Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Romans 8:18-25

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

Silly Bella

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why I Love...


1. Pretty things like these are blooming:

2. Daylight savings time means that it is still light when I leave work. So nice!

3. Warmer days mean more time playing outside!

4. The strawberry fields are open! (Well, not yet, but they will be soon!)

5. My birthday comes!

6. Baseball season comes. (And, while this is not nearly as exciting as college football season, it is still fun to go watch the Braves play!)

What about you? What are your favorite Spring activities??

(Just to be clear, my favorite season of all is still fall. It's hard to beat the changing colors of leaves, pumpkin flavored things, and college football. But, spring is a close second!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sweet Blessing

I got home today and found these on my front porch:

I love tulips! What a sweet blessing from my hermanita bonita (aka my sister Pam) and J-Rob (aka my bro-in-law Jeremy). Thanks, guys! I love you!

I love these guys, too.

I love these girls.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Funny Story

(Well, not really a story, but something that I thought was funny nonetheless...)

So, yesterday after the funeral, a bunch of the nurses from my floor went out to lunch together at Cracker Barrel. I was looking at the menu and noticed that they have a new "Low Carb" section. It comes with this description:

"We know many folks are watching what they eat, so we’ve prepared some of our favorite dishes with less carbohydrates."

But, then I started looking at the options and realized that all that was listed were different kinds of meat and the associated number of carbs. For example, six grilled chicken tenderloins have six grams of carbs. That is just lovely, except for the next sentence on the menu: Served with your choice of three sides. Three sides which are conveniently not included in the carb total. And since the choice of sides at Cracker Barrel mostly include things like steak fries, hashbrown casserole, dumplins, and macaroni and cheese (just to name a few), it seems to me that there is nothing actually low in carbs about the "Low Carb" section of the menu.

And I found that a bit funny...

Friday, March 26, 2010

When it rains, it pours...

And it sure is pouring...

This has been a hard month. Like, a really difficult month.

In the past month, I have received 9 patient death notices. Nine. That's way too many. Too many children that had to suffer. Too many parents that had to bury their child. Way too many...

I have already shared here that one of those nine was particularly special to me, and particularly difficult for me to say Goodbye to.

And then this week came, and brought with it another particularly difficult death. Only, this time, it is not a patient. This time, it is one of my fellow nurses. Matt - a 25-year-old nurse on my unit - died completely unexpectedly this week. And so my heart is sad. Again.

Again, I am telling the Lord that I don't understand, but I trust Him.

Again, I am asking the Lord to bind up the brokenhearted around me.

Again, I am longing for the day when mourning and suffering will be no more.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted... Psalm 34:18

Saturday, March 20, 2010

34 Years

Yesterday, my parents celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!! So glad that God chose to give you each other (especially since I wouldn't be around if He hadn't...) I love you both so much!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Before and After

After much anticipation (pretty much just from my mom and sister), here are a few before and after shots of my kitchen:


(These were actually taken a long time ago and I apparently didn't care about the stuff laying everywhere...)


Thanks goes to my college roommate Emily for letting me steal her paint color (again) and my mom for helping me tile! And apologies that the lighting in my house is terrible...

And just for fun, here's the before and after of my bed today:


(It would seem as though my dryer shot the clothes out like a cannon and this is where they landed. Sadly, I am the responsible one. I actually slept on the left side of the bed last night with the laundry on the right...)


Much better

And with that, I am off to bed...

Aimee's Blog

My roommate Aimee has a new blog. I am excited that she has entered the blogging world, and want her to keep it up! So, go visit her site and tell her how amazing she is! She is a graphic designer/creative genius, and she does amazing work. You should check out her Etsy site, too. 'Cause like I said, she's a genius!

(P.S. Dear Aimee, Hope you don't mind that I wanted to alert the public to how amazing you are! You should get some more of your amazing work up on that site so that all the world can see! Love you!)


Yesterday was a glorious day. Like, seriously, a great day.

The sun was shining.

It was warm!

I saw signs of Spring, like day lilies and dogwoods blooming.


I had great time with friends and great time alone.

I shared life, laughs, and a meal with people that I love.

I sat in the warmth of the sun and was silent and listened.


It was a great day, indeed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why I Love...

The Jordan sisters!

AJ and Lauren (who clearly look nothing alike)

These girls have quickly become two of my favorite people on Earth. Lauren (right) and I have been friends for a couple of years and are a part of the same community group. Our relationship has grown over the past several months, though, and I am so thankful to have her in my life! Her sister AJ (left) just moved here at the beginning of the year to come on staff at our church. I have loved getting to know her over the past few weeks. I seriously think that they are two of the coolest girls ever!

Here are some of the reasons why I love Lauren Boden:

Lauren and I in the snow

1. Lauren and her husband Trey have invited me into their lives in a way that makes me feel so special and loved. For a single girl living away from my family, this means so much!

Trey and Lauren

2. She watches So You Think You Can Dance with me.

3. She puts up with my whining at the gym.

4. She is an amazing teacher to high schoolers with special needs.

5. She shares my love for ice cream.

6. She takes me out for said ice cream when I have had a bad day.

7. She gives the best hugs ever.

8. She has approached health issues in her life with grace and strength, and has recently decided to do a ridiculously long bike race to fight back against her disease. I love it, and am so proud of her!

At an appt in December

And here are some reasons why I love my new friend AJ:

1. She is hilarious.

2. She shares my love for (and use of) the British accent. We are, however, trying to stop it from pervading our lives. (Because my patients and families are starting to look at me funny when I ask them a question in an accent that I didn't have 5 minutes before...)

3. She also shares my love for good ice cream, and is often willing to go get some with me.

4. She makes me yummy pizza. (Seen here with another sneak peak into my kitchen renovation. Before and after pictures to come soon, I promise!)

5. She sacrificed her own sleep to help me stay up all night to get ready for night shift last weekend.

6. She is lots of fun to hang out with, and has provided me with hours of entertainment in the past couple of weeks.

7. She posts comments on my blog. I love comments :-)

8. She also has a blog, where she often shares stories that make me laugh. Like ones about eating dog peanut butter or accidentally using someone's shawl as a blanket...

Lauren and AJ - I love you girls! So glad that God has blessed me with your presence in my life! Especially when you make faces like this:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Love from Lima

This morning, I ran across this video of the ministry center in Lima, and it made my heart smile. I miss Lima and my friends there so much. I am anxious to get to join them in life and ministry there, and am praying that the Lord will provide the missing pieces to allow me to be able to move this summer. I thought I would re-post it here so that you, too, can have a little glimpse into life in Lima. And so that you can meet Monica - one of the coolest people EVER! (Hope you don't mind, Mona. I loved getting to see your face, if only in a video from afar!)

to beggar's society with love from lima from Word Made Flesh on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

I love you!! I hope that your day is great!

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Recent small town sights:

1. These cute lampposts, complete with signs that say: "Trails - it starts with tr." Why yes, yes it does. (Of course, they are referring to the TR that equals Traveler's Rest, SC. Umm - it's almost clever...)

2. The Old Time Cafe, home of the "Randy Burger." One can only wonder what exactly that is...

3. The F-Mart, which apparently sells famous hotdogs. Maybe that's what the friendly-looking gentleman in the overalls was going to get...

4. Random animal carvings being sold on the side of the road made out of tree trunks. While I seriously wonder what the heck people do with those, I am also somewhat impressed by the craftmanship.

5. This church sign:

(no comment.)

6. Little produce stands on the side of the road. I do seriously love these! I hardly ever take the time to stop, but I always think to myself that I should!

7. A place called Dumpies Repairs. Spelled just like that. Now isn't that special...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Family Dinner

Tonight, I had dinner together with my Atlanta family.
I love these friends, and am so thankful to have them in my life.

We lit some candles, got out the nice china, and sat down around the table together.

The spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken was amazing.

Matt served AJ a lot of mashed potatoes.

Lauren took this picture of me making a face while cutting fruit.

Josh and Matt both wore blue stripes.

And Lauren took lots of self portraits on my camera.

We ended the night with some fondu for dessert.

And decided that we should do this again soon...

Personal Victory

This morning, I went for a run. I ran perhaps farther than I have ever continuously run. Granted, it was not actually that far, but as someone who hates running, it was a small victory for me. I had a couple of sources of inspiration:

1. The girl that I mentioned in my last post is still not doing very well. Worse, actually. As I thought about her and about what a fighter she is, I was inspired to keep on running. I realized that any pain that I was experiencing was negligible when compared to the suffering that she is enduring right now. So, I ran.

2. A friend of mine from my childhood just ran a marathon in memory of her dad who died from lung cancer and in honor of her mom and many others who are cancer survivors (including my friend Sarah). She hates running, too, and she ran a stinkin' marathon. As I thought about that, I decided that surely I could make it a few miles.

3. A couple of songs came across my Ipod at just the right time. Like this one. Being in the midst of the beauty of Creation reminds me of the glory of the Creator. He is an amazing God, indeed, and today is a beautiful day! (And, just so you know that I can also be inspired by some less-than-holy artists, this Black Eyed Peas song also made my legs move a little faster.)

I definitely did not set any speed records today, and I am sure that my effort was not all that graceful to watch, but it was a victory for me nonetheless. What about you? Did you have any personal triumphs this week - either small or large? I would love to hear about them!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Some Days are Hard

It's true. Some days are hard. Everyone has tough days. When you work with kids with cancer, though, hard days are especially...well, hard. Today was one of those days.

Today, I watched an child suffer more than she should ever have to. It was a struggle for her to sit up, to talk, to cough, to breathe, even to move. I wanted so badly to be able to make her feel better. I wanted so badly for all of this pain that she is walking through to go away so that she can go back to the life where she just gets to be a kid. I wanted to keep her well enough to be able to stay in her room on our floor instead of having to go back to the ICU, where all the faces are unfamiliar and she is scared.

But, sometimes we don't get what we want. I didn't get any of those things today. Instead, I shed some tears for this beautiful girl, and then pulled myself together and sent her to the ICU, praying that God will ease her suffering and heal her body on this Earth.

Like I said, some days are hard.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Channeling my Inner Plumber: didn't know that I had an inner plumber?? Right... That's 'cause I don't. But, since there is also no man in my house to fix broken things for me, sometimes I have to channel some manly skills. Like fixing leaking sinks and tightening loose faucets...

I will confess, however, that while I did climb under the sink and make an attempt to fix something, this girl was responsible for most of the actual fixing.

(P.S. If you look really closely, you might find a hint of my new kitchen renovation. Real pictures to come when I get around to putting the finishing touches on painting and get that blue tape off the wall!)

You Never Know...

...what might happen when you take a random picture of yourself and leave it on my camera. It might just end up here:

Along with that random picture you took of your sister:

Good thing you are both such lovely ladies that you look good even when you are making ridiculous faces...

(Of course, any random pictures that you took of me will remain hidden where they belong. Because it is my blog after all, and I do make the rules...)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Gift

I am so thankful for today. I woke up this morning with the intention of going to work. Well...honestly, I woke up hoping that I would get called off. But, when that didn't happen by 5:10, I pulled myself out of bed with the intention of going to work. And, I did go...

But, as I arrived the charge nurse was in the process of realizing that she forgotten to assign one of the nurses that was scheduled to work today. Oops. That meant that there was an extra nurse, and since I have overtime this week, I was the one that needed to go back home...

...Which was interesting, since:

1. That never happens.
2. On my way to work, I had been thinking about the fact that I really needed to plan a day to get away and be quiet. I have known for a while now that my soul really needed a day of solitude. I was thinking that I wanted to go up into the mountains somewhere for the day - probably to a place called "Pretty Place" just north of Furman. I was also thinking that it was likely that I could get called off one of my shifts this week (since I have overtime), but the fact that we only get called off for 4 hours at a time (first until 11a, then until 3p, etc...) would not allow me to leave town.
3. The fact that I had already actually driven to work today meant that I would definitely be off for the whole day (and get paid 2 hours of drive time.)

So, as I headed back out the door, it seemed pretty clear to me that God was giving me my day of solitude. Now, my only problem was the weather...

I decided while I was driving back home that I was definitely going to take the day and head out of town. I did look at the weather forecast for the mountains (100% chance of rain/snow with temperatures in the 30's), but I had already decided that this was what I needed to do today, so I started praying that God would change the weather as I drove...

...Which didn't exactly happen. As I drove in silence, I kept asking God what He wanted to say to me today. I also kept wondering how this was going to work out, since it was snowing and I was really wanting to spend time outside...

I was still wondering that as I drove through Greenville (snowing more now) and continued heading toward the mountains. The snow wasn't sticking to the road, so driving was fine, but the sky was definitely gray and yucky and I was pretty positive that I wouldn't actually be able to see anything up there.

As I got close to Camp Greenville, though, this is what I saw:

It totally felt as though God had given me my own little "Winter Wonderland" to enjoy. The trees and the mountain were so beautiful. I couldn't help but be awed by the Creator of all these beautiful things, and be blessed by such a tangible picture of His Glory.

I didn't stay too long, but I did get out and walk around a little bit (in flip-flops of course):

Even though I wasn't able to make it up to Pretty Place (I turned around as soon as snow started collecting on the road), the Lord totally blessed me with the beauty of His Creation where I was. And it was such a gift!

(Today's other gifts included strawberry cake, coffee, and time to read at Coffee Underground in Greenville and a yummy dinner and conversation with my roommate Aimee!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Afternoon Observations: Kitchen Renovation Edition

1. Grouting tile is a lot harder than I thought.

2. Tiling, grouting, and painting are all messy activities. Put them together and you get something especially disastrous.

3. A kitchen sponge (i.e. the one I wash dishes with) is not an appropriate grouting sponge. (Quite ineffective, actually...)

4. Dried grout is extremely difficult to get off of ceramic tile.

5. When placed on Shuffle, my Ipod finds its way to a Christmas song approximately every third song. (Very annoying.)

6. When the thought crosses your head that you need to remember not to grout that space where the electric outlet screw needs to go, you should write that down. (Maybe even stick it to the outlet itself...)

7. The floor is wet.

8. The sink is leaking (which explains number 7, and was immediately followed by the thought that I wish that would've happened yesterday instead of today so that my mom could fix it for me!)

9. One should be sure about grout color before starting the grouting process. Because, once you are halfway done with one wall and realize that you may not like it, it really doesn't matter...