Sunday, October 28, 2012

Follow Me

"And Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, 
Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; 
for they were fishermen. 
Then He said to them, 
'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.' 
They immediately left their nets and followed him."  
- Matthew 4:18-20


These verses have been on my mind a lot over the last couple weeks. I think about Peter and Andrew being fishermen and about how before Jesus entered their lives, fishing is what they did every day.

I've noticed that the things we do every day somehow begin to define who we are. I have been a nurse for almost 2.5 years now. Before that, I was in nursing school for three years. For the last 5 years, nursing has been a part of my identity.


When people began to hear that I am stepping away from my nursing career for an undefined period of time, some had a hard time wrapping their minds around it. "But, you're a nurse. You worked so hard to be where you are right now. It's such an admirable profession. The job security you have. You are so good with people. You're such a good nurse; your patients and co-workers love you."


I wonder if Peter and Andrew received similar responses... "But you're a fisherman. You're just going to walk away from your livelihood?? Something you're good at? Who does that?"


I'm learning that sometimes the Lord calls you to do things that others might think to be impractical or irresponsible. For a long time, my life only functioned through practical decisions. Those of you who know me well, know that for a few years, every decision I made was based on whether it answered one question: does it make sense? If the answer was yes, I did it. If it didn't, I didn't.

Several years ago, the Lord spoke through Hector Morales on the last full day I spent in Guatemala in 2007. He showed me that I have a choice to accept both good things and bad things. At that time, I struggled almost daily with fear. Fear is not from the Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7) Fear is from Satan, and I could choose to not accept what Satan was offering me. That conversation helped break the chains of lies that held me captive to fear, and from then I slowly began to regain my trust in surrendering my safety and security to the Lord.

A few weeks later, I started nursing school. Five years, and a month or so, later, I'm again learning that I have been living my life under a misconception: nursing makes sense, so it's what I should do.


Friday was my last day at Baptist Health in Little Rock, AR. David and I are so grateful for the support our families and friends have given us as we step out and trust the Lord in His calling me into a new chapter of our life: a chapter challenging us to trust His provision, sovereignty, and calling for our lives.


So, I think about Peter and Andrew. They just followed Him. They didn't know where they were going to end up, or how deciding to walk off the beach away from their nets that day would change the rest of their lives and billions of other peoples' .. They just trusted that He was up to something, and they were going to follow Him there... God's up to something, and we're following. : )

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy 25th Birthday, David!



Like my homemade "Happy Birthday" sign? Growing up my mom ALWAYS hung a "Happy Birthday" sign up for us to see when we came downstairs into the kitchen on our birthday. Last year I didn't have a sign for David, and this year I just had to make the day right by hanging a sign! 

Since we're trying to stay on budget, and I knew we'd be splurging in other ways for his birthday (i.e. birthday dinner), I put my crafty skills to good use. Sperry only managed to eat one of the letters, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out, especially since I had enough construction paper to whip up a little paper chain to match! (It's on the chandelier.) 


Ms. Brenda picked out some MARVELOUS steaks for her boy to grill up for us on his birthday present. 



Meanwhile, I experimented inside with toasted walnuts. (FYI - very easy to burn - must watch carefully if toasting in a toaster oven.) They made a wonderful addition to my simple tossed salad.


All in all, we had a lovely little birthday celebration over the weekend. I couldn't be more grateful to be married to such a wonderful man, and love that we were blessed with the opportunity to celebrate how much we appreciate God's blessing through him in our lives. : )


Monday, October 15, 2012

Pink Pretzels


I have a weakness for yogurt covered pretzels. Usually, I follow a strict "no-sweets-unless-it's-chocolate" rule, but when it comes to yogurt covered pretzels, I give in every time! 

David sneaked these into our grocery cart yesterday - Strawberry Yogurt Covered Pretzels, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a very special 31 days for me. Every day of this month, I think about my grandmother Bea Kendall, my great-aunt Liz Carnes, and my great-aunt Faith Krumin: all determined, ruthless breast cancer warriors who went to be with the Lord within these last 18 months. And then, I think about my lovely Aunt Deane Pfannenstiel: a woman who beat her breast cancer to a pulp! And I praise the Lord for killing her cancer! Four women who set an incredible example for me and what it looks like to trust in the Lord even when the C word attacks everything womanly about you... your breasts, hair, the shape of your body...

As a recovery room nurse at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, I took care of many, many women on the front lines of this fight. Waking up without breasts or waking up to new ones reconstructed, I felt privileged to be able to walk along side them, even if it was just for an hour and a half as they recovered from anesthesia.

I encourage you to join in the fight! Whether you're running in a "Save the Ta-Ta's" t-shirt in the Susan G. Komen 5k, or picking up a carton of pink yogurt covered pretzels that gives proceeds to the cause, give in. : )

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sperry


About a week and half ago, it took David and I both to hold our little pooch (Sperry) down so I could swab the inside of his cheeks to take a DNA sample... Ever since we rescued him from Little Rock Animal Services, we've been perplexed as to what kind of dog he is. We've heard everything from part Australian Shepard to Beagle to Mastiff! 

We had concluded based on numerous Google searches that he is an Entlebucher Mountain Dog. Everything about him (his personality, growth pattern, coloring, fur texture) is to at T an Entlebucher. 

When the test results from his cheek swab came in we were SHOCKED! 

25% mixed breed, 25% German Shepard, 
... 
50% MINIATURE POODLE! 

Speaking as the woman who vacuums our hard woods every other day with our Bissell Lift Off Floors & More PET vacuum, he's not 50% poodle. Poodles don't shed. And Sperry sheds enough beautiful black fur to... well, use your imagination. ; )

We were so disappointed. How could it be? Was this whole DNA-sample-test-kit-sent-to-a-far-off distant-lab some kind of scam? 50% miniature poodle???



Maybe, in some way that we can't understand, because we don't understand canine gene patterns that well, he is part poodle... Or maybe he is Entlebucher. Or just a Heinz 57, as my Grandpa Wayne would say.

Watching our special little Sperry throwing his newest orange chew toy across the living room floor and then chasing it so he could throw it himself again reminded me of how sometimes in life there are things we just don't understand. And sometimes the facts to back it up, to help us understand, don't make sense either. I'm so grateful knowing that the most important things I need to understand, I do. 

Election time every four years, I feel like most of us have this sense of "What's about to happen to our world? How is my world about to change?" Or maybe it's, what am I going to do after I graduate? I lost my job, how am I going to make it? What will I do now? A loved one is gone... How will things ever be the same?

It's the big questions that make you feel small... But the older I get, the more I appreciate feeling small.

Cause, the One who created me, the One who keeps this world going, the One who directs my path, provides for me, and comforts me... He is the same One who created the WHOLE universe. 

The WHOLE universe! The parts I can see in the sky, and the parts our telescopes can't. The crashing waves of the ocean, and the sea creates living so deep beneath our machines can't get there. 

Remembering that makes me feel small, and it makes me feel safe. Because Our God has it all in his hands. All of it. And if He has all of it, and I trust that, then what do I have to worry about?

So what if my dog is half poodle and this company ripped me off $90? 

God used it to remind me that I don't have to have all of the answers. I just have to remember that He does, and when I don't, I need to look to Him.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yeah We Will... : )


Each year, when the leaves start to fall and the air gets crisp and fresh, I find myself snuggling into Autumn. It’s a different kind of excitement than Spring or Summer or Christmas… Fall signals both a reprieve from the heat of summer and the coming of many celebrations surrounding the upcoming holiday season. This is my first Autumn at the base of the Ozark’s… Growing up with the Blue Ridge Mountains just up the road, I crave the beautiful leaves of Fall and am grateful that Arkansas has them too.
Usually, the coming of Fall signals the beginning of school; the start to something new. My husband, David, and I started a new chapter in our adventure book of life about 6 months ago when we left the suburbs of Atlanta for the smaller city of Little Rock, AR where he began law school last month. We have settled into our “barn house” as we like to call it, and our sweet rescue puppy, Sperry, has become a very special member of our little family. Even though we no longer live in the big hustle and bustle of a large city like Atlanta, we find ourselves still being very busy balancing work, school, church, community, exercising, cooking, family, etc! And our friends and family around the globe find themselves in the exact same predicament. : ) So, friends, family, visitors, as you explore our blog, I hope this provides a little window into what’s going on in our life, what’s changing, what’s developing, and where we’re going on this great adventure.
We know no matter where the Lord moves us, that we desire to be ”That City on a Hill, Burning Brightly… We’ll Be a Light to the World Shining Your Glory… Yeah We Will…” (Kristian Stanfill “Not Ashamed”).