Background

Thank you...

I'm so excited to be sitting down and writing! I haven't done it in quite awhile and it's helping me reconnect to a piece of my roots down deep in my soul. Right now, it's 3:40 in the morning, I had the night off work and I'm thrilled to be chilling in my comfy bed. Candles lit. Diet coke by my side. Just polished off some homemade chocolate cookies I made. Brooke Fraser playing. Perfect.

I've worked the last five nights in a row. Now, I know you regular work day people are probably laughing at me, but five 12-14 hour shifts at the hospital...in a row...oh my word! It about killed me. But, I survived. And, brought in a little weekend pay as well as holiday pay! So, my bank account will think it was worth it. Now that it's all over with, and I have a bit of a break before my next shift, I'm thankful for the time I was there. I mean, I spent 60+ hours with the same patients all weekend. I got to know them. I knew their exact needs. I knew their preferences. Recently, I've been praying for Father to give me the opportunity to just slow down at work, and have actual time to have a conversation with my patients, or even just one patient for that matter. And this long weekend, I had just that opportunity...and then some. :)

What Father taught me the past five days is just wanting to leap out of my soul, so I must share! He taught me the importance of thanking people. The importance of being kind. The importance of respecting people no matter what. And, the importance of selflessness, no matter what you may be going through. You may feel as if you are in the worst situation possible, but you have no idea what others may be going through...and they may be right next to you.

The long workathon started off with a total of five patients. Not too shabby when we can have up to seven (which randomly happened over the weekend, but we'll stick with these original five I started out with so we're not confused). We'll start with the story of the butt hole. Yes, I said butt hole because that's what he was...except I used the other word for butt a few times when I was referring to him. So, we'll refer to him as BH.

BH was admitted to our unit the first night of my workathon. He had already been all over the hospital for weeks...trauma, ICU, etc, etc...then to us. BH was in a motorcycle accident. BH was driving this motorcycle drunk and high. They thought he'd be paralyzed. But, BH was not paralyzed. That's good. However, BH liked to pretend like he was paralyzed. BH was a middle aged mama's boy. His mama was there the whole weekend, acting all spastic, writing down everything I said, every med I gave...etc, etc. I mean, I can respect that to some extent, but really. Woman was gettin' on my nerves! BH also liked his pain and anxiety meds and knew the exact time everything was due. So, since BH was new to our floor, I did not know this about him. So, let's just say I was about 10 minutes late with BH's morphine and I got cussed out. And not just with his hateful words, but his hateful eyes. Plenty of times he told me I was worthless. He was a very broken man. I just blew it off and did as he asked. I gave him water to drink, fed him, put medicine in his mouth, held the dang hand held urinal for him while he peed, and moved him any time he was uncomfortable. I even knew that this man liked to have the end of a washcloth rolled in between his pinky fingers. I eventually learned what everything meant when he asked for it. "Fix my arms"=grab his hand and lift the elbow at the same time and pull the arm down while not overextending the shoulder. I did all those things. I did all those things while being cussed out. I did all those things while being told I was worthless. I did all those things and never once, in the five days I was with him, was I told thank you. Not once. I eventually learned that when I asked, "Is everything settled and okay now...anything you need before I leave?" and he answered, with an attitude, "Good God, whatever...I guess."......I knew that that meant, "Yes I'm fine. Thanks, Katie." BH had me in his room just about every hour, which would have been fine but I had four other people to care for.

While I held my tongue and gave BH the best care I could provide, I wish he knew that he wasn't the only one with problems. I wish he knew that the patient on one side of him had just had a liver transplant after being sick for years and this man talked to me about the love of Christ and thanked me for EVERY thing! I wish he knew that on the other side of him, was a young man with autuism who's parents abandoned him when he was born and all he had was this older lady that stayed with him 24/7. I wish BH knew that the autistic boy said nothing but "Thaaaaanks sweeeethaaaaurt" every time I left his room. I wish BH knew that two doors down from him I was consulting a woman who was admitted because her right hand was shaky and she just didn't feel like herself...only to found out that she has a frontal brain tumor. This lady was admitted Friday night and had the brain surgery yesterday (Tuesday) morning to have the mass removed. I wish BH knew that three doors down from him was an 80+ year old lady that had had a stroke and could no longer speak. She was all alone. I had to crush her meds, feed them to her in applesauce. As BH's strength was increasing in his arms and legs, this lady's was not. She couldn't speak or move. I fed her. Gave her water. Combed her hair. Changed her diapers. I wish BH knew those things. But, he didn't.

My heart hurt for him. He had family with him. He had a nurse taking care of him, learning his needs. And not once did he ever say thank you. Just about every morning on my way home from work, I'd cry. At first, I'd cry because he was mean to me and hurt my feelings. Then, I began to cry out to Father for him. My heart hurt for him. It hurt for his ungratefulness. I prayed for Father to lay that warm blanket of His sovereignty over him allowing him to recognize that things are out of our control and that no matter how angry he'd get, it didn't change things. It can't change his motorcycle accident. It can't change the fact that he was drunk and high while driving the motorcycle. It can't change his past actions. But that blanket can change the root of his issue: being separated from the Almighty. God is in control. He is sovereign, He is the Almighty. Oh my heart hurts knowing he doesn't know Him. And, I plead that all he saw in me was Christ. That was my goal. It wasn't to act all high and mighty, like I'm better than him. It wasn't even to get a "thank you". It was to show him even a glimpse of light. I want him to wonder what's inside of me. I want him to want the same thing for himself. To know Father. To treat His children with kindness. To be grateful.

And I knew, there was no need to cause resistance. Father specifically told me to keep my mouth shut and care for this man. He told me there was no need to confront and argue with him because that fight......it's already been won on the cross. BH's sin towards me has already been paid for.

So, from all this. I've learned that the words "thank you", could change a person's entire day. Use them, no matter what you're going through. And on the flip side, continue to treat people with kindness and loyalty, even if they are a total BH. :)

Proverbs 3:3 "Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart."

Everyone needs a little hope...

According to the dictionary, "hope"=a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. I love the word hope. To me, it's that feeling of mystery; not knowing what's to come. It's exciting! To some people, hope may not always be exciting because you don't know what's going to happen on the other side of this mysterious feeling. It could be something bad. It could be life changing, in an inconvenient way. Instead, this exciting feeling turns to a bundle of nerves and anxiety.

The good news is hope is not intended for nerves, anxiety, and especially not for worry. Our personalities are so intricately designed that we have the privileged of feeling hope, the way God intended us to feel it. So, what does that look like?

Hope in the world = expectation

Hope in God =
confident expectation

Whenever I think of confident expectation, I break it down as literally confidently expecting the Lord to act on my behalf. Does that mean that what I am hoping for will happen? Not always, BUT that's where the confidence really kicks in. I am confident in my Father. He will provide. He will take care of me. He knows everything I need. So, if what I'm hoping for doesn't happen, it's His will for it not to happen and I'm okay with that. Does it mean that what I'm hoping for will never happen? Not necessarily...

Romans 8:24-25: We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.

The Lord knows the desires of our hearts. He wants to fulfill those desires when the time is right to bring Him the most glory. If you know God has called you to do something or promised you something but it hasn't happened yet, confidently expect it will happen! Wait patiently and confidently.

Hope and trust go hand in hand and this is my prayer for you: Romans 15:13:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Hold on to what God's promised you. He is faithful. He will provide. You must trust and confidently hope and expect that He will act!

Update Sesh...

I haven't blogged in over a month so I thought I'd do a little life update! I've missed writing and blogging about it. Hopefully things will settle down soon and I can get back to it!

Well, my last post was about a book review. Oh, to blog about books again! That seems so long ago. That was when I was between finishing school and the beginning of my nursing career. So, I definitely had more time on my hands. The last two months have been a whirlwind really, so here it goes:

  1. May 9th--graduated nursing school (WHOOO!) and spent fabulous time with my man (even better!).
  2. May 17th--first job interview out of school and then that same afternoon, found out I was accepted to USC Upstate to go back to school (I still don't know what I'm thinking just yet...I'll let you know in August).
  3. May 28th--took my State Nursing boards (most nervous day of my life!).
  4. May 30th--Found out I passed my boards!
  5. June 2nd--Accepted the job offer as a Neurology nurse at Spartanburg Regional.
So that little month was a doozy! But how wonderful our God is in His provision for my life! The rest of June was spent reading books, relaxing, spending time with my great guy, going to the beach, and getting things lined up for the job.

I started my job on June 28th and so far, I'm really enjoying it! It's such a big change from nursing school (textbook/perfect world nursing) to real world nursing. The adjustment will definitely take some time and the fact that I actually have a voice and I'm respected for my judgement and opinion. Oh, and the fact that I'm getting paid! Whhhhaaat?! Y'all have to understand that I went from not working at all the last year so I could solely focus on school (thanks mom and dad) to making a nurse's salary. What a blessing!

My schedule has been swamped due to working 12's and also having to attend all these orientation classes, continuing education classes, etc. Once I'm set on just my three days a week, hopefully I can blog more and cook more. I'm sure I'll at least have some awesome patient stories that we can laugh and cry about.

And just a little spill about what God's speaking into me lately: Proverbs 3:3 "Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart." Everywhere I go and everything I do, loyalty and kindness must stay with me. I am constantly reminding myself and speaking it over me all throughout the day. I'm trying to be loyal in all of my words, by following through with loyal actions. And, kindness to someone can change their entire day, y'all! Be kind to one another. It makes all the difference.

Happy Monday! :)

Book Review

I just finished up reading a phenomenal summer read titled, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I definitely recommend it. The book is based out of Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's. The book has an entire cast of characters but mainly focuses on three in particular:

  • Skeeter--a twenty-two-year old graduate that has a dream of writing one day but her mother has other ideas in mine...like being a proper southern lady, getting married, and being like all the other ladies in town. But, she has plans of her own that create the entire story for this novel.


  • Aibileen--a black maid raising her seventeenth white child who decides to take a stand for what she believes in by telling her story.


  • Minny--a black maid that is s-p-u-n-k-y! She also decides to tell her story of working as a maid for over 30 years.


  • It really is difficult to describe the greatness of this book but I must say that reading it is a must for this summer! But the icing on the cake is that it's being made into a movie that will be out in August. Here's the preview:






    Separated

    Psalm 103:12

    "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west."

    I read this yesterday morning and took time to really think about it. I can read and stare at it all I want to. Every time I've read this, I always get that song stuck in my head. And, it's not even a favorite of mine.

    So, I tried to be still. To be quiet. This is what I got:



    separated

    When we ask for forgiveness of sin, it's forgotten. It's as far from you as the east is from the west. You're separated from it. And when you're separated from it, it's AWAY from you. When it comes back to us, it's because we allow it back in. If there's something you feel like you're constantly battling, remember that by the power of Christ, you're separated from it. If it comes back, you brought it back. Have the mindset that you're SEPARATED from it. It doesn't belong to you anymore. It's not meant to stick to you.

    That's why each day is new. His mercies are new. What you did yesterday and asked for forgiveness for today, is separated from you. It can't touch you. It's as far as the east is from the west.

    Remember too, that, this whole separation of sin goes to those that have hurt us as well. If you've forgiven someone for hurting you, have you really forgiven them? Have you separated that sin, that hurt, they caused you. When you look at that person, do you look at the sin they committed against you still? This one is much more difficult. But, if we are to forgive someone for something they've committed wrongly against us, we are to separate that sin from them. Look at that person in a whole new light, just as Christ looks at you as you radiate.

    You radiate because you're separated from darkness.

    My beautiful friends

    Here's a photo of my beautiful ladies and I at a wedding we attended this weekend:


    , , ,

    Dreaming of Sparkle...

    And now, I breathe.

    If you asked me to sum up my life in the last few years, I really don't think I could. I've accomplished something greater than myself. The Lord placed a calling in me that I was afraid of. I ignored it for 2 years. He wouldn't stop calling me to it. So, I went. I dropped out of the school I was in and went to another one. I enrolled in nursing school. I thought I was crazy. I thought God was crazy. I just knew that I wouldn't be able to do it. I didn't even believe in myself. But, my Father did. Oh, how He believed in me.


    So, down the path I went. Just because I followed the Lord doesn't mean that it was easy. This was the hardest path in my life. There were so many obstacles that were thrown in my way. Not just in school, but outside of school. Hearts were broken, worlds were shattered, friends were lost. Seasons were bad. But, thankfully, some seasons were good. There were things I failed at and the Lord made me do them again. He never ever once allowed me to give up. Not once. No matter how many times I told Him I couldn't do it. Throughout the tears and failures, He was shaping me. He was shaping me for something that I still haven't even seen. And, I'm excited about it.

    Today, I found out I passed my state boards. Hallelujah! I'm the real deal. I'm a nurse. I'm legal! :)

    Just now, Father led me to this(I changed the "him" to "her" and "he" to "she"...you get it) :

    "How she rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
    She shouts with joy because you give her victory.
    For you have given her her heart's desire;
    you have withheld nothing she requested.
    You welcomed her back with success and prosperity.
    You placed a crown of finest gold on her head.
    She asked you to preserve her life,
    and you granted her request.
    The days of her life stretch on forever.
    Your victory brings her great honor,
    And you have clothed her with splendor and majesty.
    You have endowed her with eternal blessings
    and given her the joy of your presence.
    For she trusts in the Lord.
    The unfailing love of the Most High will keep her from stumbling."

    -Psalm 21:1-7

    Glory to God.

    Love,
    Nurse Katie


    PS:

    Recent Appointment History
    AppointmentExam DescriptionDetails Status
    Sat, 28 May 2011
    Start Time: 08:00 AM
    Pearson Professional Centers-Greenville SC, Greenville, SC, USA
    NCLEX-RN: The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses
    English
    More Information
    Pass

    PSS: This was the song I listened to before EVERY test. His love is so strong.
    Click for details.

    Hi. Hey. Hello.


    Last weekend, Chance and I had a wedding to attend. Chance was in the wedding so we had to attend the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, get there early for the wedding, etc, etc.


    Since I'm obviously not from Jacksonville, every time I go down for a visit, I'm always meeting new people. There's never going to be one trip when I meet everyone that Chance knows. He knows a lot of peeps! Anyway, the wedding he was in wasn't with people he hangs out with regularly but the groom was an old friend of his that asked Chance to be in the wedding. To make a long story short, I'd never met any of these people.

    At the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, I felt awkward because I literally knew no one but my man. I mean, how do you handle that situation, "Uhhh, what's up guys...just crashin' your rehearsal and thanks for the free food?!?". I understand that weddings are hectic and everyone is trying to figure out each detail the night before, so I didn't take offense that no one was really paying me any attention. I mean, I wasn't like the ultimate honored guest whose presence was vital. Of course my man made me feel like a princess by making me feel like I was the only gal in the room, so that was sweet. At the end of the night, I was a little aggravated at certain things and the fact that it wasn't a very welcoming environment. But, I quickly got over it and over myself.

    The next day, wedding day, Chance and I headed out early because, as a groomsman, he had to do the wedding party-get ready-let's take a million pictures-thing. So, I dropped him off and went on a little shopping adventure by myself. Thank Jesus for GPS! I'm not known to know my way around even Greenville. While I was out on the town, waiting for the wedding to start, I was dreading going because I knew I'd feel awkward and not have anyone to talk to. Since Chance was in the wedding, I'd look like a big ole' loser just chillin' by myself in the audience.

    But things took a turn...

    While I was standing around, by myself, at the venue...waiting for the wedding to start, a sweet little lady about my age, began walking towards me with a big ole' smile on her face. She came up to me and said, "Are you Chance's girlfriend?! My husband and I recognize you from Facebook pictures!" Oh praise Jesus for Facebook! Of course I told her yes and we struck up a conversation. She led me back to the group of people she and her husband were with and asked me if I'd like to sit with them at the wedding. So, I did. I sat with them during the wedding and they reserved a spot for me at their reception table. How tender. It literally changed my entire outlook on the evening.

    I know I've been blabbing on about myself but Jesus really taught me something that night. If you ever see someone just standing alone in a crowd, reach out and speak to them, whether you know them or not. You never know how out of place a person feels so make an effort to speak. I admit I'm not great at doing this but since it was done to me, I can not ignore it if I see it now that the kindness has been given to me. So, if you see someone standing by themselves, at least make an effort to say Hi, Hey, or Hello. :)

    What next?



    What a whirlwind of a week!
    • I graduated nursing school (PRAISE THE LAWD!).
    • Continuously studying for my boards.
    • The family was in town.
    • My handsome man came to town.
    • I went back to FL with him for a few days.
    • We had a wedding to attend.
    • Squeezed in some quality time with Brooke Downing.
    • Drove back to SC
    It was funz-ies but I'm tired! After a week like that, I don't know what to do with myself. Now, I'm just chilling in my house, with my dog, in silence.

    Over the next few weeks, before I take my state boards (ugggh), I'll have plenty of time on my hands. I do love it though when I have time to reflect and rest in what God's getting ready to do with me. During that reflection time, I love to write! So, what topics would y'all be interested in reading about? I'd love your input!

    My next write will probably be on a season of waiting because God's really laying that on my heart to explore. I'm also getting great feedback from many that I feel are also in a season of waiting. Let me know your thoughts! :)

    Happy Monday!


    Sweet Home Alabama


    Hi friends,

    My guy, Chance Craven, is headed to Alabama with 2 other team members to help with disaster relief! Here's how you can help:


    Pray for the restoration of these cities!


    Loving Self

    I’m currently in such an intimate season with the Lord. It’s like no other intimacy I’ve ever experienced before. I’m waking up every morning not just knowing that He’s with me but feeling that He is with me; right beside me throughout the day. I talk to Him as if He’s there. I joke with Him. I laugh with Him. I cry with Him. I plead with Him. I walk with Him. Tapping into that intimacy is incredible. It took awhile to get there. Intimacy is a process and it takes a while. Months ago, I would’ve felt weird, but I wasn’t willing to be close just yet. Father wasn’t ready to reveal Himself to me with the heart I once had.

    He’s really been hitting me with acts of service and what that looks like today and in my future. He’s totally broken me for true compassion upon people and my future holds many opportunities to have sincere compassion upon His children. I know as a nurse, you have to be compassionate…that’s like the definition of Florence Nightingale. But, God has placed a compassion inside of me that will go beyond a textbook definition. He’s defining it in me to do great things. And, I’m excited. I’ve already been told at the hospital not to allow my compassion to exceed it’s limits because I will just be taken advantage of by my patients. It hurt my feelings. But the Lord quickly reminded me of the fact that I’m ultimately working for him; for his glory, not anyone else’s.

    In order to play out these acts of service to their fullest, they require a spirit of kindness. But, before I can be kind to anyone else to it’s fullest, I must be kind to myself. A genuine kindness. I think we’re probably our worst critics. That’s not kindness to self. Kindness to self is loving self. Here’s how Father is teaching me is looks like:

    1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.

    Loving myself is:

    1. Being patient with myself in times of failure.
    2. Being kind to myself when I mess up or makes mistakes.
    3. Never being jealous of someone else; it only brings me down.
    4. Not becoming proud or rude because I’ve done something wonderful. It’s being grateful because the Lord allowed it to happen and gave me the strength to accomplish something that makes HIM proud.
    5. Not dishonoring myself by dismissing the gifts God has given me and never using them.
    6. Not in a selfish way; where I only love myself and do not display the love that overflows to others.
    7. Being gentle with self; not becoming angry at myself if something goes wrong.
    8. Not keeping any record of wrong. Again, if I make a mistake, I move on. I don’t beat myself up about it.
    9. Delighting in the true things the Lord says about me.
    10. Protecting myself by valuing myself.
    11. Trusting in myself by trusting what the Lord has placed inside of me.
    12. Being hopeful. Hope=confident expectation.
    13. Preserving myself. Keeping myself safe from things I know will harm me.
    14. Never placing myself in a failure category. If I give up on myself, I fail. There is nothing that can be done through me if I lose faith in myself. This is the full circle back to patience.

    In order to share all these things with others, I must share them with myself. Learn them. Have these qualities dwell in my spirit. That is loving myself. That is how to receive love and give love.

    Success of a warrior

    I’m recently reading an EXCELLENT book called “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil Anderson. I highly recommend it. It’s a great guide to claiming the freedom we have in Christ, realizing our power over sin, and how to be successful when the enemy makes war over you.

    I wanted to share something specific that has helped me realize my power in Christ. If you’re familiar with Ephesians 6, you know it speaks of the armor of God and that we must be fully armed in it. Those verses have always pumped me up but I never really knew how to wear the armor because I never knew it’s significance. As Christians, we are constantly at war with the enemy, whether we realize it or not. To be successful, we have to wear our armor! But, we need to know what it signifies before we can fully understand it’s power.

    Ephesians 6:12-17—”For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body of armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on the salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NLT).

    What do these 6 pieces signify and/or mean?

    Armor we already have in salvation immediately is the belt, breastplate, and shoes. That is what helps us to “stand firm”. It’s our position in Christ! Claim it!

    1. The belt of truth—Jesus said, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6). Because Christ is in me, truth is too. The belt of truth is my primary weapon because it blocks Satan’s ultimate goal: deception. the belt is continually attacked because it holds the other places of body armor in place. Satan always attacks with lies.
    2. The breastplate of righteousness—It’s not my righteousness but Christ’s righteousness (1 Cor 1:30). When Satan aims an arrow at me telling me I am not good enough, I can respond with Paul, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.” (Rom 8:33)
    3. The shoes of peace—When I received Christ, I was untied with the Prince of Peace! I have positional peace with God right now (Rom 5:1), but the peace of Christ must also rule my heart which is only possible when the word dwells in me (Col 3:15-16). These become protection against the devil when I act as peacemaker; which pleases God! (Matt 5:9)

    The rest of the armor is the Word of God and help in the battle win:

    1. The shield of faith—The more I know about God and His word, the more faith I”ll have; to grow my shield; to grow my knowledge of God (Rom 8:16).
    2. The helmet of salvation—Covers the most crucial part; my mind-where spiritual battles occur. Satan tries to make us doubt our salvation when under attack (Col 1:13, Rom 8:16).
    3. The sword of the spirit—Speak aloud God’s truth! Satan isn’t omniscient so he needs to hear it. By observing me, Satan can pretty well tell what I’m thinking, but he doesn’t know what I’m going to do before I do it. If I pay attention to a deceiving spirit (1 Tim 4:1), he is putting thoughts into my mind and he will know whether I buy his lie by the way I behave. It is not hard for him to tell what I am thinking if he has given me the though. I can, however, communicate silently with God in my mind and spirit because He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart (Heb 4:12).

    It’s easier to wear something when you know what you’re wearing and why you’re wearing it.

    What the bible says about women


    1. The creation of woman was the first thing recorded that wasn’t made from dust. Woman was made from man. That shows howprecious and valuable a woman is to God. Gen 2:22.
    2. Eve was easily convinced by satan to eat the forbidden fruit because she wanted the wisdom it would give her. Women are easily convinced by things God does not want us to run to; forbidden things. We must be on guard; knowing that even theFIRST woman created was convinced. Gen 3:6.
    3. Adam blamed Eve. Yes, it was Eve that made the first move but Adam was just as guilty. Man didn’t stop woman. He waspassive. Stay away from passive men and men that point the finger. Gen 3:12.
    4. The Lord said that because of Eve’s fall, the pain of pregnancy would be sharpened to all women and…our curse…we will have thedesire to control our husbands. That has to be continuously fought against! Gen 3:16

    More to come…

    He's enough in everything

    Over a month ago, I wrote about a test I took that I didn’t pass. I had to pass it in order to continue nursing school and graduate in the Spring. Since I didn’t pass it, I had to sit out for 5 weeks and do a lot of remediation work. You can scroll through my blog and read about it. Of course I was devastated because I knew I had prepared for the test in every way possible. When I missed it barely by a mark, I cried. A lot. Then, I realized that everything was going to be okay. It was all in the Lord’s hands and I began to think about what He may need to teach me or use me for that I wouldn’t be as responsive to if I were in school.

    So, I made it through the 5 week study period and studied like a champ! I also had one of the most intimate times in my life following who Jesus is and the things that God has called us to do…and that it’s not always pretty or “makes us feel good”. I had people praying with me and for me that God would reveal His purpose for this time and that I wouldn’t be blind to it.

    Day ONE of my five week remediation period, on a Monday…I received a call that my sister wasn’t feeling so well. She had just moved into a new house the weekend before. She had complaints of a migraine accompanied with an MS episode which involved partial paralysis, blurred vision, altered taste, etc. She was basically bed-ridden. She was diagnosed with MS last December. My initial thoughts were that this would pass because she gets migraines frequently and it just happened to be bad timing with the MS episode. Before I continue, I’m going to be honest about where my relationship was with my sister. We were not close anymore, and we both knew it. Our relationship consisted of the occasional text message and seeing one another at family events. That’s something neither of us can ever get back, but my eyes have been opened that I never want to go back to where we were.

    As the week progressed, so did her symptoms. That Tuesday, we took her to the ER because the migraine pain was unbareable. She was given fluids and was sent home on pain meds because that seemed to have helped. By Friday, she was worse than ever. She was lethargic and had no drive to get better. She just wanted to sleep. So, back to the ER we went. They were planning on sending her home with pain meds again but my dad insisted on doing an MRI, spinal tap…SOMETHING! So, they did a spinal tap and it revealed she had spinal meningitis. She was admitted immediately, late that night.

    She was in the hospital for 5 days. There were many ups and downs. She was on intense antibiotics with a PICC line. There were MANY times when I was completely thankful for the education that I had received in nursing school thus far. Ashley had a cyanotic spell…bascially turning completely blue in a matter of seconds and I knew what to do!! Thank you Jesus! There were also some potential medication errors that I caught or questioned and it was just awesome to actually know what the doctors were saying and to be able to translate it to my parents, putting them at ease. She was on the road to what we thought was recovery, when we had an unexpected bump in the road. Ashley’s MRI results returned and a blood clot was found on her brain. Panic set in with the family. I mean, come on, anything about a blood clot sounds scary but when you include the word brain it’s an all-out panic attack! The plan of action was to continue the antibiotics and start her on Heparin to thin the blood.

    After 5 days in the hospital, she was released to come home. She was 100% cleared of meningitis but she did have to come home with the blood thinner injections along with a blood thinner pill because the clot was still present. Not only did me staying in the hospital with her, praying crazy prayers over her, and just getting back to “us” bring us back together but there was a blessing among having to give her the injections every day. The blessing = I got to see her every day!! Giving someone a shot in the stomach is horrific but when it’s your own sister…ahhh, I don’t even want to go there. We would both cry. What’s kinda cool though is the type of injection I gave her was the type of injection I gave when I gave my VERY FIRST shot in nursing school. So, I guess you could say, I had practice. ;)

    As the weeks went by and her healing continued, I began to just praise God for all He had done in our relationship. If I would’ve been in school, I probably wouldn’t have given it much thought…that’s just being honest. I love her but loving her wasn’t enough. I had to SHOW her that I loved her. For now, I am enjoying showing her that I love her and I would do ANYTHING for that girl. She’s so special to me.

    Even though I had confidence in the Lord’s timing, I began to get a little anxious the closer my test got. I even thought about sitting out an extra five weeks and study more. Then, I fell into Deuteronomy. OH. MY. DANG. That junk will mess you up! I decided that I did NOT want to become like the Israelites. God displayed their Promise Land RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES and they still walked on by it because they were afraid! What the heck?! I did NOT want to walk past what the Lord had promised me because I was scared or anxious…or basically…didn’t have FAITH that God would go ahead of me and fight for me in the battle!

    So, today, I took my test. Passed it with a 99%! There’s also a score sheet that explains the individual percentage I scored in each nursing category. And the cherry on top: My instructor said no one has EVER made a perfect score in a category and I DID! Ahhh! Jesus was showing off! He was all like, “See, baby girl…I told you not to be afraid to enter into the land and TAKE POSSESSION of what I have promised you!” Ah, I love Him so much. He is faithful. He is good. All the time.

    I am considered worthy because He chose me for hardship.

    I conquered because of Him.

    Glory to God. All praise to His name.

    Deuteronomy just kicked my tail. And, this was just from what I gathered from a few verses out of Chapter 1.

    You have two choices. You can either let fear and panic set in just like the Israelites did and lose your one and only chance to enter into your Promised Land – or you can have the same strong faith and belief in God that Joshua had – and go in their with akick-butt attitude that you will be completely victorious and that you will accomplish everything that God will want you to accomplish for Him.

    Ouch.

    FEM

    What is FEM? Female Empowerment Movement

    What does that mean? Empowering women to rise above their circumstances and take hold of a new way of life.

    How do you do that? TONIGHT, 10/19, I am a part of an event that one of my best friends, Madison Hopkins, has put her heart and soul into. We’re expecting to see over 100 women in downtown Greenville tonight at a local community center. There, they will receive food, a word from a motivational speaker, love, gift bags, hugs, and many local representatives of different outreach sources that could change their lives. We want to see them get off the streets and realize that there’s a promise for their life, better than the one they think they only deserve.

    What can I do? Pray for the ladies hearts to be softened and accepting to the love that we long to pour out unto them.

    Isaiah 61: 1-4

    The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
    because the LORD has anointed me
    to preach good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,

    to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
    to comfort all who mourn,

    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
    to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
    the oil of gladness
    instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the LORD
    for the display of his splendor.

    They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
    they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.

    Divine Purpose

    Luke 24 Summary:

    At this point, Jesus “should” be in the tomb…dead. But, he wasn’t!Women found that the stone had been rolled away. Two angels appeared to the women to ask them why they were looking among the dead for someone that was alive. The angels specifically said, “Remember what he (Jesus) told you back in Galilee? That the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day”. Several women went back and told the eleven disciples the news. They all thought it was nonsense.

    The same day, two of Jesus’ followers were walking seven miles to Emmaus, talking about what they had heard, when they were suddenly in the presence of Jesus, the risen Savior. But, “God kept them from recognizing him.” (vs 16). They talked to Jesus about himself! Basically, they were discussing that they thought they had been following a Savior all along but he just ended up…dead, nothing supernatural about it. Their faith had crumbled! They lost hope in who Jesus said he was before the crucifixion. Jesus noticed this and as they walked, he told the men all the writings of Moses and the prophets, explaining all the Scriptures concerning himself. Basically, Jesus gave these men a VIP bible lesson! The men, still not knowing that this is Jesus, invited him in to eat. Jesus then broke the bread…and it was then, in that moment, that they recognized him!! They were shocked, confused, and probably scared…but then…Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures he had shared with them as they were walking earlier.

    1. You don’t have to know everything about God to share what God’s doing.

    • The women were the first to see. They shared it and people thought they were crazy!
    • A woman shouldn’t be discouraged on sharing the gospel
    • Nonbelievers, or people that doubt you…don’t get discouraged if they don’t believe you as a woman. Our job is to share what Jesus did…Jesus just showing up in our life….

    2. People don’t recognize Jesus for who He is. Regardless of how much we think we know, we never fully grasp who Jesus is.

    • The men knew stuff. They were his followers…but Jesus had to tell them more which is why we must constantly pursue him.
    • It takes Jesus Christ revealing who he is for people to truly grasp that…never our words…but who he is and what he did on the cross is what grasps people to His word and to the cross.

    3. The closest we come to grasping who Jesus Christ is, is understanding what he did on the cross.

      • You don’t’ have to be the smartest person to share what God’s doing…you’ve just got to share what God’s doing…which is what the women did…which planted a seed for the men that were walking…and because the women planted the seed, it opened the door for Christ to show up, unrecognized, until they understood what He did on the cross….through the breaking of the bread which was the piercing of his body.

      Application: The moment we recognize the potential that Christ’s body has on our lives, we can grasp a portion of who He is and the promises that will unfold in our lives. The men were knowledgeable of who Jesus was and what he said he wanted to do…but they didn’t actually apply it until they recognized what His body meant.

      If I pass, God is good. If I don't, God is still good

      Today was a big day. I had a lot of people praying and a lot of encouraging words blowing up my phone, facebook, and twitter. I’ve finished my Pediatric rotation in nursing school with success! There was a LOT of studying involved and it was extremely time consuming. On top of having the stress to be successful in Pediatrics, I also had to pass an exam called the ATI. The ATI has nothing to do with pediatrics; it just has to do with EVERYTHING I’ve learned so far over the last 18 months of nursing school. You must be successful on the ATI exam to move into the upper division of the nursing program which moves towards graduation. So, it’s understandable to see the amount of stress I had on my plate.

      Today, I took the ATI. I did not pass. I missed the mark by 1%. My heart is broken.

      The next step: I’m held back for five weeks with remediation work and I’m provided the opportunity to retake the ATI at the end of the five weeks.

      This blog is not a time for me to just let all my feelings out about how frustrated I am but instead, share what God has already placed on my heart within just a few hours of my unsuccess.

      God has made it evident that I was not disobedient or lazy. I prepared in every way possible. I studied countless hours, took all the practice tests with excellent passing percentages, and prioritized my time. Basically, I worked my butt off because I knew He told me to. One thing for sure: the Lord never promised me success…in the world’s eyes.

      In His eyes, I am successful. He’s after my heart, not my brain! He’s after the care and compassion that I am able to show every day! He’s after the relationships I form with all the people I get to meet, go to school with, and take care of. My calling is not about the standards the world has set before me but instead the standards that HE has set for my spirit!

      It sucks. I want to be really angry, but that’s stupid. His timing is impeccable. So for now, I’m crying out to Him for open ears and eyes of things I may not have seen while my mind was completely focused on school. There’s a reason for this 5 week lag and I’m jacked up to see what happens and what He reveals.

      Please pray for me as I continue to keep up my strength. I have been called to finish the race and I will do it well, no matter what comes my way!

      What my earthly body desires may be completely different than what my heavenly body will need.

      Tiny failures may set you up for huge success.

      Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose.”

      Psalm 84:11 “For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.”

      First, I’m thankful for Chance, an incredible man of God that leads me and supports me through it all. Thank you to all of those who have been showing me love! I heard this song BEFORE my test and thought of each of you, whether we know each other well or not. Love will hold us together. You’re never alone.

      If you ever feel stuck, come to me! We’ll work through it together. Never feel discouraged in your efforts.

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