Monday, August 25

I Love Liz Too


Just a quick note...

I feel so blessed. I have the most amazing friends in the world. I've had so many people call me today/tonight to talk to me and to encourage me. If you were one of them, thank you. It has made a huge difference, and it has helped to settle my nerves. Especially your prayers with me and for me.

I was especially glad to talk to Liz. She was a nurse in Chad last year, and has been one of my good friends for a few years. I called her tonight and asked her a myriad of questions and caught up on life. It was so good to talk to her. Everyone has been a real encouragement to me, but talking to someone who's been there was really helpful.

Best of all, I feel peace. God is so good.

PS Another blessing- I was worried because my nursing license needed to be renewed in November this year, and I wasn't sure if my parents would be able to do it. I went on the website tonight and I was able to renew my license!

Sunday, August 24

I Love Dogs


This morning, I woke up and was absolutely sick to my stomach. I could hardly even force myself to eat some yogurt. I still feel really nauseated, which is a pretty good indicator that I'm getting more nervous.

Dogs are cool. As soon as I walked out of my room, our dog came over to me and started circling my legs and wagging her tail as fast and hard as she could. So I pet her, and picked her up (she's a miniature dachshund). She immediately began trying to give me kisses on my face, which she attempts often. So I pet her for a little while, and then set her down. This usually calms all the wiggles out of her. Not so today. She kept on jumping up on my leg and whining because she wanted me to hold her again, so I picked her up and went through the routine again. We did this about 3 times before she was okay.

It sort of made me feel better to hold and pet the dog. I wonder if she knows that I'm leaving. And I wonder if she could sense that I was upset. She gets really upset whenever I bring a box or a bag out of my room though, because Stephen did that just before he left, and she doesn't like people leaving. In any case, she made me feel a little better.

Ok, back to packing....

Friday, August 22

No Theme, Therefore, No Title


Are you ready for some randomness?

Yesterday I went to the bank to get something notarized. I love my bank. I was talking to the lady who was notarizing my document, and she started asking me questions. When she found out I was a nurse and that I was going to Africa, she became even more friendly (which, I didn't think was possible), and began bragging to the others in the office about me (which was funny, because she had just met me less than five minutes ago). By the end of my visit, all three of the ladies gave me big hugs, and made me promise to come back in 9 months and show them pictures. It was actually kind of nice, because they were telling me how much they appreciated nurses, and they even began to tell me that they thought that God had blessed me with a special gift. It was encouraging.

I kind of like driving. Unless it's in big cities because they terrify me, and I'm absolutely certain that I will get lost within 5 minutes of driving. But I like driving. I had always wanted to learn to drive stick, and a few years ago, I had the opportunity because we got a manual car. It still makes me nervous. I must admit, I've been in one car accident while I was driving, and it was while I was driving stick. It wasn't my fault, but I've been a little bit afraid of it ever since. In fact, I don't think I drove stick again for almost a year. Since Stephen's taking my car, and my parents are taking the van down with him today, I'm stuck with... the manual. Pray for safety

We were just together as a family for the last time for a long while, and I've never wanted less to go to Africa. I'm going to miss my family so much. I just need to remember to leave them in God's hands. They're safer there anyway. More later... I'm late.

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Kevin and Kanella decided to come to the house, so I'm not late. I'm now waiting on them.

I've been wearing skirts a lot more recently. In Africa, when I'm not wearing scrubs, I have to wear long skirts. This is not a problem for me, because I actually like skirts. I think they're fun. I've learned a few things about skirts in the past two days that I find slightly amusing.
1. When riding in convertibles at high speeds, wind is not your friend no matter how long your skirt is.
2. Piggy back rides don't go so well when skirts are involved, again, no matter how long your skirt is.
3. Getting in and out of cars is more of a challenge.
4. If you walk quickly down any set of stairs, your skirt will flair out, and it's terribly fun. Almost as fun as twirling in a skirt.

Simple things for simple minds? Perhaps.

Wednesday, August 20

Another Wave

For the greater part of this summer, I have been mostly numb. Nothing felt real, and therefore I didn't feel anything, for the most part.

However, there have been random waves of reality that tend to crash over my head. I get caught in the undertow, tumbled around for a bit, and when I break the surface, numbness regains control.

Today another wave hit. Saying good-bye to Matt and Beth-Anne at the airport, it still didn't feel real. But as soon as I got in my car and began to drive away, life was suddenly real again. And it hurt.

Good-byes should be outlawed.

Tuesday, August 19

Still Growing

I was searching for something in my old emails when I came across a chat conversation I had the day before I turned 17. I was painfully reminded of how absolutely ridiculous I was in high school, even in my Senior year. In fact, you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you what I was like back then. Sometimes I look back on the way I used to be, and I wonder how on earth anyone was able to put up with me, much less like me.

That was a little less than five years ago. It makes me wonder where I'll be five years from now and what I'll be like. In some ways, I almost hope that I can look back and think the same thing-- how on earth could I have been so ridiculous. Because then I can see in a tangible way that God's not done with me yet, and He's still helping me to grow. Praise God He's not done with me yet, foolish girl that I am.

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Edit: Perhaps I should add something for clarification. I guess I might have sounded a little harsh on myself. It's not that I don't like who I am or who I was. I am quite happy to be me. It's just that when I look back on my past I realize how far I've come, and I hope that in the future I can look back again and see that my distance has more than doubled.

Cherokee

Alright, so this is rather late, but I realized that I haven't posted pictures in a while. Besides, I haven't had the motivation to actually blog about Camp Cherokee, so I figured that a few pictures would be good enough for now. Haha, although, Andrew might be upset with me since I still never blogged about our hikes last summer...

In any case, I'm posting a few pictures from one of my days off this summer. I have some other pictures, but it's not likely that they'll be posted before I leave. And I'm still trying to collect some pictures.

So, these are pictures of our hike to Mt. Colden, which was really exciting for me! Last summer, I did 4 of the high peaks in the Adirondacks: Algonquin, Iroquois, Esther, and Whiteface. I remember standing on the top of Algonquin (second highest peak) and I spotted a mountain that looked amazing. There were these three sheets of rock face coming down the side of it, and they looked sort of like large rock rivers flowing down the side. I asked Andrew which peak it was, and said that was one that I definitely wanted to do. It was Mt. Colden. So when Andrew told me that they were going to do it this summer, I really wanted to go.



Left to Right: Andrew, Shama, Me, Emily (poor Andrew, he always gets stuck with all girls)



Us again


Avalanche Lake


Shama climbing on the rocks


At the top. Note to self: get some shorter friends so I don't look quite as short.

There were some more pictures with prettier views, but I think Emily has those...

Sunday, August 17

Before It's Too Late

Turn your gaze from the moon,
For her beams are bewitching.

Don’t stand beneath the stars,
And watch them sparkle,
Or they might light a gleam in your eyes.

The charms of the night
Are beguiling,
But enchantment never lasts.

So set down your glass,
Don’t drink in the night,

For when you wake,
The spell will be broken.

Friday, August 15

Sermon

Some of you know that I preached a sermon at North River church. Some of you probably didn't know that. In any case, I'm finally getting around to posting something about it.

My sermon was recorded, and I had hoped to get a copy of it to share so that you could hear me preach the sermon rather than read it. Unfortunately, the sermon is slightly stuck on the computer it was recorded to. The computer won't recognize flash drives and won't burn things to a CD. For now, I have given up trying to get an audio copy.

The alternative: post my sermon notes online. If you really care to read my sermon, you may do so here. I will warn you of two things:
1) It is long (this should be a given by now)
2) It is unedited

It's probably better this way; I don't think that public speaking is one of my spiritual gifts.

Wednesday, August 13

Oreo Logic

We have Oreos on our counter. Here's a conversation I just had with my mother:

"Oreos are good for you," I said in jest.

"Of course they are," she replied. "Because 75% of it is vowels, and there are less vowels in the alphabet, and less is more."

"Oh. I was just thinking that Oreos make you happy, and being happy is good for you."

I think I definitely got my logical reasoning skills from my mother.

Tuesday, August 12

Song of Solomon 8:4

My heart is a piece of glass—
Delicate, exquisitely hand-crafted.

I am
All too willing
To place it in your hands.

It’s been held before, this heart of glass,
And it’s been shattered too.
Once smashed on a careless whim,
Once broken by an untimely end.

It’s mended now

(Or mostly so)
The jagged scars can still be seen,
And some shards were never found,
But it is mostly whole.

And now, I am
All too eager
To place it in your hands.

But you could
Break my heart;
It has been done before.

So instead
I’ll place it in my Maker’s hands,
And I will wait on Him.

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I've placed myself in quite the predicament. You see, I've decided that I don't ever want to initiate anything when it comes to romantic relationships; I want to be pursued. Unfortunately, my desire to be pursued stands a great chance of being ousted by my impatience and my fear of allowing opportunity to pass me by. But God is helping me learn that not all opportunities should be taken.

Like many girls, I'm all too ready and willing to give away my heart. I keep trying to place my heart in God's hands to give to whomever He chooses when the time is right. I keep trying to repeat to myself Song of Solomon 8:4-- "Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."

This has become one of my daily struggles: to dampen the desire to love and be loved that God has placed in my heart, because it is not time. And to trust that God will fulfill that desire in His time.

It is much easier to say that I trust God than to live my trust in God.

Step Aside, Darcy

So, this is random, but I've pretty much decided that Gilbert Blythe is the number one hero of all times. Forget Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth. Gilbert Blythe has them beat hands down.

Why? Because Gil's character really gets love. He understands the sacrificial and selfless nature of love. Beyond that, he pursues with persistence, is honest, and is genuinely sincere. And, he's a big enough man to put aside pride when necessary. There's my brief and somewhat vague account of the virtues of Gilbert Blythe. I have more thoughts on this subject, but won't bore you.

I'm such a hopeless romantic (not in the Wordsworth sense of the word romantic). And yet, still somewhat hopeful, if a little discouraged.

Tuesday, August 5

A Silly Tale

This is a silly tale of how I lost my voice. I recorded it yesterday. If you can imagine, today I have even less of a voice...

But I feel quite a bit better now.


video


Perhaps I should cross reason #4 off my list... With a voice like this, maybe I could sing bass after all :P

Monday, August 4

Worst Enemies

It is 2 o'clock in the morning. I went to sleep a little over 3 hours ago. Why am I blogging now, you ask?

I'm blogging right now, when I wish to be sleeping soundly, because germs are my worst enemy. Evil, invasive little bacteria have made it their personal mission to see to it that I get no sleep. They are quite committed to their mission, and have been successful thus far tonight.

Yesterday, I drank 3 liters of water and two glasses of orange juice. I thought perhaps I could flush the little vermin out of my system, but alas, they persist.

In any case, I am going to attempt to get some more sleep now. I just hope that this time around I can sleep for more than 3 hours... I also hope and pray that I start feeling better. I had to call in to work sick on Sunday, and I'm supposed to work Tuesday and Wednesday...

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Edit: It is now 12:30 am the next day/night. I have a few things to say:

1. At least last night I could sleep for 3 hours at a time. Tonight it has been every hour that I've woken up.

2. Vicks vaporub is pretty cool, except that it leaves an awful waxy film on your skin.

3. It's pretty sad when you don't even have the energy to blow your nose anymore.

4. I think I'm pretty much immune to medicine.

5. You'd think that being a nurse would make me less of a baby about being sick. You would think...

Saturday, August 2

Yet Again...

Yes, I am blogging about work yet again (so if you're tired of hearing about work, read no further)... Recently that seems to be all that's happening in life, so it's a little bit hard to blog about anything else. In fact, I thought about how much I've been working lately and decided to do a little bit of math for curiosity's sake. Here are some figures for you:

On days that I work, I spend 4% of the day in the car, 54% at the hospital, 25% sleeping, and 17% at home awake.

Last week I spent 57% of my days working, which, by hours, is really about 31% of my week (which might not seem like a significant figure, but it sure feels like it).

In any case, I wanted to write specifically about what happened on Friday with work.

Friday morning I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and with a headache. I was highly tempted to call in sick, especially since it would be my 4th day working that week. But it's odd what stopped me from doing so, and I believe it was a God thing, silly as it may seem.

When I woke up, I had been dreaming. I can't recall exactly what happened in my dream, except for this: Something unpleasant had happened, and my last thought as I looked at a piece of paper with some significance was, "This is your opportunity. You can use this to witness for God, to show his goodness and to be a blessing."

With that as my waking thought, I struggled with what to do. I didn't feel good, so it didn't seem likely to me that anything about work could be good, but I couldn't ignore the thought that maybe God had given me that dream as an encouragement that today I could be a blessing.

I decided to take my chances and go to work. Thankfully, I started feeling much better as the day went on, although the headache kept recurring.

I'm so glad that I went to work on Friday; it was the best day I can remember having in a long, long time. There were definitely challenges, but it was one of the first days in a long time that I can remember specifically feeling God's presence with me. Not to mention, I had a lot of the same patients I had had earlier this week, and almost all of them had told me by the end of the day that they were glad to have me as their nurse, and that they appreciated what I'd done. I truly felt like a blessing; I felt like something I had done made more of a difference than just handing out medications, which has been a rare feeling lately.

Beyond having a good day with my patients, I also had a good day with my co-workers. It's funny, a lot of them didn't realize that I was leaving until very recently. On Friday, I got to eat lunch before 3 o'clock in the afternoon, which was nice. I ate with Tabitha and Tisha, and they started asking me all kinds of questions about Africa. It was really fun; I haven't had a chance to really talk to any of my co-workers lately, and I've missed it. I really love the people I work with, and I'll be sad to leave them. They wanted to get my updates while I'm gone, so I'm going to leave my blog address for them. It was really nice to feel like they actually care what happens to me after I leave, especially since I haven't been working with them long, and I'm not exactly the most outgoing, easy-to-befriend person in the world.

Praise God for silly dreams. I now have 3 days left of work, and I don't know what they'll bring, but I hope and pray that whatever happens, I can feel like God is with me.