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 :)
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