Monday, October 14, 2013

I am Blessed

  I realize that it is not yet November, but who said thankfulness needed to wait until a specific month?  I've been reminded lately of how very much I have to be thankful for, and how little I truly appreciate the blessings I've been given. So without further ado, here are few of the blessings I call mine.

  •   My darling niece Ree turned one yesterday. After a long and difficult pregnancy, she was born early, at 34 weeks. She weighed only 4 lbs, 10 oz. She was oh-so-tiny, and it took her a looong time to learn to eat well enough on her own that she could go home. I was blessed to be there for her birth, and I got to see this tiny miracle with my own eyes. I will never forget what it was like to hold a child so tiny that her entire head fit in my palm, and covered in tubes, wires, and IV's. It has only strengthened my passion to become a NICU nurse someday. So, so grateful that God has kept her healthy and sound.

  •   I've been accepted into the LPN-RN bridge program! In some ways, I would rather have not been accepted unto the program, as this would have meant that I could move away from Arkansas, and back to Wyoming. I am living for the day when I can move out to be close to my sis, and close to a real church family again, but for now, I know this is best. In one year, I will only have 8 weeks left before I will be an RN! :)  

  •   I am a nurse. Once upon a time, that seemed like an impossible pipe-dream. I mean, I never went to high school, and here I was daring to think of college?!?!  It seemed so huge to me, and I thought there was no way I would ever be able to fulfill this dearest of dreams. Yet here I am, working as a nurse, and going back to school again for a better degree. God is GOOD!!!

  •   I am working at a job that I love. Yes, it has its moments when it seems like all hell has broken loose, and I silently wonder if I made the right choice to pursue a career in nursing;  then something small but meaningful happens, and I realize that I am right where I should be. Last night I had just such a moment. I had one sweet old lady who was very upset due to her confusion, and nothing seemed to be helping her into a calm and sleepy frame of mind. I gave her some tylenol, but that wasn't helping either, and I was not very busy at the moment. I rolled her chair over to mine and began to chat with her. I noticed that her nail polish was wearing off, and in hope of distracting her mind from her "troubles" I repainted them for her. By the time I was finished, she had calmed down considerably, and I was one of her "sweet, sweet girls." She told me she loved me and every one in this place, and she thought she was so lucky to be here.

       In the midst of it all, I remembered that I wanted to be a nurse for one reason only - to help others - and that as nurse I must not lose sight of the fact that often I can help more by truly listening and caring than I ever can by just making sure they have their medicine. It's true that medicine is important, but when it comes down to the peace of mind, and the healing of the soul, it is only when one stops and takes the time to really listen that people realize you care about them and not the million and one other things you might think are more important than a human soul in distress.

  • I am thankful I live in a world with Octobers. Fall is my absolutely favorite time of year, from the chilly mornings to perfect afternoons, from the crunchy leaves to crisp apples. Hayrides, campfires, hot chocolate, boots, sweaters, good books, raking leaves, and making copper kettle apple butter.  I have sooo many good memories of the autumn, and if I am lucky, in two years I will get to spend sometime in the great outdoors instead of with my nose buried in books. :) 

  • Above all, I am thankful for a Christ who's love is so powerful that it drew Him to a cross for me. What a wonderful thing it is that He sees me as I will be when He is finished with me, and not as the shrinking, self-absorbed creature I am now! It is amazing that as often as I have let Christ down, not once has He given up on me. How could I ever turn away from so great a love?

    That's my list for today. What's yours?

Friday, July 12, 2013

life-changing moments

  Isn't it amazing how one little thing can completely spin your world? One moment, and your life has changed as you know it. It's a shocking thing, one that you cannot fully grasp for a while. It takes a few minutes, hours, or days for the reality of that moment to set in.

  Such a moment happened to me today. One small text from my sis that simply said, "Mom has Lou Gehrig's, but it's the slow kind." One minute my life was just fine, and I was getting ready to party with friends this weekend, the next it's in a tailspin, and I'm left reeling with shock. Oh, we had all considered the possibility of that diagnosis, but the last we'd heard was that the possibility of her having it was small. I knew she had a Dr.'s appointment today to get the results of her tests, but I didn't think it would turn up anything we didn't already know. 

  My mom called my sister Kay first, and Kay texted the rest of us girls. When Mom called me to tell me a few minutes later, I was better prepared to hear it from her, but it still wasn't easy. When she broke down and started crying, it was hard to be 1,000 miles away. I wanted to be there, to reassure her, but words are inadequate at a time like that. It's hard to be on the receiving end of that kind of news also, particularly when you have no family around to share it with you.

  I am so thankful that what she does have is slow progressing, and that she will likely be with us for many years yet, but to know that she has a disease which has no known cure - or any form of treatment for that matter - well, it's hard to face up to. As for what Lou Gehrig's actually is, I'll just give you an excerpt from

"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed."

I ask for your prayers for my family and I as we learn more about the disease and what mom's future will look like. Pray especially for Dad and Mom, as they are going to need all the support and strength they can get.  And, today, take a moment to thank God for your health.  It's a blessing we forget all too often.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Simple Pleasures

  Hi Friends!
I was thinking today about how often I take my life for granted - there are many things I never even stop to notice.  So often I look right past the small miracles and simple pleasures that make life worth living.  I decided to take the time to make a list of just a few of them to remind myself to be grateful. :)

  • Fresh laundry (especially towels right off a clothesline!
  • A hot shower after a long and tiring day at work.
  • A baby's giggle (so precious)
  • Old-fashioned roses (yes, they are my favorite flower)
  • Long talks with a good friend.
  • Rain after a long, hot day, and the smell of the roads afterwards.
  • The first time you read a book that you instantly fall in love with.
  • When you go flea market shopping and find that perfect bargain.
  • Old unexplored roads, and a free Sunday afternoon in which to drive them :) (I am truly my father's daughter)
  • Time spent with family.

  • Watching the Andy Griffith Show - "I tell you Andj, it's time you married!"
  • Going to church on Sunday (It's a big pleasure, and one that happens far less than you would like, once you work in the medical profession!)
  • Sunrise! (I love that misty, dewy, fresh morning feel. When it seems as if the only ones awake are you and God)
  • The smell of new-mown hay.
  • The first few minutes after you crawl into bed.
  • Fresh strawberries!
 That's my list! Won't you share some of your favorites with me?