Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Girl with her Tools!

Well, I've been bitten by the renovation bug. There are a number of small jobs I've wanted to do around the house as of late. Today I tackled two of these projects. They didn't take long and the end result was definitely worth it. 

So, I started in the small bathroom in our basement. When we moved in it had been painted white. I didn't think much of it and assumed the paint was covering something horrific. Over time the paint on a corner had worn off, what was underneath looked a lot better. So, I decided to take all of the paint off and hope for the best.

I forgot to take the before picture...I was too eager to spray it with the paint remove

In Progress
After spraying the counter I read the instructions (yes, I said AFTER) and discovered the paint remover needed to sit for 1-6 hours. Those that know me, know I am not one to wait. So, I decided to sand my railing. It had gouges all down one side.
Some gouges were worse than this
I started the job with my Mouse sander.

When I wanted to change the sand paper I discovered we have a real big girl sander.

The big girl sander worked a lot better. I was smiling and enjoying feeling like a strong independent woman.  Well, during one of my sand paper replacements I came across a nasty brown, hairy 'roided spider. And was quickly reduced to screaming like a little girl and waving my hands about. Don't worry, I managed to kill it (sorry, I am not one of those set it free types).
I finished the banister and rubbed it down with olive oil. I still need to stain or varnish it, but I think it turned out beautifully.

Finished Project

Back in the bathroom I was able to get all of the paint off of the counter and yet another beautiful result!

Finished  Project
Now all that's left to do in the bathroom is the floor and to paint. My next project though is the other railing. It's a dissaster!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Wonderful Reminder of How Beautiful YOU Are!

I came across this video this morning and really felt the need to share His message. How many of us go through life always feeling not good enough? The video is not very long but is powerful and poetically stated. Take two minutes out of your day and take it all in.

YOU are beautiful BECAUSE of yours imperfections!

First Day

Well, I did it. I somehow made it through the day! I worked my first contract for two hours with my husband's help. Then we went to the in-laws for a lovely supper. I dropped the hubby and kids off at home and went back to do the second job alone. This is a job I'll be doing 6 days a week. It took me 4 hours! I didn't stop to rest the entire time! I'm exhausted now. We'll see how my body feels tomorrow although I made sure to take Advil. The best part about this whole thing is that I managed to stay within calories! I burned around 2000 calories today! 
Honestly, I only survived the day by the grace of God! Here's hoping I'll make it to church in a few hours! I'm praying our church gets a positive response to a prayer we've been praying hard for!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Thankful Heart

I had an amazing day yesterday! I woke up to find I've lost 3 lbs this week! I managed to revamp Being eLLe and finally get my post up. A little later I received word that I'm finally getting a regular job with my husband's cleaning company. I'll be working 2.5 hours daily from Monday - Friday and 5 hours on Saturdays.

It has been such a struggle to wait for God's timing in this. Looking back I can see where God nudged me to get through my struggles. Seeing forward is a mystery to me and so hard to trust that everything will work out when I can't see the way through. God can see the path clearly and after a day like yesterday I am so thankful and beautifully reminded of God's love for me even when I am afraid.

Oh, in case you're wondering, yes, I'm quite pleased to have any job right now, especially one that works with my family. I haven't given up on my career, I'm still trying to discern what's next for me in that department. That's a whole other post that I will get to soon.

For now I'm just happy that I'll be working again and that I'll be contributing financially to my household.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend full of God's richest blessings!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Personal Journey (Warning - long post below)

Have you ever taken a break from something you love? Did you find it difficult to pick it
back up? I haven't blogged regularly for quite a while. I would write a few posts, take a
break and come back trying to rev myself back up. I've been thinking about writing for
months now, but just didn't know where to start or what to say. so, here I am now. I've
been a personal journey this year, or I suppose it's been over the last two years.

February 2011 my contract with my employer ended. I was at a loss for what to do next until
one of my best friends suggested I go back to school. I hadn't considered this and had no
idea what I would want to take. There were two things I was sure of - I did NOT want to
work in a call center and I DID want to help people. This led to me going through the
Second Career process which was a lot of work and a lot of waiting. At the last minute I
was accepted and started the Addictions and Community Service Worker program at Everest

I had an amazing teacher who tells it like it is and I learned a lot from him. I also
learned a lot about myself during the course. I was a leader in my classroom, formed a
study group, and somehow found time to do charity work to raise funds for graduation. (A
graduation I decided not to attend.) My student placement was quite challenging but I
learned a lot. I graduated with higher marks than I knew I was capable of. For the first
time I felt confident that I would make a great counselor.

Unfortunately, being a great student doesn't mean you'll fall into the perfect job. I was
not able to find full time work in the field. I managed to get on as a relief counselor at
a women's residential treatment center. I was grateful to have my foot in the door
somewhere, however, there is no room for movement. I burnt out working 16-24 hour shifts,
my family missed me and my daughter struggled with going to school Mondays after not seeing
me for majority of the weekend. 

February of this year I was plagued with the worst seasonal depression I'd faced yet. I
would go places with a smile plastered on my face and cry in the bathroom. The worst night
was an event I'd helped plan. My church was hosting a ladies' night out. I'd been so
excited to be involved and to attend. However, on the way there I couldn't stop crying. I
made it to the church helped set up and continued to hide my tears as best I could. I
remember sitting in the chair listening to a woman who is a comedian and cancer survivor
speak about depression and all I wanted to do was run away. I forced myself to stay seated
until the end. As everyone was chatting and getting ready to leave one woman asked me how I
was. I tried to say fine, but she didn't buy it. I tried to play it off as being tired, but
when I got home I pretty well collapsed in my husband's arms and couldn't stop weeping. I
admit this is harder to write than I was expecting. My husband is a wonderful man but he
couldn't understand what was wrong. He wanted to fix it. He's very much a fixer. When I was
able to speak I tried to explain as best I could to him, but I was so deep in that dark
place it was difficult. I truly believed that I didn't deserve anything. I felt I was
literally worth nothing. I had this amazing husband, three beautiful and healthy children,
a wide network of friends and family that love me and an amazing church family, but I felt
completely unworthy of it all. It's like having two people inside of you. The rational you
who knows that this thinking is ridiculous and the broken me who felt worthless. This also
led to a crisis in my faith. I knew that God loved the world so much he sent his son to
save the world. But I also couldn't get it out of my head but why me? I'm not worth
anything. So, why would a might big God love me?

A little more than a year ago I, along with four classmates, attended a weekend workshop at
the Satir Learning Center of Ottawa. It was definitely NOT what we were expecting. In fact,
I believe we all felt like it was a cult at one point or another, but we stuck it through
the entire weekend. I'm really glad we did. I am a very kinesthetic person. I learn best by
doing. I really connected with the people there and learned a lot about myself in the
process. I continued to go to groups sporadically.  

The Satir Learning Center of Ottawa presents weekend workshops that teach you methods that
help you choose how you react to what life presents you. These methods were developed by
Virgina Satir. To most it seems quite unconventional, but it's something you have to
experience with an open mind to see the amazing benefits.

During my dark period as I call it now, the Satir Center offered training days the first
Saturday of the month from March to June. I signed up and figured I'd work around my work
schedule. I felt this was something I needed to do. The first training session went well
and it was announced that the "star" of an upcoming event had to back out. I was approached
to see if I had ever considered doing a "reconstruction". I said maybe and then proceeded
to obsess about whether I should or shouldn't. One of my best friends who always tells me
like it is said either do it or don't but stop obsessing. So, I sent off an email saying if
no one else was available I would do it.

You're probably wondering what a reconstruction is well I'm getting to it. I won't give you
details because those are for me, but I'll give you a general idea of what it was and what
I learned. Basically, I looked at my family tree back to my great grandparents and not just
names and dates, but what their lives were like. I was very lucky to have a couple of
people in my family who were able to answer all of my questions no matter how hard the
answers were. This was all part of the research and preparation. The actual reconstruction
involves re-enacting certain scenes. (not with actual family members) The group is
confidential so no information is repeated. This weekend of re-enacting my family's history
as I know it has led to some real personal growth. I have a new sense of why member's of my
family are who they are today. That the things they've gone through have shaped them and
ultimately shaped me into who I've become. The end result has been forgiveness in my own
heart and acceptance of who they are.

I spent most of my life in survival mode, just getting through and moving forward. What I had not done was take time to go through the emotions and make peace. I'm not saying I had a horrible life, but there were some really trying times and I never really dealt with them. I truly believe this is what led to my depression. Everything had been bottled up for so long that it was starting to spill out. I have an amazing life now. I worked hard to get where I am today. And yes the past is the past, but not everyone can handle dealing with the emotions of whatever life has thrown at them. People like me go into survival mode and battle their way through leaving the emotions to be dealt with another day. This process has helped me get to a place where I can look at the past and know that while it helped shape who I am it does not define me today.

Other realizations have been slower to come and I've still had some dark moments, but the
dark times don't last as long. Around the end of May I felt as though my dreams were dead. Through all of these personal issues I've been trying to find a job...any job at this point. But I remember saying to my husband my dreams are dead I'll never be a counselor it's over. He laughed. Yes, he laughed and yes he's still alive! He said you should get a tattoo of a tombstone with the word Dreams over it. He made his point. It was ridiculous. Not long after this my husband says to me in passing what about university? I was dumbfounded. For the first time in my life I paused and thought university? me? Anyone who knows me and has talked about university with me would know that any mention of me going to university has immediately been scoffed by me with a definitive definitely not! I am NOT university material. But this time I thought to myself why not me? I have completed four college programs. The last one I did really well in. It may seem silly or small to you, but for me this is a huge step. Whether I end up going to university or not, just knowing that the world is my oyster and the possibilities for my life are endless brings me a lot of hope.

I'm currently unemployed, overweight and have no idea what is next for me. So I know I still have a long way to go, but I'm not finished yet and that is exciting indeed!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Quick Update

Wow! I can't believe this! I just heard back from the doctor's office with the results of my blood work....ALREADY! As promised, I said I would share the results. Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and I don't fully understand all of the details.

In September my iron level was 18. This latest test showed my iron levels have gone up slightly to 23. I'm to increase my iron supplements to 2/day and eat iron rich foods (which I'm really going to have to research and implement). Here's the kicker - the doctor would like my levels to be over 80! I can't tell you the complete sense of relief I feel from hearing this. Honestly, I was starting to think the tiredness was all in my head.

Now, I need to focus on increasing my intake of iron and pray that something sticks so I can start getting some energy again!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Faith Restored in Health Care

A bottle of 50 200mg Advil caplets
A bottle of 50 200mg Advil caplets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As many of you know I have premenstrual dysphoric disorder, (PMDD) - which is basically PMS to the extreme (only it's more than that). This has led me to having low iron. Lately, I've been extremely tired and getting headaches more than usual. As a result I've been feeling really down which I partially attribute to seasonal depression. However, the tiredness is really the big issue more so than my crazy emotions. After having (let's call it) an episode I had a long talk with my husband. We decided on a plan of action to get me out of this funk. By the way, I'm a very lucky woman...just sayin.

This morning I decided to suck it up and call the doctor to make an appointment. Seasonal depression aside I'm exhausted all the time. I could probably sleep sitting up and have been napping almost every day. So, I called the clinic at 9:45 this morning and was asked if I could come in for 11:15. My first response was "Today?????" Sure enough, yes, today. I arrived about 11:10 for my appointment and  sat in the waiting room for all of 3 minutes before they called my name. They took my weight and height and then I waited maybe 10 minutes in the room before the doctor came in. I really can't be sure how long I waited because my husband had borrowed my phone. The doctor is super friendly and I'm so glad I went to see her. She gave me some helpful info and sent me for blood work. By the way, DID YOU KNOW that Advil helps reduce menstrual flow! Since I didn't have to fast for my blood work I decided to get it done right away. I went to the blood lab who took me immediately with no waiting at all. My 11:15 appointment plus blood work was all finished with me back in the car by 11:50! This is unheard of for me. With my old doctor it would take a month or so to get an appointment and then 2 hours at least before he could see me for my "scheduled" time.

So, now we wait for the results of my blood work. I'll keep you posted.

Can't get enough of Being eLLe?
Connect with Being eLLe on Twitter  and Facebook.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's All a Balancing Act

Find the right balance for your life
I had a fascinating conversation this evening with Stephen Guise author of the award winning blog Deep Existence. He recently wrote a post over at White Dove Books about finding contentment. This got me to thinking about my own life and the eternal battle to find some sort of peace. I touched on this back in December when I wrote about acceptance. But there's more to life than just acceptance. What about being content? Or dare I say - happy?!

In October I attended a Girlfriends in God women's conference. One of the topics was about CHOOSING joy in your everyday life. Can you do that? Can you choose joy? I admit this is a hard one for me, especially with three kids (who don't always do what they're told and yes I'm aware that's their job).

People often strive for that one more event to happen and then they'll be happy. Whether that one more is a promotion, more money, a bigger house, the newest hot ticket item out there people everywhere continue to wait for the next best thing. The next best thing is already right here in front of you. It's time to see the amazing in the here and now. And that's when it hit me.


It's all about balance. Yes, I'm aware that is cliche. But if you think about it, and I mean really think about it it's completely true. If you can find your own balance you will find contentment and dare I say even a little bit of happiness. Remember life isn't perfect, you'll still have your ups and downs, but at least you'll enjoy more along the way.

I'm choosing to find balance and I'm choosing joy! (Someone remind me of this in the morning BEFORE I get frustrated with the kids?!)

Can't get enough of Being eLLe?
Connect with Being eLLe on Twitter  and Facebook.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

And the Emmy Goes to....

I am happy to announce the winners of the Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska Giveaway! I hope you all enjoyed the first ever Being eLLe giveaway, I know I enjoyed hosting it! 

Jasmine A

The winners will receive a copy of the newly released Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss. I just know you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did!


Don't leave just yet. 

I have a gift for everyone! (No, it's not more copies of the book - sorry.) But I do have this cute little bookmark for you! 

Download your free gift here via Google Docs. (If anyone has trouble downloading please email me and I'll send it to you directly.)  

And don't forget to come back and visit!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Only Two Days Left to Enter for Your Chance to Win!

Just two days left to enter for your chance to win a copy of Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna FleissTo enter for your chance to win please post a comment here or Like us on Facebook.

Being a part of the Book Launch Team, posting a review of this book and hosting my first giveaway has been an amazing experience. I'm excited for the increase in traffic to Being eLLe and mostly just happy to be blogging again. Words can't express how much I've missed writing. Someone remind me next time I take a "break" from writing?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Win a Copy of Love Finds You in Glacier Bay

It's a special day today! Remember the book I reviewed a few days ago? Well starting today I'm offering you a chance to win your very own copy of Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss! The contest is open January 8-14, 2013. 

To enter for your chance to win this spectacular book all you need to do is post a comment below or like my Facebook page. Only one entry per person please. The winner will be picked at random.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Verse of the Day
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Lost Soul

Today marks a first in my new career as an addictions counselor. A colleague informed me of a former client who was found dead in her apartment. I don't know the details as of yet, but what I do know is the last six months of her life were no picnic. When I got into this field I knew the risks. I knew that there would be some really bad days. Clients will relapse or even worse die. Ultimately, with most of our clients we may never know the outcome of their journey because we often have so little time with them.

I was saddened by the news of this client passing. She was one that I had a soft spot for. She had Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome also known as wet brain and this made her rather childlike. Her favorite past time was coloring. I remember visiting her in the psychiatric ward in the hospital and seeing the reality of her addiction and the state of her mental health. I had really hoped she would find a place that would take her in and help look after her. Unfortunately, the reality is people with physical health issues, mental illness and addiction are often left out in the cold because the resources just aren't available.  From what I understand she got a place of her own and started drinking again - from there everything just went downhill.

I have to say you just can't really prepare yourself for this. I mean I've tried and the good Lord knows my teacher tried. It's been a rough holiday season in the addictions field. It's always rough during the holidays. Right before New Year's we had a woman relapse and no longer know where she is or if she's safe. And today I heard the news of my former client. My brain knows I can't take this on. I can't let it affect me personally, but my heart says, "I'm human dammit!" I want to cry for these lost souls. I want to hold them close and tell them it will all be okay.

I worked hard to get into this field and I knew it would come with challenges and heartache. It's all about balance. I can't close off to the pain or I'll become jaded and who am I going to help then? So, I allow myself to feel the pain of loss but know that I need to move on. But most importantly to always give my very  best in hopes that something somewhere will stick.

Can't get enough of Being eLLe?
Connect with Being eLLe on Twitter  and Facebook.