Work

Work has been a consistent theme in my life for several weeks now. What it means to work as unto the Lord. As I read this blog post today I was encouraged and inspired. I hope that it does the same for you.

Better Life Coaching Blog

There are people who won’t appreciate your best work.

They may criticise it.

They may reject it.

They may laugh at it.

They may not understand it.

They may not find it helpful at the time.

But don’t let that stop you.

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A Winter’s Night

Here is the northeastern part of the states it has been very cold, frigid even. Temperatures have dropped to single digits overnight, “warming” to the teens during the day. I don’t know about you but in weather like this I don’t want to make any more trips out than absolutely necessary. Hubby and I have spent our evenings enjoying the under the warmth of a cozy, fleece lined blanket, sipping herbal tea and reading.

So what is your preferred way to pass the time on long, cold winter nights?

Warm Tea

First Date

Restaurant scene

We met via an online Christian dating site. After weeks of emails I finally agreed to call him, it was shortly after that we scheduled our first date. It would be truly “blind”, neither had seen a photo of the other…pretty bold, huh? We were meeting at a restaurant about thirty minutes from my home. As planned I arrived a few minutes early. I peaked into the bar and didn’t spy anyone who appeared alone and waiting, so I made my way over to the hostess. There was a reservation in his name. No he hadn’t arrived yet, I was told, shall I show you to your table? We made our way over to a lovely table in the middle of the restaurant. She left 2 beautifully bound leather dinner menus on the table and handed an extensive wine menu to me. Since I had no idea what he liked to drink I placed it alongside the other menu’s on the table.

It was my first time at this restaurant. Since is was a weekend night the tables were beginning to fill with other patron’s. I watched as servers brought some delicious smelling meals to nearby tables. The layout of the place was interesting; several partitions separated a somewhat large room into smaller, more intimate settings. The lighting was not so low that you couldn’t read a menu(I have had that experience) and not so bright that you felt like you were in the school cafeteria. I was still taking in my surroundings when the hostess briefly reappeared and showed a man the table where I was seated. I saw him shake his head “no” and chat with her for a moment before making his way over to me. Pausing by my side he said, “Are you Paige?”. Yes, I am. Are you Steven?

Steven frequently tells the story of how when we met for the first time he told the hostess that I was not who he was meeting. When he glanced at my table he saw 3 menu’s and assumed that it was not the correct table. Luckily she corrected him. We will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary this June.

The incentive for this post was a writing prompt over at the Daily Post. Writer’s liberty was used personalize the post. Thanks for reading.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

Beyond, the topic for this weeks photo challenge. Draw the viewer to look beyond. The top photo was taken December 2011 on the Jersey side of the Hudson river. The attraction was the spectacular sunset, capturing Lady Liberty made it a WOW.

Lady Liberty holds her flame high beyond the city limits

Lady Liberty holds her flame high beyond the city limits

This past Saturday marked the 3 anniversary of the massive earthquake that shook Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, to its core. The death toll exceeded 200,000, the destruction beyond imaginable. I traveled to Haiti post quake and then again the following year to work in a hospital caring for the beautiful Haitian people. This photo was taken on the second trip. Our group traveled to the Citadel. Hiked a mountain that seemed quite massive, at an altitude none of us northerners were used to, in heat and humidity that would make anyone’s hair curl. The views from the top were impressive. There is a reason Haiti is known for its Mountains beyond Mountain.

Atop the Citadel

There is a reason the country of Haiti is known for its mountains beyond mountains.

 

Time is a funny thing

11-22-63My pastor and other bible teachers will tell  you that God created “time” for us. We require the ability to break it down into smaller, bite size chunks. Imagine for a moment what the world we be like without “time”. A chaotic mess would exist, don’t you think? And time is a funny thing too I think. Sometimes it drags, like on a Friday work day. Other times it flies by; most weekends for instance. Earlier this week I was driving down a road that I last traveled on a beautiful sunny day last fall. As I passed by the location where I spent several hours on that October Saturday morning before heading off to meet a dear friend for lunch I thought to myself–that was 3 months ago already–yet in some sense it seems as though it was just last week. How about that eerie de’ja vue experience? I know it happens to all of us, right?

I just completed an audio book by the masterful storyteller, Stephen King, titled 11/22/63. The entire book is focused around an ordinary guy who goes back in time through what he calls a “rabbit hole” to right the terrible wrong that occurred when JFK was assassinated. He discovers however that when you change that past a whole new future is created, seems obvious huh? As the narrator reads the tale aloud I found myself reeling at the changes in the world since 1960. At one point the protagonist’s girlfriend asks about the future and he responds by telling her that a black man is president. She is stunned. This is before desegregation so to hear that less than 50 years in the future a black man would hold the highest office in the country was amazing. And it is, don’t you think? Time is weird. In some ways we can look back across the half a century and be blown away by the speed of  progress yet when we look at the age of our now young adult children we can wonder…how did it go past so fast.

The Splendor of Him

Today, like many other days, I left my house in total darkness. A few mornings this week I could see the sliver of the moon still high in the sky as I pulled out of my driveway to begin my hour commute north to the capital city of Hartford. A short time after leaving my home I entered the commuter lot where I would park my car and climb into the Easy Street van to “let someone else do the driving”. As I relaxed my back against the seat I caught a glimpse of the sky to the east. Pink and purple were exploding in the sky. God’s handiwork in all its Glory.

There are many occasions when I am blessed enough to witness such beauty and always pause at the splendor with gratitude toward the Creator. Today however I chose to post my observation on Facebook. All day long I have been blessed by my friends and even a few strangers commenting on my page. It truly amazes me just how good He is. When we take the time to thank Him and share His glory with the world, He blesses us even further.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
― Bil Keane

This photo was snapped in July as I watched the sunset on Boston Harbor.

Sunset over Boston Harbor

Sunset over Boston Harbor

The Cost of Care

I really like the new reader page over on WordPress.com main page…I have discovered many new blogs using the category search for topics I am interested in. My searching left me wondering something about my own writing though. Way back in my early writing I shared a post about my vocational call to nursing. I close that post stating that being a nurse is really the at the core of my authentic self. What I have been pondering is why I have written so few posts on healthcare and nursing. While I do not have an answer to my question, I have decided to write on this topic today.

Should Hope have a Price Tag?

Should Hope have a Price Tag?

As with so many books that get added to my reading shelf something in the books   description captured my eye. Most likely the fact that the author, a lifetime & well known journalist, penned a book on two topics near and dear to my heart too. Cancer and the cost of healthcare. The book is really a love story and the lives of Terence and Amanda would have remained unknown and unnamed had it not been for his terminal diagnosis of kidney cancer. They live an adventurous life. Her journalism career and his love of learning brings creates a grand backdrop for the novel.

It is always insightful for me, the oncology nurse, to climb inside the patient’s perspective. To hear how confusing our healthcare system is for people, hence the need for nurse navigators(the role I have been carving out since August 2011). But it is more than that. She writes about the huge swings in costs she discovered as she researched for the book after Terence’s death. In the seven years he was ill, they lived in four different states and had four different health insurance policies as a result of her job changes. Each insurance contract has a different negotiated rate for the SAME test. The hospital or other facility gets paid based on those negotiated rates. And if you happen to be one of the unfortunate American who are uninsured you will pay the entire cost–kind of like the sticker price on a new car–the better someone negotiates, the less money s/he can expect to pay.

Sadly, we in the US do not even know what all this care really costs. If you walk into the dry cleaners and want to have your shirt cleaned, at least in Connecticut where I reside, a sign must be posted disclosing the cost for such a service. In my husband’s automotive shop a huge sign hangs indicating the cost of  hourly labor. In addition service he is responsible for calling the customer and discussing a quote before proceeding with the suggested repairs. Yet I walked into the Ear, Nose and Throat doctors office for an exam. No sign hanging. I was however asked for my insurance card. A month and a half later I received a bill in the mail for $685.00; the amount I would be responsible for paying after my High Deductible insurance plan reduced the charges based on the “negotiated” rate. I have got to tell you I find this amount preposterous! I was sitting in the exam chair for about 15 minutes. There was no prior disclosure. Whoa…wait a minute…does anyone out there beside me think there is something wrong here?

We met a woman last week who offered to send us a health insurance quote for one of our young adult children who is presently uninsured. In her email with the quote she tells us that the preventative care is FREE! I respond back–that care is NOT FREE–it comes with a cost.

Thanks dear readers for listening to my rant. If you reside in the US I would urge you to give consideration to my writing. Our consumption of health coupled with our unhealthy lifestyle and our desire to live forever(well maybe not forever but we certainly have a hard time excepting death) is going to bankrupt our nation.