Thursday, November 29, 2007


i hate that i want the end of this semester to come. it means we're half done with this school year-sad, but good at the same time. but its hard to think about missing people yet when the nearness of the completion of this semester of nursing is almost here.


at this time, two weeks from today, i'll be ALL DONE with finals. i can leisurely pack to go home, celebrate christmas with my staff and head home on saturday.

yay yay yay!

the countdown has begun.
now i just have to buckle down and study hard-but the end is in sight!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a bit of encouragement

being at clinicals this week was pretty encouraging. i got to work in the cancer center. both of the patients i worked with were focusing on the good things about their situation and were fun to talk to. the nurses i worked with were so willing to teach me things and offer me encouragement. they agreed that nursing school is hard, but actual nursing is wonderful. one nurse told me that after i graduate and i may feel like i don't know anything, but its fine. i'll keep learning as i go, but there will be no tests to study for when i get home from the hospital (or wherever i work!) and then, a few months will go by, i'll feel pretty confident about nursing. they all thought i would make a great nurse, which is nice to hear after long days of classes and seemingly endless mounds of studying and homework. yesterday was a good reminder of why i signed up for this-i love people, and want to serve them in a practical way. it won't always be so draining, with late nights of studying AND early mornings. this season may seem long, but it is still only a season. and i am so thankful that HE is helping me through it all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

how to lose weight

while following after jesus is important in big decisions, i believe it is the daily, seemingly insignificant choices that make our lives distinctively christian. just like people don't lose weight instantly, it is instead due to daily, seemingly small choices to eat healthier that results in the desired thinner state.

"a simple switch in vocabulary can trigger a profound difference in attitude."

i think one way to make my life more distinctively christian is to be selective in my speech. most people would think that means not swearing. but i think it is more than that-choosing words to speak is equally important.
saying the name of jesus.
speaking of blessing instead of luck.
choosing to profess praises.
using the gift of language to communicate what we mean.
vocally praising our God.

Monday, November 26, 2007

top friends

i've been pondering something of the ridiculous today. aside from bringing trees into our homes, the idea of top friends has been on my mind lately. isn't it odd that the internet provides us through sites like facebook and myspace, the opportunity to rate our friends? most of my "top friends" in real life don't even have facebook! because in real life, my top friends would have to include my mommy and lucy.

while the idea of this makes me laugh a little, there is something more serious at stake. what is exchanged for the opportunity to have hundreds of "friends"? what does "top friends" really accomplish besides ego-boosting/tearing down?

now, i feel as though i must sound hypocritical for saying these things, because i do have a facebook account and even a myspace account (even though i rarely use it), but i think these sites are often used to encourage a focus on ourselves. i try to use them to keep in touch with people, but there is still the element of time-wasting self absorption. how do i look to other people? what does it say about me if she is my #1 friend?

i feel like this is almost like a medication that i'm self-administering. and just like a medication, i'm constantly asking myself the question: does the benefit outweigh the risk? i'm still in the process of answering that...

is the benefit of keeping in touch with people worth the temptation to have an inward focus and compare myself to others?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

it's beginning to look alot like christmas...

seasons are meant to change. i may fight it, but i'm always so thankful for the new changes after they happen. the process may not be what i would have chosen, but the result is well worth it-like the messy pine needles, putting away of thanksgiving decorations, saying good-bye in exchange for the celebration of the birth of our LORD.

today felt like the start of christmas. i love going to church with the christmas decorations up. i bundled up with my scarf, gloves and pea coat. we put up our christmas tree today. what a strange tradition it is to bring a TREE into our living space! i can't help but love the fresh smell of pine, the sentimental ornaments and glowing lights.

mmmm...the joy of this season makes my heart happy and almost forget the mounds of work to be done in the next few weeks. christmas come soon! =)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

ever ever after

i'm in love.
i walked into a movie theater and came out completely enchanted.
pun intended.

i admit that i'm partial to princesses, fairy tales, musical numbers, animal sidekicks and happily ever after endings-and this movie had them all.

one of the best movies i've seen in a while.

Friday, November 23, 2007


thanksgiving break has been just what i've been needing. on monday night, i was truly ready for a break from the semester, more than ever before. i feel like i could write heaps on the blessings of the past days-making turkeys, reading berenstain bear books, john's 17th birthday, movie nights, celebrating one last thanksgiving with aunt judy & unca cam, catch phrase (its a state-paul, there's 50 of them!),lots of snuggling, plans for christmas break, dancing to christmas music...

but i feel like these pictures capture what these past few days have held for me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

be kind

the day for giving thanks is almost upon us. as we prepare for the day to be with ones we hold dear, those with whom we share blood and those who have become our family, it is easy to say the words without the actions to match.
i am thankful, but i want my actions to speak that truth as well.
today as i took the train home, i sat next to a woman who had been denied the opportunity to pursue the career of her choice. her domineering mother had prevented her from doing what she wanted to go to school to do. she encouraged me to keep at it. even though nursing school is harder than i ever imagined, i am thankful that i am able to study what i have chosen. i have the support of my family. i have dear friends to struggle along beside me.
i am thankful for my family. i don't want to give into the temptation of forgetting kindness during the holidays.
help me jesus to-
keep quiet.
speak up.
say 'i love you.'
give hugs.
offer to help.
showing kindness is how we show we are thankful. uttering words is good, but we need the sincerity of actions toward those we claim to love too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


sad news.
the rain is pouring outside. it makes me feel like i'm not the only one crying-for these girls that i knew. for the one i didn't know. for all those who are grieving. for their families.
i feel like all i can do is cling to the phrase that was repeated over and over and over again in church today.
his love endures forever.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

the mall

i went to the mall today with my room-mates.
the reason i went: i love my room-mates.
but this did not change the fact that i detest the mall.
when i was younger, i had a teacher who disliked the mall which i thought was a little strange.
after all, the only time i went to the mall was when we were on a search for a specific item. going to the mall was special, and had a purpose. but i've since then discovered that my kind of mall shopping was a rarity.
today i was reminded of why i dislike the mall:
-advertisements of models selling not only the clothes that are barely on their bodies, but sex
-credit cards and bills handed over quickly-people justifying high prices or not even caring anymore
-richness taken for granted
-spoiled people becoming more spoiled
-materialism-its not enough to have accessories. we must have accessories to accessorize our accessories for the item we didn't need from the beginning.

needless to say, i didn't buy anything today and i was a little happy to leave the empty decadence.

i hope i'm not just feeling guilty-because guilt will all too soon pass away. i hope this is a reminder of the presence of the holy spirit in my life, showing me the best way to live. even as i write that, i feel like that sounds a little self-righteous. that's not my intent. i have mall-shopped before. i've even bought things there.
however, i not only could easily survive without the mall, i think we could benefit from the absence of this fixture in american culture.
and maybe, just maybe, we would have the opportunity to get our focus off of our own wants to look to the rest of the hurting, needy world.

Friday, November 16, 2007

woe to me

do i act like i truly believe that God's way is the BEST way to live?
do i just think of it as an option instead of THE way to really live?

today i got a glimpse of my own pride and it wasn't pretty. i don't know if this is common, but when i read the bible, i usually tend to associate myself with the "good" guy in the story. for example, when i read the book of john, i don't associate myself with judas-maybe peter, but often a disciple who is a little more stable, like john. i realized that i do this, and asked God to help me see myself in a story, not just idealize what character i would like to imagine myself being.

today i read luke 6-
looking at his disciples, he said:
"blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.
for that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
but woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.
woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets."

there's no mistaking it-i'm rich, well-fed, often filled with laughter, and spoken well of. woe to me.
how can i live a generous life? how can i bless the poor, hungry, weeping and hated?
jesus, show me how you want me to live. i want your way-help me to act as though i truly believe it is the best way to live.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

kissy kissy

i don't usually watch kissing in movies. i just happen to think its an intimate act and i do not think it is necessary for me to see that. my room-mates take great pleasure in teasing me about this-but only in fun, of course. most people probably don't know that about me. i try to be discreet in my aversion of the eyes. =)

a few articles i've read over recently addressed the topic of kissing:
-i regret kissing my wife
-i prefer someone else's kisses
-he's a bad kisser

i think my thought on kissing is perfectly expressed in this quote:
"Song of Solomon also says, "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires" — and not just once, but three times (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). It's a warning. The unspoken reason being that once love is aroused, the lover and beloved will want to have not just kisses, but each other. Completely." -Candice Watters

don't get me wrong-i'm very much anticipating kisses, just when the love is supposed to be awakened-not now.

i'm a nursing student

as much as i dislike exams, there is a satisfying feeling that comes when i've studied hard and am done. i don't really know what kind of a grade i got on this pharmacology test. it was hard. but i feel good about myself now that i'm done! yay!

clinicals was nice yesterday-what was not so nice was having to study when i got home. but jodi made a lovely study buddy, and we got our complaining out early on. =) i was supposed to have two patients, but ended up with only one when one was transferred to the ICU. this was going to have been my first time with more than one patient to take care of, but i ended up with plenty to do with only one.

parts of my day included:
-caring for an ileostomy (which was a little gross, but mostly fascinating)
-being asked for my number by a family member of another patient. (i said "i don't think so" and walked away. later my professor said i could have offered the explanation that i wasn't allowed to date patients/family members, but i think my to-the-point answer left no hope for him-which is exactly what i think he needed.)
-giving insulin shots
-my nap when i got home!
-lots of studying
-bible study
-being reminded of God's control in my life

Monday, November 12, 2007

a blustery day

i was woken up this morning by the howling of wind. the vision of leaves spinning through the sky mixed with rain only seemed to confirm that today was going to be quite blustery.

studying on the couch doesn't seem quite so bad today, when the world is so gray outside.
and there were some sunny bits in the midst of studying, a test and lots of drug cards:
i wore cozy clothes and put a ribbon in my hair to match.
i got to talk to peter, the birthday kid.
i got to talk to john and mommy.
i thought about the closeness of thanksgiving and all the people i get to see.
i got hugs from friends.
i went to chapel today-it was what i needed.
i curled up in my bed and took a nap.
i wore my green rain boots and tromped happily through some puddles.
i like blustery days.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a nudge

i'm scared-i don't want to give up this dream.
its a bit ironic, since i didn't even want it in the beginning, and now, i'm afraid to let go of it.
church today was all about surrender. i definitely felt that nudge.
i like control and i like to know what my future holds. the thought of giving things up makes me wonder what i'm trusting in. my shaky plans or God's perfect plan? i'm embarrassed of the answer, but at the same time, it makes me want to cling more tightly to the familiar.
help me to embrace your dreams for me jesus.
i want what you want-really i do.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

work and play

there are no ordinary people.
i got to spend my evening last night laughing and being close with some very unordinary people.
room-mates and staffies-my heart is full.
and coming home to an e-mail from my best friend.
my heart is really full.

and now it is time to hope that the memories of friday night fun is enough to get me through a weekend of studying.
so far so good-and warm banana nut muffins are helping the process along quite nicely...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

some thoughts on people

some things i've been thinking about...

loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing
it takes some time to see things through
sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
we need grace either way

hold on to me
i'll hold on to you
let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

there's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
it's a vulnerable place to be
love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
only one makes you free

hold on to me
i'll hold on to you
let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

if we go looking for offense
we're going to find it
if we go looking for real love
we're going to find it
-loving a person, sara groves

loving people is hard. it hurts.
but it makes life beautiful. and without the act of loving other people, life wouldn't be worth anything.

does telling my story invite you to be a part of it?
i think it does...
when i let down my guard and share a piece of my story with you, i'm inviting you to come in.
come in and see the real me.
do you want to be a part of who i am?
the thing with invitations is that they can be rejected.
so its easy to pretend that i don't offer any sort of invitation when i share bits of myself.
i can shrug my shoulders and hope you don't see how desperately i want to love and be loved.

what a gift, a scary and daunting gift that God gave us in the ability to love other people-

"it is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. all day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

it is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

there are no ordinary people.

you have never talked to a mere mortal...
it is with immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit-immortal horros or everlasting splendours. this does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. we must play. but our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously-no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.

and our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner-no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

next to the blessed sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses.

if he is your christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also christ vere latitat-the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself-is truly hidden." -the weight of glory, c. s. lewis

most of these thoughts weren't even my own-but they've given me lots to think on-and even more to act on.

help me jesus, to see people as you do. help to distinguish between love and its cheap imitations and parodies. help me to be patient and be grace-filled as i wait. i want to love a person just the way they are-the way that you love me.

you are the sun

despite the lack of sunshine today, my heart is full of brightness. today i get to visit the little girl i've been mentoring for the past two years. i've tried to see her a few times in the past month, but it just didn't happen. and besides that, i have sara groves stuck in my head, reminding me of who i am to be reflecting.

i am the moon with no light of my own.
still you have made me to shine.
and as i glow in this cold dark night,
i can not be a light unless i turn my face to you.
you are the sun.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

eating honey

i enjoy food. some of the delicious things that have made their way to my taste buds in the past few days have included the following:
-steak with sauteed mushrooms
-crisp apples
-peppermint mocha
-gluten-free chocolate cake with thick chocolate frosting
-sweet juicy pears
-pumpkin shake
-bananas that are still the tiniest bit green, but perfectly ripe
-chinese rice
-broccoli with a smackerel of melted cheese
i am thankful that God not only provides nourishment for my body, but tasty things to fill my tummy! =)

"well," said pooh, "what i like best-" and then he had to stop and think. because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called." -a.a.milne

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a little confident

for the first time today, i really started to feel a little confident on the med-surg floor.
not to worry-not too confident, i feel quite far away from knowing much of anything...
but confident like i feel like i'm going to make it
and that i could actually make a difference
and that i could be a nurse when i grow up

i really liked my nurse today. she has only been a nurse for a year, so she seemed more sympathetic to my insecurities. she let me try lots of things and talked me through quite a few procedures. i put a ng tube in today. i gave some shots and lots of meds. i talked to family members. i took some blood samples. i pricked several of his fingers to get several blood glucose counts.

and my patient told me he liked me lots. he also asked my professor to have me again next week-not likely, but still sweet. =)

you know that country song, "i feel like a woman"...
well, today, "i feel like a nurse."

Monday, November 5, 2007

good family time

on friday afternoon, i met with martha to have my one-on-one. during the course of the conversation, our talk turned to my weekend plans. when i reminded her of my family's trip to visit me, she asked what we would be doing. i explained the indefinite nature of our activities, but to this she smiled.
"i have a feeling anytime you guys are together, you have good family time. that's what you're doing this weekend-having good family time."
and that is just what happened.

several conclusions that i have reached because of this weekend:
-catch phrase is a splendid game.
-food always tastes better when you eat it with people you love.
-nursing school is less scary when your brothers hug you.
it was a good weekend-lots of food, rest, movies, games, hugs and laughing. yep, i love my family.