Tuesday, December 26

What Man Dared Not Dream

This past weekend at church our service was a musical program with intermittent readings. I really enjoyed the service, but there was one reading that I especially liked. Our pastor read an excerpt from one of Max Lucado's Books called And the Angels Were Silent. The chapter was called "What Man Dared Not Dream" and it was a really neat thought. So I decided to share it with you all.
In this chapter, Max Lucado is writing about modern day heroes and Santa Claus. He tells a brief history of Santa Claus and how society has evolved him into the jolly, rosy-cheeked, bearded man who knows the desires of our hearts and brings us presents that we want. Lucado also talks about the fact that society creates superheroes to meet our needs; men in capes who will fly in and rescue innocent lives from evil schemes and disasters, heroes who race to the rescue and then fly away to save the next unsuspecting victim. But all of the superheroes that we have created to meet our needs and wants are created in the same sin-full world that we live in. And we've created them to have minimal contact, rushing in and out before they can be known.
All of this is building up to the heart of the matter, where the author shows how inadequate our imaginations are in comparison with God's. He talks about Jesus, the ultimate superhero/savior, and how he differs from society's best imaginings. And the point that Lucado makes is the reason for my post. But he says it much better than I, so...
"After three years of ministry, thousands of miracles and numerous teachings Jesus asks, 'Who?' He bids the people to ponder not what he has done but who he is. The main question is whose son is he? Is he the son of God or the sum of our dreams? Is he the force of creation or part of our imagination? When we ask that question of Santa, the answer is clear; he is part of our imagination, a representation of our dreams. When we ask the question about Jesus, this is not true. For starters we could never dream a person as unbelievable as Jesus. The idea that a virgin would be selected by God to give birth to his son. The thought that the King of the universe would sneeze and get bit by mosquitoes is too amazing, too revolutionary; we would never create such a Saviour. We are not that daring. God did what we would not dare to dream, he did what we could not imagine. He became a man so we could trust him. He defeated death so we could follow him. So when it comes to goodies and candy, chubby cheeks and red noses; go to the North Pole! But when it comes to eternity, forgiveness, purpose and truth go to the manger. Kneel with the shepherds. And worship the God who dared to do what society dared not dream."

Christmas Songs

Merry Christmas! A day late... but that's alright. Anyway, my mind has not been hibernating even though I haven't done much with my blog in a little while. You would think that being home on Christmas break would give me more time to post on subjects that just keep building in my head; however, that has not been the case.
I absolutely love Christmas music. It's wonderful, and when I take the time to allow the words of these songs to sink into my mind, I'm blessed by the power of the words. I'm not talking about songs like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer mind you, I'm talking about real Christmas songs; the ones that are about Christ and his birth.
"A child was born on Christmas day, born to save the world. But long before the world began, he knew his death was sure, the pain and strife secure. Mystery, how he came to be a man. But greater still how his death was in his plan. God predestined that his Son would die, and he still created man. Oh what love is this, that his death was in his hands?" (Mystery)

"There's a Rose in Bethlehem with a beauty quite divine; perfect in this world of sin, on this silent, holy night. There's a fragrance much like hope that it sends upon the wind; reaching out to every soul, from a lowly manger's crib. Oh, Rose of Bethlehem how lovely, pure, and sweet. Born to glorify the Father, born to wear the thorns for me." (Rose of Bethlehem)
Those are just pieces of two of my new favorites from this Christmas season. But the Christmas song that inspired me to write about Christmas songs on this blog is a much more familiar one. It's called Breath of Heaven, or Mary's Song. I've heard this song many, many times before, and it's done every year at SVA's Candlelight Concert. This year was no exception, but this time as I listened there were a few lines in particular that caught my attention. "Do you wonder as you watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place?" I pondered this for a few moments and found that I can identify. I've questioned God and his plans for me several many times. And quite often have found myself posing the same question that Mary asks in this song. "God, are you sure you want me for this? Are you sure you don't want to choose someone else who might be more qualified?" However, as I thought about this I realized how ridiculous it is to ask God such a question. Why should I, a twenty year old college student, question the God of the universe, Creator of all life, who knows my heart better than I do, about whether or not he's made the right decision? Thankfully, God is a patient God, and simply smiles at my questioning and says "My strength is made perfect in your weakness; your inability speaks volumes of my ability. Trust me."

Sunday, December 17

Type-A Tricks, Graduation, and a Series of Unfortunate Events

Well, well. I'm home. Home is pleasant; it might be more so if my brothers decided to stick around a little more often. But, alas, they have lives. And I suppose it might be slightly more enjoyable if I could feel my feet too.
So really, this blog is just another one of those random ones to tell people what has happened the past few days in the world of Kristin. Oh, and to tell an unfortunate story; however, the unfortunate story will come a little bit later (hint: it has to do with my ever-present, clumsy luck and the fact that I am a proud founder and member of the Klutz Club. I miss Emily.... we'll have to have an excursion when you get back). Anyway! On with the blog.

I have been characterized by most as a person with a Type-A personality (honestly, where did they get that idea?), and perhaps I do lean more towards that than their relaxed, phlegmatic Type-B counterparts in society. One thing that I have learned about Type-A people is that their bodies have this amazingly tricky and un-useful talent (ok, maybe it is slightly useful, but not terribly fun) of being able to ward off sickness when they know they can't afford to be sick, only to have said illness attack with vengeance at a more convenient time- when the Type-A person is resting and recovering from stressful situations like school or work. However, I'm not a determined and driven Type-A child for nothing. Shall I sit idly by and allow this threatening cold to ruin my Christmas break? Of course not. Since it is not a full blown cold yet, and only the beginnings of one, I say, pass another orange please :) Hmm, and maybe I should put some socks on...
Now that that intriguing informative is over, here is a short update on life. Nursing Dedication (aka Pinning) and graduation are over! Hurrah! I'm almost, sort of, officially a nurse. Only one silly NCLEX test left to pass ;) Pinning was really neat, I had never been to one before, and seeing how unique my class is/was, it was bound to be good. There were some truly amazing people in my class who I admire a great deal, and it's a little bit sad that we are no longer going to be sitting in classrooms together listening to teachers thrill us with details of LAD myocardial infarctions, every cancer imaginable, diabetes mellitus, and my personal favorite, chronic renal failure. I was thrilled to have my aunt pin me, and was very touched by the messages of our speakers. People sang beautiful songs, and we dedicated ourselves to service; service of people, and service of God. It was wonderful. Whenever something has been accomplished or overcome, people like to ask the question, looking back, would you do it again? The usual response is some form of yes. Thinking about this has made me very grateful for something that I never ever thought I would be thankful for. I am so glad that I can't see what lies ahead of me. I think that with many events or situations in life, if I could foresee everything that would happen along the way, I'm not sure that I would have the courage or strength to choose to press on. If I had known everything that would happen to me during clinicals, or how difficult the program would be at the very beginning when I was first accepted into Southern's nursing program, would I have chosen to accept the challenge? I don't know; maybe, maybe not. And that is why I'm so glad that God leaves life a mystery to be discovered along the way.
The last part of my update on life before I tell the unfortunate story, is about my drive home. Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of my family's decisions, and my own stubbornness. My parents decided that we would all drive home as soon as graduation was over with. Graduation ended at about 9 pm (we didn't leave until around 10:30) and from Southern to my house the drive is approximately 8 to 8 1/2 hours. Wise? Perhaps not. Christy rode with me to begin with, and Stephen joined us a bit later in the night, or rather, earlier in the morning. The original plan was for me to drive until we parted ways with my grandmother, at which point Stephen would drive my car because he had napped all afternoon and I hadn't. However, I ended up driving most of the way home, much to Stephen's and Christy's chagrin. Stubborn? Perhaps. In any case, it was a nice ride home because of the company, which was highly amusing at times, and rather dull at others (when they wouldn't speak to me...), and also because there were shooting stars!!! I should have counted, but I didn't. I'm almost positive that I saw over 20 shooting stars that night, and it was absolutely amazing :D The most I had seen in one night previous to this drive was two when I slept outside on a tarp with my friend Natasha at the farm.
And now for the Klutz Club Gazette feature publication; a short story on closed head injuries. Saturday night, I had the pleasure of attending my church's Christmas party and babysitting all the little children with another girl. It was indeed an adventurous night, and I got to know a lot of the kids at church a lot better, whether I wanted to or not (alright, it wasn't that bad :) but it sure does make the story sound more interesting). There were Christmas movies about Jesus playing, but some of the children decided that other things were much more entertaining. The girls were playing catch with a rather large, fuzzy, neon green ball, complete with sound effects, or playing with fairy dolls and butterfly vehicles. Some of the boys were watching the movie, while the majority were doing various other activities, such as throwing packages of gum up in the air to catch with a small cardboard box, bouncing little rubber bouncy balls to me and the other babysitter, and an array of acrobatic stunts. One boy, the one throwing packages of gum in the air, decided that he wanted to display his tricks for me. "Hey, watch this!" the boy yelled toward me in an attempt to get my attention. I obeyed and watched as he flung his package of gum up at the ceiling. I, being very observant and good at judging the path gravity chooses to draw objects toward the ground, noticed that the gum was headed straight for my head. So, naturally, I moved my head out of the path of doom. Unfortunately, the avoidance of one path of doom only led straight into one of much worse consequence.
Despite my observant nature, I hadn't noticed how close my chair was to the corner of a wall, and as I dodged the now despised gum, my head came into full contact with the corner of a wall. (Insert funny tangent: Due to recent studies of closed head injuries, my nursing skills took over and I took quick inventory as I questioned myself: How hard did I hit that? Will I pass out? If so... will I get a concussion? Will I have a coup or contracoup injury? Did I break skin? Yes, sadly those questions did go through my head, despite the fact that I knew I couldn't possibly have hit my head hard enough to produce those kinds of outcomes) Thankfully, the injury was very minor and I survived with only a bump and slight headache. Lesson I learned: sometimes the natural instinct to dodge objects coming at your head should be ignored, like when harder objects are in close proximity.
I apologize to those who could not quiet curiosity and actually read this entire blog. It turned out to be lengthier than I originally intended.

Sunday, December 10

Answer to Life

I have discovered the answer to life! And no, it is not 42. In fact, it is not any number at all, but rather a word. The answer to life is..... charcoal. I know, it seems anticlimactic; you were probably expecting some word of grandiose character, such as avoirdupois (which really isn't as sophisticated as it sounds...), but allow me to explain.
A while back, I was sitting in my Mission Nursing class and listening to the speakers present on herbal and alternative remedies. Honestly, with almost every single problem they discussed, they listed charcoal poultices or a strange charcoal concoction as one of the best things to heal it. As I reflected on this in the weeks after this classroom presentation, I concluded that charcoal must indeed be the answer to life. Although, perhaps I have misled you all in saying that charcoal is the answer to life. Because I suppose it's not really charcoal in and of itself that I decided was the answer to life, but the analogy that I drew from it.
I decided that in some ways charcoal is much like Jesus. Charcoal has very interesting properties, of which I'm sure I only know a few. It has an extremely large surface area and has many "pores." It draws out toxins of all kinds and binds with them, and because it is so porous and has such great surface area, it has great potential to draw out large amounts of toxins. Jesus does the same in our lives if we'll allow him. In dying on the cross, Jesus took the sins of the entire world on himself; he drew out our toxic, poisonous sin and bound it to himself in order that we might be healed. But Jesus, unlike charcoal, can never be so saturated that he can't take away our sin.
So there you have it. The answer to life :) Well, ok, so maybe charcoal isn't the answer to life, but I'm sure it's pretty close! I suppose I could revise and say that Jesus' charcoal-like properties are the answer to life eternal.

Monday, December 4


This blog will most likely be of no interest to the world in general. If you'd like to stop reading now, I will not be offended. The purpose of writing it? To empty my head because it is becoming oh so full and is in dire need of an outlet. So, here come the random thoughts that I feel the need to remove from my mind to make room for more important things, like NCLEX review.
Dean Krause is pretty much the best dean ever. I absolutely love Valisa and Jessi right now as they are my saviors from the evils of working late into the night while trying to do practice tests. Sleep is not quite so overrated as I have led people to believe that I think it is. NCLEX review is honestly not so bad; as the kind and humorous speaker told us today, she is cleaning the cobwebs out of our brains, bringing back information to the forefront of our minds that we mistakenly believed was completely forgotten. The NCLEX review speaker may have been mistaken in her belief that much of the information I've learned has not been forgotten, or there are thicker, stickier cobwebs carefully guarding the information I've learned. Sadly, my friends are being temporarily displaced by NCLEX review books. Job interviews are terribly exciting. Graduation is 9 days away. Pinning is only 8 days away. I still have a speaker introduction to write and I'm not sure when I'm going to do it, or what to write. Many experiences in life are like being a small bird being pushed out of a nest. I hope I can fly. Christmas songs and volleyball make me so happy I can hardly contain myself sometimes. Rose of Bethlehem by Selah is a Christmas song that I highly recommend, the words are beautiful and are truly what Christmas is all about. Mystery by the aforementioned group is also high up on my list of favorites and again, the words are wonderful. This blog has quite possibly been the worst sample of my writing ever.
Above all, God is awesome. Life is good; busier than I would like, but good.
"The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones, God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you." Psalm 89:5-8

Friday, November 24


Two posts in one day... Ambitious? Or just abounding in free time currently? The latter is the more likely explanation for my overly thoughtfulness today. Logic is the flavor of the day (in my mind at least)...
The short story, "Love is a Fallacy" is quite possibly one of the most highly amusing short stories I have read. I believe that everyone should read it at least once; it is, like I said, a source of great entertainment, but also some lessons can be learned from it. Here's a link to the story for those who have the time and would like to read it: http://www1.asknlearn.com/ri_Ilearning/English/631/elang-ilearning/page3a.htm
I'll allow you to draw your own moral lessons from it if you so choose. My reason for including it in this blog is more as a foundation for what I want to talk about rather than the actual subject matter itself. A short summary of "Love is a Fallacy" might go something like this: A brilliant law student who is 100% logical sets his sights on obtaining an object of his desire- a girl. Sadly, this particular girl does not exactly meet up to certain of his standards in the intellectual arena. He undertakes to fix this problem by educating her; a course on logic is given in hopes of making her worthy of his greatness. In this case, success produces failure.
Now for my purpose. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am a sentimental being, not logically minded at all. I differ in many ways from the girl in the short story above, in fact I am really nothing like her except in one respect. I do not have a "logic-proof head" as she was described to possess, however, I am eager to learn as she was (well... not quite like she was, but eager nonetheless). I would really like to take a course in logic. I am not naturally logical in thought, but I can learn it and understand it. I admire people who are logical and have great respect for them. Many times I have wished that I was much more logical, practical, reasonable. But God had other designs in mind for this mind of mine. Now that I think about it, I'm actually quite glad that I'm not naturally logically minded; if I were I would be a completely different person and would be lacking quite a few of the characteristics that make me so uniquely me. However, I still would like to take a course on logic. Because as I said before, I can be taught logic, it just doesn't come naturally to me to think that way. When someone explains something to me logically, it makes sense to me, I just wouldn't have come up with it if left to my own devices.
So my question is, is it possible for someone to be taught to think logically? I could take a course on logic, and learn all the concepts of logic, but would it make me begin to think logically? Perhaps I'll look into finding a class on logic. Any suggestions on how to learn logical thinking would be greatly appreciated.

The Illogical Face of God

I hope my title has intrigued you. I have always believed that God has many different facets, many different dimensions. This morning I think I was made aware of yet another one of God's faces- his illogical one. Perhaps this does not strike you as particularly worth noting; God is infinitely wiser than humans, of course his reasoning and ways are "illogical" (or seemingly so) to us at times. But I'm not going to write about anything terribly philosophical or profound, mostly because it boggles my mind to attempt.
I suppose in times past I have been made aware of the fact that God's ways don't always make sense to me and may seem illogical by my reasoning, but I don't think I had ever thought to actually label God as illogical. That is, not until this morning.
For whatever reason, something triggered my mind to ponder dreams this morning. This topic is one frequented by my brain and I enjoy thinking about dreams. Why? I don't know. Perhaps because I'm not a terribly logical person and dreams are not logical. Maybe because dreams are often rather silly, or perhaps just because they are an amusing way to pass time. In any case, I was thinking about dreams this morning.
Did you know that when you sleep certain parts of your brain turn off? Well, I suppose turn off is not a completely accurate phrase to describe what happens. If when we went to sleep our brains shut off completely, our life span would be drastically smaller number than what it is currently. Thankfully, God anticipated this problem and engineered the brain to work accordingly (I'm very glad that God is the master engineer, and not I*). When you sleep all kinds of neurotransmitters are produced or inhibited to regulate your state of wakefulness, your vital signs, your muscle activity (or rather lack thereof), and many other things. But did you know that when you sleep there are certain areas of your brain that become inaccessible? Activity in those areas of your brain is blocked while you are asleep. One of those areas happens to be the portion of the brain where logic and reasoning take place. This is a very condensed and paraphrased explanation of why dreams are so bizarre. I apologize to those of you who have heard me explain this before, but it really fascinates me, and thus was bound to turn up on this blog page sooner or later.
So back to the illogicality of God. As I thought about dreams this morning, I began to think about the fact that God used dreams to communicate with people. The Bible gives several many accounts of when God has used dreams to communicate with people and show them the future- Joseph, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, and others. "How odd that God would use such an illogical medium of communication," I wondered to myself. And so, I have concluded that God has an illogical dimension. Not illogical because it doesn't make sense to me (good heavens, if that were the definition of illogical...) but illogical because he uses illogical means of communication sometimes.

*Just for your amusement and mine I have created a scenario as an addendum to this blog. It was a short mental picture which I have chosen to further develop.
Setting: Kristin is observing God create a living being. She often interjects her wonderings, and kindly, God explains.

God: This is the brain, this is going to make the whole thing work. It's a sort of "boss," it tells everything else how to work, what to do. It's very important. Without it, the rest of the body would stop working.
Kristin: Wow, that's awesome!
God: But it can't work all the time, it needs to rest sometimes too. So I need to make some way for it to take a break... Hmm.... Let's see...
Kristin: Can't you just make an off switch? You know, like with a light bulb?
God: I think that would be synonymous to a kill switch.
Kristin: Oh. Right. Scratch that idea.

Thursday, November 23

A Word of Introduction

I've decided to create a page (says the 50 millionth new blogger); an outlet for the reverberating musings of an often befuddled and contemplative mind. So this is it. I have also decided that I will allow myself a few words of introduction, or perhaps I should say, explanation. Here they are.
First and foremost, I'd like to explain my choice of blog title. The title "Vivere vix Deus" means (as the blog description below it so kindly announces) to live for God. I chose this because I am a rather sentimental being; this particular phrase is the aim of Highland View Academy's senior class of 2004, of which I am a proud member, and thus have adopted it as my own. Besides that, it is indeed an aim truly worth striving for, and one that I hope to remind myself of often.
Whilst creating this page, I struggled (and in fact, almost did not create said page for the reason I'm about to mention) with trying to come up with some clever or meaningful blogspot address. You see, I am completely, helplessly, indecisive, which makes attempting to pick out a satisfying permanent address that will be both meaningful and some sort of reflection of myself quite challenging to say the least. However, triumph is only a matter of perseverance, and triumph I did (as evidenced by the existence of this page). My settling on "onlymymuse" is all thanks to my dear friend, Merriam-Webster dictionary. Several definitions given by the aforementioned friend are as follows- Main Entry: Function: noun: a state of deep thought or dreamy abstraction; Function: noun : a source of inspiration; especially : a guiding genius.

There you have it, the biography and exposition of my blog page. I hope you enjoy (or at least are amused by) my wonderings and thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them. Comments and thoughts are encouraged as they will provide more for my mind to ponder.