Monday, March 13, 2017

Blessings and Challenges—Carolyn R. Wilker

This past week our youngest daughter gave birth to a baby boy, the first boy in four grandchildren for my husband and me. The baby appears healthy, and his parents are doing well, if only a little tired from being up at night for feedings and learning the care of a new baby, their first child. To be sure, there is much to learn, from breast feeding, and keeping him comfortable to his overall care. My daughter was glad for a spare arm the third night home so that she could attend to another important matter. During the time I was there, her husband announced his need for a nap, for he has been as attentive to the baby’s care as our daughter. It was good to see that. They’d celebrate a little along the way, first with grandparents and then with individual family members, those closest to them. Other visits, they determined, would wait awhile until they’d settled in to life with their firstborn. They were grateful, as well, for a dinner they didn't have to prepare for the next evening.

Holding my new grandson

The night before our grandchild's birth, was the scheduled Toastmasters Area 62 speech contest night. After winning my club contest in the International Speech contest, the first place competitor goes on to compete against other Toastmaster club members in our area. I didn’t know as I prepared for that evening whether I’d go in with anticipation of the baby’s birth or the news of the birth. Either way my daughter and son-in-law said I should go ahead and compete that evening. It turned out baby wasn’t quite ready to make his appearance that night and so I went with anticipation. At the end of the night, coming in second, fellow club members congratulated me on my speech. To one of them I said, “Three times a charm?” Maybe not quite a charm, but I had done my best yet in stiff competition. Fellow Energetics club member, Scott, won his contest in the Evaluation Speech that same night, and he goes on to the division level and my worthy competitor goes on too. Much preparation and practice goes into such a contest to know the speech well and to deliver it well. As well, no small amount of healthy anticipation and sweat.

Second place is still good

Also this past week, our book group celebrated the printing of Good Grief People that we'd been working on since last spring. We held the book in our hands, and revelled in its completion over coffee/tea and a bit of lunch at a coffee shop at a point midway from our homes. We addressed the launch that we’d booked for a date in early May, and other ways we’d promote the book to our potential readers. As challenging as it was to write our stories and dig deeper to the emotional level, we hope it will be a blessing to those who grieve and feel alone. We’d poured ourselves into the writing, critiquing and editing as well as proofreading, and the publisher/writer sweat a few buckets in the formatting of the manuscript until finally all was well and the book went to print. And so that meeting was a celebration of  all the the work as well as preparing for the next step.

celebrating the book's completion, minus one author for whom we're raising our cup, or a thumbs-up

our book

Three significant times this week, I said, “Thank you” to God, for the safe delivery of our grandson, for the culmination of the contest and performing well, and for the completed book. For all three, there was thankfulness and blessings, and for all three were challenges. We know that God is with us in the challenges as well as the celebrations, and it’s important to acknowledge that God goes with us, if not before us, each of those times. Again, “Thank you,  God.”

Carolyn R. Wilker, author and editor


CarolEH said...

Thank you for sharing these three instances of gratitude with reminders to always be grateful. I am also a Toastmaster and have competed multiple times in the contests - always a challenge and with varying results. Each time I learned things about myself and speaking or evaluating. Lessons learned are great things to thank God for - some lessons learned come easier than others. Congratulation on the arrival of the book too.

David Kitz said...

Congratulations, Carolyn! So good news comes in threes! I rejoice with you.

Peter Black said...

Congratulations from me too, Carolyn! All are well deserved. May the blessing of the Lord rest on your family's new grandbaby addition. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Carol, you're right on about competing. We always learn something if we're open to it. After my club contest, I revamped my speech and had to relearn it before the contest. It was more work, but the speech flowed better and I was told it had more impact. Thanks for responding.

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thank you, David. This time the good news certainly did come in threes. We can also have single instances and those are good too. I welcome those too. :)

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Hello Peter. Thank you for your kind comments as usual. I got to hold my grandson again tonight when I went there to drop off a few things my daughter needed.

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