Mar 30, 2010

hard times

There are so many things in this world that make my blood boil.

I know, what a statement to make after the joy of yesterday's blog.

I have a good reason for the switch.

The story: at least 321 people massacred in the D.R. of the Congo by the LRA, the rebel army that has been terrorizing the people of Uganda for decades. The rebel army that is the source of the longest running war in Africa. The rebel army that, like so many others, has operated with freedom, that has ties to the problems in Sudan. The rebel army that has seeped out of Uganda into the Congo, Chad, Sudan, and Kenya.

Add the LRA to the existing conflicts in the Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda, and on and on.

What is more frustrating? It took until March 28th for the majority of the world to acknowledge it happened.

What is the most popular story on the BBC website currently?

There are bombs in Moscow, people dying by mutilation at the hands of brainwashed child soldiers, ongoing wars in the Middle East.

I was in a church service over Christmas break, and the pastor asked "What injustice in the world makes your blood boil?"

Can you think of one?

By the way, that's something like diarrhea. That's something preventable by the water running out of our taps, out of our shower heads, and out of our garden hoses.

I have to be careful when my passion and fury towards injustice takes over. I sometimes lose sight of what is the heart of the matter when I get so overwhelmed with problems.

My heart breaks for people in the third world. God has turned my heart, he has broken me for the injustices toward the poor. And in my summer in Haiti last year I was reminded every day of how little I could do.

I could not take in every orphan I saw on the streets.
I could not give clean water to every person who didn't have any.
I could not provide proper nutrition to every hungry person I saw.
I could not put in jail the men who raped the little girls I saw on a daily basis.

I could not do much, in a nation of 9 million. A nation that is a dot on the globe.

So, Mr. Pastor, that's what makes my blood boil. That the injustice and the need of the world is so massive that I can do little to change it. I am angry that it exists at all.

He followed his initial question with this statement:


So - what makes your blood boil? And what are you going to do about it? I would love to hear, because people who live out their passion, who follow what the Lord has broken their hearts over, those people are the ones who remind me of Hope, who point me back to the Lord, and remind me that we serve a Lord who is angry too, and who is coming to change things.

But it isn't enough to wait for Him to fix this shit around us.

Let's do something about it.

Do something like this.
Do something like this.
Do something like this.

What am I doing? I'm moving to Haiti for a year, and I am praying that the Lord shows me what to do next. I am praying that as I go, as I help doctors and nurses take care of the sick people we meet, that I will learn something about meeting physical needs of people. And that that will begin to build bridges to allow spiritual needs to be met.

I have no idea what I am doing here. I have no idea how to be brave enough to be like Isabella and Katie and Mike and Beth Fox. But I hope that I will never stop to be driven and passionate like they are at fighting against the darkness in this world.

And I am thankful that every step along the way reminds me I am broken, I am not enough, and I am provoked and led by a God who never abandons and continually sustains, who asks His people to fight the darkness too.

What will you do? What shall I do?

Mar 29, 2010


I return!

You guys, this weekend was wild. It was my last days of work EVER. I mean, I am currently unemployed until I move to Haiti in June. I am not sure that is even employment. It certainly is hard work, but would anyone look at that and say I have a job? A career? I guess we'll see. When I tell people who don't know me that I am going they either:

A) Look at me like I am crazy.
B) Look at me like I am crazy and smile encouragingly. I like these people.

I went to Colorado over spring break. It was fun. I got to spend my first night there with my sisters.


I know! They are adorable.

Also. They are hilarious. I don't think anyone has the ability to make me laugh as much as my sisters, my brother, and brother-wife Ashley.

For instance: Annie. Annie is dynamic. She has some of the best hair days around. She karaokes with the best of them. She runs half marathons with ease in mile-high elevations. She pushes herself to do things she doesn't think she can, then she excels. Her writing is witty and this is just an example that has me laughing out loud, literally. LOL, L.

For instance again: Becca. If you see Becca she is most likely:
A) With a dog. Typically Gabe/GREEBS. The Zac Efron of the dog world.
B) Hip and trendy with rocking hair, tights, leg warmers, boots, and a dress. I know. Adorable.
C) Making jokes.
Becca is a magnetic personality with a lot of sarcasm and wit on the side. People automatically like Becca. She's also unaware of her charm, which makes her more charming. She's artistic and creative. She wants to take in all the stray puppies, and puppies love her. It's such a precious sight.

Couple these two with THESE TWO, and I have the funniest siblings in the world, hands down. Not to mention the most talented.

I am going to miss family time come June.

Mar 17, 2010

Profile Picture Pride

When you go to another country on a mission trip, you inevitably put a picture of you and one of the kids you met as your profile picture. Come on now people, you've done it, haven't you? I have!

Part of it is probably the fact that you liked the kid. He or she was cute, and maybe spoke a different language in the most adorable little kid voice. You couldn't help but cuddle them and fall in love.

Another part of it is because it's trendy. It's hip. It's cool to put your picture up with an orphan from another country. I mean, look at me! I went to Haiti and cuddled this adorable child. Go look at the rest of my pictures. I am so cool, right?

Am I just cynical, or am I right? A little bit right?

I'm right in my own circumstance. I mean, I want you to look at this picture of me and Roberto and think "That's adorable. How cool. I wonder what her other pictures are like."

That's icky isn't it?

Not the picture, because Roberto reminds me of this kid. I mean, what isn't adorable about that?

But it's icky because it's another example of how we seek approval and applause through our actions. We live in a works-based world. You are successful if you make more money, go to college, have the dream job, own your own home, have the pool in the back and the Escalade out front.

Or even if your successful world doesn't hold a pool or an Escalade (two things I could do without, seeing as how I hate swimming and Escalades), success comes through the envy and approval of others.

And I don't know anyone who would say cuddling cute orphans isn't good or worthy of applause.

Just another way my pride jumped out at me today. It makes me feel slimy and no good.

Mar 15, 2010

"I see the Castle Rock"

What the Lord made abundantly clear to me today, courtesy of a long, slow drive from Denver to Colorado Springs in a somewhat sketchy stretch of icy road.

My best services are rags, and my best deeds are filthy.
Oh Blessed Jesus, may we find a covert in Thy wounds.
Though our sins they rise to meet us, may they fall next to the merits of You.
(A Prayer for the Brokenhearted)

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
Through every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood, support me in the whelming flood.
Though every earthly prop give way, He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh then may I in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
(Solid Rock)

As I move to Haiti in just a few short months, I find myself clinging more to this promise, that the only constant in my life, and the only thing I can depend upon to maintain is Christ.

And He is the purpose, He is the center, He is the reason. I have nothing to offer, whether as a nurse in Haiti or a nurse in Colorado or a student. I have nothing to merit myself. I have watched the things of this world break apart and destroy people I love. And the solid rock is His righteousness, His ability to right the wrong. And He will.

Because the Lord who has called you and I is faithful, and He will surely do it.

Mar 13, 2010


In two months - eight weeks - it will be time for me to take my boards. My NCLEX. My "Hey License Me To Be A Nurse" test.

As I sit down and read through chapters of old textbooks and run questions, I find I get overwhelmed. I read a question about contraceptives, and I think to myself "I remember in lab when we talked about this that one day for one hour a year and a half ago. I remember a diaphragm and a depo shot...but how long do they last?"

Or what about Digitalis. I know there is something about it that creates a toxicity very easily. I don't remember what that looks like, or how you treat it, or even what you use Digitalis for specifically. I know it's a medication for something with your heart!

The NCLEX. What they have been preparing us for since January of 2008. Anywhere from 75 to 265 questions, depending on how well or poorly you answer. A 6 hour time limit. Just you and the computer, battling it out, the culmination of all those years in school, hours of studying, thousands of dollars, hinging on one test that could be over in an hour.

So...back to it. Two months, thousands of questions to run, and me, forever a stalling ISFP. A recipe for success or disaster?

I'll let you know.

Mar 2, 2010

between the lines

Two very different lives. I live in the middle of two very different lives.

As I drove through the city tonight, looking at the lights, passing the landmarks in the significant events of my life, I feel somewhat aged.

But most of all, I feel the freedom of my life. I feel my tendency to live somewhat removed from others; it's easier and safer, after all. I drive and watch and sing and get wrapped in the memories of days past. A still ache lies internally, wondering if I will ever get back to those days, the safety and security of those days. I think about it, about the freedom, and about the pain. I have caused a lot of pain; I have burnt bridges. I wonder if I learned from it yet.

My days are filled with some of the most dear friends imaginable. They are filled with a community of believers who have radically altered the way I have seen the world. They are filled with living paycheck to paycheck and off my spare change jar. They are filled with small sorts of adventures and filled with time alone. They hold breakfasts out with friends, nighttime talks with roommates, laughs from the nephews.

Yet somewhere, growing more each day, somewhere in me there is the seed: the reminder of my other life. It continues on in the south. I update myself daily. I remember the evening storms and lights across the water. I remember hugs and holding small hands. I remember the smells and the quiet. I remember the feeling of being there. The physical heat that consumed, the relief of a cold trickle of water and fan, the grit of dirt under your feet and all over your belongings. The smell of sweat and bug spray and ocean and thick air. Only the sound of the fan, some nights mixed with voices, singing or laughing.

But I mostly remember the comfort in being there. The strange semblance of peace that resides heavily over the place, as thick as the air and as heavy as the brokenness.

I live between the two lives. I'm not sure I will ever escape it, nor that I will ever fully want to.