Be Quiet Please I have Something to Say

Do you ever feel  that you are the only person who thinks the way you do?

I often find myself silently pondering this very idea. Not too long ago when I was dwelling on this idea the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me that I don’t think like those in the world…my mind is being renewed with the thoughts of Christ.

Hmmm, a familiar verse indeed and one that spoke truth to me at the time. Often when I find myself in the place that reveals my thoughts to be different from those in the world I do not speak up–I consider this the power of discernment–knowing when to speak and when not to is a valuable lesson, one that I was not always mindful of. The circumstances were different in a recent meeting however and I felt the prompting of the Lord to share a perspective that the group needed to hear.

The group consisted of a number of my colleagues, nurses, social workers and other closely related providers of the team. The topic being discussed was the boundaries of the professionals as it pertains to interacting with patients. The “issue” being explored was the  decision of one of the group to go to a patient home to inform him of an upcoming  chemotherapy appointment that he was not aware of.  The patient was known to have many barriers to care, including only having a pay as you go cell phone. I should mention here that one of the primary functions of my role as a nurse navigator is to identify and overcome barriers to care. Well my colleague decided that she would make an “unauthorized” home visit and tell this person of his upcoming appointment. Her decision was not embraced by the administration.(Point #1 of thinking differently than the rest of the world)

The discussion that ensued eventually came around to caregivers, i.e. “the group” attending personal events of a patient, like celebrations and funerals. There was quite a bit of dialogue around the table. Many of the group felt that attending these events blurred the lines of professionalism, who were they attending the event as, the nurse/social worker or as a friend? Still others believed that this simply oversteps an unstated boundary.(Point #2 of thinking differently than the rest of the world)

As I usually do I sat quietly absorbing this conversation and asked, do I speak up or keep silent? The answer I received was to speak up. And so I did.

I entered this profession to provide health care to human beings. This meant showing compassion and mercy towards those that need it. It however doesn’t stop there, at the door. I went on to share with the group that when I have been invited to attend a celebration of some sort by a person I have had the privilege of caring for, I received the invitation with honor. As caregivers we help people in what is often their darkest hour overcome fear and pain creating a unique and treasured bond. Why should I not attend a special event that represents so much to the person? And if the person has extended an invitation to me how would they feel if I didn’t attend? And on those all to often occasions when a person I have provided loving care for leaves this life and enters into eternity should I spare myself the burden of attending the funeral service and forsake the opportunity for closure for me and the family?

Thankfully I have discovered that when I separate myself from these experiences, I cannot possibly be all that I am created to be in that moment–living life authentically and fulfilled.

I have long since come to appreciate that if the Lord has you share something it is to be done if faith–act as the mailman and expect nothing in return. In practice this can be difficult though as affirmation is often a much needed component to our life of obedience. On this occasion the Lord sent a special someone to tell me how much my sharing was appreciated. Oh the JOY!

Warning…that can be habit forming

Good Habit

Habits. We all have them. Habits can be viewed as good. Habits can be viewed as bad. Habits can be developed. Habits can be changed.

A habits is defined as a practice or tendency.

A few habits that come to mind are:

Bathroom Habits

Buckling up

Listening

Eating Habits

Viewing and Reading

Driving

Nail biting

Smoking

Exercise

I have been working over these past four months to develop some new habits and have seen results in several areas. Consistency is key. It has been said that it takes 30 days to make a habit. Change is not easy however, in fact it can be downright painful at times. We must often stare down what we can often view as a glaring inadequacy. Now I know there are those among us that would flip that statement on its head and say it is an area to be improved, which it is but most often when we are seeing ourselves we tend to look at it from the other perspective. I will say however with practice I have begun to see a shift in my thinking from the inadequate person to one who is constantly seeking to improve and grow herself. This doesn’t happen overnight so be patient with yourself.

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.  ~Samuel Johnson

I lean on God and draw from His wisdom and strength, asking where I should seek to change. A number of years ago I smoked cigarettes. I had quit the habit many times but for one reason or another always started again. One day I felt the Lord telling me it was time to quit. So I did. It was quite easy to put them down. As in the past I resumed smoking again after a period of time but this time I really struggled because I knew I was being disobedient to what the Lord asked me to do. Eventually I put them down again but this time it was a real struggle, the cravings were intense and I yearned for a cigarette like I never had before. The season of grace was gone. It had been present when I obeyed initially but not now none the less the directive to quit hadn’t changed. Lesson learned here…do what the Lord asks when he asks…it will probably be easier than if you delay in your response.

Motivation and habit

My personal successes in 2012 include maintaining a well organized home office, creating a priority list of tasks and getting through them each month, rising at 4:30 each morning to spend quiet time reading and journaling, using my directional consistently when driving(this may seem odd but it makes me nuts when others don’t use one so I realized that CHANGE starts with me), and to add to the list this month hanging the laundry outside to dry in an effort to conserve more energy.

What about you…are there new habits you need to develop or old ones you need to let go of?

Designed Perfectly

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Last December my husband and I were out doing some final shopping for one of our many holiday events when he spotted someone he knew. This is not too unusual for my very social husband who really thinks that a stranger is someone he has only yet to meet. We struck a conversation with this guy and his wife who are about the same age as us and like us a second time around marriage. Inspired by the chance meeting he extended an invite to them to join us during one of those said holiday event, an invite which they accepted. Since that chance(not) meeting we have had the opportunity to fellowship with this couple on a few occasions and have become better acquainted. During our most recent evening together the conversation moved toward how God uses us in our life and I was struck by how perfectly we are each crafted to sometimes thrive at other times just survive in our sphere of influence. Let me elaborate.

S.G is employed in the local boat yard as a welder. The mostly men who inhabit the world in which he has been assigned can be shall we say tough, sometimes mean-spirited, crass kind of guys. I know from our conversation that S.G is often challenged by the hardness of the environment yet he is well equipped to handle these guys. S.G has a personal walk with God that enables him to speak boldly into their lives. And it would seem that there is a knowing respect for S.G’s relationship with his savior which at times actually curbs the language and behavior(at least in his presence). It is through him that the light of the Lord is shining in this dark place.

As I pondered this man and his sphere I was struck by how uniquely gifted we each are for exactly our personal sphere of influence. I could not imagine walking the walk that S.G is called to but that is not my walk. Many people have remarked to me over the years how difficult “my” calling is—working with cancer patients;yet I enjoy the rewards daily often finding myself even more greatly blessed than those I minister to.

I was recently reading in the book of John and I came across the story when Jesus reinstates Peter. In this passage Jesus asks Peter 3 times if he loves him. When Peter confirms this to be fact Jesus says to him then follow me. So Peter does. But Peter notices that they are being followed by one of the other disciples and asks Jesus, what about him? To which Jesus replies, what is that to you. You must follow me. Jesus to telling us that it doesn’t matter what the other guy is doing, all that matters is that we are obedient to His command and follow him.

Each one of us is uniquely fashioned by the Creator of the universe to influence an assigned sphere. We need to be less concerned about what the person next to us is doing and more concerned about if we are doing everything we are called to.

What is your assigned sphere of influence? Are you doing your part to spread His light?

Flying Solo

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Every time I see those little cookie vases I smile. It is the simple things in life that are so significant.

Well hard to believe that it is already the middle of March. Happy St. Patty’s Day to all my Irish readers. I am about 50% Irish myself, guess that is why I enjoy beer so muchSmilest-patricks-day

My husband, Steven returns late tomorrow. He doesn’t travel without me so being home alone is unusual although I must confess not unpleasant. It is nice not to have the responsibilities that come along with being a wife for a little while. Not that he is demanding or anything but its nice not to have to be responsible to anyone else for a bit, well except the animals.

Steven and I have been married 7 years this June. Second time around for each of us. As I think back to when we were first married and how I would have felt and acted with his week long absence as compared to today I am very aware of how much I have grown and matured. It is amazing how REAL love makes you feel secure. This security is mostly because I have grown in the Lord these past years AND I am married to a truly wonderful man.

I have made great use of my time alone this week. I am so pleased with the fact that I committed and followed through with early morning rising and journaling every day! Wow, good for me! I have kept a journal for years but never with great consistency. I am still using the same one I wrote in 3 years ago, does that tell you something? Well I was inspired by Cee and Chris who are working through the Artist’s Way and have been journaling 3 pages everyday. I am really impressed with what my journaling has produced over the week and I intend to keep it up.

I have also been really blessed to spend time with each of my daughters, my mom and tomorrow my sister. Last night after work I met my oldest, Emily, at this fabulous place I found on Yelp.IMG_2894 I use Yelp often when I am looking to explore a new area for great eateries. We ordered salads, entrees and even splurged on dessert. Every bite was excellent and I enjoyed left overs today. I will be returning again soon and often.

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I also recommitted myself to Weight Watchers. I am a lifetime member…that means I made my weight loss goal(last March) and no longer pay.  I continued to attend weekly meetings for several months after achieving my weight loss goal but then my life changed and I stopped attending. Well guess what happened? Yep, over the past several months I gained some weight. Not terrible just about 10 pounds or so but I know what can happen and I refuse to do this again. So I cracked out the little WW calculator and began counting points. I have lost about 5 pounds. I plan to lose the rest and then get back to meetings. For me the weekly weigh in keeps me honest and I need that. Next thing is for me to get back on track with some regular exercise. I sure hope I will be writing a post about conquering this hurdle next month!

Well for tonight I think I will go plug into a movie. I borrowed a few from the library and have not watched a one.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Daybook Entry February 25, 2012

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The Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window… the sky is blue with fluffy white clouds and the wind gusts are loud and strong.

I am thankful…that I had the luxury of sleeping in today, spending quiet time with my Lord, that my son is home from college.

In the kitchen…I have just finished preparing tasty breakfast.

I am wearing…a warm turquoise colored turtleneck and a well worn pair of jeans.

I am creating…an authentic life.

I am going…shopping with my husband later this afternoon.

I am wondering…what I should do for dinner tonight.

I am reading…see my Goodreads Widget on the sidebar.

I am hoping…to get outside this weekend even if just for a little while.

I am looking forward to…spring flowers.

I am learninglean into the Lord for everything.

Around the house…things are in fairly good order.

I am pondering…the upcoming assignment for my photography class, God is at Eye Level.

A favorite quote for today…never put a period where God has put a comma.

One of my favorite thingsis to share the love of God with others.

A few plans for the rest of the week: probably a warm meal and a movie tonight, worship followed by lunch with at least one of our children and granddaughter tomorrow, if weather permits a walk outside.

Look who visited my door stoop…it was self service in the cabinet where the bird food is for this little guy…made the dog NUTS!

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Enjoy your Sabbath everyone.

~Paige

Weekly Photo Challenge-Hope

This beautiful Guatemalan child has put her Hope in something greater. I have been thinking quite a bit lately about HOPE because of the work that I do as a cancer nurse. People need HOPE. Deferred hope makes the heart sick. We need to have HOPE is things unseen. Faith to believe in things eternal. We need to offer HOPE to others when their cry is heard. For me, My HOPE is in You Lord.

Guatemalan Child