Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pictures from the Great White North!

Hello everyone-
It's good to be back! ...more on that later!
As some of you may already know, I was given the opportunity to travel to Yellowknife in November for work. I thought I would share some highlight pictures from the trip. It was an amazing chance to see a whole different part of Canada. God's creation never fails to take my breath away!

In His Love-

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Everything is changing

I’m a firm believer that God has a plan for our lives, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering my favourite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. During so many rough times in my life I have clung to the fact that God has that perfect plan for me. However, lately that really hasn’t been helping. I’m looking at the hand of cards God has dealt me, and I feel like yelling “deal again, because these cards STINK!”. I don’t want this plan; I want to know Plan B, Plan C…Plan Z!!

I went home a few weeks ago to visit some friends, go on a few job interviews and take care of my parents’ house while they were in Vancouver. While I was there I met up with two of my friends, Heather and Tracy, for lunch at one of our favourite Kanata restaurants. We laughed so hard, and it felt so good! We got caught up on each others lives and went over all the old funny stories from when the three of us used to work together. I felt so good to laugh so much that my sides were hurting and at one point I actually had tears in my eyes! When I got into the car afterwards, I sat for a minute and realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed that hard. It made me really sad, which I know may sound crazy- who gets sad over being happy?! It made me miss the “old days”, when I was happy with my life and everything was going well.

I don’t deal with change very well- I like everything to stay the same. This past year has been a constant reminder that everything in my life is changing. I feel like I’ve lost all my old church friends- out of the ten of us, I’m the last single, childless one. Whenever I see them I feel like I don’t fit in anymore; their lives and priorities are so different than mine. It’s hard to hear “Lauren, come hear about my great new job/hold my new baby/meet my gorgeous husband” when nothing is working out for me. I know, I sound immature right now!

If I could, I would snap my fingers and go back three years. I was so happy then- I had school, swimming, horses, jobs that I loved, friends that I could laugh with. I feel like I used to have everything, and I’m just sort of sinking right now. My grandmother said that everyone needs to fail at some point in life, but I’m not enjoying it. I got very used to being an honours student, varsity athlete, sports editor for the campus paper…I sat on committees, went to conferences, rescued cats (does anyone remember little Jack?)!!

I went out to the barn when I was home to say hi to some of my barn friends and see some of the horses, and as I walked down the aisles of the barn, it really hit me: everything is different now. The staff is almost completely different- most of us have moved away or gone on to other jobs. I used to know all the clients, and as I read the names on the stall doors I thought “I don’t even know who half these people are, and I’ve only been gone for four months!”. I guess the change had happened slowly over time, but it really hit me that day that people are moving on and growing up.

I think I could handle this better if for me moving on meant moving on to something better. Right now I’m struggling so much with work. My work in Muskoka got extended to the end of October, but it’s only volunteer work. It’s been a great experience (I’ll have to post pictures soon), but I’m ready to figure out what’s next. I’m applying to every job I can, and barely getting any interviews. I’ve been looking into going back to school and I’ve found a few programs I’m interested in, but without a (paying) job, I have no idea how I’m going to afford it.
I consider myself an optimist, which I would say is a result of my faith- that God will never give me more than I can handle and that He had a plan for me that will give me hope and a future. I like to smile and laugh and I just wish I felt like it more. I know in my heart it will all work out, but my head is having a hard time getting it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sick of waiting

This week-end has been rough, and it’s only half over. I haven’t wanted to say anything because I hate complaining and sounding like a whiner, but for the past year I haven’t been feeling well, and these past six months have been the worst. I’m exhausted all the time, and I just don’t feel like myself. On Wednesday I went in to see my doctor again, and I got to endure the silence as she once again studied my chart. (By the way, “I don’t know what to tell you” is NOT the most reassuring thing to hear from a doctor!). So, I spent Wednesday afternoon having more blood samples taken.
My doctor’s office has a policy where they only call you if your test results are positive. On Friday I got home from work and there was a message for me from the doctor’s office asking me to call, but they had already closed up for the week-end when I called back. So, now I get to wait until Monday morning. I can’t wait that long! I JUST WANT TO KNOW!!! They tested for so many different things that I just want to know what they found- or if they found anything, or if they’re just calling to say “someone lost a glove-was it you?” or something equally trivial.
This has been stressing me out since I got the message- it’s all I can think about. The entire time the phone was ringing I found myself praying, and just asking God that it not be something serious. So, please pray that I can relax and actually get some sleep and be patient while I wait for Monday to come. I’m already exhausted- I don’t want to miss even more sleep, plus this is a big week-end for my swimmers as they’re at another meet and I need to keep my focus on them. (This is probably the first time in my life I’ve ever looked forward to the week-end being over!).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Staying Mum

Lately I’ve been very discouraged about my blogging (as evidenced by my lack of posting anything!). There are countless times when I’ve sat down to try and write something and can’t find the words. Anyone who takes a look at my laptop contents will see easily thirty half-written attempts at posting something.
As I spoke about in my last post, my relationship with Christ has been going well- I’m lacking in zeal no more! My devotions have been great and I really feel like I’m creating a deeper relationship with God. (I still haven’t found a new church yet, but I’ve been praying and I’m optimistic that God will lead me to the right one). So what have I found so discouraging? I feel like I have nothing of value to share. I’ll read all my regular blogs and get so much out of them. Verses or sentiments that people write about really touch me, and there are so many times when something I read will prompt me to study my Bible even more. I’ll sit down to write something and feel like I have absolutely nothing to say back. Somehow it just grew easier to say nothing at all then something boring and irrelevant.
Last week-end I had brunch with a friend who is also a recent university grad. Our topic of conversation was how this is a very uncertain time in our lives, with so many decisions to make and no idea what path our decisions would lead us down. My friend made the comment “I wish you could predict life”. I couldn’t help but think of my favourite verse. Even though we can’t predict life, as Christians we DO know that God has a plan for our lives- a plan to prosper us and not harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future. That’s something to be thankful for and carry in our hearts, especially with so many of us facing uncertainties.

In His Love-


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lacking in zeal no more!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to spend some time at a friend's house in the Muskokas. I declined because I was so busy, and I felt guilty taking off on a vacation when I hadn't made any plans for the fall yet. With two jobs (part-time, but better than nothing!) lined up, and the dark circles under my eyes growing by the day, I decided that maybe a vacation was in order. My birthday is tomorrow (Sunday), so I decided that this would be my treat to myself for my birthday!
And the outcome? It was the best birthday present EVER!! I spent all week boating, relaxing and eating homemade lasagna and chocolate cookies! There was even a Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake! I took a lot of pictures but right now they're not loading, so hopefully I can figure out the problem and have them up in a day or two.
I brought my Bible and some devotional readings along with me, and I spent a lot of afternoons relaxing in the back of the boat reading. I honestly feel like my relationship with God is back on track, if not stronger than ever. While my Muskoka vacation was a good thing, my vacation from a relationship with God this past month has been a BAD thing. It feels so great to be back on track and refreshed.
I wish I could write more but my bags still need to be unpacked. I'll end with a verse that I read earlier on in the week and just really stuck with me all week:

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- Romans 12:11-12

In His Love-


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Quick Update

This past week has been a nightmare for me! I woke up Wednesday feeling absolutely awful. Any one else ever had a fever in the middle of a roasting hot summer? Not fun. After taking WAY too much time off of work to try and get better (and still really feeling not so good right now), I'm heading back to work tomorrow. I've been praying like crazy that I'll start to feel better, because I've got a lot of work coming up in both my jobs, and I've already lost almost a week's pay at each job as well.
So, that's why I haven't been posting again. THANK YOU for the prayers sent my way as I continue to struggle with forgiveness.

In His Healing Love-


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Forgiveness and Stuff

To err is human, to forgive divine- how very, very true! Forgiveness has certainly proved to be very hard for me lately.
I’ve been struggling for a while with trying to forgive someone for something that they did to me. In my life, many people have hurt me or done something bad to me. Some have asked for forgiveness and/or apologized, and others haven’t bothered to do either, but I’ve always managed to forgive them. Conversely, I’ve also been the one to mess up, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive forgiveness.
To make a very long story short, years ago a member of a church I used to attend was caught talking about me in a not-so-positive way. This person wasn’t just a church member, but an elder, and a well-respected one. I swam for my university swim team for two seasons, until an injury forced me to retire. During my first year away at school, I joined this church, but with a heavy competition schedule, I was away competing an average of three week-ends a month. Whenever I was able to, I attended the Sunday meeting. I couldn’t go to the “College and Careers” group because they met on a Friday night, and I had practice Friday night and then again at 5:30 am on Saturday mornings.
A group of people who know me (including some family members) met this particular elder at a conference, and when they heard which church he was from, they asked him if he knew me. This is when the man started on a long and rambling speech about how I was a lackluster Christian, that my attendance was shabby at best, that I hadn’t shown any willingness to socialize with the other people my age and that he really didn’t want to be bothered with someone like me, who would only semi-commit themselves to attending church. Apparently, he also made a face like he was sucking on lemon when my name was first mentioned. Keep in mind, this was coming from my grandmother, so I’m sure she was softening the blow.
I never went back to that church (those who read my testimony last summer will remember that I didn’t go ANYWHERE for a while afterwards). About a year later, I saw this man in the grocery store, and I hid in the next aisle over until he left. To this day I’m so humiliated by what he said. It may sound immature to say that he hurt my feelings, but he did. I still feel tears welling up when I think about it. It frustrates me that he thought that about me, but what frustrates me the most is that he (or anyone else) never asked why I was hardly around. Now that I’m older, I can look back on the situation with better perspective than I could when I was eighteen and I realize now that I should have spoken to someone and explained my absence, and that I truly was doing the best I could. I guess hindsight really is 20/20.
The entire situation shook my faith. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it really did shake me. I think I’ve done a good job so far of recovering, but for the past month it’s really been weighing on me. No matter how hard I try, I can’t forgive this person. It’s been YEARS, and I still feel so much anger when I think about it. I have a strong feeling the Lord has been putting this desire in my heart to forgive, but I just CAN’T. I want to, but I can’t- it still stings.
So, that’s what’s been happening with me this past month.

I read Matthew 7:1-5 this week, and I think it serves as such a great reminder that we shouldn’t judge others.

Struggling with forgiveness….

Love In Christ-