For far too long we have internalized other people’s voices of who we should be, how we should be. What we should and shouldn’t do. We do things based on those voices and believe them even though we may hate it. We have forgotten our own compass of what we want and how we see the world. We have forgotten the most important voice of all, ours. Too often we are not true to ourselves, our unique nature, our tender hearts. We may be too afraid because we’ve used others’ voices even to guide us. But as scary and alone as it may feel, we have to find our own untainted voice once again. We have to find it and honor it. Imagine the possibilities. 

Earlier this year, I had my baby shower and decided for it to be a small and intimate gathering. It was lots of fun planning the whole thing and seeing my friends and family enjoy the activities. Listed below are a few design ideas and baby shower activities (with an Islamic twist) I chose. Enjoy!

Since the baby shower was in a cold winter month, I figured it would be best to go with a winter theme. At the time the baby’s gender was not known so the color scheme was white and gold, with aqua accents.

I bought most of the items seen below from the clearance section at Target. They had a huge sale after Christmas that really helped me cut costs. I had the cake and cupcakes made from a nearby bakery (cake topper from HBSouthernInspired shop on Etsy!), Ferrero Rocher for the candy jar and teacups, and a talented family member made delicious chocolate covered strawberries. Baby’s breath flowers were the perfect flowers to decorate the table with considering it is for a baby shower!

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This Ramadan was very memorable to me because I went through many tests and trials. I also saw much of my family go through their own struggles as well. I realized I need to turn to Allah and seek His help in hopes that He will answer my duaa. Making duaa for something you need at that moment requires a ton of patience. It’s a test in and of itself to wait for His answer. Sometimes that answer may be in the next life for you, or that answer may be in the form of something good brought to you during another situation you need help in. The key is knowing and believing that your Lord is there for you, and that He is always there to listen to your worries and troubles. He is always there to help you. That should suffice in helping keep you patient in this life. Something else that truly helps is making tahajjud prayer in Ramadan. The nights are so short, so this is to our advantage that it is made easier for us to wake up and pray to our Lord and make duaa for what you want and need in life. Allah is listening to you. This ramadan was so memorable because even though I was tested, making duaa during the blessed month turned out to be very fruitful. I was able to see the benefit in all of these tests that were given to me and my family. I was able to internalize the struggle and be grateful that Allah brought me through it. Be patient, because it truly pays off, for Allah is always with you.

I’ve noticed something as I’ve gotten older. People sometimes shun the idea of being gentle. Having a tender heart that feels is something not typically viewed as strong or brave. It’s as though not feeling much with your heart and being able to go through life mastering this is more stronger and helpful in the long run. That’s the idea anyway. But when it plays out in reality, a lack of gentle emotions and gentle behavior tends to create more troubles. People can’t relate to someone who is rigid in manner and behavior. They can acknowledge and work with it but they can’t relate and get to the core. Because we connect with our hearts. And if we have locked up our heart then we have locked up that ability to connect. Maybe there is good reason why it’s locked up. But it’s time to open it. Especially when it comes to humans and children in general. Showing them our gentle emotions and allowing them to feel their gentle emotions lets them work through it to be more capable of handling them when they come again. It’s a healthy way for them to be able to understand something they don’t understand much of. And it’s something that heals relationships. Just being gentle and removing the sarcasm and jokes from your outer layer. Even though it can make you vulnerable to pain when someone else doesn’t view it as strong or makes fun of it, that’s actually only because their heart isn’t yet gentle. Maybe after seeing you gentle they may change. Whatever the case, you are responsible for you and your heart is meant to feel softly. And you have to start by being kind and gentle to yourself. Forgive yourself and start new.

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