Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tulips.


It feels like Spring is on the way! I have these tulips in my room at the moment and they look so cheerful! They remind me of life - beautiful but fleeting. I will enjoy them while they are here and appreciate the smile I get each time I look at them. I like to bring the outside in and I have two pots of hyacinth bulbs on my windowsill. They are just green shoots at the moment but eventually they will have beautiful flowers in blue and pink and they lovely scent will fill the room. I like growing flowers from bulbs as, when they have finished flowering, they are transferred outside to bring beauty to the garden for years to come. 

Blessings,

Jenny

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Daisy.

A Daisy.

Be like the Daisy,
Sweet maid. Behold
How glorious within
Her heart of gold!

Be like the Daisy,
In shine or shade,
In summer or winter, 
Courageous maid!

Be like the Daisy, 
Simple and true,
Looking straight upward,
Up to the blue.

Lift thy head buoyantly
After the rain, 
After adversity
Spring up again!

Seek not pre-eminence,
Look not for praise;
Safe and most blessed
Are humbler ways.

From lowly sisters
Dwell not apart,
Keep through all splendour, 
Thy Daisy heart. 

When in heaven's garden
Thy leaves unfold,
Thine be white raiment - 
A crown of gold!

Clara Thwaites. 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Time.

Where do the days go? Many times I have had a list of things to do in a day and yet, when the end of the day arrives, I haven't achieved much at all. In spite of my good intentions time just vanishes. All I have is more time spent on procrastination practice! It made me think about how I see time. Time is important and valuable and yet I fritter it away like it is nothing and like it will never run out. 

How do I spend my time? I work full time outside the home so that time isn't really my own. I am organised and used to meeting deadlines at work but somehow I don't carry it into my home life. I can get lost in a book for hours at a time and, while I enjoy reading, I don't have anything to show for that time. There are many things that should be prioritised over reading fiction books. If I procrastinated less and wasted less time I would have time to do all sorts of things. Things that I convince myself there aren't enough hours in the day to do. Adding up all the time I have wasted would lead to a very scary total, weeks maybe months of nothingness. 

Those hours that I have wasted in idleness could have been spent learning and improving my skills and myself. I can't keep deceiving myself that it doesn't matter or falling into that modern trap of thinking that "me time" is essential. If I cut out the mindless television watching and the fiction books, neither of which improve or enhance my life, I would have time to learn new skills and to focus more on being a better person. 

I can't get the time back that I have wasted but I can work hard to reduce the hours I waste in the future. I will fill my time with industry not idleness!

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 

Ephesians 5 : 15 - 16

Blessings, 

Jenny

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Speech.

I have been thinking lately about shyness, more specifically my shyness! When I was a young girl I was so shy and as timid as a mouse. I blushed and tripped over my words even speaking to people I knew. I would avoid situations where I would be in a group and I avoided what could have been good opportunities for me. I was so scared - scared of being laughed at, scared of looking silly and scared of being rejected. 

I am much better now. I will speak to pretty much anyone. I still get nervous and there are times when I would rather hide away and avoid all attention. I am now able to suppress my nerves to the point where I can speak and appear quite confident. I am not a loud speaker, I don't shout or even raise my voice. I still want to get my point across clearly and to be taken seriously. I am sure that it is possible to be modest and yet, still able to speak with confidence and awareness. 

I think a big part of being good at conversing is your voice. After all your voice is a talking representation of you. Shakespeare said "Her voice was ever soft, gentle and low; something rare but excellent in a woman." Speech is a vital method of communication, it forms an impression of you in the mind of others and it is how you communicate your values and ideas. 

Many different impressions can be made by your tone of voice. I am guilty of speaking in a snappy manner when I am tired and sometimes my voice betrays some uncharitable boredom I may be feeling. I think that tone is almost as important as the content of what you say. 

A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15 : 1 

I am working on having a voice that is not shrill or harsh but that is soft and sweet and interesting. I read once that to make your voice more pleasant to listen to you should read aloud from a child's book of fairy tales. It feels a little silly especially when there are no children to read to! I am learning to put happy words into my speech and to emphasise those words when saying them. 

So rather than say

"Thank you for a nice day" I would say "Thank you for a wonderful day."

"I will attend the party" will become "I would love to attend the party."

Smiling when you speak really helps too. It truly sounds in your voice and expresses your sincere feelings. Trying not to speak in a monotonous way also helps you to sound interesting. A voice that is all one tone can make even the most exciting story sound dull and uninteresting. Lead upwards towards the important words in your story to accentuate them. 

I am working hard to control my speech too. A woman's voice is usually higher pitched by nature and if excited or emotional it can become shrill. I know that when I am nervous my voice gets higher and faster and out of control. If you speak at a slower pace it sounds more confident and more assured. People will listen and take you seriously without you needing to shout. I feel that a soft, gentle voice is a ladylike voice and that is my aim. 

I have a post in mind to follow this one in relation to conversation. After all, it is one thing to speak prettily but you need something to speak about! 

Blessings,

Jenny


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

In An Old Garden.

In An Old Garden.

Yellow roses, purple pansies,
Tufts of heavy-headed stocks;
Either side the quaint old gateway
Blazing, torch-like hollyhocks.

Sweet peas tossing airy banners,
Saintly lilies bending low,
Daisies, powdering all the green sward
With a shower of summer snow.

Boxwood borders - yews fantastic - 
Wallflowers that with every sigh
Spill such scent that e'en the brown bees
Reel with rapture wandering by.

And the pear trees, long arms stretching
O'er the sunny gable wall,
Scarce can hold their ruddy nurslings
Ripening where the warm beams fall.

Oh, the ecstasy of living!
How it thrills my life to-day!
I can almost hear the flower bells
Tinkle where my footsteps stray!

In a garden God first placed man,
There first woke Love's magic thrill;
and methinks a breath of Eden
Clings to earth's old gardens still.

M. Hedderwick Browne.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ugly Duckling.

The Ugly Duckling. 

There once was an ugly duckling
With feathers all stubby and brown
And the other birds said in so many words
Get out of town
Get out, get out, get out of town
And he went with a quack and a waddle and a quack
In a flurry of eiderdown

That poor little ugly duckling
Went wandering far and near
But at every place they said to his face
Now get out, get out, get out of here
And he went with a quack and a waddle and a quack 
And a very unhappy tear.

All through the wintertime he hid himself away
Ashamed to show his face, afraid of what others might say
All through the winter in his lonely clump of wheat
Till a flock of swans spied him there and very soon agreed
You're a very fine swan indeed!

A swan? Me a swan? Ah, go on!
And he said yes, you're a swan
Take a look at yourself in the lake and you'll see
And he looked, and he saw, and he said
I am a swan! Wheeeeeeee!

I'm not such an ugly duckling
No feathers all stubby and brown
For in fact these birds in so many words said
The best in town
The best, the best, the best in town
Not a quack, not a quack, not a waddle or a quack
But a glide and a whistle and a snowy white back
And a head so noble and high

Say who's an ugly duckling?
Not I!
Not I!

Danny Kaye. 


I can so relate to the ugly duckling! I feel like I have spent my whole life not feeling good enough or confident enough. Spending my time hiding who I am and skirting around on the edge of life. Not taking chances and missing out on opportunities. I will make more effort! I don't want to look like or be anyone else. I want to be the best version of me possible. I feel like I keep the real me hidden and contained. No more - I am letting the real me shine!

Steps - 

Smile more!
Talk to more people
Be positive and friendly
Wear colour
Paint my toenails bright pink!

Be your true self!
You are beautiful and unique!

Blessings, 

Jenny