Monday, June 24, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 12: I am thankful for Camp Sunshine and the way that camp brings such joy to kids with cancer. I witnessed so much fun today, and I LOVE seeing it on these kids' faces. I am thankful to be a small part.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cultivating discipline: Thankfulness

Day 11: I am thankful for the beauty of Creation around me here at camp!

Cultivating Discipline: thankfulness

Day 10: I am thankful for our sweet across-the-street neighbors, the Howards. The are a blessing in my life!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 9: Today I am thankful for the faithfulness of God.  I am thankful that His faithfulness knows no bounds, and that it is not dependent on my obedience.  I pray that the Lord would increase my faith, and that I would be increasingly faithful to Him, for He has been so faithful to me.

As a side note, I am leaving tomorrow for Camp Sunshine for a week.  I will likely not have access to the blog to be able to post, but I will do my best to continue to identify those things each day that I am thankful for, journal, and catch up with the posts when I get back.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 8: I am thankful for a peaceful, quiet morning at home.  And the two sweet dogs that are here to keep me company.

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 7: I am thankful that I get to work on a team with some really great people!  Even in the midst of a difficult transition to a new position at work, there are people around me that provide great encouragement and support, and I am thankful for them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 6:  I am thankful for a nice, slow-ish day at work.  I had time to do some of those "extra" things that I like to do but often don't have time for.  Like deep-cleaning a patient's room that really needed it.  (So maybe that's not all that exciting, but it made me feel good after I was done and might be helpful for preventing potential infections for this immunocompromised child...)  And taking my patient for a walk (and two) in the garden.  The fresh air did both of us good!  I was thankful for the beauty of the flowers (especially the huge, amazing hydrangeas) as we walked.

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 5: I am thankful today for a low census at the hospital.  Not only does that mean that more kiddos are feeling well and are at home (the best thing), it also means that I don't have to worry today about our (very poor) staffing while I am on call! (At least for today...)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 4: On this Father's Day, I am thankful for my Dad!  He is an amazing man, and a great Dad.  I am especially proud of his passion for and commitment to serving families in need through his foundation.  He frequently calls me just to "check in," and has been known to drive all the way up to Atlanta just to watch a Braves game with me.  I love you, Dad!  Looking forward to cheering on the Bravos again with you soon!

Cultivating discipline: Thankfulness

Day 3: Today I am thankful for my roommate and her hidden artistic talents. Despite the fact that she has a ton of schoolwork to do, she has been slaving over Dr Seuss posters for my camp decorations. They are amazing, and so is she!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

Day 2: I am thankful for a good night of restful sleep, and the beauty of the day after a night of storms.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cultivating Discipline: Thankfulness

My life is in serious need of some consistency and discipline.  In an effort to try to cultivate discipline, I want to try to write down something that I am thankful for each day for the next month.  Though I will be satisfied with myself to simply get these things jotted down in my journal each day, I thought that I would also try to record them here, in the good 'ole blog of mine.  I know that it has been over a year since I have written anything here, but I thought that maybe I would shake off the dust and maybe try to bring the blog back to life.  I am pretty sure my mom made a request for that not too long ago.  Since Momma doesn't ask me for much, maybe I will try to oblige.  As always, I make no promises...

Day 1: I am thankful for a day to rest.  I am thankful for space to be quiet and reflect.  For silence.  For a home that is comfortable and is in close proximity to good friends.  I am thankful for the Lord waking me up earlier that I normally would have and stirring my mind and thoughts toward quiet time and reflection, even after a very long day yesterday and few hours of sleep.  I am also thankful for a good cup of coffee out of my favorite mug.  ('Cause some times it's the little things that make me happy...)

Feeling Pensive

Do you ever slow down and really think about your life?  I will admit that I am not naturally very good about making time and space for reflection.  I often feel like my life is just passing by, without me slowing down to take a step back and really realize what is happening.  But every now and then, there are seasons or events that make me pause and take that step back. 

The past few years have been difficult ones for me.  I feel like my life is sort of stuck in a revolving door…  Around and around and around I go, but at the end of the day, I still find myself in the exact same place.  I am walking, but I am not actually going anywhere.   Lately, I have become increasingly frustrated with this place.  Frustrated…  Sad… Lonely…  I decide that something different has to happen; something has got to change.  And yet, another week goes by and I still find myself in that same place. I don’t mean just physical place or circumstances, though those things haven’t changed, but physical, emotional, spiritual… It all seems stuck.

This morning I read a reflection from a man that I know from Grace. He and his wife are beautiful people who reflect Christ’s love beautifully in the way that they love others.  They live in Colorado now, and this week their home burned to the ground in a wildfire there.  Talk about perspective… Thinking of them and reading Sid’s thoughts on the past few days stirred up a jumble of thoughts and emotions in me. Practical things like, “I really wish that AJ would get a rental policy…” to “I really wish the dogs were better trained so that they didn’t have to be crated when we are gone…” (I have a vivid imagination that sometimes conjures up thoughts of terrible things like fires happening while the dogs are helpless in their crates.  My eyes tear up even now just thinking about something like that...) It also stirs up bigger-picture thoughts like, “What do I really value in life?” “If I were left with literally no physical belongings in life, how would I respond?” “How am I making an impact on the world around me?”

Thoughts like these have been swirling around in my heart and mind a lot lately as I reflect on this place of life that I am in and struggle to pull myself together, for lack of a better way to put it. I feel like a bit of an emotional basket case lately, for a number of different reasons. I took a new role at work recently and am struggling to get a grasp of my new duties and responsibilities and figure out how exactly to do those things well without physically running myself into the ground. I feel physically exhausted much of the time. I am just beginning to make myself consider how some deep disappointments in the past few years have really impacted me, and how to deal with those things in a healthy way. I am realizing that I deeply miss some relationships that have been lost. There is a physical ache in me for the unfulfilled desires of a husband and children of my own, and I am just beginning to consider the ways that God may be interested in using that ache for His purposes while the desires remain unfulfilled. I have long been aware of the distance I have created between myself and God’s presence in my life, and am just beginning to make small steps toward inviting Him back in. Though I know that He has not gone anywhere, and that the Spirit is ever present within me, even when I choose not to acknowledge Him, I also know that my ability to see Him is severely limited by my choices not to pursue His Word, His presence, or to even make space to listen to what He may be trying to speak into me.  I know that the path to His Presence is simple:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

“You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you…”

I pray that the Lord would continue to stir these thoughts and desires in me.  I pray that it doesn’t take a tragedy for me to see the things that really matter in life. I pray that the Spirit would continue to stir my spirit for more of His Presence. I pray that the Lord would allow me to see the lives that He would have for me to impact right here where I am. I pray for physical rest. I pray for community – for friends to walk alongside that will provide encouragement and needed accountability. I pray for physical healing for so many that I know that need it. I pray for eyes to see and ears to hear.  I thank You, Lord, for Your unending Goodness and Faithfulness which does not depend on ours.  I thank you for the people and relationships that You have given me in my life, and pray that I would not take those for granted. I thank You for You, and I pray for more of Your Presence in my life.