Tag Archives: feelings

Unexpected Blessings from Past Hurts

Do you ever feel really blessed? I usually forgot to be grateful for all the blessings in my life by being too focused on all the negative things and things going wrong in my life. I had a bit of a realization the other day that made me realize how blessed I really am and have been.

When I was a kid, I fell out of the tree fort at my parent’s cabin. I somersaulted over the railing, hit my chin on the floor boards and landed on a stump, knocking me unconscious and breaking my wrist. This memory has always been one filled with a lot of pain and bitterness – why wasn’t my mom there? where did my brother go? why didn’t my sister believe me?

However, my realization (or perhaps revelation?) kind of flipped the whole thing around – I realized I was probably supposed to die – what if I had hit or landed on my head or not landed on the old, spongy stump? But I didn’t as there was an angel there who caught me because God wanted me to live.

That gave (and gives me) a lot of hope and comfort as it’s just another confirmation that God has a plan for me and he wants me to live. He cares enough about me to save me and to use some of the lowest moments in my life to show me how much he loves me. I truly am blessed!

What’s brought you hope recently?

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Questions

You know when your life just feels like one big question mark? That’s kind of how I feel at the moment. I feel like there is a lot of uncertainty in my life and I don’t like it. I know I’m supposed to trust that God is in control, but it’s difficult especially when I want to be the one holding the reins.

I would appreciate some advice from you regarding some of my questions:

  • I have recently been approached by a website of someone who appears as a health expert on a TV show for a partnership: if I provide a link in support of her website then I will be compensated through books, advertising or something along those lines. Eventually later this summer I would participate in a blogger spotlight program where I would share some of my expertise on vegan/gluten free/allergy friendly cooking and the like.  It’s sort of a “if you send me traffic, I’ll return the favour” type thing.
    While I am quite excited to be noticed and have someone who wants my knowledge and I know that it could be a great opportunity for me and my blog, I am hesitant to make my blog into an advertisement for someone else. So, I wanted to ask you, my lovely readers, what you think about this?
  • Related to that is that I have also been approached by some companies to do reviews of their products. What do you guys think about product reviews and giveaways? (Rest assured that I will not become a sponsored blog with every second post talking about product x that company y gave me to review. )  I have been somewhat tentative about doing sponsored reviews, but I have agreed to review one company’s baking mixes because I have seen it in my local health food store and I thought it might actually be helpful for those of you who don’t have time to make things from scratch. So expect a giveaway soon!
  • I am debating whether or not I should continue volunteering at CUPS. Sometimes it can be quite fun as I like interacting with a whole bunch of the clients and it has been excellent for helping me to build boundaries, but it can also be quite stressful and I can’t really show my servant’s heart without being taken advantage of. I guess that is the reality of dealing with homeless, addicted and broken people in such a situation. I also feel torn because I know that the people who work there really appreciate my help and I was the volunteer they used in their annual report to help encourage others to volunteer at CUPS as well, so stopping would be somewhat … hypocritical. haha.
  • I am still unsure of what I want to do with my future in terms of employment. I realized that I’m still incredibly hesitant about jumping into an engineering job because I’m afraid it’s going to be a repeat of my internship. Honestly, I don’t want to wake up every morning dreading going to work and then pretending that I like it. Not fun. On the other hand, in my studio portrait photography course the instructor talked a bit about opening your own photography business. For the last year or so I have thrown around the idea of opening my own photography business at some point,  but I’m afraid and I don’t know whether this is the time to do it or not. If it is, then it opens the Pandora’s box of things you need to do to open your own business, which is scary enough on its own!  Like choosing a name. Funny that I usually get caught up on things like that. So, do any of you know anyone who has made the jump to professional photographer and would be able to give me some advice?
  • After going to this spiritual healing course at the beginning of May, my belief system has been challenged as all the lies of the devil I’ve believed in are being revealed by God’s truth. I am glad this is happening, but the two battling belief systems are creating a lot of confusion.

Thank you for reading this and I appreciate any and all thoughts and advice! :)

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Perspective

After my recent doom and gloom disappointment monologue from the other day, I think it’s important to give some perspective to the situation.

When I told my dad that I didn’t have the job, he was understandably disappointed as I think he was looking forward to having his daughter work for the same company as him. The next day my parents asked me how I was dealing with things and about how I felt that I was a failure because I didn’t get a job offer. They asked me about the contents of the email, so I told them. Since it essentially said that there were no available positions in the field I was interested in, not that company X didn’t want my services (i.e. failed the recruitment day), the advised me to take it at face value instead of catastrophicising it and saying that I’m a failure because I didn’t get a job offer.  My dad also said “well, that makes sense.”

You see, company X was recently taken over by its parent company, which meant a lot of restructuring. In the last year or so, everyone in the Exploration and Development* part of company X, including my dad, had to reapply for their jobs. It was a very stressful time as they cut many positions and people didn’t know whether or not they had a job. Thankfully for my dad, that is over and he still has a job.

On the other hand, the part of the company that I was interested in is currently going through the same downsizing and restructuring. Having lived through many layoffs at the company I did my internship at, I know it’s a very toxic and negative environment to be in – one that I don’t need right now (or ever to be honest.) Plus, if I came in as a new employee, there would be a good chance that people would resent me as I most likely would be taking the position from one of their coworkers/friends.

So even though it’s disappointing that I didn’t get a job, I’m glad that I didn’t get a job at Company X so I don’t have to deal with the angst that is going on in that part of the company. I also realized that just because I didn’t get a job at Company X doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything good to offer. God has an interesting way of working – I just need to keep faith that he will provide me with a job when the time is right. (Which probably won’t happen until I deal with my doing vs. being identity crisis, but that’s a post for another day.)

How has God worked in your life by turning a seemingly negative situation into a positive one?

* For those of you who are unfamiliar with how Oil and Gas Companies work, Exploration and Development is the part of the company that tries to find new sources of hydrocarbons so that they can develop that field and produce from them. This is what I did on my internship. I’m now more interested in the surface aspect of business – i.e. the processes and infrastructure required to produce the hydrocarbon, get it from point A to B and eventually turn it into consumer products.

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A Very Sad Day

Lucky "Moo-Moo" or Dog

On Wednesday night my family’s dog was killed by a deer. It’s hard to describe Lucky other than to say that she definitely wasn’t very lucky but she had spunk and personality.

Lucky was a runt Boston Terrier born in a litter of five puppies. Even though she was the smallest, she was always top dog, even bossing around Labs and Dobermans when she once stayed at a kennel. She loved to play hockey, chase basketballs, and attack inner tubes. As a puppy, she was so fast that it took me, both my siblings, my mum and a basketball to catch her in my parent’s backyard.

Unfortunately, Lucky developed cataracts at the age of four. Since Boston Terriers are supposed to life 12+ years, we had her cataracts removed. Ironically, in the next month Lucky was playing at the cottage on Vancouver Island and ran into a dead bush, wrecking both eyes and causing both retinas to detach. We rushed home and my parent’s drove to Saskatoon to get her to an animal eye specialist as the specialist is Calgary was away. They were unable to save her vision but saved her eyes.

Despite not having eyesight, Lucky still loved to play fetch, play basketball, sniff through the grass and run around. My brother used to have something called cheese races, where he would put Lucky in her kennel, spread chunks of cheese all around the house and then time how long it took for her to find all of the cheese.

Lucky only really started to slow down when she began to lose her hearing about two years ago. Being without sight or much hearing is difficult, but she still loved to play with the basketball (despite it being larger than her), mooch bananas and greet people when they got home.

As I mentioned previously, Lucky loved to sniff around in the grass at the cabin. She could do it for hours and be content. Unfortunately on Wednesday, as she was sniffing around, she startled a deer and the deer trampled her. When my mum and sister found her, she was barely alive. They tried cleaning her off but she died shortly thereafter while my mum was on the phone with me.

We’re all really sad and shocked by how quickly things happened. She was almost 13 years old, so we keep telling ourselves that “maybe it’s better this way as we didn’t have to watch her slowly descent into poor health or have to put her down” and that “she died doing what she loved and looked very peaceful with her ears up,” but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Even though it’s only been a couple of days, it still is really weird. My parent’s house seems so empty and I’m still in denial as she couldn’t possibly be gone and I expect her to come and nance for me next time I’m over there.


Have you ever lost a pet? How did you deal with it?

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I Hate Sticky Situations

I feel like I want to cry because I don’t know what to do.

We’re having issues with one member of my design group. He hasn’t been pulling his weight, has missed many meetings and seems to want to ride out on our good work while doing as little as possible. The proverbial “icing on the cake” was this past week – I better add some fondant as well because that’s how good it is. So what happened?

We were supposed to have a really important strategy meeting last Thursday to decide how we’re going to proceed after our midterm report and presentation that he didn’t show up to. We had one of our midterms the night before, so we thought “maybe couldn’t deal with it or something” despite how our meeting was at 3pm. He didn’t show up to our regular team meeting on Friday or to our lab. I had phoned, texted and emailed him to no reply. So here we were thinking he had H1N1 or was dying as he’s always attached to his phone.

Last night I texted him to ask him if was alright and if he was planning to be at school today so that we could finally decide how to move ahead in our project. He answered that he had a very hectic weekend and that he was stuck in Edmonton on Thursday and Friday. We later found out that the car he had with him in Edmonton blew its radiator, which is really unfortunate, but that was on Thursday evening. In addition, he said that his phone died right after he received the phone message I sent him on Friday. This really bothers me because his car died in Edmonton after we were supposed to have our meeting and his phoned died the day after the important meeting. The snarky part of me wants to ask “what on earth were you doing in Edmonton, a three hour drive away, the day after an evening midterm when you had a meeting at three!?”

Reading between the lines, I do understand that he was probably having some personal angst, which is perfectly excusable. Heck, one of our group members has a kid and I have frequent bouts of emotional upheaval, so we understand that life can get in the way and the need to take a break from school. However, generally when something comes up it is expected that you give someone warning that you won’t be there. If you didn’t show up to work for two days without telling anyone, chances are you might not have a job when you finally get back. Right now, our job is school and one of our main tasks is to work on this design project.

So, when we had our meeting this morning, we confronted him about the whole situation and how we expect better behaviour in the future – to at least tell us when you’re not going to show up. I really hate confronting people as I would love to give them chance after chance to let them show their personal integrity but this situation warranted it. He did apologize for his behaviour and we got on with our meeting.

Late this afternoon, two of us went to talk to our supervisor about what power we have to deal with the situation if it gets worse. He said that once all three of us feel that we have exhausted peace talks amongst us, it would be time to start a paper trail by writing a letter to him outlining our concerns. He explained that depending on the severity of concerns, he and the course coordinator would discuss what to do with the worst penalty being kicked out of the course.

We started writing our letter highlighting our main concerns: missing meetings, not giving us warning for missing meetings and not putting in enough effort. I’m quite proud of this letter as it is very objective, professional and states the facts without making any accusations. We would really like to be able to work out our issues with him, however he hasn’t really stepped up to the plate yet. You’d think that by fourth year of engineering one would be used to working really hard and giving your best but I guess not in this case. Maybe he has been having issues, but we would be so much more understanding if he told us and asked for help!

Now it’s time we get to the fondant on our”cake of joy:” plagiarism. I know, that is a very scary word that is very, very accusational and has many bad connotations including being expelled from university. We unfortunately have too many good reasons to use this word.

It first started with our lab proposal for a different course – he had just put the lab procedure from bullets into sentences without changing much. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, edited it out and let it slide. Then for our design midterm progress report, a lot of what he had written sounded very much like a promotional piece companies publish about their various processes. We edited it out and confronted him about rephrasing instead of copying in future reports, which he apologized for and promised to be better in the future. However, while writing the complaint letter, one of our points was that he wasn’t putting in enough effort: aka. “his prepared sections of the report followed very closely to the documents they were taken from.”

We wanted to give some examples as evidence and I really almost wish that we didn’t. Looking at what he had originally written for two processes – not the summarized version that was submitted in the midterm report – we found 14 sentences out of the two pages that were directly copied word-for-word from documents without reference. Not just a couple like we originally expected – Fourteen. That is not acceptable!

Now comes the part where I feel really terrible because I know that when we submit the letter with the examples, we are good as pointing our fingers and crying “plagiarism!” at our design group member. For you who are not quite up to speed with the whole plagiarism thing, the worst outcome in expulsion from university. I would feel terrible for having him kicked out of the course let alone having him expelled. I guess I’m conflicted because I don’t think it is fair to the three of us who have put in a ton of time and effort to get the marks that we have and will get in this project to have to share those grades with someone who isn’t pulling their weight. On the other hand, if he is kicked out of the course, it means that he will have no chance of graduating this year. But it also comes down to the ethical issue at hand: if we are going to be professional engineers, we have to act with integrity and honesty and using someone else’s work, even if it is just a sentence, without being properly referenced goes against all that.

So I haven’t been able to do any studying this evening because all I can think about is how this situation might play out. I want to work it out with him and prevent the worst case scenarios of either being kicked out of the class or university entirely. But at the same time, I don’t want him to be getting credit for work he hasn’t done as it’s not fair to us. I really don’t know what to do, but at the same time, I do. We’re going to hand in our letter and see how things pan out from there. I hope I can handle the emotional stress either way.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? What did you do? How do you deal with confrontation?

 

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