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

Do something everyday that scares you

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.

 

New and Scary #4-Perspective

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.

20150127_122159

New and Scary #3

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

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