To keep you motivated, I’ve made you a FREE PRINTABLE! It is the famous quote from C.S.Lewis,
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?” – C. S. Lewis
We spoke about this quote, and it’s relevance to us, in the video above. Now you can download this cute printable, set it as your screen-saver, pin to your fridge or keep in your planner to motivate, inspire and serve you.
The power of words, their ability to turn hearts and move men should never be underestimated.
In fact, it has become one of the few truths that I stand by: that words can change the world.
One of the greatest proofs of this are the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions. Muslims, along with Jews and Christians, are called the “people of the book” and it is through the Divine words of revelation that God chose to guide us; words that forever changed the world.
“It is He Who sent down to thee, in truth, the Book (Quran), confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (Quran) (of judgment between right and wrong).” – Holy Quran 3:3
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Words, in their ever varied and beautiful forms, also make up the backbone of our literature-based homeschool. It is by the craftsmanship of the many great authors we read, that my children gain knowledge and are inspired to learn.
Through the words of others, they are taught what it means to be human; the good, the bad and everything in between.
The beauty of well crafted words sometimes catches me off guard, as if placed in my path for a reason; to remind me, teach me or just to make me smile when I need it the most.
One such occasion was when we were visiting a local park. Despite having been to the same park for years, it was only on this visit that I noticed a small second-hand bookshop hidden above the ice-cream parlour. After the ice-creams were enjoyed, we all ventured up the narrow wooden staircase in the lofted roof. Tucked up under the eaves were hundreds of second-hand books, neatly arranged on old mismatched bookcases. The delight of finding this “secret” treasure-trove was not lost on my children, who quickly set about scouring the shelves looking for “the” book for them.
In addition to these, my youngest son carried home a hardback copy of Stories from Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milneas though it was the most precious thing in the world.
Back home, over a cup of tea, I opened the poetry book and the first poem that met my eyes made my heart flutter. I can’t make out if it was a pang of recollection from a distant childhood memory, or simply the power of the poem’s vivid imagery.
This is the poem I read,
The Way Through the Woods
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
By Rudyard Kipling
I read it over and over again, and it made me smile.
Words can do that; they can bring joy and delight when before there was none.
Then I read it to my kids. With their eyes closed and the room quiet, they felt it too. They told me about, “The lost road,” and “The horses hooves,” and they talked together about how roads were different in the olden days. They got it. They saw it in the minds and they felt the words.
Together we enjoyed those words, written many years ago by a man we never knew. Those words brought us closer. That poem is now something we share, like an inside joke or a happy memory.
By exposing my children to these great authors and poets, who are masters of their craft, I hope that my children will one day be able to yield the power found within words and use it for a noble purpose insha’Allah.
One day, when they are grown, and they hear the words of that poem again, it will trigger something within them and make their hearts flutter as they remember; and then perhaps they will pass these words onto their children.
Words connect us, they move us, and so too can they shape us. That is why I raise my children upon the best of them.
Last night, when the little ones were asleep, and it was just me and him in the living room, my eldest son turned to me and said,
” You’re like your old self again Mummy…You’re knitting.”
I could have cried.
He’s right. I am starting to feel like my old self again; that silly, impulsive, fun-loving girl, that girl that thought and cared deeply about everything, that girl who loved practical jokes and being goofy!
But she got pushed aside so I could become responsible and capable; to be a “better” mum and wife; or a least in the same way everyone else seems to be.
But instead of becoming more capable, I just became hurried. Instead of cherishing those special moments with my family, I hurried them onto the next one without taking the time to experience it; without truly living it. In an effort to be perfect, I forgot to be present.
As my old self re-emerges, my relationships with those around me is growing. I’m no longer just functioning as a wife and a mum, but I’m learning to connect on a deeper level and be vulnerable again with those I love.
What happened to cause this change?
Simply, I’m slowing down.
Instead of striving towards doing more, I’m seeking out quiet. Less distraction, less disruption and more time to reconnect with those I love the most. Instead of trying to fill every “empty” space and time slot in my life, I am embracing the silence. Instead of doing more and more, I’m doing less but with more meaning and more heart.
And so to dear boy, my old self said back, ” Yes,” I told him, “I’m back.”
If. like me, you have been feeling frantic and frazzled for too long; if you are exhausted with the pace of the life you have created for yourself; if you miss your old care-free self and those relationships of those you love, then perhaps you too need to slow down.
“It’s about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.
It’s about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen just as we are, massively imperfect and weak and wild and flawed in a thousand ways, but still worth loving.
It’s about about realizing that what makes our lives meaningful is not what we accomplish, but how deeply and honestly we connect with the people in our lives, how wholly we give ourselves to the making of a better world, through kindness and courage.”
– Shauna Niequist, Present over Perfect.
If this seems completely irrelevant to your life, then I’m happy for you…I really am.
But I wish someone had told me long ago, before I wasted all those years, that what you seek is not achieved or found by hustling and busyness; rather, it lies in the silence within you.
Can we be devoted mothers, beloved wives
and have a career of our own?
How do Muslim businesswomen manage to
juggle all their responsibilities?
It was an honour, to be invited to the Muslim Lifestyle Expo
2016 as an on of their Official Bloggers. I had planned to scour the MLE arena,
looking for innovative new toys or books that my readers would be interested
However, in addition to the incredible products I saw there, what moved me
the most, was speaking to the Muslim businesswomen. I was intrigued how they
managed to run a business, take care of their home, the needs of their husband
and children and themselves. I wanted to know, what motivated them when they
started the business and what keeps them going?
I met so many incredibly strong and ambitious Muslim women at the MLE, and
I want to share their story and the advice they gave me here.
To see my vlog of the Muslim Lifestyle Expo, and hear from these women yourselves,WATCH THIS VIDEO:
Advice to Ambitious Mothers: Muslim Lifestyle Expo
The organisers of the MLE announced that more than 60% of
exhibitors were women. Many of these women had children and were running their
business from home.
Here are just a few of the inspiring women I met there:
Nazia Nasreen: Ibraheem Toy House
When I arrived, I knew exactly who I wanted to meet first;
Nazia Nasreen, the Founder and CEO of Ibraheem Toy House!
Nazia began her business at home when her children were very
young. Having begun with only 4 products and a Facebook page, she now, only 2
years later, sells more than 200 products from her website, has international clientele,
and was recently featured in the Times, Business Quarterly, and the Guardian.
When I spoke to Nazia about what advice she would give
mothers, who want to start a business she said,
“Go for it! Don’t think that starting your own business
means that you wont be a good mum….You’re actually setting a really good
example for your children because you are showing them that you can get good
things in life by working hard.”
Sabah Nazir, the founder of Islamic Moments, began her business in 2004 selling mainstream greeting
cards; and then later venturing into Islamic products.
Her company, sells a range of
Islamic greeting cards, Eid and Ramadan décor, and stationary. They recently
launched a line of beautiful mugs for Muslim homes, and an Arab-inspired
Sabah’s advice to mums who want to start a business from
“Time-management is the key to everything! Be super, super organised…Believe
in Allah and insha’Allah things will be right.”
– Author and Founding Director of Muslim Children’s
Books and Sweet Apple Publishers
I met Zanib Mian on the Ibraheem Toy House stand, where she came to do a book signing and read from her book “Migo and Ali”.
struck me most about Zanib, were her manners mashAllah. She is so polite and
humble, despite her many achievements, and is very approachable and easy to talk to.
Sweet Apple Publishers was set up in 2004 to truly represent
the world we live in with diverse characters taking the main roles in their books.
Her second publishing house, Muslim Children’s Books, publishes books with the
aim to inspire a love of Allah in young children’s hearts, through vibrant
illustrations, quirky wording and a sprinkling of humour!
Coming away from the event, I felt almost euphoric! It was
as if my eyes had been opened to so many possibilities!
Perhaps it is possible
for a mother to pursue her dreams and ambitions, and still manage all her other
responsibilities. Perhaps it’s not just those untouchable “superwomen” who can
do it…maybe I could do it…maybe you could too!
I have heard many people speak about business in a negative
light; it is just chasing the dunya (the temporal world), and it is for people who are only
interested in money.
However what motivated the inspiring women I met couldn’t
have been further from that! Their motivation was not amassing money (although that
was a perk!), but rather it was to make a positive impact on the world, and help
people in someway.
Ultimately, these lofty intentions have turned running their businesses
into a form of worship. May Allah accept their efforts and reward their
I cannot wait for the next Muslim Lifestyle Show! The atmosphere was amazing, and we all left the event feeling positive and proud to be Muslim! I hope I’ll see you all at the next event 🙂
What do you think about mother’s running a business?
Do you think women can
juggle it all, or is it an unnecessary pressure that modern women put upon
Are you a stay-at-home mum who works from home? How to manage
Or are you choosing to wait until your children are older before you begin?
Lets have a discussion in the comments below! (Keep it
polite please! )
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