“The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it”

“The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it”

Two things prompted this post: My friend’s, Jennifer, post on Gratitude, and a quote I read yesterday in the comments section of some random YouTube video: “The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it”.

While the author is disputed, the quote’s message is clear:

Instead of coveting what we don’t have. Or wallow in the misery of what’s lacking. Let’s recognise and nurture what’s already there!

Many things can be said about 2020. But one thing is for sure – it’s a year of awakening to the many Blessings in our lives and which we may have taken for granted. So I’ve decided to start counting my many Blessings today!


A stark reminder to just how fragile we are, I am grateful beyond words that everyone in my family and friends is so far in good health and spirit. And I am forever indebted to those who strive, day and night, to heal the sick and stand by the dying.


I am incredibly thankful for my friends who, despite social distancing, offered me a hug when I needed it the most. And I cherish those friends who decided to keep a distance to keep themselves and my family safe. 


Zoom fatigue aside, I am grateful to still have a job and be able to work from home. My heart goes out to everyone who’s lost their livelihood because of the current pandemic. 


I am grateful to be able to enjoy long walks outside, and that I can fill my functioning lungs with fresh air every day. Our body has so many automatic functions, that I tend to take each one of them for granted – but no more! I am grateful for my heart beating & lungs breathing, pumping life into my cells every second of every day. My kidneys and liver washing toxins away. My gut bacteria nurturing me. My neurons firing diligently so I can be creative and write posts like this one.  


Because we could not travel this year, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with my husband and daughter – playing, fighting, bonding, laughing, crying, crafting, and re-designing our interior. 


I am grateful to have been able to attend so many amazing training courses online this year. Some of my dream coaching courses used to be only offered in person in the US or the UK. But thanks to COVID-19, all of a sudden everything went online, and I’ve cherished every minute of every course.

Gratitude. A Brown Thank You Card on Pink and Blue Small Bottle
Thank you to all of you who have been my anchors in the storm
Photo by Donald Tong from Pexels (“Thanks for existing in my little galaxy!”)


I am thankful for all the time I could claim back from my normally hectic life, so I can…
… start an indoor garden in my glassed balcony,
… read more and launch this website,
… just “be”, taking walks in my neighbourhood, soaking in new sights, insights, smells and sounds. 


I am grateful for the quiet… the no hustle or bustle… the no running around from one appointment to the next… the no planning frenzy for the next “perfect” activity we should be undertaking – those dreaded FOMOs (fear of missing out) of our 21st century lives.


I am grateful for the inner peace… the simple knowing that we are here… living in the now… with everything else fading in a distant background. 


I am thankful for the faithfulness of nature: that the sun still shines every morning; birds still sing; and nature’s kept its innate cycle, reminding me that even within the raging COVID tornado, there is a perfect stillness and quiet within, where some things are left unchanged. 


I am grateful for the few routines – those ever elusive constants in my life – which kept me centered within the eye of that tornado. The familiar faces at my neighbourhood grocery store, even if masked. Those smiling eyes greeting me every morning. The stable haven that’s my home. 


I am grateful for my husband, who has been keeping me sane, shielding me from the constant hyperbolic media feeds.
For my daughter, the light of my life, who keeps me anchored with her enthusiasm and wisdom in the unique way only a 10 year old can.
For all the new acquaintances I’ve made this year, despite social distancing. Every year, I send a Christmas Card to our family and friends. And this year, I did not think I would have anyone new to add to our list – but I did. Quite a few! And it felt so good to know that, had it not been for COVID-19, I would have never met these amazing souls.


I am grateful to God, for I know that, whatever happens happens under His watch for a reason. I am grateful for the constant reminders that He is here in our midst, watching over us and supporting us. And I try to find solace in knowing that, whatever the reason may be that He has allowed this pandemic to break out, He will use it for the ultimate Good of Humanity. 

Sure, the grass could also be greener. There are a lot of things I miss – like being anxiety free – like travelling and seeing my friends without having to worry about me infecting them or them me… like being able to kiss and hug carefree…

But instead, I choose to just keep watering the grass that’s growing right here under my feet.

What would you like to start watering today? 

Recommended resources: 

New Year poems for a new beginning

New Year poems for a new beginning

2020 has been one strange year to say the least. So, in the spirit of last week’s Christmas poems, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite New Year poems as we welcome 2021

And I’ve also included a beautiful song by Voctave entitled This is My Wish / Let there be Peace on Earth. The lyrics, which I have added for you, are not only beautiful but also very suitable to our time. 

Happy New Year!

May God shower you and your loved ones with His many Blessings!

And may 2021 be a year of…
… Renewed Relationships,
… Social Closeness (not distancing),
… Hope &
… Inner Peace! 

Poem 1:  NEW YEAR

Another year is coming to a close.
We can forget our troubles and woes.

For me, this year was tough.
It brought many emotions, was tearful and rough.

Now another year is approaching fast.
Let’s hope it’s a New Year with love and health; let’s hope it’s a blast.

May all of your dreams come true
And you find peace and love in all that you do.

May this world know the gentle sound of a hush.
May it calm all its anger and slow its pace from the rush.

May we all hear the sound of joy
And push away all that hurts, all that destroys.

The New Year I hope will be good to us all.
Care and calm, a helping hand when we fall.

Listen more, slow down, and say I love you.
Stop for a moment; take a breath, take in the view.

Appreciate your family; tell them you care.
Do something exciting, a thrill or a dare.

Enjoy all that the New Year may give.
We have but one life, so let’s learn to live.

It’s a New Year, a brand new start.
Always remember, live and love from your heart.

Wishing each and every one a year to behold,
And may it be full of wonders for you to unfold.

Love, hugs, and kisses too…
A very happy New Year from me to you.

– A poem by Sandra Hearth (published in 2018)


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be

– A poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809 – 1892)

 Poem 3: FAITH    

 Lord, give me faith!–to live from day to day,
 With tranquil heart to do my simple part,
 And, with my hand in Thine, just go Thy way.
 Lord, give me faith!–to trust, if not to know;
 With quiet mind in all things Thee to find,
 And, child-like, go where Thou wouldst have me go.
 Lord, give me faith!–to leave it all to Thee,
 The future is Thy gift, I would not lift
 The vail Thy Love has hung ‘twixt it and me.

 “I WILL!”

 Say once again Thy sweet “I will!”
 In answer to my prayers.
 “Lord, if Thou wilt!”–
 –“I will!
 Rise up above thy cares!”

 – A poem by William Arthur Dunkerly

And here another beautiful song by Voctave that really fits the current season.
Lyrics are at the bottom.



This is my wish 
My wish for the world 
That peace would find its way 
To every boy and girl 
This is the time 
The time for harmony 
Let love be the song 
That everybody sings 

Fill the air with joyful noise 
Bring the bells and raise your voice 
Let there be peace on earth 
Let there be peace on earth 

Lift your light and let it shine 
Let it shine, shine, shine 
Let every voice be heard 
Let there be peace on earth 

I hear the sweetest sound 
The sound of hope to come 
Together we could bring 
Goodwill to everyone 

Let it start with you 
Let it start with me 
Let every nation rise 
And sing this melody 

Fill the air with joyful noise 
Bring the bells and raise your voice 
Let there be peace on earth 
Let there be peace on earth

Lift your light and let it shine
Let it shine, shine
Let every voice be heard
Let there be peace on earth
Let every voice be heard
Let there be peace on earth 

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
A peace that was meant to be 

With God as our Father
Brothers all are we 

Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony 

Fill the air with joyful noise
Bring the bells and raise your voice
Let there be peace on earth
Let there be peace on earth 

Lift your light and let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it Shine, shine, shine
Let it shine, shine, shine 

And every voice be heard
Let there be peace
Let there be peace On earth
And let it begin… With me.

The true meaning of Christmas: a new take on an old story

The true meaning of Christmas: a new take on an old story

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. Streets and homes are lit in bright colours. Chimneys and trees are decorated. Families who haven’t seen each other for some time meet again for some holiday cheer (or drama depending on your family :)). Children rejoice at their end-of-year school vacation and, of course,… PRESENTS! So, is that the true meaning of Christmas?

When I was a child…

… Christmas was a very special time. We didn’t celebrate Christmas on December 25, but December 31. It was a combined Christmas and New Year celebration, and I cherished every minute of it!

In those days, it wasn’t about the Christmas tree – in fact we never had one. Nor was it about the presents  – we didn’t have those either. Yet the house always buzzed with excitement and trepidation days before the big event. And everyone had a role to play.
My brother and I helped decorate our walls with all kinds of garlands – both Christmassy and New Year’s Eve-y.
And I would accompany my dad to Giza’s biggest open market. It had everything, and I mean EVE-RY-THING! The baker next to the car mechanic. The vegetable market across from the butcher’s. The live animal market down the street from your favourite textile store. 

Traditional Giza open market with a potato seller and buyers.
Vegetables market in Giza, Egypt.
Picture by Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

I loved following my dad through the market’s maze of dirt roads, jumping over potholes, soaking-in every scent, colour and noise.

The feast

“I see you bought half the market again!” my mother would exclaim as we entered the house laden with bags over bags of meat, fish, bread, vegetables, fruits and a plethora of delicious Egyptian sweets.

All of our close friends were about to gather at our home that evening. There was no doubt as to why we were meeting, and who or what we were celebrating. And as evening time neared, my excitement grew, for I knew my dad would soon take out his Tabla (Egyptian drum), and our home would be filled with music, songs and laughter.  Not to mention – delicious scents of the great feast that was awaiting us!
God had gifted himself to us in our own image – our mortal human form – so we can live forever. This was a time of great rejoicing and thanks giving!

It’s 5 minutes before midnight.

The music stops. The chatter breaks down. The house lights get shut. Candles are lit. Incense scents replace the earlier food smells. And we would all kneel down in our living room.

We kneel before God in prayer and praise

H. usually led the prayer, with everybody else chanting after him in beautiful harmony and unison, as we welcomed the New Year:

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I am who I am – Exodus 3:14)
Adonai (The Lord)
Sabaot (of Hosts/Powers)
El Shaddai (God Almighty)” (Hebrew)

“Almagd lellah fel 2a3ali, we 3ala el 2ard el salam, we belnas el massarra” (Arabic for Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men – Luke 2:14)

“Kodous Allah. Kodous el qawi. Kodous el 7ay allathy la yamout” (Arabic for Holy God. Holy the Strong. Holy the Living who does not die)

“Kyrie Eleison. Kyrie Eleison. Ya rab er7am” (God have mercy)

And many more…

True meaning of Christmas. Two Pillar Candles lit in the dark.
We kneel before God in prayer and praise.
Photo by Matej Novosad from Pexels

The true meaning of Christmas

This was the true meaning of Christmas to me as a child. A time of Joy and Rejoicing. A time of Community. A time of both loud and quiet celebration of the birth of Christ – the rebirth of humanity. A time of new and hopeful beginnings.

This year more than ever, tainted by Corona restrictions and lock-downs, I’ve come to an important aha moment. I’ve come to realise just how much the Christmas we celebrate today in Western societies, and in my own home for that matter, has nothing to do with the Christmas I learned to love and cherish so much as a child.

Christmas is meant to be all about celebrating Jesus – God incarnate. Our Redeemer. And Our Saviour. But, in a secular world, that’s precisely the bit we ignore, discard, or relegate to an ignorant superstitious past.

A tale of two Christmases

We seem to have at least two kinds of Christmases today:
the Secular one, and
the Christian one.

The Secular Christmas has become the most popular kind in my view. Where Christ-mas is X-mas. Where pine trees are decorated. Where Santa Claus (originally inspired by St. Nicholas) is reminiscent of some “pagan deity” who sees everything, knows who’s naughty or nice, and bares gifts to the “good” children all around the world. Where reindeers fly, and elves rule the toy production industry. We light the biggest Christmas trees to attract shoppers, so we can keep feeding our lucrative capitalistic venture. We enjoy kissing under a mistletoe, and exchange gifts. We might still get together with family for a drink or a meal. But Emmanuel – God is with us no one knows His name.

The Christian Christmas on the other hand has been relegated mainly to churches. We might enjoy nativity plays (well not this year). Sing Christian carols and celebrate special mass in church.
The Christian Christmas has become something you “go to”, and…
… then you’re done.
A temporary sense of Community, albeit an important one in a secular world where the belief in a Creator has become the exception rather than the rule.
And after the “Christian” bit is over, we go back home where the Christmas celebration and family reunion revolve again around the decorated Christmas tree and the gifts underneath.

I am not suggesting we get rid of either one of these forms of Christmas, and people often mix and match. But I am missing my childhood one. 

The Church within

Because I love Christmas so much, part of me is saddened that our secular society has managed to strip this celebratory act of all of its meaning; turning it into just another commercial gimmick to sell even more stuff no one needs. 

Yes, I miss my childhood Christmas.

Even though we did not go to Church that day, we WERE a Church! We gathered as believers, connected in Christ, to celebrate the birth of the greatest King of all. That was my true meaning of Christmas, and O! how I miss that.

My family is no stranger to the Secular Christian Christmas. My daughter and I go to Church (well, again not this year), sing a bunch of carols, get back home and open presents. My husband doesn’t believe in God, and so our home festivities are relegated to the secular type. Although I do get to have a handcarved wooden Manger at the feet of our Christmas tree.

Ironically, the secularisation of Christmas, with its Santas, Elves, Reindeers, and Trees has not necessarily made it any friendlier to non-Christians as it seems – see this article for one such perspective.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I enjoy the family reunions over Christmas around a good meal! But, that’s not the point. The point is…

I miss those Christmas/New Year celebrations of my childhood – this year more than ever. I miss…
… the friendly gathering. I miss…
… the laughters. I miss…
… the jokes. I miss…
… the singing. I miss…
… that sense of Community. I miss…
… the spiritual praise of our Lord.
I miss having Church within my home.


Maybe it is in the waiting for God,
not in the wandering from store to store,
that we find our way.

Maybe it is in the friendship of God,

not in the frenzy of crowds,
that we are led to go to the manger.

Maybe it is in the steadfast love of God,
and not in the pile of stuff under the tree,
that we find what we have been searching for all our lives.

Maybe, just maybe, God of Advent,
this year will be different.

Maybe, just maybe,
we will let you lead us to Bethlehem.

– Thom Shuman

I wish you all a Merry Christmas! May your lives be filled with Peace. Love. And God’s many Blessings. 


Christmas poems to inspire the uninspired in Corona 2020

Christmas poems to inspire the uninspired in Corona 2020

I have loved poems since I was eight. I remember that moment so distinctly: my 3rd grade teacher picking a white chalk, and putting our first poem down on our classroom’s blackboard. I was immediately captured by the beauty of the art of writing poems – stanzas, rythm and rhyme. Little did I know that 30 years later, I would start writing my own. 

The below selection of four Christmas poems are not my own, but the beautiful work of William Arthur Dunkerley, aka John Oxenham. Courtesy of poetrycat.com. Hope you will enjoy them.

Merry Christmas!

Poem 1:  CREDO


Not what, but WHOM, I do believe,
That, in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed
To mortal man may give;–
Not what, but WHOM!

For Christ is more than all the creeds,
And His full life of gentle deeds
Shall all the creeds outlive.
Not what I do believe, but WHOM!

WHO walks beside me in the gloom?
WHO shares the burden wearisome?
WHO all the dim way doth illume,
And bids me look beyond the tomb
The larger life to live?–

Not what I do believe,
Not what,

– A poem by William Arthur Dunkerly on poetrycat.com


The good intent of God became the Christ.

And lived on earth–the Living Love of God,
That men might draw to closer touch with heaven,
Since Christ in all the ways of man hath trod. 

– A poem by William Arthur Dunkerly on poetrycat.com


We thank Thee, Lord,
For all Thy Golden Silences,–

For every Sabbath from the world’s turmoil;
For every respite from the stress of life;–
Silence of moorlands rolling to the skies,
Heath-purpled, bracken-clad, aflame with gorse;

Silence of grey tors crouching in the mist;
Silence of deep woods’ mystic cloistered calm;
Silence of wide seas basking in the sun;
Silence of white peaks soaring to the blue;
Silence of dawnings, when, their matins sung,
The little birds do fall asleep again;
For the deep silence of high golden noons;

Silence of gloamings and the setting sun;
Silence of moonlit nights and patterned glades;
Silence of stars, magnificently still,
Yet ever chanting their Creator’s skill;
For that high silence of Thine Open House,
Dim-branching roof and lofty-pillared aisle,
Where burdened hearts find rest in Thee awhile;

Silence of friendship, telling more than words;
Silence of hearts, close-knitting heart to heart
Silence of joys too wonderful for words;
Silence of sorrows, when Thou drawest near;
Silence of soul, wherein we come to Thee,
And find ourselves in Thine Immensity;

For that great silence where Thou dwell’st alone–
–Father, Spirit, Son, in One,
Keeping watch above Thine Own,–
Deep unto deep, within us sound sweet chords
Of praise beyond the reach of human words;
In our souls’ silence, feeling only Thee,–

We thank Thee, thank Thee,
Thank Thee, Lord!

– A poem by William Arthur Dunkerly on poetrycat.com


On Christmas Day The Child was born,
On Christmas Day in the morning;–
–To tread the long way, lone and lorn,
–To wear the bitter crown of thorn,
–To break the heart by man’s sins torn,
–To die at last the Death of Scorn.
For this The Child of The Maid was born,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

But that first day when He was born,
Among the cattle and the corn,
The sweet Maid-Mother wondering,
And sweetly, deeply, pondering
The words that in her heart did ring,
Unto her new-born king did sing,–

“My baby, my baby,
My own little son,
Whence come you,
Where go you,
My own little one?
Whence come you?

Ah now, unto me all alone
That wonder of wonders is properly known.
Where go you?
Ah, that now, ’tis only He knows,
Who sweetly on us, dear, such favour bestows.
In us, dear, this day is some great work begun,–
Ah me, little son dear, I would it were done!
I wonder … I wonder …

“O little, little feet, dears.
So curly, curly sweet!–
How will it be with you, dears,
When all your work’s complete?

O little, little hands, dears,
That creep about my breast!–
What great things you will do, dears,
Before you lie at rest!

O softest little head, dear,
It shall have crown of gold,
For it shall have great honour
Before the world grows old!

O sweet, white, soft round body,
It shall sit upon a throne!
My little one, my little one,
Thou art the Highest’s son!
All this the angel told me,
And so I’m sure it’s true,
For he told me who was coming,–
And that sweet thing is YOU.”

On Christmas Day The Child was born,
On Christmas Day in the morning;–
–He trod the long way, lone and lorn,
–He wore the bitter crown of thorn,
–His hands and feet and heart were torn,
–He died at last the Death of Scorn.
But through His coming Death was slain,
That you and I might live again.
For this The Child of The Maid was born,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

– A poem by William Arthur Dunkerly on poetrycat.com