Friday, 18 July 2014

It is better to GIVE than to receive...

I genuinely believe in this saying.  This and 'Never let the sun go down on an argument...' (which was one my late Father lived by too).

Anyhow, there have been lots of opportunity to truly live this rather than passively believe over the past few weeks.  Things have been a little strange in the lead up to summer holidays in our home.  Sadly, both my children are experiencing the wrath of other children at school presently and if I'm truly honest, I've found my own anxiety creeping up as a result.  It is such a difficult path to tread I think - between trying to intervene at school and ensure this behaviour does not spiral into sustained bullying and that of needing to help my Littlie's toughen up, grow emotionally and build some exposure to different experiences and how to deal with them. A hard lesson for both child and parent I think.  All I can say is roll on the next week til the holidays start - I think everyone is more than ready for them!

Anyway, I digress; opportunities for giving:

# Baby Shower - my friend is about to have her third child - it's very exciting as she is one of my closest friends.  The baby shower was actually cancelled as she just felt it was too much so close to the birth but I had already made my token:

It's only a fruit cake, iced and decorated with sugar icing daisy and buttons but it was really lovely to create - from having the idea to baking it and decorating it.  I chose to mix up yellow icing in different shades as they are having a 'surprise' and buttons - because baby will be 'cute as a button'.  She lives close by and my Littlie's delivered it to the door at tea time on Sunday - another surprise.  Yep, the delight of giving.

I have another gift that I've crafted for baby but I'll share that once he or she has arrived!!

# Fundraiser - another dear friend is living through her father-in-law's health deteriorating through terminal cancer.  A fundraiser for the oncology department and local hospice was held this week and I donated this:

Made at the same time as the above and it was not expected by the larger family - which made it all the sweeter to give.  Of course I donated monetarily but giving something made by myself felt like I could help in a more personal way - no matter how minuscule.

# Food Bank Donations - TESCO recently had an initiative where they would give 30% on top of all food donated to the Tressle Trust during a specific time-frame.  We couldn't give a lot but a couple of tins of beans and tinned tomatoes isn't going to blow the bank balance.  I do sometimes feel conflicted over the issue of food banks - the media does play a part in villainising certain elements of society on benefits but many donations are given to working families living below the breadline too.  Regardless of my political standing, I think if a child can have a full tummy to go to sleep as a result of donations like mine then I've played a small part in something positive.

# Time - in this time of financial restriction one thing that I choose to GiVE is my time.  There are many examples of this - largely at the local school which I find immensely rewarding.  For the past couple years I've run an art club each week for 10 children on rotation (plus my own 2) each term at the local primary school.  I've enjoyed this immensely - satisfying my own need to be purposeful whilst sharing my enjoyment of crafts and children.  The end of this school year will mark the end of this period of volunteering and it will mark the end of an era.  I've enjoyed playing a part in helping other children experience a wide range of crafting activities they wouldn't otherwise do and giving my time in this way has had a positive impact on all involved.

I do enjoy giving... why?  I LoVE to consider something that will be meaningful to someone, observe the recipient's reaction to their gift and often their sheer surprise just gives me a warm glow.  I don't have a lot of material / financial stuff at my disposal to give but I am a good listener, a good, loyal friend and if I can help someone through something or raise their spirits then I will do.  I do also think that being aware of our wider social environment can help us gain perspective on challenges in our own lives and the struggles that others may go through too.

So, do you have any sayings that you live by?

Take care until next time; I will be popping in sporadically over the next 6 weeks, as and when I get a bit of time.  I shall have a wonderful time in September catching up on your lovely blogs in more detail!  I shall however continue to read any comments you may care to send me and will try to pop by and provide little updates here - but the free time I have will be markedly reduced - I can't wait for the school holidays to begin!!

J9 x


  1. My children don't go to school but sometimes when they play outside with others there are elements of bullying. I absolutely hate it! It is hard to know whether to let them learn how to stand up for themselves when all you want to do is protect them. I also have to curb the urge to talk to the other child's parents but if the child is a bully then usually they are cut from the same mould as their parents and anything you say would fall on deaf ears!
    Both your cakes look delicious and I'm sure they were gratefully received.
    My motto is "Do unto other as you would want done to you"
    I would like to be treated fairly and courteously so I try to do that to others, it's easier to treat some people than others like it though!

  2. Giving isn't just about money, in fact I think the things that you mentioned such as a listening ear can be far more important. Money is good and is sometimes what is needed, but it isn't always and often it is not at all what is needed. Good on you for all of your giving in all these different ways and all the different gifts that you have shared. This is a great reminder to us all. I hope that you have a great summer, with lots of relaxing and doing nice things!. xx

  3. Your cakes are so pretty, Janine. You did a lovely job with them. I think the sayings I live by most come from Dr. Phil. I know that sounds silly, but I think he's very wise. My favorite one is "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" I love that and I reflect on it a lot.