Posts filed under ‘relationships’
Today I blogged over at Canadian Writers Who Are Christian. Go there to read my post, What Moms Need.
While you’re there, read posts by other Canadian Christian writers.
And for all the mothers reading my post, may you be blessed with love and time with your family, yes, even with long-distance calls.
My mother on her wedding day
Here’s a letter I had forgotten about, one I wrote in late 2009 when I was President of our Toastmasters club, the Energetics. I just unearthed the letter today and thought it was worth sharing.
Most organizations, I think, go through times of losing members and losing momentum. I’m happy to report that by the end of that year, we had gained momentum again and grown our club considerably. Here, for others who may be feeling discouraged by low enrollment or participation, is that letter.
Dear fellow Toastmasters
Two meetings ago, our theme was “Slow and steady wins the race,” a lesson we get from Aesop, a 6th Century B.C. Greek writer, who wrote The Hare and the Tortoise. He wrote entertaining short stories and fables that were meant to teach a lesson.
The tortoise, a rather slow moving creature, challenges the hare [rabbit] to a race. The hare sneers at the tortoise for his crooked legs and slow movements, and he brags that he can win the race easily. He accepts the challenge, assured that he can win. He leaps on ahead, while the owl, who is judge, and all the forest animals eagerly watch the race.
Hare had used so much energy bounding ahead that he decided to eat some carrots alongside the path, and then, since tortoise is still so far away, to take a nap beside the path as well. All this time, the tortoise plodded along steadily. Hare woke from his nap just as tortoise approached the finish line, and for all the hare’s hurry, owl declared the tortoise the winner of the race.
I thought how much that lesson compares with our Toastmasters journey—the slow and steady part. It might take awhile to get that Competent Communicator designation, but week after week and month after month of practice moves a member further along.
We are not to compare ourselves with others but to progress along our own course with the help and encouragement of the others. We learn from the others and not in isolation. The race analogy fails here. We are more like team members who work together to achieve something we cannot do alone. We are in a course alongside others who are also learning and growing.
If we continue along steadily, week after week and month after month, we will surely reach our goals. We will become better communicators and leaders. We are not in a competitive race to reach our goal, as the Hare believes. If one person takes two years and another member takes one to achieve the CC or ACB or whatever designation one chooses, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we join in and learn.
There has to be action and learning and cooperation among members. When only a few carry the load, they get tired and discouraged. When they get discouraged or drained from doing too much, the whole club suffers. Our club needs all of its members. And yes, I know, we have a life beyond Toastmasters.
Let’s renew our energy, beginning this new month of December, and continue on through the rest of our Toastmasters year, to reach those personal goals, and at the same time support others who are working toward theirs.
Sign on to the club website and put yourself in roles as often as you can. Work toward those goals you’ve set for yourself or challenge yourself to a new one for 2010. Let’s make the rest of the year a team effort where everyone wins. Game’s on!
At Open Doors Waterloo, a Toastmasters initiative
At Huron Natural Park, photo by James Woo, Clickr Photography
This morning I awoke with a particular verse from Scriptures going around in my mind. In the quiet, I lay there thinking about it.
The verse (11) comes from I Corinthians in what is often called the Love chapter. Here it is from the International version, with the Apostle Paul addressing the Corinthians:
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
How many times I get caught up in an action and realize later that it was the child in me acting, perhaps wanting some safety, wanting one less change, one less disturbance in my world, that is, until I catch up. Other times, however, I accept change better or am more adaptive.
Have you ever felt that way, grown-up one minute, and like a child another time?
We are God’s children, and here I think of an angel leading two children safely over a bridge to their destination. In the guidance of Jesus, we can grow stronger, more mature and listen to what God says to us. To allow him to guide us. We’re not alone.
And here is Ali Matthews singing: In the Stillness
Last summer we went camping with our daughter and son-in-law, and on that trip, a grandchild learned about fishing. Here she looking out at the lake after the caught fish was thrown back in the water.
Let’s catch another one, Daddy!
At Home With Books hosts this popular meme. Post a photo taken by you or a family member, one that’s clean and appropriate for all eyes. Then go and link with Alyce on her blog and see all the other photos.
Waterloo Region Museum, a celebration of community and the many people who make up Waterloo Region
The Conestoga Wagon, pulled by horses, brought many people to our community from the USA, Mennonites, and more
Arrival at Pier 21 in Halifax, and then across country to Ontario and other provinces
The Grand Trunk Railway Line. The intersection in the middle of the hallway, but of course the train does not run through that line anymore.
Travelling trunks from many countries around the world
Let’s not forget the Home Children, who were sent here—not by their own choice—but who also make up a section of our community.
People settled here and worked together to build a community with those who were already here.
The Storytelling Series at the Museum, this winter and spring, feature stories of immigrants coming to any part of Canada
This meme hosted by At Home With Books. To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken, then go to the site and connect with the page by our host, Alyce. Happy Saturday, travelling from one blog to another.
Once a month, approximately, I blog over at Canadian Writers Who Are Christian. It’s a place to be inspired and challenged by others. Sometimes you’ll laugh too. We are Canadian writers with a Christian worldview.
Today my post is titled, You Can Be Hero Again. Stop in and read. Leave a comment if you wish.
photo copyright of Carolyn Wilker
That’s it, I’ve taken a challenge for the week, to write something here every day.
And here’s the prompt that I’ll start with ( from Dec. 23)
If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?
A place I have always wanted to go is Switzerland. Perhaps because some of my ancestors came from there. Perhaps because of a CBC film we watched when I was in grade school, with those high white-capped Alps where the fictional Heidi lived with her grandfather and learned to tend sheep. The place had an attraction for me, but all I could do was dream of it.
Now say there was a special course or series of courses on life story writing that was hosted somewhere in the Alps, it could be attractive. Even more if it were in English, since I don’t speak German, and taught by someone I respected or whom I had read about. Oh, perhaps I’d best take classes in learning the language too.
If there was time off for social events, I would want to go places, but not by skiing, since I’ve never done it on anything but a small barnhill. I would go into Berne while I was in Switzerland to find places inhabited by those ancestors I mentioned, and I would try to locate them and write about that too. All the more reason to learn German, I suppose.
Finally, I don’t know about going there for a year. I’d have to take someone along with me and I’d miss my grandchildren so, and the rest of my family. That’s it, I’d need a Skype connection so I could see everyone and watch the little ones grow from afar. A year would be a long time.
The story of last Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, continues in the news. More details come out, but we are not much, if any, closer to the why.
My heart is heavy, seeing all those young faces in the newspaper. And yes, their teachers too.
Jeff Goins wrote this week about his reaction to that news:
“I believe language has power and impact, that it can be a salve to our wounds. But not today. Today, I have no words.”
And fellow blogger, Ann Voskamp wrote earlier this week:
“I don’t know if legs can hold a heart this heavy.”
Investigators are trying to find answers—any answers that would help them solve the mystery. But who helps the families devastated by the death of their children? Who comforts the families of the teachers and principal who tried to shield the children from harm? Who lives beyond it without being changed in some way?
The tradgedy is removed from us by many miles, but the news brings it to our homes in newspaper, on the radio and television. The people affected are unknown to me, and yet I am a mother and grandmother. I cannot dismiss it and go on as if I don’t know. I have prayed since Friday for those people affected. It’s hard to find words. Sometimes just saying the words, the families in Newtown, is enough.
Ann continues: “When grief is deepest, words are fewest.“
Jeff would agree. He adds later in the same posting:
“But we forget that sometimes silence can be louder than our strongest voice.”
He cites the Jewish custom of Shiva in which people sit in silence with those who are facing a loss. “To not say but show we are with those in mourning.”
Sometimes no words are the best when sitting with grieving. I pray that someone is sitting with those affected families and just listening.