Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Batter Up

I have admittedly taken a very passive role in my own life up until now.

In dating I have definately avoided pursuing. A little because I'm an old fashioned romantic, with silly girl notions of being swept off my feet. A lot more to do with self-esteem issues. In fact, I would rarely even start a crush without some evidence (using the word loosely) he might like me back (conveniently forgetting how fickle 'like' was in my school years).
Same with what you could call my career. With the exception of one promotion back in my telemarketing days, I have not really pursued advancement or getting a better job, once I already had a job. My Human Resources position, they approached me to move up from Supervisor. My switch to Payroll was also offered to me due to circumstances in HR at the time, and my second attempt at Payroll, I was pursued by a third party agency even though I wasn't entirely sure I was looking for something different. And my job at Golder, a co-worker of my husband asked if he knew anyone qualified, he gave her my resume, and the rest is history.
The same has happened with our house, we never had to house hunt, the opportunity landed in our laps, as did our first car. This has been a blessing in many ways, one we have not taken for granted, however it has all of a sudden hit me that what has seemed 'meant to be' may be just be second best because I have been a bystander. I have a life I have been living but I have not been living my life.
I realized this due to the message on prayer we had at Church recently. Before that message I felt I was praying for God's will, that I would be happy to fulfill his purpose for my life. I kept asking for Him to give me my purpose, wondering why He is waiting so long to reveal it to me. But now I see that it's just another example of me sitting on the sidelines, waiting for life to happen to me. But my paradigm is changing. God isn't the kind of boss who just wants to tell you what to do and have you do it, He wants us to be a team with Him, participating in developing the purpose He has for us, working with Him to figure out the best way to do that. He wants to be our mentor, sharing the ways He can help us reach our goals. I wonder how much closer I would be now to fulfilling my purpose if I hadn't been the hesitant, unconfident bystander I've been. It's still a bit of a foreign concept to me, but there is no use in being unconfident, doubting you can live up to your purpose, because we were created to be successful in our purpose.
"Life is not a spectator sport", finally, this point has hit home with me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

70s, 80s, & 90s

I was tagged by Pam to do this....

10 years ago today (1997):
I had just recently moved away from Langside Street, one of the worst areas of Winnipeg at that time, much to the relief of those who cared about me. I also just recently started a part time job at Black's Photography in Polo Park shopping center, which I loved, renenwing my passion for photography. I learned a lot about the new high tech camera just coming out at that time, called the digital camera. They were huge and only had about 256 kb of memory. Through a co-worker of my boyfriend at the time we purchased two Siamese kittens, Sony and China and I fell in love with the Siamese breed, going on to eventually breed them myself, and I still own one to this day.

20 years ago today (1987):
I just started grade 5 at my still fairly new school, as only 7 months earlier we had moved to Steinbach from Edmonton. I was learning a lot about being in a small town, like being new made you popular, but once the new wore off so did the popularity. I was vainly attempting to do what I could to stay popular this year but to no avail, which now I am very grateful for. Even though I didn't get to fully enjoy the amenities of a big city, after all I was only 10, I did miss a few things like the huge wave pool we took swimming lessons at, West Edmonton Mall, and just the overall sense of busyiness and opportunity the city had. Of course, that was greatly compensated by being amongst a close knit family and cousins for the first time ever. Other than on visits, we had never had holidays with more than just us 5 around the table. It was really nice to feel like I belonged to something bigger than myself.

30 years ago today (1977)
I was an almost 3 month old baby who had already lived in Winnipeg and Calgary. I was probably hugely relieved that my first winter would be in the Shinook country of Calgary instead of Winterpeg. I was the first born and son-hopeful, my first toys were a tow truck and a car. I was lucky not to be a boy, my name would have been Lowell Douglas. Someone gave me a hand-made crocheted baby blanket that is white and peach that I still have today, in order to pass on to any future children we may have, but right now it is on loan to my two adorable neices.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Clean Sweep - Mennonite Edition

Well, all my ranting inspired me to search the internet for all the ideas I could find on organization for small spaces. There were tons of great ideas and organizing tools, unfortunetly most were at a cost. We're still paying off our new garage and don't exactly have the budget but the great thing is I can still start with the small things/costs and start making a difference in each room a little at a time. I'm actually quite pumped about the potential in my home now!

I've started with the dining room and guest room, I will be moving my crafts into the guest room and reducing the "guest" part of that room. For now we are storing the bed at my parents until we have a place with a 3rd bedroom, and eventually I will put one of our futons up there, so we can still host guests, but only once I have new storage chairs to replace the futon in the living room.
Seeing as I don't have a lot of surface space in my house I needed some for my new craft room, and my current desk is ideal, but that meant getting a new desk for the dining room/office. My first cost : ( Luckily there was a small unexpected amount of money left over from a utility bill that wasn't as high as we thought, and paired with my allowance I was able to afford a computer armoire! I found this brilliant idea in my organizing research and realized it was the perfect solution to an office in a dining room. I searched for one of these online but the costs were high, not to mention the shipping costs were almost 1/3 of the price of the desk! I lucked out and found this piece and we're picking it up Sunday! I am so excited. Not only is it a great deal but our dining room will soon have 1/3 more room! I'd like to get one to replace Sean's desk too....when we have the money.
The last thing that we can do, at little or no cost, is reduce our clothes and the space that holds our clothes. We have to use the guest room as a closet because our closets are 3 ft wide and 1 ft deep, on a slanting ceiling. I want to get that out of the guest room but that means making room in the Master bedroom. I've been weeding my clothes about once a year, but Sean has a big weeding to do, and hopefully soon. There are some drawers I don't think he's opened since we've moved in. After thinning the quantity, I'm going to re-evaluate how we can use the space better. Such as, I haven't been filling drawers all the way in order to keep like things seperated. Between those two things I think we can get rid of a dresser. Then the space that dresser was using can be used for the closet organizer we've had in the other room. And once I clean out the closet of a little storage, the rest of what's hanging on the organizer can go in our closet. If that is not enough, I think I will purchase some cheap storage bins to fit under our bed for our out of season clothes and then we will rotate our clothes according to the season.

So, folks, that is how with less than $300 I managed to give myself 1/3 more space in my dining room, still maintain the possibility of a guest room, feel more comfortable inviting guests over (for lack of clutter), actually get to eat at my dining room table, and feel good about donating clothes to charity. Stay tuned for more Clean Sweep - Mennonite style (that means cheaply)!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is Dr. McDreamy taking patients?

I know I’m not the most political minded person out there, even with Healthcare being a big issue these last few years, I’ve never put much thought into our system, figuring, at least it’s better than our southern neighbors and many other countries. But now, that I’m not a spring chicken anymore, it’s beginning to weigh on my mind.

For the first few years of adulthood, when I finally had the responsibility of taking care of myself, I didn’t do a very good job. *Wry smile* Big surprise. Healthcare was just one of those “ignorance is bliss” situations. I am not really sure what I was afraid of not being ignorant about, but at that time in my life, staying ignorant was my convenient copout. It only took me about 3 years to start caring (medically speaking) and I realized it was scarier not to know, but by the time I actually wanted to get a doctor, it was next to impossible. I had one briefly at the Health Science Center but one time they said she was no longer there, they could not find my file and so I hadn’t been assigned to a new doctor either. So began my years as a walk-in patient. I tried calling around to different doctors but they all said they were not taking any new patients or they needed a letter from my previous doctor. Well that was an impossible task since my last regular doctor up and disappeared with my file, and the one before that was in Steinbach when I was 17 years old. I was frustrated but I figured, that’s just the system.

I lucked out a few years ago when my parent’s doctor moved to Winnipeg and agreed to take me on as a patient. The only thing he wouldn’t handle was pregnancies but he said he would refer me to someone if and when that time came. I thought I was set until he retired. But now I am not so sure. My first issue is that it takes 3 months to make an appointment for my yearly exam, I called in August I get one in November. I realize that there is a shortage of family doctors in Manitoba, so ok, but recently some issues have come up that I had planned to talk to him about, certain issues that are time sensitive, and so I was frustrated it was going to take 3 months to even begin to look into them, never mind be tested, and if my suspicions are right, get referred to specialists. Now I’ve just been told my doctor decided to just take a few months off and hand off his appointments to a ‘substitute’ doctor who isn’t even full time so she can’t take on the appointment when I had it, I have to wait until December. Now I am really unimpressed! With a shortage of family doctors, to just decide with no notice that you are going to take months off! I realize emergencies do happen, maybe that is the case, they didn’t say, but if it is not, my quality of life has just been lowered so he can have a vacation.

So do I bother looking for another doctor? First I’ll probably need a letter, which I can’t get until Doc is back. Second, will that improve the wait times? Will I just have to wait another 3-4 months from the time they accept me as a patient to get an appointment? I’m finding it hard to know what to do. I can’t help but feel bad when I think of all the people who are much worse off than me, medically speaking, and how much harder this must be for them. But in the mean time I still have to live my life, live with my concerns.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Molehill or Mountain

In theory, I love the idea of being a minimalist. I think trying to do with the basics is an honorable goal, leading a simpler life takes the focus away from us and frees up our time for what God wants for us. I don't need to keep up with the Jones', we're fine with one vehicle, we don't need the huge home theater, or most up to date computers, and I think more than sufficient space would be around 2000 sq ft (including basement). Right now our home is just over 1000 sq ft with no basement. It should be enough for two people, but when one of those people is a 'collector' it is challenging.
The trouble is I was born of two pack rats. I have this need to collect! First, there is the 'just in case' collecting - don't throw that out just in case I need it or can make it useful. I am getting this obession a little more under control. I will go through things every few years and if I haven't needed it or thought of how to make it useful, I will get rid of it. Sean thinks this should be more often than every few years, but that is all I'm comfortable with at this point. He is a REAL minimalist.
Then there is my 'it makes me feel good' collecting. My 'feel good' collecting is what really makes 1000 sq ft inadequate. For example, I have our spare bedroom as a guest room, and not just a bed thrown in a storage room but a pretty, homey guest room. I've collected a pretty bed and pretty decor because decorating makes me feel good, and having my guests feel 'at home' makes me feel good. Unfortunately, we've only had one guest stay in 2 years (others were invited, it just never worked out). Then there is all my crafting supplies and scrapbooks. I love creating and colorful crafts, but it also makes me feel good giving people personalized cards and making memories more than just a photo. Unfortunately, our dining room already also functions as an office with a computer for each of us, a little bit of storage and then ALL my craft stuff. It's an unattractive, cluttered mess. Then there's the kitchen. I really do love to cook and bake, and not only so I can eat the feel good food, but it also makes me feel good to be able to create food for other people to enjoy as well. I have collected so many fun appliances (even an Icecream Maker!) back when I had a big kitchen but now I don't even have room for my crock pot, my collection of toys is just collecting dust in a closet. I even had to turn down a free dishwasher because there is absolutely no room! I would love to host a dinner party, another feel good activity I haven't done in about 3 years because of my cluttered and cramped home.
So, would being a minimalist solve my problems? Does being a minimalist mean I give up on my 'feel good' activities? I just don't think that's a sacrifice I want to make. I also don't think God would want me to sacrifice my creativity and hospitality, things I believe He uses, just for the sake of simplicity. Of course buying a new house is not very appealing either, not in our market at the moment. Maybe I just need Clean Sweep! They always have amazing furniture that hides everything away and have terrific organizational skills. Anyone want to nominate me???

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

in HIS hands

So I was trying to come up with a title for my blog and the song "He's got the whole world in His hands" popped into my head. I thought it was a strange correlation, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. My blog is intended to be about my life, all about me, my relationships, my job, maybe another 'meme' about my favorite purchases. I will most likely talk about my past, my present, my future. And all of that is "in His hands". How very deep, hey? I think God was trying to dive a little deeper with this thought though.

I often struggle with personalizing my faith. I often see myself as being as part of His family rather than being His child. I apply my faith outwardly much more than I do inwardly. He's got the whole world in His hands.....and hey, what do you know, that includes me.

Funny as this sounds, it's something I've only recently begun to really realize. I mean, I know He has a purpose for my life, He has spoken to me, and listened to me, all very personal interactions, yet I still find myself thinking of myself as just one out of many. But lately I have found myself caught off guard at the emotions I have when a song during worship is personal, for example, singing lyrics like "I love You" or "He calls me friend". When the song, "He's got the whole world in His hands" popped in my head, it struck me in the same way, I am in His hands. It's hard to put into words the way that made me feel, mostly warm fuzzies, but also an uneasiness as I realized why I've had a hard time personaling my faith.

I don't feel all that worthy of being in His hands, all by myself. My head knows that as an individual I am undoubtedly important and special to God, it's in the Bible, Psalm 139 and Luke 12:7 are just some examples, and I trust God's word implicitly. Yet. This hasn't seemed to sink deep enough into my heart. While my self-esteem has taken many healthy steps in the last number of years, it would seem trust in my self worth still evades me. I still struggle with believing I am valuable to others, especially to the omnisient, omnipotent, almighty, and holy Creator of the universe. But He is also the Creator of me. And He holds His creation, each and every one of them, intimately, tenderly, securely, and lovingly in His hands.

And so through my ramblings here, I hope this blog sings:
He's got my job and my money in His hands
He's got my friends and my family in His hands
He's got my present and my future in His hands
He's got my whole life in His hands.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

About Me ~ Lori in*His*hands

Hello and welcome to Lori *in His hands*. I, of course, am Lori and here is a little about me.

I am a woman with many loves, my motto is "Love and Be Loved". I commit to the people and things I love passionately and whole-heartedly, I wear all my emotions on my sleeve and they spill honestly through my fingertips here.

The not-at-all-inclusive list of things you will see me write about here are;
~My faith in the one magnificent God, father of my redeemer Jesus Christ, and the truths he reveals to me in my walk with him.
~My tremendous husband who joined me in marriage March 1, 2003 on a blustery, blizzardy day, but he warms me through and through, and I love getting to share my life with him.
~My awesome family who I love so dearly, my mom and dad, my two sisters/dear friends, their husbands, my 2 nieces and 2 nephews, and 2 potential Ethiopian neices/nephews that have yet to be chosen. Also my husbands family, mom and dad-in-law, and the bro-in-law. And I also include in my family my closest friends, who sometimes happen to blood related, who are part of my treasured support team.
~My Church and my serving there.
~My work as an office administrator at an environmental consulting company and my family of co-workers who I really cherish.
~My health, a lot to do with weight struggles, but also a balance of overall health, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
~My love of children and my journey with infertility, although I do have a blog dedicated to that journey specifically, I do mention it here as well.
~My desire to learn and grow, especially learning how to be a good steward of my time, my money, my home, my gifts/talents, my relationships, and a good steward of His wonderful creation, our earth!
~My creative endevours, such as: crafting - especially greeting cards & scrapbooking, photography & digital photo design, poetry, writing, creative journalling, jewellry making, crochet, home decor/art, etc. I again have a blog dedicated to all things crafty :)
~My sense of humor - I love to laugh, I am actually known for my laugh, people say they know my laugh anywhere and when they remember me so many people say they remember my laugh.
~Other passions/fascinations I have are music-especially Country, cooking/food/eating, travel, tattoos, justice, reading, being exceptionally organized and meticulate, blog memes, and being a girly girl who doesn't mind getting dirty as long as she has the right shoes on!

Thank you for caring to learn a little more about me and why I blog! Feel free to become a follower of mine and join my wonderful blogger community :)

Once upon a blog

Welcome to my new blog home. I've moved to Blogger for a few reasons, Facebook being one of them....easy access due to my other Blogger sites......and I was going to recreate my blog anyway since Sean's participation was involuntary : ) So this is just my little patch of interweb space. Thanks for following me here and I hope to see many of you here 'in HIS hands'.
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