Begin with the end in mind…

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Our HE has been pretty informal this week. Lots of discussions. Lots of wildlife videos. We’ve had visits from friends and we’ve also been to see friends. I’m pretty much wacked at the moment and really need to start taking my vitamins! I can see some of you that know me, nodding your head away! lol

Anyway, a sister who is also home edding invited us around with two other sisters. I haven’t seen them since Z was born (which is almost 2 years ago now!) We used to attend an Arabic club in North London when we lived there and seeing these sisters again really brought back memories. It was so nice catching up with them. One of them made this wonderful cake, it and another beautiful cake that was brought to us when we had some friends over last week has really inspired me to start sorting out my baking! My cakes always turn out to be a disaster but I am determined. So, you might see some of my trials on the blog in the future. Mmmm…

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is my role as a mother and what  I do  for my children. I think every mother goes through that ‘guilt’ that we can’t shake off. We feel like we aren’t doing enough, that we are giving too much in one area and not enough in the other. And sometimes we can really beat ourselves up feeling guilty about everything that we are not doing for our kids without realising what it is that we are doing.

Last week, I did a lot of soul searching as a person which led me to contemplate about my life, my roles and particularly my kids. And so, I want to share a little exercise with you that I did that has really helped me put a lot into perspective especially regarding HE and I guess life in general.

Pick a quiet time, preferably when there aren’t any kids who can disturb you and take a piece of paper and a pen. Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the age of 80. Its Eid and you have your children (who are now adults) and your many grandchildren celebrating this joyous day with you. Can you see how much your children have grown! Wasn’t it only yesterday that they were 5, 7 or 10 years old and you were busy home educating them! Now your children’s children are the ones you read to. Your children and grandchildren have surprised you this Eid. Everyone enters into the room  you are sitting in and the room falls silent. Your eldest child stands up and makes an announcement:

“Ummi, we want you to know how special you are to us. We each have something we want to say about you, what we have learnt from you, how we have seen you as the years have gone by.” Each family member stands up, your children, your grandchildren, your sons and daughters in law, your neighbours, old friends, your husband. What do they say about you? What would you like them to say about you? Write it down. What kinds of feelings do you want your close ones to have about you? What lasting memories do you want to leave in their minds? How did you live your life?

Now, imagine that you are however many years old you are today: 20, 30, 40. You die, leaving behind your children at the ages that they are as I write this post. Your janazah takes place. What would your children say? What lasting memories would they have of you? How would you have left them behind? What will your neighbours,  your friends,  your sisters and your husband say about you?

This post is not supposed to be depressing. Rather, it should be thought provoking and make us begin with the end in mind and actually leave us feeling positive and motivated to make the changes we want and need to and appreciate what we truly have. I did this last week and by Allah it has made me see quite a few things differently. By beginning with the end in mind, I’ve realised what I REALLY want to achieve in this life as well as what this HE journey needs to be about for MY children.

Try it out if you want. Begin with the end in mind.

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12 responses »

  1. As salaam alaikum,

    The first thing that I thought about when I read this was that phrase, “Stop the insanity.” I know I am extremely hard on myself as it sounds like you are as well. May Allah help us to give ourselves a break and relax. Ameen.

    The cake is great btw. Was it chocolate inside too?

    • Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

      Not sure if I have read your comment as you intended it. But I don’t think contempation about life and the future is on the level of insanity. As Muslims, are we not encouraged to contemplate about the akhirah (the next life)? To live in the dunya with the ‘end’ (the next life) in mind? I can understand what you mean by giving ourselves a break, but to be honest, I think sometimes we really need to think about what is important and just get on with it and act on it. So that we will not be one of those who regret – be it in the dunya or the next life. Allah knows best.

      The cake was normal sponge inside with a layer of chocolate ‘something’ lol between the two layers. So it wasn’t too rich – just right mashaAllah.

  2. salams

    my friend, who has kids 5 and 2, was widowed this week ‘suddenly’. ur blog hit the spot. it’s not something unlikely to happen. it just happened too close to home:(

    • Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

      SubhanAllah sis! May Allah make it very easy for her. These are the ages of my children now – really does make you think…

  3. assalamu alaikum
    jazak allah kheir sister,i agree with what you say.i love this reminder masha’allah,it really made me think.

  4. Asalamu Alecum sister some of your posts do bring a tear to my eye but probably because I know you. I do often wonder what would my daughters say about me if I was gone. You know I lost my first baby and they said I could have lost my life too Alhamdulliah I am here for my daughters who I had afterwards well life really is previous and better to be the best mothers we can now.

    Lovely cake and post it has left me in deep thought. It is reality so shouldnt be depressing. Jazak Allah Kairan sister I enjoy reading your blog so much.

    • Walaikum assalam sis. How are you? You’ve been through a lot subhanAllah, but you’ve come out of it strong mashaAllah and your girls are beautiful mashaAllah tabarakAllah.

  5. Asalamu Alecum sister Alhamdulliah I am fine. And Alhamdulliah for my daughters. Mash Allah sister I love reading your updates you are an inspiration to me with lovely ideas.xxxxx

  6. SubhanAllah. Thank you so much fo the reminder. I didn’t find it depressing at all, however it does serve as a wake up call for how short I’ve been falling.

    Very timely indeed.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • I have found that what is important is not to ‘wallow’ in that feeling of feeling short, but to become proactive and do something about it. Time is so precious isn’t it sis? We have to get up and basically get on with it. I hope that came across in my post inshaAllah.

  7. Assalamu Alaykum Sister

    May Allah(swt) reward you for the words of advice and your effort.

    BTW was this inspired from the ‘7 Habits’** by any chance :-)… Even it wasn’t I would recommend all to watch some of the vids on this site and maybe readup on the habits too. If anything at all… it gives a good mental structure on how things need to be addressed and in what order.

    Most practising Muslims(esp sisters I guess) insAllah would have all these habits(& more) already in place but its always a good reminder.

    ** http://tinyurl.com/yzrwyym

    • Ws wr wb

      Yup sis, I have been reading that book. Excellent book in my humble opinion. A definite recommendation to all. Some Muslims are of the opinon that we can’t read books written by non-muslims or take their advice. I strongly agree. In fact, a sheikh I respect spoke very highly of this book and said that it fits in with Islam in many ways!

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