Accomplishment

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

~author unknown

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.

 

 

Faith Community Nurse Pins

The Last Day 2014

It was not my intention when I sat down to spend some quiet time with God this morning to take a year-end inventory however, if I have learned anything in the years I have walked with the Lord it is that it is not really about me and what I want but what He has for me.

My pastor has made the comment to take the lesson and leave the luggage. In order to do this we need time to reflect. I believe that God is constantly talking to us. There are always lessons, miracles, wisdom to be gleaned from life experiences however we need to take the time to examine life as it occurs not simply let it pass by. I have tried to be more consistent with this in 2014. I still have much opportunity to improve but so what?!

So as sat this morning quietly reading and sipping my coffee I asked myself what have been the most important lessons learned this year? How have I grown? Where do I need to focus as January rounds the corner because where my focus is will get my attention.

Lessons learned(in no particular order):

Trust God. He has a plan. That plan is better than mine. He will provide the plan when I am ready.

This may seem like a no brainer but all too often I still go about my life doing what I want and hoping it is what God wants too. You can read a past post here is you would like to see how I learned this lesson. The part about the plan is revelatory(for me). I know that things always happen in His perfect time yet this morning He whispered that the plan is revealed when I am ready. Hmm…a partnership, co-laborer in His kingdom?!

Write things down. I remember better when it has been written. Things that happen during the day are important. People and interactions matter, so make notes.

Keep a journal. This is a place to record your thoughts and elaborate on feelings. One of my favorite quotes is “thoughts are disentangled as they pass through our fingerstips”~ Dawson Trotman.

I have taken to writing the names of each patient I interact with during the day. It helps me to remember who they are but more importantly I use it as a prayer reminder lifting each one up throughout the day.

Only this moment is guaranteed, the next is not. Live life with purpose. Be intentional in everything. Set goals. Take risks. Give Glory to God. Say things that are important. Be sure to give time to what is important to me—this should be people(note to self). Love everyone. Always. But especially when you don’t feel like it.

Enough said.

Happy New Year Everyone! Praying that 2015 brings you love, joy and peace.

~ Paige

 

The 50th Year

I recently wrote about my upcoming birthday and shared about my plan to spend a weekend away in the winter woods with my adult children. Well what I did not tell you is that while this was my idea—the whole Go North thing and play in the snow—I do not play any outdoor winter activities. In fact in recent years I have begun to say that I am a “winter observer” enjoying the white stuff from inside my comfy living room preferably with a fire roaring.

So why would I suggest such an adventure?

Well I have decided to make this year the year I “try something(or learn) new” every week. In fact I plan to take it one step further and take up the Eleanor Roosevelt challenge and try something regularly that scares me. I even bought a book that offers suggestions. I keep it on my bedside stand so that I can look upon my commitment every day when I wake and before I go to sleep. So I plan to start with some outdoor winter fun.

I have several ideas of things I hope to conquer over the year. Many of which has my favorite guy grinning from ear to ear as he gets to be my buddy in most! And I figure I will get lots of good blogging material out of it.

So that is 52 weeks of something new. Wanna join me? We can all use a little adventure in our lives, right?!

 

Life Changes-Part Two

“The truth you seek lies not on the road before you, but in the pauses along the way”

~ Jenni Pezzano

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I stood there with the envelope in my hands for a few additional moments and then sliced it open, all the while contemplating what its contents would tell me and how my life would be affected. I scanned the letter and heard my husband ask well???

I didn’t get in I replied.

What, are you kidding me?

Nope, I’m not kidding. I gonna hang up now though.

Standing in my kitchen I quietly folded the letter back up and placed it into the envelope from which it came. Well now at least I knew. So many things would NOT have to change now. You see for me to attend school full-time I would quit the job I enjoyed so much, to say nothing of depending on the income. Now we won’t HAVE to sell the house which would be a struggle to afford without my salary. At least I knew. And quite surprisingly I was okay. Not devastated, not really even sad. One big question did emerge however. Now what?

What do you do when everything you have been preparing for and planning on doesn’t pan out the way you thought?

The only way I know how to answer that question is to seek God. Since I felt it was Him that called me to school to begin with I trusted that He had a plan. So I called out to Him, sought Him with all my heart, and asked for wisdom.

I began looking at other programs and when I felt I found the one that was right I had a conversation with my manager. Up until this point I had not told her that I did not get into the program. She was supportive of course but when I began sharing about the new program I was considering she advised against it. She shared her wisdom and I listened. She suggested I look at a degree in Nursing Education. I told her that this really doesn’t interest me, so back to the beginning I went.

A few days later I was surfing the web looking for programs and a school I had never before looked at came into my search. Hmmm I thought, what is this? A Christian University with the largest online population of students anywhere, with several nursing programs, how is it I have never seen this?

One phone call was all it took for me to know this was where God was planting me. The academic lifestyle was perfect; an entirely online nursing program that would allow me to work full-time AND attend classes. And the cost, let’s just say that it is a fraction of what I would have paid at the school that I wasn’t accepted into.

The other interesting thing is that when I sought God further I decided that Nursing Education is exactly the perfect degree for me. It will allow me to marry my passion for nursing with my desire to train the next generation of professionals. Woohoo, homerun!

So now I work all day and do classwork in the evening. It is a lot of work however it is wonderful to know that I am in the will of God which I found as I paused along the way.

~Peace

Paige

Life Changes

In my extended absence from my blogging chair a number of things have changed in my life, thankfully all of them good. One of the accomplishments reached during my absence has been the completion of my bachelor’s degree—yay me! At the onset of that journey I intended to complete that degree and roll right into a Master’s program to obtain my advance nurse practice degree, in other words, a nurse practitioner. So as I neared the end last December I began the search for the next school. I was so excited when I walked through the doors and into the wing of the nearly new medical building of a local university for an informational session, it felt like the perfect fit. In the spring I submitted my application and went for the interview and began the waiting process.

Then the envelope finally arrived.

I put it on the counter and walked away.

I knew whatever was written on the letter was going to change my life. Getting accepted meant quitting my job, a job I loved, and going to school full-time.

I waited.

All the years of school, months of planning and I chose to wait some more.

Finally I called my husband and told him, it’s here. Of course he asked, “what would that be”, the letter of course…you know the thing that I have been planning and working toward for years, waiting all these weeks to arrive. Oh, he said, well open it.

I can’t, I told him. I know that no matter what those words say it is going to change my(our) lives.

Of course he told me to stop being ridiculous and open the letter. So I did.

Stay Tuned

Dreamers and doers

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers.  But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.

  ~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, 1996

Early on in my blogging journey I shared one of my inspirational reads that helped me to discover “Me”. Today’s inspirational quote is taken from that book.

I am a dreamer but I have not been a consistent doer in all things. In early 2012 my pastor preached a sermon that helped me to easily identify why I did not always reach my dream—I do not always follow through. Yep it was true, I often lacked the stamina to see my dream become reality. Once aware of this truth I could hardly ignore the cold, hard fact and God in His faithfulness wasn’t going to let it go either. So I embarked on a journey toward goal setting with accountability–much of the time blogging about my successes. I still miss the mark but it happens less frequently now. And as His word says, as I have become faithful in small things, larger things have been entrusted to my care(Luke 16:10).

We need to be dreamers who do because as the quote says, the world needs us.

Aim High

 

Thanks for reading today.

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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Good-bye 2012. Welcome 2013.

I am a destiny seeker. I believe in God Almighty and desire to be part of “His”tory. To that end I set aside time at the beginning of each new calendar year to seek Him, His will and His pleasure. So as the page on the calendar changes to reveal 2013 I find myself wanting to re-look at 2012 and gain perspective on my accomplishments, this brings encouragement. I find it equally important to look at the boxes left unchecked on the list. Why did these things not get done? Do I need to re-list these items in 2013 or do they go in the discard pile like an unwanted nine of spades?

I blogged very consistently from January through May and published a monthly inventory for the sake of accountability. You know the vow… Thou shall not lie to oneself?…that is what a regular publication helps to accomplish, down to earth honesty with yourself and the readers of the world. What follows is a brief trek through the past not quite 12 months as found here at the Authentic Me.

January 2012 found me admitting that I can often falter in the determination portion of reaching my Destiny. And while I cannot say that I have written my last word in this chapter, I do believe I have made serious progress. Reading this again has helped me to regain this valuable perspective.

I look back at February to find that most of my goals stuck all year. February was also marked by a rather successful, in my opinion, Guest Blog month which focused on Celebrating Women’s History, check out the page if you missed any of the entries or just would like to re-read a favorite.

Enter March. Wow, I am impressed with myself. I am writing regularly here at the Authentic Me. My readership is growing and my new found time riding the commuter van has allowed me to read more of YOUR writing. New challenges found me, you can read about them HERE.

In April I wrote my favorite post titled, What’s so Good about Friday”. April also found me honoring planet Earth and making a few new commitments to aid in her conservation. Most impressive I move all these conservation items into the check column of my list and add a few new ones, i.e., putting up a dryer line in the basement and in 2013 we will convert to natural gas as a heating source. I continue to ride the commuter van AND enjoyed a plentiful bounty from a home garden:)

May is where my blogging pretty much halts, I don’t reappear until September with a promise to post again soon but take another four month hiatus. These months have been jam packed with wonderfulness! New grand-babies, trips to Boston and the Southwestern states of Nevada and Arizona, successful completion of 2 courses toward my nearly complete degree, ongoing volunteer work with both Dress for Success and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp(both worthy and wonderful organizations). I see that I reached(and exceeded) my annual reading goal, checkout my Goodreads page for reviews. I continue to struggle with Yoga–my new and much more strenuous workout than I ever gave credit to–but 2013 I intend to reach new heights!

Questions to Ponder…

So why the stop and go here at Authentic Me? I think that as life became increasingly busy with a new school schedule there was the need to let go of something to make space; blog writing was cut from the bill. I didn’t stop writing entirely though as one of the courses I took required a serious commitment to research and writing on a topic that was God given;Spirituality in Healthcare.

What does the future of the blog look like? Well I have given it a face-lift with a new theme, I kinda like it, what about you? Classes will resume in January as I press on toward the goal of the degree but I really want to keep writing here too, so I will be here at least weekly to share my world either in words or photo’s, perhaps with a book review or a recipe from Foodie Group, maybe even some future guest blogs–Celebrate Women’s History anyone?

I close the year with a few new faces that joined our growing family in 2012.

Nonni and EthanBeautiful LucyEthan JohnIMG_0390Big Sister Piper

See you dear friends in 2013. May your New Year be filled with Blessing and Joy!

~Paige @ the Authentic Me

March Inventory

March_poem

In my part of the world we did not experience Mother Nature as described in this poem. Quite the contrary in fact. We enjoyed some record high March temperatures and the early arrival of many Spring flowers. Unfortunately we had a hard frost this week and the early to arrive magnolia blooms have suffered. It has been fun to hear from so many who have shared their visions on my Spring Sharing post, if you haven’t added your two cents please stop over.

I like to take time each month to summarize where I am toward my goals. I have found this helps to keep me accountable. What I have discovered this month is in writing my goals down I have begun to stretch a bit more. It’s really exciting. To that point I have joined both the walking challenge and the stair climbing challenge over on Stopping the Wind. This has helped me to re-engage with my fitness goal. I have committed to increasing my weekly steps and stairs in April. I invite you to cheer me on. To see my and all other bloggers progress visit the links above.

10000 steps

I have tried a couple of new things on my blog this month that engaged my readers actively. I invite you to visit my Celebrating Women’s History page for a complete index of some great posts about inspiring women.  I have really enjoyed these interactions and intend to make them regular highlights on my blog. Stay tuned for more…I hope that you will considering writing a guest post(theme to be announced) as well as post a comment to whatever question is posed. This is a great way to share your thoughts and opinions with the world and experience new bloggers. My other blogging accomplishment this month was to reach 500 likes on the Authentic Me. Thanks to all who visit and click the like button.

likeable-blog-500-small

Over the month I have discovered many new to me blogs. I find new blogs in a few ways. One is to follow through a comment on another blog, I either like something they have to say OR I simply like the name of the blog. I have also used the WP tags a couple of times. Beware this can really suck you if you’re not careful. It is my hope to begin a regular post of interesting blogs I read. Once I figure out how to best flag a post I will move forward. I have also found many new blogs through my use of Twitter. One of my goals in March has been to build my Twitter account. My efforts have brought me almost 300 new followers. I have been very intentional in building my account and have already learned so many things from those that I follow.twitter

I have not been as active with my new camera as I would have thought but my outings have brought some nice snaps. I have registered for a digital photography course hosted in May by the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is in the beautiful Delaware Water Gap area so I expect plenty of glorious opportunities to snap great pictures. Adding to the pleasure is my husband and two dear friends.

I have continued to maintain an organized home office. I am very pleased with this new habit(3 months now so I can call it a habit). It has helped to keep us on track with our personal financial goals and it looks neat all the time. I appreciate both of these outcomes.

I have not reached my reading goal for the month of March. At least not of the books I am reading/listening to. I certainly spent a lot of time reading blogs and articles for work. I will need to re-evaluate my time budget and determine if I need to adjust. I do know that it is easy to get absorbed in the WWW if not careful. I try to set time limits so that I don’t become consumed.

To my great pleasure I continue to write daily in my personal journal. I have found great encouragement in connecting with my pen and paper each morning. I have even moved the alarm up by 30 minutes to the scary 4:30am time so that I can have more time in prayer and journaling. My Heavenly Father has been faithful to meet me each day I sacrifice myself to get up to be with him.

All in all it has been a wonderful month. I have learned and grown each day…thanks to all of you who share the journey with me. I am excited to discover what He has for me in April.

~Paige