Posts tagged Bible verses

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! ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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…! ūüôā 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! ūüėČ

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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24 years ago…

November 6th, 1984, I, Jena Renae Smith, was born into this world.¬†November 6th, 1984, life as I knew it in the womb was changed forever. November 6th, 1984, I was a precious human life that had been spared from abortion because my parents ‘chose life.’ November 6th, 1984, my parents met their second¬†daughter for the first¬†time face to face. November 6th, 1984,¬†God had given my Mom and Dad¬†a gift in the form of a 7# 4.5 oz and 18.5 inches long healthy baby girl. November 6th, 1984, was the consummation of God’s handiwork as He had made me “fearfully and wonderfully.”

But even more significant than November 6th, 1984, were the 9 months prior when¬†the great Creator was molding me, shaping me, and perfecting me to be exactly who He wanted me to be.¬†Every physical feature, every personality trait, every tiny little thing about me He designed…so delicately, so beautifully, so intricately. All the days of my life were being planned out even before I was one day old. Psalm 139, written by David, is most certainly fitting to post on such a day as today…

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.
 4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
         But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
 5 You have hedged me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is high, I cannot attain it.
         
 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
 9 If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
         And Your right hand shall hold me.
¬†11 If I say, ‚ÄúSurely the darkness shall fall on me,‚ÄĚ
         Even the night shall be light about me;
 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
         But the night shines as the day;
         The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
         
 13 For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
         And in Your book they all were written,
         The days fashioned for me,
         When as yet there were none of them.
         
 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
         How great is the sum of them!
 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
         When I awake, I am still with You.
         
 19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
         Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
 20 For they speak against You wickedly;
         Your enemies take Your name in vain.
 21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
         And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
 22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
         I count them my enemies.
         
 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
         Try me, and know my anxieties;
 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
         And lead me in the way everlasting.

And to this day, 24 years later, God is still molding me into who He wants me to be.  

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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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A tragic loss

As Friday rolled around, I was really looking forward to this weekend for several reasons. First, being that I was off from work. Secondly, I was planning to pick up my new car Saturday. And thirdly, the weather was suppose to be really nice so I was hoping to get outside some. I realized soon Saturday morning…that God had a few different plans for my weekend. After making a phone call into the car dealer, I was disappointed to learn that they still did not have my new car. (it’s a rather loooong story!) Yea, I was sad. And then my phone rang…it was¬†a friend from church. I learned the dreaded news that a family from our congregation just lost their 16 year old son in a car wreck about 8:30 that morning. At first, I was in disbelief and couldn’t believe it. The tragic loss was on my mind all day (and all weekend), and I prayed for the family frequently. To a very minor degree, I can identify with the pain and ache of their hearts, since I also have lost a very dear family member – my own mother. It seemed to put a damper on the entire weekend. Church was sad this morning as everyone was mourning the loss of a son, a brother, a friend, and a fellow Believer. The young boy’s dad shared a passage of Scripture that was perhaps a good reminder for all of us. And as he said, “I’ve read these verses many times, but they became very real to me yesterday.”

James 4:13-17 ~

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Our earthly lives are merely a window of time and we never know when our window may close. Today is a gift from God. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Live today like it is your last, because indeed…it could be.

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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! ūüėČ 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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Praise the Lord!

I awoke to the sound of rain this morning (about 8:00 am…yea, I was going to get up earlier but…the doze on my alarm was too tempting!) and it was indeed music to my ears! After working out downstairs, I sat outside on the porch for a short while with Lady, enjoying the sound of the rain pattering on the ground. Lady dislikes storms or rain and tries to get me to let her come in the house by whimpering at the door. And, yes, I caved in for a short while and let her sit right inside the house on the rug…but just for a few minutes and then she had to go back outside on the porch. And although the rain has ceased for now, it is still hazy outside and the scent of rain is still hanging in the air. Dad reports that we got almost 3/4 of an inch of rain. Praise the Lord indeed!

With the rain, I’m glad I can just stay at home today. Serena was mentioning that she wished she could do the same. But she has to teach some quilting classes in Dodge this afternoon and evening…so she will be leaving shortly. Today would actually be a really good day to do some cooking and baking…we’ll see what I can come up with. ūüėČ I also need to practice piano sometime today, call a friend who is moving from Texas to Oregon (yea…looooong road trip!), and check into some ideas for Kid’s Club this fall. Dad was planning to get out and spray the fields this morning before the wind picked up…but I think his plans changed a little due to the rain! He’s not complaining though. I imagine he’ll be in the house most of the day. Right now, he’s sitting on the couch doing some Bible studying.

I was reading Psalm 112 & 113 this morning during my time with the Lord. I am to praise the Lord “…from the rising of the sun to it’s going down…”¬†Why? Because He is worthy of my praise and adoration. Because there is NO ONE like the Lord¬†my God.¬†Because He¬†gave¬†me the gift of eternal life. ¬†Because He created the beauty of the heavens and the earth. Because He is omniscient, omnipresent, unchanging, and all-powerful! Because He gives me joy in the morning. Because He encourages and comforts me. Because He commands that I obey Him…for it is only then that I will be truly happy. Because He disciplines and corrects me when I am wrong. Because He NEVER stops loving me. Praise the Lord!!!

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Song of the Shepherd

 

Psalm 23 (NKJV)

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever.

 

I am just an ordinary sheep in desperate need of an extraordinary Shepherd. One who guides me step by step in life as I wonder aimlessly. One who fulfills my every need at every moment. One who gives me a sense of peace and comfort, even amidst the most difficult circumstances. One who encourages me and lifts my spirits when nothing seems to be going ‘right.’ One who helps me make the hard choices so that I stay on the straight and narrow path. One who takes away all my fears and never leaves me. One who has made me to be royalty. One whose¬†“goodness and mercy” never runs dry. One who has given to me¬†eternal life. There is only One that can satisfy such needs.¬†That ONE is Jesus Christ¬†Himself. He is all of this¬†and so much more.¬†Sheep without a shepherd cannot survive; nor can I without my Savior.

 

 

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