Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ODP Week 4.3

So my final 2 days of dress wearing are over. People keep asking how I feel and I'm not entirely sure.

I felt a little overwhelmed with choices.

I felt a little happy I had more choices.

I felt a little shy of wearing anything with a waste line again.

I felt like I could finally cover my legs again.

People asked if I would frame, toss, or burn the dress.

It's almost a security blanket now. Sean insinuated I might become Linus with it.
I'm not quite that bad.

I have seriously considered, if I had a few more similar dresses, I would be tempted to never wear pants again.
But I live in Winterpeg, as snow tonight proved.

So, for now I don't know what my fashion tomorrow holds. But here is my last two days. As usual, the details are all in my FB album.

Day 1 - Monday

Day 2 - Tuesday

ODP Week Four

So, this is the travel episode - the reason this is a little late :) One of the reasons I chose April as my ODP month was I knew I'd be travelling for 4 days and it would make for lighter packing :) I'm smart that way!

I am so excited I haven't duplicated one single outfit yet at this point! I keep getting awesome feedback about my creative outfits and I am so inspired to do this again....and again! :) I definitely hope to do this with another, possibly more challenging dress, and maybe even a pair of pants in the future! And I am so happy to hear I have inspired a few others along the way.

As usual, for all the details on each piece, don't forget to check out my FB album.

Day 1 - Monday

Day 2 - Tuesday

Day 3 - Wednesday

Day 4 - Thursday

Day 5 - Friday

Day 6 - Saturday

Day 7 - Sunday

Monday, April 22, 2013


I have a little writer's block. I've been wanting to write all the swirling thoughts I have in my mind about beauty but can't seem to get anything coherent down. When that happens it's usually God's way of telling me to come back to it some other time, that it's still a work in progress that needs a little more light shone on it. I'm ok with that, I much prefer to write when it's God's laying it on my heart with clarity and urgency, it's not just about 'posting' then, and I learn as I write when He leads.

In the mean time, as I've been pondering, I've had no posts other than ODP for the last while :(

That will hopefully change this week as I am travelling for work and evenings can get kind of boring. I have 2 goals I'd like to accomplish with that 'free' time I wouldn't otherwise have during the week.
1. Blog more.
2. Create my own kind of 'retreat' as I am missing the woman's retreat this year because of this travel. I think my theme will be....drum roll....beauty! Well, self-image and continuing to work on my recovery steps for food addiction specifically, but I'm thinking God's going to be revealing to me some lies I've been believing about myself.

Regardless, I don't think I'll be stalled out for long. There are a few truths God's been germinating in me that I hope to flush out in some posts soon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Follow Every Rainbow

So today was the 2nd Sound of Music production I've seen with my family in 6.5 weeks. We love Sound of Music.  It's a Christmas movie tradition since as long as I can remember. In each production we know exactly when they go off script (as each theater group tends to do to make it their own). In each production we're tempted to sing along, knowing each song by heart.

But I was struck by the words of one song in a way I had never before. Seriously, I've had this movie memorized for about 30 years. Maybe it's because it's my least favorite song in the movie.  But as they sang these lines today, I was in awe:

"Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream
A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life,
For as long as you live."

I felt God telling me to keep following the rainbow and I would find my dream.

A rainbow, His symbol of promise. A symbol I have latched on to a significant portion of my life, it wasn't just Bible history, I knew it meant promises for me personally. Although, before this year, I had never attached it to any specific promise from God, it was just a beautiful masterpiece of nature I had always adored because I love colour and that work of art encompassing all colours has always just been meaningful and uplifting to me. It always helped me see there would be better days ahead. It always brings me peace and a smile.

But this time, a rainbow was very specific. This is my story of my rainbow promise. 

Now I ended that post with re-inflated hope. Almost 2 months have passed since and the air has been leaking out slowly. Not hope lost. But hope waned. Those winds of hope had died down and my heart was gently drifting back to earth. Back to my reality. Hearing those lyrics though. It was like I was hearing them for the first time. And a huge gust of wind blew through me again, my heart swelled!

My same friend who saw the sundogs texted me last night. I had just shared last week in our small group that I'm so unsure of what to hope for. That maybe this promise of children had been misinterpreted. I wasn't doubting the message but what I had determined it to be. So she texted me last night to tell me, God confirmed with her that I will have a baby, it shall come to pass (she hears 'in scripture' frequently). What timing!!

And so, I will continue to follow my rainbow in hope. I will follow it until I have a dream that will need all the love I can give, for as long as I live.

ODP Week Three

I am thoroughly thrilled and inspired by how freeing this has been!

Just a few months ago I confessed to my small group how I hate looking in the mirror, how I like everything in my closet until it's on me and then I hate them all. It opened the eyes of the guys in our group as to why some women 'can't find anything to wear' from a plethora of clothes in the closet. I have lots to wear but just about nothing that made me feel good.  No amount of new clothes 'fixed' it.

Now, just a couple weeks later and I am feeling....there really is no better word than FREE! You'd think (cuz I did) that you have to be more intentional and creative and put more effort in this project to make one dress look good for a whole month. But. Other than a bit of researching Pinterest inspiration, I have spent WAY less time humming and hawing in front of my closet. Insecurely indecisive. Taking away the freedom of choice has given me all the freedom in the world. And it doesn't hurt that I haven't had to fight with a muffin top inducing or too big, ill-fitting waist line in 21 days ;)  Some how that's made me much more forgiving of my belly bulge.

And, I have dared to try new looks I had always wanted to try but never had because I cared too much what people thought of how I would look in that style. But, heck, I'm wearing one dress for 30 days! If that isn't an 'I don't care' attitude to take advantage of, what is? All with a dress I picked last minute. The other dress I had already didn't work like I thought it would and so with the few ideas I had I picked the closest dress I had to that and just did it. After all, I had decided it was counter productive to buy a dress for this. And it just worked!

So thanks for tuning in and I'm so happy the inspiration is spreading :) For all the details on each piece, don't forget to check out my FB album.

Day 1 - Monday

Day 2 - Tuesday

Day 3 - Wednesday

Day 4 - Thursday

Day 5 - Friday

Day 6 - Saturday

Day 7 - Sunday

Sunday, April 14, 2013

ODP Week Two

Well, I'm humbled by all the positive feedback I've received for this project, thank you.  It's been such a great experience I can't wait to find a way to replicate it for another piece of clothing! Already it's been an impactful project...I have:

Bag full of hand-me-ups (since she's younger, it's not a hand-me-down ;) from my 'little' sister Jodi who just lost a lot of weight (way to go Jodi! and thanks!)
In the same spirit I gave a bag full of clothes away to a friend as well.
Respect for the art of borrowing!
Desire to buy new! I am finding a hunger growing for finding those pieces with potential at thrift stores.

So, without further ado, here is week two! Once again I'm posting the details of each outfit on Facebook.

Day 1 - Monday

Day 2 - Tuesday
Day 3 - Wednesday

Day 4 - Thursday
Day 5 - Friday
Day 6 - Saturday

Day 7 - Sunday

Friday, April 12, 2013

First World Problems

Thanks to my new quest for a life desperate for God, I have a renewed fire for dependency on God. I have the desire for it but can't seem to sustain the dependency. I want to be spiritually poor, and the more I examined that I began to think, it might be easier if I was actually poor. I have begun to lament the obstacles in my way, sadly they seem very camel sized. Sadly, they are such first world problems.
I feel a little pathetic.

Dependency on food.
 ~ I wish for the inability to be addicted to food. I heard from someone who visited our Swaziland carepoints (villages sponsored by our Church) that when the children were given a special treat of chocolate chip cookies, they weren't enthusiastic at all, and that gifter - a little offended - asked why. Food is food to them, they are on the brink of starvation, they are equally satisfied to get slop as a chocolate chip cookie treat, it is a source of life not enjoyment. It's not that I don't believe food is given as a gift of pleasure, but it's one I'm prone to abuse. Plop me in a place where I only have what I need to survive, no extra temptations, then I could rely on God instead of relying on chocolate, etc. Right?

Dependency on money.
~ I wish my hours weren't eaten up by the job I need to pay my bills. It isn't just the travel time and long lunch with little ability to spend it on what I would rather, like quality time with God, disciplining my spirit, or being active, disciplining my body. I would gladly work less hours, have less money, if it weren't for the life we've already committed to. While we're working towards less debt/expenses, I'm impatient during every 'wasted' moment in the mean time. Why don't I have to work the land instead, my hands in the earth where I move my body more and God moves in my spirit, tilling my spiritual soil as I do the same physically.

Dependency on validation.
 ~ This is a whole post in and of itself. I know I'm not the only one with self-image issues, not the only one who seeks out affirmation. Someone said recently, 'who doesn't', and I realized, that is not a third world problem, that's for sure. I watched the documentary Babies the other day and the family in Africa all wore basically the same thing, which was very little, no matter their shape or size or age, their image was clearly not of concern. God has blessed me with his view of me, I know he sees me as beautiful, again a whole post in itself, yet I can't find enough satisfaction in that. Why?! Why is that not enough? I really, really want it to be enough that God, creator of the universe, finds me lovely.

This may seem overly simplified to some, but really a lot of it is just the opposite of a perspective quite a few people have. I had it. A goal of wealth 'solves' some of the same issues. Paying for dieticians and trainers to balance out indulgence in food.  If time is money, money is time, right? More money would mean more freedom with time.  And money does a good job of covering our flaws in a multitude of options.

One day my opinion started to flip though, and I realized, releasing a lot of the trappings of this world would accomplish what I was trying so hard to build wealth for. With one difference, an increased hunger....for God. As I exposed myself to the ways of admirable people around the world, a significant number of them had some level of poverty, giving up financial security in part or all. I'm not sure I'm called to go as far as a vow of poverty, but I'm seriously seeking out ways I can give up more.

Less of me, more of God.

I do sense a desperation growing, a desperation for more desperation for God. I'm not sure yet what God is stirring up in me. Maybe he's teaching me I need to release what's trapping me up. Maybe he's taking me through the harder lesson, depending on him when I really don't 'need' to.

First world = camel sized problems.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Filthy Rags

I really cherish our pastor. I haven't supported his every decision or word out of his mouth, but more often than not I approve of and applaud what he does as our pastor. I love his heart, his no holds barred honesty, and his passion when he gets on fire for a topic/issue/project, etc.

I enjoy the type of speaking he does, especially helping us see the 'why' and 'context', with literal translations and historical & cultural frames of reference. That's right up my alley, with my love for history and my Expanded Bible.

I admire his obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. On more than one occasion he has explained how he wanted to teach vs. how he was told to teach. He has humbly confessed to how his sermon has changed because of pride or lack of faith.

I also admire his willingness to not pull any punches. He will not flower up the teaching to make it more palatable. He even unpretties our modern translations of the Bible, language society might find perfectly acceptable outside Church walls, but appalled at inside a sacred building.  I relish these messages and actually look forward to when I say 'ouch' from the conviction he's tapped into.

So, all of these came into play last Sunday and I just LOVED the message. 
First, his heart for restoration of broken people (recovery) led him to start an 8 week series on healing through Jesus' words in the Beatitudes (foundational principles of our recovery ministry). Even starting where we do, denial/admit you need God. YAY!

Second, the ouch factor. Before he got to the part about admitting we need God (poor in spirit) he spoke about why we need God. Isaiah 64:6 for example.  As he started putting on a latex glove, he explained he had not wanted to do this, that people would be too offended. But....

Third, his obedience. God said, "You will say this and I want people to leave offended". God told him, "I want people to understand how offended I am!" The glove alone had Sean and I looking at each other, with eager anticipation yet with a little pre-emptive disgust, wondering what unclean thing would be used as a metaphor. 

So, he did what no other pastor I know would do. 
He did what no other MAN I know would do.

Let me give you a hint. Think old testament. What did unclean often refer to?

Let me give you another hint. Think of what else the term 'rag' is used for.

Fourth, his dedication to literal translation. The Common English Bible (CEB) translation says: "all our righteous deeds are like a menstrual rag." So did you guess? He pulled out a used menstrual pad!

I personally wasn't offended, I've known this to be an accurate translation prior. And, as a woman, I had respect for a guy who could do that, even with a glove on. But mostly because of how he prefaced it, I believe God did tell him he wants us to know how offended he is at what we try to offer him sometimes. I was convicted.

Even though I have heard that translation before, when it comes to my own 'filthy rags' I see them like my 'filthy' dishrag. Not perfect but able to be used, good enough.


There is no use for a used menstrual pad, people don't want to even see it, never mind touch it. It is detestable, abhorrent, OFFENSIVE to all senses!

I think I get it God.

You see, lately, I have been prone to a little pride. I've been a little prideful about spending 3-4, sometimes 5 large portions (2-4 hrs at at time) of time every week on my relationship with God in very external ways.  I have been very aware of how my life may appear, and I've even been told how I seem "very servant hearted."

Oy! tricksy devil.
I've coasted a little lately because of that opinion of my outward actions.

My reasons for seeking out God in serving and community haven't changed, but my attitude in those moments....slightly.

When I am resentful of lack of help. Filthy rag.

When I am tired and just want my Friday nights back....to waste. Filthy rag.

When I feel taken for granted and show up as the martyr. Filthy rag.

When I feel like no one else does it 'good enough' and I try to do as much as I can, all on my own. Filthy rag.

When I wish I could pick and choose who I serve. Filthy rag.

I have been giving God my filthy rags and expecting he approves of them because I genuinely do want to serve him, and I genuinely do want be his conduit, and I genuinely do want to be immersed in his family. But when I do it out of my own power, and my own self-seeking desire for the personal rewards I get, and do it out of my sense of having something to offer. How could I not see that was pretty offensive?

When do I turn to God, desperate for His sustenance?

When do I depend on God for my every day survival?

When do I humbly declare myself not worthy?

When I do that, those would be the moments Jesus calls poor in spirit. Jesus calls blessed.
Blessed = approved of. Yes, love me those translations :)

I want God to approve of me, bless me, because I do everything out of desperate need for him. I want everything that flows out of me to get that "Gold Star" from God, not man.

Not myself.

Not a hard choice.

Gold Star vs. filthy rag.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Musical Mondays

I am truly blessed to hear, and understand when, God is speaking to me.

I still find it a little hilarious though when he decides to speak to me through some 'unorthodox' songs on the radio, granted it is just parts of the song out of context, but still! I LOVE that he reaches out through my mundane every day with these messages!

Here's some of my latest 'mix-tape' from God :)
(video of song linked to each title, for reference in case you've never heard of these songs)

Let Me Love You
(from God's perspective)
I can see the pain behind your eyes
It's been there for quite a while
I just wanna be the one to remind you what it is to smile
I would like to show you what true love can really do

Girl let me love you
And I will love you
Until you learn to love yourself
Girl let me love you
I know your trouble
Don't be afraid, girl let me help

Crazy Girl
(from God's perspective)
Crazy, girl, don't you know that I love you?
And I wouldn't dream of goin' nowhere
Silly woman, come here, let me hold you
Have I told you lately?
I love you like crazy, girl 

Shameless  - I used a cover version, not fond of the 2 well known versions :)
(from my perspective)
And I'm changing,
Swore I'd never compromise,
Oh, but you convinced me otherwise.
I'll do anything you need.

I have never let anything have this much control over me.
I've worked too hard to call my life my own.
And I've made myself a world, and it's worked so perfectly,
But it sure won't now, I can't refuse,
I've never had so much to lose.
Ohh I'm shameless...

I'm shameless.
I don't have the power now,
And I don't want it anyhow,
So I gotta let it go.

(from God's perspective)
Put aside the math and the logic of it
You gotta know you're wanted too...

I wanna make you feel wanted
And I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
Yeah, I, I wanna make you feel wanted

Anyone can tell you you're pretty, yeah
And you get that all the time, I know you do
But your beauty's deeper than the make-up
And I wanna show you what I see tonight


Sunday, April 7, 2013

ODP Week One

Well, from day one I've been excited by the challenge of coming up with creative outfits to:
a) fall in love with the wardrobe I have all over again!
b) disguise that I'm wearing the same dress for 30 days in a row! no one even mentioned my same 'skirt' all week!
c) prove less is more!
I think week one went very well, other than spilling on it the first and third day :) That's what tide-to-go pens are for!
And I'm still excited for the remaining 23 days!

For full descriptions of my outfits (and how little I spent on them :) see my Facebook album here.

Day 1 - Monday

Day 2 - Tuesday

Day 3 - Wednesday
Day 4 - Thursday

Day 5 - Friday
Day 6 - Saturday
Day 7 - Sunday

And that is the end of week one!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It is days like these I am thankful for:

My sister's successful surgery this morning.

Medical advancements.

Living in a country with some of best medical advancements.

The percent of risk was in our favor.

People who pray when you ask.

Living in a country you can ask for prayer on a public social media site.

My family.

My own health.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

My last 3 posts about health (one, two, three) have all been about transforming my mind in order to transform my body. I am beginning to understand so clearly that this is not a battle in my fat cells, or a battle of the will, this is a battle of my mind.

In the last 8 months, but especially the last 8 weeks, I have come a long way in understanding victory or defeat lies in my choices.
My choices rely on the thoughts that are at the forefront of my mind.
I need to be aware of the origins of my thoughts, truth or trash.
I need to use truth to stay out of denial and to see myself and choices realistically.
I need to take captive of the trash and take it to the curb (or farther!).

I was beginning to realize how incredibly intentional I was going to have to be in order to produce the fruit of self-control.
Intentionally discipling myself, understanding the truth of what God wants from me.
Intentionally inspiring myself, understanding the truth of how God really sees me.
Intentionally motivating myself, understanding the truth of God's idea of healthy.

I am slowly beginning to see transformation. Not so much in my external body, but in how I see my body and treat my body. I know the external transformation will follow shortly.

I have been confident before.
And failed.
I have wondered over the last 8 months, will it be different this time?
I've had hope in my willpower before.
And failed.

This time I have a secret weapon.

It's science. 
God told us about it in Romans 12:12.
The secret weapon is that God made my brain so that I personally have the ability to renew it, and change it! Duh, right?!
I obviously understood that to some degree, but it took a counselor speaking at recovery last Friday night for me to really grasp what that meant.  

What we meditate on changes our neural pathways, in simpler terms, changes our thinking. This ability to change neural pathways is called neuroplasticity - the plasticity means MOLD-ABLE!  
What you think about works in your brain a lot like real life roads/pathways. The pathways that get increased traffic (thoughts you think frequently) soon get paved, added lanes, is well maintained and eventually it turns into a super neuron highway. Whatever you don't think about often enough (even if it is truth) turns into an old country dirt path with growth covering it, full of potholes and ruts that isn't easy to travel and gets overlooked or avoided. 

My understanding of my brain thus far was close, more like that my current neuron pathway was like a Nascar track, sponsored by LNEGM (Lori's Negative Emotional Coping Mechanisms). I felt like, in order to think/live healthy, I would have to somehow free myself of that centrifugal force and drive through the field, in the ruts, driving until I could find a healthy super highway. I was out there driving just about every overgrown road you could find, covered in weeds, just there long enough to use it to search for the healthy super highway. That was never going to happen! So I would get tired and go back to the easy loop da loop. But now I know I need to intentionally choose the right roads that will lead me to the right place, stick to them no matter the conditions, taking care of them because those are my every day routes, and that is how I will CREATE the healthy super highway. 

I feel like my mind has been blown! 

At the beginning of the talk, the speaker gave out modelling clay without telling us why. I formed the letter L for Lori. As he talked about the character defects we have that just can't seem to let go of, it transformed into L for Lazy. By the end of the evening, once I realized my brain was just as mold-able as the clay, the L transformed again, and now it stands for Lovely.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lost and Found

Over the years my blogging has served different functions for me.

Sometimes a journal, or a way to share life long distance, or a way to understand myself better, or a vessel for truth I'm called to share, or a way to document life's simpler moments.

Sometimes I've had to try really hard to keep blogging part of my life.
Sometimes I've had posts piled up in pre-written form waiting to be published.

Sometimes life is just too busy/hard/personal to post about.
Sometimes life has been too precious and/or profound to not share, no matter how intense. 

I've had periods where I've been consumed with topics to write about, feeling like it is my purpose to relay the understanding I've been gifted.
I've had periods where I aimlessly ask questions, digging for something meaningful about myself.

I've been on quests for health.
I've been on quests for laughter.
I've been on quests for love.
I've been on quests for growth.
Honestly, I've even been on quests for followers.

I have found and I have lost.

Recently, I've looked back at quite a few previous posts, especially over the last few months. The new year feels like it was a completely different year. Oh the intentions I had. More documenting. More journalling. More truth sharing. More creativity. More self-discovery. More finding. I hadn't anticipated more losing.

But it turns out I also did find.

I found a more organic blogging - posts that developed naturally with no intentional agenda. I found that in a time I was going to retreat I instead reached out. When I wanted to reject reflection, my mind and calendar were opened, but then room was made for pondering truths I hadn't squeezed into my schedule for a while. I found refocus in hammering out my thoughts here. I've found rekindled passion for writing, for story-telling. I found a different kind of honesty, not just being real with the truth in my posts, but being real in my whole approach to posting, desire-based posting, not driven-based posting.

Turns out I have found more truth sharing, more self-discovery, more of what I've really wanted blogging to mean to me.

I like this 'new' blog I've found. I think I'll keep it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm down with ODP! Yeah You Know Me!

Ok, I may not be synonymous with the ODP (One Dress Project)....yet, but this idea of committing to one piece of clothing per month has really latched on to my under-utilized sense of justice. This may not just be a one month venture but for now I will take one step at a time.

April is my ODP month and I'm so excited it's finally here! Yes, I am the one choosing which month, but optimal conditions perfectly aligned and so now it is upon me :) I hope to post my daily outfits a week at a time but to kick off here is a picture of just my ODP dress.

I look forward to 30 days of caring less about my outfits, less consumerism (buying absolutely no clothes), thinking of ways I can pare down my wardrobe, being happy with less/simplicity, stretching my imagination/creativity, finding creative ways to reuse/recycle/share clothes, and making this choice about 'more of God and less of me'.
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