To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
I have been enjoying a short bit of respite this week from my usual chock full life. But I wanted to take a moment to share my accomplishments.
Last Friday I completed what has been the most challenging online college course to date. In 8 seemingly short weeks we plowed through a 760-page text on the interesting but complex subject of microbiology–you know, those little bugs that are everywhere. The course included the do it at home lab pack that required 4 cooked labs done in the luxury of my kitchen and grown in a homemade incubator. I know you are quite envious right about now thinking—wow, I wish I could have spent the last 2 months doing that!
In addition, to that course, I completed an online course in Faith Community Nursing. This has been a long held desire of mine and I felt that the time was now. The course culminated with a 2- day retreat by the water. My dream is to build an active health ministry in my local church.
It has been good to have some downtime this week. However, the break is nearly done now. Next week I start back, three courses this time. I really want to get this degree complete and move onto the next step on my God adventure. I hope that I can bring myself here to write once a week. It is nice to reflect back on my journey and share it with you.
Below are a couple of photo’s from the retreat and the pins I earned.
I stood overlooking the vastness of the desert while during my travels in Jordan last year. I remember thinking the desert in the US does not compare to the sight before my eyes. My state of mind was overwhelmed at the openness of it. This particular photo was taken at Mount Horeb; the place where Moses looked out over the promise land that the Israelite’s would inherit. I wondered if there was less sand then. With so many lush, rich areas on earth I wondered why this was the place that he decided to inhabit. Daily Post
It has been too long since I have shared a piece of my life with the world. Perhaps this post will be the first of a flood or perhaps it is a single drop, that remains to be seen.
My post today is inspired by this week’s photo challenge at The Daily Post, Seasons. Jen is inviting us to share an image that depicts evocative weather or the current season in life. My son, the meteorologist, has some outstanding weather snaps all worth sharing but that is not what sung to my heart.
I have chosen a photo shot a few years ago of me and my husband flying a kite. It is a beautiful depiction of our present life season. All six of our children have left the nest and are making their way in the world. This means that me and him are left to discover the next big adventure God is planning for us. As the photo shows we are holding onto each other and the kite allowing the wind to carry us. It is a fun place to be.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40: 30-31
As I have continued to challenge myself by doing things that scare me I have spent time reflecting on some of my past fears(now overcome). What I discovered through my reflection is a true testimony of the progress we make in life as we partner with God in the plan He has for our life.
I can recall a time in the not so distant past that I almost forfeited an opportunity to attend what was an amazing Christian conference because I was too uptight to spend time in the same hotel room with a few other sisters. Since that time I have traveled to several foreign countries, alone. The first of these trips was to the earthquake ravaged country of Haiti. I wasn’t even sure where Haiti was when the opportunity presented itself but I said YES immediately. I would not have been able to do that a few years earlier. Now this isn’t to say that it wasn’t scary because it was. I remember being completely unnerved when in a very crowded airport I became separated from my passport as the airport porter made me lay my bag on the conveyor belt. This may not sound scary if your travel has not taken you to poor, underdeveloped countries that have just experienced a gigantic influx of travelers all on a journey to offer care after the most catastrophic earthquake to strike this hemisphere in recent memory.
I remember how scared I was what I would feel prompted by God to share a word with the congregation during a Sunday morning worship service. Nowadays I am quick to obey when I feel the Lord tug at my heart and even breath the entire time!
Even something as simple as deciding to ride on the commuter van was scary. Getting into a vehicle and riding 2 hours a day with complete strangers was overwhelming. Today I can call each of those “strangers” friends. But even having accomplished this feat I am intimidated to ride the city bus. Not that we have a real city bus where I live here in rural Southeastern CT but nonetheless, I intend to get on the bus one day soon and experience what it is like to have to use this as my only form of transportation for a shopping excursion.
Going into a yoga class or any exercise class for the first time was scary. Now I am eager to find a yoga studio and attend a class everywhere I travel.
Last year I embarked on a new and scary adventure when I felt a prompting from God to teach a teen girl Sunday school class…well more than teach, initiate. This has turned out to be a remarkable blessing in my life. And I can understand at a greater level how investing into lives of those entrusted to us has such great value.
It is important that I keep staring fear in the face because that is where the growth occurs. I am so thankful for this idea to conquer scary things on a regular basis this year.
So what have I done recently? Well last week I needed to reach out to someone who would agree to be a model family for a class was taking…this was scary for sure… but not only was the answer yes, they really enjoyed telling the story to me. Sadly I have been the person to engage the painful life choices conversation with several of my oncology patients whose disease is progressing. This is always a scary conversation, necessary but scary. And I have had to face the scary truth that I may not get a perfect score in this class I am currently taking. But I will still be okay at the end of the day.
So what have you done this week that is a scary challenge? I would love to hear from you.
I haven’t had any time to write lately as school has kept me very busy. I am home today on a snow day, (southeastern CT got 2-3 feet of the white stuff dumped on us and it continues to snow as I write), so I thought I would sit for a spell and share my heart.
We (my favorite guy and I) have been in the midst of some transitions in our lives and to say that these have not gone according to “our” plan would be an understatement. The problem with this line of thinking is that it isn’t “our” plan, it is His, and frankly speaking He knew all along what was going to occur long before it happened. I share this with you now because at some point I am actually going to clue in before the event and make adjustments or at least be better prepared for the outcome. But for this moment and this situation I am now clued in…or at least for this snapshot in time. And this is what I hear…
We look at situations in the natural…with our natural eyes. What we need to be doing is looking at the situation from God’s perspective. When we get a glimpse of how He sees the it—whoa, watch out—it probably doesn’t look at all like what we thought. We are so self absorbed and focused on what “we” need but His word tells us that He will take care of us, meeting our every need with abundant provision. Why do you think He does this…provide for all our needs that is? Because if all our needs are taken care of we can be about the business of the kingdom. What is that you ask? Saving souls, of course. Our most important task is to show others who Jesus is. Doing what Jesus did. Bringing heaven to earth.
So ask yourself, how are you doing today with this mandate? I know I received a Holy chiropractic adjustment when I laid down.
Putting ourselves out there can be scary. We ask ourselves things like what if they don’t like me or what if the answer is unfavorable? But putting ourselves out there is when the growth happens and where the opportunities are. What if we re-framed the potential responses to the positive; maybe I will make a new friend or perhaps I will get a big YES.
One of my Christmas gifts this year is a perpetual calendar written specifically for nurses with little daily thoughts. One of the sayings that caught my attention is
“what we believe about ourselves can hold us hostage”.
Wow, now there is a true statement.
What is holding you hostage?
So this week I have needed to really put myself out there. I am taking a course these next 8 weeks that will require me to stretch beyond my current borders for sure. This week I needed to find a place to hold a community educational event(and figure out a topic) and find 16 hours of community observation time. This has required me to make contacts with unknown people in search of opportunity. God has been so faithful. I found a pot of gold with a cold call contact. She needed someone to provide March’s community talk. But that is not all, they book the space, do the advertising and asked for a topic that I am completely comfortable with! Awesome!!! Oh and by the way, the day I contacted her scheduling the March event was on her to do list for that very day! God’s perfect timing. I prayed, He answered, I listened. And I overcame a fear of being told no.
I recently stumbled upon a couple of bloggers who have also set out to do scary new things in 2015 and will be linking up with them so consider poking around on some new blogs to see what others are venturing into this year.
Fifty Two weeks of adventure
Such Small hands