Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Dreams

Dreams (the aspiration kind) have been on my mind lately. Evaluating mine, hearing about other people's, I realize I have had quite a few 'big dreams' over the years. I come from a dreamin' schemin' dad who's passed on the entrepreneurial dream to me.  Other than motherhood, here are just some of the few I have had over the years, some I still wouldn't mind if they came to fruition :)

~Designing and staging interiors of new homes, a lil' family venture my sisters and I fancied teaming up together for one day.  I've been decorating 'my space', whatever shape or form that's taken, since at least the age of 14-15, and even took some correspondence courses in Interior Design in my early 20s.  Then, when my brother-in-law was involved in building new homes, he and Tami were going to be living in one, and when they were decorating their home, Tami, Jodi and I went to some stores for some decorating brainstorming and boy did we really feed well off of each other's ideas.  Tami had expressed interest in continuing helping design/stage the other show homes being built and we verbally dreamed of doing it together.  Sigh...that would have been so much fun if it had worked out that way!

~ Photography, although this has been a dream for about 20 years or so, and I've taken photography courses, worked in a photo lab, it seems it just won't grow past the 'personal hobby' stage.  I love capturing couples, kids, nature and architecture especially, and I was honored to take engagement pictures for both my sisters, as well as take our yearly family portrait for several years. However it is a pretty expensive hobby to try and turn into something more, and the market here in Manitoba seems to already be saturated with photographers.  I am personally friends with at least 4 semi-professional photographers :) In the last 7 years or so however, this dream has transformed a little into doing something digitally with my photographs, I have been loving photo manipulation, touching up, and other digital enhancements. I'm still trying my hand at different things I could do to create an original photo art of my very own!

~Financial Counsellor, as I have realized over the years that not everyone has been blessed with being a student of budgeting since the age of 12 (thanks dad!), which, among other circumstances, has driven me to be quite diligent in my financial management.  14 years ago, going through a relationship with a very fiscally irresponsible person and unemployment, I started looking at ways to protect myself financially, and in my research thought it would be nice if there was an easier way to get that kind of help. Since then I have gone to a Willow Creek financial management seminar, researched many money-saving, debt reducing/preventing tips, but I also get that there are reasons behind money mis-management as well (I have had some of those reasons inflicted on me).  I informally counselled my sister when they were experiencing some really financial hard times and it felt so good to see them start finding a way out of the struggles.  I've always thought I could do this as a ministry for free in our Church, like a simple course or mentorship, because otherwise, getting this help can be an expense and people who NEED this kind of help DON'T need yet another expense.  I'm not sure, but might need a little more 'official' education on this before people take me seriously though.

~ Opening a book store/coffee shop....this one also seems to be a dream of many :)  But I love books, I used to spend hours in the library as a kid, and in McNally Robinson downtown as an adult.  I'm a fanatic of so many kinds of books, so many genres of fiction, self improvement, do-it-yourself, history, travel....etc., etc.! I could probably read 16/7 every day for the rest of my life and never run out of books that I would want to read, so being that I don't have the money to buy that many books, I often dreamed of either running a library (I played librarian as a kid, even putting sign out cards in all my books!) or owning a book store.  Now being married to a coffee aficionado, I've thought it would be so perfect if he ran the coffee shop nook in my book store....he with his 'free' coffee and me with my 'free' books....paradise :)

~ Running a Romance Resort, providing a place for couples to prioritize each other and their marriage, without breaking the bank.  Personally we've tried a few places to go revitalize our romance and although I have really liked some of the places we've been, I've always thought...'ooh, I would add that' or 'change that' just seemed there were some elements that were at some but not others and none had the 'complete package' I dreamed of.  So why not just build one of my own? I love the idea of transporting couples to an escape fantasy, theme rooms making them feel like they are far away from everyday hum drum (even if they are only an hour away), making complete seclusion available, making it unnecessary to leave their cabin, and providing as many resources for romance enhancement as possible.  No t.v. (maybe movies though), room service, a restaurant, a kitchen if that's what they prefer, a private pool, fireplace, shower for two (those are fun!), and the little things like candles, romantic music, etc.  AND, to give those who may be at a loss for ideas, a library :) of romance material, like books of conversation prompts, romantic date ideas, 50 gifts that cost under $5, stuff like that. I'd LOVE to go to a place like that!

~ My dream home.  I'd love to live off the land, in my own way of course, as I've mentioned here before.  Building our own home out in the country, growing and raising our own food, making most things from scratch, living as independent of the 'grid' as possible, living sustainably with less and at a slower pace, surrounded by loved ones and God's beloved creation.  Being cityfolk, we'd of course have some amenities, appliances would be nice, especially a dishwasher, and need that coffee maker if we don't own a coffee shop :) so that's what wind turbines and solar panels are for.  Hopefully 'living off the land' will be done so efficiently we won't really need typical careers for income and so we'd have time to spend on quality living and relationships. I am determined this big dream will come true one day!

~ Being a globe-trotter, not the basketball playing kind.  Besides the fact I don't have the money for this, I also have a husband not that keen on travel, so this really is a far fetched big dream, but I just love learning new things, I love experiencing different cultures, I love history, and each country has one all their own!  The landscapes, the architecture, the food, they almost all call to me, it's hard to even pick top 10 places I'd want to travel, I end up kinda lumping some countries the Mediterranean countries :)  If I could make a living out of travelling, someone please tell me how!

~ Becoming an author, my dream doesn't even require becoming a best-selling author, lol.  I've had stories floating around in my head since I was in elementary school, probably because of my highly imaginative day dreaming spells.  None have been long lasting, not long enough for me to get a whole story in writing anyway, but the subjects that capture me are ever evolving, so maybe I'll have to wait until one decides to be a more permanent resident of my mind before I'll be able to share it in confidence.  In the mean time, I love making truths come to life through short analogies here on my blog, I really feel blessed when one of my own parables resonates with someone.

~ Dog breeder, once I've picked a breed that is! I've fantasized this for years, especially when I wasn't allowed pets, and now both Sean I are addicted to puppies, but dogs grow up so how can we have a puppy all the breeding them :)  Might be able to do this on our hobby farm one day, where they can all run around and fertilize my garden, lol.  I've bred Siamese cats before and have learned a lot from the experience, like, don't breed anything in a one bedroom apartment :)  Seriously though, I've always wanted to be surrounded by animals, especially puppies, and what an adorable way to make a living!

And, of course, there is the dream of winning the lottery, so that all these can come true ;)  I know, I know...but that's another schemin' dream I inherited from my dad.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Laugh of the Day

It's been about time for a good laugh again, it really does release some of the pent up tension and stress from the week, and since I can't sleep for many more hours laughter will have to be the medicine I need! Thanks Pam for sharing this one, Cake Wrecks is hilarious!! Here's my favorite.

"According to a recent survey,* "Pop-Pop" is the number one nickname for adorable grandfathers. (Awww.)

Guess what number two is?"

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Truthful Thursday


Some people are a daily test of patience, and I'm really trying to not begrudge selfishness, and not return pettiness for pettiness, cover all sins with love, but considering this has been going on at least weekly, if not daily, for the last 12 months, I am very near that 77 times of forgiveness! This is a stronghold I just can't seem to master on my own, prayers would be greatly appreciated to help my need for more patience.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Along for the Ride

This song, along with a recent sermon on really understanding what we believe, and therefore how that results in our life, spurred some inner reflection about the depth of my own relationship with Jesus. 

Is he just a symbol for a faith I talk about but don't really walk out?  I think it's safe to say that for me, and most Christians I know, Jesus is much more than a figurine or a status symbol we where around our necks. When I first heard the song I loved that a 'secular' band was releasing it, what a great message, but I didn't really think it applied to me. He is much more than a charm or talisman, used to summon help and then to be done with when life is fine.  There is a definitely a two-way relationship that has been experienced, as intangible as it can sometimes seem, I can feel his presence in my life, his touch of love and comfort more real than any trinket I can physically hold.

Well, how about the view our pastor also touched on, that he is just a passenger, a buddy along for the ride?  This hits a little closer to home.  I know he is there with me, when I wake, when I lie down, when I sit and when I stand, he's the friend who truly is always there, a friend I can talk to in any moment, but too often I can get lost in a friendship that makes me feel like we're on an even playing field.  It's like going out to drive with my husband, I default to the driver's seat, we're equals, why shouldn't I be the one to drive? But if Jesus isn't in the driver's seat, he might as well just be the bobble-head on the dashboard.


It's no wonder it's challenging though, we don't have too many relationships with a 3-in-one-persons.  Is there any relationship you have where your need for friendship, parenting, counselling, is all met by one person? 

You may not be able to remember such a time, but at a very young age, it is very likely you did find all these a parent.  I watch my nieces with my sister and her husband, and they genuinely and thoroughly adore them, they love spending time with them, they share every good and bad experience with them, they are valued on the same level as their other friends.  They also look up to their parents, ask their advice, go to them with problems they want solved.  And yet they also are humble enough to recognize and trust their authority, they trust in their judgement, even if it is a stubborn capitulation, they do obey, they allow themselves to be shaped to their parents knowledge of right and wrong.  They also know their limits and when they have to rely on their parents.

A good example would be driving.  My nieces, age 4 and 5, humbly realize their driving skills do not equal that of their mom or dad's.  They don't pridefully demand to drive, they don't absent-mindedly default to climbing in the driver's seat, they aren't back seat driver's voicing their objections to the speed, the route, the destination, etc. This would seem utterly ridiculous to them, and if I even suggested they drive they would be wide eyed with terror, and then dissolve into giggles at the silliness of the notion.  No, what they do is trust. They may observe, they may ask questions, but they don't ever assume they could control the vehicle better than mom or dad.

Personally, I'm realizing I act more like I'm 15-16 years old, thinking I've matured enough be able to be in the driver's seat, too focused on my own desire/need for control/independence.  I am not so old I forget I am still quite dependent, but I want just enough independence that I can feel just a little more in control. But as I experience the harsh reality that control is pretty much an illusion, I finally gain some more spiritual maturity, a maturity that does not progress my independence, rather it takes me a step back. Into the back seat. I revert to the child buckled safely in the back, carefree in my complete trust in my Dad, content to just be along for the ride, happy to share his company and learn from him along the way.

"whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Musical Mondays

One of my 'new' favorite songs (actually heard it first last July) by one of my 'new' favorite groups (introduced to them early last year) and it touches on what's been talked about at Church lately, as well as my own thoughts rumbling through my brain recently....related post to come :)

Plastic Jesus
Bouncin' on the dashboard
Boppin' to the beat
To every bump in the road
Every hole in the street
Bought him at the Walmart
Got 'em on sale
The last one sittin' there dusty on the shelf
It's just a tiny figurine....
But are we missin' what it means....

We got crosses on our necks
Bibles in hand
When the sun comes out
We make our own plans
We pull him out when we need him
Put him back when we're done
Ain't no way to treat god's only son....
If we only wanna hear him
When his words will please us
Then we might as well be prayin' to a
Plastic Jesus

Ol' Miss Jackson
At the end of the block
She built her life
Upon that rock
Everyday of the week
She walks that walk
And when she goes to speak
The spirit talks
It does us some good to heed that warning
It ain't just about Sunday morning
Lord, knows we'd be better off
If we could just surrender all....

We got crosses on our necks
Bibles in hand
When the sun comes out
We make our own plans
We pull him out when we need him
Put him back when we're done
Ain't no way to treat god's only son....
If we only wanna hear him
When his words will please us
Then we might as well be prayin' to a
Plastic Jesus
                            ~High Valley

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Give me a leg to stand on

As long as I can remember I have had 3 primary passions that have driven me.  First, to love a spouse for the rest of my life, the second, to be a mother, the third, being creative. God and these three passions are the four cornerstones of my identity.  Now being that the first two, and sometimes the third, are not very lucrative I had to do what most of the rest of the world does, get a job that pays the bills. My life's plan went just like the rhyme,

first comes love
then comes marriage
then comes the baby in the baby carriage
then the stay at home mom has the time to develop her creative empire

You don't know that version? Hmmmm, that's how I remember it.

I supported myself very well until the age of 25 when I married my love. Then we shared the expense of building a life together that we wanted to bring a family into. I even held on to crappy jobs that paid well  (for awhile, my current well paying job is not crappy :) because I knew the maternity benefits would be worth it. And since we were waiting a little while for children anyway I wanted to make the most of our 2-person family = low expenses + high income. (check)
marriage (check)
baby ....finally started to work on that one at the beginning of 2006.

My passion for creativity smoldered on the backburner this whole time, patiently waiting for it's time. It had it's little flair ups, during brief moments of un-employment, when other commitments in my life weren't too hectic, and of course I always made time to create in my homes, playing interior decorator.  But as I, at first, waited patiently for a baby, I was able to wait patiently for my career as a creatist.

Up until 2 years ago I couldn't even conceive of a different future. But the waiting was taking it's toll, 2 out of 3 of my passions, my life's pursuits, my big dreams, my very nature, and way I believe I was designed to be, were just not coming to fruition. And without the one (children) I feel like the other one (paid creatist) is also out of reach. With a husband who hates 90% of his job we have too many financial commitments for both of us to start new careers, especially new careers that won't start at the wages we're making now. And considering I do enjoy my job, I do enjoy my co-workers, the work I do, my being fulfilled is less important than his being happy.

So that leaves trying to fit it in outside of work. The exact amount of time I have left in my day after work commitment, home commitment, health commitment, God commitment,  is 2-3 hrs on weekdays, 7-8 hours on weekend days, not including any socializing, and not including time in a small group which I'd really like to join this year.  Is that enough time to start building a creative business on the side, until it grows into something more viable? I don't think so, judging from how well my Stampin' Up! has been going (which was supposed to be 50% business, 50% hobby, now 20% business, 80% really expensive hobby).  And we all know how I burnt out when I tried to also fit in creative goals, homemaking goals, relationship goals, etc., above and beyond the basics, for a longer period of time. So, do I really think it's even good for me to commit all my extra time to this?

Now maybe that's just my impatience trying to find a way to make it happen on my own, now, but I am mostly feeling the alternative is putting another dream on hold, being unsure if anything will ever come of it. Appeasing my passion's appetite with tiny tastes of the creativity I so long to explore more deeply, serving only as an appetizer, making me all the more hungry for it. 

Just like my other big dream, I'm not sure I'm supposed to give up on this passion, just because it's not viable right now, after all, Crafting/Creating was one of my top 3 spiritual gifts. I know I was built with this talent, and drive to create, for a reason. But I'm teetering, with only two out of four 'legs' to stand on, my identity feels like it's no longer stable, like I'm not all that sure of who I am anymore. There are new passions budding, but none that have given me a firm foundation I feel I can stand on yet. All I can do is lean heavily on my foundation in Christ.....and wait.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Five - Connections

This week's Friday Five question theme is connections, romantic connections aren't the only relationships that have to be celebrated on Valentine's Day....I got Valentine's from my co-worker and my mom too! :) And since this particular questionnaire is regarding online connections (that would mean YOU gang!), a happy belated Valentine's to all of my bloggy friends! Hope you remember I appreciate you!!

1.Nowadays, just about everyone knows a couple who first met online. Among couples you know, who has the best story? I only know 2 couples who met online, one the guy moved all the way from England to marry her, and I think it's been about 12 years now, and they are still going strong.  12 years ago that was a fairly new thing and for them to still be married is cool.  The other couple I know just got married in fall, they are so perfect for each other but I also know they were very upfront and honest with each other from the get-go.

2.Who among your real-life acquaintances might you never have been friends with if you hadn’t gotten to know each other online first? Well, I guess 'real-life' would entail seeing these people in person, which would mean none of my bloggy friends, that I didn't know in person before, have become "real-life" friends. Although, they sure FEEL like REAL friends!

3.Of people you know online only, who would you most like to meet in real life?  Hmmm, that's a hard one. How about Shannon, I'd love to go to Nashville again, and maybe there will be another Dekker gathering that we can go to together :) :)

4.In the past 365 days, what’s the longest you’ve gone without connecting in any way to the Internet, including email? ZERO.  Even when out in the boonies of northern Saskatchewan, and even on my hiatus in the fall, I checked FB, email, and other people's blogs every day! Wow! I need another media fast!!

5.Who is the least-connected person you know in real life? Some of my aunts and uncles, I think that most of them at least have email but ony one aunt is on Facebook and I think she still reads my blog (Hey Aunty Mary!), but the rest of them are very much 'unplugged'.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Impatient Patient

So, last week I had a post relating the health of our body to our marital health, and at the time I was thinking I could totally take that analogy one step further, but my post was already very long, and since I had similar post to that rabbit trail already formulated into a partial post, I figured I'd just extend the conversation another day. Today is that day. :)

So part of my conclusion relating to why we choose replacing vs. repairing in our marital health had to do with impatience and lack of committment/loyalty, which can be applied to society's attitude in general. Commitment to just about everything these days is so short-sighted. Relationships, families, jobs, moral/value systems, etc. As I mentioned in my last post....If you can't fix it now, fix it all, fix it painlessly, (in other words, attain our idea of perfection) then just throw it away, cast it aside, kick it to the curb. On to the next thing.

And as I also mentioned, I am not the type to give in when the going gets tough, but I am a perfectionist who is impatient.  I do stuggle being in the pain of imperfection, and sometimes I wish I could just put myself in the body shop to have a complete overhaul.  I want to fix it all and as soon as possible.

Back to the hip replacement surgery analogy I used in my last post. My mom had to have many tests done to make sure her body was able to undergo this serious surgery. One of the tests related to the condition of her heart, if her heart wasn't healthy enough, they would not operate on her hip. The two really don't have much to do with one another, so why couldn't they operate on the hip despite the heart, or work on correcting both problems at the same time? The more areas in need of 'fixing' the harder it is for the body to regulate it's overall health, with pulling resources usually used in other areas of your body and concentrating them on the most crucial areas in need of repair, it would spread the resources too thin if they added the trauma of surgery while the heart was having issues, or to try to 'fix' both at once. God may choose to help us work on more than one area of our lives, because he knows our resources can handle these repairs, but without trusting him and heeding his expert advice, if we take our healing into our own hands, we could stretch our resources too thin and just be doing more damage to ourselves.

So is there a cure for this impatience? Get rid of our perfectionism for one.  As Christians we have a whole other level of perfectionism, being called to a higher standard and all.  Therefore I think we have a lot of unforgiveness for our own mistakes, driving us to be better, quicker. We just want to be in the zone, producing fruit, expanding the kingdom, etc., not wasting time with these frustrating and depressing strongholds. Somewhere along the line I think that translates into a lower tolerance for pain, we don't have the patience for pain, which means more time dealing with it and less time being in the zone.  And, in turn that can in fact lower our standards for ourselves.  We realize we experience less 'pain' if we don't fall from such high standards, and next thing we know we're blind to the plank in our eye (as we're still pointing out the specks in others' eyes).

I'm not saying we throw out high standards to avoid perfectionism, but I think we have to re-examine what God is really expecting of us.  Is he expecting us to be perfect? Of course not, he realizes we'll never attain that.  Why would he call us to something we can never succeed at? What does he want to accomplish by calling us to higher standards then?  He wants to us to try, because it is in the 'why we try' that we glorify him. And he wants us to glorify him in order to bring others to him, so that as many of us can enjoy an eternal life with him as possible.  Recently a sermon at Church talked about getting to the core of our beliefs, one example being the origin and reason for catacism which stated this particular question I found interesting, what is the chief end of man, the answer, to glorify God.


We don't glorify God by living a charmed existence, by prospering according to any standards. We glorify God by allowing ourselves to be refined by the fires of life, removing the impurities that build up from living in this world. He didn't create us to live in a bubble, preventing pain and suffering, for a reason.

We don't glorify God just by being 'fixed'. It isn't just the end result, what we are able to do because of the changes he has made in our lives, that brings him glory. We glorify him even more by being open and honest about our imperfections, being an example of a fallible human that demostrates trust in, and the healing touch of, the Great Physician.

I think of the people in the Bible, and those who brought the most glory to God. David comes to mind, who wrote all those praises, immortalized in songs that we still sing, and that still moves believers to this day.  David, who went out of his way to lust after a married woman, have an affair with her, then jeopardized lives to orchestrate the return of her husband from war, just so it was probable he fathered the child that David actually did, and then ended up killing her husband anyway.  Yet Romans uses David as an example of a man who was righteous, in his faithfulness.

We will have epic fails. We will fall prey to temptations that should be a no-brainer. We will hide from our own sins, we will commit worse sins to cover up our shame.  But do we have faith God can restore our health, and then willingly let him do so?

" the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness".

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Sean is not one who is easy to buy gifts for, he has mostly simple tastes and then usually buys those items as soon as he can, not leaving any opportunity to give them to him as a gift.  If I had the money, here's a few items I would get him that I know he would consider a ro-MAN-tic gift for valentine's day :)

 Since Sean, the homebody, would rather stay in than go out for a fancy dinner, and since I can't cook steak worth anything, we very rarely have steak. This Steak Toaster claims to grill the way professionals do, away from it's fat, and it would cook his steak exactly the way he likes no matter the thickness, without having to going outside to the BBQ, never mind out to a restaurant.
Again, since Sean prefers staying in we don't go out to play pool as often as we used to, one of his favorite past times.  He's always wanted a pool table in our home, but where is the room?!? Hiding a pool table under a nice dinner table would be the perfect solution.  Now if I could add pull out drawers for my crafty stuff (as my dining room table is where I end up doing most of my crafts) then we'd both win!

Now, if I really wanted to blow his socks off (and had the money, of course) I would surprise Sean with this baby, a new cherry red Camaro...oooh, pretties!

Wouldn't I win wife of the year then!

Unfortunately, I have to settle for something quite a bit smaller and cheaper, my plan is to ro-MAN-ce Sean with this PS3 game he's been drooling over.  Provided he doesn't lose patience and buy it himself, he's wanted it since Christmas!

That should at least get me a nomination :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fashion Friday

More cataloguing of some fav outfits, as well as a close up of some of the accomanying necklaces I love.

One of my fav blouses, such a forgiving yet flattering shape, I need a lot more of these! Paired it with my grey cargo pants, I also need more cargo pants, I love them.

And here is a close up of the necklace I'm wearing with it, also made by my co-worker's wife.

 I love this colour, although it doesn't come through well here, it is a muted wine colour, and finally a sweater that isn't so frumpy! Same brown cords.

And here is a close up of the necklace I'm wearing with it, which I made.

 This is one of my fav shades of green, even if it does wash me out a bit ;) and I love the half wrap/empire waist. You can just see the chartreuse lacey bottom of the camisole underneath.

 This is one of my new fav necklaces, I have a post in the works about where I got it.

This shirt is a really cute deal I got from Zellers going out of business on Henderson. I've always loved teal with deep red so I paired this top with my red cords.  Yes I have a lot of cords.
This is my Silpada silver pendant that I'm in love with because the insert is interchangeable! It came with 3 stones, but then I figured, I could use those stones to create inserts of my own, so I created this one with some red nail polish :)
I've worn this black fitted turtle T and hot pink half sweater before, but not together, lol. I really love the combo of fitted tops with half sweaters over them. This I wore with my black jeans.

Another fav pendant, I found this one at Michael's, unfortunately you can't see the crystal jems at the center of all the flowers, it's reallllly pretty!

And that has been another week in the closet of Lori.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Laugh of the Day

Ok, so having an iPhone that is so wonderful yet just a little too smart for it's own good has one little frustrating feature.  When typing messages, if the word I use isn't in it's 'spell check', or if my spelling error was just wrong enough not to register, it STILL thinks it should auto-correct and the most ridiculous words come out.
Like when I was making notes on a sermon, typed the word 'sceptor' instead of 'scepter' and it gave me 'specula'. Say what?!?
Well, someone sent me an email about other people's auto-correct mishaps and my goodness, I haven't laughed that hard since 'What?!? I have no arms!!!' Laughing that hard and lots of crunches, not a good combination.

Here are some good, clean fun ones, and a link to see more (warning, rated PG18+: some vulgar language not suitable for minors).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wonderfully Made

I've always been the kind of person who has wanted to do random acts of kindess, but haven't been that good at thinking them up....maybe it would be easier if I had more disposable money to play with in that respect.
So, since all things RAoK trip my radar I found this site, which was really neat, and that led me to look up other similar sites which led me here and here.  I LOVE this kind of RAoK!!! It's a message so many girls/women need to hear and BELIEVE!!  It costs you practically nothing to do this kind of RAoK and I think it can make a big impact.
For instance, I believe someone in my Church must be intune with this same campaign as I found this in the middle bathroom stall in our Church last September. 

Guess what? Ever since then, everytime I have gone back I purposely try to get in that stall..... so I can smile. Really, it makes my day to see it!  Unfortunately, the message is now cleaned off the stall wall, and it makes me a little sad. I almost feel like writing it back up there *sneaky grin*

But, ever since then I've wanted to spread the message and spread the smiles! This week I defaced some areas of Wal-mart that I thought could use a more positive message. I went armed with these sticky notes:

Here are some sticky notes in action:
On the romance novels where nothing is realistic.
On the body of  airbrushed models in the magazines.
In the make-up aisle where they encourage flawlessness.

I have several more sticky notes I've left in my purse so I can randomly attack more 'beauty' propaganda when ever the opportunity arises. I hope I bring about at least as many smiles as I got doing this :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And the nominees are.....

I know it's only the second week of February but I am nominating my Sean for

Evidence of deservitude:
1. An apology. For being extra grumpy one morning.
 - It's an unwritten rule that before Sean has had coffee, he can not be held responsible for the grumpiness factor.
 - It's an unwritten rule that if Sean didn't do something hurtful with intention/purpose, an apology isn't warranted.
Double score.

2. He selected for his date month (we alternate months planning a date) he let me pick everything and gave me a break from cooking :)
- We typically pick the kind of dates we prefer, especially the kind the other one would typically not agree to.
- He's never acknowledged my need to have a break from cooking, and then given it to me.

3. Has been practicing one of my love languages more frequently.
- 'Nuf said ;)

4. During a conversation about my fluxtuating hope, and expecting miracles, Sean said with confidence, He WILL give you a baby.
- 'Nuf said ;)

5. Today the dishwasher finally konked out, not only did I have a counter full of dirty dishes (waiting for me to empty the 'clean' dishes) and then a dishwasher full of those 'clean' dishes that needed re-washing.  I just hate manually washing dishes, but it's my chore and the pile wasn't getting any smaller.  I made one little comment lamenting manual dishwashing and Sean immediately got up from the couch and started washing the dishes.
 - My chores are my chores, his chores are his chores. Usually don't get help unless it is asked for.
 - If I do request help, he usually bargain's it with help he wants.

I love my husband for many, many reasons, and lately I love him for many, many more!

Just for posterity, these are too good not to record in the annals of history:
6. Sean not only made his own supper on the weekend, but he made mine too! (cooking, another 'my chore', and even if it's dinner from a can or just a sandwich, he asks me to make his too).  I didn't even have to ask, he said he was making something, asked if I wanted some, I said I was going to make myself some nutella sandwiches and he brought them to me a few minutes later.  Awwww.
7. Sean, the anti-valentine, surprises me with some hershey's kisses. I haven't received a valentine since our first Feb.14th together 9 years ago, which was also somewhat technically a 1 year anniversary. So including the first one that started our whole relationship, that makes 3 whole valentines! (don't worry, once we got married Mar.1st 8 years ago, I agreed to celebrate only our anniversary, no v-day, he's not been in the dog house every Feb. 14th for 8 years ;)
8. Sean apologized, again!!!, for a frustrating conversation and even admitted he was wrong about something!

I really don't want this post to make Sean look inconsiderate because of the rarity of these small considerations...he is a wonderful husband for countless reasons, the list I made (from the Love Dare book) of 'appreciation' is twice as long as the list of 'unappreciation' for Sean....but some of the items on the latter are things I've listed here in this post that he has surprised me with lately.  I am so grateful for the husband I have, but I am just EXTRA grateful for the husband I've had lately ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Body Shop

Overall I have to say I really do like and appreciate my body. Considering all my grumbles about it, about it's weight, problems stemming from that, problems with it that I was born with, problems with it because I'm getting older, it may not seem that way, but I do appreciate it.  I may take a lot of my body parts for granted, and wish for immediate, easy and painless 'fixes' for the areas that are not perfectly healthy, but none the less, it doesn't take much consideration to come to the conclusion I highly value my body for what it DOES do for me.

I may not like that I have a high percent of fat, but I like that my body processes food efficiently, I receive nutrients, my body is sufficiently fuelled and energized.

I may not like my crooked teeth prone to cavities, but I like that I have teeth and that they function well, I can eat whatever I want and without pain.

I may not like that my hip has a genetic pre-disposition to not sitting properly in it's socket, and becoming quite painful with walking/running when done vigorously or on paved/cement surfaces, but I like that my hips allow me to easily walk, sit, bend, etc.

About 7 years ago, my mom, only in her early 50s, had the same hip problem but so much more severe, and it had come to the point hip replacement surgery was just a matter of time. Parting with most body parts is not a thing to take lightly, but cutting out such a crucial part of your body can just feel wrong.  Should feel wrong.  It requires great trust in an expert physician, one who will take all steps to prevent or postpone removing the hip as much as possible, and then when they determine no more good can come from staying attached to it, their expertise will take the greatest care in cutting out part of your body, as well as the healing process after. That's how it went with my mom, she tried physio-therapy, medications, exercise, etc., for years she worked at trying to find a way to keep her hip as long as possible, to bring it back to health and live out a few more days without having to carve part of herself off. But the time came when the trusted physician just had to operate, there was no returning her to a healthy state without removing it.

I was about 27 when hip replacement surgery was first discussed as a possibility for mom, and considering my similar hip problems (and due to my weight, the problem was a lot more serious at a younger age) I investigated what I could do now to prevent having to resort to a hip replacement surgery in the future. I needed to be healthier, I needed to eat the right nutrients like Omega-3 which would help naturally lubricate my joints, and I needed to be more active to strengthen the muscles around my hip, and in addition to/correlation with that, I needed to lose weight so I wasn't putting so much strain on my hip.  If I did that, starting immediately, and kept it up, I could almost guarantee not having continued hip problems.  Now admittedly, I'm a little lazy, I haven't done a lot of preventative body work; my skin care has been more reactive than proactive (haha), and I have a fairly relaxed attitude about a few other health regimens, but if I have a serious health issue, I attack it like a hypochondriac! And now that weight has become a contributor to serious health issues, I became serious about the hard work needed to lower my weight. Now, anyone who has tried to lose weight, especially a pretty significant amount, knows that it is very hard work indeed, but most people would also agree that a hip replacement surgery would be harder.  It would seem ridiculous if I just gave up at 27 and said, it's inevitable.  Might as well enjoy the life I have now and just get a new hip in a few years, start over with something new. How ludicrous would it be for someone to be so detached from their body, a body of flawless design, not meant to exist without any one part? And not just detached from their body but the overall health a whole body provides, the life you are able to live because of having a whole body.  For someone to so willingly give up on it, it's almost unfathomable.

You might have guessed by now that I'm not only talking about hip replacement. You'd be right.  The Love Dare book used the analogy that so many people treat marriage like a car they would rather upgrade than repair, instead of a body part we would treat rather than amputate.  I very much agree that is the prevailing attitude in quite a few of marriages I've witnessed (Christians or not), and the time put into preventative, or even any, maintenance seems to reduce the younger the couples are.  The great physician is rarely consulted in marital health, his expertise is not trusted or even consulted when it comes to the severing.  Occasionally, eventually, the mangled mess does get handed over to him to assist in the rehabilitation.

If you can't fix it now, fix it all, fix it painlessly, then just throw it away, cast it aside, kick it to the curb. 

When did our impatience escalate so badly?  When did we flip the mantra to 'all gain with no pain'?  Why is it now considered subjecting ourselves to pain if we stay committed to a hard relationship, which ALL relationships are.  Why is our cultural (american) logic so anti-logical, thinking it's easier to replace than repair humans? If that's 'normal' I am glad I am called to be 'not of this world'.

I may be more of a 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going' kind of person, where I can lean towards too committed over not committed enough, but I still struggle with being in pain.  I stuggle being in the pain of imperfection, and sometimes I wish I could just put myself in the body shop to have a complete overhaul. I have a lot of impatience, I want to fix it all and as soon as possible. I hope I never lose sight of the whole well being of our marriage for focusing on the repairs. And realize that every marital health issue is serious and I should do as much preventative medicine as I can NOW, to reduce the need for major surgery later.  Like losing weight, preventative work on marriage is not easy, it takes dedication and perseverance, but considering the alternative it IS the easy route.

My husband is part of me. I feel what pains him and vice versa. The life that flows through him gives me life. I was not meant to be whole without him.

May I always remember that.

By the way, here is a great place to blog to check out for more motivation to be a Godly wife.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Highlight Reel

Here are some highlights of the week:

My surprise reimbursement that came in the mail on Monday, from a membership to a website that no longer required paid memberships (after I'd just paid for it).

This will help nicely with my Stampin' Up! order I'm making for my next workshop soon.

Yummy supper I invented on Tuesday. Ok, there may already be a recipe just like this in existence, but I didn't know about it when I made this ;)

The yoga app I found and started using Wednesday, so it's like watching a video and I can do yoga down in the basement (where there is no t.v.) and not disturb Sean while he still sleeps at 6 am :)

I managed a workout every week day, a goal I had for myself this week.

I worked on creating more seashell frames for my bathroom, in front of my must-see-t.v.-all-evening-Thursday, this one is halfway done.

Can you believe we hit PLUS SIX on Friday!! After -20 the day before and -40 the day before that!

Caught up on a lot on Saturday, including making my healthy, raspberry chocolate muffins, 3 weeks of breakfasts worth.

The very clean counter underneath my muffins (the streaks are wet streaks from last minute wipe down for pic :) was another part of my busy Saturday, finishing the last of my daily Fly Lady tactics, I did all of them this week except my pantry clean-up, waiting for some new Tupperware for that job :)

Also made two cards just like this on Saturday, one for Jodi's birthday and one for the Valentine's day anniversary of my in-laws.

Today I got to see my first sun dog in person (believe it or not) on the way to Steinbach! At first I thought I was looking at an upside down rainbow, lol! It was GIGANTIC!!!!! It literally took up a quarter of the sky, and see how far the ring is away from the sun, usually I've seen pictures of the ring so much closer, and the rainbow ring went the whole way around the sun, which I've also never seen in a pic, usually just see it as 'brackets'. It was so big it was really hard to take a picture of the whole thing, especially looking into the sun to take the pic.

The birthday girl, my lil' sis Jodi turned 30, the reason we were in Steinbach today. This is her with her fav nephew :)

Lil' T's first time trying ice cream (cake, a staple at every birthday party of Jodi's). He made this horrible face every time but it's just the brain freeze because he sure loved it and opened WIDE as soon as he saw the spoon leaving the dish, lol.

What a great week!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thank You Notes

Dear Jodi,
Thank you for having a birthday in February, in the middle of the gigantic chasim of family oriented holidays in our calendar year, which otherwise might result in a 3-4 month hiatus from gathering together. That would just not do.  I need to get my darling fix.
And how appropriate it's near Valentine's Day, because it reminds me how much I love having you for a sister! Happy Birthday, and see you tomorrow!

With much gratitude, love and affection,
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