Friday, December 31, 2010


what a blessed christmas break this has been.

i love finishing john's sentences. we are twins born three & a half years apart.
i love snuggling with my mommy.
i love making yummy things for my daddy to eat.
i love jokes with peter.
i love drinking coffee with paul.
i love purring kitties.
i love drinks with my grandparents.
i love jokes and tricks.
i love dressing up & playing games.
i love all the hugs i get when i am home.

i hate that tomorrow is my last day at home. but part of me is also a little ready to go back to my life. even though i don't go directly there-first a pit stop to see some friends in oregon. i am so thankful for this time, even though i think i could be happy being here for another two weeks at least. but God is so good to provide such good family time, and a job that i don't dread going back to!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

come let us adore him

merry christmas, my dear friends and family. in lieu of a christmas card or letter filling you in on my life, i have opted to write a christmas post, looking back on my past year. it has been such a full year, with some pretty significant transitions. but through it all, God has once again proven himself to be faithful to me. join me in rejoicing in his provision-

i started off 2010 by continuing in my job as a RN at salem hospital on the oncology/renal floor. although i was ending each day at work exhausted, i was appreciative of the things that God provided:
-good people to work with, many of whom were patient teachers during this first year of being a nurse
-a job that paid well, that i was actually getting to help people
-dear friends nearby to have adventures with
-visits home to spend time with my family
-a church where i heard God's word preached
-my Bible study girls who both encouraged and challenged me
-living in the same city as my brother, John
-my adopted salem "family"

about mid-march, the seeds began to be planted that i might want to look for a job somewhere other than the hospital. by the end of april, i was primed and ready to have my friend molly tell me that maybe i should consider pursuing residence life, since i was much more passionate about that than i ever was for nursing. by the next day, i had sent out three applications. over the course of the next two months, i would apply to 50 different schools, 4 grad schools, all the while praying and hoping that i would get to be a resident director for the coming school year.

after testing my faith, challenging my desires and pushing my comfort zone, i was offered a job as a resident director at philadelphia biblical university. (you can read the WHOLE story here) in a whirlwind few weeks, i finished up work, packed my belongings and said good-byes before making the trek across the country with my mommy.

it certainly wouldn't have been something i would have chosen for myself-to move across the country where i don't know anyone to take a job at a school i had only learned of in the past few months. but i am so thankful that it was not of my choosing! i may not be crazy about pennsylvania's weather or traffic or being so far away from people i love. but i am certainly crazy about this job that i get up every day excited to do. i feel so blessed to be getting paid to do so many things i love: planning events, making food for appreciative students, having good conversations and spending time with people! i have felt so welcomed into this community, and am so thankful to enjoy both the staff and students that i get to work with. i have also started to get plugged into a church in philly, and continue to have God confirm that this is where he wants me. if you are wondering, i am currently attending grace bible church and love my care group!

as my pennsylvania friends are finding out, i love pictures. they capture some of my favorite moments and allow me to share these memories with others & enjoy them myself.
these are a few of my favorite photos from the past year, which capture many of the blessings that i have enjoyed this past year.

friends visiting me over christmas break: Liz & Jacob

my dear Bible study girls

celebrating Valentine's Day with my brother

hiking in silver falls state park with Lucy

enjoying the tulip fields of woodburn, oregon with Rebecca

AACs and co. at Kevin & Denae's wedding

the oregon coast with my brothers: Paul, John & Peter

the Lion King with Liz!

my last day at Salem Hospital with my friends McKenzie & Leah

some of the crew at my good-bye party: Martha, Becca, Jacob & Brent

my family, in the backyard

exploring Philadelphia with my Mommy

at my sister's wedding-Lisa & Abby

some of the res. life gang

residence life team 2010-11

manor campus RA team

coffee & dessert with Terri, Jes & Joanna

LOVE park with Jenny

bean-staches with my brothers during fall break in WA

hiking at hacklebarney state park, new jersey for RA retreat

PBU's RDs looking fly-Dustin the preppy kid, Alison the nerdy kid & Evan the emo kid

my RA team as nerds

my RAs, all ready for christmas

i just want to close with my favorite verse from a familiar christmas carol. as i've looked back on 2010, i am reminded at God's faithfulness through it all. he is worthy of praise.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

merry christmas friends & family! love to you all.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


i feel very remiss, as i have painfully neglected any writing lately.

so, this will definitely not be a full update, by any means. but it will give a small glimpse into what makes my heart full these days.

let me introduce you to my dear staff.
rob. caleb. keith. josh. seth.
kim. rachel. jes. christa joy. catie. alison.

i am so blessed by them. i didn't pick them. i didn't even know to ask for them, when they were being hired last spring. but i am amazed by God's sovereignty in giving me just the people i needed, even without me asking and acting out of unbelief at times. i love watching them love on each other and their residents. they encourage me with their enthusiasm, their love for Jesus and their kindness. they are each so different, yet so complimentary to each other in their differences. they bring such joy to my life.

and a few more people who are dear to me.
terri. evan. amanda. giselle. dustin. rafferty. ruthann. alison. stephen.

these are not only the people i am privileged to work with, but my friends. whether enjoying lunch in the cafeteria, laughing over silliness in the office or eating dinner together for thursday throwdown, i love these people that God has put in my life.

my cup overflows.
when i went home for fall break, i was surprisingly not terribly sad to leave my family after only 3 days. i realized that langhorne, pennsylvania had become
my home in my few short months here.
thank you Jesus for bringing me much farther than i wanted to come.
thank you for stretching me to be brave and step out in faith.
thank you for the chance to do what i love.
i wake up every day excited for the job i get to do.
praise God from whom all blessing flow.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

high: my life/low: none

we had our first official, routine staff meeting tonight.

when we went around to say our highs and lows of the week, it was hard to come up with a low. at first, i thought it could be that i was tired from the craziness of the weekend of welcome/RA training/start of school. but even as i came up with that, i realized that even in my tiredness, i was still content and happy. the tiredness i feel is not the weary exhaustion that i had for most of this last year. instead, i am energized by the job i am privileged to do and the people i get to do it with. thank you Jesus!

tonight was super fun. i had missed having all my RAs together, even though it had only been a few days. we plays two truths & a lie, and thoroughly enjoyed josh's accents for medical emergencies. we are almost all ready for our event that is a week away. all the treats got eaten. i told my life story. all in all, a great meeting with lots of laughter. i love my staff.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

they are all here. (insert contented sigh here)
my staff of 11 seems small compared to the 16 or even 18 that i am used to with the apartment staff.
but like baby bear's belongings, it is just the right size.
i am tired, but my heart is bursting at the seams.
i can't wait for the days ahead. thank you, Jesus.
i am so glad my RAs are here, and we can start this adventure.

and yes, a group photo was taken during our first staff meeting of 30 minutes. shocker, i know. =)

Monday, August 16, 2010

this is for reals.

today i had the realization that this is really happening. not that i didn't realize that before. after all, the drive across the country, the training for the past few weeks, the unpacking of many boxes definitely gave me some pretty big clues about this change. =) but tonight i met two of my RAs who came a day early, and i got so excited. until today, they have just been names on a paper. and my job has been training and getting settled.

but tomorrow, it really starts. my hall coordinator got here on the 12th, so its been increasingly more real this past week as we've gotten to start working together. but today made everything seem so much more real than it has been up until this point. i'm really here, living in pennsylvania, where i am have a job that i am so excited about. thank you, Jesus. i know that this is a blessing straight from you. thank you for giving me the privilege of being in this leadership role. give me wisdom so that i can be a blessing to those i am living among. i trust you for this year. give me the grace and courage to lead well.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


it almost feels like it has been months since i flew out to PBU and got offered the resident director position. but really that has only been a month. it also seems like ages ago that i had my last day of work. but no, it has only been two weeks.

people keep asking if i have settled in, how i am feeling, how i am adjusting...and the truth is that sometimes it feels like reality and other moments i feel as though i am going to wake up from this dream. and not that it is a bad dream! i still can't quite believe that i am here!
but here i am. i live in pennsylvania. weird. but good.

two weeks ago i had my last day of work. i packed up all my stuff. i said good bye to friends and even cried a little. then i set out on a great cross-country road trip with my mom. i couldn't have asked for a better travel buddy. someone who knows me well, can sing along with the tunes, let me have car naps and put up with all my silliness to boot! we did discover some things on the journey though:
-toll roads are a terrible idea. lots of states seem to have functioning roads without them. it seems like alot of unnecessary stopping. and annoying to have to give away all your cash just to drive through a state...or several. but using different voices when paying tolls makes it almost worth it. almost. but not quite.
-the debate isn't really about a chicken or an egg. it is about the grape and the grapefruit. =)
-if ever suffering a small appetite at a bed and breakfast, it is best to bring your own zip-lock-bags for a quick food stash, so as not to hurt any feelings.
-cows are great!
-if you want to be prepared, it would be advisable to bring glasses that see through clouds in the event of fog at mt. rushmore. otherwise, you may be forced to take photos will a pop machine with the 4 presidents' likeness instead.
-if making up a motto, keep it simple. three words is best. with a period after each, such as: believe. achieve. succeed.
-we live in a beautiful country. it was a blessing to see more of it!

we arrived to PBU a week ago today. even that seems like a while ago. it was so good to get to explore philly with my mom who also was experiencing it for the first time. such a beautiful, historic city!

and then to start work. what a great job i have-complete with fun, caring people, an office of my own, business cards, a brand new phone, dinner invitations, painting parties (as in painting walls, not murals) and new friends. most of my belongings haven't arrived yet, so it is hard to feel very settled when my furniture consists of an air mattress and a cooler. but in spite of that, it has been a good first week. God has filled what could have been lonely moments with new friends. God has blessed me with the hope of the year ahead as i got to contact my RAs for the coming year and continue to dream. God has placed me in a beautiful city with so many things to see and do at my fingertips.

i am overwhelmed with how far God has brought me in the past few weeks. i am so undeserving of how he has blessed me. my faith was so small during the waiting time, yet God answered my prayers. i complained at how slow the process was, but he continues to show me how perfect his timing is. as i grieved about leaving people i love behind, he already had people in place to love me here.

praise God from whom all blessings flow. praise Him all creatures here below. praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

ps. pictures are coming soon, i promise.

Friday, July 16, 2010

a dangerous business

today the movers have come to take away all my belongings that aren't riding out with jordan (my car), my mom and me. i know that i've been making steps the past two weeks to leave for PA: calling my utilities, having my last work day, packing and cleaning...but now that all my stuff is being packed up and taken away, i know there is no turning back. my course is set on this adventure. and you know what? before a few months ago, i would have been terrified at the thought of leaving everyone i know. i would have thought you were crazy if you had told me i would move to the east coast. i would have never believed that i would ever be anything but a nurse.

but its not a few months ago. God has worked in my heart and shown me the next step i am to take. and yes, it is a pretty big one. but surprisingly, i'm not scared. i feel peace and hope and excitement for what God is going to do.

the past few days as i've packed and cleaned (a loathsome task to be sure), i kept hearing frodo's voice in my head, talking to sam as they were starting out on their own big adventure:

“remember what Bilbo used to say: it's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. you step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the one i've always wanted

i recently watched "stranger than fiction" with my friend, molly. although i had seen it before, i connected with something in a particular scene of the movie.
the whole premise of the film is that an IRS agent starts hearing a voice narrating his life. when the voice mentions his imminent death, harold has to find out if he has any control over the story or if the narrator is going to kill him. during this search, he seeks the help of professor hilbert, a professor of literature.

Jules Hilbert: You were right. This narrator might very well kill you. So I humbly suggest that you just forget all this and go live your life.

Harold Crick: Go live my life? I am living my life. I'd like to continue to live my life.

Jules Hilbert: I know. Of course. I mean all of it. However long you have left. You know, I mean, Howard,you could use it to have an adventure. You know, invent something, or just finish reading Crime and Punishment. Hell, Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted.

Harold Crick: What's wrong with you? Hey. I don't wanna eat nothing but pancakes. I wanna live. Who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes?

Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you'd pause to think. I believe you'd realize that that answer's inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led and, of course,the quality of the pancakes.

Harold Crick: You don't understand. What I'm saying.

Jules Hilbert: Yes, I do.

Harold Crick: But you have to understand that this isn't a philosophy or a literary theory or a story to me. It's my life.
Jules Hilbert:Absolutely. So just go make it the one you've always wanted.

as soon as i heard that last line, i knew that was how i felt. as cheesy as it sounds, i feel like with this move to PA and my new job, i get to have the life i've always wanted.

don't get me wrong. i am really going to miss my family and friends enormously. i hate that i am going to be so far away. my heart hurts when i think about it.
i am also very thankful for my nursing experience and how God has stretched and grown me through it all.
but i am also very grateful that i get to have the chance to have "the one i've always wanted." i am so excited to get to be a resident director.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

adventure is out there!

i thought i had a plan for my life. acting out of obedience, i applied to nursing school, became a nurse and thought God would show me what was next down the road of nursing. the only thing about plans is that sometimes God has something better in mind...

back in mid-march, melissa from my bible study mentioned that the surgical clinic her mom worked for might be having an opening for a nurse and asked if i would be interested in a job. my first thought was, "no, i already have a job." but then the more i thought about it, the more appealing a switch sounded. i could work more normal hours with a less hectic pace. as i continued to think and pray, the more i was honest about how i felt about my current job. i loved the people that i worked with, but was lacking the passion for oncology nursing i saw in them every day at work. i felt that this was God giving me a chance to try something new and different.

so, i applied for the job and even had a good interview with them, but they didn't end up having an opening after all. i then started applying to other clinics in the area. during this search process, i had the realization that although i was unhappy in my current job, i didn't feel particularly called to clinic nursing. so then i started applying to school nursing jobs...the few that i could find.

it was during this job search that i had a conversation with my friend Molly. she was really honest with me and was the person God used to reveal his plan to me, at least for this next season. she helped me realize that it was maybe more than just this particular job i wasn't passionate about. it was nursing in general. and having lived with me for my last year of nursing school, i feel like she would know better than most people the struggle i have experienced in this area. i truly felt like God wanted me to study nursing, but never felt passionate about. there were certainly points along the way that God confirmed that i was being obedient or where i got to see the hand i had in someone's life. however, the passion that i sensed in so many of my classmates was lacking in my own heart. i assumed it would kick in, when God showed me where he wanted me to be. but instead, in the past few months, i think he showed me a completely different path.

during that conversation, Molly pointed out that what made me the happiest, the most excited and the most fulfilled in the whole 6 years she has known me was when i was doing residence life. and as soon as she said that, i knew that she was right. i felt God give me an amazing sense of peace as she spoke. it was as if God was giving me permission to dream about the thing i wanted most to do. when we hung up the phone, i started applying for resident director jobs. that week in the middle of april, i applied to a few schools on the west coast, happy that there were several schools that were hiring that i was interested in. but then a conversation with another friend made me question the geographical limitations i had put on my search. was i limiting God by only applying to schools in locations that i preferred? i felt like God was prompting me to broaden my search, so i started looking for any residence life job at a christian college within the continental u.s.

during this search, i quickly discovered that quite a few schools either preferred or required a master's degree. while i might have had undergraduate residence life experience, i didn't have any experience as a professional and i lacked education beyond my bachelor's degree. although i had said at the end of last year that i didn't see myself ever going back to school, i realized that my reluctance to return to the books was related to my strong desire to avoid more nursing school. after a little prompting and confirmation from God, i decided that i might want to return to school next year.

also during this process, a job at a children's clinic became available here in salem. while i thought i'd closed the book on nursing for this next season, the thought of a slower pace, getting to stay in salem while working with kids sounded appealing. i applied for the job and had a stellar interview. the next week i was offered the job. since i was working that day, i wasn't able to respond right away. when i did respond that night, it turned out that i had taken too long to respond and they would be giving my job away to someone else. i had a job for less than 24 hours before it was gone. i certainly was annoyed at the manner in which my job offer had been revoked, but i wasn't too disappointed at how God had shut that door. after all, i had been praying for clarity for my future!

i don't want to sound like this was an easy past few months. from what i've written so far, you wouldn't know that there have been days when i have not wanted to get out of bed to go to work and had to pray so hard even to have a good attitude about being there. yes, i have had days of excitement for how God is working, but i have also had days when i questioned if he is working at all. i think i assumed i would know something definite much sooner, since this process has been going on for over two months now, which has sometimes made me more than a little discouraged. but, God is so faithful. he continued to encourage me despite my lack of faith-through my devotionals, through my family, through my friends and even through songs on my ipod. even though i may have doubted it in moments of weakness, i know that he has my life in his hands. i am his.

so, after over 50 job applications, 4 grad school applications, a number of interviews, i flew out to philadelphia biblical university in langhorne, PA on sunday, june 27 for a final interview. i had only found out on tuesday of the week before that i was being asked to come out, so even that was a new development. the previous week i had been given a few answers by other schools, which strangely enough didn't make me feel too disappointed. i started feeling prompted by God to come to terms with my willingness to move across the country. it was if he was giving me the choice. i felt him telling me that it would be okay if i stayed in salem, working at salem hospital, staying near my family and friends. but as i read the resident director job description, continued to pray, the more i felt my heart change about the chance to move to the east coast. i knew what my answer would be if i got asked to be pbu's resident director for manor dorms.

after walking around campus, having conversations with different staff, hanging out with the student life department, my decision was easy. when they asked me if i wanted the job or if i needed time to think about it, i didn't have to think anymore. i knew my answer was yes.

so....i am moving to pennsylvania! i get to be a resident director! and i think i am going to hold off for grad school, at least for this next year. i am so excited for what is ahead. i'm still not thrilled about being so far away from so many people i love, but i know that this is God's doing. and i am fully confident that he is going to give me new people to love. but as people i currently love, i would covet your prayers during this transition! (and i would like to see as many of you as possible before i leave, please!)

"adventure is out there!" -up

ps. here is pbu's website if you want more info. on the school where i will be living in just a matter of weeks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

captain of this vessel

this happened sometime in november, but it has turned into a favorite nursing story that i am often asked to i thought i should write it down. =)

it was a busy morning. lots of rushing from room to room. orders to be signed off. charting still to be done. family members needing to talk to the nurse. piles of pills to be given. a blood transfusion to be started. vital signs to be checked. it was the sort of morning that gets away from you, and before you know it, it is time to check blood sugars for lunch time. and you wonder where those four and half hours that you've been at work have gone to.

in the midst of this, i was walking a chart up to the nurse's station, when i heard the familiar tone of a bed alarm sounding. and in less time that it takes to tell, i looked up and down the hallway, hoping that there would be someone else to keep this patient safe. the patient's nurse perhaps? or the nursing assistant? but no such luck. one quick glance this way and then that way showed me that i was it. a repeated sentiment from nursing school flashed through my head, "nurses are the patient's last line of defense." i smiled to myself as i quickened my pace toward the noise, accepting the role of the defender.

setting the chart down at the server just outside of the blaring room, i waltzed in quickly, glancing up at the patient's white board as i did so as to ascertain this escaping man's name.
"richard." i stated firmly, immediately getting the 80-year-old's attention. i reached over to hit the button on the side of the bed that would silence the alarm, noting the man's left leg swung over the side railing. i reached over and tried to encourage him to place it back in bed. as soon as my hand left his leg, he swung it back into the position that i found him in.
"richard," i said again, "where are you going? you need to stay in bed."
"i need to pee before i get on the boat!" he emphatically told me.
before i could address his claim about boarding a ship, i glanced down and saw familiar tubing. "richard, i have great news. you have a foley catheter, a tube that goes into your bladder. you don't have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. you can go ahead and go!"
shock and disbelief flickered across his face as he looked down at his own anatomy and true enough, saw the catheter i spoke of.
as i began to explain, he interrupted me to ask, "are you the captain of this vessel?"
i shook my head. "no, no, i am not. let's get you back in bed."
i lifted his left leg yet again to place it back into the bed, but it would seem richard had other ideas for positioning his body. no sooner had i helped his leg find its way under the covers, would richard swing his leg back over the railing.
richard then began to pull on the tubing come from his body, and i quickly discouraged that, doing my best to explain to the confused man in front of me what was taking place.
with his leg swung over the railing and the apparent desire to remove certain tubing, he asked me yet again, "are you the captain of this vessel?"
i took a deep breath and plunged ahead, feeling that taking command of a ship might be the only thing to gain richard's respect in the situation.
"yes, richard, i am the captain of this vessel. and we need to get you back to bed."
no sooner had i uttered those words than a stubborn leg returned submissively to the mattress and two wrinkled hands suddenly folded onto his chest.
my task of getting him comfortable in bed become simple with my sudden rise to power. but unfortunately, becoming captain did not solve richard's confusion. as i was finishing tucking him in, he asked if i would pretend to be a tree. and not just any tree, a lonely tree. i smiled but declined his request, informing him that his captain had other business to see to.

as i returned to my original duty of delivering a chart to the front desk, i was reminded of one of the reasons i like my job. its true that a nurse may be the last line of defense for a patient, but a nurse also has opportunities that arise unexpectedly during the course of any given day. who knew that today would be my lucky day? the day that i would get to weigh anchor on my very own vessel!

Friday, January 1, 2010

things i'm thankful for at the end of this day-

-a job that is both exhausting and fulfilling
-teamwork at work
-correctly placing 3 NG tubes, which i haven't done since nursing school
-phone calls from friends/family
-knowing that Jesus controls my destiny