Thursday, December 24, 2009

best gift ever

best gift ever-

getting to be home for 8 whole days for christmas.

Monday, November 2, 2009

the slightly awful day

things i don't like:

  • feeling overwhelmed
  • making dumb mistakes in front of a doctor
  • grumpy, bossy, unhelpful nurses
  • patients' husbands who make jokes about their sex life, telling you how you feel about the jokes (and they happened to be very wrong. i was NOT secretly hiding my laughter. i was trying not to show how repulsed i was!)
  • not knowing i am getting a new patient, until after they have arrived
  • crying during my lunch break

things i like:
  • parents who pray for me
  • nurses who help out
  • thankful patients
  • knowing i did my best
  • getting a letter from my best friend in brazil
  • coming home, putting on my favorite sweatshirt & climbing in bed

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

measure of grace

just because i don't complain out loud doesn't mean that i haven't let a little piece of bitterness into my heart. it seemed to sneak in without me knowing, and definitely without an invitation. i realized just last week that i had suddenly become resentful of my singleness. even a little mad at God.

needless to say, that it didn't take long for my heart to be convicted of this. first of all, i had my Bible study (which has been such a blessing.) when i heard what the other girls had to say about the section we had all studied during the week, i felt a tight feeling in my abdomen as i realized what my problem was, and i suppose still is. i like plans. always have, probably always will. and although in my head i say i believe that God has a plan for me, i had been treating his plan as the back-up one. i had failed to trust that his plan for me not only was good but better than mine, and even the BEST one.

the day after Bible study, i spent the day visiting friends in newberg. God gave me a real gift in the encouragement that i enjoyed that day. on my way home, i got a text from martha.
do you have any days off next week?
want to come chill at a beach house with me and kyle?
call me asap.
woot indeed.
those few days at the beach in our little cottage were so restful and life-giving.
although i certainly didn't deserve it, God blessed with me this gift-rest, friendship, laughter,
and he continued to teach me things. aside from the gift of being with dear friends, who revived my spirit, i had time to read and think, with God continuing to work in my heart.

he reminded me of hebrews 12:10-11
"our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought best;but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

he gave me this nugget from c. s. lewis:
"we are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."

and also from the blog of john stumbo talking about deprivation.
"it seems that everyone else has caught a train for which we can't get a ticket. some of us have hopes that our point of deprivation is temporary, while others have to honestly admit that they will probably live out their lives in this state.
the question arises, can we be okay with ourselves, others and God when we can't have everything we want in life? its bad enough when we can't have it ourselves, but to watch others enjoy the very thing we lack takes a special grace.
without this grace we turn to ugly places.
God doesn't waste our pain. he can redeem any situation, no matter how dark it may seem. this is who are God is."

i am so thankful for the renewal and truth that God has given me this past week. waiting has never been my favorite, but God has given me a measure of his grace during this time.

*more on the beach cottage soon! such a blessed few days with two of my favorites.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

fall color safari-year 2

2 things i love about living in salem:
how beautiful salem is in october
my proximity to john
and yesterday, i got to enjoy both of those things, with pumpkin waffles and hazelnut coffee on the side.


can you guess what i bought today?

that's right! a wig =)

Friday, October 9, 2009

i held it together for 12 hours...

i am spent. 

today broke my heart and exhausted every ounce of energy that i had to give. 
i came home and cried. 
i had to help a family walk through a brand new diagnosis of stage four cancer, with only months to live. and although they thanked me again and again for my care and attention to them, i can't help but feel as though i am barely touching the hurt. this family became very dear to my heart in the two days that cared for this patient, and i can only pray that God comforts and heals in ways in which i can not. 

i had to walk a patient and his family through his first batch of chemo. even though i am not the one who gives it, since i'm not certified as a chemotherapy nurse, i am still his nurse and do everything BUT give the chemotherapy. with a relatively new diagnosis, a young family and his first experience with chemotherapy, i did my best to answer all their questions with my limited experience with oncology. (i appreciate that my patients assume i know what i'm doing/that i am a competent nurse, but sometimes i wish they didn't assume quite so much!)

i had to advocate for a patient with constant pain who wasn't getting the attention she needed from the doctor. it wasn't really the doctor's fault, just bad communication between specialists and consultants. however, it was me who had to sort through all the phone calls to help my patient get the treatment she wanted AND needed. i know she felt bad for continuing to vent to me, knowing that i was doing everything i could to help her. at the end of the day, she grabbed my hand and with tears in her eyes, thanked me for making an unbearable day full of wracking, spasming pain, bearable. 

i had to give care to an elderly woman who has been neglected in her daughter's care. while the pneumonia that brought her to the hospital was not her daughter's fault, her red, excoriated skin was such a sad sight, as it was so preventable. this woman thanked me again and again for looking after her needs. 

i have never talked to so many family members or called so many doctors in one day. i am exhausted. when i asked for God to use me today, i didn't envision this. but i wouldn't have traded today. i'm tired. all over. and my eyes are now puffy from crying, but i am so thankful that i could be used in this small way, for one day in these people's lives. 

may God give me the grace to continue loving on people in this way.
and may he fill me up so that i can keep pouring out. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

books and cake

as much as i have enjoyed living in salem thus far, i knew there were quite a number of places that i had yet to explore. i invited abby to come on this little adventure. it was so fun to see downtown salem a little bit more with a kindred spirit. and bonus, i discovered two new favorite places that also happen to be quite close to my house-

a charming bakery, with absolutely delicious cakes. 

a delightful book shop, with new and used books
abby and i discovered many shared favorites, and enjoyed perusing all of the julia child-related books that are currently popular. 

abby & our yummy shared lunch
turkey spread-our light lunch to leave room for cake!
alison & abby-a slice of coconut cake & a slice of mounds cake
more cakes to try next time!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

two answered prayers

answered prayer #1:
i've been getting discouraged about IV starts in the past few weeks. i needed to get signed off on doing so many successful starts during my orientation period while being observed by my preceptor. and although i'd had a few opportunities, i still had three left to do successfully. with multiple chances that hadn't worked out, i was really praying hard that i could conquer this skill. 
this week God truly answered that prayer. a doctor offered to let me practice an IV on him. of course, i didn't want to. who wants the pressure of having to practice a skill that i have recently failed at multiple times on a doctor? but who can say no to a doctor who is offering his arm to poke? but as nervous as i was, i got it on the first try! and then, he offered the other arm. and i got that one too! two curious george band-aids later, i also found out that he was the dad of one of my friends from school! double blessing!
my last IV start that i needed happened on a patient whose occupation was an ER nurse. just as i did not want to start one on a doctor, i also did not want to start one on a nurse who does IVs all day long at her job. but i started her IV just fine too!
i am just praising Jesus for helping me through this challenge! there are many more IVs to start, i am far from being good at them. the prayers continue!

answered prayer #2:
i have been praying for a room-mate all summer long. and despite my many ads placed, i hadn't even found one that was a possibility. that is, until last week, when i found an ad on craigslist. i wrote her back, not getting my hopes up. but then i knew it was a God-thing when she not only responded with great answers to all of my questions, but came with the recommendation of a good, mutual friend! it only became confirmed further when we met. courtney moved in yesterday, and i am so excited that the "room-of-nothing" is no longer full of nothing. =)

AACs & co.

although some have pointed out that denae, scotty, abby, lisa and i are merely "former" AACs, i see no reason to change what we've called ourselves for the past year, or our ability to hang out, for that matter. =) it was such a blessing to have all 5 of us together again!

all of us at oktoberfest!
kevin, denae, scotty, stephanie, ben, alison, lisa and abby
lisa & i demonstrating how confusing it was to obtain these bracelets

the fab five: denae, alison, scotty, lisa and abby
dinner at my apt!

sunshine & sand

molly and i had a grand time at the beach. 

crisp grapes and delicious sandwiches.
nap time.
reading books for fun 
(instead of lugging along my nursing books like last year's beach trip!)
good conversation.
warm sunshine. 
writing in the sand.

a long walk in a cornfield...

last year, martha and i had a magical time in a sunflower field. we were hoping to discover the same magic in the same sunflower field, but it turned out to be quite a disappointment. the sunflowers were a mere row instead of a field, with corn replacing last year's sunflowers. but pictures happened regardless! =)

martha, jacob & alison
acting like corn
sunflower faces!

Friday, September 18, 2009

dancing through life

looks as though they are going to turn wicked into a movie!
check it out here

Monday, September 7, 2009

julie & julia

what a delightful film, julie and julia turned out to be. 

john and i went to see it sunday after church. we were a little concerned at first to discover that the only showing of the film that we could go to was for the hearing impaired. but after the first few minutes of subtitles, the words at the bottom of the screen were easy to ignore especially as the delightful characters began to win our hearts. 

this movie left me hungry, not only for delicious french food which was shown in abundance, but for the loving and supportive marriages both of the main characters had. i found it quite encouraging that two imperfect, but successful marriages were portrayed in this film, where both couples started off happily married and ended happily married. no worries-i am quite content in the single state God has placed me in right now. however, i will have no complaints when God deems it time for me to enter into a new stage in life with a godly man, who loves & supports me. 

all this to say, this turned out to be a delightful and charming film. 
(with the best, supportive & loving use of an f-word in a film that i have ever seen!) 

you make my frown turn upside and now my worries are gone.

meet my new favorite band: owl city. 

with their whimsical lyrics, subtle but profound truths and beautiful melodies, i am hooked. 

listen to one of my new favorite songs: here

the move to salem

let me give you a small tour of my new home in salem...

moving in
taking a break on the hide-a-bed
the first couch picture: paul, john, daddy, mommy, alison & peter
first day of work!

building B! 

my apartment
living room

dining room

daisy bathroom
my room
my bathroom