘Aren’t you a clever girl? He’s absolutely gorgeous!’ When Gramps came alone to meet you for the first time, he hadn’t seemed more solitary since Granny’s death. In the months that followed, I’d take you for seven-mile walks in pram along the canal paths and country trails close to our home and tears would roll down my cheeks as I daydreamed about Mum walking by my side. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile  What I’d give to have just one photograph of her cuddled up cheek-to-cheek with you. Daddy was wonderfully sensitive and supportive. But at times I felt very alone, as many women do after having a baby. The impossible sadness was juxtaposed by the unrivalled joy you brought to Daddy and me.I know that watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking 

You make us laugh uncontrollably often every day with your funny little ways and your constant chatter and wonder at the world around us. I was 40 by the time I had you. You’re as affectionate and loving as you are boisterous and wilful, destined to be strong-willed given our own personalities! And even when you’re throwing a tantrum we wouldn’t want it any other way. I know watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking. After all, there are so many couples who’d give anything to have just one child. And who’s to say it would have happened a second time, given how long it took us to have you? Plus, at what point do you draw a line under the disappointment of trying and failing? Besides, we’d found being a family of three suits all of us. I am still able to do a job I love while you’re at nursery three days a week. More importantly, Daddy and I are able to focus our attention on you rather than feeling torn between more than one child. Your energy knows no bounds and I have to run you like a dog every day to expend it. I’m not sure I could cope with another little one fizzing with such effervescence. You have always loved your sleep, too: And imagine if you had a sibling who wailed all night for months. That said, I can’t deny the occasional well of sadness: the ‘what ifs’ and fear you’ll miss out on the fun of having a sibling. If I had just one wish in life it would be that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile — traits you share with her Since I’ve always been so close to my own little brother your uncle Robbie, 42, who loves to tickle and dangle you upside down. Daddy and I have often looked wistfully at our friends with four kids: they’re never without a ready-made playmate. On the other hand, we know siblings who fought terribly as children and barely speak as adults. We know lots of gloriously happy, and well grounded, sociable, selfless children including your brilliant cousin, Saffron, who’s five years older than you. It was adorable watching you playing together on the beach and in the pool on a recent family holiday in Spain. How I chuckled listening to the two of you animatedly discussing favourite or not vegetables in back of car. Nobody ever questioned our decision although there are friends who still tell us: ‘Go on, have another!’ Some people assume things of an only child that they are spoilt because they don’t learn to share. Or they miss out on so much. But Daddy and I will ensure you never feel isolated or become spoilt. Bracing ourselves to hosting lots of play dates sleepovers. We’ll do everything to encourage you to continue to be sociable caring confident little boy you already are. What I’ve realised more than anything is there is actuala much shorter answer to your question. Quite simply, Daddy and I feel enormously fortunate to have one healthy, happy, hilarious little boy who fills our lives with magic every day. We have never been left wanting more.

 

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REDEEMING THE TIME

In Ephesians 5:16 Christian believers admonished and told to the take time available seriously so they can be, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Life in such a time like these cannot be lived in the same old manner taking things for granted any more. The media news daily of world events show the fulfilment of the Gospel prophecies. Billy Graham said Christians must read the Bible and watch or listen to news to be more aware of the Season of God’s Calendar the church is in today. This helps to realise the Bible is not fiction but True Accurate Word of God. So enables a better understanding of the end time circumstances. Study Bible and take God more seriously in intense prayer as intercessor and watchman.
   1. Read Daily 

If you want your life to get better, you need to start making better choices.  To make better choices you will need to equip yourself with new ideas and better information.  Make it a habit to read at least 10 pages of great quality information daily. By reading this much content daily, you’ll be able to finish at least a book per month.  Don’t read fiction.  Fiction is meant to entertain you, not empower you. Read books that have a direct correlation of the areas of your life you want to improve. Include health, personal finance, wealth creation, business, self-help, productivity, success, biographies, relationships. Knowledge and ideas you get from this types of books will undoubtedly help succeed.

2. Stop Watching TV 

Watching TV is lethal to your success. It’s unproductive and a time-wasting activity of modern society. The average american watched roughly around 25 hours of TV per week. Most of the content on TV is non beneficial… it’s negative news, advertisements, reality shows, etc and brings no real value to your life.  Start using the hours you waste channel surfing on activities that are more productive. Remember time is money so watching the 500 adverts per day plus favourite programs deprive you from creativity. What you use your time for determines who you are. If you pay a monthly cable subscription then do yourself a favour and cancel it. Plus the electric bills accumulated all add up, so walk in wisdom.


3. Turn Your Car Into A Classroom

If you work full-time, you probably spend somewhere between 5/10 hours per week commuting to and from work. Instead of listening to music or the radio. Start listening to inspiring and educational content. Most books have an audio version and they’re plenty of great podcasts you can listen to free on Itunes.  With an abundance of great content on virtually every subject at your disposal. you don’t have to go back to school to get more education. Cut out waste to break free from financial captivity. Remember waste not, want not so save the pennies and the pound takes care of itself. Pray more by spending time in prayer with extra time on your hands. Adapt and change to draw near to God.

4. Start A Savings Plan

Start saving a portion of your income for investment and future use, the best time to start doing so is now.  Most financial planners would agree that you should be saving a minimum of 10% of your monthly income on a consistent basis. Don’t make the mistake of working hard for your money, and then using that money to pay everyone else except you. Pay yourself first.  If you don’t think have the discipline to do this, then set up a meeting with the bank to arrange a certain amount of your income to be deposited immediately into a savings or investment account. Look and long for long -term reliable growth rather than rapid projected speculation investment due to greed. Use Biblical wisdom and counsel to guide Godly conscience and stand firm on the Word on God. 

5. End Relationships With People Who Hold You Back

There may be some people in your life that you are better off not spending time with. Not everyone has habits or attitudes that are conducive to success, and unfortunately those habits and attitudes are contagious. Like crabs in a bucket, these people are the first to pull you down the moment they see you trying to climb to a higher level. You may have friends, co-workers, or even family members who fit this description. It’s not always a good idea to instantly cut people out of your life despite resentment. Some relationships should be dissolved gently. Gradually decrease the amount of time you spend with people who you don’t want around you as you move forward.
6. Stop Complaining

One of the worst habits a person can have is the habit of complaining. People who complain are usually negative and pessimistic. Don’t be one of them.  If you encounter problems or challenges, don’t complain about them… use that energy to focus on a solution.  If you do catch yourself complaining about something, bite your tongue and re frame the situation. Use the time you would otherwise be spending with them to build new relationships with positive people who support and encourage your success.

7. Put Your Goals In Writing

Without question, the most successful people in the world all have goals. Their goals are the benchmark against which they measure their results. People without goals often have no direction. Like a hamster on a wheel, they move but go nowhere. *Achieving your goals and turning your life around begins with you identifying exactly what you want to achieve and then creating a strategy for achieving it. Use tape to record and audio voice to type machines or phone if dyslexic.

8. Learn A New Skill

Learning a new skill can bring more excitement into your life.  Consider learning an instrument, learning a new language, joining a club, taking a class, or playing a sport you’ve never played before. The purpose of doing this is to ignite your sense of wonder and creativity… while simultaneously getting out of your comfort zone and into new experiences. From apprenticeships to skill you can learn for free on-line has to working holidays, discover the wide range of opportunities the National Trust offers to help you learn and develop new skills. Learning new skills is the best way to make yourself marketable and happy. Use talents, interests, passion, motivation and vision. Although it involves adapting and making changes.

9. Practice Public Speaking

The ability to speak confidently and communicate articulately is one of the most valued and rewarded skills in the market place today.  People who are good communicators are able to navigate their way through life with ease and enjoy more success then those who are not. They earn promotions, they build key relationships, they present their ideas clearly, they resolve disputes, and they typically earn the respect and admiration of the people around them. They are leaders in their organizations, their families, and their communities.Most people are terrified of speaking in public so will do anything to avoid it. This presents tremendous opportunity for those willing to step out of their comfort zone and develop this rare skill. One of the places you can go to practice your communication skills in a non-threatening, positive environment is your local Toastmasters club. Most of these clubs host weekly meetings where anyone is welcome to attend and participate. As you become a stronger communicator, people will begin to perceive you as a leader so more opportunities will come to you as a result.

10. Stay Hydrated And Exercise Regularly

Success doesn’t come easy… It takes a lot of hard work. In order to put in the work necessary to get to the next level without burning out, you need to build up large reserves of physical and mental energy. By drinking more water, it will help replenish your system, improve digestion and eliminate waste from your body. Many people make the mistake of thinking they’re tired or hungry when in reality they’re just dehydrated. By exercising at least 3 times per week, it will help strengthen your heart and lungs. It will also improve your flexibility and strength, helps manage your weight, prevents illness, decreases stress and it even helps you get a better sleep. All of this will have a positive effects on your energy levels, overall health, focus and productivity.

11. Start A Business

If you don’t already own your own business, there is no better time to start one than right now. Advances in technology have removed virtually all barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs. Anyone with an internet connection and a credit card can start a business, and there is no shortage of training and resources available to help you get started. For about as much as it costs to stay in a hotel for a weekend, you can buy a web domain, create a website, print some business cards, place a few ads online, and start promoting yourself to the marketplace.  You could sell a service like graphic design or consulting, sell your own products, or promote someone else’s products in exchange for a commission.

12. Look For Opportunities To Help Others

Most people think only in terms of what they can receive from others instead of what they can give to others. But the law of reciprocity teaches us that if we want to receive, we should give. Giving ignites the receiving process. If you want to feel good, one of the simplest yet most effective ways to feel good is to do something to make someone else feel good. If you want people to treat you with more respect, start treating other people with more respect. If you want your life to get better, help someone else’s life get better. The more you do for others, the more others will want to do things for you. Great to reflect and encouraging to set time apart as Christ did from time to time to pray deeply and redeem the times.

Courtesy: Image, credit:

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www.wayofgracechurch.com

www.tomorrowsfoundation.org

http://www.Reblogged from Succcess LabTV

WIN THE PRIZE

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 the Christian believer is described as an athlete running the Christian life race. This description is truly appropriate in the New Testament as competition is tough requiring believer’s attention, focus and concentration. It is important and necessary to know how to run the Christian race. God’s Olympic endurance matters mean completing race to receive ultimate prize.Christian believers are to run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the  life is compared with sports whereby people live daily as though in competition to win the ultimate prize. The race is tough so demands walking, jogging, running, exercising faith,decisions and challenges on the way. At times crawling on hands, knees through exhaustion is achievement as each runs at own pace God scope ability.

It demands strenuous exercise, gym, training, endurance skills, motivation, sacrifice, cost time and resources, requires support and fans to be at the ultimate Spiritual Olympic Level by faith through Christ. The symbolism here is to aim to finish in style to win the grand prize. It requires vigilant training, sacrifices as Christ and Paul did among others to present the gospel message of salvation. The price to pay for the prize costs a lot to accomplish. It includes training in all kinds of weather, tenacity, and endurance skills.9781593172046Each race brings a new personal record (PR). But eventually you have a race when conditions were not ideal, you weren’t feeling great, or you simply did not do the proper training. Sometimes unforeseen problems, dealing with the crowds, onlookers, fans, fellow runners mean dealing with issues to cope and helping others running the race. At times Christian race is stressful, frustrating in effort to improve personal performance. Running faster and working harder improves God’s Olympic Team.

Setting a goal to improve own personal best finishing time daily, reviewing visions, actions, goals, activities, profession, confession, objective analysis. Smart strategies help to check own strengths and weaknesses focus adapt daily. Doing this helps to seek God’s face to see if on track or needs to focus more on strength, ministry, hospitality, teaching and preaching. Spiritual personal fitness depends on well – being. Renewing, transforming mind with God’s word, believing with confidence and trust in God is essential to carry on.

Running a spiritual marathon demands a new set of rules in its own right.  The marathon vision level depends on God for strength to fulfill the ultimate calling of God’s  Christian responsibilities. Duties involve personal best so require joint- pulling of strands together through Christ to fulfill God’s work. The journey is tough so it means doing God Will to complement others through Christ Jesus. Resources available enhance positive attitude to develop more to build up others to win the race. So cooperate unity is required to help those barely alive to start own race.

The first timers require prompting, encouragement, motivation, to run short and long distances. One has ensure the champion experts have Godly approaches in place, to support, answer questions and concerns of new runners of what to expect in the Christian race. To help get full understanding of God so be grounded, rooted in faith. To get more acquainted with God through Christ in prayer to endure challenges.

With a cloud of witnesses all around it is important to seek refreshing times in God’s presence to recharge batteries to continue the race without burn out. As Paul said, he did not want to lead others to Christ and receive a pat in the back yet not make it to win the race or the prize. So the race is not for the faint- hearted or the weak in spirit. God’s Spirit through Our Lord and Master dwells in us to strengthen us to continue the race. The author and finisher of our faith is able to keep us to win the race to receive prize in Jesus Name.

Behind the scenes training culminates in Gold medalists hero Usain Bolt running to win his finishing line. So is the Christian life liked to a race to win a prize. It is important to put in place helpful back up support, spiritual coach, mentor, umpire, referee, depending on multi-talent sportsmanship demands. Celebration of prized reward is uplifting, exhilarating with visibility for all to see caliber of ultimate winner. Racing, gradually, building fitness, confidence, exciting to see faith race times keep improving to win prize.