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