Archive for Inspiration

Overwhelmed.

Today I spent a couple hours in my room thinking, praying, reading and meditating on Scripture, and just focusing on Christ alone. It was refreshing. It left me feeling loved, yes, loved with the unfailing love of my Savior. And it left me feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by His goodness and mercy. Overwhelmed by His care for me in even the littlest details of my life. Overwhelmed by how He works all things together for good. Overwhelmed by the amazing Godly friends He has brought into my life. Overwhelmed by the job He has provided for me and the passion He has given me for nursing and the NICU babies. Overwhelmed…because I am not deserving of any of this. Overwhelmed…simply because God has given me this and so much more anyway!

So…for a little update on day to day life. I have officially been on night shift at the hospital for two weeks now and I keep hoping it will get easier to sleep during the day. So far it seems, either the lawnmover, kids screaming at the pool, or the neighbors upstairs have been successful at waking me up before I really wanted to wake up! 😦  Otherwise, I am enjoying the night shift. It is so much more conducive to learning because there is not near the chaos and people around as there is during the day shift. I’m enjoying slowly getting to know other nurses on the unit. I’m definitely just enjoying taking care of the wee little ones too…and falling in love with most of them!

I’m also seeing a huge but exciting challenge ahead of me. I’m working on a unit that staffs over 200 nurses, many nurse practitioners, residents, fellows, and drs., plus the countless parents and families that I will become aquainted with. Many (perhaps most…) of these people probably do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They do not know true love, peace, and joy that can only come from Christ alone. So…what a great mission field! What great opportunities God has set before me! I’m already feeling a burden, a desire, and a passion to share how God has changed my life! I look forward to the days, weeks, months ahead…I look forward to being used by God…I look forward to seeing God work in amazing ways. He always does! He always will!

The past few days, I have been able to visit with a couple of the sweetest of friends. Friends who live far away and so hugs can only be through the phone! Nevertheless, I have been hugely encouraged by them. They have remained an inspiration and joy. I can share anything and everything with them and I know even if they don’t completely understand, they feel whatever I feel right along with me. We think alike. We have the same ideals, goals, and morals. We are kindred spirits. There is nothing quite as sweet as such sisters in the Lord! Love you girlies!! 🙂

We sang this song, In Christ Alone,  in church this morning and truly the words describe what I am feeling tonight.

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I’ll overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal to the grace by which I stand

Chorus:
In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone do I glory
For only by His grace I am redeemed
For only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
And now I seek no greater honor in just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses to the glory of my Lord

I believe that says it all. Goodnight.

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I am ready…

Okay…so as of Monday I’ve been in Oklahoma City for officially three weeks now. It really seems like I’ve been here longer. Briann and I have settled in well and still love and adore our apartment and the convenient location! I’m super glad last week is over for a couple of reasons. 1) The sitting and listening to lectures on hospital policies, procedures, etc. etc. etc…gets to be a drag VERY quickly! 2) Now I’m that much closer to really being a NICU nurse! At this time I still feel like I haven’t actually started my job but……………………………that’s about to change! Friday is my very first day on the 7th floor of the Everett Tower of OU Medical Center taking care of itty-bitty babies! 🙂

Monday, I took the S.T.A.B.L.E  (Sugar and safe care. Temperature. Airway. Blood pressure. Lab work. Emotional support.) class at the hospital. Basically it told us all about taking care of the newborns and preemies. It was very informative but overwhelming! There is soooo much to learn and know and understand…I feel kinda dumb right now. But some of it won’t make a whole lot of sense until I actually see it and put the skills to work in real life on the nursing floor. 🙂

I have had off yesterday, today, and tomorrow. By Friday, I will be more than ready to start the job! But…in the meantime, it has been nice to relax, work-out, tan, and accomplish some things on my to-do list.  Yesterday, I cleaned my bathroom (yup…the whole works…the toilet, the tub, the sink, the floor, and even the mirror!), paid my credit card bill, balanced by checkbook, talked to my Grandma on the phone, ran a couple of miles along with some weight lifting, jumped in the pool, and then laid out to tan. Oh, and I did a load of laundry and applied the furniture protectant to our living room and dining room furniture. 🙂

Most of today I spent cleaning the rest of the apartment. Briann and I really haven’t done any cleaning since we’ve moved in and it was beginning to show. So…I swept and mopped the kitchen floor, vacuumed, and dusted. Plus, I visited with a couple of my friends for several hours on the phone…! 🙂 It was fabulous…I hadn’t talked to some of them for a while and we had a lot of catching up to do! I laid out at the pool for only about 45 minutes before it clouded up and started raining. It rained nice and gentle and calmly most of the afternoon.  I even opened the screen door on our patio while I was cleaning and listened to the rain and let in the cool fresh air! Briann finally go home from orientation today about 6pm (she got stuck in rush hour traffic!) and I made a run to Wal-Mart (only a few blocks away!) for some chips ‘n salsa…we were in the mood and didn’t have any in the apartment! 😉

This evening turned out to be splendid…the wind remained dead and it stayed about 70 degrees. So about 8pm, I went out for a 2-mile jog with my ipod. It was super nice! I got some pictures ordered from Winkflash today too to fill some of my empty photo frames that are sitting about here and so I can put up the wall decor in my room! I still have wall decor for my bathroom that I need to put up too. Maybe tomorrow…???

With Friday quickly approaching and as I contemplate my new nursing job, several things come to mind.  I will face new challenges, some unknown territory, huge changes in the ‘kind’ and ‘size’ of nursing that I’m used to, and some very difficult and stretching circumstances.  I will have a whole new world of co-workers and Drs. to get to know. There will be times I feel completely lost and feel like things couldn’t get any worse. But ah yes, I have indeed felt that way before and have survived! Perhaps I’m making it sound like I’m dreading Friday…??? Really, quite the contrary! I’m excited! I can’t wait to learn everthing about these precious little lives and how to help them live and thrive! I can’t wait to get to know my co-workers and make some more nursing friends. I can’t wait to learn my way around the hosptial (that will takes lots and LOTS of time…especially with my lack of any sense of direction ;))! I can’t wait to meet some of the neonatologists (hopefully there’s a few that are young and cute…). *grin*  I even can’t wait to get my first paycheck!

Along with all the firsts that will be happening as I start work on the floor and the excitement and anticipation, I’m also very much reminded that I cannot do this and succeed without the Lord. It is by His wonderful grace that I have gotten this long-awaited and much desired job and it is only by His grace that I will truly become a NICU nurse. Several verses seem very applicable for me right now…

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Philippians 1:6 “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

As I was reading the first chapter of Romans this morning during my quiet time with the Lord, I was sweetly convicted by Paul’s attitude and devotion to his Savior. Paul describes himself as a “…bondservant of Jesus Christ….” The McAuthor Study notes in my Bible describe a bondservant, in the Hebrew sense, as a servant who willingly obeys and serves his Master not out of obligation, but because he truly loves and respects Him. WOW…how often do I seriously read my Bible or pray or meditate on Scripture or do Bible study merely because I know I should. AHHHH….yes, too often. So Lord, it is my prayer that you change my ‘have to’ to a ‘want to.’ I don’t want it to be a routine or a chore, I want to crave and long to read God’s precious Word and to talk to Him as I would a best friend (because He really is the bestest of best friends)! And so, in facing the amazing times ahead, I ultimately desire to serve the Lord. He is my life at home, at church, at work, and everywhere in between. I look forward to opportunities to witness and to be that shining light in the midst of a dark world. I am confident that God will provide the opportunities…I must be ready. I must be willing.

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Jeremiah 29:11

Yesterday morning during my quiet time with the Lord, I read a passage of Scripture that has always been very comforting and encouraging to me.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord,

thoughts of peace and not of evil,

to give you a future and a hope.”

 

My Bible is the New King James Version and that is usually the translation that I prefer. But I liked the New Internation Version of this verse even better.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,

plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

Just imagine…God knows MY future…tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now, and even many years from now. He desires the absolute best for me. He doesn’t want to hurt me but to help me. He has already given me hope of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. And He plans a life for me full of joy and success if I will continue..

“Living for Jesus a life that is true;

Striving to please Him in all that I do;

Yeilding alleigence, glad-hearted and free;

This is the pathway of blessing for me.”

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More from Let Me Be A Woman

October 13, 2008

Chapter 4:

“God has to be in charge of details if He is going to be in charge of the overall design.” Wow! The great God that I serve, the God of the whole entire universe is concerned with even the littlest, mundane, everyday things. He is interested in not only the big picture, but also, all of the little pictures that make up the big one. Not a single little thing happens by chance. The fact that I was born a woman is part of God’s perfect plan. I praise Him for being a woman, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a neice, and hopefully someday a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and an aunt.

Chapter 5: 

As a woman, I was made for something…for a man. This began way back in the garden of Eden. Eve was made from Adam and for Adam. God created woman to be a helper, a companion and a soulmate to her husband. Man is not complete without a woman, but together they are whole, complete, fulfilled, and able to carry out God’s command to multiply and fill the earth.

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Let Me Be A Woman

A dear friend and I just started doing a book study together this past week via the phone. Each week we are reading a couple of chapters in Let Me Be A Woman by Elizabeth Elliot and jotting down some notes. Then we share with each other the thoughts, insights, and convictions that God is bringing to our attention. Even though we’ve only had one ‘session’, I have been incredibly encouraged by it and am so excited about the study that I want to pass along some of my notes from the first three chapters.

October 8, 2008
Chapter 1:

“We are not for one moment of our lives at the mercy of chance.” WOW! That’s incredible! God is in control 100% of everything 100% of the time. Nothing ever happens that He does not know or that takes Him by surprise. And not only is He in control but He works ALL things together for good to those who love Him. So…why wouldn’t I want to trust a God who knows all, is in perfect control of all, and works all together for my good?!

Chapter 2:

“Is being a woman fundamentally different from being a man?” YES! God has created man and woman with different roles to fulfill. If women were to act as men or vice versa, would He not of just created everyone male…or female? Men and women are equally neccessary and important in a relationship and family but have different parts to play for there to be harmony in the home. The man is to be the Spiritual leader of the family and is to love His wife as God loves His bride, the Church. The woman is to submit to her husband as is pleasing to the Lord.

“What is marriage?” Marriage is two people and two lives becoming one. Marriage requires that each one love the other more than himself/herself, loving unconditionally as Christ Himself loves us. Marriage requires giving 100% of yourself to the other. Marriage requires selflessness and forgiveness. Marriage is the beautiful union created and ordained by God of a husband and wife, who as single wholeheartedly served the Lord, and now together, can serve Him even more.

Chapter 3:

Worship is an act and it takes discipline.” Oh my goodness…that statement is like a thorn in my flesh. Discipline…that’s a word that I don’t like to hear, a word that I wish sometimes didn’t even exist. How easy it is to worship and adore my Savior WHEN I feel like it. But what about those days, those times, those moments when I don’t feel like it? That’s much more of a challenge! It is so tempting to justify why I don’t have time to spend with the Lord today or why I’m not ‘in the mood.’ Maybe my excuse is because I slept in or I have too much to do today or I’m too tired and it’s late and I have to work tomorrow…my excuses never run dry. It is merely a matter of…DISCIPLINE – doing what I don’t always feel like doing even when I don’t feel like doing it. 🙂  And…I’m always glad I did!

 

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Wanted: Male Suitor

Classified Ad: WANTED single Chrisitan male suitor, mid to upper 20’s, sense of humor, college education preferred, loves the outdoors, dislikes snakes, growing relationship with the Lord, desires to be the Godly leader of his family, seeks partner for life.

 

If only the answer to such a deep desire was as simple as placing an ad in the local newspaper….   

 

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*Riiiing*

*Hello?*

*yes, I’m ummm answering your ad in the paper…*

{ackward silence}

*ok…uh, do you meet all of the qualifications listed?*

*yes…ma’am.*

{ackward silence again}

*well then, when would you like to meet my dad?*

*CLICK!*

 

Ok…so I hope that this would never ever really happen! But I, like so many of you young ladies out there, desire to meet my soul-mate, to fall in love with the one that God has choosen for me, and to live happily ever after. Sometimes though, the years of singlehood keep growing and I begin to wonder if and when it will ever happen. Do you too feel like singleness will go on f-o-r-e-v-e-r? Do you find yourself pondering IF such a Godly man exists today? And IF he does, how in the world will you ever meet him?

After a while, it becomes overwhelming and discouraging. I meet a young man…and think “just maybe this is him….”  But the more that I desperately try to get involved and make it work…it doesn’t. God throws him completely out of my love life picture. Recently, God has been sweetly showing me again (yes, for not the first, second, or third time, but probably the hundredth) that I need to stay out of it! He knows where the answer to that ad is and He knows where I am. He knows the exact moment we will meet. He not only knows the future but He holds it in His hands. He wants me to completely surrender my desire for a husband to Him and allow Him to write every word, every paragraph, and every page of my love story. Who better to be the author of romance than my heavenly Father?

So…while God is writing the love story of _________ and Jena _______, what am I suppose to do? Sit back, do nothing, and just wait to get married? Absolutely not! God has given me the gift of singlehood now so I can practice what it means to give. Real giving is seeking out the needs of others and helping to fulfill those needs. As human beings, we are selfish and we are creatures of want. We do what pleases us or what benefits us. But a marriage relationship cannot thrive unless both the husband and wife give 100% of themselves to the other. So God really does know what He is doing…He is preparing me to be a wife and mother someday. He’s just giving me a whole lot of practice time!

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Who am I?

I have been meaning to publish this post for quite a while, but never finished the thoughts that I had begun…until now. Perhaps now too it seems even more fitting after hearing the song, Who Am I, by Casting Crowns the other evening.  

A couple weeks ago in Sunday school, our teacher asked the question, “Who are you?” Apart from your name,  where you live, your family, your job…ect., how would you answer the question, “Who are you?” Whenever someone asks me that question whether at work or while shopping or at church, my answer is usually something like this, “I’m Quincy’s daughter,” “I’m Jena,”  “I’m the middle sister,” “I live at Ensign,” or “I’m a nurse at Meade Hospital.”  Just as that is the truth, it’s also not the complete truth. What if I were to start answering such questions with answers like “I’m a child of God,” “I’m a part of God’s family,” or “I serve the Lord Jesus.” Perhaps I would get a few strange looks and comments and some ackward silent moments, but in reality, my identity first and foremost rests in Jesus Christ. My job could change. I might relocate (hopefully someday!). I could even change my name! 😉 But I will always be a child of the King of Kings. I will always be a part of His family. And ‘my job’ will always be serving Him. Forever and ever!

WHO AM I really? I AM A CHILD OF GOD! That means He is my Father. That means He is worthy of my respect, honor, and love. That means I am to obey Him. That means I am to listen to Him. That means I am to talk to Him. So…why do I so often forget about my heavenly Father? Why do I fail to communicate with Him as I should? Why do I live sometimes as if He doesn’t exist? Why do I try to hide things ‘in the closet’ as if He doesn’t see and know everything?

Is it because I’m ashamed? YES! Is it because I want to look good to the world? YES! Is it because living a life disciplined and devoted to Jesus Christ is hard? YES! Is it because I fear rejection and persecution? YES! Is it because I don’t want to give up some of those things that I’m hiding ‘in the closet’? YES!

Who do I really want by life defined by…the world, or the God of the universe? What does God think about my life? What am I doing to please Him? Am I forgoing the passing pleasures of this earthy life and my fleshly desires to further the kingdom of God?

Do I really want to answer my own questions…?

no, but…

The ugly truth hurts. I fail so much at “living for Jesus a life that is true.” Yet, despite my failures, I have Someone living within me giving me the want-to and the power to do what pleases the Lord. Jesus didn’t ascend into heaven and say “so long, you’re on your own now.” He gave me a Helper, the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, Whom the Father will send in My Name; He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (NKJV) He gives me the power to say “NO” to temptation and “YES” to God.

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