Thursday, March 24, 2011

a brand new season

I am sure a lot of people cannot imagine why i would be thankful for my recent eye surgery, but i am. i firmly believe that God brings the good and bad into our lives for His glory and to shape us into a people confident in his goodness. was it terrifying? yes. was it inconvenient? yes. but just a few days after the surgery, i was able to see already that God had carefully shaped and created this time of purpose for me.
He has brought me into a brand new season of being. being on bedrest for weeks meant
i couldn't go.
i couldnt do.
i couldnt accomplish.
i had to depend on my husband to clean and cook and dress me and help me in and out of bed. i had to depend on my family and friends to go anywhere. i had to work in short bursts of time while my eye cooperated. i couldnt even read. i could watch tv with one eye on my iPhone for about thirty minutes at a time. you might say, for someone as busy as i am, this was torture. i would say
for someone as achievement driven as me, this was torture.

i was forced to find fulfillment in other things that what i was doing. ouch. and so, God chipped away at the things i was holding onto, at me being a perfect housekeeper, a perfect employee, a perfect manager, a perfect wife. and He said rest. and He said I am sufficient. and so i did.
and i began to see how overloaded i was making myself. i have not had a single asthma or heart fibrillation since my surgery. i have quit my day job. i have watched God provide a way for me to work from home with my company so its easier on my health. i have watched Him provide financially so my company is bringing in twice as much as my day job. i began taking Fridays off, and doing something with my girlfriends, just because. my best friend called me and after i took an hour to listen to her, said "thanks for just listening. thanks for taking the time to bless me with that". time. i never had it before. i have time to cook, time to grocery shop, time to iron my husband's shirts. i almost started crying while i was ironing for him, because i have never made time to do that before. i run three times a week, but i put on the five pounds that my doctor wanted me to, for my low blood pressure. i feel healthy. i feel happy. a few friends have commented on how peaceful i seem, how much more joyful. and i know it's true. i smile more. i read my bible daily because i make time for it. i feel joy when i run. in my book club, we were discussing inner beauty, and how it flows from a woman who is confident in God, and who is peaceful and restful.
i don't think the word "restful" has ever been used in conjunction with me before, but i want to be that woman.

at rest.
confident in a good, gracious and beautiful Savior.
at peace.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

to japan with love.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the burnout.

it's no secret that nursing school is a world all it's own. its stress and workload ensure that any semblance of a social life, relationships, or community are shattered. it's a cruel awakening the first year. i remember dissolving into tears many, many nights, sure that i would either perish or fail out of the program. while other friends were in college, i felt that i was immersed in a whole different dimension. my first year, i was in the hospital twice, once for two week long pneumonia. the second year, hospitalized for my heart and asthma complications, and for a bizarre eye mass. this year? tore my ACL and broke my meniscus, then my right eye went blind and i had emergency surgery. to say i set the record for most hospital visits in nursing school would be an understatement.

i founded my own company in 2009, and before i knew it, it was actually generating income. i found my love of writing and organization was complete in being a manager and publicist. but i was still in nursing school, and i couldn't do it all. i found myself really discouraged that i had already gotten so far in school, and had found a whole different career. i didn't want to choose, but juggling everything was becoming crippling. this past term, i was finding my rhythm, becoming a strong nurse, but still having trouble finding real joy in being a nurse. i felt guilty that i had taken out student loans and deep down, dreaded my shift each day. all i wanted to do is work from home and just be done with all of the late nights and early mornings and migraines and aching feet. that is, until my right eye went blind, and i was watching everything slip away in an instant.

my surgery gave me a new joy in what i am doing. my company is doing well, and is allowing me to quit my day job and be fully self-employed. it's freeing and will allow me to be home two days a week, working from home! i am eager to get back to the hospital. i can't wait to see the patients, to be with my fellow nurses. i found myself missing it. and i know that was the Lord confirming that i am where i need to be. He has granted me joy in spite of everything. i'm so thankful.

God never leaves us vacant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

(In)Courage Guest Blogger

I'm very happy to announce I will be guest posting on (In)Courage! Date to be announced, but I'm so honored to be a part of this amazing community of women and their stories.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a look back at fistula.

When small girls are thrust into poverty, often things get so ugly, that they are sold to husbands who are much older by parents who have reached desperation. For some, their parents never wanted them, so they grasp for the last shred of hope they have: an arranged marriage to what looks like a prosperous man. What it turns into is a glamourized type of child abuse, where ten and twelve year old children suffer sexual abuse at the hands of men who have multiple wives, concubines, and partners. These precious girls are exposed to diseases, but more importantly, often become pregnant as young as ten or eleven. Since their bodies are not ready for childbirth, these girls endure horrific obstructive labor, where the baby often dies. What the little girls are left with is a obstetric condition called a fistula, where they are unable to prevent incontinence. They become the unwanted. The outcasts. The untouchable. Imagine it.

Across the world, there are ten and twelve year old girls huddled on dirty sidewalks. Sleeping in their own urine. Left to die an outcast, with no children, shunned by the 'husband' who proferred them such wealth and prosperity.

In Ethiopia, there are 100,000 women and little girls suffering from fistulas. There are 2 million women in the world suffering from fistulas right now. And all this is fixable. There is a hospital in Ethiopia who offers these women a simple medical procedure that will give them back their lives. Do you know how much it costs to give a ten year old her life back?


I was blown away. I want to be a nurse, and potentially a doctor someday. I have been enthralled by the new show Hopkins on ABC, where medical students work through the highs and lows of residency for the audience of America. And I realized how quickly our priorities can go awry. I want to be a doctor. Why? Is it the glamour? Is it because I want to help people? I heard a message from Louie Giglio recently where he asks "Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Have you REALLY?" I realized we can say all the right things...I can stream podcasts, I can read through my bible in a year. I can go to church three times a week and raise my hands in worship. But has God moved me? Has He shaken me to my core? I think that maybe He is working on it. Because when I read the stories of these girls in Ethiopia, girls who I might have been friends with when I was ten...I got uncomfortable. I got restless. I realized that if I become a doctor, I would HAVE to go to help those girls. I would have no option. That's how moved I was. My friend Daley Hake recently posted a blog about how we "are not what we do". He, a brilliant photographer, explained how he prays to be 'more than a brand', that he wants to be remembered for MORE. I want to be a nurse/doctor. But I want God to move me deep within. I want to sense His presence in the eyes of those girls as they get their lives back. I want God to overflow from me at my work. I want everything I do to be filtered through the realization that God is big enough. That I am not what I do. But that what I do must be overflowing from an Encounter with a Saviour.

So I will watch.

I will wait.

I will let God move me.

And as I sleep tonight, I will remember that across the ocean, a little girl in Ethiopia sleeps too, waiting for an encounter with her Saviour too.

Watching for God. Maybe He's closer than I think.

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house.
God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives.
God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war.
God is in the debris of wasted opprotunity and lives

and God is with us if we are with them."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marriage is about saying I Don't...

I said "I do" to my handsome and thoughtful groom almost three months ago. feels much longer. he is truly my best friend. we stay up way too late talking and laughing lately, which makes getting up for work quite the episode. we have recently walked through a rough few weeks with my surgery, but he has remained calm and collected, and has never left my side, vigilantly giving me eyedrops every hour and even getting me a pirate bear to match me, and bedazzling my ugly eye dr glasses. he is truly a giving kind of guy...always looking out for me and helping me with stuff around the house so i dont over exert my eye.
i have learned that marriage isn't about saying i do as much as it is saying "i dont". its dying to self. i am learning to say that...

i don't need to be right all the time. most of the time, i'm not, and it's not worth fighting just to make myself feel more important and correct.
i don't need to assume my schedule in nursing school, as hectic as it is, is more important than his.
i don't need to store up ammunition for arguments so i can fling them at appropriate times for leverage.
i don't get to whine and complain about the budget that keeps us on track for student loans, because in truth, my husband "gets" the money aspect more than me.
i don't get to be selfish in marriage. it's the fastest way to kill a relationship.

i said "i do" on our wedding day, but i i really learn to say "i don't" every day.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" Gal 2:20