Jan 25, 2010

all things go

Today is a monumental day.

It commences the countdown of week 15 to graduation.
It's the first Monday of the semester.
It's the day I apply to be a nurse.
It's the day I apply to be a nurse in Colorado.


When I came to Jewell I was nearly positive I wanted to be a pediatric oncology nurse. I was nearly positive that I would stay in Kansas City.

Then I shifted to hating nursing in all forms and was ready to move away.

I have wavered between here and Washington and Haiti and Oregon and Idaho and Uganda and all sorts of places.

And today, my application is to the State of Colorado.

My inbox holds messages from nurse recruiters in Denver and Colorado Springs...two places I swore I would never live. My job aspirations: not pediatrics.

And today I wait in anticipation for that day, the day I pack up my little car (assuming the timing belt is replaced and running like a dream) and come home, in a sense.

I like how life works out like this sometimes.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I have been talking with some younger friends who are beginning to struggle and wrestle with the idea of what they are meant to do with their lives.

But really, who ever REALLY has one's life figured out? Because even though I have my state picked out, I have no idea what I am doing.

I sort of love it.

Jan 23, 2010

a heart full of mess

There is no better medicine for a messy, heavy heart than these two faces:

Heard this evening:

"That's because I am really good at The Force."

"Do you know Master Yoda came here this morning to teach us The Force?"

"Do you know some babies are born with two heads?"

Jan 22, 2010

be near me

I would like to think I am an emotionally stable person. I would like to think that I can keep a cool, calm head in all times. I would also like to think I am a kick ass runner, or completely secure in who I am, or that the world is full of good, trustworthy people.

Sometimes the things I think aren't really true.

I mean, I am emotionally stable, MOST of the time. But some days it isn't so easy.

Like the days your gas bill has increased by nearly 50%.

Or the days you find out the impending, very necessary repair on your car could be $500.

Or the days you realize you worked 4 hours in a week...totaling $32 before taxes.

Or the days your credit card bill for Christmas comes.

Other days too.

I talk out my anxieties. I talk out problems. I talk to my parents or my friends (saints, every one of them!), and I talk myself out of a breakdown. But before I calm down I have to talk it through.

So tonight, in spilling all of my fears about running out of money or risking my car breaking down to my dear Momma, I saw things a little clearer.

I have friends who have lost their homes and their friends and their families in a devastating disaster.

Dear people in my life have cancer.

People continue to go to sleep freezing and hungry on the streets tonight.

And I wake up each day and make the conscious decision to trust in Someone much bigger than myself.

I trust that my money will not run out, and that my bank account will increase enough to allow me to pay my bills.

I trust that my car won't break down before I can get the money and the time to fix it.

I trust that everything will fit in, in its proper time.

I trust not a single struggle or trial is wasted.

I trust in a God who is not angry or unjust, but a compassionate, faithful, loving, patient Lord who cares deeply for us.

Blessed be the Lord!
For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.
The Lord is the strength of His people;
He is the saving refuge of His anointed.
(Psalm 28:6-8)

Jan 15, 2010

Haiti Cherie

Last night I came home to a package on my bed, all the way from Canada. Inside I found a present from Diana, a wooden plaque with a carved map of Haiti. Across the top, "Haiti Cherie" - or Dear Haiti.

On any day, it would make my heart ache to be with my Haitian friends and family. I would think of walking down the hill with Diana, of walking towards the Hope House to catch whoever hurtled herself into my arms, of bartering with the vendors, of river walking, of working in the clinic, of sitting on the playground to look at stars and pray.

But on this day, in these days, all those things ring true still, but with a sort of hollowness. I sit in my comfortable home, on stable ground, with water free flowing out of the tap. I have a refrigerator full of food, and lights that turn on. My phone rings, and I sleep through the night.

Today my family across the waters faces another day of aftershocks. They face another day of nonstop work to give comfort to their people. They face another day where water supplies run lower, gas sputters out, and medical supplies wear thin. Yet they continue on, helping as they can, where they can.

The other news stories will begin to take more time. Slowly, the story of the Haitian need will sputter out. Attention will fade away; it is natural. But I don't think the ache will leave my bones. I don't think I'll shake the feeling of sickness at the sheer need of my family in Haiti.

This is a dear member of this family. The clinic she speaks of is dear to my heart.

So this morning I continue to pray. Pray in thanksgiving for the safety of these dear ones...

I thank the Lord for the hand of protection over these dear brothers and dearest sister.

I continue to lift up these dear girls, my dear girls and boys from Good Samaritan, who have not been heard from to my knowledge.

I wonder over these village children - are they safe? Will their joy return in these days of utter fear and darkness?

The news from the mission is not hopeless. With intact buildings they are in a much better situation than most. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not dear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
(Psalm 46)

Jan 13, 2010


I am...across a distant sea,
but I carry you in me,
and in the dust on my feet.

If you follow my blog at all, or know me in any form, you know I spent 10 weeks in Haiti, just miles north of Port-au-Prince, some 30 or so miles north of the epicenter. I cannot begin to formulate thoughts or words to encompass what the last 15 hours have been like.

Be not far God.
Do not abandon these people.
I read your promise this morning in Joel 2:
The Lord your God is gracious
and merciful,
slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love;
and HE relents over disaster.

May I begin to trust those words, to believe the truth of who God is, to not be overwhelmed by the devastation and begin to doubt You.

I celebrate the survival of each of my friends who live at the mission, each of the 60 kids who live there, to know that Roberto, Clara, Emmanuella, Widler, Kethia, Jean Marc, Esther, Rose Berline, Jeremiah, Hannah, Matthew, Christopher, Clifton, Mansado, Diana, Rachel, the Van der Marks, Loudiana, Loudmina, the Rumfords - the countless faces of my MOH family are alive. Also, this just in, the Tytoo Gardens kids are all well too (one of the orphanages I visited weekly).

And my heart is heavy, because for each person I know is well, there are another three that I have not heard about. My dear brothers who became my best friends there, Sadrac and Wicky and Vulcy and the Cenea family, and Nathalie, and Mimos and her daughters, the drivers and teachers, Blondie and Dr. Jenifer and Dr. Alix and Ms. Anita, the kids of Good Samaritan, my precious Wendalyn and Paula and Paulo and baby Luc and baby Rebecca and baby Alix and Wadson. The people of the surrounding villages, and each of the other 9 million people in Haiti.

These are the first names to come to mind, but that doesn't begin to cover it.

I continue to pray Romans 8, groaning along with creation for the redemption of our world and our selves. This world continues to crumble under the weight of brokenness. Come, long expected Jesus, through your Kingdom on earth now. May we find ways to instill hope in the lives of our devastated brothers and sisters.

Jan 3, 2010

when Satan tempts me to despair

I led an extremely blessed childhood, sheltered from the pain that a lot of people are forced to grow up in and amongst. My days were spent watching The Chipmunk Adventure and walking to Texaco for Nerds and ballet classes and Court Players and plenty else. Even into high school, where I was confronted with loneliness and the superiority of the wealthy, I continued to live a good life.

It wasn't until this last summer when the idea of suffering began to take root in my heart. When the brokenness became more apparent, and before the idea of Hell on earth was more tangible. And I came home forever different.

And into this semester the idea of Hell, the battle that goes on in this world between good and evil, it rages on. And tomorrow is another day.

Today the question was posed: what do you hate? What about the world, about the Hell that ravages the people and places around you, drives you to anger? Figure it out, and do something about it.

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life,
and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:1-5)

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 corruption
and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together...
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.
(Romans 8:20-25)

It's a broken, fragile, screwed up world. But it is not overcome, and we are not hopeless.