Sunday, December 21, 2014

Growng Pains - A Year By Year Process

It's hard to say that this has been a "bad year" for my family, or even for just me personally...

Yeah, a lot of not fun circumstances have fallen onto the path of life this year. A lot of things that make me want to crawl in a corner & sleep my life away.
(Sleep = My coping mechanism of choice, because my kidneys frown on binge drinking) 

But God has gotten us through all the crappy circumstances in one piece. Actually, since Jake (My brother) fell from our horse & had to have reconstructive facial surgery in September. Some of us came out of this year with a few extra pieces..

But if I were honest I would say I feel like God's actually used all the unfortunate circumstances in the past 365 days to refocus my attention to him. I tend to try, and fail terribly to be self reliant.  Thinking back.. My struggle with self reliance began long before this year.
Summer of 2008 I went to a church camp where, I'm going to attribute Bobby Joiner for putting out the challenge to start a prayer journal.
Nothing fancy, just to grab a composition note book & use it to focus your prayer time. 

It's now 2014 - I have 17, one-hundred page composition note books FULL. 1,700 pages of prayers  petitions over the past seven years.

But looking though them I realized the majority of them where from 2008-2010. Then they became less prolific. Still there, but more sporadic...

2010. Was the year I left my childhood church. The year I struggled SO much with sorrow, hatred, and bitterness. 

2011 - My life was a big nursing school blob.. Fair excuse. Sorta.. Right? (Yeah, lame I know..) Super troopers could have landed on the moon during 2011 & I wouldn't have known. My life was engulfed in learning to be a nurse.

2012 -- The year I graduated nursing school. The year I became a full fledged nurse. The year I was a New Grad nurse at a small teaching hospital. The year I was struggling with my confidence as a new nurse. My "thing" had become to pray on my way to work. So long as I didn't get too distracted... But I still didn't really make time for God. Either time to pray or get into the word. 

2013 -- I really don't have an excuse. My brother had his 3rd open heart surgery that March, at the same time I was grieving the break down of a dear friendship. That summer I started to get bored at work because I was getting the swing of things, and looking for other things to fill my plate. My Mom also had rotator cuff surgery that summer. Which was a long recovery. 
I was going to a cute little hipster church. The people were SO sweet and loved Jesus, but I wasn't sold...
I was just chugging along & didn't really NEED God. I wanted God, I LONGED for the kind of relationship I had had with him between 2008-2010. I just had NO idea how to get back there. I was angry & frustrated..  

2014 --- Welcome a difficult year. I have tried to wish away this year more than once or twice..

I wasn't really going to church at the start of the year.. 
I was what I like to call, "in-between churches". I didn't want to go to the sweet hipster church - I didn't feel like I fit in & it was a really LONG drive that only got longer when the church moved locations. I didn't want to go to the cowboy church my family went to statues post our church evacuation in 2010, because I didn't feel like I was welcome. 
My prayer-life was a joke. I would pray in the elevator on the way up to my unit at the hospital.. And I would pray when I would be struggling with my anger & frustration from feeling distant from my God. And bitter toward my past church leadership because I felt like it was THEIR fault...

 It wasn't their fault FYI. But they still suck none the less!  :)

Christmas night 2013 my Great Grandma Good pasted away. Which ended a week long sleep over at Pepe's house hospice. We buried Grandma January 6th. 
I left January 7th for a "vacation" where I saw the ugly side of myself during the trip. I came back sick from stress. And constantly feeling like I NEEDED to go to church. Any church, whatever church, I just NEEDED to go to church! 

That week I started going to Girls with Swords, a bible study for young women. I honesty didn't WANT to, but I did. And I'm glad that I did! Because in going I was reminded that God still has a hold of me. 

A month after returning to Tucson from what I have lovingly deemed "Escape from B*tch Mountain San Antonio Edition" I went to the Passion Conference 2014 in Houston with a group of people I hardly knew.. Also a blessing.


The following week my Dad had a stroke & stayed in the hospital from Thursday - Sunday. 
The next month we got two new puppies.. And my puppy Bella died a month later. 

This summer God blessed me with 15 yr old Ashley's "dream job". I'm now an ER nurse at the small teaching hospital I started at as a new grad on Med-Surg. And I love it! 
But talk about a learning curve... But I know God has me there for His purpose. 

What have I learned from this year??

 -- I need to get back to the basics in my relationship with God...

I know some will earnestly disagree with me, but I feel like placing my own prayer/quite time & getting back into reading God's word on my own is really where I need to focus. The culture of todays church/corporate worship tends to do nothing but irritate me. 

Great in theory...

But I tend to feel like all I'm doing is sitting through a 1 1/2 hour infomercial about how I'm supposed to "buy into" whatever the churches plans/goals/projects are. Instead, I want to be bought into Jesus. Bought into my God's plan.. His plan for me. His plan for my family. His plan for this community I call my own.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (New International Version) Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

Psalm 88:13 But I cry to you for help, Lord;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.

Isaiah 30: 1-5 
 “Woe to the obstinate children,”
    declares the Lord,
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
    forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
    heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt
    without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,
    to Egypt’s shade for refuge.  
But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame,
    Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.
 Though they have officials in Zoan
    and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
everyone will be put to shame
    because of a people useless to them,
who bring neither help nor advantage,
    but only shame and disgrace.”

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rescue & Recovery

Disingenuous. That is my new word for today. But before you think, "oh no, this is gonna be a blog post about how awful people are." Be assured that's not what I want to express to you.

Today at church was what I like to call "share & tell". Share what a horrible person you were before Jesus rescued you and tell how wonderful life is status-post surrendering your heart to Jesus. And on top for share & tell hours there were seven baptisms in this moderately sized church I now attend. Pretty good odds God might be moving in the people there.  

I know this is "Normal" practice throughout many churches in America, BUT it makes HORRENDOUSLY uncomfortable & awkward!

I think my church up bringing is part of why it makes me feel ridiculously uncomfortable... I'm not going to get into pointing fingers at my old church. But I will say it's very "traditional" and honestly pretty dang fake. 
I've never been baptized. Yes, I know I should. But it always feels so awkward & staged. How can you PUBLICLY proclaim your acceptance of Jesus's work on the cross for your sins that are worthy of death & your plan to forever follow Jesus when all the witnesses are already churched people? I've always hoped to be baptized surrounded my un-churched people. People that desperately NEED Jesus but don't know him as anything but a story, building or organization. Not on a personal intimate sweet level like I do.

It's been a little over two years since my last post. Two years of God triaging & treating the natural disaster that WAS my heart after leaving my church now FOUR years ago.

I feel like in nursing school I hardly had time to breathe, so I only acknowledged the top layer of hurt, frustration & anger. These past two years God's been able to use as a rescue/recovery mission.

Please keep in mind, as much as one may argue that my relationship breakdown with my church family from my growing up years was a reflection of a relationship breakdown between me & God. That's not true. My anger & un-forgiveness was only aimed at the leadership of my old broken church. 

I think that is the only thing, aside from my family that I accredit for holding me together so well is my relationship with my God. Even when I was running away from his people he kept pursuing me. Comforting me. Calling me back. Asking me to willingly place myself in His hands. 

adjective \ˌdis-in-ˈjen-yə-wəs, -yü-əs-\
: not truly honest or sincere : giving the false appearance of being honest or sincere. 

I've spent four years in hiding. Four years wondering if God means me for ministry. Four years of blending into the congregation because I'm honestly scared of the people around me. Not that they won't accept me. But that they will love me only to figuratively stone me at a later date.

God has been so sweetly working me through forgiveness and acceptance to MOVE ON!! I'm not going to lie & say I'm all better. I'm still broken. God's still working on my heart DAILY. But I feel I'm in a place where God is saying I love you, I'm providing for you, TRUST ME!

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Damaged Church Goods: Processing the Aftermath

It's been way too long since I've blogged. Yeah, I keep a journal of my personal thoughts and feelings that I don't want to put on blast. But not so many years ago blogging was a very cathartic outlet for me.

... Whatever happened to that?

My blog hasn't seen a whole lot of action since 2009!?! whoa.. But why?

..Was it that I got busy with life? .. Busy with school? ..Or may it was that I couldn't think of anything to write, that I felt was blog worthy?

For the past 10 weeks I've been on the run, trying to keep up with my 4th semester of nursing school!

In those 10 weeks I probably read over 700 pages of my med-surg textbook, (minus spring break) I spent an average of 23 hours a week with my study group, spent 5 hours in class each week and was at clinicals for at least 14 hours each week.

But last Friday when I passed my final exam all that ended. I still have preceptor-ship and to prep for all that entails, learning the in's and out's of the emergency department. But I no longer have 100 pages of reading each week, I don't have a study session to run off to, and I don't have a lecture to sit through.

For me, when the craziness in life calms a little I can begin to refocus and see what's sorta become left-of-center.

I know Christian's are nothing but sinners who have accepted Christ as their Savior. But it AMAZES me the amount of brokenness, judgement and lack of grace and love in the church (The body of Christ).

It's hard to write this blog post without becoming at least mildly defensive.. I type a few words, then delete a few. Sorta like in life. You take a couple big leaps forward and then a step back.

I've had this nagging feelings for awhile that I'm not exactly where God wants me. It's not that I don't have an active prayer life or a good relationship with God. But I feel stagnate. Satan has paralyzed me right where I stand.

Growing up, my family was part of a small church. The pastor was the dictatorial head. And the deacons were more or less the pastors servants, rather than the servants of the church body. My family was one of a handful of young families in the church. Slowly those other young families either moved away or changed churches for one reason or another. Three of us kids grew up together. But at 18 yrs old I was the only one of the three still standing in that church.

Between my upbringing by Christ devoted parents and my own relationship with God. I was a pretty solid Christian kid.

Not to say I didn't have my issues.
I did...
Plenty of them!
Mostly having to do with having my Big Girl Panties On and thinking I knew EVERYTHING!

But two years ago I was seriously wounded by leaders in the church(s) that I naively admired and sought validation from. Leaders who instead of approaching 20 yr old me with love and compassion, decided that God must of choose them to be His new right hand. Out of this group of leaders, one representative was selected (or self selected) to verbally barrage me until I felt about 2 inches tall.

That's the day my walls started to build...

I've spent the last two years in nursing school. But also I've spent the last two years wrestling with forgiveness and healing. I'll think for a while that I'm okay. That I've given the whole ordeal over to God. And then something else regurgitates on me.

I think part of my issue is, how I perceive people or things they say. I've allowed it to get to me. I've been around the block at least once in dealing with church politic B.S. and the back scene manipulators in church. But because of that I don't trust anyone. I just lay in wait.

I wait to see who wants to be in leadership or who is in leadership. Because based on my past experiences those people will stop at almost nothing to make themselves look superior. They will destroy and push aside anyone they can to be able to declare their superiority. But superiority in the Christian realm is different than the secular. Superiority and Spirituality are almost synonymous in a lot of the Christian circles I've seen. To be a spiritual giant among mere Christians you have to:

- Memorize more scripture then the rest

- Have at least the fundamentals of Greek and Hebrew down

- Develop humility (Or at least fake it well)

- Serve only in the Lime light where one can be acknowledged and rewarded for the service.

- Pushy about wanting to "teach" the congregation. Not a bible study but the WHOLE congregation.

These are the qualities of the Christians that make me cringe. I know there is more that I could list. It's just that I'm pulling a mind blank currently.

When I see these people I turn the other way. They make my past regurgitate on me and I become paralyzed again.

With the body of Christ filled with people like this. And filled with people who are quick to judge but slow to offer an ear to listen and compassion. Why would anyone want to attend church?

I know in the Bible it's said that we are to not neglect assembling ourselves together for fellowship with like minded believers. And I know many awesome like minded believers scattered throughout different churches, throughout the country. But those hand full of people that put me on edge spoil the experience. And my past regurgitates.

This is what I've been wrestling with recently. I know I should be in a church. I'm not sure what church... I'm not sure where... I'm not sure how exactly God is going to break down these walls Satan has entrapped me in... I'm not sure exactly how to forgive and let go of past hurts, so that I can move on... It's all a learning curve.

" Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight"

Proverbs 3:5-6

New International Version

Thursday, August 11, 2011

As Summer Starts To Wind Down

All day Tuesday my family was busy getting ready for Jake's Birthday party. Cleaning, cooking, scrubbing, washing. I've never understood why exactly we are to clean BEFORE company comes over and not after. lol

I can't believe my little brother is 12! I remember when the nurses were checking him over after delivery, and now he is a big kid of twelve! It's crazy to see that he is one of the biggest kids at church. O.o When oh when did that happen?!? I used to carry him around EVERYWHERE and now he can pick me up! Alright enough of that.

Yesterday was a very very lazy day. I was still trying to recover from my week in Prescott watching some little ones at a missions conference, (I never knew a 2 year old little girl could kick my butt so bad!) and flagstaff to visit the Grand Canyon. After sleeping for what was probably an unhealthy amount of time Jake and I got up and went to horse back riding lessons. Yesterday I started to learn the most fun and terrifying thing I know to do on the back of a horse.
... Loping!

If that doesn't get your blood pumping, I don't know what will! I couldn't help but laugh really hard every time I tried loping. I was sure I wanted to stay on Maggie, but I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to do that. Yes, I know.. Maggie doesn't sound like the name of an animal that you're worried about falling off of. But I LOVE this horse. She has spirit! She's not mean spirited. But she will let you know that your will and her will are totally separate in her eyes. We are still trying to learn to work together. :)

I'm a little sore today and have a few bruises on my thighs, but nothing too bad.

Just recently I decided that if I'm going to attend a cowboy church and get involved in the cowboy culture I should probably invest in a good pair of boots. And invest I did!
Look at them babies! Purty ain't they?

This morning Mom announced while we were milking the goat, "We're going to make prickly pear Jelly!" Ughh.. Okay Mom.. So after quite time and talking to my friend Amanda in Texas I dutifully pulled on my cowgirl boots and plunked Dad's hat on my head and got in the car to drive into the desert by our house to pick prickly pear fruit. Welp.. That's a great idea in theory.. BUT, we couldn't find fruit ANYWHERE!!

Me wearing Dad's hat. Don't I look cute? lol (Not truly the best photo. But you get the jest! :))

I'll tell you a secrete but be quite about it. We finally found fruit on different empty properties and then we got a little adventurous and would pick fruit from prickly pears along the side of the road coming into the neighborhood. Shh.. :)

My Mom asked me once as we're getting out with our long tongs and bucket to pluck some fruit off the cactus, " Do you think anyone lives here?" my reply you ask..? "Just repeat after me Mom. Say in the best hill billy voice you can muster , "Officer, we weren't looking to snatch any of their fruit. We just pulled into these heres peoples yard to share the good news of Jesus, kinda like them their Jehova's Witnesses! We come in and pluck their fruit because they're ripe for harvest!" Bhahah! Who could possibly argue with that?!?!

That catches you up with this week.

Last week however.. That is another story.

I can maybe sum it up with one photo.

That is Gugi. The adorable bug obsessed four year old that I watched at the missions conference in Prescott last week.

And that is Miss Abi. She's a very engergetic two year old and has quite the little personality for being only two. Do you notice though that I'm not above bribing the two year old with candy so that she'll like me?

Those were my two kiddo's for the week. We had fun. I introduced "bubbles" and "playdough" into Miss Abi's vocabulary. And I tried my best to keep Gugi from putting beetles in my hair.

It was nice because I had quite a bit of down time at the conference. So I was able to hang out and visit with different people. I'm so glad that I was able to go!

Last weekend I was invited to go with the mission team from La Mesa to Flagstaff and visit the grand canyon. We drove up to the Canyon on Friday right after the conference was over.

I met a new friend his name is squirrel. (Inside joke)

And I had an awesome time with the team. During sunset we sat on the edge of the canyon singing praises to God and had a time in prayer.

The next morning the group of us woke up and had a time of group prayer before we headed off to a friends house for an amazing breakfast. Ken who is the leader of the group (and my friend Erika's Dad), quickly bought himself a fond place in my heart. I was just grumbling to myself before the group prayer that is was almost sacrilegious not to have coffee during prayer time. :) And in walks Ken with a couple travel carriers of Starbucks coffee and milk and sugar! YAY!

I couldn't have asked for a better prayer time with an awesome group of like minded believers or a better breakfast! :)

Saturday we spent our day at Saver's thrift shop and Walmart. There was a little girl in Saver's that sounded exactly like Miss Abi and I kept having to remind myself that Step and Andy had already left. I kept wanting to go look for her! lol

Sunday morning we all stopped at this cute beatnik coffee shop in Flagstaff before making our final decent into Tuscon. I was so happy to ride with Beto and Ale, because most of the way back to Tucson I talked with Beto about alternative medicine and then he was telling me different stories from the clinic in La Mesa. That's what every nursing student likes to hear about! :)

:( Even though I'm looking forward to getting this last year of school behind me, it's still sad to see the summer go. I have a week from Wednesday left of summer vacation. It will probably be the quickest year of my life to date. But I'm also excited for it. I'm curious as to what new things God has for me in this coming year.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Always in Motion

Oh man! It's been almost a year since I've posted a blog entry!

This year has been a HUGE learning experience. Nursing school put the hurt on me like a grade school bully demanding lunch money. Technically I know nothing of this analogy since I was home-schooled. But I figured it was a good way of putting it! lol

My family has been attending the Tanqe Verde Cowboy Church for just about a
year now and I LOVE it there! It's the first time in years that I've
felt comfortable and loved at a church. At my old church I didn't get
that. Which was a bummer, but live and learn!

For me attending a cowboy church is like visiting a different planet inhabited by really friendly space aliens, who enjoy a relationship with Jesus. When they talk about the Bible we speak the same language, but when they get wound up talking rodeo I'm lost. Typically I smile, nod and ask questions. Thankfully they are very gracious in answering all my rodeo questions without blinking at my inexperience with such things as "bulldogging" and "Bucking Chutes".

My Dad is by far the most gun-ho about the cowboy ways. I will say, I'm very fond of our fresh produce from the garden, all the yummy food from scratch and I'm having a lot of fun taking horseback ridding lessons from a girl in our church.

One of my friends calls me and my family "crunchy" because we make a lot of our own cleaning products and dehydrate fruits and veggies and make things like tinctures that can be used as antibiotics. I call my friend "a typical consumer". But that's okay. Sooner or later she'll become "crunchy" too!

My Dad likes to call our property (it's only an acre)"a homestead" but more and more I'm liking to call it a petting zoo!

My wacko parents decided that it would be a great idea to get a couple milking goats. But only one is "in-milk". I don't understand this term "in-milk".. They indeed are not standing in milk. You actually have to squeeze it out of them! So now I don't understand why they call it "milking the goat", I think they should call it "squeezing the goat". That way we can offer guests some fresh squeezed goat! Well this long standing idea came to flourish within a couple days time last week. And while goats milk is pretty yummy, we know where our milk comes from, what conditions the goat lives in, food the goat's fed and now we never have to buy milk at the store again. Sometimes I think this idea is better in theory.. Well.. At least at 6am when my Mom who is a morning person bounces into my room saying, "Wake up Ash.. It's time to go milk the goat!" Ughh! No Mom, it's time to turn over and sleep another two hours. LOL It's not too bad right now since Booger (My brother) and I are taking turns waking up every-other day to help.

Now my Mom thinks it would be a "brilliant" idea to get a rooster! You know those things that decided to "sing" at early morning hours?!? However singing is a relative term.

I would already like to put the donkey's across the road out to pasture. At sun-up and sun down they go at it like newlyweds but are as loud as an old married couple arguing. It's laughable when you're working around the yard. But it's a little weird to have to explain to company what they are hearing! By the way the neighboring donkey's have a now 2 month old baby who is really cute! Gee.. Wonder why? :)

My Mom really wants baby chicks to add to her chicken harem. My Mother however will not allow me to dye the chicks awesome colors. To this I say, "Fie on YOU!".. I've always wanted one of those chicks that they dye colors at Easter. And how much better could it get than having blue, pink, purple, green and yellow chicks running around your petting zoo?!? lol

A few weeks ago Booger and I started taking horse back riding lessons from one of the young ladies at our church and we're both really enjoying it. I've learned that staying in the saddle is more difficult than I thought! By the second lesson we were learning to trot and this "matching the horses gate" is both fun and painful. lol We decided after hauling horse panels all weekend to help horses displaced by the fire in Sierra Vista. That it might be a good idea to actually know how to handle horses. Then we can be of actual help if someone with horses needed a hand for whatever reason. Plus since we go to a cowboy church we know it will come in handy to not look like such a city slicker. But maybe at some point my Daddy will decide to add that pony I've always wanted to the petting zoo! Thus knowing what to do with said imaginary, pipe dream pony would be great! lol

Skipping back to church, currently I'm getting involved in the kids ministry.
And when I say "getting involved", I actually mean I'm the kids ministry coordinator.
lol There are four of us who are taking turns teaching the kiddos.
But the kids ministry is my favorite place in the church to serve! Always has been and probably always will be. That's just where God has always lead my heart.

Now aside from church and my crazies I call parents. This is what I've been up to...

God willing and the creek don't rise and I'll be
graduating from nursing school this coming May!

I can foresee this next year FLYING by me. Last thursday I just
finished a six week job as a nanny for three little girls (They're
2yrs, 3 yrs and 9 yrs). It was a challenge at first but I think I'm
going to really miss the girls! At some point I might post some of the hilarious stuff Princess P. and Miss Koda would say and do! The picture with this post is of me playing dress up with Princess P. (Sorry it's kinda fuzzy!)

Next week I'm supposed to take a 24 hour refresher so that I can
re-up my EMT certification when it's up next spring so that I
don't have to worry about it and finishing out nursing school.

The following week is VBS at my church.

The week after that I'm going on a missions trip to Chihuahua Mexico
to do a VBS in a brick making yard with the Indians that come from the
mountains looking for work.

And the week after that I'm going up to Prescott to help take care of
two little missionary kids (2 yrs and 4 yrs old) at a
Ameritribes/Pioneers missions conference. But hopefully I'll get a
chance to meet people and network a little.

That will bring me to August! And school starts back the 24th. So that
will give me a little time to recoup and get stuff together to start
school. :)

Holy Monkies! December here I come!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bridges. New ones and Burnt ones.

I can't believe how long it's been since my last blog update. So much has happened in just eight months, and even more as I look over the last year and a half. I have learned so much about myself and my God. I look back and think, "Wow, this not where I expected to be. And these aren't the people I expected to be with."
But I am happy here. God's shown me how to be content with where He has placed me, instead of discontent in his plan.

Probably the biggest reason that I haven't posted is so many interpersonal, Ashley and God, big things have happened. I didn't want to use my blog as a place to vent. But now I do want to share where I have been.

About a year and a half ago God taught me a huge lesson about relationships. My closest relationship outside of my family had crumbed into tiny pieces and blew away in a matter of a month. For about three months I kind of became a hermit. But it gave me a real chance to hang on to My God for dear life. Now I realized that my priorities were wrong. And that it was probably a good thing to have a break in the relationship. But as I went through it I really struggled. But He has taught me a hard lesson. Everyone is dealing with something. And I shouldn't take anyone for granted. Accept people for who they are, where they are. Through it all God has provided so many new and different relationships for me.

My brother is seven months out of surgery and doing great! The surgeon and his PA did a great job of sitting down with my family and explaining what was about to happen... Again. This wasn't our first rodeo. It was kind of my first though. Jake was a baby and I was ten when he had his first surgery. And I spent most of the time at friends houses. This time I was at the hospital all day, everyday he was inpatient. I spent my time watching the tubes and wires and stabilizing his scar every time he had to cough. He was inpatient for only four days! But then there was a 16 week recovery time. Thankfully his time at the hospiatl is actually helping me with nursing school! Because not only are we at the same hospital for clinicals BUT we are about to study pre and post-op procedures. :)
It was surprising to me at times who was there for our family and who wasn't. My friend who had been so instrumental in helping me through the first surgery was no longer in my life. And there were times when going through it again, that I wished she was. But God saw me through it. And one of my childhood best friends was at the hospital at 7am surgery day with a Mocha frappuccino from Starbucks in hand. All I could do was smile. I'm not sure she knows how much that meant to me. Jake's Pulmonary veins are now larger and he has a new adult sized valve. So hopefully he won't have to have anymore surgeries for many more years.

Probably the biggest change is that my family left our church of 17 years. That was a huge move for me. I was forced to get outside of my comfort zone. It has stretched me for the better. God had been moving me and my family to leave for sometime. And a couple months ago God flashed a big neon sign in our faces that said, "It's TIME!!". However this also means that I no longer have a mission board lined up to take me after I have my RN license. And all of my references are probably shot. :) But that's okay. As much as I have always wanted to go on the foreign mission field I really feel like God has been stirring my heart to domestic ministry with some short term foreign mission trips in the mix. But what do I know?!?! I didn't think I would be here. Who knows where I will be in five years. And God is God and I'm not. So there could still be some unburnt bridges out there. I'm really happy at my new church though. It's the first time in a long time that I actually look forward to going to church.

So that is an update on me. I'm a nursing student, trying to keep my head above water in the ocean of homework. Blessed with a new church. A new outlook on life. A brother with a new valve. And friends that I love, no matter how many nuts this Squirrel collects.

.... I'm impressed. I didn't mention coffee once. Whoops. Guess I did now. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life with a Chance of Odd

We all seem to be on the mend from this bug. It's to everyones shock and horror that I'm not drinking coffee right now. All day I've had little to no coffee. No coffee this morning. And only a few slurps of a sub-species of coffee from the hospital coffee shop this afternoon. It was so bad that I tossed out the "coffee" in question. Sad.. :)

We went and talked with the heart surgeon today. The surgeon was about forty minutes late, which didn't impress Dad too much. But Dr. Teodori seemed very nice and helpful. He was the first doctor I've seen that asked personal questions and acted like he actually wanted to get to know you. Most doctors I've ever had walked in shook my hand and asked, "How is school?". Almost in the same tone that most people ask, "How are you?". So that was kinda different.

Dr. Teodori made a valve replacement seem like a walk in the park. Surgery is estimated to take 6-7 hours. And he hopes to get Jake out of the hospital in 4-5 days. But it all depends on how he does. Jakes cardiologist was saying to expect a 7-10 day hospital stay. So I will be impressed if by day 6 Jake is on his way home.

Jake seems fine with the whole open heart surgery thing, it's the fact that he will have to have a tube down his throat that bothers him. But that is the only part of it that he will be awake for, so I guess I can see his concern. lol

In the elevator on the way up to meet with Dr. Teodori I ran into some comedic relief. After people piled into the elevator and the button pushing was over. One woman asked as if it mattered, "Who pushed the button for the 3rd floor!?!". A man next to me sheepishly said, "Oh, I did." Giggling at my own humor and pointing to her husband I said, "Oh, no he just got a little button happy!" She didn't get it. She just quickly looked at her husbands shirt buttons and asked if his button were misbuttoned. About a two floors later she got it! My Mom goes, "Oh don't worry, being at the hospital all day will do that to you." She then told us of how they had been in the hospital for the last five months and how her husband had been in a comma for three of those months! LOL The moral of the story.. Don't make jokes in the elevator with a man who's elevator doesn't go all the way to the top. :D