happiness is...

happiness is...
kenya 2010

Sunday, September 30, 2012

boring little update :)

sorry- no witty banter, earth shattering news, or shockers. i just thought you might want a general life update, since so much has been going on in mine lately. let's see- where to start?

i started my new job last week. i spent the week shadowing in the different areas where i'll be working (prep, procedures, and recovery in the endoscopy center) and i'm thrilled. the job seems like it will be interesting, fun, and varied, but what is even better is the morale and relationships between the nurses in the department. everyone is upbeat, positive, and willing to help each other out. the manager is fair, flexible, and a working part of the team. best of all, i will be back at the bedside and able to connect with my own patients. i had forgotten how much i enjoy that. how much i need that.

i am still single and grateful for that. with each passing day, i am more and more convinced that i'd rather be single than paired up with someone that is not a good match for me and vice versa. that's not to say that there aren't lonely moments- but they have more to do with loneliness in general than they do with missing a particular person. that's the human condition, i think. we are wired for companionship and are never quite satisfied when we don't have it. that is why we keep trying so hard to make the wrong thing the right thing (or at least i do)... because of that deep need for connection. i just need to keep reminding myself that i'd rather be single than wish i was! ;)

i preached the sermon at church a couple of weeks ago. what a trip that was! i am sure i talked a mile a minute (how odd!) but it must have been effective because i preached on "missions" and when i got done, the congregation donated $1800 into the special offering for our church missions fund. how awesome!! the downside is that they put nearly all the offerings into that fund and next to nothing into the general offering plate for the week. our priest is thinking twice about having me preach. that'll teach him!

i know a lot of you are wondering about my sister and how she's doing. thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers. this has been an awful time. she is on hospice and they gave her "2-4 weeks" about a month ago. no one knows when that time will actually come. in some ways it will be way too soon and in others, not soon enough. it is awful to say goodbye to someone you love, but worse to see them suffer. i have been asked to sing her funeral (a request i hope you never need to contemplate) and i have decided i will try. i found a wonderful friend- one who got me through singing at one of my best friend's son's funerals- to play for me, and if i choke while i'm singing she will pick up where i leave off and finish singing it for me. that's the best i can do. please pray for that. it is a gift i really want to give to our family.

that is the update...the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life. i am blessed to have all three because as hard as this life can be, it is teaching me compassion and strength and is giving me a better understanding of all that people carry on their shoulders every day. it has made me kinder and more patient. i certainly don't want to add to their burdens so i will give them a smile and a safe place to rest, and send them on their way happier than before...

...with god's help.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

god and my cell phone were arguing in the grand canyon

we get messages from all sorts of places, and sometimes it's difficult to determine which ones are lying to us and which ones are telling the truth. i believe, in part, that it is our responsibility to filter them and decide which ones we will allow to speak to our hearts and whisper to us who we are. after my breakup last week, i was hoping that my trip to sedona and my hike into the grand canyon would give me lots of time to talk to god, and some time in return for him to talk to me and remind me who i am. what i am. what i should do. you know, words of wisdom from the creator that made me in his image. that's not asking too much, right?

i am not naive enough to believe that you have to trek halfway across the country and head into the wilderness to encounter god- but it sure makes it difficult to ignore him or deny him when you're surrounded by the majesty of nature and hours upon hours of solo time trekking down (and then up... forever UP) into the canyons of arizona. i planned to take full advantage of that uninterrupted time to speak to him. uninterrupted, that is, except for my cell phone. thanks to technology and text messaging, god isn't the only one to talk to in the middle of nowhere. evidently my ex can reach me there, too. and "he" did. (i should admit that i replied...every time. sigh.)

it's not that god and the ex were telling me drastically different things on the surface- it's what was being whispered to my heart that was so different. god was saying, "you're loved". "he" was whispering, "you're loved, but i love myself more". god was saying, "you're special" and "he" was whispering, "you're special, but not special enough for me to make you a priority". god was saying, "you are beautiful and valuable" and "he" was whispering, "you are beautiful and valuable, but still not worth enough for me to try to find a way to make it work". god was saying, "i miss you and want you in my life" and "he" was whispering, "i miss you and want you in my life, but only to the extent that it doesn't interfere with anything i'm doing or inconvenience me in any way. i want you there on my terms because this is about me and what i need, and not you and what you need." i should have thrown that cell phone off the south rim and into the colorado river.

ultimately, it's good that it happened. it taught me a lesson. when we broke up, there was discussion about how he likes to remain friends and keep in contact with his ex's and how i believe it's healthier (for me and my sanity, at least) to cut all ties and have no contact, unless absolutely necessary. if i am not your girlfriend anymore, i don't want to see your face, hear your voice, be told about your activities- nothing. i want to pretend that you don't exist. that may sound harsh, but if you are no longer my reality, you can't hurt me anymore. i also don't think it's fair for you to be able to use me for electronic company when you're bored, or lonely, or sad, or desirous. it's not fair to keep your foot in the door. for me, it's an all or nothing thing. if you don't want all of me, and all of this experience, you get nothing. that's god's model. he wants all of my heart. in turn, i give all of my heart to him and to those i love. i expect the same in return. who am i kidding? i expect it all in return, but i'll accept 20%. if you can't give even that, what's the point? that's when the healthy thing to do is cut loose.

today, something new was whispered to my heart. it was a sound, and not words... 

..."snip. snip."

Monday, September 3, 2012

oh- didn't i mention that??

You know your life is eventful and tumultuous when you quit your job and it doesn’t top the list of the most important things to blog about that week. Or the next. Wow. Now that we’ve gotten the other news out of the way…..drumroll please…..wait for it….

I quit my job.

Hmmmmmmm. Seems a little anticlimactic now, but it wasn’t then. It was a pretty dramatic decision. Dramatic, but quick. I talked to the manager over the Endoscopy Center at our hospital on Tuesday, mulled it over on Wednesday, decided to take the job Thursday, and gave my notice on Friday. The decision brought  an onslaught of emotions- some I anticipated, others I didn’t. Guilt over leaving my office mates (and leaving them with my workload when I go), sadness for turning over the program I created and developed, anxiety for our patients who may or may not have an official “advocate” when I leave,  concern over the future of the program, trepidation, anticipation, resolve…and relief.

So much relief.

This will be a half time position (oops- I forgot “fear of starving to death” in my above list) doing bedside nursing in the Endoscopy Center. I will be caring for patients and assisting with scopes and procedures. My patients will be happy (because I’m their nurse, duh!), and I’ll be happy dealing with happy patients. I will have an extra day off each week, and afternoons free from 1:30p or 2p on. I will have flexibility to help Kim or care for Cameron as her life here on earth comes to a close. I will have more time to study and do fundraising so that I can move forward in my quest to get to the mission field. I can practice living frugally in prep for the life of a missionary (um…yay?). And most of all, the hope is that I can sleep again once the frustration over what my job has become, in contrast to my vision for it and what it should be, has faded.

So much relief.

(Please join me in humming the tune to Jeopardy as we anxiously await September 21st.)