Friday, December 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

I have worked 52 hours in the past 4 days.  Now I am sitting in bed with my computer and my gratitude journal is on the other side of the room.  And I'm not getting up.  So I guess I'll just have to write all my tired mind can think of to be thankful for after four days of 12 and 16 hour shifts.

Here is what comes to mind...

I am thankful I have been given:
  • sufficient health, allowing me to care for the sick
  • sufficient strength, allowing me to care for the weak
  • sufficient energy, allowing me to care for the fatigued
  • sufficient stability, allowing me to care for those whose lives have been disrupted
  • an extremely low-maintenance dog who is perfectly content to spend 20+ hours a day curled up in her kennel
  • a weekend off.  especially since it is a weekend with my family.
I guess in summary, I am thankful that HE is sufficient, that I have been blessed with a job that I enjoy (most days), and that I have the greatest family in the world.

And, I like my dog.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).
And.....we're back.

Sorry about November.  Long days at work, short nights, unexpected trips home and a general lack of discipline is NOT a good combo for this blog in general and Thankful Thursday in particular.  I slept for almost three straight days over Thanksgiving break and got back into my routine this week, so hopefully December will be a different story.

Anyway, here are a few things that brought praises to my lips and gratitude to my heart over the past few weeks:

  • The silly grin stuck on Chris' face when I walked into his surprise birthday party (in Milwaukee) playing my accordion.  
  • Having the Brennas all to myself.
  • Laughing with my sisters at quilt retreat.
  • Camp Lebanon and everything it means/represents in my life.
  • Lisa Abeler and the sweet Truth that comes out of her mouth.
  • Football games with my dad.
  • Lambeau, 50 yard line, 20 rows up.  Awe.some.Seats.
  • Knowing that after years of not recognizing her own family (due to Alzheimer's), Alice saw Christ's face and had immediate and full knowledge of who he is.
  • Sitting at the Hanson's, listening to stories about the grandparents.
  • Re-telling those stories to my grandpa and watching him laugh and laugh.
  • GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Skyping with Laurel - SO good to hear her voice and see her sweet face!
  • My Christmas tree.
  • Kind strangers on the freeway who go out of their way to tell me my tire is going flat.
  • Shane & Shane's Christmas CD - what a beautiful aid to worship as I prepare for Christmas.
  • I serve a God who can do far more abundantly than all that I ask or think - to him be the glory!
  • Bright, sunny days in late November.
  • Sing for joy all the earth / the child has come to set you free / Join the angels in their song / Glory be, glory be!
  • Hallelujah, the Lord of all has come / to reconcile the nations to their God / Hallelujah, he's coming back again / to finish what began in Bethlehem.
  • The smell of lavender. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday.

Another 16 hour day.  The hospital is so. stinkin. busy.  And I am thankful.

  • I am thankful that I have been given a stable, well-paying job that I enjoy and that I am good at.
  • I am thankful that I have been given the health and strength to work for 16 hours in one day.
  • I am thankful for kind, flexible co-workers who will trade their Thursday shifts for my Friday shifts at the last minute so I can go home and be with my pseudo-family for their grandma's funeral.
  • I am thankful that it is okay that I didn't even keep a gratitude list this week - that I still remember that this is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
  • I am thankful that I get paid time-and-a-half when I work extra hours which means I can go all kinds of cool places like Hawaii and Nepal and China.
  • I am thankful that I have been given a soft, warm bed and I am especially thankful that I get to go crawl into it right now!
Nighty poo.

Don't poo in your nighty.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today was much too long* and way to busy to consider doing anything besides try to keep my head above water at work.  Sorry.  No thankful Thursday.  Sometimes when I know I'll be busy on Thursday, I type my list up on Wednesday but....yesterday was just as busy/exhausting.  One of our hospitals is on "red light" which means it has reached full capacity....elective surgeries are postponed and the surgeries that have to happen get shipped off to the other hospital to recover.  Not ideal, but there is no other choice.  It is really good for business and really bad for the nurses working on a 24-bed unit that ask for 5 extra nurses and get zero.

I would type it up right now, but I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes from crossing.  I've got a busy morning tomorrow before I pack up and head off to quilt retreat where I will be laughing with my sisters and resting from the internet until Sunday.  So. stinkin. excited.  So....maybe I'll get to it on Sunday evening.  Or maybe the list will just be really long next week.

In the meantime....I am thankful for a dad who loves my blog so much that he emails me in the evening to remind me that I still haven't posted my Thankful Thursday post.  He checks every couple of hours.  Everyone needs at least one person who sees them only through their love-colored glasses.  Thanks, Dad, (and Mom) for being that person.

*"Long" as in "exhausting," not "long" as in "had so many extra hours I didn't know what to do with myself."  Just to clarify.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1461) Sleeping in the cave. I love that room.
1462) Curling up in a chair in the sun and taking a nap.
1463) Spending the afternoon with my parents at the hospital. I love them.
1464) Strong hugs from SNLers - being part of a community that cares about my dad even if they don't know him.
1465) The way Penny's ears fly back when she runs.
1466) Getting to know some new girls on the way to Fall Day Away and getting excited about being friends with them.
1467) Strong spiritual leadership - being excited about where our group is going under Ray's leadership.
1468) Solid exhortation to meditate on and memorize the Word. So good to be reminded of the significance of God's revelation.
1469) A quiet afternoon alone sitting on a bench on the top of a bluff overlooking a winding river, watching the river flow and admiring the last of the fall colors on the opposite bluff. Beautiful.
1470) Addressing letters to places like Nepal and China.
1471) Sitting around a campfire on a brisk fall night.
1472) A long conversation with Christel by the glow of the fire. I missed so many old friends today and yet foundations were laid for new friendships with some amazing people. Definitely a day when I need to be reminded to count my blessings and remember how faithfully God provides.
1473) Walking into church and immediately seeing people I (kind of) know wave me down to sit with them. Just what I needed this morning.
1474) String quartets.
1475) Long phone convos with Chinwe. So good to still be able to laugh and process life with her. Miss her like crazy.
1476) Calling Lindsay to tell her one quick thing and getting off the phone 45 minutes later.
1477) Laying on my bed with Kristy watching The Amazing Race and talking about relationships.
1478) Overtime. Thankful that I have the option to work more so I can support my gift-giving and travel habits.
1479) Having the skills to accurately determine when a patient needs to be transferred to a higher level of care.
1480)Lunch with Ray. Conversations with him always leave me feeling so encouraged - so blessed by the way he sees and names the gifts he sees in others - so exhorted by the way he applies biblical models to real situations - so encouraged by his heart for the SNL ministry.
1481) Curling up on the couch with Penny Poo to watch TV for 20 minutes and waking up 2 hours later.
1482) 3 hour dinner with my roommie. LOVE. So glad to finally have time for a good chat.
1483) Already starting to feel comfortable with my roommie and hearing the same from her - thankful for the way the Spirit binds even those who are slow to form relationships.
1484) Having a lot to contribute to my QI project team and practice committees. Finally feeling like I am becoming a strong leader on our unit.
1485) Buying a ticket to Houston - I get a hug from Lindsay Lou in six weeks!! CAN'T WAIT!!!
1486) Listening to the Mennonites walk around to the patient's rooms singing hymns. Probably my favorite thing about my job.
1487) Finding a nursing conference I could go to in Baltimore. Yay!
1488) Golden sunsets.
1489) Having a sister who celebrates Palindrome Day (11/02/2011) with genuine excitement and gusto. Love her.
1490) He is faithful. Constant. Unchanging. Sufficient. Glory be!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1421) Having a sweet patient with a severe crushed-hand injury continue to exclaim that everything turned out so well considering what happened. I love it when my patients help give me perspective.
1422) Laughing with my mom about her facebook-scrabble-playing habits. That woman is hilarious.
1423) Being really crabby when I went on my dinner break, calling Lindsay and going back to the floor feeling relaxed and happy. It's amazing what the simple sound of a dear voice can do for my spirit.
1424) Finished the Old Testament today...filled with hopeful anticipation for the New Testament tomorrow. Jesus is coming!!
1425) Listening to everyone fawn over Penny when we're out walking.
1426) Coming home to find my new roommate curled up on the couch with Penny in her lap, studying the Word. What a delightful scene.
1427) Staying overnight at work in an easy 1:1 - getting paid time-and-a-half to read three magazines, 200 pages in my book and catch up on my blogs. Yay for easy money!
1428) Watching the purple and pink sunrise as I drove home from work. I serve an amazing artist and his mercies are new every morning. Blessed be his name!!
1429) Having time with my new roommie to talk about life together - I'm so excited to get to know her better!
1430) Nice boys who offer other people their seat when they walk in late to a party.
1431) Learning to be handy - installing a shower rod all by myself, power tools and all. I'm so proud of myself!
1432) Waking up, getting up and immediately going back to bed for 3 hours. Thankful I was able to take the time to get the rest I needed.
1433) An EXCITING Vikes/Packers game. So fun to be at the dome for it. 3.5 out of 5 stars indeed.
1434) Hearing that my dad's sudden sickness is a kidney stone - sorry that he is so miserable but glad it is a short-term, fixable issue.
1435) Calling Lindsay and Julie and, 4 hours later, remembering what dear, dear friends I have.
1436) JULES!!! So very thankful for this dear woman of God and the blessing of journeying with her. Happy birthday, dear one!
1437) Hanging out with my dad in the hospital. As much as I hate seeing him uncomfortable and am sorry that it makes things back up for him at work, I REALLY enjoyed just sitting and chatting with him today!
1438) Being comfortable in a hospital environment. I have absolutely no regrets about going into the medical field.
1439) Birthday dinner with my sisters at a super yummy restaurant. I love those girls. So blessed to call them my own.
1440) Another lovely chat with my roommie. Thankful we can be honest with each other about our concerns and things we are excited about.
1441) ANGELA!!!! So thankful that I have the privilege of calling her "family." Happy birthday, sister!
1442) The sweet, compassionate, caring stranger who had the unfortunate luck of stumbling upon me in my sobbing mess as I waited for the shuttle after finding out my dad was on a ventilator in the ICU. What an amazing nurse she was - listening, comforting and distracting me while we waited. A gracious gift, indeed.
1443) Running into Carrie Wise on the shuttle - her reassurance, caring words and hug meant the world to me in that moment.
1444) Having so many people that care for me and my family that I don't know who to call first.
1445) My sweet roommate taking everything in stride when this person she barely knows comes home in a tear-streaked frenzy. Her hug and caring words were such a comfort to me.
1446) Friends who pray and text/email me Scripture in moments of crisis. Can't even being to put words to the gratitude I feel when I sense my friends and family being the Church.
1447) Seeing my sisters' faces when I walked into the ICU waiting room. There are no two faces in the world I would have rather seen in that moment (except maybe my mom's). I feel so blessed by the bond we share as sisters and friends.
1448) Receiving an abundance of sustaining grace that gave me the strength to remain calm and emotionally strong as I helped the nurses keep my dad calm while on the ventilator overnight.
1449) Sweet moments of rest when he was calm and I was able to just sit and watch him breathe - reflecting on how deeply I love him and how richly, abundantly blessed I am to have him as my daddy.
1450) Holding his hand as he came out of sedation - being able to tell when he began knowingly squeezing my hand back. Such a sweet moment for me.
1451) Watching the tube come out and having him cough and talk - what a sweet sound that deep, strong voice is to me!!!
1452) Being grateful to the point of tears over how well my family is cared for by our family and friends.
1453) Seeing my mom's face come around the corner; having all 5 of us together in Dad's room; knowing she wasn't alone anymore.
1454) The way my family laughs together.
1455) Friends who come to visit my family in the hospital. I know some amazing people.
1456) Cuddling with Ang in Dad's hospital bed.
1457) Bando and Brenda - I love their thoughtfulness (they brought Ang a bday cake!), the joy they bring to a room and they way the care for our family.
1458) Paula - an AWESOME nurse who so skillfully helped us adjust to seeing our dad on a ventilator and her experienced advice on what might be helpful or agitating to him. I was so thankful for her calm presence in the room when I first got to the hospital.
1459) Time to talk to my mom as we rode back to New Richmond. I love chatting with her.
1460) My daddy. Can't even come close to beginning to describe how blessed I feel to know him and be loved by him. He is and forever will be one of my favorite people in the entire world.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1391) Kyle's egg scrambles. Always SO good!!
1392) Listening to Julie process - I love how articulate she is and how well she is able to express herself.
1393) Game weekend - time with the family I have chosen and the family I have not chosen (though I would choose them in a heartbeat if given the choice!). Love every. single. one of them.
1394) Guest appearance by Linda Day. Love that she is like a 4th sister to us.
1395) Being excited for Hannah.
1396) Ang's hospitality - love how we are all so comfortable in her home.
1397) Laying on the bed reading Jimmy Fallon's Thank You Notes with Hannah and laughing until we cried.
1398) Fire in the backyard - doing highs & lows from the week. Have I mentioned lately how much I love these people?!?!?!
1399) Long naps on the couch with a cute little poodle curled up on my chest.
1400) Penny's bark - pretty sure I'll get annoyed that Mom trained her to bark when she wants to be picked up, but right now I think it's pretty cute.
1401) Bjorn & Aly's Pannekoeken. YUMMY!
1402) Hannah sitting over my legs while I lay on the couch watching football. I love football and I love cuddling. Lovely afternoon.
1403) Talking to Grandpa every Sunday. Should have started that routine 10 years ago. I. Love. That. Man.
1404) Laughing with my mom over Penny's new barking habits. Love the sound of her laugh.
1405) A quiet, productive evening at home. Thankful for feeling rested and ready for a busy week.
1407) Feeling productive and knowledgeable at work.
1408) A call from Rachel just to catch up.
1409) A sweet card from my roommie. Love her photography on the card. Love getting real mail. Love her kind words.
1410) A 5-year Mayo anniversary card from Shannon. Can't believe she remembers every year. Love it.
1411) Time to spend in the Word before I go to work.
1412) Having floor nurses ask if I will come be a staff nurse on their floor - and knowing they're serious.
1413) Hearing the charge nurse say she was relieved when staffing gave her my name.
1414) He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him.
1415) Being IN HIM - in him we have redemption through his him we have obtained an him we have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
1416) Being able to use trials I have walked through to help support other friends.
1417) Jamie moved in! Thankful that I am genuinely excited for this new season.
1418) Hearing the laughter of my friends in my house.
1419) Tea with Kristy before going to work - so encouraging to talk with her.
1420) Sharing my home again - so thankful God provided such an amazing living situation for these past two years and so thankful I can trust that He can do it again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

I didn't keep a list again this week; however, this time it was moreso because I was so out of my routine, not because I was stubbornly resisting a spirit of gratitude. Thinking back over the last days with my roommie in Rochester and our week in Baltimore, I certainly have a lot to be thankful for...

-One last dinner date with my roommie. Having the opportunity to pray with her before her transition out east.
-A safe trip to Baltimore.
-Driving across the country in mid-October - the landscape was BREATH.TAK.ING. What an amazingly creative and gloriously beautiful Artist we serve.
-Being delightfully surprised by the non-awkwardness of staying with Chinwe's cousin. He is hands down the most pleasant and interesting cardiac surgeon I have ever met.
- Little girl giggles. The weight of a 5-year-old in my lap with her head against my chest, waiting to be tickled.
-Lunch along the PA tollway with Steve & Laura. So fun to see them!
-Eric visiting me in Baltimore. Listening to his laugh. Sharing a sense of humor with my cousin.
-Listening to the Edeani sisters laugh.
-Hugs from Amaka and the way she always smells so good.
-Seeing my roommie's new apartment and city - being given time to process the reality of her move.
-Having my dad remind me that relationships are worth investing in even though they cause pain.
-Talking to my mom when I'm sobbing, knowing she won't mind my blubbering and that she will somehow leave me feeling reassured.
-Cuddling with Chinwe on Monday morning, having the opportunity to try to find a few words (however inadequate they may be) to express what a joy and blessing it was to live with her for the past two years.
-Extended bedtime hugs. Holding on tight and yet, at some point, realizing you have to let go.
-Walking along the inner harbor - admiring the diversity of people, enjoying the scent of the sea and having lovely conversations with my dear friend.
-Being reminded that it is natural to perceive change as loss, but even Jesus had to leave the disciples in order for God to reveal more of himself through his Spirit.
-The bond of the Spirit that deepens relationships among believers in a supernatural way - knowing that the Spirit is able to provide those meaningful relationships for my roommie in Baltimore and that he will continue to deepen my relationships with people in Rochester.
-The opportunity to pray with Chinwe on my last night in Baltimore.

There were many other highlights and sweet memories from the trip. Thousands of little moments to be grateful for. But more than all of those specific instances, I find I am just intensely grateful for the blessing of the friendship of my roommie - for the ways God has revealed himself to me through her and for the many ways she has enriched my life.

I am also grateful that He is constant. Unchanging. Ever-present. Sufficient. And faithful.

God has indeed supplied all of my needs and in his grace he has given me abundantly more.

Blessed be his name.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Open Letter From an Israelite

Well friends, there will be no Thankful Thursday this week. The honest truth is that I have spent more time in the past week crying than thinking about what I have to be thankful for. My roommie is moving to Baltimore tomorrow and I am even sadder than I thought I would be (and I was prepared to be very, very sad). So, like the Israelite that I am, I choked down the manna of cool mornings and warm afternoons, fiery red trees and cloudless starry nights, long embraces from friends, hearty laughs with my sisters, sweet snuggles from my little poodle, and a strong assurance that I was chosen before the foundation of the world to stand holy and blameless before my righteous, faithful and sufficient God. And as every piece of grace rained down upon me, I grumbled over how unhappy I am with this new set of circumstances. I cried and cried....tears of sadness, tears of anger and even a few disgusting tears of self-pity.

Weeks like this are the exact reason I write my gratitude list in the first place - to turn my focus to the gifts I have received and away from the things I feel like I don't have (or in this case, feel like I am losing). But, in true human fashion, I clung to my sense of loss and discarded the very discipline that could help pull me out of my sorrow (with the exception of the weekend in KC with my family, which was a true blessing and great distraction for me....I kept a list for those couple of days and will tag it on to the front of next week's post).

I'm driving out to Baltimore with my roommie tomorrow. I am thankful for the opportunity to spend some time with her as a sweet cap to our two years together. I am thankful that I don't have to stand in the doorway and watch her drive away from our house for the last time. And I am thankful that my God is constant, ever-present and sufficient in every way.

If you want, you could join me in praying that I will be good company on the trip. In the past week, I have consistently withdrawn into my cocoon of sadness and have rarely made it more than 4 hours without crying. A real Debbie Downer, to be sure. I am praying for an extra measure of energy for the trip, a genuine excitement for the new things awaiting my dear friend and a depth of joy that can only come from Him and Him alone. All of these things require me to die to self which is not something I am particularly good at. I guess I'm asking to be broken and healed at the same time. And I trust that his Spirit is powerful and gracious enough to do just that.

Under Mercy,
Eva Joy

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1301) Good conversations with my manager - stepping into leadership and feeling like I have her support.
1302) Breakfast & prayer with my roommie - can't believe she's leaving in two weeks - cherishing our precious time together.
1303) Making accurate and prompt nursing judgments.
1304) Working with Kristy - getting rides home from work - chatting in the car.
1305) A sweet, chuckling, good-natured farmer. One of my favorite patients ever.
1306) LONG catch-up convos with Lindsay Lou. Crying with her as I cruise down I-94. I love that girl. Thankful for the honesty we have between us.
1307) Finally getting some answers about Penny's skin from the dermatologist!! I am optimistic that we might actually be able to solve this!
1308) Running into Josh at the conference - long, encouraging catch-up convos in the convention center lobby. I so appreciate him.
1309) Lemon-ricotta pancakes at Hell's Kitchen. YUMMY!!!!
1310) The comfort/peace I feel at the mere sound of Pastor John's voice - I have been powerfully broken and redemptively healed by the truth God has spoken to me through that voice. The sound of it is a sweet, sweet thing to me.
1311) Listening to thousands of members of the Church worship with abandon.
1312) Powerful truths communicated engagingly and effectively - thankful for the gifts God has given men like Louie Giglio.
1313) Singing with the stars and the whales. One of the most profound worship experiences of my life.
1314) Wise, humble men of God who can speak about their journey of faith with some late-age wisdom.
1315) Bedtime chats with Kristy. What precious, godly friends I have!!!
1316) Listening to the way the Word of God simply pours out of David Platt's mouth - seeing how he is so saturated in the Word he can't help but speak it. Thankful to have an example set for me that I can aspire to!
1317) Vaughn Blackburn's hugs.
1318) The way I walk away from ever conversation with Vaughn with a smile on my face. That man simply exudes the joy of Christ.
1319) Running into Maryn (a college roommate I haven't seen in 5 years) - what a delightful surprise!
1320) Having the opportunity to get to know Trevor & Cassie a little better. I really like them.
1321) Worshipping an indescribably glorious, scandalously merciful God.
1322) Being able to joyfully and confidently proclaim: You are stronger/You are stronger/Sin is broken/You have saved me/It is written/Christ is risen/Jesus, You are Lord of all!
1323) Spending time in prayer with the group from Rochester.
1324) The opportunity to process an overwhelming number of new thoughts with trusted friends.
1325) Being so intimately loved & known by One so worthy of all praise.
1326) Knowing/trusting that my weak spirit will find its strength, my hungry soul will receive grace, I will find my way, my fear will find no place, the enemy will flee and I will feel no shame at the sound of His. great. name.
1327) The Lamb of God, slain for me - my Redeemer, Healer, Savior and Defender!
1328) Being reminded that material blessings are not a curse, but they can become a curse if not used for the purpose God intends.
1329) Taking a nap on Emily's couch during the Vikings game because I feel so at home and our friendship is so comfortable.
1330) Linda Day. She has been a significant source of joy and wisdom in my life.
1331) Seeing Penny in the Halloween costume my sisters bought for her. Un.freakin.believable.
1332) Chatting with Faith when I call Grandpa - realizing how much she enjoys my blog. What an encouragement.
1333) Grandpa's chuckle.
1334) Seeing evidence of answered prayer in a friend's life.
1335) Coming home to my roommie.
1336) Jesus/Worthy is the Lamb/Who was slain for us/the Son of God and man/You are high and lifted up/And all the world will praise/Your great name
1337) Seeing the relief in the face of my expressive aphasic patient when I figured out what she was trying to tell me.
1338) Hallelujah/All I have is Christ/Hallelujah/Jesus is my life
1339) Flexaril and Icy Hot patches. Thankful that they allowed me to move at all today, as slight as the movement may have been.
1340) Penny's excited snuggles.
1341) Being incapacitated by horrendous neck pain and finding myself grateful for how many days I have lived completely pain-free.
1342) The gift of the Holy Spirit - being reminded that when God commands us to do something, he also provides the strength to do it.
1343) Feeling prompted to pray. It's nice to have that feeling return after quenching it for so many years.
1344) The "many proofs" Jesus gave of his bodily resurrection.
1345) My roommate's laugh.
1346) Flaming red trees.
1347) Jesus friend of sinners/I love to tell the story/Redeeming love has been my theme/And will be when in glory/Not death nor life nor anything/Can ever separate me/O love that will not let me go/Yes, I am His forever
1348) A delightful lunch conversation with a perfect stranger - discussing our faith, different cultures and advanced degree programs. Who knew talking to people could be so fun?!?!
1349) Dinner with my roommie. That time is so very precious to me.
1350) Being told by friends twice in one week that they think I love people well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1266) Comforting a patient's family member as she miscarried - SO devastating, but a good reminder that my job is full of holy moments.
1267) Pleasant, funny, conversant patients. They make the day so enjoyable.
1268) A lovely conversation with my aunt Brenda on my dinner break. I love my family.
1269) Cute little babies with heads full of hair.
1270) A God who pursues.
1271) Having good rapport with my primary physician...the way she values my thoughts/input on my plan of care...the way I trust her to help me make good medical decisions.
1272) Seeing Penny again after two weeks! I missed her!!
1273) Semi-impromptu lunch with Julie. I love when I am able to see her face-to-face.
1274) A lovely visit to the winery with three lovely ladies.
1275) Realizing the discipline of keeping this list really works - helps me see beauty in my day even if I feel crappy.
1276) Spending an entire day in my kitchen cooking and watching childhood movies. Love.
1277) Having my house so full of friends that there is hardly room to turn around.
1278) Allowing myself time to sneak away from the party to be alone for a while.
1279) Standing upstairs listening to the dull roar of voices downstairs. There is something I just absolutely love about that sound.
1280) Having friends who can sense how I feel even when I am trying to put on my party face. Those are precious friends indeed.
1281) A day of rest to "hop off the merry-go-round" - spending a total of half an hour out of bed.
1282) Feeling refreshed.
1283) Watching the Emmys in bed with my roommie.
1284) Strong belly laughs at the impromptu Emmy "pageant" - some people are just SO funny.
1285) Having friends who understand when I need time alone.
1286) Rocking an 11-month-old abuse victim for 2 hours while she slept soundly. I love the weight of a baby in my lap.
1287) Coming to terms with how deeply I want to be a mother - enjoying little glimpses of the things it would stir up within me, especially my protective instinct.
1288) Sleeping baby grunts.
1289) Penny getting such a cute haircut that I can't stop giggling.
1290) A roommate who will get up off the floor just to give me a bedtime hug.
1291) Spending the day in class with David teaching. So fun!
1292) The energy I get when I decide I want to figure out how to solve a problem.
1293) Time to get back to the gym.
1294) Friends who can be vulnerable and honest with where they are at.
1295) Opportunities to speak truth and pray with a sister in Christ. Such a privilege to be able to bring each other before the throne.
1296) sunrises.
1297) Knowing how to solve problems at work.
1298) Changing into sweats and sitting down after working really, really hard.
1299) Listening to acapella groups on The Singoff. It is AMAZING what people can do with their voices!!
1300) Being in relationship with a faithful God who relentlessly pursues me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1236) Lunch at the Cheers bar. Brought back all sorts of sweet memories of laying in my mom's bed late at night when I was little, watching Cheers before we went to bed.
1237) Funny text convos with Linda, Chinwe, Ang and Han. I love sharing a sense of humor with my friends and family.
1238) Cheesecake Factory cheesecake!
1239) Talking/laughing with Mom every night. Best part of vacation.
1240) Feeling passionate about something.
1241) Talking to a "charting by exception" poster presenter - realizing she might be a great resource if we do another float practice project. Turns out I kind of like networking!
1242) Seeing how my international experiences have given me insight into my nursing practice.
1243) De.lic.ious. dinner at Capitol Grill. One of the best. steaks. of. my. life. (right up there with my Mexico meal)!!
1244) Enjoying funny text conversations with family & friends.
1245) Being inspired by a woman's strength to tell the story of her mother's harrowing experience in the hospital. So sad. So powerful.
1246) Insightful personality testing.
1247) Discovering that I have the "classic" Myers Briggs profile for a nurse. Affirming to know I fit in my job!
1248) 10 years since the towers fell. Thankful for all of the men and women who have served our country, giving their lives or other pieces of themselves for our freedom.
1249) Engaging speakers - I love listening to people who can speak well about something they are passionate about.
1250) Being incredibly close to a breaching whale. Breathtaking. Powerful. Beautiful.
1251) Smores fondue at the Melting Pot. Yummy!!
1252) Walking the Freedom Trail - I LOVE Boston! I love the history, the architecture, the beauty, the life of this city!
1253) Standing on the Long Wharf, looking back into the city, admiring the historical architecture while hearing three different languages being spoken around me. I want to live in a city!!
1254) Climbing to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument - 294 steps! Thankful for a strong body, good health and intriguing history!
1255) Mike's Pastry - my first cannoli and it. was. delicious!
1256) Amaka. I love that girl! I am so blessed to know that family!!
1257) Having Amaka grab my hand as we caught up and walked to lunch. Instantly transported me back to Nigeria when Auntie Chanessa held my hand moments after meeting me and led me out of the airport. So welcoming. There are definitely things I love about that culture. I wish we were more free to touch and be touched here without always making it an intimate thing.
1258) Having my cheeks literally hurt by the end of lunch from smiling/laughing so hard.
1259) Lovely conversations with Amaka throughout the afternoon and evening - the opportunity to get to know her better.
1260) The way Amaka lives her life with such strength, dignity, humor and honesty.
1261) Amaka's eggs and bacon! YUMMY!!!
1262) Putting on my big girl pants, making long-put-off phone calls and taking care of business. I don't always enjoy doing adult things, but it sure is rewarding to get things done!
1263) Catching whiffs of Amaka on my clothes hours after I left her place.
1264) My aunt Brenda - talking to her about taking care of Penny - her graciousness & generosity - how fun she is to talk to.
1265) Catching up with Chinwe when I got home. I love her dearly.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1201) The health & strength to work and make a living.
1202) Being in a profession I love.
1203) Working for an employer who respects their employees.
1204) Being experienced enough to not allow myself to be manipulated by a drug seeker.
1205) Coming home to Penny excited to see me after a day away.
1206) Time to get errands done before work.
1207) Having my patient ask me not to leave at 3:00.
1208) Really, really sweet, confused old men.
1209) Three lovely ladies to bring along to the cabin.
1210) Laughing hysterically at This American Life. I love that program.
1211) Getting out of the car and being greeted by dozens of faces of people I love. Hugs all around! I love my family & friends.
1212) Backyard talks with Jules - holding her feet on my lap while she talks about
1213) Encouraging convos with Josh. Love how his words drip with his passion for the gospel.
1214) Terry's smirk. It will never get old.
1215) BEAUTIFUL sunsets at the lake!! Breathtaking!!!
1216) Dear ones whom I love, gathered around a campfire, telling stories and laughing.
1217) Nutella and marshmallow camper pies. BRILLIANT!
1218) Discovering fun new games (What's Yours Like?).
1219) Laughing until there are tears.
1220) Tear-filled prayer with Jill.
1221) Watching Austin climb up onto the roof of the house to retrieve a frisbee and then jumping back down. He is a crazy monkey of a man.
1222) Kan-Jam. My new favorite backyard game!
1223) Chinwe's laugh.
1224) Hugs from Kristy's parents.
1225) The amazing blessing of the cabin and all of the things that take place there - so thankful for Hannah's generosity.
1226) Calming the fears of a tearful, anxious patient. Being able to get her to smile.
1227) Good morning hugs.
1228) Safe travels to Boston.
1229) Traveling. I just. love. traveling.
1230) Being able to navigate the Boston transit system with ease.
1231) The opportunity to tour Boston - such a cool city!
1232) Thankful for the men and women in our nation's history who fought & planned & rode & revolted for our freedom.
1233) A YUMMY full-lobster dinner at a high-end seafood restaurant. SO good!!
1234) My job's benefits - LOVE that they pay for me to travel and that I can eat at places I would never go to otherwise! I love my job!!!!
1235) History. I LOVE learning things!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy as a Clam

This past weekend, someone (I don't remember who) stated they were "happy as a clam." Someone (Linda Day?) wondered out loud how, exactly we know that clams are so happy. It was suggested that clams are considered happy because they look like they are smiling. I joined the conversation by expressing that I was as angry as a clam who looks like it is frowning because it's been turned over on it's head. I have to admit, that phrase doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily.

I enjoy knowing the history of phrases and, as it turns out, that phrase does NOT refer to a clam's smile. From "The Phrase Finder:"


Very happy and content.


As happy as a clamWhy would clams be happy? It has been suggested that open clams give the appearance of smiling. The derivation is more likely to come from the fuller version of the phrase, now rarely heard - 'as happy as a clam at high water'. Hide tide is when clams are free from the attentions of predators; surely the happiest of times in the bivalve mollusc world.

And, from an idioms dictionary:
Etymology: based on the full form of the phrase happy as a clam in mud at high tide (a clam that cannot be dug up and eaten, which therefore could be considered happy)

I am currently in Boston for a nursing conference. I love the benefits of my job - they pay the conference registration fee, fly me out here, put me up in a nice hotel and reimburse me up to $75/day for food. Breakfast and lunch are provided at the conference, so that means I will be going out for REALLY nice dinners the next few nights! I started tonight with a lobster feast at a high-end seafood restaurant (you know, the kind where they scrape the crumbs off the table in between courses, put pieces of mesh over the lemon wedges so you don't get any pulp on your food when you squeeze it, and the waitress has to explain to you that the lobster head on your plate is considered a delicacy so you CAN eat it, but you certainly don't have to). Um....I love my job.

Boston is a beautiful city. I am a history nut and I have absolutely LOVED roaming around the city, learning more about the events surrounding the start of the Revolutionary War and admiring the beauty of the historical buildings. We simply don't have anything like that in the Midwest!

And so, despite the rain, I can truly say that I had a wonderful first day in Boston.

Or, in other words, I am happy as a clam. In mud. At high tide. That looks like it's smiling.

Oh, also, when I got home from the cabin last weekend (you know, where we had the "happy as a clam" conversation), I found this cartoon waiting for me on one of my blogs. It was kind of like when you learn a new word and then you hear it five more times that same day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday: August (Part 2)

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here).

1136) My sweet elderly patient randomly saying, "You sure are a good-lookin' young girl." (It wasn't creepy. I promise).
1137) Having the floor nurses ask if I would consider working on their floor.
1138) Overhearing in charge nurse report, "And you also have Eva. She's a house float and she's awesome. You'll love her."
1139) Having family members of both of my patients thank me for my good care.
1140) Penny's cute little wet paw prints on the concrete patio.
1141) Connecting with a patient's wife well enough to be moved to tears by her strength and emotion as she prepares for his death.
1142) Feeling as though I have been able to genuinely lighten the burden for a patient's family member.
1143) Walking to DQ with the Oostras - love feeling like I live near them.
1144) Praying with Jules in a hotel parking lot.
1145) Hanging out with Ang at the hotel - officially starting vacation! Yay!!!!
1146) Traveling with my sisters - I take for granted how well we travel together.
1147) Mary Beth Chapman's book "Choosing to See" - thankful for her honesty and insight.
1148) Watching Ang get her hands bomb-swabbed in the security line. Classic.
1149) My dear mother's delightful cry of joy when she greeted us at the airport.
1150) My first horse show! Fun to see Lizzy jump with her horse.
1151) Kicking off vacay with a morning at one of the top 10 destination spas in the nation. Ah.Maz.Ing.
1152) Eucalyptus saunas.
1154) Sweet convo with MB while we shucked corn. Thankful that she trusts me. Still thankful for the summers I got to spend with her.
1155) Curling up with a full stomach and a good book.
1156) Making my mom laugh - having her repeatedly tell me how funny she thinks I am.
1157) A week in PA with my sister. Love that we love doing the same things. Wish Hannah was here.
1158) Hugs from Daddy.
1159) Lazy mornings with ample time to spend in the Word.
1160) Hearing my parent's engagement story for the first time.
1161) Mom getting excited to play Z-type together. :-)
1162) Pontoon rides around the lake.
1163) Chatting with Hannah - having her correctly guess what we had for dinner for the third night in a row. Crazy funny.
1164) Time to read. Just finished my third book in four days. I love vacation.
1165) Not being afraid to disagree with my family.
1166) Hearing doctors talk about how they view nurses and realizing how blessed I am to work with physicians who treat me well and respect my role.
1167) Mosquito-less campfires on the shore of Lake Wallenpaupack.
1168) Touring multi-million dollar homes. Bea.u.ti.ful.
1169) Delicious steaks with spicy orange sauce. Yum!!
1170) Finishing my 4th book in 5 days. So relaxing to have time to read!!!
1171) RITAS!!!!!
1172) Hannah arrived safely - so good to have the family complete!
1173) The opportunity for a good convo with Ang about church on the ride to the airport.
1174) Seeing the sign at McDonald's: "This establishment has gone 3 days without an accident." LOVE laughing with my sisters!
1175) Fun opportunity to attend a live QVC show - so fun to see MB at work. She is so gifted!!
1176) Beautiful Marie Osmond dolls that remind me of my grandma.
1177) Getting re-scheduled flights to work out fairly well despite the hurricane (bonus day of vacation and I only miss 4 hours of work!)
1178) Seeing/hanging out with Eric. I love the friendship I have with him!
1179) Rest.
1180) Safety during the hurricane.
1181) Cookie dough.
1182) Time to go to a movie in the theater.
1183) Not even taking my wallet to the theater because I can presume my daddy will gladly treat.
1184) The Help - great movie. Thankful that we are at least making some progress on how we relate to people who are different than us.
1185) Soul Surfer - being moved to tears by a movie - being encouraged by another's faith and perseverance.
1186) Talking to Grandpa - always a weekly highlight for me!!
1187) Extremely encouraging phone call from Ray - so empowering to have someone point out strengths/gifts they see in my life and how those things can benefit the community.
1188) My aunt and uncle's generosity. Can't believe we get to come out here every year - they are so good to us!!
1189) Remembering what an impact this place and this family had on my life in those two summers I lived out here - trying hard not to be heartsick with my desire to return to those summers - just being thankful for what they were.
1190) Watching the humble ways my Uncle Mark serves his church and his family. I have so much respect for that man.
1191) Tearful goodbyes - love that we enjoy our extended family so much.
1192) Kyle's ever-constant willingness to drive me to and from the airport. Love how generous he is with his time.
1193) Jules got into her classes! Answer to prayer!! YAY!!!
1194) Seeing my roommate after 10 days away - I missed her!!
1195) Penny actually remembering who I am.
1197) Sweet comments on my blog from my aunt Faith. She is so generous with her compliments!
1198) Getting some quality time with my roommie after hardly seeing her for two weeks. I cherish my convos with her.
1199) The opportunity to approach God's throne with confidence, knowing that he hears our prayers.
1200) Grace.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

During the final 4 days of my vacation, I read:

  1. The Invisible Wall: A Love Story that Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein - Bernstein's biography was recommend to me by a stranger I met in the airport on my way home from a family cruise this spring. I was telling the individual about Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (one of the most compelling books I have read in several years) and, based on my declared love of biographies, they suggested The Invisible Wall be added to my reading list. Set in England in the early 1900s, Harry's family lives on the Jewish side of the street while the other side is lined with Christian families. The many conflicts surrounding the social and religious boundaries of the time come to a head when Harry's sister falls in love with a Christian boy from across the street. Other than some interesting insights into Jewish culture, I did not find it to be a terribly compelling story. Prolly would only recommend it to the deepest lovers of biographies.

  2. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer - Jon Krakauer, journalist, recounts his experience as part of the worst climbing disaster in the history of Mt Everest. Much controversy still remains over who was responsible for some of the events that took place which makes for an interesting story. There were many people involved in the climb that fateful day in 1996 which makes for a confusing read at times (I had trouble keeping track of who was who) but other than that, loved this book. I am hoping to see the movie soon to help put some faces to all of the names.

  3. Fidelity by Wendell Berry - Although Berry did not author any of my three favorite novels (Godric, Gilead and the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime), he did pen my fourth favorite (Jayber Crow) and he is quickly becoming my favorite all-around author. I have not read anything he has written (novels or poems) that I have not thoroughly enjoyed. His writings are beautiful reflections on community, relationships, faith, rooted-ness, nature, hard work and, as the title of this book suggests, fidelity (in all areas of life, not just concerning marriage). I would strongly suggest his works to any reader. Although the five short stories contained in Fidelity could stand on their own, I would suggest reading Jayber Crow first as the short stories in Fidelity concern other members of the Port Williams community. You don't need any background from Jayber Crow to appreciate the stories in Fidelity. However, falling in love with Port Williams through Jayber's story may result in deeper affections for the characters contained in Fidelity.


  1. The Help - I really enjoyed the movie. Of course, as always, the book is much richer and has the opportunity to develop the characters more satisfactorily, but I was pleased with what the movie was able to do with the story. There are some great performances by the women in this movie.

  2. Soul Surfer - I cannot remember the last time I cried that hard at a movie. I mean, I tear up a lot (after all, I am a crier by nature) but it is a rare movie that brings me to shoulder-shaking, breath-catching, desperate-for-a-kleenex sobs. prepared. The love and care that this family shows for one another (husband to wife, parent to child, AND brother to sister) is absolutely overwhelming. And I think it struck me even harder because it is not an unrealistic, happy-go-lucky, Hollywood kind of love and care. It is real, gritty compassion in the face of fights and fear and differing perspectives on how to handle a difficult and confusing situation. What an incredible testimony they have! My only complaint: Carrie Underwood is NOT a convincing actress. I love her voice, but she gets two thumbs down from me in the movie.

  3. The Conspirator - Prior to watching this movie, I knew nothing of the others (besides John Wilkes Booth) involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln (and VP Johnson and the Secretary of State...I never realized they were targets, too...). I really enjoyed the movie, although I could see how someone who is not intrigued by history may find it a little slow-moving. I found it extremely interesting to see the biased nature of Surratt's trial and the ways the authorities justified those biases. Made me want to go read more about the circumstances surrounding the assassinations, the nation's reaction and the fates of all those involved. Maybe on my next vacation...

and survived:

  1. An Earthquake - In all honesty, we were out on the lake when the earthquake struck, so we didn't feel a thing. We only knew about from all the texts that my cousin received and from the guy at the hardware store who said all of his tools were shaking on the shelves.

  2. Hurricane Irene - Thankfully we were NOT among the "hundreds of thousands" without power. The neighborhood where my aunt and uncle live was actually fairly well protected, although their town, just a mile away, was still without power when we flew out on Monday afternoon (storm hit us Saturday night into Sunday morning). The main effect of the storm for my family was changing all of our flight plans (a SMALL problem compared to all of the flooding/damage/power issues faced by so many in the region!!). My family collectively spent 12 hours on hold with airlines trying to reschedule our flights. Although it did cause some problems for my other family members (my sisters both cut their vacation short and flew home early and my parents both missed an extra day of work), I got an extra day of vacation and only missed 4 hours of work. No complaints here!

I'm just glad we made it out before the locusts showed up...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday: August (Part 1)

(For an explanation of Thankful Thursday, go here.)

1076) Lovely dinner at Chesters with lovely women.
1077) The joy of making people laugh.
1078) Finally putting on my big-girl-pants and getting my house refinanced. Reading through all those documents and realizing somewhere over the course of the past 5 years, I started understanding some of this stuff.
1079) Getting an awesomely helpful loan officer.
1080)My dear father who takes time out of his busy work day to talk through finances with me and that I can trust him to hep me make decisions.
1081) The girls on the Hem/Onc/BMT Practice Committee. I love that group. So fun.
1082) The joy I find in telling stories and making people laugh.
1083) Taking to Rebecca about church at Calvary - an invite for lunch after church next Sunday - seeing God's hand in the development of that relationship as I think about transitioning to a church in town.
1084) The breathtaking sunset.
1085) My sweet surgical patient who was so grateful despite her situation - kept exclaiming what a great day it had been and how Jesus had blessed her in so many ways - having the opportunity to talk about my faith with her.
1086) Friends who drive all the way down from the cities to visit - means so much to me.
1087) Sweet conversations with Julie at my kitchen table.
1088) Communicating clearly and directly at the Kenya meeting - not hiding how I feel.
1089) Dinner and a movie with my roommie. Relaxing evening. I love going to the theater and I adore my roommie.
1090) God's grace, sufficient for the day.
1091) Driving to LP and back with Chinwe. Love spending concentrated time with her.
1092) Good convos in the truck - the opportunity for me to process some things out loud and to listen & get to know her better.
1093) Chinwe's laugh.
1094) Mark and Emily got engaged!!! So happy for them! Love listening to them tell the story. Love Em's constant smile.
1096) Listening to the operatic song intro at church - makes my heart rejoice in such a unique way.
1097) Painful yet beautiful tears of worship.
1098) Serving a God who relentlessly pursues me.
1099) Good conversation with Jamie - honest communication and an opportunity to know her better.
1100) Grandpa's laugh.
1101) Finding out I get to stay on the Hem/Onc/BMT Practice Committee when I take over as chair for the Float Practice Committee. So happy....I love those meetings!!
1102) Confident communication with my manager.
1103) Three absolutely delightful patients.
1104) Having the BMT nurse manager tell me that the email I sent the PA supervisor regarding a staff member's poor communication was very well written and greatly appreciated.
1105) The opportunity to pick up overtime.
1106) A lovely conversation with my manicurist about her life in a refugee camp in Cambodia, immigrating to Rochester in the 80s, her new grandson, Cambodian culture, etc.
1107) Laying in the park with Penny, reading magazines.
1108) Sitting on the porch with Jill and Kristy, eating rum cake and talking about life.
1109) Dinner with Chinwe - laughing until I feel like I can't breathe, appreciating her honesty, striking yoga poses and praying with her.
1110) Our faithful God who causes the same sun to rise on the good days and the bad. Love his constancy.
1111) A patient, gracious God who welcomes us back even after we've gone whoring after idols.
1112) He rejoices over me with gladness, he quiets me by his love, he exults over me with loud singing.
1113) A covenant-keeping God who has proven his faithfulness all the way back to the days of Abraham.
1114) Receiving a sweet letter from Grandpa saying he loves me, he is proud of me, that he prays I will love and serve God with all my heart and that he looks forward to the day when he and Grandma greet me in heaven.
1115) An extremely generous and highly unexpected gift enclosed with the letter.
1116) Having the chance to work with Kristy - what a delight!
1117) Talking to Grandpa on my dinner break - so hard to know how to thank him for his generous gift. So good to cry tears of joy and gratitude with him.
1118) Telling my mom about the letters - neither one of us being able to talk because we're both crying so hard - being reminded how much I love being cut from the same cloth as her.
1119) Hearing Mom say that her "big gift" is getting to spend so much of her time with three of Grandpa's grandchildren.
1120) Breakfast with Annie & Chinwe - lovely to spend time with those women.
1121) Having time to read. How relaxing.
1122) The beautiful gift of Buechner's writing. It's amazing what he can do with words!!
1123) Afternoon naps.
1124) Finally watching Singing in the Rain with my roommie - what a delightful movie!
1125) Rest.
1126) Meeting amazing girls at church - getting invited out to lunch and talking about the sermon, the role of preaching in the church, the significance of the local church, traveling, missions, etc. - pretty much everything that makes me tick. :-) So good to have God repeatedly confirm his place for me at Calvary!
1127) Talking to every member of my family and my Grandpa (twice) this weekend - I love them all so very much and am so blessed to call them my own!!
1128) Laying in the park for hours reading with my dog at my side and the sun on my legs.
1129) Catching up with Josh - love the way he encourages me with the Word and sharpens my eye to look at things from a biblical perspective. Also love having friendships that run deep enough to withstand long periods of non-maintenance.
1130) Late night chats with Linds about church, relationships, sin, faith, futures and just about everything in between. Love. That. Girl.
1131) Oostra's 2nd year anniversary. Thankful to have both of them in my life.
1132) Lunch with Brenna's at BWW. Love. That. Couple.
1133) Being able to trust that certain friends always want to hear the long version.
1134) Getting a "random" call from Ray asking if I wanted to get more deeply involved in SNL - something that's been on my mind a lot in the last month. I love how God prepares our hearts for the ministries he has prepared for us.
1135) High-energy days.