Judith and the Fleeting Feelings

She always had high hopes and expectations for what she wanted her life to look like. But the reality did not match up.

She was feeling particularly flustered after hearing some bad news from a family member. She was also stressed about her finances. There were many problems at work.

For years, she had vowed to always remain positive. As much as she could. She thought that once she got to a particular age or a particular position in her job, she would be happy and settled.

However, she was realising that it was not that simple. Happiness was very fleeting. She could be happy about one thing but ten minutes later, if one little inconvenience occurred, she could feel completely different.

She realised her mood and temperament was based on fluctuating changes in her life. She had no control over these and when they came, she was really affected by them.

What was the way to combat this, she wondered. Was there a way of achieving true inner peace?

Dear you,

2020 came and went. It was a really difficult year for many and we looked ahead to 2021 with hope.

However, as most of us will have realised, just because the calendar year has changed doesn’t necessarily mean our lives have changed.

The issues and frustrations of 2020 have carried onto this year. There’s been more change and uncertainty.

It’s very easy to get discouraged and lose hope when we are easily affected by what goes on around us.

When we hear the news or about certain things, it’s natural to have an emotional response. But the problem comes when we dwell on these things and let it control our lives.

Problems and frustrations are always going to be part of life. We can spend a lot of time wishing this wasn’t the case. We can ignore problems and distract ourselves with other things. However, this usually makes things worse.

When you have true inner peace, your life is anchored and grounded. You aren’t constantly tossed about by the waves of life.

How do I achieve that, you may be wondering.

There is no simple and straightforward answer to that. It is a lifelong journey of learning more about ourselves and the world. For me, it is my faith that helps.

When we learn to accept our circumstances and be grateful for what we have, life gets a lot easier to handle.

So if there’s a lot going on right now which is affecting you adversely, please be assured that these circumstances will pass too.

Thank you for reading. And don’t forget, spread your smile 😊

Short story publication

I’m delighted to announce that a short story of mine has been published in an anthology!

This is available in paperback at:

And also available as an E-book at:

This is a crime story which I really enjoyed writing. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and believed in my writing 🙂

Judith and the Harrowing Hunger

Judith was eating her dinner. She was laughing and cringing at the reality show she was watching. She knew it was mindless chatter but she secretly enjoyed it.

The screen flipped onto the adverts. Suddenly, things changed. The advert was about poverty and world hunger. Even as Judith tried to look away, she was stunned by the images of malnourished children. The images stirred something inside her.

Usually, when such adverts came on, she changed the channel. She couldn’t bear to look at such suffering right there in front of her in her living room. She imagined poverty as something that was a problem very far away from her.

The details for the charity flashed across the screen. Judith had a decision to make.

Would she change the channel? Would she completely ignore the advert and carry on indulging in her TV show? Or would she actually take the initiative to do something?

She glanced over at her kitchen. She had a fridge stacked with food. Her cupboards and drawers were overfilling with snacks. She had a variety of drinks on her counter.

The child in front of her eyes had none of these things.

The decision was clear. Judith noted down the details of the charity and decided to do what she could to help. Doing something was better than doing nothing. Every small step counted. 

Dear you,

There’s so many things out there that we know are happening but don’t think about enough. One such thing is world hunger.

It is saddening to think there are millions of people who do not have enough food whilst others have way too much which goes to waste.

Mary’s Meals is a wonderful charity who feed children in need. This is so vital as they can focus on their education.

Double the Love scheme means that the government will double the amount the charity receives till January 31st. This is incredible and means your donation will be having double the impact.

£8 is all it takes to feed a child for an entire school year. Mary’s meals are now feeding over 1.5million children in 19 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America. The COVID19 pandemic has exacerbated hunger levels throughout the world and every small or big donations has the potential to change this.

I know 2020 has been a difficult year but there are so many out there who are struggling more than us.

We are holding a quiz on 24th January, 6-8pm. A quiz ticket costs £4 with a raffle ticket included. Extra raffle tickets are £1.50 each and there’s some nice personalised prizes.

Even if you can’t attend the quiz, any amount you donate would be really appreciated.

Here is the donation link – https://bit.ly/3mC1SgD

Please e-mail reviveyouth2020@gmail for any further info. You can follow us on Instagram at @reviveyouth.

I hope you’re able to contribute to our fundraiser in some way.

Thank you for reading. And don’t forget, spread your smile 😊

Judith and a Considerate Christmas

Judith had a lot to do. She was doing her Christmas shopping. She had so many things to buy for so many people.

Firstly, for her friends. Then family. Then neighbours. Then work colleagues.

Also, she needed to buy a new Christmas tree, decorations including tinsel, baubles, fairy lights. Her front garden and back garden both needed decorations. And so did all the rooms in her house.

She needed to get food organised. She had to stock up the freezer. She had to buy all the ingredients she was planning to cook with.

Basically, she had a lot to do.

However, people around her kept stopping her progress.

Some carol singers. People asking for money. Fellow shoppers.

She was trying to exit the store she was in but the people in front of her were not moving. Judith was immediately impatient and frustrated.

She sighed loudly and tried to make it obvious that she was waiting for them to move. But nothing happened.

Finally, she just strode up to them and said loudly, ‘Excuse me, can you move?’

A flustered looking young woman mumbled, ‘I’m sorry. It’s my mum. She’s blind and she gets confused with her dementia. I’m telling her we need to leave but she won’t listen to me’.

The old lady alongside her looked confused and afraid.

Judith felt an immense sense of guilt and shame. There she was, thinking only of herself and everything she had to do. But there were many more people around her, who had problems, who needed consideration and kindness.

She reflected on how she had made the Christmas preparations all about herself when it needed to be about so much more. She needed to think of others and make this season of joy truly about giving.

Dear you,

It is very easy to get absorbed in our own lives and our own seemingly endless problems.

We become so self-absorbed that we forget other people’s needs.

The truth is, everyone has problems. Everyone is going through difficult things even if it may not seem like that on the outside.

“If we all threw our problems into a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back”.

This quote emphasises how we don’t see or understand the extent of other people’s problems.

One thing is for certain – everyone needs compassion and kindness.

When preparing for the festive season, there may be a lot of demands placed upon us. There’s a lot to do. But we have to pause and think, what is my intention behind all this?

If we are merely doing it for ourselves, is that enough? Is that enough to be fulfilled and satisfied?

I believe the answer is no.

I hope this festive season, as we approach the end of what has been a difficult year for many, we think more about others and less about ourselves.

Thank you for reading. And don’t forget, spread your smile 😊

Judith and the Perils of People Pleasing

Judith was tired. Extremely tired.

It had been a long week. Even though it was now the weekend, she still had plenty to do. They were mainly running errands for other people, helping them with things and checking up on friends and family.

She loved helping people, it was so rewarding and it gave her a thrill. However, she had to admit that she was a people pleaser. She wanted to please everyone and sometimes, this was at the detriment of her own health and well-being.

Judith was shaken awake by the phone trilling. She had fallen asleep on the sofa without meaning to. She picked up the phone, her head still fuzzy. It was her mother.

‘Hi, how are you? What are you doing?’

‘Nothing much’, Judith mumbled.

‘Were you sleeping? You sound groggy’.

‘Yeah.. Well, I wasn’t meant to be.. I fell asleep on the sofa’.

‘Are you not sleeping properly? Are you eating properly?’

‘I’m fine, I’m fine’.

‘Judith, you need to take care of yourself first. If you’re not well, you can’t look after yourself and you can’t look after others’.

Judith realised that this was very true. It was just what she needed to hear.

She realised she needed to make more time to rest and take care of herself.

Dear you,

Our culture glorifies being busy. We are expected to be productive and achieving things constantly.

We also have a lot of demands placed on us by the people around us. We naturally want to help others.

However, as the scenario above illustrates, we need to take care of ourselves first before we can even begin to do anything else.

A lot of people get overworked and burnt out. This is especially common in the coming holiday season. There seems to be an insurmountable amount of things to get done. But remember, you can only do one thing at a time. It’s all about taking small steps.

I hope you’re able to take some time to take care of yourself even amidst your busy life. This could be tending to your physical, mental, spiritual needs. It really is a very valuable and essential practice to undertake.

Thank you for reading. And don’t forget, spread your smile 😊

Judith and the Fluctuating Future

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Judith stared at the question on the screen. It was a common one in interviews, in reflections and even from her relatives sometimes.

When she was younger, it had seemed like a very exciting question. Five years seemed like a long time. The prospect of being older, more independent and more successful was exhilarating.

But as she had grown older and somewhat wiser, she had realised how futile planning really was.

This was particularly hard for her to accept as she loved planning things. She relished making to – do lists and countdowns and planning events. She liked to look forward to things and record them in her diary, planner and calendar.

In life, a certain amount of planning was certainly essential. Otherwise, Judith wouldn’t have enough food in the fridge. She wouldn’t make it to any of her appointments. She wouldn’t even know the direction she was driving.

However, she had come to realise the hard way, through experience after experience that there were a lot of things you simply cannot plan for. Life always had surprises and curveballs.

This was especially true of long term plans. Even with all her planning and organisational abilities, she could not possibly anticipate everything that lay ahead.

Thus the question in front of her was impossible to answer accurately. She saw herself doing and being a lot of things in five years’ time. Those things were uncertain. What was certain was that her life would not go as she planned. And she would have to accept that was okay.

Dear you,

Plans. We all make them.

But they rarely work out the way we imagine.

This can be disheartening especially in a year such as this. There have been numerous plans which have had to be curtailed due to the pandemic. We are still in a stage where things are uncertain which makes planning very precarious.

However, there is always a positive.

And the positive we can take away is the realisation and acceptance that things do NOT go according to plan.

Life goes on. And it is our attitude to the change in plans which affects things. If we are constantly bemoaning the way things ‘could’ have been, if we are always fantasising about ‘what if’ scenarios, then life can become very tedious.

On the other hand, let us appreciate what is going on in our lives right now. Just because our plans haven’t worked out, doesn’t mean we need to get despondent.

Life is full of experiences, encounters, opportunities. You may even realise that things work out in ways that are a lot better than the plans you initially made!

Thank you for reading. And don’t forget, spread your smile 😊

Judith and the Pursuit of Peace

Everyone seemed to want to attain world peace. Judith was no different. But having peace even as an individual or a family was difficult enough.

As a teenager, she had passionately advocated many causes. She thoroughly believed she could change the world and nothing would stand in her way.

As the years went by, she realised how naïve she had been. She had good intentions but putting them into practice in this world was a struggle.

Nevertheless, she still felt moved by the atrocities in the world. A certain incident had taken place recently. She was at a family gathering and there were different opinions on it.

‘But it’s their fault..’

‘No, it’s that group of people…’

‘Oh, they’re always like that..’

These were some of the things she was hearing. She realised that people were quick to place blame. People were certainly quick to judge. But that didn’t help. In fact, any resentment on our behalf just adds to the hate fuelled actions of others.

Dear you,

Just like Judith, I had a very idealistic view of the world when I was younger. Maybe you did too.

Sadly, we quickly realise that the world is far from ideal. Recently, there have been a spate of attacks which have been truly horrendous to read about.

There are so many things wrong with the world and we can rightly feel indignant. But part of reality is accepting that there are a lot of things we cannot control in this world.

There is one thing you can be sure of changing – yourself. Your attitudes, opinions, perspectives. The way we handle things and look at things makes a lot of difference.

Instead of arguing about whose fault things are, we can think of ways to help overcome unfair prejudices.

We can be more empathetic and compassionate. And if we all adopt that approach, world peace becomes a more achievable goal that we can strive towards together.

Thank you for reading. And don’t forget, spread your smile 😊

Forgiveness devotionals

Recently, I have written a set of devotionals about the theme of forgiveness. There are six and the links are as follows:

https://myjourneyoffaith.com/what-does-jesus-say/
https://myjourneyoffaith.com/parable-of-the-unmerciful-servant/
https://myjourneyoffaith.com/house-of-sinners/
https://myjourneyoffaith.com/caught-in-adultery/
https://myjourneyoffaith.com/sins-are-forgiven/
https://myjourneyoffaith.com/they-know-not-what-they-do/

There is also a bit about myself and my faith journey which can be found at https://myjourneyoffaith.com/steffi-siby-3/

Please do have a look and feel free to share 🙂