Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with the Old

1 new Bestie
2 miscarriages
20 lbs of bacon
1 vehicle paid-off
1 month in 1 dress
5 years in our house
4 Counselling courses
6 weeks with pink hair
14 lbs gained in 4 months
5 leader/mentors departed
3 bachelor vacations for Sean
4 months of fertility treatment
3rd year at Celebrate Recovery
10 year anniversary vow renewal
3 out of province vacations for me
17 years combined tenure at our jobs


Thursday, December 19, 2013

No Sweat

So, my one goal list this year was about aspiration, and inspiration, rather than perspiration, and I think I achieved that!.....by not completing my list! :)

I have learned to give myself permission to not have to cross everything off my 'to-do' list and that is what I did.

As I wrote here a few months ago, I had so far accomplished 3 out of 5 goals, and I've progressed on my blog posts....just slightly :/ In all I'm only at 79 posts here but 122 on my photo blog, so I have far surpassed the 140 total last year, but it was 140 mostly non-picture posts last year.
What can I say though, it's been one of those years....where I don't have a lot to say. A lot of groaning or silent waiting and hoping.

I also had the goal of giving Sean a blessing a day for his Birthday week, which I did. But it was also an otherwise tumultous week so I did not take any pictures nor do I barely remember what I got him. I remember I got him Marley & Me, and Reese cups, and bacon.....and that's all I can remember :) lol! But I swear there were 7 days of gifts!

But as for the minimalization, the motivation stayed at zil to clean out the basement/craft room. Good news though is in the spirit of minimalization I have done my best to repurpose or recycle first when we had needs for the house, and I was able to do a lot of re-organizing with pieces from my craft room, so I've spent hardly any money on new junk/clutter/stuff! Yay! :)

So ya, no sweat.

I think I'm going to have the same goal next year ;)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just What I Needed

As you can tell....

(by my last posts)

(by my lack of posts)

life has been keeping me on my toes.

Even with Sean out of school now, and a slower than typical December, we've both needed our own idea of self-care, and that hasn't meshed a lot lately.

There are a number of reasons I've felt distant from Sean lately, which I won't go into, but some cumulative effect was happening and I was getting unhappy.

Note: I was already taking into account that my hormones are to be considered when evaluating these emotions.

I picked up His Needs, Her Needs again. Hoping it would help me gain perspective, like it did last time.

At first, not so much.

I focused on MY needs, and what was definitely lacking. When I took the survey again I realized out of my greatest needs (ones I would find the hardest to live without), Sean passes with flying colours.

Yet. It wasn't appeasing that 3rd neediest need. 

I was able to suck it up, knowing it was a few days of stress/busyness coming, on top of emotions from not being pregnant again, and of course, accentuated PMS. I knew by Saturday I would be feeling slightly better on at least 2 of those 3 areas, so I was going to wait until then to broach the subject with him.


On Friday, after our recovery Blue Christmas service (the first large event we've had to plan without our former director), we did our usual Friday night routine, drive to debrief, settle on the couch for Sean to watch Wrestling and me to surf the web.

After Wrestling Sean surprised me offering to make me some hot chocolate, snuggle, and watch the Little Mermaid with me, which I had recently pvr'd. Not that Sean isn't considerate and selfless, but not usually with some of my more musical taste in movies, especially the really girly ones. I thoroughly enjoyed the next 90 minutes, and it filled up my love bank immensely!

Just what I needed.

Just when I needed it.

And with that, an idea was conceived and the UN-date was birthed. 

Background Information. We have a date night monthly, alternating who's turn it is to choose the details of the date, usually selecting our own personal preferences. Typically they are out of the house (as I like!), but often don't have much chance for the intimacy of physical closeness, unless we border on PDA that we're just not that comfortable with!

So. The UN-date!

The UN-date will also be monthly, the person who gets to plan it is the person who is not already getting to plan the regular date. The UN-date must be in our home, requires us to be side by side (within reaching distance), and it should be planned with the preferences of the other person in mind. It should take the majority of an evening and the only screens allowed are to play a movie or 2-player video game. And the planner of the UN-date will also provide dinner, with a budget of $15, which also must be eaten together.

I wanted to fill some needs that don't get met by our typical dates, or our day to day lives. It's amazing how just cuddling on the couch filled both of our physical touch needs, so being in close proximity where we can just hold or caress each other was a must. I also wanted to orchestrate the opportunity to think of the other first, make their needs and wants a priority, because it isn't always a default :) I also wanted to eat in this setting because we almost never eat next to each other without t.v. on (unless at a restaurant), and I'm curious as to what this will produce, having never done it before. 

I'm super excited, and Sean really liked my proposal as well. Am looking forward to plan my first UN-date for Sean in January.....hope I'll remember to share it :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Else?

What else is going to go wrong?

I am long past the count of three.

Maybe they are coming in themes of three.

Like....Medical - miscarriage, Sean's really bad cold, my med side effects.

And now....Leadership.

3 weeks ago my boss, our office manager, announced he's stepping down from that role and we're hiring someone new. I am the only office administrator so my primary direction and responsibilities hinge on the person who is my boss, how they see my role...because it's already pretty vague and directionless.  Already been a little dissatisfied  since my job shifted priorities last April. Not going to lie. I'm nervous. Not for job security, but job satisfaction. 

Then, almost a week ago, the leader of our Celebrate Recovery ministry resigned. It has been a conclusion we have been aware of the potential of for three months. Doesn't make it any easier or less stressful or less uncertain for the future of CR and my own personal growth.  We're even more passionate about making this ministry grow now but we've lost a very significant resource.

And then today. Another unsurprise when our small group leaders decided they could no longer meet the needs of our small group. With a new born, a fireman's schedule, 3 other kids in the house adjusting to new family dynamics, it just wasn't doable. Understandably.


The dynamics of our group leave almost no options, none that we've come up with yet, except for it to be at our house with us leading. Neither Sean nor I have that in us right now. We've barely had it in us to attend lately, never mind lead. One more thing costing us effort & energy is one too many. We have so many drains in our life and so few fountains in this season. 

I just can't see how it will work.

Yet I can't imagine losing my small group. 

They are a fountain. 

I just want to cry. And that's not the Estrogen talking.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Read the small print

Systematic, problematic
Come on, don't be so dramatic...

Lyrics to a song on my Just Dance 4, but feels like my life this last week.
Medication side effects.
For the most part I've avoided reading side effects, because I'm highly suggestible (I'll likely adopt the symptoms), and I've trusted that the effects would not outweigh the benefit. I'm beginning to shed that ignorance with the lawsuits against HPV vaccines showing the risk of HPV is 1% and risk of side effects from vaccine is 3%.

But anywho.

I was told about the most prevalent side effects by my doctor and friend who was on Chlomid, and I was prepared to deal with that for a treatment I believe will work. Amplified cycle symptoms seemed doable since I hardly have any to begin with.

While their magnitude did take me by surprise a little, I knew fairly quickly, because of the timing, what I was experiencing. 

That was the first two doses. Now I am on the third, and highest.


At first I did not catch on.
I've been in the midst of my typical fall busyness, experiencing stress with some upheaval in our CR ministry, the seasonal light change affecting me, not seeing friends/small group as much as I need. And then there's soldiering on maybe a little too quickly each month, because I'm on as strict cyclical regiment if I want this to happen anytime soon!

But I thought I was on the start of an upswing, getting motivation and energy back when suddenly I seemed to get knocked back down on my ass.

Suddenly I was so tired again. No energy. Couldn't sleep well. Felt inexplicably anxious about being drained of energy. Restless but not motivated. Cold and hot. Thought I was getting sick, but I never actually got sick.

Then the emotional rollercoaster started. Seems just about everything made me instantly weepy; t.v., songs, a blog post, a nice thing a friend said..... I'd ask myself 'what's wrong with you!' (not waiting for an answer) and forcing myself to 'smarten up'.  
But then it was my own thoughts making me weep, thoughts like, I'm done. I can't keep going through this waiting. Through this crazy cycle every month. My patience and hope have been stretched to the max. Eventually even a rubber band can't stretch anymore and snaps. I just can't anymore.

I felt so over dramatic.

Then for some reason, it clicked. This kicked into full gear 2 days earlier when I started my third dose. I decided to look up side effects of Chlomid. 
Can't sleep
Hot flashes 
Increased Estrogen - aka emotional sensitivity

Funny how understanding can temper a storm. Feeling normal in your abnormality helps tremendously!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rejoice All Ways

So apparently I'm not lacking in hope.

Not lacking in love.

Not lacking in faith.

And not even lacking in joy.

That one is likely surprising given my last 2 posts.

But nope. Joy - check.

I am so filled with joy from the super awesome friends God has blessed me with, they speak and pour life into me. Constantly. They are a fountain, my fountain.

I am so filled with joy for the relationship I have with my amazing husband. I'm not sure how it can get any better, yet I'm sure it will.

I am so filled with joy for the love I share with my tremendous family. I can't, and don't, get enough of them.

I am so filled with joy for being able to hear and feel God, and relate to Him.

I am so filled with joy in anticipation for the life I know waits ahead of me.  That He has in store for me.

I am so filled with joy for the bountiful blessings God has poured out onto my life right now, financial security, warm home, safe car, etc.

I am so filled with joy for the opportunity to serve in a life restoring ministry, where I am able to facilitate and often just observe God's transforming power.

I am so filled with joy for the community of Christ-followers I belong to. I can't imagine life without their words, prayers, encouragement, support.

I am so filled with joy for co-workers who are so fun but also take the time to know what really matters to you. When it's hard to be at work, it's not hard to be around them.

I  am so filled with joy every time I see the sky display fantaburrifical colours and lights in such perfect, awe inspiring artistry, it takes my breath away.

I am so filled with joy when my cats put themselves in my path, making it very hard for me to ignore their pleas for cuddling and affection, especially when the cute chirps and rumbly purrs start.

10, 000 reasons for my heart to find.

I am so filled with joy.

In just about every way possible.

I am SO joyful.

So why is it that I am having trouble seeing past this one unjoyful circumstance?

A story comes to mind. One my cousin relayed from her pre-marital counseling. The Pastor showed them a blank white page that had one small black circle on it. He asked them what they saw. They saw the small black circle. He asked what else they saw. They searched hard for other blemishes on the page but could not find any. He then asked if they saw all the white on the page?


The spot always gets the attention.

The messy spot.

The painful spot. 

A spot going nowhere soon...enough. 

So. It's up to me to intentionally focus on the white. So I can rejoice always, in all circumstance.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Any such thing as too much hope?

I feel like my heart is a balloon.

And hope the breath that fills it. 

I am naturally a very hopeful person, so that balloon was filled from day one. It has had it's small leaks, but it has floated along in life, sailing on the winds God gave me. 

After a big leak, God patched me up and filled be with hope again, and I learned how to stay away from places that punctured me, robbed hope from me, and I learned how to stay afloat high in His sky.

And as I floated higher I was filled with more hope. 

And the balloon grew bigger, and bigger. 

Bigger than ever before, bigger than ever imagined. 


The balloon is now stretched so thin.

I think it's going to pop.
I feel so thin.

Like I'm stretched and have no more of myself to spread thinner.
Is it because hope is about to birth something, or am I meant to burst?

I'm not quite sure.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nothing Good to Say

That's why I haven't said anything at all.

My reservoir of profound thoughts seemed to have drip, 


Dripped away.

I don't remember them slipping away. 

Along with my creativity.

Along with my Umph.

Along with my drive.

Mere existence exhausts me most days. 

Why am I here. Again.

'Here' is on the couch, on days that end in Y.

At least I have adorable company.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Musical Monday

It has come in conversation several times in the last week about my eclectic taste in music, and while I have favorite genre's I probably have songs I really like in every genre.

There is pretty much 1 qualifier for music I like, it moves me; physically, or emotionally, or both.

When I listen to the radio in the car I will flip between about 9 regular stations in order to find a favorite, that allows for quite the interesting range of songs I will crank when they play.I get some looks for my choices, but the ears what the ears want :)

So, to prove my point, I figured I would document the songs I paused on while in the car this last week, not just the best song of 9 choices but the songs I just couldn't help but sing along to. A Lori 'mix tape' if you will.
(I linked youtube versions so you could hear if you are not familiar with....not condoning video content :)

Cruise - Florida Georgia Line ft.   Nelly
Pay Phone - Maroon 5
Black Bird - Sarah Mclachlan
Rag Doll - Aerosmith
Mirrors - Justin Timberlake
1994 - Jason Aldean
I'm With You - Avril Lavigne
Two Princes - Spin Doctors
Little Bit of Everything - Keith Urban
Roar - Katy Perry
Hurts So Good - John Cougar Mellencamp
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
Wake Me Up - Avicii
Boys 'Round Here - Blake Shelton ft. Pistol Annies
Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane
Your Love is My Drug - Ke$ha
This Is What It Feels Like - Armin Van Buuren ft. Trevor Guthrie
Faith - George Michael
I Go Blind - Hootie & The Blowfish 
Trouble - Taylor Swift
Always - Bon Jovi
Some Nights - Fun

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good News Bad News

Good News.
I think the Chlomid worked a little bit.

I made peace that it wasn't resulting in a pregnancy this month.

My head and heart are ok.

Bad News.
The viability of my egg increased enough to get pregnant, not enough to stay pregnant.

The viability of my egg increased so much that this was the worst miscarriage I have ever had physically.

My body was not ok the last 4 days.

This is really sucky timing. Sean's birthday is today. 

Good News.
I am ok. We're ok.

We're still hopeful.

We're still trusting.

I am starting the count all over again this month.

Ready for the next higher dosage.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Heart on Fire

Heart on Fire.

This was the basis for my first bit of inspiration about my next tattoo, back in about 2008. My heart had been reignited, it was back on fire for God.

I wanted it on my 'sleeve', tattoo talk for arm, because I have always 'worn my heart on my sleeve'.

As I mentioned briefly in this post, it represents that I feel things deeply, what is imprinted on my heart burns with a deep passion, and I am on fire for those passions planted in my heart.

When I had my consultation I asked for a few things to create the impression I wanted to make, all colour, an ethereal fiery & smokey feel, and if possible, the flames to form an S & L for Sean and Lori.

I've seen my tattoos as a way to tell my testimony creatively and beautifully, an extension of my artist heart. I love when my initial tattoo inspiration grows and becomes so multi-dimensional in significance to me.  I was so excited for this tattoo, and my artist was too.

Then the waiting began.

And as I waited more of my story was unfolding.

God was growing my heart, my passions, the fire.

And my ability to feel deeply moved deeper to the very core of my being, my empathy and emotions grew in a way I knew I was created to feel.

Not only was the significance of my heart on fire tattoo deepening every day, it was being added to.

As I wrote in that same post, it became a reminder of who I want to be, who I think God is calling me to be.

As I wrote in this post, it even became to tied to my story of wanting to be a mother.

And then it was finally time. And when I first saw the art before it was on me, I was blown away. Once again, it was like my artist was inside my mind. This happened before with my butterfly tattoo, but it still shocked me that it could happen again.

I know it is a 'God is an artist' thing. God created my tattoo artist to be SO talented in this way, and whether she knows him or not, I know he had a hand in creating this tattoo for me.

The thing that blew me away the most was the watercolour effect she used. I had actually just been dreaming of a new tattoo that could incorporate that, and now I had one. 

Another cool thing was how a flame lick connected with the "L" flame lick to create a cross.

Almost 5 hours later, I was just about the end of my pain threshold, and my artist said, she could go as long as I could. That my skin seemed meant for tattooing. And that with this tattoo in particular, she could just keep going, she was enjoying the creative process so much, constantly inspired to add little details, it was so enjoyable for her. My pain had to stop her enjoyment :)

It wasn't until a week or so later I realized the biggest significance this tattoo now represents to me. And God knew it all along, because he knew my design that I had in mind would reflect a conversation I would have with him five years in the future. 

Where he showed me he created me like a painting, taking the paint brush and dipping it into his heart to get the colours to create me. And how he spoke over me, "Just like you can't stop fussing over your favorite creation, you just can't be done working with it because it's too wonderful a feeling, you never want to stop, that's how I feel about you."

Everything about this tattoo is the story of how and why God made me. 

Etched in my heart and on my sleeve forever.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends - Part 4

This is my dear friend Megan, one of my first friendships I recognized in the moment was orchestrated by God.

I love that God knit her into my heart almost from day one, reminding me of myself a few years ago on many levels.

I love her refreshing honesty and humility, and the way she combines it with humor to caption life.

I love her willingness to let God transform her, her desire to see His will prevail in her life. I love that she allows herself to be teachable, and that her heart is to please God.

I love her heart for the hurting, her empathy that seems to truly understand other people's pain. No matter what she is going through she will take the time for a friend.

I love that we share the same desire to honor our husbands, that we refuse to complain about them with each other, our marriages and our relationships with our husbands are sacred.

I love that we can talk for hours on end and it feels like we've shared only moments, we try to wrap up our conversations at a 'decent' hour and yet can't seem to tear ourselves away from the conversation and talk way later than intended.

I love that we share so many favorite things, like crafty hobbies, cooking healthy, going for walks, and geekiness like Big Bang Theory to name a few.

While I don't love that we suffer from some of the same problems, it is comforting to have a friend who understands and we don't have to suffer in silence, we know we're not alone and that has helped a lot.

I love that she has faithful prayed for my motherhood, I'm honored by how much she has interceded on our behalf.

I love her heart of hospitality, she is so generous and thoughtful, picks out great gifts, hosts great get-to-gethers, remembers special occasions, and all around enjoys making life special for those who are special to her.

I am so glad I can call this special lady one of my best friends and that she considers me a special friend as well. 

Love you Megan.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends - Part 3

This is long over due since I meant to write it shortly after the long weekend when we spent time together (and snapped this pic). This is my friend Esther. We almost look like we could be sisters here :) We are funky coloured hair sisters, you can't tell but my hair is pink and hers is purple, lol.

Esther and I met through another friend of mine over a year ago and then she was invited to join the small group we were starting together last November and I am so grateful to have gotten to know this amazing young woman.

Despite the fact right now I am exactly double her age, I rarely ever feel the age gap when we talk. Maybe because I'm young at heart, maybe because she's so very mature, but either way, we enjoy our hours of chatting with nary a blip of generation gap.

This girl is going places! She inspires me all the time with her abilities, to sing, to act, to cook/bake, to sew, etc. I was at her grad last June (she was the home school association valedictorian) and I was so beyond impressed at her portfolio, the devotion she created and taught at age 9, the song she sang about graduating that she wrote in a few days. I will one day say, I knew her when.

Esther is a light, shining bright. Everything about her. Her name means star. Her eyes are illuminating. Her smile is so sunny. She lights up a room when she comes in. She also radiates Jesus, she is that light in the dark because her love for him exudes through everything she does.

Esther and I have this interesting bond, over our bodies and food and self-image. Even though they have manifested in different ways, our struggles really resonate with each other and I have found so much healing in just sharing this journey with her. She has helped me feel beautiful and I hope I have helped her feel the same.

Esther speaks through music. She played a song at small group the day after my miscarriage that really helped remind me I was in God's hands. She also wrote a song, just for me, about being beautiful. She has a healing touch through her music.

Esther is silly, a trait I love. We spend a lot of time laughing, a favorite past time :) Especially once she caught on that sarcasm is really acting....then she quickly became an expert! LOL.

Esther sees people, like the depths of their soul 'sees' people. I feel like her eyes look right into the heart of me. Sean has said the same thing. And I see how she has drawn out other people as well, seeing the best in people, wanting to come alongside people, loving people. She reminds me of myself a little.

I love this girl SO much, ahem, I mean young lady, after all she is 18 now. I can only imagine the places she'll go and the things she'll do, and I'm already having to learn to let her go but she'll always be my Star.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wake me up when September Ends

It's September.

I'm incommunicado.

This happens every year.

I am just under the overwhelmed mark.

Challenges don't notice when your schedule is full.

I've got great people in my life that understand.

Hope to 'see' you again soon.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends - Part 2

As I've been putting thought into the people I am so grateful to have in my life, it can get a little overwhelming realizing how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many amazing gifts from God.  The next person I wanted to express admiration and gratefulness for is my cousin Pam.

See that beautiful smile? It's pretty contagious!

I love that we do so much laughing when we get a chance to catch up. I enjoy that our spin on life it to find the humor in life, not taking ourselves too seriously!

I love that we have known each other for over 36 years and still love spending time in each other's company. I can't think of a time, at any age, that we didn't get along. Sure I stole her cookie at age 2, but from what I understand she got over it pretty quickly and never held it against me :)

I love that she has always been the outgoing one and while I used to be very shy, she made being an extrovert look SO much fun and I'm sure she helped me out of my shell....especially when we'd hang out with all her friends, I was constantly meeting new people with her.

I love that we can walk and talk for many hours and many kilometres, and they both just seem to fly in each other's company. Our pace has changed over the years as we have simultaneously increased our self-care to include the health of our bodies, so while our priority has been time spent together, exercise has been an awesome bonus!

I love that because we are family we just get it. Family shapes you, and so while we didn't grow up in the same house we grew up with similar dynamics, and heritage, and inheritances (not the monetary kind), that few others will get, especially both being the oldest child. Its nice to just have that unspoken understanding.

I love that her family is an inspiration to me, her marriage to her highschool sweetheart and the way they have raised their children is really special, so much love and loyalty, a real rarity these days....I'm taking notes! 

I love that she loves her job! I don't know if I've ever met anyone who loves their job as much as she does, and it shows in her work. She has been MB new teacher of the year. Her classroom antics have got her on the news - of course positively.  The parents and children and co-workers who love working with her.  It's all a testament to her God-given talent as a teacher, and it's helped drive me to find that kind of driving passion that will impact lives. Just as a member of society, knowing there are teachers like her out there gives me hope.

I love that she has prayed for me faithfully since the day I confided in her about our struggle with infertility. She has never been anything but supportive and encouraging and full of faith it would happen. Just what I've needed.

I'm so glad to share the same DNA as you Pam, but even more blessed to share life with you! I love you!

Monday, September 2, 2013

In the Flow

In the flow is another way of referring to being led by the Spirit, but I also feel like I am just flowing along the strong currents of life, which thankfully feel led by the Spirit...but busy none the less!  I have managed to find time for my 'Aspire, Not Perspire' challenge to myself and just thought I'd document how I'm doing:

1. The One Dress Project - well my version of the The October Dress Project - ODP, which can be found here, was in April and a big success I think, and a lot of fun. For someone who was tired of deciding between which outfit looked the least worst it was freeing. The focus behind this was to reduce consumerism, conformity, excess, vanity, and increase sustainability, contentment, simplicity, imagination. I immediately resonated with the tie in to more of God, less of me, "We must decrease so that HE can increase".
I found the lessons that stuck the most was non-conformity and imagination. During the actual ODP month I felt the other areas much more but a few months (and shopping sprees) later the consumerism has made a comeback. But the discontentment I had wearing any of my previous large closet has disappeared, which is actually more a testament to my work on turning my self-image over to God, but I think it started with the ODP.

2. Sew - sewing has been a passion that really grew throughout the ODP, I began to see the clothes I wasn't happy with in a new light and I wanted to salvage them and make something I would love from them. Which I have! I had this sweater to skirt project, I hemmed a double-lined skirt - leaving the outer sheer shell full length and hemming the black slip just above the knee, and also created 3 halter tops out of ill-fitting shirts (one pictured below), as well as making my own tube-top bra for underneath my new backless shirts.

3. Blog more - it is a good thing I started my photo blog because it is the only reason I'm surpassing last year's blog posts. Last year I had 140 total but this year I've already got 158, 104 of which are on my photo blog, so my posts here are just a little behind but that's been life this year. And it's only about to get busier as it does leading up and after to our CR relaunch back at Step 1 - in mid-September. 

4. A blessing a day - this I still intend to do in October.

5. Project Minimalization - this has actually been the last on my list in motivation too. I've had a partially torn apart craftroom this entire year. I should just spread it out across the room and invite people in to make an offer on anything and everything. That was my main area of intention and haven't even thought of another place in the house to start. I guess I kind of keep waiting to see when I get pregnant, in case any of it can be repurposed in a nursery.

But 8 full months in and 3 out of 5 on the list I'm pretty pleased with my efforts despite my lack of laborious effort :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gratitude Photo Journal Challenge

I have over the years enjoyed a photo challenge on Facebook or Blogger, a way to motivate me to take more pictures of every day life, to remember, to appreciate, to document. I just did one in August, and a few weeks in I was challenged by a friend to take a photo everyday for a month where the photos weren't just a check mark on a list but there was a reason for them, photos that could uplift me and maybe others, and so the Gratitude Photo Challenge was created.

It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful. -David Rast
I truly believe that. It has been proven true for me in 2013.

I do already keep a daily, one sentence, gratitude journal but I thought this was a great project for a month, because I am a very visual person, visual reminders of my gratitude would be very impactful. Also, I write in my journal at the end of my day, to end on a positive note before I go to bed....which is great, but with this new challenge I find myself starting out my day actively looking for something to be grateful for so that I can be sure to photograph it! It is only day one and already my outlook at the beginning of each morning is transforming.  I am so looking forward to this for the month of September!

I'd love it if anyone else interested joined us! Regardless, feel free to follow my Gratitude Photo Journal Challenge here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends - Part 1

A thought came to me the other day.

"I hope I never forget the impact this person has had on my life."

Then another thought occurred to me.

"I hope this person knows how much they mean to me."

So, since I have a blog for documenting important pieces of my life, I figured there are some pretty important people in my life I would like to commemorate.

This is in no particular order, I am just starting with my most recent friend Yasemee (Yaz) because she is far, far away right now in Micronesia, learning how to become a missionary. And so I miss her and think of the wonderfulness she adds to my life that I don't get to experience on a weekly basis anymore.


This is my dear friend Yaz.

Isn't she so beautiful?

I love the expressions on her face, they are so lovely, insistent, dramatic and speak volumes, they are often accompanied by inspiration or large laughter, hers and mine.

I love her passion, whatever comes her way she either loves or hates with passion! It's contagious.

I love her hunger for God and her boldness in her faith.

I love the truth she speaks and writes, it stirs up so much emotion in me yet soothes my soul.

I love that God knit her into my heart almost from day one, because we are so alike (on the inside ;). She reminds me of me quite a few years ago. She reminds me of David with Jonathan.

I love that 14 years age difference makes no difference, and we are so compatible.

I love that she is my kind of silly and we have just as many hilarious conversations as deep spiritual ones.

I love that she's awesome at what I struggle with and she calls me Yoda :)

I love that we have the same shoe size despite the big discrepancies in the rest of our bodies, lol. (she's in really high heels in that photo). My consolation prize for living without her for a few months is babysitting some really cute shoes of hers, and her incentive to come back is my cute boots she can borrow :)

I love the lens she sees me through because it echos the truths God tells me about myself.

I love that she allows herself to be teachable, and that her heart is to please God.

I love her voice. The singing. The accents. The laughter. The synchronized surround sound screeching (with me).

I love that we can talk for hours on end and it feels like we've shared only moments, and we just about get kicked out of restaurants because of it.

I love that our relationship has so many deep relational facets, she gives me the opportunity to be a friend, a mentor, a sister, a mother, a comforter, a Yoda....etc. 

I love that she is one of my biggest cheerleaders, I know God has put her in my life at one of my lowest points of self-worth for a reason.

I love that she acts more in faith for our future children than I do sometimes.

I love how much I smile with her.

I love that our spiritual passions overlap in many places, and I look forward to facing this world with her in my life, my small group, my Church, my city, my family.

As deep cries out to deep. 

I love you Yaz!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Full Cycle

Life has a funny way of coming full circle, in many different ways. Mine has come full circle in my fertility.

It's almost exactly five years ago that all our tests were completed at the Heartland Fertility Clinic (well, all their tests, which isn't exhaustive as I've since found out) and came up with no negative results. While my hormone tests all came back within normal ranges, the doctor speculated because I was overweight that my insulin could be driving my Estrogen too high and my body was thinking I was already pregnant, and that while being overweight was my only symptom of PCOS, he thought taking the typical treatment drug for it, Metformin, was my first best option to 'fix' the problem. If my insulin levels were too high the drug would lower my insulin levels to trick my Estrogen levels into lowering to a normal level as well. He said if that didn't work I could come back and talk to him about another drug, Clomid, with the disclaimer it brought the chance of multiple births.

The problem was, he hadn't diagnosed a problem. I didn't see any test results, but initially he had said all my hormone levels were normal. But in the face of no other answers I took it. After a few weeks Sean and I sat down to talk about it and realized a few things. First, I was already trying to lose weight (and succeeding) in case weight was the issue, and so on the drug we wouldn't know when my body normalized it's cycle on it's own. Second, we felt like we were given a generic band-aid solution (it was prescribed to other people I know who have very different fertility problems, and it wasn't a viable solution for them either) and didn't feel comfortable taking a drug when we didn't even know if it was actually a solution for us. I was feeling ill taking it, which I would have gladly suffered through if I knew this medication was what I needed. But I didn't. So I stopped taking it.

I felt so uncared for by the fertility clinic that I didn't even bother to go back to talk about it. The other drug wasn't explained as to how it might be better suited to my issues, what it would do to help my cycle, and with the huge red flag warning, we were not any more eager to try that option. We had only been trying for 2.5 years, maybe we just needed more time, not multiple births.

So, fast forward five years. And all the new information those five years brought. And a new doctor to take new tests, some not done before. And still all the test came back with no negative results. One key piece of new information though was that I had 'likely' miscarried. Doctors won't use that word unless there was a pregnancy test first, but I know what my body went through. But she still took that under consideration, and after considering all aspects came up with a treatment that actually made sense for my body, she talked to me about a drug that could help me in two ways. She called it Clomifene and said it would stimulate the release of a stronger egg, a more viable egg, so that if it was fertilized it had a better chance of surviving. This stronger egg that was stimulated would also be a second egg, I would likely be ovulating 2 eggs per month, doubling my chances of getting pregnant each month. Yes, that meant there was a 10% chance of twins she said. I said, sign me up! I've always wanted twins!

I found out through a family member a few more things about the drug and even with the side effects, I feel like this is the treatment for me. While I still don't have a diagnosis, this medication makes sense with what we understand about my cycle, and it's not based on what feels like guesses and one-size-fits-all treatment. This is the treatment I have been waiting for. That's another thing I found out from this person, this drug is also known as Clomid. I literally have been waiting for THIS treatment for 5 years!

And yet, it doesn't bother me. I know God had this timing for a reason. There are any number of ways He could have directed me back to Heartland to seek further treatment. He could have added some compassion to the very clinical Dr. in the first place, and given me a more personal explanation of the drug. Even I can see reasons God didn't let it happen then. Even with all the challenges five years has or could add to having children, I know God's timing is perfect. Even down to the month I can start taking this drug, His timing is perfect.

As some of you have read here previously, another perfectly timed component of this story has been my tattoo. I'm not sure why this tattoo keeps weaving into my fertility but once again it has. My tattoo was scheduled for August 4th, finally, and when I showed up my artist was in bad shape. The receptionist said she was sick but she came out to talk to me personally and I could tell she was dealing with something more than physical sickness, there was a level of emotion and stress that were overwhelming her, and I understood that it would not be good for either of us to do this that day. But she knows how very long I've waited for this tattoo and so she rebooked me on a day off she had booked so I wouldn't have to wait very long, only until September 7th. As it should happen, the timing of my new medication will not work in August, with my appointment missing the start date by only one day, and my trip to California very perfectly timed to interrupt conception as well, so my next window to start the treatment is likely September 6th or 7th.

Go figure. I'm really not surprised anymore. God evidently likes bringing things full cycle in my life.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Birthday Blessings

What a pour out of blessings this last week, I will try to remember them all!

A friend who would rather send bday greeting early than chance not sending them by my day.

A coincidental gift of wild flowers from the farmers market.

A purposefully early bouquet of carnations.

A husband who noted things that have made me really excited lately.

A new journal! :D

A thoughtful gift, an attempt to give me a rainbow.

Another coincidental gift, a freebie from Home Run for my help bringing it to Winnipeg.

A cake, my favorite flavor, made just for me.

A phone call from mom and dad (card and gift in the mail!)

A phone call from nieces singing me happy birthday.

Another gift of flowers.

A poem, but also the gift of how someone sees me.

Many greetings throughout the day, but not just simple 'happy birthdays', genuine words of appreciation for my existence.

Birthday money spent on Etsy! Yay for jewelry!

Belated birthday greetings from people far away.

A reminder that God rejoices in this day He made, that He anticipated the day I would come into existence eagerly, and that He delights in me.

A very good birthday.

Monday, July 29, 2013

When I grow up.....

I want to be just like her.

Did you ever say that?  

I've had a few really great role models but until lately I don't know if I've said 'just like her.' Sure there are role models I have where I really admire them but typically it's a handful of attributes I would want to emulate. 

In the last 2 years God brought into my life 2 women who I was slowly getting to know better, and as I did I saw someone I increasingly desired to model myself after. It was about a year ago I realized I really wanted to intentionally seek out a source relationship, someone who could mentor me, especially spiritually. I felt one of these two women could definitely be that source, I just had to be patient and let God do the networking, that's how I would know it was the right fit. Trouble is, when you find a woman like that, and she's a few years older than me (12-20ish) she already has quite the community surrounding her, so moving into deeper relationship moved slowly.

And so I waited patiently.  I saw a deep affection was building, especially when life got hard six months ago. That's when both of these relationships really took a step deeper, yet I knew the timing wasn't quite right to initiate something more intentional.  Life started getting more challenging for both these women in February and the time they had available shrunk. Our connection times were fewer and while our moments together couldn't afford going any deeper, what moments we did have were still strong and encouraging. 

And so I waited patiently.  And then in May we found out one of these women's challenges would mean they were moving back to the USA. It was unexpected and not planned, but their family circumstance dictated the move. And not only did I lose a friend and potential source, but her husband has been Sean's source and mentor for the last 2 years. But life happens, and we knew God was moving evidently in their circumstances, so I made peace with the bittersweet goodbye.

And so I waited patiently. Meanwhile, my other friend's life was also getting more challenging, I hardly saw her at all since February, with a daughter's illness, father-in-law's passing, and then needing a break so they took a few weeks to visit family in BC. Shortly after returning in early July she suffered a seizure due to an aneurysm. As I mentioned last week, she didn't survive it. 

From what I knew of her before her passing, I knew this loss was significant. From what I know of her now, since her funeral, the loss is even more substantial. I found out so many amazing things about her from tributes that showed me how perfect she would have been as that source relationship. Even small things.  Like she wears her heart on her sleeve, like I do, and she couldn't and didn't want to hide her emotions.  Like she felt things deeply, something that has been said about me in those exact terms. And like attributes I've wanted to flourish more in my life, she had them in spades! Like what kind of co-worker she was and what kind of mother she was. And like her education (slightly different than her job, so I didn't know about) which is exactly what I have had a passion for and recently a nudge to possibly pursue. I actually started taking notes during her tributes, because it was like a they were describing a template for the me I've wanted to be. 

And so it makes me wonder even more why she was taken away so soon. But as was said very frequently during her funeral, her spirit lives on in us, and I know that I have taken that to heart and I intend to take that up as a personal challenge. In fact, I actually have a tattoo scheduled in a week, a burning heart on my 'sleeve'. It represents that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that I feel things deeply, what is imprinted on my heart burns with a deep passion, and I am on fire for those passions planted in my heart. This to me sums up what I learned from her life and so I am glad the timing of this tattoo is what it is (it's been hitting delays for 3 years), because now it is also partly a memorial tattoo. 

And so I don't really know where to go from here. And so I wait patiently. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

In Remembrance

I have spent the last 24 hours remembering.

Remembering a 24 hour period exactly a year ago where my mom suffered a massive heart attack and then a triple by-pass surgery.

Remembering a dream I had the night after, of Sean holding our newborn son, on a July 21st somewhere in the future, and knowing mom was going to see him. I took it as a sign that would indeed happen.

Remembering a worship leader, Pam, who just happened to lead us in hymns that following Friday, hymns that I could recall so vividly from childhood, it was like my mom’s alto voice was singing right beside me.

Remembering a Friday night almost exactly six months later, with Pam explaining that as their family planned that week’s set, they felt the Holy Spirit leading them to sing a more somber song selection….although they weren’t entirely sure why. Sean and I were sure why. It was like a funeral service for the child we had just lost.

Remembering that even though Pam, and her husband Paul, were going through their own struggles, a daughter suffering from chronic, severe, and debilitating back pain, they made time to ask us how we were coping.

Remembering that while Pam and her family were flying to Toronto for major corrective surgery for her daughter on the morning of March 2nd, she remembered to email us that morning, wishing us a happy anniversary and well wishes for our vow renewal that day.

Remembering about 2 months later, Pam and Paul courageously sticking to their serving commitment to lead worship on a Friday the day after Paul’s dad suddenly passed away, knowing the power of music in their lives was helping them heal and that being there might spread that healing power to the participants.

Remembering how devastated we all were to hear Pam had an aneurysm 2 weeks ago, despite what a young, healthy, and active woman she was.  Known as tenacious and up to any challenge, we all prayed she would beat this too.

Remembering the hopeful email from Paul read last Friday, that the latest complication and coma Pam was in, and the last battle for her life, was dependent on her body and mind’s ability to fight for her life, and she was a fighter.  

Remembering Pam and Paul’s obvious love for one another, they had made it to 26 years of marriage on Friday, her last words to him before the coma, ‘Happy Anniversary, I love you.’

Remembering the songs that played minutes later, talking about the glory and holiness of God, and how I couldn’t shake the thought Pam would get to experience that first hand soon, even though I prayed against that.

Remembering the urgent need for an update Sunday morning, no one had heard anything concrete, no update in the family health news section of the bulletin. Then, seconds before the sermon began, with the first words of our pastor I knew this was the terrible news we had been waiting for.  Not remembering much about anything in the sermon afterward.

Remembering with a heavy heart all the ‘could haves, would haves, should haves’ that are spiraling into the growing void we immediately felt the instant we knew she had passed.  With each new thought of what might have been, the void grows bigger.

Remembering, how my mom was spared her life yet a spiritual mother was taken away, exactly a year apart.  A mother of her own two daughters who still needed her very much.

Remembering she left behind not only a void, but a legacy of love and light that stretched far and wide, and the people who can’t believe she is gone are already lining up to support the family she left behind.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sew What

I said at the beginning of the year I wanted to sew more this year, which meant I should probably get a sewing machine. In talking about my desire to sew, an acquaintance offered me her MIL's third sewing machine she didn't use anymore....for free! That was back in March-ish and I finally used it!
This is me forming a large pillowcase from 2, to fit a large sponge pillow I'm using to elevate myself at night, which helps with my breathing. 

This is my home-maker attire, white dress and pearls :)

Now that I've broken it in, I can start on that pile of projects....when I have the time!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Back to Life

You feel hollow.
You feel dry.
You feel scattered.
You feel death.

Until you feel a breath
Blow over you.
It's the winds of change.
A breath of life.

The pieces of you that were once detached develop strong, sinewy connections.
It is an unfamiliar sensation....they have been isolated too long.
The extra attachments seem cumbersome at first, like excess baggage.
The parched pieces chaffing each other.

Until you feel them soften,
And saturate with life.
Until you feel the emptiness fill.
Until you feel whole.

And the breeze that teased
No longer blows over and through you.
It breathes into.
Back to life.

Inspired by.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pray about Everything

"I might have made a lot of things different. But I’m not God and I don’t want to change rules just because they make me uncomfortable. I want to struggle within the limits of my understanding and my devotion."  ~ 

I might put it slightly different, like, "I don't want to struggle within limitations I've placed on God. I want to struggle within the limitations of my understanding and my devotion."

I asked God why I feel such conflicting sensations in my body.

I feel emptiness.
I feel stirrings.
I feel closing walls.
I feel opening doors.
I feel exhausted.
I feel deep wells filling.
I feel caught in a hurricane.
I feel stuck.
I feel paralyzed.
I feel healed.
I feel too full.
I feel hungry.
I feel lost.
I feel hope.

I'm struggling with the limitations of my understanding. I'm struggling with my (lack of ) devotion.

And so He told me to pray. Prayer is my priority. Set aside everything that hasn't been laid on my heart by Him and pray.

That's pretty scary. That means I have to EXAMINE. Examine EVERYTHING. And lay down what is my heart and take up what is God's heart.

I feel like I'm taking my first steps onto the water. Because Jesus called to me. And I want to go in deep. And I don't want to let my fear or lack of faith overcome me. And I don't know how not to.

Except for pray.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Don't Know

I don't know what's going on with me lately.

I don't know why I am extremely tired. Several naps a week is not me. Constantly being drowsy at work. I haven't had the energy to do much of anything but be on my couch anytime I'm at home.

I don't know why I want to quit. What I want to quit changes, but it seems like a common thought...I wish I could just quit....this. I don't really want to, but the thought pops up much too often to dismiss.

I don't know why I'm anxious. I've had on and off anxiety symptoms (my chest feels like it's closing in on my lungs) for almost 2 weeks now. With no particular reason to be named. I'm not worried about anything.

I don't know why all of a sudden I'm overwhelmed by my lists. Can't even look at them. All my organizational and motivational orientation has shut down. If I see something and have the inclination in that moment to deal with that something I do, if not I forget it.

I don't know why I've lost interest in just about anything that isn't relationship related. Give me an option that includes socializing and I'll have interest and energy galore, but otherwise, I want to veg, on the couch, with t.v. or a book. Nothing else even blips my radar.

I don't know why I can be full of life one moment and virtually paralyzed the next.

I don't know why I sense there is something big coming to change my life but have nothing concrete to base that on.

I don't know if that's why my body is hitting the pause button. To prepare. To rest up.

I don't know.

Wish I did.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recipe for Bliss

4 beloved friends
2 glitter tattoos

1 bowl of chocolate & banana ice cream swirl with peanuts
Conversations of truth and love
1 aimless wander
1 daring dash over a train bridge
Arbitrary admiration among strangers crossing paths
Joyous, bubbling over, laughter
Sweltering hot sun
Cool sprinkles of rain

Full double rainbow 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Mind over matter is a popular notion, one I've more inclined to believe these days. Even if the matter is food. In fact I'm hoping it's just as true for my love-hate relationship with food.

I am really loving the insights from the site Psychology of Eating, in particular this article about Mind over Food.

I used to think, if I tell myself certain food is bad for me, I'll eat less, but the negative message my brain is telling my body, the stress it's putting my body through if I choose to have the treat, isn't worth it. Especially since that tactic is only about 50% successful from keeping me from eating in the first place.

Why have I even deemed certain food 'bad'? I've said that even about fruit because I was trying to train myself that snacking after a certain time was bad. I guess my tactic was to restrict timing rather than food, with a slight focus on quantity (but not as much as I could have). I've never been ok with eliminating a food entirely from my diet (other than processed 'food') as a way to quit my addiction to food. My addiction is eating, not a certain type of food. I eat very healthy in my opinion, even my regular snacks are healthier, nuts as opposed to chips, fruit dipped in chocolate instead of ice cream. I wouldn't eliminate it but I still called it 'bad' if it was outside my rules for timing.

I have been reading 'Reshaping It All' by Candace Cameron Bure and she quotes the scripture, 1 Timothy 4:4, "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." That's exactly the place I want to be in.  I want to be thankful for everything God has given me the pleasure of eating, and eat it from a place of thankfulness because it IS good. I do need to work on my frequency and quantity, but I so appreciate this truth that there is nothing I need to reject, there is no 'bad' food.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Works of (he)Art

A combination of revelations collided in my mind the other day, giving me this incredible ‘perspective picture’, and it’s a truth that resonated deeply within. I love it when God shows me just a glimpse of how He sees things through His eyes.

The first piece of the picture puzzle was drawn from my own conversation with God about my self-worth. God had been trying to show me back in January already that while He did create my body to be lovely and ‘wonderfully made’, it is my heart that is His masterpiece. My body is just the lovely gallery that showcases my/His (he)Art, His pièce de résistance!

There was also this whole situation that reminded me, His works of (he)art are in fact actual pieces of His heart, His heart is the medium from which we are created, we are ripped right from His chest, and He feels everything we inflict on ourselves, or others inflict on us.

Then, I was driving a few weeks ago, trying to fight off the road rage as people were ‘driving’ me crazy! God gave me a flash of seeing the drivers as humongous hearts instead of people. Not just the people I know and like, every person I saw on the road. Their hearts were His masterpiece too! They were more than the skin I was seeing, more than the brain or hands or feet I blamed, that was all just flesh surrounding His works of (he)Art.

The final piece was the song that was playing on my CD in the car shortly after. ‘His kind of love.” It was during the verse that sang “Tell me what kind of God would choose to save the bruised, the broken, the sinners, the runaways? How do you ever try to comprehend this love that knows no limit, I could try but I could not explain.” That song continues with the chorus singing, “His kind of love is reckless for us. His kind of love will never give up. 'Til the whole world knows how far He went to show His kind of love.” It reminded me of this sermon a few years back, about God dumpster diving, there is nowhere He won’t go to salvage us. Of course He wants to save the broken and discarded! It doesn’t matter what condition we are in because we are His works of (he)Art, pieces of Himself!

Imagine an artist, pouring out their imagination, their own blood, sweat and tears onto a canvas. They gift their masterpiece away only to find it later in a dumpster!? It could be torn, stained, mutilated, defaced, and left for destruction, amongst diseased and contaminated glass, needles, razors, and every other kind of disgusting, rotting, and soiled trash. It.does.not.matter. They just HAVE to rescue that piece of art, that piece of themselves, that still is bound to their mind, heart and soul.

Every human being walking the face of the earth. 
Everyone who used to walk the earth. 
Everyone who will one day walk the earth. 
You are His precious work of (he)Art. He didn’t JUST form you, He dreamed you up, He poured over your every detail, perfecting His masterpiece, drawing you out of His very own heart.

This has completely transformed the way I see myself, but mostly the way I see others around me now. If I feel so loved and cherished by my Creator with this perspective, how can I not extend that knowledge to others? How can I not see others as His works of (he)Art if that is the filter I want to see myself through? How can I possibly keep this perspective to myself?

Thank God I can’t.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You Make Beautiful Things

Ok, I promised I would do it. I promised I would look at myself and declare beauty over my body. I kinda tried to forget about it but then I would notice during a bathroom trip. I LIKE (fill in the blank) today! And it kept happening. I also knew I wanted to honour God's creation, I cannot say what He has made is NOT good. So, I knew I needed to write this out. For those days I forget. And because I promised : )

I love my hair, because it is so soft, perfect for hands running through it. It has finally become that perfect length and texture that gives me the best of both straight and curly worlds.
I love my face, because it's skin so (mostly) flawless I don't need makeup or lengthy maintenance. It's very symmetrical and perfectly proportioned.
I love my eyes, because if I look closely they have hues of gold and amber swimming in the chocolate brown, and they twinkle. There is joy in my eyes.
I love my nose, because even with the mogul bump on it's ski hill slope, it's actually cute.
I love my lips, because they are pretty perfect, soft and plump and pink.
I love my ears, because they aren't as sensitive anymore and I can wear fun earrings in my three holes each. And because they love music, music that speaks to me in so many ways that are healing to my soul.
I love my neck, because it was healed through Faith. At the time I had my Faith tattoo etched on my neck I was finishing my spiritual gifts course, of which Faith turned out to be one of my gifts. At the same time I was also suffering from chronic neck pain that never seemed to get better. I prayed that my Faith would transfer through that tattoo and heal my neck. A few months later the neck pain stopped and it has never returned to that degree.
I love my shoulders, because I think they are the most elegant part of my body, despite my 'big boned' frame. I think they make for a great canvas for my tattoos.
I love my arms, because they are quick to offer a hug, or a comforting touch, or a friendly squeeze...they reach out in empathy, compassion and love, an extension of my heart.
I love my breasts, because they are, well, ample :) I used to love that just because it gave me one thing I knew men were attracted to, but I now love them because they are womanly, they are an indication of what my female body was created for, nourishment and intimacy with my husband.
I love my waist, because it curves inward like the middle of an hourglass, more of my curvy, womanliness. I love it's skin that is so soft, ready to stretch with ease when that day will come.
I love my back, because it has previously been taken for granted, and with care it has grown strong. It is a beautiful balance of soft, delicate curves but strong enough to lift children that grow too fast, and play with them the same as I did 7 years ago.
I love my hips, because from the time I was a young woman they have been proclaimed as 'good child bearing hips.' The curve of my hips advertise strength I took for granted, and I had to work to bring them back to their full potential, and now they are ready to live up to their purpose.
I love my legs, because they are strong. Very strong. I can win leg wrestling matches with Sean, I can push great weights, I can walk for hours and hours.
I love my calves, because they have that great curve and indentation muscle that look great in high heels ;) They look pretty great in boots too.
I love my toes, because all it takes is a little nail polish and they are so pretty I tend to stare at them, a lot, lol.

So that's me, head to toe beautiful.

Monday, June 10, 2013


I have really been desperately trying to find my self-worth in the person God sees me as, His vision of me is as good as it will get and full of truth, full of grace, full of love. I want to know what He thinks of His creation, His daughter, His steward. I mentioned, a few posts back, a video about an encounter with God, asking Him two questions; How much do You love me? and What were You thinking when You created me?

To be honest, I wasn't sure I would have as clear or moving answer as the testimony in the video. After all, God was pursuing her to ask Him to answer those two questions, I was a copy-cat trying to recreate the experience for myself.

But, of course, God showed up in flying colours, literally and figuratively :)

First, How much do You love me? God celebrated me with proclaiming how much He anticipated the day I would Be. How He couldn't wait to spend time with me on earth, the person I would be He couldn't wait to be with. Wow.

Second, What were You thinking when You created me? The first thing He did was giggle and proclaim with a smile, "I'm going to need all my colours!" :) He gave me pictures of various types of sunrises/sunsets, He has given me this picture of how He sees me as a sunset before, but this time He was showing me the 'uncontainable' nature of the sun at horizon, how my vision of that was so narrow. 'All His colours' meant I had so many facets, so many sides to me...something I used to think was a detriment (good at a lot, great at nothing) but lately I've realized it's made me relatable to a lot of amazing people who enhance my life, and I enhance theirs. I see this now as something God designed me to be like on purpose! And I love that about myself now!
I've also been shown, through the words of others, how I shine His light profoundly in their life. He was showing me that as His sunset I am just dispersing His light. Like the song that was coming to mind, Indescribable (...Uncontainable), "Who imagined the sun and gives source to it's light."
Then He also equated creating me to my own paintings, tapping into that feeling I get when I get to bring into existence something I imagined. It's an amazing feeling and to feel that from Him about me...I started weeping. "Just like you can't stop fussing over your favorite creation, you just can't be done working with it because it's too wonderful a feeling, you never want to stop being connected to that piece, that's how I feel about you." and "Just like you give away your creations hoping that it will bring as much joy to others as it brings to you, that's how I feel, I want to give you to those who can appreciate you as much as I do." A little while later I saw Him dipping a paint brush into His heart to draw 'colours' from to paint me.

I couldn't have asked for a more tangible feeling that evening, to tie God's thoughts and feelings about me into something I have experienced with my hands, my head, my heart. I thought my eagerness to understand how God sees me would be quenched with an experience like that, but it was only an appetizer, only increasing my hunger for what He can show me about myself. Somehow I just know there is a much deeper well to draw from, because I know He wants me coming back for more :)

And I will.

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