Sunday, January 28, 2018

Murder! #tencommandments #learning #listening

We were reading a story the other day as part of our Sonlight homeschool curriculum. Just to put in a little word : I 'Heart' sonlight!

The word that came up was murder.
Me: Isaac do you know what murder means
I was little annoyed because Isaac looked very distracted as I had been reading to him. Read aloud is big part of our daily routine. Thanks to so many books to read aloud I have been reading books after a long time.
Isaac: Being angry with your brother!
Me (a mixture of a lot of emotions) :What? Where did you learn that Isaac?
Isaac (a little more attentive): Cain and Abel in the bible
I want to take a moment here to hug all Isaac's Sunday school teachers!!!!
Isaac (like me) doesn't have very good control over his emotions. Anger being one of the key emotions that we both struggle with. I believe (sorry for sounding holy) it is a curse I have passed on to him and I pray daily that we both will be freed from this bondage I call 'ANGER'.
In a matter of seconds it seemed like we had switched roles. He being the teacher and me being the learner! It was like my son was preaching to me.
Well all these wonderful holy things comes to me with a dash of guilt. Am I overdoing it? Was I teaching them all the right things and not helping them practice it!
Last week at carecell as we were writing down prayer points, Sapna, one of the youth at church, was joking about something and she happened to say this dialogue ' Where you go I will go ...'
Ziva completed it for her : 'Your people shall me my people'
I stopped short and when Ziva noticed she had got all our attention she added with a big smile ' Ruth said it to Naomi'

I shared my fear of how my kids knew all the stories too well that one day they would just accept everything without actually having an experience with the God that created them :)
I got a lot of encouragement that evening. I hold on to it. Sapna responded saying, that knowing all this would help them live a life towards HIM. Susan added saying that it was all these teachings and her parents life lived out, that helped her during tough situations in her life.
As I write this blog, I am reminded of the story of a boy who didn't want to read the bible because he could not understand it. His grandfather makes him carry water in a coal basket. While the basket never holds any of the water, it eventually washes away the coal making the basket clean.

Maybe that is how all these stories will help Isaac and Ziva. As they live in this world, maybe these stories will build them up slowly and steadily and keep them strong in the tough storms of life.
Holding On and Pressing On.

Full story of the Coal Basket here:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Two kids… Too old … But not too late #run #race

It started about two years ago (2016). It started with a desire that I had!  To make Suresh run the TCS 10 K!
How do you like that? I convinced him that he should run the TCS 10K. He had run it once before about two years before (2014 May). He was in good shape. Fit! Cycling to work! Playing soccer and beating the crap out of youngsters’ half his age. And this run was for a good cause. He could raise money for Reaching Hand a shelter for street kids.
Interestingly my desire for Suresh backfired. I mean literally backfired. And this is somewhat how the story turned out.
Along with Suresh, I thought a bunch of our youth from church could also run and raise money. And so I started talking to them. When I approached a few of the girls, one of them turned back with this request. ‘ Rohini Chechy if you run I will run’. Thanks Naomi. I owe you for pushing me into this addictive habit!

‘I am too old’ I tried this excuse. It didn’t work and so I told everyone that I would register and practice and at least walk the 10 K. I started calculating that if it took me 10 mins to walk 1 km, I could finish walking the 10K in 1 hr and 40 mins. Not too bad! I could walk for that long a time. And so we started practicing. There were about 15 odd folk who signed up and agreed to run. Toward the race we fizzled down to 8 people who ran the TCS 10 K 2016 for Reaching hand.

In 2016, I ran a little now and then. We all promised each other that we would keep up our good workout routine and we also decided we would run TCS 10K 2017. I didn’t do so well from May 2016 till December 2016.
In November 2016, I hit an all time low. Some may call it being depressed. I call it the beauty of the valley where you don’t want to stay for too long. I put on 3-4 Kgs in a span of  2 months. That may not seem like a lot. But it looked like I would not be stopping there unless I did something. So, in 2017 I began the year with the resolution to run/walk everyday as much as possible. My main aim was to lose weight! From January to April I did really well. I ran so much that it became a habit. Such a good habit. I ran when my back hurt! I ran when my legs hurt! I ran when I was sad! I ran when I was happy! If I could not ran I would walk. Basically I did everything to get off my butt. Such a good year for exercising - 2017
Most people start these good habits early in life. Most folk move from running to walking as they age. I changed the flow of the river. I started with no exercise to bicycling to walking and finally running.
One morning after a long break I put on my shoes and clicked a picture of FB and posted ‘Back again ready to lose those last few kgs’. To this post one young girl messaged me and said ‘God has made you already so beautiful why are you trying to lose weight’. Ha! I spun this in my favor! I don’t run just to lose weight. I run to stay in good health… I run to prevent breast cancer… I run to set an example for my kids. 
The last one being the most important. In a world obesity and morbidly lazy kids, Isaac and Ziva could use some inspiration from my journey non-runner -to- runner.

Last year (2017) Isaac and Ziva ran their first 5 K. What a joy it was for the whole family – Suresh, Isaac, Ziva and me to run together. I love that Isaac and Ziva are excited about running even though there is whining when it comes to the actual run 😊.

Someone complimented the family at our craziness ‘ A family that runs together stays together!’

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The avalanche ‘thing’

We took a youth group to Ooty avalanche for 2 nights and almost 3 days. Well with the almost 13-hour one-way travel from Bangalore to the actual camp site, I keep wondering why we don’t go for a longer period. I do think though that too much nature may not suit me all that much.
This time we did a very different kind of night walk. It was different from my last years’ experience of the night walk. Last year we had taken a trek with a very noisy bunch and hadn’t gotten much of a chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the jungle. But this year we had a quiet and very obedient group. We also had a star gazer with us!!! What an inspiration to do some more star gazing. As we stood in the midst of the shore of the lake, the trees slowly loomed up over us. Our facilitator kept telling us, ‘ if you wait for a bit then you will be able to see a lot more than you think you can in the dark’. And we were able to see a lot more. It was a little creepy and honestly a little scary. Right before we stepped on the large open shore we heard the sounds of hoofs. Maybe a herd of deers or another variety of the lovely mountain deer families. Somehow sound effects add to the overall feel of the night.
And then they started to shower. Shooting Stars! So many of them. Apparently if you have a good clear sky, you can see about 8 or 9 shooting stars every hour. No! I didn’t type that wrong. Every hour.

The whole bunch was going ‘oooh’ and ‘aahh’ every ten minutes. The irony – I couldn’t see a single one. I really don’t know where I was looking as there was not much else to really look at except the beautiful sky. But it seemed that my vision was filtered to the fall of these beautiful fireworks of stars. I had almost resigned to the fact that I would probably not see one that night when the whole night gazing crowd went ‘wo’..’wo’..’wo’. And I didn’t see it!
How could you miss that one?’ cried a voice in the crowd. Yea! Like I kept my eyes shut while they were ‘wo’ ing! I don’t know how I could not see it. It was pretty frustrating till little Nancy all of 11 piped up.
‘I feel so special that I could see a shooting star.’ In the midst of the buzzing and excitement that statement would probably have been lost, had our facilitator Mohan not had such a keen ear
A few minutes later he led the conversation back to the statement of being special. And we reflected. Nancy had considered herself special to have been able to see a shooting star. But we all were so special. The God who had made these beautiful stars and then added to it beauty in the way they finished their lives … that same God had taken out special time to create me. And not just create me … But form me in HIS likeness. How special!
There was a few moments of silence and we all kept watching the sky. I was still reflecting on the statement of being ‘special’ when it happened.
I saw it! A star dropped across the sky and ended its journey just like that. So much class and so much beauty.
I yelled and hugged a few folks over this beautiful sight. Isaac and Ziva shivered and we trekked back to our tents.
Surely a night to remember!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

For the 'Queen'!

About 3 years ago when we moved into our new place in Ardendale (from our old place in Ardendale :)), our friend Vandana gifted us a beautiful set of 'Borosil' drinking glasses. The brand of the glasses has a story as Suresh had gone to Vandana's place and harped about these very brand and Vandana, whose dad was an ex-army man, got it from the canteen because Suresh would not stop at how much he loved these glasses when he was a kid.

The lovely glasses sat in a special place, in view and yet, I did not want anyone using them because they were so delicate. We are a clumsy family and in a few months from getting this gift  broke a few from literally just touching them. I then completely banned Suresh from touching the glasses. I kept giving him some of our regular 'chai' wala glasses for drinking water.
A few weeks ago, Isaac was helping me set up the table for Dinner. His latest fancy is to use the 'Correlle' plates and breakable glasses. As he climbed up the counter opened the cupboard and pulled out one of the glasses, I turned just in time to realize it was one from 'precious' set.
Me: Isaaac  (in an exasperated tone)
Isaac looked confused.
Me: Take some other glasses. Not those!
Isaac looked back into the cup board not knowing what the difference really was.
Me: We can use those glasses when the 'Queen' comes.
Isaac nodded like he completely understood. He put back the glasses
Me: (a little stunned with the obedience) Isaac do you know when the Queen is coming?
Like he knew a secret I didnt.
Isaac: No
And then when he heard Suresh and me laughing he gave one of his blushing smiles and an annoyed punch as to why we were teasing him.

Coming a little ahead in time.
Last evening we had a few folk from Church in our house for a Christmas dinner. One young man came into the kitchen to help himself to some water and as he opened the cupboard to which I pointed he pulled out a glass from my 'precious' set. Isaac had just walked into the kitchen to view this choice of glass.
Isaac: Sanjay uncle, that is for the 'Queen'
Sanjay stops short. Looks from Suresh to me in confusion. We both started to laugh and as we shared the little story, Sanjay responds.
Sanjay: I am the Queen
Isaac and Ziva : (Squeal of laughter) You are not a girl.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The 52 blogs blogging ‘thing’

I have decided to put up a blog once a week for the next 52 weeks. It’s a challenge to myself and right now what I need – is a challenge.
You can say it’s a way for me to restart blogging. Dayenu has been very quiet these days and Dayenu needs a revival. Blogging brought out a streak in me that did not know existed and I want to revisit that streak.
Usually I blog and to promote my blogs I put a link on FB. Then I get some kicks in seeing the number to hits on my blogs. But this 52 week ‘thing’, I hope to keep mainly for myself. I may occasionally put a few links on FB but mainly this is for me.
As I look at my list of drafts in my blog list, I smile at the unfinished blogs. This is mainly because I remember the stories that caused those titles. One plan is definitely to finish up many of those drafts and put them into the published list.
I also hope that through blogging I will tend to spend less time on Whatsapp and Facebook. I hope that I can bring back some of the creativity that blogging encouraged and that got smeared over with the viciousness of social media and the imaginary world of keeping in touch.
To put down some rules for myself
1.       A blog may be a few sentences. Maybe even just 150-200 words.
2.       A blog may be a poem
3.       A blog may be an incident that happened. A common everyday incident
4.       A blog can be a few photos with funny captions.
5.       A blog may be a bible verse with a reflection of how I feel about it and what I have meditated on while reading it.
 These rules are also to encourage me that topic should not be dismissed once put in the head.
As I write this blog I am almost tempted to make this blogging effort a 365-day thing. Unfortunately, I cannot type anywhere other than my laptop and I don’t think I will want to be carrying this laptop everywhere. But while I can, I may blog every single day causing some readers to get bored and border lining on disclosing every detail of my life.
With this I conclude my first blog and I feel determined enough to open another word document to quickly type up all the thoughts that have just crossed my mind.