Thursday, May 29

A Day With Queen Joy

Yesterday, Kelsey and I babysat for our good friends Anh and Vanessa.

This is their darling baby, Reyna Joy, and she is by far one of the sweetest, most laid-back babies in the world.

I love her.

Isn't she darling?

Oh, and for those who don't know, her name (Reyna) means queen. Hence the title of this post.

Wednesday, May 28


I recently realized that there was a poem from Creative Writing that I meant to post, but must have forgotten. There's a real story behind it, but I also wrote it with a deeper meaning as well.


Deep purple petals
And thick green stems,
A bouquet of fresh tulips
Bright-eyed stands.

Thrust into a pair of hands,
Passed roughly to the next;
The once firm flowers bend,
Their stems have now gone limp.

The purple tulips lie—
Tossed carelessly aside—
Upon the wrought iron table,
And look as though they’ve died.

A loving hand gathers the blooms,
Takes them gently home.
A vase prepared, and water drawn,
The tulips placed inside.

With water fresh to soothe the hurt
The purple petals liven up,
And stems grow strong once more—
The flowers soon revive.

Listerine: Kills 99.9% of Germs! And... Mosquitoes?

I don't know what it is... perhaps it's my blood type (B+). But for whatever reason, mosquitoes seem to have posted a universal notice that I'm good for eating. I say this because it is not unusual for me to get 15 or so mosquito bites in one day, even if no one else with me is getting bitten at all. This makes summer camp all the more interesting.
My dear mother has been extremely concerned about my welfare and the outstanding probabilities that I will get malaria when I travel to Africa. I suppose her fear is not unfounded. In any case, when I told her that I would not be taking the medicine to prevent me from getting malaria (trust me, there are many good reasons), she was a little bit upset. I guess she must have done some research, and this is what she emailed to me one day:

You will be taking some Listerine (no, not Windex) with you to Africa. Read below...
Mom E

Okay...I just received this e-mail and actually read it before I deleted it. I'm glad I did - I think this is worth a try for all of us who are especially sweet and plagued by mosquitoes during the summer months...Here's what the message said:
I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared.
The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat
whenever I saw mosquitoes, and Voila! It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don't leave home without it.....Pass it on.
I tried this on my deck and around all of my doors. It works - in fact, it killed them instantly. I bought my bottle from Target and it cost me $1.89. It really doesn't take much, and it was a big bottle, too; so it is not as expensive to use as the can of spray you buy that doesn't last 30 minutes.
So, try this, please. It will last a couple of days. Don't spray directly
on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house.

Listerine anyone? I think I'm going to test this out during my visit to the Adirondacks this summer...

In Case My Unspoken Words Should Find Your Unhearing Ears

This post and the one before it are attempts at writing prompts that a friend posted.

In Case My Unspoken Words Should Find Your Unhearing Ears

I want you to know
I respect you
And the person you’ve become.

I respect you
For the difference
You’ve made in my life.

For the difference
You made
Saved my soul.

You made
Your mark on my life
And helped me grow.

Your mark on my life
Will remain,
A reminder of God’s love.


Unfortunately, this poem is not what I hoped it would be (ironically enough).


I searched for
Sunshine to heal me.
Your rain purged my soul.

I thought I’d welcome
Joy unsurpassable.
Your love sustained me through pain.

I tried to rekindle
Flames turned to ash.
You sent fire from heaven.

I sought You
But in the end,
You found me.

Through the Screen Door

This didn't turn out as I originally intended, but I figured I would post it anyway. Perhaps I'll fix it later. Perhaps not.

Through the Screen Door

I see the world

Through black mesh squares.

Lush green grass beckons

To my stationary feet

Planted on cool, firm linoleum.

I feel the breeze,

Though muffled by the screen.

Carelessly tossed leaves invite

My smoothed hair

To be tousled by the wind.

I hear the birds

As though on distant hills.

Charming notes of harmony tease

My delighted ears—

Accustomed only to empty echoes.

I reach out

To accept the invitation,

Only to touch

A not quite absent shield

That smothers life.

Friday, May 23

If You Were Here

I miss people; hence this post. Here are some things that I would tell you if you were here.

Unfortunately, my already directionally challenged self has recently become more confused. I have now moved temporary homes once again. When school got out, I moved in with a friend for about 2 weeks, and every time I came to the intersection where I used to turn left to go to Southern Village, I would have the overwhelming urge to turn. This makes perfect sense as it was the direction I went for 10 months to go "home." However, my friend's house was most definitely not down the same road.
Just this week, I moved again. I am planning to stay here in this house for the rest of the summer, except during my planned escapades up north. Funny thing is, it's down the same road I used to turn on to go to Southern Village. So now, I'm all mixed up again; I had just gotten used to not turning left at the intersection, and now I must if I plan to get "home." I hate moving.

On my recent visit to Dairy Queen with my friends, I found a sign on a door that I think is highly amusing. Perhaps it's because I'm vegetarian. Usually doors that are meant for employees only say "Employees Only," or something to that effect. Not so at the local DQ. What does it say? "Grillers and Staff Only." Life amuses me.

Today I went shopping. Currently I hate shopping as well as moving. Clarification: I like shopping if I don't have to get something specific, but if there's something that I need to get, I generally cannot find it. Anyway, moving on.
I had taken my water bottle with me on my shopping errands, but I left it in the car while I was in the stores. When I was finally finished shopping (not because I had found what I needed, but because I had run out of time and stores), I realized how very thirsty I was and took a drink. It's finally beginning to get hot down here, but I was still quite shocked at how hot my water was! So as I was driving home, I thought of a wonderful idea that I want to try. I thought to myself, you know, this water is just about the same temperature as hot apple cider when it has cooled enough to drink. I wonder if I keep a packet of hot apple cider mix in my car and leave my water bottle in the car, could I possibly make hot apple cider without ever having to heat up the water myself? Not that this plan would be any faster or easier than simply microwaving some water, but I just wonder if I could... Perhaps I'll see if I can dig up some mix.

Well, those are some of the random happenings and thoughts of my daily life at present. Wish you were here for me to tell, but for now...

Ice Cream Date

On Thursday night I went on an ice cream date with Kelly and Lorrie, and we met up with Kelly's sister, Missy. It was really fun, and we had some great conversations about life and hand sanitizer. Yes, hand sanitizer. Among other things.

In any case, it was great. On the ride back, Kelly, Lorrie, and I were talking about a host of things and somehow got onto the subject of feminism.

Apparently we all share a very similar view about the whole feminist movement, and I would just like to quote Lorrie because I found something that she said to be highly amusing. Here is my direct quote (with permission):

"I just wanna go churn some butter and have some kids."

Monday, May 19

Love Hurts

*Warning: this is an excessively long post. If you intend to read it, best set aside a chunk of time.*

It’s funny how when we allow ourselves to question God, He starts providing answers. Maybe there are tons of things He wants to show us, and He’s only waiting for us to start searching.

There’s something that I’ve been struggling with for the past two years. How can a God of infinite, unfathomable love
intentionally lead people into painful situations, and how can we honestly say and believe that He does it for our ultimate good? I’ve had a lot of painful growing experiences in my walk with God, and every time they happen, I try to satisfy myself by reminding myself that God knows what is best for me, and He loves me; He would never do anything to hurt me. But how do we reconcile those two pictures? How can we put together the God who would take my place to keep me from death with the God who led the Israelites into captivity and desert places? I’ve often wondered, “If God can do anything, couldn’t He have found a way to grow me in a way that is not so painful?”

For a long time, I had confined these questions to the recesses of my mind. Somehow I would always come up with a feeble attempt at an answer to satisfy myself enough to keep trusting God, but there was always a lingering uncertainty. Recently, the questions have forced themselves forward again and demanded an answer once and for all. And wonder of all wonders, God has been bombarding me with what I believe to be answers that will truly satisfy my questioning soul.

I was mulling over my questions this past Sabbath, when a song that I haven’t listened to in ages popped into my head. Relient K sings a song called “Let It All Out,” and the lyrics are relevant to this topic—especially the chorus:

And You said, I know that this will hurt
But if I don’t break your heart,

Then things will just get worse.

When the burden seems too much to bear,

Remember, the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.

I continued to listen to the sermon while attempting to wrestle my thoughts away. The pastor was preaching on the Holy Spirit, and he was just beginning to talk about Jesus’ words to his disciples about leaving them. Here are some things that really hit me hard:

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” [John 16:7] My first thought when I heard this was,
“It must have been painful for Jesus to have to leave behind all the ones he loved most dearly. And he must have known how much it would hurt them to have him leave.” But Jesus went to the Father anyway; despite the pain it would cause the disciples, He knew it was the only way for humanity to have a closer connection with God. How, you ask?

Listen to what Ellen White has to say in Desire of Ages:

“The Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore
it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high.” [DA 669.2, emphasis supplied]

Then, in John 14:18, Jesus says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Even though Jesus was leaving the disciples and he knew that it would cause them pain, he left them with a promise of hope and love. God never abandons, even in the painful hours.

Saturday’s sermon gave me some food for thought. But God was not done with me. I had another thought that came out of the blue. I was thinking about times in my life when I really felt that God was leading me, and it seemed like He led me right into a brier patch. Immediately, I thought of times when God led people in the Bible. My first thought was,
“God led Jesus to Gethsemane.” Ouch. What a thought. God led his one and only Son, a part of Himself, into the darkest, most excruciating hour of history. How could a God of love do that? Because He is the God of love.

God led Paul to Jerusalem. God led the Israelites to the desert. God led Joseph to abandonment and slavery in Egypt. God led John the Baptist to his ministry and death. God led Jesus, like a lamb to the slaughter, to Golgotha. Each of these and many others were
led by God into painful situations. Why? Because God is willing to play out this Great Controversy, to put Himself and the ones He loves through heart-wrenching agony so that we can experience a oneness with God beyond our comprehension.
But why does He have to lead us through the painful places to get there? Why can’t He find another way?

There’s a verse in Hosea that revisits my thoughts at random. It’s Hosea 2:14 where the Lord says, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.” I’ve always thought that this verse seemed slightly paradoxical to me. Generally, the words “allure” and “desert” don’t exactly seem to be adjacent puzzle pieces. Why does God have to have to lead Israel to a desert to woo her? Because Israel chose to be self-sufficient. God had to take Israel to a place of famine and drought to teach her dependence on Him and to ultimately make the connection with Him stronger. Here’s another thought that hadn’t occurred to me before: When God’s loved ones (all of us) hurt, He hurts too. Then the implication of this desert calling is that God loved Israel so much that He was willing to put Israel, and therefore Himself, through the agony of painful famine.

The final spiritual blow for me came today when I began to read a book that I bought on a divinely appointed whim. I was in the ABC and found a book on sale that looked somewhat interesting. I bought it, and began to read it today. It’s called “Wrestling with Angels: In the Grip of Jacob’s God” by Larry L. Lichtenwalter.

In the introduction, Lichtenwalter talks about how Jacob lived a life of wrestling matches—against his brother, against his uncle Laban, and eventually against God Himself. He says it better than I can:

“Ultimately, Jacob is the story of the conquest of self . . . Interestingly, with God, when we lose, we win. Hosea tells us Jacob beat God. In spite of the limp and the surrender, he won! When Jacob surrendered and God
threw him, he won. Jacob took the gold because God took the heart. Whenever we give in to the grip of Jacob’s God we too, will win . . . When through life’s inner struggles and painful turns you find yourself in the grip of Jacob’s God, may you too no longer wrestle.”

Jacob may have won, but don’t think that he didn’t come out with some painful battle scars; Jacob retained his limp throughout the rest of his life. Sometimes, maybe even oftentimes, our walk with God and our growth in Him is painful, and we retain the scars of those painful encounters.

I think that part of the reason God sometimes has to take us through painful paths and dry deserts is because in order to win our hearts, He has to break our selves. Note the word “break.” Breaking hurts. But that only accounts for some painful situations. What about the times when we are willingly following God, holding His hand all the way, and we still end up in the brier patch? Well, I guess I still don’t have the answer to that. All I can do is point back to some of the examples I mentioned before. God is willing to do whatever it takes; He is willing to put Himself and each of the ones He loves through whatever pain is necessary to reach the end goal of love and unity with Him. But I would be willing to bet that God doesn’t ever needlessly put us through pain, because it hurts Him so badly to see His loved ones suffer.

“Remember, the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.”

Sunday, May 18

They Say

They say
"Rules are meant to be broken."
But hearts aren't;
A broken heart is like shattered glass
That you can't find all the pieces of
When you go to mend it.

They say
"Smile because it happened."
But the only smiles to be found
Are through the tears
Of a never quite healed wound.

They say
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
And they are right.

*I think this is the first and only time I've ever been able to write a poem that does not reflect my personal thoughts and feelings at present...

Sunny Side

I realized recently that I've only mentioned work and my job when I was talking about really sad matters. So, here is a blog to share some of the more amusing aspects of my job and what goes on here. It shall be a random blog with no rhyme or reason.

Most common question: So... If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

Runner up: Do you have a sister? You look just exactly like...

I really do love my job, and I love my patients. And because of the type of floor I work on, we have a lot of repeat patients so I get to develop a friendship with quite a few of them. Some of the things they ask me make me laugh. For example, I had never considered the fact that to most everyone down here, I have an accent! I've had lots of people tell me that, and honestly, it makes me very happy. I tend to pick up accents fairly quickly (case in point: my funny upstate New York accent that appears at random), and I never, NEVER want to pick up a southern accent.

It also amuses me when my patients somewhat nervously and very tentatively, as if they might offend me, ask me, "How old are you?" When I tell them, their next response is generally something along the lines of, "Well, my goodness, you look like you're 'bout 12."
I've decided that I must have a very familiar face because I have had a large number of people ask me if I have a sister. One time when asked this, I actually knew the person that they said I looked like. That was odd because I am pretty sure I look almost nothing like her. But the best was just this past week when my patient's husband said to me, "You look just like my grand-daughter!" He then hunted for a picture to show me, but alas, could not find one. Apparently, she's a redhead, and she looks and even sounds just like me....

Another thing that I love about my job is the people that I work with. I found it funny that when I first started working everyone was a little unsure of what to do with me. Why, you ask? Well, believe it or not, I am actually extremely shy in general. The exception to this is when I'm in situations where I feel comfortable. Anyway, for a long time, they were afraid to joke with me about things, and most of the time they would talk to me as if I were a very delicate glass ornament that might break if you spoke too loudly or said anything beyond common small talk. Thankfully, I got less shy as I became more comfortable, and now they laugh and joke with me all the time. They're wonderful, and I've really had fun getting to know them.

Oh yeah, one last fun story. A while back, I had a patient whose pastor comes to visit her fairly often. He happened to be in the room along with her sister, and when I walked in, he asked me, "Are you gonna sing for us?" I was not real sure what to say to that, so I laughed and told him that I don't generally sing in front of people. He insisted that I sing. After a short while of going back and forth like this, I said, "I'll sing if you'll all sing with me." That was my compromise, and they took it... So we all sang Amazing Grace. Fun times...

Anyway, there's a quick snapshot of the brighter side of work. If I think of any more funny stories, maybe I'll post them later.

Friday, May 16

Silly French

I've really enjoyed taking French so far. Although, I'm learning an awful lot all at once, and I'm just praying that I will remember it beyond this month. With that said, I would like to share some of the things that I have found to be slightly humorous about French.

I know some of you have already heard me explain this, but I had to include it. A lot of times people say that the French are very rude and there is the stereotypical view that French people hate Americans. I don't know how much of that is true. But I think I may have discovered a possible gap in cultural communication that has tainted the French-American relationship.

French people do NOT smile at strangers; instead they maintain a neutral expression in public places. In fact, smiling at strangers is generally considered to be a flirtatious advance, and a very improper, sleazy one at that. This whole don't-smile-at-strangers concept is completely foreign to Americans. In fact, I very distinctly remember playing a silly game with one of my best friends growing up. We called it Sweet and Sour. We would stand on the curbside, wait for cars to pass by (or pedestrians), and then we would wave and flash our friendliest smiles! Depending on their reaction, we would determine whether they were sweet or sour.

I would hate to know what the French would think of us. And I don't even want to think what my reputation would be if I were to visit France. Although, I suppose I'll get my chance this summer... I believe that we have a stopover in Paris on our way to Africa. Oh dear.

There are a few other things about French that amuse me. Although, these are not cultural.

I think I have discovered why there were so many French mathematicians. It's because their number system requires you to factor in order to count! Well, when you get into the higher numbers. Or you can just memorize them. Anyway, here's what I mean. It's fairly simple until you get to seventy. 10 = dix, 20 = vingt, 30 = trente, 40 = quarante, 50 = cinquante, 60 (my favorite) = soixante, 70 = soixante dix (which is sixty plus ten), 80 = quatre-vingts (which is four twenties), 90 = quatre-vingt-dix (which is four twenties and ten). If you thought that was a workout for your brain, wait till you hear the rest. Generally, to count, you just tack on the single digit number at the end. For example, 3 = trois, 20 = vingt; 23 = vingt-trois. Simple right? Well, when you get to 70 and 90, simplicity is thrown out the window. Instead of being soixante-dix-trois, 73 is soixante-treize (which is sixty plus thirteen!). The 90's get really confusing. The number, 95 is quatre-vingt-quinze (which is four twenties plus fifteen).

Now do you see why I say that I have discovered why there were so many French mathematicians? They had to learn to add multiple two-digit numbers at a time in their heads just to count to 100!

I apologize if this has bored you. In fact, I would be surprised if you were still reading. Perhaps you gave up back on the smile section. For those faithful readers who are waiting to see this out to the end... I'm winding down. Promise.

There are several ways to ask questions. You can add the general "est-ce que" in front of anything and it automatically becomes a question. BAM. Question made. But, if you want to make things more complicated, you can invert the subject and verb. Here's what I found amusing. If you say, "Va-t-on à la banque?" you've just asked if everyone's going to the bank. However, if you just say, "va-t-on," then you've just told everyone to go away.

Ok, so here's the final trivial amusement. Generally, when we answer the phone in America, we say some form of a greeting, like, "Hello" or "Hey, what's up?" Not so in France. I was amused to discover that when they answer their phones in France, they repeat their phone number! Not, hello, or this is Kristin. But their phone number. That's the first thing out of their mouths. How odd. Can you imagine calling someone, and the first thing you hear is, "711-953-8862?" (Especially because in French, that would be a mouthful. Answering my phone would take me at least 5 minutes to figure out what numbers I'm supposed to say!)

Anyway, I suppose that's all. And again, for those who read to the end, I apologize if you got bored reading. I hope that you were amused, and that you didn't wish that you had given up on reading the whole thing.


This is purely for your amusement. My linguistics teacher gave this to us to read, and I thought that it was quite humorous. I'm not sure who wrote it... or I would credit it to him.

How I Met My Wife

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way. I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I'd have to make bones about it since I was traveling cognito.

Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin of my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn't be peccable.

Only toward and heard-of behavior would do. Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung hero was slim.

I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion. So I decided not to risk it.

But then, all at once, for some apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make heads and tails of. I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen.

Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated as if this were something I was great shakes at, and forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times.

So, after a terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong givings. Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous.

Wanting to make only called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself. She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savoury character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. "What a perfect nomer," I said advertently.

The conversation became more and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail. But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour. I asked if she wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was commital.

We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have given her my love, and she has requited it.

Wednesday, May 14

Cool Points

More cool points for God.

I've been a little bit discouraged because it was starting to look like I would be traveling to Africa all by myself because I couldn't work out dates to travel with other people. I'm alright with alone time. In fact, I like my alone time now and then. However, I was not really looking forward to traveling for such a long time all by myself. I was also not exactly enthused about the idea of being in a foreign airport all by myself; it just isn't really all that appealing to me.

My phone just rang about 3 minutes ago. It was the student missions coordinator. She asked me again when I was planning to leave. "Middle to end of August, right?"

"Yeah, that's what I was hoping for."

"Well, there's someone else who's going to Chad, and he didn't really want to travel by himself, and he wants to leave around that time too. So, I'll just tell him that we'll try to work it out so that you two can travel together."

Sweet. Thanks God; You always take care of me. I think I need to work on making "worry" an antiquated word in my lexicon.


Dove dark chocolate Promises make me laugh. They don't really make any sense.You would expect them to have little encouraging promises in the wrapper, or something like that. Instead, what do you find?

Well, here are two little messages from silly red wrappers that I got recently:

"Smile at yourself in the mirror."

Gee, thanks. Perhaps I shall.

"Send a love letter this week."


Sunday, May 11

Are You Gonna Wake Him Up Now?

A little while back, I had a really rough day at work. It made me think about a lot of things, and I thought I’d share some.

I work as a nurse on an oncology (cancer) floor. When people discover this, their first reaction is usually, “Oh, that must be so depressing.” And for a long time, I would brush it off, and respond with a “No, not really. Not all of our patients are dying.” But to be completely honest, for a while, work was pretty depressing.

There were three days in a row that I worked that really took their toll on my spirit. While not all of our patients are deathly ill, there are a good number who are. Those three days, I was assigned to patients that I was informed would probably not make it through my shift. I am not afraid of people who are ill; if I were, I would not be a nurse. However, I cannot stand to see people in pain and not be able to do ANYTHING at all to make them more comfortable. It hurts to see the families hurting, and it hurts to know that I am helpless to fix life.

The last of the three days was the one that kind of broke me. One of my patients was an elderly man, and the nurse the shift before me told me that there was no way that he was going to make it through my shift; he shouldn’t have lived through hers. At this point he was just on comfort measures, which means that we tried to make him as comfortable as possible while we waited for him to die.

Every time I went into his room to give him medicine or to check on him, I could hardly stand to be in the room for more than a minute or two because he sounded like he was drowning, which is not uncommon for patients who are dying. He was struggling to breathe, and with every breath, I could hear him gurgle. I asked the other nurses if there was absolutely anything else that I could do to make him feel better, and all of them would tell me that there wasn’t anything else to do. I gave him pain and anti-anxiety medicine, he had a medicine patch to try to get rid of some of the congestion, and I turned him every so often. And that was all I could do.

At one point, I went in the room and talked to him while I was giving him his medicine. He sounded so awful and was so restless that I just couldn’t take it, and tears started rolling down my cheeks despite my strongest efforts to refrain from crying. I left the room as soon as I could.

Once when I went into the room, there was a man and a little boy sitting on the couch. The man was my patient’s nephew, and the boy was his grandnephew. I was getting his medications ready, when the little boy, who was about 5 years old, asked me, “Are you gonna wake him up now?”

My heart broke. “No, I’m going to give him some medicine to make him more comfortable though.”


I continued taking care of my patient, and the little boy kept asking me questions that somehow always led back to his original question, “Are you gonna wake him up now?” I tried desperately to ask the boy questions to get him to think about something else, and every time he would ask me the dreaded question, I would reply that no, I couldn’t wake him up right now. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more painful encounter with any patient or patient’s family.

When I finally left the room, I was drained. I thought about the little boy’s question, and I saw a parallel between that little boy and myself. So often when things in life seem wrong to me and I don’t understand, I ask God the little boy’s question, though in different words. Because really what the boy was asking me was, “Are you going to fix things now?” He knew that his uncle should not be the way that he was, and he wanted me to wake him up, to make things right again.

When life seems broken and upside down, I often ask God, “Are you going to fix things now?”

And after my encounter with this small boy, I realized how painful that question must be for God. I wanted so badly to tell that boy that yes, I will wake him up now and he’ll be his usual happy self. I wanted to fix things for him, but I couldn’t. I think that in some ways, it’s similar with God.

Every time I plead with God to fix things because I know that all is not well in the world, I’m sure it breaks His heart to have to answer, “No, I can’t fix it just yet.” I know it must hurt God to have to see the ones that He loves hurting, and I’m sure that just like me, He wishes that He could wipe away all our tears and make things right.

Thankfully, one day God will make everything right again, and God will wipe away all our tears. We will be home with God, resting safe in His arms. And we’ll never have to ask the painful question, “Are you gonna wake him up now?” again.

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
~Revelation 7:17

Saturday, May 10

Dress Fitting

This is my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding.

My mom always wanted twins.

Bet she didn't want such pale, translucent ones though...

Je suis trés charmant, non?
(I am very charming, no?)

Travel Oddities

I don't know what it is with me and traveling, but odd things just seem to happen to me whilst journeying different places. Here are just a few highlights of the interesting things that have happened to me on trips:

Scenario 1: While traveling to Paul and Petra's wedding last summer, some random 18-wheeler began honking at me. I tried to figure out if I was doing anything wrong to upset him, but could not figure it out. He continued honking. When we stopped at a red light, he happened to end up next to me, and he began waving frantically and rolled down his window. Somewhat confused, but ultimately more curious, I too rolled down my window. He then asked me if I had represented him in court, to which I replied, "No, I'm pretty sure I haven't ever met you."
His answer was, "Oh, I saw your license plate for pre-paid legal and I thought you were the lawyer who represented me once." (Gee thanks, Dad...)
"Nope, I'm definitely not a lawyer. My dad used to sell pre-paid legal as an associate."
We waved, the light turned green, and we were off.

Scenario 2: On one trip home from Southern, I was rolling along on my merry way when all of a sudden some mud spattered on my windshield.
"Ugh, that's gross." I thought as I tried to wash it off with the windshield washer fluid.
More mud kept flying back, and for whatever reason, it wasn't really coming off no matter how furiously my wipers flew back and forth.
"Man, it must be coming from that truck up there. You know... I don't think that's mud."
It was at this point that I realized that the 18-wheeler in front of me was actually spitting oil on my windshield and not mud. Bah!
So on I rode with a slimy oil film on my windshield.

Scenario 3: I just came home this weekend to surprise my mother for Mother's Day. While riding home, I saw some very interesting signs and other things. I had to take a detour route because of the work that they're doing on I-40. Once I made it past the detour and back onto the road, I thought it odd that I still saw signs that said "I-40 Detour." However, what was even more odd was the fact that on top of those signs there were little orange signs that said "Wide load." I'm still not sure of the significance of those signs...
Even better than the little detour signs was a truck that I saw. It looked like your average silver, gas-toting 18-wheeler, except for one thing. When I first saw this, I did a double take and made sure that I had read the back of the truck correctly. I think I must have read it four times before I was certain that I had not made a mistake. On the back of the truck were large black letters that read "INEDIBLE." I kid you not. I'm not sure why it said inedible; perhaps it's one of those, we-got-sued-because-we-didn't-include-the-most -ridiculous-warning-on-our-product kind of things. Or maybe someone has a sense of humor. In any case, I was rather amused.

I have quite the repertoire of stories similar to the ones here, but I figured that this small sampling would be amusing enough for one post. Hope you enjoyed :)

Wednesday, May 7

God is Good

** Please read the previous post first! It will make more sense **

This whole week, I've been dreading today and yesterday. I think I would have been dreading them before that, but I was pleasantly preoccupied by people. Every way I looked at it, there wasn't enough time in the days to get everything done and still have time to eat and sleep. Unfortunately, when I scheduled myself to work Tuesday night and Wednesday night I didn't realized that I would be moving out of my apartment on Wednesday.

As I mentioned in my last post, I didn't get very much sleep Tuesday before going in to work. When I got back from work, I caught a quick 30 minute nap before getting up to get ready for class. All week long, I've been praying constantly that God would give me strength, make extra time, or somehow get me through this week in one piece. Every time I began to stress about something, I would pray for God to give me strength and to help me trust Him. It's been quite refreshing to be in a mindset of prayer so often.

One of my more specific prayers of recent was that God would either let me get off work for Wednesday night, or that he would keep me awake. Now, the "keep me awake" prayer is actually much greater than one might think. This morning I was running on approximately 30 minutes of sleep, had to sit through 2 1/2 hours of class, and then needed to pack frantically, clean, move out, and get some sleep before going in to work all night.

God definitely answered my prayer. There is absolutely no other explanation for how on earth I made it through Tuesday's shift, and through class this morning without feeling tired. Honestly, I did not feel tired. I think I might have yawned once. I kept waiting for the tiredness to kick in and for me to collapse, but I just kept on going. I thanked God, and began packing. Around 2 pm, when I was nowhere near finished, I decided to call work to see if it was likely that I would be called off because of a lack of patients. How funny I am. I told the assistant nurse manager my plight and that it didn't seem likely I would be able to sleep before coming in to work tonight, and she basically told me, "tough luck." Though not quite so frankly.

I wanted to cry, but prayed instead. My first thought was, "Well God, Jesus had lots of sleepless nights, and you sustained him. Perhaps you could keep me awake for yet another 17 hours?" I was slightly down though because I had been praying that God would let them call me off of work. Oh well. God had kept me awake this long; so I was pretty confident that somehow God would work a miracle and I would manage to stay awake through work tonight and class tomorrow morning.

I continued packing and cleaning, and around 4 pm, my phone rang. It was the assistant nurse manager. "We found someone to cover for you." I thanked her profusely, and when we hung up, I started crying. I was completely overwhelmed by God's love for me and the fact that He cared about me enough to fix the mess I had made of life by overbooking myself yet again. I just sat there for a while and talked to God, still feeling completely overwhelmed.

This year I have noticed more and more the things that God does for me because He loves me. Little things to make me happy, big things to take care of me, and everything in between. Over and over, I'm reminded of how amazing my God is, and it makes me love Him more and more because I see how great His love is. Anyway, my point is that God is good. All the time.

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Tuesday night was my first night shift of the summer at the hospital. I have to work nights while I'm taking a summer class, which, thankfully, will only last for a month. Unfortunately, I had class Tuesday morning and desperately needed to pack my things. However, I have made the mistake in the past of only sleeping for an hour before going in to work for 12 hours, and I did not want to repeat that mistake. So, Tuesday afternoon I crawled in bed, or what was left of it, and attempted to sleep.

Sleep was in an elusive mood and wished to play hide and seek with me. Perhaps it didn't help that I couldn't make my mind stop thinking about everything that I needed to take care of in the next few days. In any case, sleep was not to be found. I also discovered that I become more popular when I try to sleep during the day-- more people call me at these times than any other it seems. My mother made an interesting hypothesis that from now on, when I want to talk to people, I should just try to go to sleep. :) Wonder if that would work?

Anyway, I got sidetracked. On to the ridiculousness. When I finally was able to fall into a light sleep, I had an odd dream. Somehow I was on a ferris wheel, and there were a few other people I know on it in separate little seats. We were going around, and I got to the top, and it stopped. You know how that happens sometimes? The ride stops just as you're at the top, and you can peer over the handlebar and see... well, the world from very high up. Then the ride began to move again, and I was making my descent. Oddly enough, I could feel the fluttery feeling you get in your stomach when motion plays with your senses. AND IT WOKE ME UP!

I was slightly perturbed at the ridiculousness of myself and my intense involvement in my own dreams. Especially because I had only been sleeping for about 20 minutes. *Sigh* Then I had to attempt to get back to sleep. Sadly, I only ended up getting about 2 hours of sleep before going in to work. But this story will be continued in my next post..

Tuesday, May 6

Oh, The Irony

This morning as I was getting ready, I was mulling over all of the many things that I need to accomplish-- finish packing, go to French class, work on student missionary stuff, clean, sleep so I can work tonight. I was thinking of all these things, realizing that there's not enough time in the day, and stressing a lot. Oddly enough, while I was getting ready and stressing over all of these things, there was a song that I had been singing in my head ever since I woke up this morning. Would it make you laugh if I told you that it was hymn #471 "Grant Us Your Peace"?

God is good. I've been attempting to practice my French, and I had been singing the French verse of that hymn in my head all morning. God, grant me peace, and take my burdens.

"Accordenous ta paix"