Sunday, June 27, 2010

india.

So...I have an opportunity to go to India in March for 8 days through my parents church. They are teaming with Compassion International and their sister church in India and going to serve in Calcutta. Secondly, if I being sponsoring a child now through compassion international, they will pair me with one in that community and I will MEET yes MEET the child I am sponsoring. Incredible, right?

So let the praying begin, because while this is the answer I've been looking for I want to make sure I'm going for the right reasons, not because 'hey its india.'

There is another potential option to go to the Dominican Republic with a local doctor on a medical trip (no religious affiliation) but I have no real info on the trip and a deposit for India is due by July 15.

I'm praying that God shows me which way He wants me to go- be it medical because I am a nurse, or India- because thats where he says to go. I know either place I will be blessed and either place I will grow...but ultimately its not up to me, and I know that. So hopefully He'll let me know soon which way that is!

Friday, June 25, 2010

So today I read the second chapter in 'Crazy Love' by Francis Chan. And let me tell you- considering the past few days this was exactly what I needed to read....it put the feelings I had in my heart right onto paper and made sense of them....he says it better than I could so I'll quote the first part.
It is easy to think about today as just another day. An average day where you go about life concerned with your to do list, preoccupied by appointments, focused on familiy, thinking about your desires and needs.
On the average daywe live caught up in ourselves. On the average day we don't consider God very much. On the average day we forget that our life is truly vapor.
But there is nothing normal about today. Just think about everything that must fucntion properly just for you to survive. For example, your kidneys. The only people who really think about their kidneys are the people whose kidneys don't work correctly. The majority of us take for granted our kidneys, liver, lungs, and other internal organs that we're dependent upon to continue living.
It is crazy to think today is just a normal day to do whatever we want with. To those of us who say 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money,' James writes "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow, What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (4:13-14).

That's just it...tomorrow is not guaranteed and here we are living as though we are invincible and have the "rest of our lives" to do this or that. Maybe that is why work affects me so much, is so that I realize how precious each day that I have with my family, and loved ones is. But more importantly so that I live a life that brings glory to the Lord in all that I do. That is our sole purpose, not to have the best house, nicest car, most money- but to use what we are given and use every breath in our being to bring glory to our Heavenly Father. When I am dead it will not matter how I dressed, what car I drove or how much stuff I had, but it will matter the life I lived, if it was loving, giving, compassionate and reflective of the love and grace we recieve from the Lord each day. None of it matters in the end except how we lived and loved....

Because of Calvary I'm free to choose....

My sweet friend Adrienne posted this on her blog, and I just loved it- I've read it so many times over the past day or so and so I decided to repost it on my blog to share as well....
From When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado

" IT’S QUIET. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.
In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.
I choose love . . .
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose joy . . .
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I choose peace . . .
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose patience . . .
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose kindness . . .
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I choose goodness . . .
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I choose faithfulness . . .
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I choose gentleness . . .
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control . . .
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.


Thanks addygurl :) I love and miss you tons!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today I went into a patients room to help her back to the bed from using the restroom. She wasn't one of my assigned patients, but I knew her because she was diagnosed with leukemia shortly before I started working on the unit, and has been in and out over the past year with treatments, infections, a bone marrow transplant, and finally a relapse. Last time we saw her, she had relapsed, and was not a candidate for the last ditch chemotherapy that we use. She was sent home with hospice, given two weeks to live, and two months later came back to the hospital because she was running a fever, which is a pretty serious situation when dealing with leukemia patients.

I have seen someone pass away. I have seen someone in their very last moments of life. And I have seen death probably more than the average person has dealt with it before. While I am working, I am focused, I have a job to do and my instinct takes over my emotions- I take care of my patients. I get them back to bed, I try to calm them, and ease their breathing. This particular patient was so winded and was struggling so hard to breath just getting up to use the bathroom. She looked me dead in the eyes as I told her 'Relax, take deep breaths, breathe thru your nose so you get the oxygen we put on for you, you're okay, just breathe.' And eventually after a few minutes she calmed down and was breathing easier, along with the help of our friend morphine. And I went about my business.

This is how things typically go for me, I do what I'm trained, and I go about my business- but on the drive home is when I being to think about what I really just encountered. I encountered a woman fighting to live, every breath she took in was effort, and the look in her eyes told me just how exhausted she was from fighting this cancer. When she looked me in the eyes- I was looking at a dying woman...and that never. ever. gets easy.

I sometimes cannot believe the things I deal with at work...and then it hits me on the way home just how real their situation is, to me it is a job that I do three days a week that I love. To them, this is their life. They stay in the hospital for months, it becomes their home, and when the time comes- they turn to us to say 'this is okay, you are okay, no more chemo, no more blood drawn, no more tests...you can rest now.'

How in the world am I, a 23 year old girl, given such great responsibility as to lead people to the next phase of their life...death. And to help them deal, and their families deal with the situation that they face- How in the world? I hope that everytime I take care of one of my patients it affects me like she did today and that I never ever forget how precious life is, how scary cancer is, and how much they go through.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gratitude 44-55/crazy love

44. going to see my grandparents

45. cuddling with josie in the mornings after john leaves for work

46. dinner with tyler and bryson after their wedding

47. planning beach trips for the summer

48. summer thunderstorms

49. sunshine- and the beauty it brings to everything

50. my two hibiscus plants- especially the yellow one, its beautiful.

51. the reminder that i have been called to something greater- something far more than i could plan for myself.

52. the promise that the Lord will fulfill his plan through me without any issues- and that all I haven to do is sit back and let him work through me.

53. christian music

54. the places that i have been able to travel for missions over the years- and the impact they had on my heart

55. the book 'crazy love'



So I started reading the book Crazy Love as I mentioned, and so far- its great. I love how the first chapter talks about the greatness of our God, that we are so small compared to the creation he has made in our world, solar system, galaxy, and all of space. I was always fascinated by space as a child (even to the point that up until 10th grade I was going to work for NASA) so I really appreciate and understand the picture that Francis Chan gave me of how great our Lord is that he created everything around me. It simply leaves me to sit in awe of this beautiful life He's given me- and how quickly I get caught up in little things, but how small they are in the grand scheme.



" Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God." - RC Sproul



I really relate to the part when he beings to talk about how quicky we forget the beauty of our Lord. 'no matter how many pictures we see of His galaxies, no matter how many sunsets we watch...we still forget.' I find myself constantly distracted by worldly things, and then find myself so frustrated when I realize they offer me nothing but temporary satisfaction. Why do I need the latest and greatest, to have the best clothes/house/things. THEY ARE JUST THINGS. They are fleeting- they offer me no great satisfaction, at some point they will wear out. But the Love of the Lord never wears out and yet it is never enough for me. "In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.' (pg 29.)



I'm glad to know this is human nature, that while yes there is something wrong with me- there is not at the same time- I am normal. It is my nature to focus on the things I do or do not have, compare myself to everyone else, and to feel the need to have 'things' to fill me up and make me feel better. I so quickly forget that the Lord provides it all for me already, and so much more than what I could want.



So let me remind myself- who is my God? My God is Holy, He is great, he is the one who has lifted me from some of the saddest times in my life, protected my heart constantly, brought me to the John, my perfect match and best friend. He took me to the DR, Tennessee, and Guadalajara to show me his people, his land, and everything great about Him. He has shown me his incredible beauty in sunsets, in babies, in the ocean (my favorite). He is so perfect in all He does. He is unwavering, and eternal, never ever will He not be enough or be available to me. He is in every detail of my life from the time I wake up to the time I lay my head down and go to sleep. He is in every hospital room of the patients I take care of as they battle leukemia. He is here, and he is across the world in Africa. He is in the mountains, He is in the valleys. He is in my heart and my being. He knows me deeply, inside and out, and knows my weaknesses, my strengths, my inmost thoughts and feelings. How precious that someone could know me that well...


Psalm 139

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Restless.

Lately, it has been weighing on my heart that I have an intense calling, that in my opinion is not being filled right now, and on the other hand I have an intense calling that is completely being filled right now. Let me explain.
When I was in middle school, high school and even college, I began going on mission trips inside the country first, and then outside the country, and my heart fell in love. My heart and my soul was made for mission work. Which is pretty much the sole reason I became a nurse. What better way to serve the Lord than while helping give medical care to those who cannot recieve it. In college I persued my career in nursing following what I felt the Lord was calling me to do.
In that time I met John, fell in love, and we got married. Part of me says that if I was not married, I would be living in Africa- but I'm not in charge, and my God knew the other passion of my heart- which was to be a wife and eventually a mother. What do you do when it seems that your two callings cannot co-exist together? It has been over 4 years since I have done a mission trip- and it seems like all around me people/friends/coworkers are going on their adventures, serving...and I am here, in North Carolina. Maybe the Lord is preparing me for something greater- maybe my opportunity has not come along yet- but can I tell you how frustrating it is to watch everyone else come and go and me to be still here? Then I think, well, maybe there's a way to serve here- but for whatever reason those doors have yet to be opened, and I cannot get my feet back into missions no matter how hard I try.
Dont' get me wrong- I feel like I have an incredible life- I have a sweet husband who loves me so much, a great home, a great job with great patients that I get to love on everyday to the best of my ability. But there is something that is missing. There is that part of my soul that was called so many years ago to GO and SERVE. And I cannot help but be heartbroken that my chance has not come yet for met to do that. I am restless, and unsettled- and just know deep down that I was meant to do more than just work three days a week at Baptist Hospital and be 'comfortable' in my life, spending my money on only things that bring me better, nicer things- I took up this career for the skills that it gave me, the schedule flexibility, and the sheer fact that I knew, the Lord would use it to further his kingdom. And I know he is in Baptist Hospital- but I sure wish he would in the Dominican, in Africa, in Mexico, in the US, anywhere. I guess I just need to be reminded that He's still fulfilling his purpose and plan in me even when I don't necessarily feel it or see it. I just need a reminder.

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3


"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and
satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." Isaiah 58:10

"Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" Matthew 19:21


On that note, I've began reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan...and so far so good. I've had several friends read it and quote it and decided maybe it was something worth picking up- so I'll let you know. :)

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