Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Seeing RED

I seem to attract certain discussions. I'm married to a Muslim so that makes it irresistable for some to take subtle jabs at me... This is happening a lot recently since a guy from work started eating at the same time as me... Not only does he take MY SPOT at the table, but he always starts discussions I don't want to go into, not always directed towards me, but somehow I can feel the direction when he looks towards me more than others even if I'm not talking at all when they are. It also happens with other co-workers and sometimes even certain family members...

I don't think he has bad intentions, but he likes getting reactions out of people I guess...

Today though, I was seeing red BIG TIME. I can't remember how it happened but another co-worker started with some really ignorant remarks that made me just really angry and frustrated. She has done this before but I'm a lot more fragile lately with this other guy being here every lunch hour...

We saw Egypt in the news and honestly, I have not been watching the news at all lately and seriously don't know what's going on beyond Morsi giving himself extra powers... So when my co-worker said,

"Wow, in those countries people sure don't work much. I guess they all work the night shift or something. haha" and goes on to say that we all have problems, it's the same here that we don't like our Prime Minister, should we all be on the streets?

The disgusting tone in her voice when she was referring other countries, the idea that people are protesting out of laziness somehow or ditching other responsabilities to go have fun in the streets, the idea that what they are protesting for is not worth anything and is the same as if people in Canada ditched their jobs for a week or two to protest against Harper...

There was too much ignorance for two sentences, I didn't know what to say! I was like boiling inside wanting to smack some sense into her, at the same time... I didn't know what to say! It didn't help that I had not been keeping up to date with the news and I guess I helped my own frustration by being pretty ignorant myself...

I was red, I was shaking quietly... Then I left.

The guy had made some comments about the brotherhood somewhere in the convo about how they are the worst thing ever for Egypt and ended up apologizing for being insensitive. I appreciate him noticing the state I was in and taking some time to reflect on what he might've said to offend me but I told him, it wasn't his comment that made me this way. I feel seriously weak and still upset even if it's like 3pm now...

I might just be tired. Hard time sleeping since Saturday and I don't deal well with lack of sleep...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Religion as a Test

I always saw religion as a test in a sort of way. That the way we understand, practice, advise in religion. The things that people tell us or teach us that we chose to accept or reject, or emphasize. All this is a sort of test.

Example: I know at least two people who believe that homosexual sex is forbidden and I know at least two extremely different ways of dealing with this belief. One is to insult and grow hate towards gays and the other is to deal with them as they would with any other person who is not perfect in this life. With some respect, all the while not condoning or encouraging the lifestyle they personally disagree with. Just with the way that I wrote this paragraph, you can see who I feel has done a better job on "the test".

I personally don't believe it's forbidden so I'm not talking about myself in the above paragraph at all.

I've started to see religion in a slightly new way. Not even as a way to test us, but as the test itself. Will we fall for the desire to be part of a group, putting what we know is right aside to follow what we want to be right? Or will we actually follow what we believe deep inside us is right and deal with the criticism (and other consequences) that come with that?

This desire goes beyond religion and is something that even atheists or people who don't practice their religion go through though... They might not be part of a religious community, but they also have pressure to believe certain things and do things a certain way. Will they do it that way or will they search deeper?

People who are committed to their religion can read this post and think that the people who aren't committed to a religion are conforming to the society around them, not questioning as to what is right while they themselves have thought and made the decision to practice despite the consequences (like wearing hijab in the west, arranging breaks at work to pray 5x a day, etc.).

And those who are not practicing religion might see those who are as caving into pressure within the family or community, or falling for their need to belong to something if they converted after going through difficult relationships with family.

All of this for me to say that I don't know who is on a better path but they sure have a lot of similarities. Whether someone is or isn't religious, there are difficulties there to lead a person away from things that are good and I personally cannot say with any sort of conviction that I believe that religious people (like Muslims) are better off or closer to the right path than an atheist or non-practicing whoever. I simply don't believe that.

I just respect everyone's journey and the necessity of going through it their way.

Friday, December 7, 2012

People Living Up to Stereotypes (Americans... Muslims...)

I hate stereotypes and how they affect the way people see and even deal with other (different) people... I try not to be affected by stereotypes when I meet new individuals and I think I do a good job of starting my interactions with people on a close to clean slate (generally). I like to think that I stay away from the most harmful aspect of stereotyping  which is consequences towards individuals caused by stereotypes of their "group".

We all know that stereotypes don't represent everyone in the group and a lot of times don't even represent a big percentage of the group, but they also don't come completely out of nowhere either. I hate when I see things confirming stereotypes because it amplifies the stereotypes and backs them up!

Americans...


These days, I'm working in the American department at work... I'm not proud of the field I work in so I don't even want to go into it at all but we attract clientele that is struggling financially and kind of poor. And I hate to say it, but the people I have spoken with at work in the past few weeks have confirmed stereotypes of Americans as being rude, uneducated, arrogant, loud. It has also made me fall into the trap of imagining them as fat, materialistic and dumb too, which I have absolutely no basis for. It's upsetting me to be falling for stereotypes and not being able to "start on a clean slate" with each individual client I speak to... I am trying to be honest with myself in this post so I can try not to do it because I do often start a call with the assumption that this is what I'm dealing with. And then it pretty much always with. Would these people stop living up to the stereotypes?!

I hope I'm not offending any American readers because I don't have this experience with the Americans I know from online but that is ALL I SEE at work. I've done the same job for over 3 years on the Canadian side and we get assholes regularly but it's not like this...

My American friends and acquaintances from online are all really nice people that I have a lot of respect for and just thinking about offending them, I feel bad. But I feel like I'm being completely honest in my post and I have good intentions so I will post it when I'm done.

If you want stereotypes of Quebeckers, we are seen as villager-style, dependent on government handouts, huge complainers, we hate English or are ignorant when it comes to English. All of this is partly true for at least some people from here. There ya go, I evened out the field a little. None of this is true of me just like none of the stereotypes I talk about are true of my American friends.

Here's a Molson commercial about Canadian stereotypes (if you want to watch one of the two only, skip down and watch the other):

And a funny video parody response to the Canadian one about Quebec stereotypes called "I am not Canadian":


To continue, it's Muslims' turn


I want to continue on the topic of stereotypes and talk about other stereotypes that affect me. Ones about Muslims. Muslim men mostly. I've had such negative experiences with Muslim men, directly and indirectly. A lot of my readers know what I'm talking about - in a lot of cases, I'm talking about their ex husbands! hahaha But seriously, these dumbasses live up to the stereotypical Muslim man, out to control every aspect of his wife's life all the while living it up with completely different standards. This is not what being Muslim is all about and it's not the majority of Muslim men and it's not Islam, but it's what I keep seeing! And it's not making me assume things of Muslims but it is making me continue to have this identity crisis when it comes to Islam.

Please give me some feedback about this post. As Americans, are you offended? As Muslims, are you offended? I'd be happy to have someone clear things up for me that I might be getting wrong...

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Easy to Get Down About Islam

Whenever I hear stories about Muslims doing evil, I get a down about Islam (ex. murdering family members for disobeying the man, death penalty for gays, oppression of minorities, etc). I have also had negative experiences with multiple Muslim men who might not have been evil but who were doing things that are bad and linking at least part of their behaviour to Islam. And then I have experience with a lot of Muslims, mostly converts, who take Islam in a way that I believe is completely against its spirit. They become judgemental, negative people who are in no way flexible to the ways of life of others...

With all these things done "for" Islam or "because of" Islam, I feel sometimes like I don't want to be a part of it all. With all the things done for ANY organized religion, I don't want to be part of any of them to an equal degree.

I want to be a spiritual person, connected with God and connected with His creation in a positive way.

Being Muslim is important to me and my spiritual journey but it is not important to me socially. I'm closer to God when I'm away from other Muslims to be honest. That's not to say that I'm closer to God when I'm with non-Muslims because that's not true either... I'm just definitely not close to God when I'm around people who frustrate me with their views on Islam or people who are flat-out doing wrong in the name of Islam (which is just the worst thing) and I can't seem to find a community of Muslims that inspire me to be better.

I hope that someday I can find that but in the meantime, I feel the need to focus on my religion in a personal, private way.

What will be transmitted to my children will hopefully be that everyone is on equal ground. There's no automatic superiority because you can never know what a person believes or even what they do. That God knows everything, humans don't. That any effort to be good and do good is an effort worth making. That you cannot depend on others to always be responsible for you and that you are responsable for your own actions and beliefs in the end. That love and mercy are important.

I don't know what point I'm trying to make. I don't really have one. This is just a personal post about where I'm at right now in November 2012. Who knows where I'll be in another few months or years... It changes little by little and as time goes by I grow as a person. I stall too, but that's just the way it goes.

I have some issues I need to work out about this religion. I find it very easy to get down about it all based on what idiot Muslims do in the name of this beautiful, pure religion. It's sickening... I always come back to it: Is Islam more than what Muslims are/do? It has to be... Because if it's not, then I'm surely not a part of it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Religion-Related Rant

So here's how it happened this week.


1) Someone who works with me makes a discussion about how there are rumours (that she feels are founded in truth) that the Muslims of my city are coming here, starting businesses, with the ultimate goal of taking over the city in 20-30 years. Frustrating that even me telling her I know these people PERSONALLY, have been in their homes, know their teenaged children  (ie the next generation), etc. made no difference.

2) I wrote a message about this ridiculousness on FB and when I got to work today, two of my closest co-workers who I also consider friends were kind of saying in a less direct way that they believe this to be true. Not necessarily that it's a big conspiracy, but that if we aren't "careful" about letting in so many Muslims, we will get our way of life taken over. Do they even know any Muslims around here? I don't like some of them and have personal issues with some of them, but they don't influence the way I live in any sort of way, even with them knowing that I'm Muslim. They just want to do their own thing.

3) Had one of my closest collegues, (in a very nice, respectful wa though) send me an email of something by an idiot person Nonie Darwish... And some horrible translations of the Qur'an about killing Christians and making war... With another part about loving verses of the Bible (turn the other cheek, thou shall not kill, etc). So frustrating since I don't want to be too defensive but at the same time I feel the need to be.

4) This one is conflicting. Shayma, the murder victim beaten in her own home, found with a note telling her to go back to her country... It was domestic violence and not a hate crime. I didn't want it to be a hate crime, but for it to be in the end violence by a Muslim man... Fuck, this really just makes me not want anything to do with Islam. It's a concrete example, one of MANY MANY MANY of what is wrong with the Muslim community. These things seem to happen all the time! There seems to be more hate and wrong from within the Muslim community than against it. At least they haven't come out with something saying that he based this murder on Islam yet like honour killings. In this way, it's easier to compare this violence to another murder that happens here by a Christian towards his girlfriend. Not religiously motivated, just man-motivated.

So overall... Not a good week between me and religion.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A 1 year old Po-Po

This Sweet Po (aka Crazy Naughty Po-Po aka my Baby from Arabie) is going to be 1 year old this week! Time FLIES!

I saw my friend's newborn today and OMG the difference. Actually, my baby is not a baby anymore at all. He's a toddler flat out. He's a handful of a toddler too, always trying to find something naughty to do like:

- trying to flush a roll of t.p.
- throwing diapers in the bath
- putting toys in the garbage
- climbing onto the couch
- moving my dining chairs and any small furniture
- climbing into my recycling bin
- throwing any folded clothes onto the floor
- emptying whole boxes of tissues
- climbing on top of a box to go scratch the TV
- turning on the dishwasher
- hanging off the oven door to open it

But HIS FACE!!!!! <3 p="p">
I'm in love.

Can anyone tell that my daughter ALSO is pretty naughty herself

He was planning his next move (proceeded to go around the bed to the other side to grab a container and stuff the card he had in his hand (not shown) into it)

Raking leaves, and no, the small one for kids is NOT the same

Found him in my recycling bin, half emptied

By the way, I'm at 249 followers on here and I'm so excited that I'm nearing 250. :) It's really awesome and I've had such a great time on this blog even if I'm low on Islam-related inspiration lately. It has really helped me grow and learn over the past... 3 or 4 years? Thanks again everyone. And if you read this and are not a subber, make my day PLEASE!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy and Blessed EID to all - We Bought a Goat

Happy EID to everyone. May the mercy and blessings of God be on you.

Seems we bought a goat in Egypt for EID. Poor thing wil be sacrificed tomorrow but I feel good knowing that 2/3 of it will be going to poor people who cannot afford to eat meat regularly. I hope they have a really nice, meaty meal on this special day. :)

It's my first time owning such a big animal. Kind of cool. I went to bring my mother in law's goat to the butcher on Eid of 6 years ago while I was in Egypt and it's a good thing I didn't meet him earlier because it was not especially fun to see him getting killed, blood flowing in the streets. It was not as bad as the person who made his cow get hauled up the stairs to the 3rd floor so it could be sacrificed in front of her condo... We couldn't walk down the stairs for a little while (unless we didn't mind blood on our shoes).

Anywho, I love all of you guys, Muslim and not, practicing or not. Be good, have good intentions in all that you do. Try to have love for others, mercy on others and try to keep away from negativity. My advice to me that I pass on to you!

Happy Eid!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Giveaway!!

I just wanted to direct you to a giveaway I'm having on my other blog. I will ship internationally so feel free to enter if you're interested.

Prizes are:

- a 5-piece collection of Barielle nail polishes
- a full size Neutrogena cleanser
- a full size Neutrogena oil-free makeup remover
- bonus something or other ;)

You can enter at:

http://candiceandbeauty.blogspot.ca/2012/10/my-first-giveaway-barielle-polish.html

I'm really sorry for not posting on here much lately but I just don't have much inspiration. It'll come back I'm sure and when it does, so will I! See you soon! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Parenting: I love UNIFORMS!

They are so convenient. Just pick a top and bottom, add a sweater and leggings if needed and out the door she goes, bye babe!

The main great feature of uniforms for me right now is how easy it makes things in the morning (the convenience), but I'm also loving how it takes importance off of how my daughter dresses. She is actually quite picky normally on what she wears and likes dresses and skirts all the time, pink and purple, sparkles, etc. She's a very girly girl and likes looking "like a princess" and being beautiful. I didn't find it a priority to get her off the princess and beautiful idea even if I don't love it, but I'm glad that this is effortlessly doing the job. She doesn't mind it and she's getting used to looking ordinary instead of "like a princess".

The more ordinary she looks, the more importance can be put on what she actually DOES.

Teasing has not at all come into play at 5 years old but I have hopes that it will help. The school says that it fosters a sense of pride in their school and that's probably more apparant for the older kids (at teasing ages) and I imagine it brings the teasing for poorer kids down.

I'm really happy that she goes to a school with this amount of structure and focus. It seems a good balance.

Who else loves uniforms? Who dislikes them? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Gratitude Journal

I bought myself a pretty journal that makes me happy to write in. I find it just gorgeous and I'm drawn to it each day. Makes me WANT to write.




I've been writing things that I'm thankful for. From very big things we take from granted like mobility and sight to general things like health to specific things like receiving something I ordered. Some things are meaningful and some are just not, but either way it's things that make me happy and I don't want to skip gratitude even for things that are superficial like cosmetics or a watching a movie.

Yeah, it's upside down. Haha, you'll really need to put some effort into it if you want to try to read the uninteresting stuff I have written here. hehe. My advice is: Don't. Not worth it!

Has anyone put extra effort into being thankful these days? How is that working out? What else do you do to stay balanced and happy?

Rebekkah mentioned a great and important one: SMILING




Thursday, September 13, 2012

Parenting: The Routine (featuring hyperactivity)

Some adjectives I use to describe my daughter Nora include: spirited, crazy, stubborn, difficult, energetic, clownish, funny, affectionate, sweet, caring, demanding... And lots more... She has a lot of good qualities and she is also hyperactive. She hasn't been diagnosed really and I don't see the need since I'm able to manage her, but I can see that she is.


When she goes through changes, she can become out of control. Not just in the sense that I have trouble controlling her or making her listen to me, she really becomes a person unlike her own self. She really becomes so unlike her normally stubborn, energetic self and seems to not be able to control what she does and says. That's being hyperactive. 

Boy did we have a few tough weeks just recently. I could not have imagined it if I tried. 

We were preparing her for her entry to KG and so was her daycare. She knew it was coming and that's when it *started* to spiral out of control. She then had her last day at daycare and started her progressive entry into KG with 2 hours of school either in the morning or afternoon. My poor Nora didn't know where she was going and when. She had one morning, then one afternoon, then a 4 day weekend, then another afternoon and another morning. I'd never been through such a tough time as a parent as that week and a half. OMG. 

Then school started FOR REAL (about time) and I made a routine for us to stick to, to support and anchor her. It has made a world of difference. I have my daughter back. I have my sanity back. 

Here is the routine. 

AM
630: get up, take medication, wake up on couch with cartoons
700: start eating breakfast, take other medication
715: finish up breakfast, put on uniform, brush teeth
725: take bus
SCHOOL

PM
255: get home from school, free play, maybe going out, maybe errands. not as structured since she'll soon be at daycare during this time when I start work
between 500&600: start eating, medication, no more TV for the day, could be music, drawing, etc.
between 630&645: bath, PJs, story
715: bedtime, goodnight.

This routine allows Nora not only security in her routine, but also to be well-rested which is another hugely important factor for any child but even more so with a hyper one. I'd put routine as the top most important thing, a lot of sleep as the second and healthy nutritious foods (less sugar) as the third most important thing to help keep a hyper kid under control. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

x-posted: Two quick things you can do to be happier and healthier :)

I saw this on Doctor Oz. I don't normally watch his show but every couple months I will watch this or The Doctors and I take away a little something from these shows. Yesterday's show had something interesting that I want to share. It's really two tiny things that take almost no time and no effort that you could add to your day SO EASILY.

1)

Breathing exercise that you would do FOUR times, twice a day. Goes like this:

Breathe in to the count of 4
Hold beath to the count of 7
Exhale loudly to the count of 8

Don't count mississippi, OK. Quick, normal counting.

2)

A gratitude journal. 

The doctor giving this suggestion on the show said it's scientifically backed up that taking a few minutes each day to think about what you're thankful for helps a person be happier within a few weeks. I never heard of this study but from personal experience, IT'S TRUE.

I haven't written down my gratitude for a while now but I think I will start again. I'll get myself a fancy little notebook that I will be motivated to write in and at the end of the day I will jot down a few things that I'm thankful for.

This can be done whether you're a theist or atheist or agnostic, WHATEVER. It will work.

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Daughter Started KG

It's quite a week with my oldest starting KG! She was so excited about it and she's really enjoying it so far. Even in advance she was initiating conversation in English, it was adorable. For those who don't know, we speak French in the home but she is going to English school so her English is not bad for understanding but not yet fluent at all for speaking. Everything will flow right out within a few months I'm sure especially with her willingness to learn.

Here she is in her school uniform. :D


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fran Fine (The Nanny) in HIJAB



Who else likes the show The Nanny with Fran Drescher???

I just love her and this show and we've been watching it on Netflix recently. She went to a fictional Muslim country in an episode called "Not Without my Nanny" and this was one of her outfits (this was the only one fully hijab appropriate). I LOVE this! I'd wear this if it wasn't weird to. I like the dangly things on the forehead, the chest-covering but dress-showing hijab draping in the back and the jilbab is gorgeous.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eid Mubarak!

I'm a bit late with this but still, I do wish everyone a blessed Eid and I wish you all continued blessings post-Eid. I hope you had a lovely time with friends and family today and that you were able to make the best of this wonderful time.

To all, Muslim and not, a very blessed EID :) 

May Allah reward all those who do good, directly an indirectly. To those who make efforts towards anything good, generous, kind, positive, loving. Towards Allah in any way that you are able to. May you get your just blessing. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Keeping myself in check

For the past few months, I've become more interested in beauty (as in, physical beauty.. skin care, makeup, fashion). I don't believe there's anything wrong with beautifying ourselves and having beauty as a hobby. It's something fun and it increases self-esteem to feel good about the way you appear. No wrong there.

However, I do want to make sure that I'm not feeling the need to apply makeup every time I go out while not caring about it when I'm in the home. This would indicate that I want people outside the home to look at me and find me beautiful and that it's not just about my own sense of beauty. And of course, it's not exactly compatible with Islam to want to look good for strangers outside the home.

I believe in looking professional and presentable outside the home and not needing to look that way inside the home but when the actual "attractive" factor becomes more important for strangers than for yourself or your husband, as a Muslim woman, you are going in the wrong direction. And this is a message to myself in the second person first and foremost. lol

I've started applying makeup every once in a while and I feel good and beautiful. I am being careful that I don't feel a greater need to apply it when I'm going out shopping or in public versus when I'm going to my girl friend's or even just when I'm staying home because that will be my indication that my reasons are becoming wrong and my intentions not pure and this will be the time when I lay off and do something different.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I don't understand

I've never understood Christianity... I was a Catholic by name for most of my life but that's what it is to us here. Catholic is who we are by name and the actual teachings are not important, it's just part of our culture to identify as "Catholic". So I don't know much about Christianity but I can understand some basic things. For Judaism, I can't understand even the most basic things that they believe in. Like:

Why is it so hard to become Jewish? Why don't they want others converting to their religion? Do they believe that you can only really believe in the truth if you were born into Judaism?

What do they believe about Christians? Do they see them as people who would be Jewish if they had not believed in something that is false? Is that why they have some sort of respect for them, or do they maybe not have the respect I seem to feel they have? The relationship between Jews and Christians should be similar to the relationship between Christians and Muslims but somehow I don't feel like it is.

What are the criteria they are waiting for to accept the next prophet? Why didn't Jesus satisfy them? Do modern Jews even think about these questions and find answers that make sense or is it a cultural identity and the truth doesn't matter so much as their identity as a Jew?


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quran notes: Surat Al-Baqarah

As I read the Quran on the awesome app iQuran on the iPhone, I make little notes on how I understand different verses and notes on what I'm wondering about certain verses. Here are a few. 

PLEASE give me your thoughts and give me any relevant information or where to find it. THANKS! I'd love any comments, even if you only read a couple of them and have something to add. You don't need to read the whole thing :)




Translation:
O MANKIND! Worship your Sustainer, who has created you and those who lived before you, so that you might remain conscious of Him (2:21)

Notes:
This feels like it's telling us that remaining conscious of Allah is the reason for our existence.


Translation:
and remain conscious of [the coming of] a Day when no human being shall in the least avail another, nor shall ransom be accepted from any of them, nor shall intercession be of any use to them, and none shall be succoured. (2:48)

Notes:
Basically: No human over another, no sacrifices are of any use, no intercession. It's all you and Allah in determining your destiny.


Translation:
Excepted, however, shall be they that repent, and put themselves to rights, and make known the truth: and it is they whose repentance I shall accept-for I alone am the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace. (2:160)

Notes:
It's interesting to me that we need to "make known the truth". Especially as someone who is a closet Muslim and can't seem to find any desire or motivation to get out of that. This is good inspiration.


Translation:
In this state shall they abide; [and] neither will their suffering, be lightened, nor will they be granted respite. (2:162)

Notes:
This state sounds like it's a state of rejection by God, which is the suffering that they will have to endure. At least, this is the way that I've always seen Hell and Heaven. Heaven as a state of closeness to God and Hell as the opposite end of a spectrum. And I feel like this supports my view.


Translation:
IT IS ordained for you, when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind much wealth, to make bequests in favour of his parents and [other] near of kin in accordance with what is fair: I this is binding on all who are conscious of God. (2:180)

Notes:
Must make a will and we can use our own knowledge and reasoning to figure out what is fair, though there are rules in the Qur'an for us to follow in the case that there is no will when a person dies. Right?


Translation:
If, however, one has reason to fear that the testator has committed a mistake or a [deliberate] wrong, and thereupon brings about a settlement between the heirs, he will incur no sin [thereby]. Verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. (2:182)

Notes:
Again about making a will. And again the idea that a person would use his judgement (in this case, his judgement if he or she believes that the person who made the will made a mistake). Basically: we can use our own God-given judgement. I believe this applies to a lot of other things.


Translation:
AND IF My servants ask thee about Me - behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way. (2:186)

Notes:
Relationship with Allah is a give and take. You cannot expect to get everything by doing nothing.


Translation:
AND FIGHT in God's cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression-for, verily, God does not love aggressors. (1:190)

Notes:
I think this means that we cannot start a war, only defend ourselves if someone wages war against us?


Translation:
FIGHTING is ordained for you, even though it be hateful to you; but it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know. (2:216)

Notes:
I don't understand this one... People were disagreeing or not happy about having to fight and are told that they must because it's better for them? HELP


Translation:
God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought, but will take you to task [only] for what your hearts have conceived [in earnest]: for God is much-forgiving, forbearing. (2:225)

Notes:
What I understand is that what is in our heart that counts and that we won't be punished for things we say accidentally/without thought.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nothing should stand between yourself and God. Not imams, priests, rabbis, or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters, not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good.
Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.

Shams Tabrizi

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If I hadn't clicked on "Skype me"

Do any of you think of the moment that changed the course of your life in the most dramatic way? Mine is as tiny as the moment I decided to "skype" some random guy in May 2005.

Had I simply not contacted my now-husband at that very moment, there's virtually no way I would have ever met up with him later. Which means (might mean, because God could have found a way to change anything in my life), no going to Egypt and having the amazing life experience I had there, no getting pregnant and having a baby so early in my life, no postponing further education for children and work. I'd likely have continued and completed at least my bachelor's if I hadn't met my husband. I would likely not have any kids by now. I don't know if I'd be Muslim but it was in my heart before I met my husband so I'm thinking yes.

Anyway, it's still a very very different life that I'd have at this point if I hadn't clicked on "Skype me".

I believe though that Candice at 40 or 50 or 60 years old would have been very similar, whatever it is that I did at 18. I do think I have somewhere I have to get and that I'll get there no matter what. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What stands out about surah al-baqarah?

It's amazing the emphasis put on charity in this surah. Yes, it also talks about a lot of other topics and even has some of the out-of-context verses that are used to portray Islam in a negative light. But if you read it all in one shot (or in a couple days), you cannot come out of it except with the feeling that this chapter's main topic and this chapter's emphasis is by far CHARITY. 


Give as much as you can spare, this is the best thing for you.

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, (2:3)
This is what it takes to be righteous:
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. (2:177)
 And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good. (2:195)
This passage helps us visualize how important charity is:
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (2:261)
 Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:262)
But, God is reasonable in his demands:
 Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing. (2:263)
Any charity is good but the best charity is hidden from others:
 If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted. (2:271)
 Those who spend their wealth [in Allah 's way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly - they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:274)

There is much much more on this topic! MUCH more, subhanALLAH :)

Does anyone know the verse that says to give only things you yourself would want to get or something to that effect?
 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadan Karim to everyone!


Just a question I've thought about but never thought of asking. Does Ramadan karim wish people to have a month that is generous to them (the month is generous) or does it wish people to be generous during the month (the person is generous)? Or is it not about "wishing" anything but flat-out saying that the month is generous as an exclamation more than a phrase really directed at a person?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Becoming less modest

A bit over a year ago, I was wearing only long sleeved pants or long skirts, absolutely nothing that showed leg skin and rarely anything shorter than my elbow and I hardly showed any neck, often had a scarf covering the whole neck. I had a few tops and pants that were slim fit that I was phasing out. 


Then I got pregnant. I didn't have the money or motivation to get a new wardrobe for pregnancy so I went with things that were comfy and cheap like Old Navy clothing that was on clearance or sale or things given to me that I just worked with even if it wasn't ideal. I also became hot so easily while pregnant so I got myself a knee covering length jersey skirt to try that I ended up loving. I got 2 more colours. I started wearing other things in that length. This combined with tops my cousin gave me that had a lower neck that I was used to change my level of modesty of dress.  

A typical outfit was a skirt just below the knee with a large minidress that worked as a shirt covering my bump. Then the birth and winter came along and I wasn't quite able to wear most of my old clothes yet so I wore the maternity shirts which were quite loose on me, making me show more skin than normal.

And now, I decided to continue wearing knee-length skirts and recently went to a lake not with my regular semi-islamic bathing suit but with just above the knee pants and a regular 1-piece bathing suit underneath (basically showing more skin than  regular tank top). And I was perfectly comfortable! It wasn't a packed beach but there was another couple families there and meh - it was just fine.

I guess I've gotten less strict with my own way of dressing over the past year, little by little. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Belief in God vs Non-Belief in God

As a former atheist, I don't see a big difference between people who believe in God and people who believe there is no God. As far as I'm concerned, they both have good reasons to believe in what they do and neither can be proven right or wrong. People from both groups can behave in very similar ways and believe in very similar ways! When the belief is mild and not very thought out, an atheist and a theist believe in practically the same things and usually get along well together. When the belief is solid and very thought out, the same thing happens to both groups in that they both feel superior to the others and have no respect for what the others believe. There are crazies in both groups who make close to no sense except in their own minds and the minds of others like them who just look idiotic to the regular onlooker. Blind and deluded is what they are in both groups.

So really, in the same way that I wish Muslims could unite (Shias, Sunnis, Sufis, etc) and put aside differences to focus on the similarities. In the same way that I wish we could find unity with Christians and Jews. In the same way that I wish we could find unity with Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Bahais, those following native American traditions, etc, I wish we could find unity with atheists.

I separate myself from religious extremists (hate the term, but I feel the need to use it) and I separate myself from atheist extremists. I don't want to have too much to do with people who are not able to have a bit of understanding and respect for others but it has nothing to do with the actual religion or belief. I love atheists! So many of them believe in the same things I do. Generosity, hospitality, kindness, compassion, love. Are against greed, corruption, hatred, inequality. Anyone who believes in those things has my respect.

Is anyone with me?

Respect based on values we believe in and actions, not on labels we put on each other?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Come see what's in my first Glossybox!

I just received my first Glossybox today. Actually, my first "beauty box" ever! This is a subscription (which can be cancelled at any time) where you receive a box every month containing samples and full sized products.


Come see what's in it at my other blog, Mirror Image: A Beauty-Full Blog ;)  Or just come visit my other blog for all sorts of other posts going on over there with reviews of products and some fashion stuff, etc. THANKS!




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

30 Things Day 22 - Where do I see myself in...

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?


In 5 years, I see myself finishing up (or maybe being halfway through) my bachelors of education and teaching certificate which I hope to start in the next couple or few years. I can't even imagine where we'll be living during this time since there is no university in my city... The family might be planning on moving to Egypt temporarily at this time if the situation becomes stable and at least a little hopeful for us job-wise. Of course, we can't know, but insha'Allah this will happen for them and moving there can happen for us. 


In 10 years, I see myself working full time as a teacher at my old elementary school (which Nora is starting in September and Adam would be attending in 10 years). I hope that by then we would have our own house. 


In 15 years, I imagine me and my husband definitely having our own house which we intend to live in for a long time. We would have hopefully sent Nora to university by then and Adam would be finishing up high school. Our couple's life would have a new beginning in about 15 years. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Prepare for your death"

I find it weird when people say that we should prepare for our deaths or prepare for the next life. I don't see it like that at all. I mostly think of it as wanting to follow what is right because it is what is best for us. Not only best for our next life, but best for us now too.


I admit that I'm not coming from the point of view of someone who has gone through incredibly difficult life moments and where doing what I believed is best ripped me apart and caused me suffering. Quite the opposite. My choices have brought me peace and satisfaction for the most part. 

Often I see people, mostly women, doing things that they believe is right and good, thinking of the afterlife as a motivation to keep going and going while they suffer... and I just feel that it's all so *wrong*. That if they were actually doing what they should be doing that they'd have more satisfaction in life than this and that their suffering would lessen. Normally it's something to do with their relationship with their husband like an abusive man or a man who has more than just them as wives, just to let you know the type of situation I have in mind when I say what I'm saying. 

It just seems to me like if a person has to think of this life as a test of suffering, they are missing out on what God wants for them and has allowed for them. 

There *are* difficult moments, I believe, even for a person who is doing all the right things. It's ups and downs for everyone and some have more downs than others, but to the point of needing to keep the afterlife a motivation to do good day in, day out... I feel like it's the wrong motivation and we shouldn't have to keep that in mind to make the right decisions.

Anyone have thoughts on this?


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dream I've been having

I could basically just re-write what I wrote HERE.

Seriously, this dream about my husband marrying a second wife just won't get lost! It always happens when he's neglecting us... Like a couple days ago, he played his game all night and it bothered me the whole night, knowing that he promised he would take care of the kids so I could sleep in for one of the first times since Adam's birth and that he would not be honouring his promise because of his gaming.

Last time I guess it was the store who was the second wife and this time it's back to being his games. I'm a bit sick and tired of being dream-cheated on.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

God's Mercy, 3rd post





I got inspired by this link so much. It goes into detail about the amazing phrase bismillah ir-rahman ir-raheem. Continuing on from my other two posts (first one, and second one) about rahman and raheem I want to share this: 
Such repetition is a joyful celebration of this Divine attribute, much the same as saying "The One who is the Supreme Loving-Kindness, oh such Loving-Kindness" 
from  this link.

To summarize the three posts:

1) rahman shows us that God's mercy is inseparable from Himself and that He is the source of the mercy, as well as describing the intensity of the mercy God has for us.
2) rahim is about the effect of this mercy, the action of it being given as well as the continuity of it
3) if we combine the two words together, we amplify the meaning and feeling of grace and mercy contained and poured onto us continually.

Help Name my New Blog!


I need a better name for my beauty blog. I am not very imaginative and I can only come up with very descriptive blog titles (like the current title, Candice and Beauty). I need something with a bit more flare, but something that keeps the meaning that the blog is related to beauty (beauty boxes, skin care, product reviews, bit of fashion). 

Please suggest titles!! Anything that you can think of!!

Brainstorm! (Thanks you guys)



EDIT EDIT EDIT          UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE


Here is the new look of my blog and my chosen (for now) blog title.

Mirror Image: A Beauty-Full Blog

Parenting: I need a break

I'm suffering from an "ecoeurantite aigue" which means something like "sick-and-tired syndrome". I'm having a lot of trouble tolerating my daughter these days and it doesn't make me feel good (obviously).

She's quite a "spirited" child which means that she's intense in everything she feels and does. She's intense in expressing her joys, her love, her excitement, she's intense in the energy she has in any situation. She's also intense in her frustrations and in her reactions to everything. Combining her with the baby who is with me literally 24/7, I'm a little tired.

It's too bad for Nora because really, Adam is the one making me need time off since he's the one with me all the time while she goes to daycare for a few hours each week day, but because she's the one with the intense attitudes, she's the one who bugs me. She's mostly just the final drops that make the glass overflow, not most of what is contained in the glass, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I need to calm down and find a way to start over and get my patience and energy back because I'm just doing the zombie lately. The angry zombie.

My parenting strategy for this situation will be to try and make some sort of drastic (short-term) change in my routine to feel like I've started over. I may have to ditch blogging and Facebook for a day or two and force myself to take a nap during the day. As well, seeing a friend and hanging out would be nice for everyone and would probably spark me into better parenting. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feeling a bit Hopeless

I'm realizing how bad people are. I might even use the word evil (or at least evil tendencies). All these bad intentions to deceive... the pure greed! It just disgusts me and I'm noticing it more and more. I've written before about how naive I was, always trusting and seeing the best in people. I don't want to lose that, but I'm finding myself seeing the negative more often and more easily and I'm finding my faith in people being a bit torn apart. In certain situations I now assume that the person has bad intentions.

I don't want to make this about my husband because he is not a bad person but he has contributed to my new "assume they're deceptive" way. For example, yesterday there was a big wait at the resto we were ordering from so I told him to just cancel the order and that we'd find somewhere else to eat. He then told me that they could have it ready in  30 minutes so we went with that. I didn't believe him. It was actually 40 minutes and he lied that small amount to manipulate me into saying that we'd keep the order with this resto. For every tiny thing like this, I now always assume he's manipulating the truth (lying, basically). So almost every day, I assume my own husband is lying to me - and I'm usually right. Sometimes he isn't flat-out lying, he's just making promises without making any real intention to keep true to it, but that's just one small step away from a flat-out lie.

The people who are making me really angry though are the greedy. Greedy has got to be the worst thing a person can be. Recently I think of Facebook. They were making full of cash with the ads that are all over the place but they are trying to make more (and more and more). They are trying to cash in on mobile users since there are no ads for those using the app. They are trying to make pages pay to get their statuses to their followers! I just feel disgusted at the amount of greed here... Can't a company be doing well and just leave it that way? Why the need to maximize and bring it to another level (of greed) always?

What about appliances and cars that have such a shorter life expectancy than they used to? I'm convinced that they could be built to last us a lot longer but out of greed they have been built to break so that consumers need to buy buy buy to replace these things more often. And companies with their out-to-screw-you guarantees! Here in Quebec, the law itself guarantees reasonable use for price on everything. If you buy a TV with no guarantee with the company and it breaks after 3 years, they have to give you another equivalent one because it should be lasting a lot longer than that - even without a guarantee with the company. BUT the companies don't inform us of this and try to sell us what the law already covers! Or else they inform you but tell you that you'll need to go to court so you might as well buy the extra guarantee. Basically this way they're telling you that they will not respect the law and they will force you to sue them to get the guarantee applied, so you should give them extra money to make sure they actually apply the guarantee. CROOKS!

What about companies filing for bankruptcy only to open again under another name?! I know a club in my city does this every couple years because they get caught with minors time and time again. They knowingly let minors enter and consume alcohol so they can have more profit and then they close and re-open to do the same thing again.

UGH is all I have to say.

It does make me understand religion better. When I believed mostly everyone was good I didn't "get" religion much. Why was it necessary? I also felt a lot more negatively towards the idea that some people would be punished but now I'm starting to understand things differently. I guess it's a comfort to believe that there will ultimately be justice and that every decision we make that helps us stay away from bad things can never be wrong.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

30 Things Day 21 - Superpower

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?


If I could have a superpower, it would be flying. Just to have that sensation and be able to feel the peace of being away from the world. I think it would help think more clearly. 

God's Mercy, another aspect


As I have previously written, we could learn for hours and hours and never get the full meaning of this amazing and beautiful phrase (bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim). Here is another aspect we can consider about ir-rahman, ir-rahim.

The note from The Message of the Qur'an which is Muhammad Asad's translation:

"The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibnal-Qayyim (as quoted in Manar I,48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahim expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation - in other words, an aspect of His activity."

He translates the phrase as:


In the name of God, most gracious, the dispenser of grace.


See also my first post on God's mercy and the third post on God's mercy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

God's Mercy: Multiply Intensity with Continuity


I swear, hours and hours of contemplating this phrase and learning what I can about it and I still learn more.

I was watching a small course and the way he explained "ar-rahman ir-rahim" was like this:

  • ar-rahman describes the intensity of Allah's mercy 
  • ir-rahim describes the continuity of Allah's mercy

Allah is not only extremely merciful, this mercy is as well endless.

One possible translation:
In the name of Allah, the most intensely merciful, whose mercy is without end.


See also: Next post about God's mercy and third post about God's mercy.

Fasting and Breastfeeding an 8 month old

not a picture of me

If my baby was under 6 months, I would most definitely not even attempt to fast because it's obvious that fasting will have an effect on my milk production and maybe even quality if I don't manage to eat enough during the few hours of the night. It would have been a no brainer.

But at 8.5-9.5 months, Adam will hopefully be eating a decent amount of solid food even though my milk will still be the main nutrition for him. So it's still an issue.

And on top of that (second issue), my delicate body will definitely have trouble tolerating fasting. I normally eat multiple small meals during the day, drinking regularly, but while breastfeeding, it is a MUST for me or I get nauseous and dizzy. I always eat every 4 hours or more often. I have breakfast the minute I wake up, a second breakfast around 9-10am, lunch just before noon, small snack in the afternoon, supper around 6 and after that a snack before bed though this last one I'm able to skip without feeling ill since I'm just going to bed anyways. Yesterday I was out with my husband late and I was really very nauseous and dizzy at 10pm or so and felt better instantly after taking a few bites of food. I once nearly passed out at Wal-Mart but probably managed to save myself by just opening something off the shelf and eating. lol (I paid for it afterwards of course)

Anyway, I was planning on trying to fast and just breaking my fast if I needed to. If I felt close to passing out or felt unable to care for my baby, then it would be an obligation for me to break the fast anyway - Islam is not here to destroy my life and health or my baby's. BUT I'm realizing that my husband doesn't support me trying to fast and will my weak will, I don't know that I will even end up trying without his support. He figures I have a valid reason to not fast and that I should use it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things We Tell Ourselves

I see Muslims going through difficult struggles telling themselves sometimes that God tests them for their own good and to help them grow in faith, etc. Almost like it's a blessing.

And that non-Muslims who are going through a perfectly easy life are getting benefits in this life before the Hell they will endure in the afterlife.

What about Muslims who are not dealing with huge struggles? Or non-Muslims suffering?

I believe in ultimate and complete justice for everyone so I do believe that difficulties people have dealt with and ease that people have lived in will count towards something. I definitely feel like this life is not fair if taken alone and because of my deep belief in ultimate justice, I can't *not* believe in some sort of afterlife where everyone gets what they deserve. But it sort of bugs me when I hear Muslims saying that non-Muslims are happy and not going through difficulties because God has allowed them this mercy before they go to Hell.

What do you think?

30 Things Day 20 - Childhood Memories

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.


1) I remember believing that my teddy bear had some special magical powers and would help things come true for me. Sort of like how a child might think about God, but for me it was my teddy bear since I was pretty much an atheist until I became Muslim. 


2) I can remember the pride my parents had at coming to school for parent-teacher day because they knew they'd be getting nothing else than good news about my behaviour and achievements. They always talk proudly about both me and my brother and always have.


3) This is from pre-teendom or maybe early teens. My mom and dad came to tell me that they are always there for me, whatever situation I might be in. Even if I'm drunk, even if I took drugs, even if I'm out of town... That I should never ever hitch hike and that my safety was the most important of all. And that if I wanted to try something like pot, to let them know and they'd get some from a trusted source and I could do that with them. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

30 Things Day 19 - Where I Would Live

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?


I'm perfectly happy where I am and I wouldn't sacrifice living close to family for any place in the world. Egypt is the obvious choice because we would be close to the other side of the family which is worth something and I LOVE Egypt and LONG FOR Egypt. If I could have the whole family, both sides, together anywhere in the world, it still probably wouldn't be here or there but I simply haven't thought of where. 

I like the idea of a place that has a Muslim majority to make things easier for me in Islam. I also like the idea of the place having Arabic as a first language since it's one of the family's languages. I also like the idea of being in Europe where a lot of countries are easily reached unlike here in Canada where USA is the only country we can easily reach. Even the opposite side of Canada is hard and expensive to get to! Putting all that together and you get no country. lol

Candice has started a beauty blog!

Well, I decided that the beauty part of this blog was just too off topic and also that it deserved its own space, so I've started a new blog called Candice and Beauty! Visit me and subscribe if you're interested! Thanks you guys!

http://candiceandbeauty.blogspot.ca/

PS: To clarify, only beauty posts will go to that blog and posts about my personal life and parenting and of course Islam will stay here. This is still my main blog for anything I feel like saying.

Friday, June 15, 2012

30 Things Day 18 - Forgive

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?


I guess that would have to be what my husband didn't do for us the first 3 years that he was here in Quebec. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

30 Things Day 17 - Being Great

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?


I wish I was great at public speaking and being persuasive and convincing. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30 Things Day 16 - Accomplishments

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?


1) Giving birth to my children.
2) Raising my children. So far I have accomplished raising a girl who is now a well-rounded and well-adjusted 5 year old. Happy, kind, confident, imaginative, generous, affectionate. She is also healthy and will eat anything. She loves to take a bath. She is modest and feminine all the while getting dirty and being active as any kid (more, actually). My son is healthy and happy and generally thriving. I'm proud of having breastfed my daughter past 2 years and to still be breastfeeding my son. I'm proud of how close me and the kids are. 
3) Making it to 6.5 years of marriage (where we're at now)
4) Getting over body image issues
5) Getting female athlete of the year in elementary school and getting player of the week (or maybe month) the first week (or month) of being in the high school team for the whole school board. lol

30 Things Day 15 - As an Animal

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?


I'd like to be a whale maybe. Just swimming peacefully all the time, no stress and fear of predators. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Excited but Scared

This is how I feel with Ramadan fast approaching. Excited but scared.

That's a step up from when people started to talk about the month approaching; I was just scared that time.

I have never successfully fasted the whole month of Ramadan and I wasn't even close actually. Last year I was pregnant and didn't try and I don't feel bad about it but the other years, I do. I didn't have the willingness I guess. I think I've grown spiritually and I feel like I might be able to do it this year finally. Things are in my favour like being off work. I won't have to pretend to drink or hide my fasting. I'll also be able to take a nap during the day if the baby is cooperating. It's still going to be hard with the days being so long and having to fulfill the exhausting job of taking care of a baby.

Do you know what made me start to feel excited? When someone posted about waking up for suhour. It surprised even me that something like that would make me excited because I hate waking up and I hate napping because it means having to wake up an additional time in my day, but there's something about suhour that's so peaceful and serene. It's something special to the month that I have a good feeling about :)


God, please give me the strength to fast successfully the blessed month of Ramadan this year and allow me to gain the blessings and rewards that come with it. Ameen.

Healthy Eating


I'm into healthy eating but anyone who knows me (in real or through the blog) knows that I'm not a person of extremes. I am a very gradual person and over time, I've included different things to my family's diet.

  • I don't keep any unhealthy dessert at home; it's a treat when I buy it. This has kicked me in the butt financially quite a few times because it makes me go out to the ice cream place or to buy a couple donuts which costs as much as a week's worth of stuff I'd keep at home if not more! Still, the consumption of this junk is down. 
  • I don't ban juice, but I buy it on rare occaisions only.
  • I always have a variety of fruits available for our sweet tooth.
  • I'm not turning us vegetarian in one day. BUT, I cut our meat consumption in half.
  • I'm not putting the family on a raw foods diet, BUT I'm cooking less and less of our food (vegetables especially) and have not had a hot side in about a week. Only a variety of raw veggies. 
  • I'm not going gluten-free right now, BUT, I'm making changes that include less foods full of gluten and giving more gluten-free options a try in order to be able to make an easier transition when the time comes (if the time comes)


I have written about some of my goals before, but here goes:

  • First, I hope to at least keep up with what I've started in the past few months as a minimum.
  • I would like to have the meat we eat be exclusively organic and halal. 
  • I would like the fruits and vegetables we eat be either locally grown OR organic
  • I would like to have us go gluten-free
And what would be important to my success is if my husband was on board with this. He's not against eating what I've been making, but he needs portions that go against the idea of healthy eating and he adds extra salt and fat a lot of the time, and the ratio of veggies to other is "off". He also supplements my food with a lot of fast food. At least my daughter likes it and has no complaints. She's a good eater, not very difficult and open to trying different things. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm so torn about coming out of the closet

I'm really torn about this issue. On some days, I really don't want anyone to know I'm Muslim. On other days, I feel the need to say it out loud.

Not wanting to tell anyone:

- they wouldn't understand what I actually believe and they wouldn't be able to get the information because what is out there is mostly the traditional sunni Muslim beliefs and that's not me.
- it would upset my parents
- it would cause gossip in the family
- it would cause gossip at work
- I don't want to deal with questions about my faith
- I go through periods where I'd be literally embarrassed to be considered a Muslim, based on what Muslims are doing or have done and the publicity those idiots get
- people here detest religion and that includes people I'm close to
- people here don't respect other people who believe in God (lots of them detest organized religion to the point of being atheists)
((Isn't it idiotic of me to not want to tell people because they wouldn't understand while at the same time not wanting to explain what I believe? They'll never understand that way, will they?))


Wanting to tell people:

- I go through moments of pride that I'm a Muslim, even to the point that I'd be proud to be associated to the Muslims in the community who are for the most part more traditional and do not believe exactly like I do
- I feel like I need to let go of what others think of me to grow spiritually
- I want to go to the next level in my religion and this might be it
- I need freedom to achieve the closeness to God that I desire, not this persistent worrying
((my last three are close to the same thing))

BASICALLY: I feel that I need to stop caring what others think about me in order to grow as a person. And with religion, I need to stop caring what others will think so that I can grow spiritually. Announcing my religion might not be the only way to make progress on this so I feel better tonight about my decision to stay a closeted Muslim but I definitely want to find other ways that I can be who I am.

*Thanks for letting me type this out* :D

30 Things Day 14 - Strengths

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.


1) I'm pretty well-rounded in my abilities. I've got a decent amount of good sense in most aspects of life, I'm pretty good at any sport I try, I'm able to connect emotionally a decent amount, I'm able to learn what I want to learn without too much difficulty.


2) I could accomplish anything for my kids.


3) I feel strongly about fairness, justice, equality and am willing to sacrifice for my principles. 


4) I'm pretty good at putting myself in the shoes of others to understand what they're going through.


5) I can type pretty fast. 




Wow, I'd have an easier time coming up with an additional 10 weaknesses than I did doing this list.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Incorporating islamic phrases

A loose English translation of bismillah with my main idea of God drawn out



I don't think it's essential for a Muslim to throw in all sorts of Arabic in their day to day talk... But I do think it's recommended to use certain islamic phrases or at least have their meaning in the back of our heads.

With a lot of time I've started to develop the habit of using some of them, mostly while writing since we write slower than we speak and I've started to think them when I'm speaking to people. 

Masha'Allah is my most automatic lately especially when I see a baby and compliment it (though it could be when I compliment anything) and I have also started thinking alhamdulilah when someone or I sneeze. I also feel the need to greet people with salam and I do especially in written form. 

Hopefully with time I'll be using these out loud and I will be able to incorporate the two most important ones, insha'Allah and bismillah... There's some work to be done but I do have a bit of progress with insha'Allah though it's definitely not an automatic yet. 


30 Things Day 13 - Weaknesses

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.


1) My main weakness is my anger towards my husband. I just can't keep it in check sometimes.

2) Gossip/idle talk. I hate this, but I have this attraction towards drama sometimes and I also talk too much about nothingness.

3) Certain foods. I'm lucky to have a body that doesn't give me all sorts of crazy signals. I normally have appetite and cravings for good foods, but when I have a craving for something unhealthy, I easily succumb. I'm not very strong-willed about this stuff. 


4) Dealing with emotional situations. I don't know what to do when someone is crying or going through a rough time. I feel the need to avoid the person or the situation... For example I was on my way out from my company after going quick quick to bring a girl a book I borrowed (I'm on mat leave so I have no business staying long) and I saw the woman who miscarried the night before and she was crying at her desk... I just ran right out. I still don't know what I should've done.


5) Caring for the home. I let laundry pile up and I make food last minute and I don't pass the weed-wacker on the lawn, etc. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

30 Things Day 12 - A Typical Day

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.


Not too interesting... Bit of me time in the morning since the baby is relaxed when he wakes up and Nora continues to sleep. When she wakes up she has a pill to take 30 minutes before eating and I normally use these minutes to take a shower while she watches Adam since he's not very difficult in the morning. 

I sometimes do grocery shopping after bringing Nora to daycare... On weekdays I like to watch an opinion show at 10am and I like to have lunch while watching Sarah Richardson sometime between 11am and noon. 

Any day that it's nice out, we go out to walk if I'm only with the baby or we go out for a walk to the park to play if I'm with Nora. Could be a picnic or something like that. 

I go to my parents' about half the days, sometimes in the morning only with the baby, sometimes after I get Nora to daycare. Sometimes I have supper there and stay until 7-8pm or sometimes I leave before the meal... It kind of depends more on my husband's schedule. When the store closes and whether or not he has to leave for work at 6pm (since he works nights). 

If my husband is there in the evening, we eat together around 7pm because he's always at least 1h late and watch The Nanny. It's no use trying to bring a "family supper" habit with him around because if he's not watching TV while he eats, he's reading stuff on his phone (this applies to the restaurant too) or reading Mickey kids magazines from Egypt. And that won't change - I've tried. He can't even control himself while at the table at my parents' house.

I then prepare Nora for bed with a bath or shower and a story (I'm trying to be more consistent with the daily story because it gets left out a lot) and I put Adam to sleep as well. Sometimes it means a bit of time for myself, sometimes time with the husband, sometimes I'm just too tired and I go to bed. 

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