sweet words

“Hey! Just wanted to say happy Friday and that you are so cool for what you do everyday. Seriously, so cool.”

never underestimate the power of your words. they are a great encouragement. let your friends know you love them even when you think they already know!

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life and loss

most nights i come home from work exhausted with swollen feet, but high on the joy of celebrating the miracle of new life and seeing two people become parents. i am convinced my job is one of the best in the world, even after experiencing the loss of life.

this week i cared for a lady delivering her stillborn twins. i don’t know if i have ever felt my heart break the way it did when she told me her story. i have seen tragedy in one of the poorest countries in the world and experienced loss of people i love, but the sick feeling i carried in my heart and stomach this week far surpassed anything i have ever felt before.

before me was a woman who had worked endlessly for years and years to conceive a child with the man she loved. after miscarriages and failed attempts of IVF, this couple was shocked to hear the news that they would be the parents to twins, only months later to find out one twin had died and then weeks later to find out that the other, who the doctors were trying desperately to save, had died as well. with their hope gone and their grieving just beginning, i cried with this woman we discussed all the unpleasant, but necessary, legal and medical decisions that had to be made after her delivery. i sat on her bed and held her hand as she felt her first contractions of labor.

it would be easier to have a cold heart and distance myself from my patient in a situation such as that, but that would not be loving, caring, or compassionate.  i know my eyes would have been a lot less red at the end of the day. i should feel just as privileged to share the day in the lives of those grieving the loss of life as i am in the lives of those celebrating life. it is an intimate and intense experience in their lives that will not be soon forgotten.

as i laid in bed trying to fall asleep that night, i continued to cry for her and begged the Lord to never let me experience that kind of day again. ever. as i cried and prayed, a feeling of peace washed over me and the Holy Spirit reminded me of the goodness of God and his sovereignty over all things. before i fell asleep, i thanked God for allowing me to meet that woman and for giving me the grace to care for her in a situation far, far, far beyond my understanding. she will not be forgotten.

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teaching is hard

teaching is hard. i never wanted to be a teacher. my two best friends are teachers. i listen to their conversations and try to learn as much as i can about their jobs so that i can know what is going on in their lives. i do not envy their stories of children biting them or students bursting out with nonsense comments in the middle of a lesson. i always knew they are somehow more patient than i am.

i now have my first student at work. she a smart and capable student. she is responsible and listens well. even with a great learner, teaching is still hard for me. not only do i feel like i still don’t know enough to impart the kind of knowledge and experience a student should have, but i have realized that teaching is challenging to my shortcomings. i like to be in control, take action, and do things my own way. teaching requires that i be patient, be slow to take action when my student is learning new skills, and accept that things can be done differently and still be correct. i need to correct in a constructive way. teaching requires grace be shown to the student in their moments of weakness and insecurities.

i have had both some terrible and fantastic teachers in my journey through nursing, those peoples’ personalities have shaped and molded me into the nurse i am today. looking back on my teachers, i am all the more aware of the impact i will make on my student’s future career. it is a heavy responsibility. while i know i will continue to have students during my career as a nurse, i will leave the profession of teaching to my friends that love it.

LT, LRD, and nick, you all inspire me more than you ever have before. God has given you all wonderful gifts and i am so proud to have been able to watch you use those gifts. you all have cultivated your gifts over the last few years and will continue to do so for many more. i know your students benefit from those gifts more than they know.

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sweet potato greens

this week in the CSA box (that i so generously received from some one who appreciates my true love for vegetables) i got sweet potato greens.

what are sweet potato greens? yes, i asked myself that about 100 times on the drive home. after a long google search of sweet potato greens, i found out that they are, in fact, the top green part of the sweet potato plant. local gardening people rave about their sweet tender leaves and crunchy stems and the advantages of being able to utilize the whole plant that you have grown. they are also known to be one of the cheapest greens available during their season. all things i like!

after reading multiple recipes and i decided to do what i do with anything that i am not quiet sure what to do with. i sauteed it on the stove with some onions. it tasted great, i have some ready for my lunch tomorrow. since i was overrun with a giant bunch of these tasty greens, i also decided it would be great in on of my favorite dishes: quiche! so i scrambled some eggs, cheese, more onion, and i even added some cubes of baked sweet potato to add to the sweetness of the greens. even better!

needless to say i will be having them for lunch and breakfast for the rest of the week!

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get some sweet potato greens at the farmers market or grocery store this week. you will be happy you did.

and for those of you that don’t love all things green and from the garden (LRD, stay tuned), i will be making a pie at the end of the week.

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happy 22nd birthday to my little brother

sometimes, when i feel a lot of emotions toward something, i have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. the love i have for my brother would be a perfect example of that. yesterday was his 22nd birthday. i sat down twice to try to write him a birthday blog. nothing came out of my brain. i just sat and thought about him. so, today… i try and fail a third time.

happy birthday, sweet brother. i will now share with the world a picture of you eating frozen yogurt on the weekend of your graduation.

and if anyone doesn’t believe the above picture because they can’t see the actual frozen yogurt in the bowl, i have gathered evidence on a second occasion. it’s true.

this must mean he’s growing up. i hope the trend continues because i have a buy one get one free coupon for yoforia.

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watching the storm rolling in

but as for me, i would seek God,

and i would place my cause before God;

who does great and unsearchable things,

wonders without number.

he gives rain on the earth, and sends water on the fields.

-job 5:8-10

i have never given too much thought to rain. growing up on a farm i knew the importance of rain to both the productivity and beauty of the land. i always loved hearing the rain fall on the roof in my upstairs room at my parents’ house. i learned about the processes and formation of rain in science class. i was impressed by the evaporation, travel, and condensation of water and counted it as another aspect of God’s creation and never put much more thought into it beyond that.

now that i have my own plants and my own garden, i am much more appreciative of the rain (since that means i don’t have to spend 30 minutes dragging the hose around the yard) but i still didn’t consider it a “great and unsearchable thing” like job thought of it. in the past i would read over a verse like that and think to myself “God can do way better things than make it rain. couldn’t job come up with something else God does that’s a little more flashy to add in there at the end?” until this week…

while at the beach i was able to watch a storm roll in. twice. once while sitting on the beach and once while sitting on the porch where we were staying. one time at night and one time during the day. i have never experienced something quite like sitting still watching the sunlight be blocked out and the clouds grow ever darker and thicker as they moved along a vast view of sky and sea. it was beautiful. it made me feel powerless and amazed. watching the clouds move toward me and seeing the rain falling in the distance, i knew it would inevitably reach me. i began to ponder where that water came from and how far it traveled to fall where i was sitting at that moment. i thought about how it was also falling at my home, hundreds of miles away, at the same time it was falling at the beach.

rain falling to the earth really is wondrous. it is simultaneously so microscopic and enormous that the mind of a man could have never invented it. i just sat there and soaked it all in. i am amazed. God is tender enough to care for our needs and water our fields and also powerful enough to concoct a storm full of thunder crashing, lightening bolts blazing, and wind whipping wildly around by his command. he does great and unsearchable things!

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best text message ever:

“last night i dreamed i gave birth. aside from my nurse being sue sylvester and my child looking strangely like [my cat], it was all VERY real. i figured you would get a kick out of this.”

 

“haha worse nurse EVER!”

“you made a cameo near the end. you checked to make sure sue was taking care of me properly. very fitting, i think”

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