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