Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As Long As You're Happy...

So, call me crazy, but I think this phrase is over used. When did happiness become our driving force, and not what is right and wrong; what will benefit us and others? Why do we focus our lives on an emotion that is so fleeting? As the saying goes, it is like trying to nail Jell-O on a tree.

I am saddened by those I watch around me making major life decisions over such fleeting emotions. I can't help but wonder if they really are happy, or if it a game of chasing your shadow and never being able to catch it. A dear friend of mine has no religion she associates herself with and her life focus is to be happy, and this is what she teaches her children as well. Sure, it sounds great, but is she happy? For the most part, it doesn't seem so. Study after study show that the happiest people are the ones who have a purpose and goal in their life. Many of those focus their purpose on their religion and doing right by their Creator.

While on the subject, it seems worthwhile to mention love marriages, or marrying someone because you love them. Now, don't get me wrong, I think married people should love each other, but if the number one reason two people get married is because they love each other, I think this sets the stage for a rocky marriage.

What is important then? Well, goals and aspirations for how they envision their life to be. They should have a common world view and outlook on how they want to live their lives. In my perspective, they should come together to focus their lives on their Creator and to work towards pleasing Him... a partnership in the "Great Work" of their lives.

The common process that people get married right now is to date for months before they bring up any important subjects like how to raise children, how many kids they want, where do they see themselves retiring, what role do they see their parents playing in their family, etc. By the time two people finally get to the questions that really matter, they are typically sleeping with each other, emotionally involved, and in too far for the break from an question answered wrong to not have an emotional toll. Why did we get away from focusing on the important questions, and just "have fun" and figure out if they are the right person along the way? Hasn't anyone stepped back, looked at the scenario, and figured out more harm than good comes out of casual dating?

But it's so much fun.

And that's the answer; why work towards what makes sense if that isn't the funnest thing in your list of options. You only live once, right? Who cares if you make the right decisions as long as you have fun and are "happy"...

Final thought: Happiness is a result, not a goal.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yay! It's Here!!

All the yarn is here is make three pairs of fingerless gloves, and a pair of mittens for DD1 for Eid!! The yarn for the gloves is 70% alpaca, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere...Luxury!! The yarn for the mittens (pictured on the cover of the pattern book) is super soft, which makes me glad I ordered an extra ball of the main color, in hopes I can get another pair out of this yarn. I'm so excited to get started!!

Yarn and pattern book

Friday, October 7, 2011

I want...

I want to buy yarn. This yarn, specifically:

It has glitter!!!

.... That is all...

Facebook Free

I've largely been off Facebook for over a week now... maybe closer to two weeks? Hm, anyway, it feels good to not be wasting so much time on there! Really, the browsing can be endless, and I don't find that with any other site so far. I read blogs, check out patterns on Ravelry, check out couponing sites, but mainly my purpose was to focus on the things I really need to do!

I find it is easier to get lesson plans done when my distractions are shorter. I can read a blog about saving money, or reducing our carbon footprint, and when I'm done, I'm done! There aren't pictures and all sorts of things to draw me to another blog and suck me in for hours on end. I can search for patterns on Ravelry for quite a while, but again, it doesn't last as long as I would typically wander on Facebook for. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I am weak enough to lose so much time in a mindless activity, but I need to get real! I have way too much to do right now, and having worthless distractions is the last thing I need!

I have to admit, I did go on there a couple times just to see what I was missing; it was nothing. I did find out that a previous coworker started working again, alhamdulilah. Beyond that, I didn't enrich my life in any way. I still have my Google+ account, and a twitter feed I check; both of which don't take much of my at all. Google+ is like FB lite for me, hehe! There's barely anyone on Google+, but I don't feel like a rogue leaving the social networking circles completely. Twitter... well, I follow a few people that post some really inspiring stuff, so it is my pick-me-up throughout the day.

When will I go back to Facebook? I don't know. I think never would be a wise choice, but I have this odd feeling pulling me back. I think us Muslimah moms in my area do connect on there, so I miss them. In reality, we would rarely ever get to see each other in real life because of kids, family, and distance. I know I won't be going back though before my Qibla class is over. I just can't take any time out of my super hectic schedule (like I'm doing right now by writing this blog! yay!).

Oh, and I should say thanks to Lauren for giving me the idea by her own actions! Thanks!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Is it over yet?

The super busy schedule I've taken on is getting old pretty fast. I am learning that a fast paced lifestyle was fun in my early 20's, and now that I'm nearing 30, I'm over it. I like that I'm "boring"... hey, at least I'm entertained. As the saying goes "only boring people get bored", and I don't get bored. So, I'm still working on the gloves, which I love doing. I can't wait until my Qibla class is over just because I want something to be out of the weekly routine. The same weekend the class is over, our Dawah Training Team is hosting a Dawah Boot Camp weekend seminar. Since it is in the "training" area, that means it falls in my camp. I'm looking forward to it, but super nervous that I'm going to drop the ball. I think October 24th will be a celebration of life getting back to a manageable pace.... inshaAllah! Funny - the next day is dh's New Student Orientation... a whole new spice to our ever changing lives. Alhamdulilah, I love everything we are involved in. I just pray we can have a moment to catch our breath to enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

As if I Didn't Have Enough...

I enjoy feeling like I have stuff to do that I find worth while, but sometimes I put too much stuff on my plate. Right now I am enjoying everything that I need to get done and look forward to it, but I think it will get old pretty quick. Alhamdulilah, the class I signed up for is only 6 weeks long, so I should be freed up pretty quickly.

So, added to being a homeschooling mom, a landlord, coordinator for the Dawah Training team at Building Blocks, a wife, and mom to a 10 month old, I've added on an online class through Qibla Online Academy (I think a lot of online schools are junk, but alhamdulilah, I really like Qibla), teaching at a weekend Islamic studies school, serious couponing, and knitting gloves people have ordered!

Here are the gloves... I love them!

Mermaid gloves

My older daughter is big into fencing, and just signed up for the National Saber Team at her fencing gym. This means that she is now going to be competing nationally! This is super exciting, but also pretty expensive... on top of her getting braces soon, this sparked the need for more couponing. Well, and the couponing was also partially motivated by watching Extreme Couponing and getting inspired. :) Right now, I'm saving about 50% at each trip, and I just printed out organizational dividers so I can organize my coupons by category and inshaAllah take more advantage of sale items. Of course, this takes time too, added to every thing else!

I'm using the to do list feature in my calendar application, in hopes this will keep me in line! Each week I have homework for my class, plus preparing for the upcoming classes I will teach at the weekend school. What intimidates me the most is the Prophets class because I will be teaching one class starting at the beginning (Adam (as)), and the other class is starting at Musa (Moses (as)). I'm praying that the prep work for the Prophets class isn't as much as I'm thinking it will be. I'm using Ibn Kathir's book Stories of the Prophets and Anwar al-Awlaki's lecture series as my sources (to those who have only heard of al-Awlaki in the semi-recent news... he has done amazing work at bringing these subjects to life in the past, even if he moved towards a less tolerant viewpoint recently, which I'm a bit skeptical of.... anyway...). This is not quick reading or listening, but inshaAllah it will prove very beneficial for me to learn this as I go along. Of course, I know the basic stories, but the details escape me.

The knitting orders I'm not as much worried about completing because I can do that while doing other things, or while waiting (braces may open up a lot of waiting time for me!). I'm excited, and thinking I will open up my Etsy shop to get people's feedback, and even start selling stuff for a profit! We'll see.... I should again remember not to get out of hand with all the things I want to complete.

So, as much as I think the things I want to do (blog, read the Bible, etc.) will be out of the picture for a while, I wonder if I will find myself here, like now, escaping from my to do list, almost in an act of defiance. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ramadan Disappointment

We are on day 6 of Ramadan, mashaAllah. This year is starting out pretty hard. The hard part is not the longer fasting days... that has actually been relatively easy; it is trying to appreciate the blessings and opportunities of Ramadan while having a baby around. Nursing has made it so I can only fast every other day or every two days. Last year I couldn't fast at all because I had gestational diabetes, but I could still surround my day with prayer, reading, dhikr (remembrance of Allah), lectures, etc. This year my day revolves around DD2's needs: diapers, naps, nursing, eating, playing, baths, etc. Alhamdulilah, I love taking care of my family; this is just the first year I haven't been able to fully focus on Ramadan so it is feeling empty and sad. I feel like I should be doing more, but my nafs (soul/desires) feels like it has a strong grip on me. Wanting to give in to what's fun and entertaining wins over the will to read and learn more about this beautiful way of life. I want to use this month where Shaytan is locked up to improve myself as a Muslim and to get to the next step of existence in this world... but I feel like the status quo is all I can maintain.

I'm learning more and more why Jannah (Heaven) is at the feet of our mothers! We sacrifice so much for our kids, just to make sure their basic needs are met, and then sacrifice more to please them and help them towards their own goals. Before having my youngest, I was taking online classes, attending multiple halaqas a week, taking an Arabic class, reading at home and listening to lectures, etc. I thought I would be able to keep doing at least half of all those things, but little by little, I keep dropping one thing after another because it just doesn't fit into my life right now. InshaAllah I can appreciate this season in my life and not become completely stagnint in my practice of my faith. I think we should always be trying to improve ourselves.

In other news, we are finally completely moved in to our new place: our first investment property! We bought a duplex and we are living in one side and renting the other. InshaAllah this will set us up financially in the future so things can be more comfortable! Unpacking is requiring a lot of my attention, which seems burdensome against my want for more dedicated time for worship this Ramadan, but I know that the work I do to make this house a home will be beneficial for me in this life and the next, inshaAllah.