Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15

 photo about_zps0e27a4da.jpg
 photo bookshelf_zpse9642860.jpg photo scribbles_zps2889a376.jpg

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Wow, I feel productive. I'm actually not writing on a Wednesday and I'm a day early! And I actually have a specific topic to share!

Is it just me or does something feel seriously wrong here?

Let me check and make sure the moon isn't full and the world isn't ending.

So, to begin...

Last night I was in bed thinking about the week I had ahead of me. Behind me, Monday morning/afternoon I had already put another day of skills in the books and studied for an hour the material for the test this morning.  I was thinking ahead about the test and studying for the skills on Wednesday and my fist clinical on Thursday and some plans my friends and I were making for Friday and Saturday and in and around those activities.

As usual, I was organizing my upcoming week and deciding when and where I would do this and that and how I would fit studying in, when I would go shopping for clinical supplies, when I would pack lunches for all these things, when I would talk to people about schedules, when I would get a shower in (yes, I do plan that too...), when I should get up in the mornings to get to clinicals, where I'll put the things I need, when I'll pack the things I need and where I'll leave them and the list could go on. 

I'll spare you, though.

I like my life to be organized and planned out. I like to know what I'm doing and when I'm doing it. And that's not a  bad thing. Not if you don't let your plans overtake your life. 

That's my problem.

I've become so excessive in my planning, so exact about the order in which things will happen that I panic when the smallest thing intrudes in my life. I frantically rearrange my schedule to accommodate the new disturbance and find another level of organization. Another groove where I control everything and everything happens according to plan. 

James 4:13-15 sums this up perfectly:

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."  

It's not the planning for the future that's wrong. It's the leaving God's will out of the picture. It's the grasp I have on my life, the control, that I won't give up. That's the problem. 

I'm so focused on what I'm doing next, what's next on the agenda, that I am literally ignoring all else until my work is finished. Brothers and sisters get yelled at for interrupting, frustration builds when chores need to be done in the middle of what I want to do, people get cut off because their conversations take too long and I need to get on to the next thing, I get stressed out because I can't control annoyances and they interrupt and bother me. I have such a tight grip on life that a wrench in my plans can send me into a tizzy. 

And God knows it. I've allotted Him a half hour in the morning and even that has a strict routine to it. I read this and this and this and this and then I review this and memorize this. It's so strict that I'll rush through a passage just to stay on track and I don't stop anymore to savor the words. 

I can't. 

I have to stay on schedule, here, Lord! 

So, basically what God showed me last night (once He got through the tangle of Jell-O pudding cups, plastic spoons, study hours, alarm settings and other planning-oriented things that were churning in my brain) was that  when I have such a tight grip on my schedule, I don't give Him any room to work in my life. 

The things He sends my way are ignored in the interests of my schedule, the blessings He tries to bestow through Scripture go unnoticed or are rushed by, the gifts I should be writing down get a perfunctory look and a rushed "thanks a lot God" in passing. I'm only looking ahead to what I have to do. I don't have time to stop and smell the fall air or bask in the glory of an autumn sun through yellow leaves or even really pay attention to what's really important. 

I'm choking life out through my desire - my need - for control.

So, the main point I'm trying to get across is not a sappy, time-worn adage of "stop and smell the roses!", but more like what my Dad told me when I told him I didn't think I wanted to be a CNA after I finished this course. 

Don't limit God. 

Don't tell God what you're going to do or what you don't think you want to do. Don't get yourself into a mindset that says "No, God. I won't do that." Don't give up trusting that He knows what is best and that He works out everything for good. Don't organize your life so much that you don't leave room for the occasional wrench that gets thrown in.

It's not worth it. It really isn't. 

In a tacky summary: God's wrenches are always for your good. 

He wouldn't send them if they weren't part of His plan and He knows the plans He has for you. And He promises that they'll prosper you and not harm you and that they'll give you hope and a future. You never know what is in store for you. 

'Till next time,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Break Out The Spoons!

Seeing as it's been a week since my last post (and that thinking about a post doesn't exactly get it down on paper...Blast!), I guess I should buckle down and type something out. Seems like I've been "just typing something out" for ages... Be ye comforted, though. You're getting more attention than my journal is. And that's for posterity! (Though I cringe at the thought of future generations reading it)

I suppose I can do my usual (these days) posts where I just dump all the information from the week in and give it a good stir or I could try to categorize.


Break out the spoons!

School has been going incredibly well. We're whizzing through everything and I feel like I'm in a blender. At least, my brain does... I'm getting to know my teammates really well and we love to joke around and goof off during skills. :) We also have a great time telling each other how nervous we are and how overwhelming everything is. Miss Patty, our instructor, has been incredibly encouraging to me lately and just this morning I opened up my school email to find a note from her that was absolutely unexpected and (forgive me for repeating myself) incredibly encouraging.

I also made the disconcerting discovery that it's not really fear about passing that's plaguing me about this course, but instead my own rampant laziness. What I had been thinking was fear was actually just my brain saying "this takes too much time! How are you ever going to be able to do anything fun with all this studying?" And my fear and uncertainty about actually doing this for a living was also stemming from the same onerous sin.


Not exactly the most inspiring discovery - or the most comfortable either.

I'm not saying that this is what I want to do with my life, but it's starting to look a lot better now that I've actually taken to heart that verse in Colossians: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. 

We'll see what comes of all this now.

Other than that, I'm going on vacation Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's an annual get-together with a bunch of other families at a state park where we stay in cabins and play frisbee all day and play games all night and have hymn sings and devotions and delicious meals and towel fights in the kitchen. It's awesome. :)

I'm reading Agatha Christie right now (nothing like a good murder mystery to relax you!) and I've just bought a million more books at Goodwill on scratch-off day which I have no room for. Right now they're sitting in bags next to my desk, waiting for...something.

I have been doing a little writing lately, but mostly I'm working on editing (sporadically, of course) my only completed novel: a 94,563 word tome which is in desperate need of polishing. It's so frustrating to go through all the work of writing it and then going back over it and find a million more things that need to be added, changed, rewritten, ect.


And I still haven't decided what my main character's brother is going to look like... I keep telling myself I need to figure that out, but I can't seem to make up my mind about it. Writing can be so scarily permanent at times.

What do you care about that anyway?

Good grief...

As a side note: I can't believe I have twelve followers! Thanks so much to all of you for joining and reading! I always write better when I have an audience. (No wisecracks please)

Well, it's time to sign off and gather more material from life for the next post!

'Till next time!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And on our left...

So here I sit with my chocolate-malt ice cream bar; my current favorite album Meredith Andrew's The Invitation playing through my earbuds; an open window with an Indian summer breeze blowing through (*bliss*); and an unplugged laptop whose battery will take a nose-dive soon if I let this get too long. :(

My homework is done; I have a few hours before I leave to go to a friend's house for dinner and a Biblestudy (another installment of The Truth Project - hurrah!); I have a novel to edit; a journal entry to write; and a major discussion to have with my sister about doll costumes and NaNoWriMo plots (heh-heh).

I really wanted to do NaNoWriMo this year, but I'm afraid that'll have to be postponed due to the necessities of life called "college" and "career" (pish-posh; I didn't ask to grow up). I am determined that I shall do it someday. Maybe I'll do the spring one, depending on what God hands me life-wise by then.

Speaking of God, I stumbled across a phrase in my Bible reading this morning that I absolutely loved: sweet fellowship. Fellowship is sweet. And fellowship with God is the sweetest of all when you take the fruit He has given you (i.e. the Bible) and bite deep and find the sweetness beneath the skin. Prayer, too, is sweet fellowship. When you can open your heart to God and tell Him your fears and hurts and thank Him for your joys and the gifts He pours out on you. That is wonderfully sweet. Which makes me wonder why I never take advantage of it like I can. I'm one of the worst prayer-warriors a person could ask for. I constantly forget to pray or rush through my prayers. It's definitely something I really need to work on.

You're probably beginning to wonder if this post has a point that I'm getting too after an obscenely long introduction. I might as well let you in on the secret:

This post has no point.

Sometimes I just feel like typing and spilling things out and wandering through the caverns of my brain (always a dangerous thing to do).

If you want to come along for the ride, climb aboard. It's harmless, I assure you.

Though I can't promise much when it comes to the scenery.

Yesterday my brother and sister and I were having a discussion about how people make cds these days and how there are so many assistive devices that the person doesn't really need to have much talent besides song-writing (and I would say that many songwriters are sorely lacking in that area as well, though I'll demonstrate unusual self-control and not name names) and a voice that can hold up under the basic notes of a given range. It sure pops a delusional bubble when you find out that the song is mostly perfected electronically (they don't even have to sing in tune anymore, they just correct it with a machine).

Oh well.

I suppose the pioneers of yesteryear would say it's cheating to use a microwave.

Ok, I'm puzzling myself.

I am so excited about Christmas.

(See? I warned you about the scenery)

I can't wait for the music, the decorations, the special programs on the radio, the family time, the presents, the church services, our family tradition of watching like nine different Christmas Carol movies (not to mention It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and The Nativity Story)...


I had something I wanted to talk about here, but I've forgotten what it is... Hmm...

I've been told I'm really morbid because I like books where people die and movies where people die and I like to write about people dying (if you've read my short story Holly and Ivy, you'd notice this). To me, death is a bigger emotional punch than a wedding or a baby or falling in love. Like Anne Shirley said (yeah, I know. I refer to her a lot...) "I'd rather make people cry than laugh".

Personally, I like to do both.

But death? There's something about it that fascinates me in writing and movies. Especially in writing. Exploring the emotions of the people around the dying person, thinking up the medical, physical and emotional aspects of the dying person's character, and everything else that goes with such deliciously morbid material - I love it.

It makes people look at me queerly, though, when I rave about a person dying in a scene of a book or film. I've found out that more people like happy endings than sad ones and they think I'm strange for liking the sad ones. There's just something about a sad ending that gives me more satisfaction than when everything works out perfectly. Plus, I love killing off characters and making people mad at me for doing it. :) You don't realize how much you really liked a character until they're dead, I always say.

Actually, I've never said that before, but you wouldn't have known that if I hadn't told you, so...

I'm lost.

This seems to be a trend right now.

I'll sign off now and let you get back to your lives - which are probably infinitely more interesting than this.

Though if this was boring you wouldn't have gotten to this message.


All right, my computer has just informed me that it's dying. That's one death I don't like.


'Till next time,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sing to the Lord...

for HE is highly exalted. The horse and its rider HE has thrown into the sea! (Exodus 15:21)

Hoorrraayyyy!!!! I passed my first set of skills!

School went from 8 in the morning to 2:45, I wore my royal blue scrubs (which my brother had the tact to tell me that I looked absolutely horrible and I learned how to wash my hands (very serious procedure), how to put on and take off PPE (personal protective equipment: i.e. gloves, mask, and gown), how to clean up a blood/body fluid spill, how to make up an unoccupied bed, and how to make an occupied bed (that was the most difficult, since I had to literally change sheets, blankets and all that jazz with the person IN bed). What fun! I, obviously, made a few mistakes, but those are expected.

I'm just glad it's over.

Praise the Lord, for HE is faithful.

Till next time,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Just a reminder...

that Holly & Ivy is still a work-in-progress. I just put up another installment today, so if you want to read it, click on the page titled Scribbles or go to it as you normally do.

Thanks a lot!

Till next time,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jehovah Jireh - The God Who Provides

What have I been doing lately?

Tis an interesting question.

Basically, I have been studying. Studying. And, um, studying.

I guess I could assure you that my current blog design is safe - there is no way I have time to tinker with it at the moment.

Since Monday, I have been studying from 8 or 9 in the morning until either 3 or 3:45 in the afternoon. I take breaks to do laundry, eat, and clean dishes (when it's my day, that is).

Speaking of laundry... No, I shall finish this first.

*goes to the basement and throws laundry into washer*

I never did have any self-control when duty calls (haha).

Late afternoons and early evenings are my free time. I try not to do anything related to school except for an occasional peek at the textbook to recall something or taking a crack and a half at the list of abbreviations that I have to know. (By the way, does it make any sense that NPO means "nothing by mouth" and then 'so' means "mouth"? Eesh...) I spend my time listening to a local talk radio host who has a peculiarly soothing effect on me because his voice is familiar and I can depend on it being there (I feel seriously uprooted and out-of-the-loop right now), catching up on Focus on the Family's Tour Course The Truth Project (excellent, EXCELLENT topic on the first section - but I'll talk about that later...), capturing bits of time to read a book club selection Whose Body? by Dorthy Sayers (though I must admit that it's a wee bit too much detail for my overloaded brain right now. I hope I'm absorbing enough to be able to discuss it logically at our fabled next meeting...), attending choir on Tuesday night, playing frisbee on Monday night and watching the Milwaukee Brewers battle their way through the playoffs.

I'm beat.

After graduating early and summer vacation (though I did work forty hours most weeks) and a month off before this class started, I guess I was becoming acclimated to not stuffing my brain with material.

And I've been struggling lately with my old nemesis, fear. And worry. And confidence.

 It's been horrid. I've battled it for years and I'm just sick of it. I'm plagued with fears that I'm not doing enough, studying enough, watching enough, reviewing enough. Ugh. If it were up to me, I would kill myself studying.

Thankfully, it's not up to me.

And thankfully, I have a loving family to support me, friends who pray for me and a God whom I have recently been reminded is Jehovah-Jireh - the God who provides.

In the Truth Project that I watched yesterday the speaker made a point, an obvious, simple point, that struck me as it never had before.

I've heard a million times that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. I even did a Bible study with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh's book Lies Young Women Believe.

Do you think I caught on?

Seems like I never do.

The speaker, Dr. Del Tackett by name, said that Satan can't not lie. He isn't capable of truth. He can't tell the truth.

And I've been believing everything Satan's been throwing at me.

I've believed that I'm not capable of this, I've believed that I will fail, I've believed that this is the end of my life, I've believed that there is no way I'll ever pass.

I've believed it all.

And it's all lies.

So if I turn the lie around, what do I get?


And the truth is what brings peace and confidence.

Truth sets you free.

God is with me. God is for me. God will provide.

I am not alone. I am not a failure. This isn't the end of my life. I can do this - and I can do it well.

I'm still nervous and sometimes I'm still afraid, but now I can take that lie and turn it around and trust God to help me.

I love Him.

And nothing is impossible when God is at my side.

'Till next time,