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.