Sunday, April 14, 2019

April 2019 - Week 16

The blog post in which I shamelessly plug the organization I work for by highly recommending the products and services we offer. I'm doing this because.

Because so many (TOO many) conversations I'm a part of lately are about marriages ending. Marriages in crisis. Marriages that are boring. Men that leave. Husbands that are struggling. Wives that are hurting. Women that are overwhelmed. Friends who've been married 20 - 30 years are divorcing. It's gross.

I am immersed in "How to's" all the livelong day. Marriage how to's. Dating how to's. Parenting how to's. Grandparenting how to's. Praying how to's. And because it's so much a part of my life, I forget that other people may not know about the help and resources that are available. If you're in the middle of stormy waters struggling to stay afloat, you may not know (or remember) that you've got a friend who's just a few feet away, on the shore, with a life raft in her hand.

So think of this post as me, your friend, on the shore, with some life rafts you can access if you're in over your head in some choppy water.

~*~

If your marriage is on the brink of divorce, don't sign the documents yet. Hope Restored is an intense counselling experience with a remarkable success rate for couples in crisis. Please give yourself/your family a second chance. Lots of info on the website, but if you want to talk to someone, call 1.833.999.HOPE (4673)


~*~

If you know things 'just aren't right' with your marriage... and you need some clarity, but aren't ready to talk to someone quite yet, read this. Is your marriage disappointing, difficult, or destructive? It's a great article based on this book (which I'm half-way through reading; I highly recommend it. With all my heart.)


I stopped reading marriage books, oh about 20 years ago, but the reviews on this one were so positive that I got a copy. Please. If you are struggling in your marriage, read this. I chatted with one of our counsellors, and she can't say enough good things about this writer, her research, her work, her book. 

~*~

Which brings me to my next bit of advice. If you're confused about your marriage, or something happened that you need help processing, or you feel like you're drowning, or things just aren't good, call our counselling department. There is someone who is equipped to help you. Someone who will tell you you're not crazy. Someone who will listen, understand, not judge, offer resources and assistance. Your first session is free. Totally confidential. And it might just be the first step in things turning around for you. Please call. 1.800.661.9800 

~*~

If you're not ready to actually talk to someone, maybe ask us to pray? We gather every morning to pray for anyone who sends us a(n) (anonymous) prayer request. Go to our website, fill in the form. 

It would be our honor and privilege to pray for you, your marriage, your family. 

~*~

Speaking of our website, it's bursting with good, relevant, sound, life-giving, hope-filled articles. 
Click here to get to our website. Then choose, from the menu across the top, marriage, parenting, or life's challenges. Yes, I know. Reading an article doesn't change a marriage. But it helps by putting another tool in your toolbox. It gives you perspective, information, hope, words... It may be the thing you need to start the conversation. Please have a look. There's nothing going on in your relationship that we haven't written about. Adultery, affairs, addiction, abuse ... 



~*~

MAYBE your marriage isn't in crisis. It's fine. Totally fine. You don't need an intervention nor do you need to talk to a counsellor. But there's this one, tiny, thing - hardly worth mentioning at all... 

Could I suggest attending an event taught by counsellors (not comedian entertainers)? These are marriage enrichment events... created for couples who are looking to make a strong marriage even stronger, these events are based on the proven, Biblically based principles that come directly out of the Hope Restored marriage intensive program. These principles provide couples with practical tools to create a more vibrant, intimate and loving marriage. Marriage enrichment events are available in two different formats: 

CONFERENCE - where you learn, along with 100's of other couples, so many good things, on a Friday evening/Saturday morning event, usually in a church setting. 

RETREAT - where you stay in one of our retreat centres/or a resort-type hotel, along with other couples, and learn the same good things, in a relaxed setting with lots of time for discussions and snuggles. 

Information about these events is found here. (Retreats at our retreat centres sell out very very quickly, so head's up...)

We have two more conferences booked for this year:

April 28/27 in Abbotsford

Sept 28 in Edmonton. 

Maybe invest in your children's marriages by gifting them the registration? Do it for your grands? May strong marriages be part of your family's legacy.

~*~

Speaking of your grands. We have stuff to help there too. Articles. Resources. Counselling. Prayer. Can I suggest getting magazine subscriptions for them?

Clubhouse Jr. for ages 3 and up

Clubhouse for ages 8 - 12

Brio OH MY GOODNESS. This is a stunning magazine. I have a copy of the most recent edition on my desk at work and I LOVE IT. For teen girls. A really, really great publication.




~*~

And lastly, here's a suggestion. 
We are highly influenced by the social media we consume. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. We do this for a number of reasons; we're nosey, curious, bored, researching, wondering, need to be entertained... Those sites we visit, and the information we swallow, becomes a part of us. Things that might have felt alarming a few years ago, become normal because we have a steady diet of it. 

Maybe, add some nourishing nibbles to our daily online diet? Focus has a TV show and a radio broadcast. Both are half hour and filled with stories of hope. Think of it as eating blueberries and kale. In a smoothie. 


~*~


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. My job.
2. My team.
3. Four day week coming up. 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



  • Proudest moment this week: I got myself back to the gym. It took alot of self-talk. How come I can't make this a thing I just DO. Why can't it just be a part of me. I have "gym" written on my calendar EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. But if anyone invites me to walk/talk/coffee/tea/movie/dinner/shop, I'll drop my plans and go. I suck at gymming. And taking care of my body.
  • Most embarrassing moment of the week: I'm deleting this category. I will never share my most embarrassing thing. Ever. 
  • Funniest moment of the week: Did I laugh this week? (Last two weeks. Haha. I also suck at blogging once a week...) 
  • Biggest achievement of the week: Drew put together the bed frame last weekend. But Ikea didn't sell/include the metal support beam, and I got the wrong slats, so all of that was delayed. TIL THIS WEEKEND. (Because I'd watched Danica put together the slats for their frame last weekend, I was somewhat confident I could do the same.) My biggest achievement was getting my bed at the lake DONE. Now I have to buy king-sized bedding. 
























Last weekend; my mattress on the floor, in FRONT of the frame.




























Friday night, midnight:










































































Grateful that Clint was there to help me carry the slat-frame upstairs then lift that king mattress onto the frame. 

VOILA:









































I put one of the extra queen mattresses on the floor, for whenever I feel like sleeping in the corner. Haha. 

























Actually, its for when I want to watch British TV shows while the kids play Nintendo on the downstairs TV. Someday I'll get a couch for that corner, but for now, it'll do. 

























  • Best moment of the week: When they were dating they used to make (StarWars) Lego sets together. I loved watching them put together a larger Lego-type project:

































































































I was sitting on a stool in the corner, visiting with them while they worked, and realized, while in the moment, that there was no where else in the world that I wanted to be. Complete contentment and joy. 










































































  • Best holiday memory of the week: I texted Jim in the afternoon, "It's National Siblings Day. Want to meet for coffee?" At 7:30 we were at the last free table at Tim Horton's. As he sat down, he asked, "What're your spiritual gifts and how are you using them in the church to further God's kingdom". And so we swam around in the deep end of the conversation pool for a few hours. Kinda awesome. 
























(I'm going to see Jule this week, so, no, I didn't reach have coffee with her. I did call tho.) My mom scoffs whenever I tell her I'm going out for a coffee with anyone. Because I don't actually drink coffee. So, in the interest of reliable reporting, when I mention coffee here, let it be known that it's a euphemism for talk. I'm going out for a talk. A beverage will probably be consumed. It may or may be hot. I will likely drinking an ice water. 
  • Best advice I heard this week:
This is a pic of the wall next to the warehouse entrance on the main floor of my building. So whenever I go downstairs, I see it. Am reminded of it. And I feel better about life/my circumstances/unanswered prayers/my family/people I love...



















He is able. 
TO DO MORE THAN WE COULD ASK FOR OR IMAGINE.
And He's on it. 
SO chill. 
  • Most grateful for this week: The creative team who took turns leading devo's the rest of the week. Who overflow with talent and integrity. Who are kind to each other and helpful to our clients. 
  • Favorite family memory of the week: This whole 'Replacing The Beds' project is taking f o r e v e r. Like, for literal real. Buying the mattresses, buying the frames, being there for delivery, cleaning the carpets, setting up bedframes, setting up beds, removing all the packaging and old mattresses.... (I'm loving every minute of it.)





































































































































  • Biggest regret of this week: Why can't I stop eating foods made with sugar? Seriously. JUST STOP ALREADY?
  • Best thing I learned this week: Typically, when I need hot (boiled) water for something (oatmeal, tea) at work, I walk upstairs to get it from the appliance that supplies boiling water to the coffee machine. BUT THIS WEEK, for the first time in 6.5 years, I didn't walk Up The Stairs. I stayed on my own floor, and using the big black knob on the Latte machine, with much steamy fan fare, I got my cup of boiling hot water. 














































  • Biggest change I made this week: After successfully avoiding leading devo's for six and a half years, the coordinator wasn't having it any longer. I HAD TO TAKE A TURN. So Monday was my day. MONDAY at 9 am. (Yes, a perfect storm. I don't do mornings. Mondays are the hardest day of the week. And standing in front of a room of peers, leading them into something spiritual/holy/prayer-like was my absolute worst nightmare. TIMES A MILLION.) As per usual, I ended up taking the allotted ten-minute time frame and stretching it into a 45 minute emotional session. Last month I'd previewed a talk that Emily Colson shared in January about life with her autistic son, Max, and it had me tearing up at my desk. I watched it a few more times, hoping to be desensitized by the time I shared it on Monday, but that was a fail. Haha. I teared up AGAIN on Monday. Oy. (Next time, if there has to be a next time, I'm hoping I can share something light-hearted.) (Her talk was about many things, but the takeaway for me? Was that pro-life means supporting anyone who needs help with life. It doesn't mean anti-abortion. It means supporting women with unplanned pregnancies, sure. BUT IT ALSO MEANS, walking alongside families who're overwhelmed with the needs of a special-needs child. It means loving babies/children/teens/adults who're struggling due to the issues and circumstances beyond their control and abilities. It means finding a place for everyone in your church. It means offering an autistic adult a job. It means becoming friends a down syndrome child. It means eating with/feeding someone who needs assistance with a fork. And so on. 
  • Best gift I received this week: It wasn't exactly a gift, because I did order them, but they arrived this week AND I LOVE THEM. Thanks, Woodever Crafts. They're perfect.



















































  • Most inspiring person this week: Strive Masiyiwas Strive Masiyiwa (born in 1961) is a London-based Zimbabwean businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is famous for his business expertise and philanthropy, and is considered one of Africa's most generous humanitarians. He has used his wealth to provide scholarships to over 100,000 young Africans over the past 20 years through his family foundation. He supports over 40,000 orphans with educational initiatives, as well as sponsoring students at universities in America, The United Kingdom, and China. During the last few years, Masiyiwa has devoted his time to mentoring the next generation of African entrepreneurs on social media. Facebook has identified his platform as having the most engaged following of any business leader in the world.
  • Word to describe this week: Full
  • Unexpected obstacles I faced this week:
  • Unexpected surprise this week: LAST week I bought two rolls of Sweet Tarts. I only eat the blue and pink ones. 




































Sigh. A total of 5 blue and 0 pink in two packages. 
So IMAGINE MY DELIGHT when I was surprised THIS week with my 3 packages of Smartie/Rockets:

LOOK HOW MANY EDIBLES I GOT THIS TIME! (I still don't eat green, purple or yellow, but pink, orange and white? Are all my favs!)






















  • Best place I visited this week: Saturday afternoon was Community Day. So Heather and I spent three hours walking around Fort Langley. 















































These were our people. We were all enjoying Community Day; there were groups of us everywhere, collecting Bagons and evolving Pikachu's. 






























































Every store along the main drag (Glover) had potted plants in their doorway. SO pretty. 


































































































Each one was unique and beautiful.





























































I mean, I guess you COULD choose to believe that we are here by some accident in the cosmos, and everything in our natural world is the result of a big bang... but I'd rather believe that these colours, textures, scents, shapes are the result of a creative being who loves making beautiful things. 



  • New skill I learned this week: A couple times a month, (my) creative team has lunch together in the boardroom, watching a Global Leadership Summit presentation. For the past two years, I've asked our IT guy to set this up for me. BUT HE WAS GOING TO BE AWAY on Friday, so I asked him to show me how. He did. I learned. And on Friday, I handled it by myself. We watched Strive Masiyiwa's interview. 
  • Biggest obsession this week: Wondering when my phone's weather app would have sunshines on it. 
  • Best food I ate this week: Perogies with bacon and onions, late on Friday night with Clint at the cabin. Everything about that sentence is magical, yes? 
  • Best TV I watched this week: One episode of The Bay (British show). I really don't sit in my TV room very often.




















  • Best movie I watched this week: Dumbo.
























  • Book(s) I'm reading this week:
























This one ^ is for book club. I will admit, I'm struggling.

Plus this one (below):
























(Which is fascinating.)
  • Most excited about this for NEXT YEAR:
  • New skill I want to learn NEXT YEAR:
  • Place I want to visit NEXT YEAR:
  • Something to try NEXT YEAR:
  • One thing to work harder on NEXT YEAR: