Faith Friday: Why Isn't God on My Side?

Friday, May 30, 2014

'How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be' by Jack Canfield

I have always been an avid reader - thanks to my parents who instilled a love for reading in me by buying me books as birthday presents as a child.  From the moment I could read, books have been my staple soul food. I'm also a soul-searcher and I know my soul searching brothers and sisters can relate when I say this: books are our go-to source for solace and solutions. Self-help books, especially. When I was studying at varsity I had no time for non-academic books so I relished in my newfound freedom when I came back to Malaysia two years ago. I've read and collected various inspiring and resourceful self-help books about achieving inner peace, passion and success in life.

Here's why. 

I know I'm fortunate in many ways, alhamdulillah, but I'm not here to pretend my life is perfect. Setbacks? I've come across aplenty. Self-doubt? All the time, baby. Fear? It seems like the older I get the more of it I seem to have. Disappointments? Boy, I can't even...  So much so, I've asked, "Why isn't God on my side?".

The Power of a Woman's Love: My Inspiration for Life, Love and Learning

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Over the years I've been through some changes; a shift of priorities, a myriad of awakenings and a lifestyle overhaul. None of this has been easy on me. For every blessing there will be a trial and for every hardship there will be great hikma (wisdom) and triumph. I've drawn strength and inspiration from all my experiences and I'm slowly growing wiser, becoming more balanced and feeling more comfortable in my skin.

A Dedication to Teachers: The First Grader

Friday, May 16, 2014

I wrote this film review on the 5th of December 2011 but I never published it because I felt my words could not adequately express how much The First Grader moved me. In conjunction with Teacher's Day, I'd like to publish this review in hopes that it will inspire someone to watch the movie. It's available for free here. I think I'll re-watch movie again tonight and this time I'll have tissues prepared. Happy Teacher's Day to all dedicated teachers out there. Everyday should be Teacher's Day. S

If an 84 year old man were to tell you that he wanted to be a first grade student and attend school for the first time in his life, how would you react? Would you take him seriously or would you laugh at the idea of an old man learning alongside seven year olds?

Before you think of it as a crazy idea you should know that a primary school teacher in Kenya once faced this situation and a film was created out of this story - The First Grader.


You may or may not be aware of my latest project but if you're not this is the perfect time for me to tell you about it. I have launched my online boutique ShaElaiza Galleria TODAY! Yes, after months of planning and hard work this day has finally arrived. Alhamdulillah. We are on Facebook and Instagram as well.

I decided to launch mainly with the Eid/Hari Raya collection. Feel free to browse what I have curated for you. Yes, we do deliver internationally. InshaAllah. Here is a preview of our Eid/Hari Raya collection:

VIDEO & BLOG POST: Mantanani Island Holiday (Part I)

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ahhh... Mantanani Island. 

I hesitated to write about this trip for a long time because a) I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do justice to the island's beauty, b) I believe the precious moments we spend with our loved ones are sacred and it's not necessary for us to share them with everyone. But I also believe that there's a story to be told here. A story about living your life with gratitude and an open heart. A story about neglect, being oblivious to our blessings and what our future could look like if we don't prioritise education. This is how the story begins.

(Please note none of the photos in this post have been digitally enhanced.)

WWW: Sarah Pahman the Social Worker

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sarah believes work/life balance is one of the keys to a successful career as a social worker. 

Wonder Women at Work (WWW) is a series of interviews with women who aspire to make a difference through their roles and occupations. The aim of this series is to provide a personal insight into positions held by women in various fields of work to inspire young women to pursue meaningful careers and livelihoods. The goal is to also encourage girls and women to push social and cultural boundaries by exploring roles and jobs they believe can solve problems that are important to them.

This week's post features Sarah Pahman, an initial assessment social worker from Wisconsin, America. She is a licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker.  I "met" Sarah through our blogs many years ago and I have always admired her grit and positive attitude. You know the song "Brave" by Sara Bareilles? It reminds me of her. To add to her awesomeness, Sarah holds a Bachelors degree in social welfare, a Masters degree in social work and she is also a fitness aficionado.

What do you do?
I am an Initial Assessment Social Worker for my county government. The unit I work in is called Child Protection. My job is to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect within my county. I have 60 days to do my investigation and make a decision based on the information I gather. Sometimes we find that the allegations are false and we close the case. Sometimes we find that the family is in imminent threat of being neglectful or abusive and services need to be involved in order to educate the family and make sure the child is safe in their home.

Other times the abuse or neglect is a present danger and the child needs to be removed from the home immediately in order to protect their safety. When this happens we try to place the child with a protective family member, and if that is not achievable we place the child in a foster home. We have very strict laws and policies we have to follow when we do our investigations and make our decisions.