I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results. - Florence Nightingale

(Florence Nightingale nurses)


I'm consistently inconsistent at writing here. I ran across this article the other day and felt like someone wrote an article about me.  I really am an introverted person in the way this article describes introvertedness.

I don't know how else to get back in the writing groove I dream of being in except to start writing.  But each day fills up and pretty soon its 9pm and quiet and I'm lucky if I can pen a sentence worth reading.

The long drives to and from work provide ample time to pray, talk to myself and boil over with all kinds of notes and thoughts I could write out, but by the time I get home (or to work) they are lost in the fog that is my brain.

When you assess a patient as a nurse, you're to do so from head to toe, systematically, so as to not miss anything important.  Systematicness helps me a lot.  But time pressures and the multiple to-do's alarming in my head while I'm in the middle of the system, throws me off.  Most of my shift I feel like I'm running around tripping over the bunch of reminder strings tied to my fingers.  I'm convinced I'm not cut out for hospital nursing, but it's good for me.  For a year at least.

I'll be 40 in May of 2014 and I think I'm just now figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.  Do they call this a mid-life crisis?  I'm NOT going to have one!  But I do think there's more of an awareness of what suits me and what I'm suited for looking back from 40.  Nevertheless, sometimes you just have to do what needs to be done even if its not your "calling".

I enjoy the teaching of nursing and the tasks (blood draws, IV starts, etc.).  I enjoy the people, immensely. I love helping them!  But I am drained and frazzled by the time pressures, high risks, critical staff and doctors, and necessary multi-tasking.  I'm not an adrenaline junkie.  I wonder what this means about me.  It definitely means any success I have right now as a hospital nurse is evidence of the grace God supplies me each minute of each shift.  I wonder what kind of nursing would put me to best use.  Whatever it is, I truly do look up to the Lady of the Lamp as a role model nurse.  Christ has put a heart in me to serve others, to care for them, to do what's best.  This governs my frazzled, easily-distracted and drained self every time I go to work.  Florence was right, with Christ comes kindness to sick man, woman and child.

One of the things I like about working at this hospital is the diversity of the patient population.  In the last 4 shifts I've worked I've cared for Syrian, Iraqi, Burmese, Thai, Swedish, Cuban and Hispanic moms, and more.

My mom used to sing hymns in the house.  One of the hymns I grew up hearing is Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.  It, along with It Is Well With My Soul, Amazing Grace, Farther On, and many others come to mind frequently.  This song by Francesca Battistelli takes from the original Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus hymn.  I like it!




 Quieted,
Sheila

Hard

It's a hard and heavy thing. But I wouldn't want the Rock of my life to be anything else. I wouldn't want my Rock to be soft when hurricanes or cancer or an abandoning spouse or a present unbelieving one or disrespectful kids or scorpion infested apartments or anything else that shatters a person's foundation comes.

Nevertheless, its still a hard and heavy thing to confess:

Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. - Hosea 6:1


You can only find comfort in this hard and heavy truth when you've been slain by the painful things.

This truth searches me.  It shakes whatever can be shaken.  It proves if He's enough, or if there's something else I'm leaning on.

Is He enough if I work full-time or part-time or not at all?  Is He enough if I home school or take the kids to a private school or a public school?  Is He enough if I live close to family or far away in a desert?  Is He enough if I live in a comfortable home or one that's mostly a safety hazard?  Is He enough if my house is clean or cluttered?  Is He enough if I'm physically strong or struggle with health problems? Is He enough if my husband loves me and loves Christ and teaches the kids the scriptures or if he doesn't?  Is He enough if my children trust Christ and follow Him or if they don't?  Is He enough if the kids obey me or if they argue and oppose and challenge? Is He enough if I have a close confidant... or if it feels like I can't turn to anyone?

The rock-solid truth of the Sovereignty and pure-love discipline of my Father God is standing up to my idols, knocking them down and blowing away the things that bind me.


“Though You Slay Me” (featuring John Piper) from Desiring God on Vimeo.




 Quieted,
Sheila

Confetti Post



Much to fill the day and by the time I sit down to blog my brain goes into neutral and I fall asleep in minutes.

Mid afternoon isn't my usual time to take a seat and write out my sojourning thoughts here, but the kids are sitting down to do worksheets from the reading comprehension and math workbooks I bought them last week to prepare them for school on Monday.  So now's a good a time as any.

Where to start...

There's No Place Like Home

I was showering in our make-shift shower- which is literally standing room only as it's only the circumference of a child's hoola hoop- feeling very much like the stance I was in in the place that is usually relaxing to me is exactly how I feel my life is in general right now: no place to relax.  Not exactly something to complain about, nevertheless it is a real stress that wears on you.  As I was standing there, the Holy Spirit knowing all my complaints and searching my anxious thoughts, that still, small voice lifted:

The Son of Man has no place to lay his head.

Mmmm.  Instant comfort.  Instant peace.  Instant rest in a vertical, uncomfortable place.

Home is a dust filled, every-corner-cluttered, tension-filled, labor-intensive place.   Work is a high-risk learning, government-regulated, magnifying-glass-to-your-every-move place.  Church is a battle to get to.  Relationships between the grown-ups are distant, tense... spiritually mismatched.  Right now parenting feels like refereeing a boxing match and facing a judge dressed in 10 year old's clothes.  My own mind is a battle ground.  The fight for faith and the slaying of sin and lies is a constant war.  I'm tired.  I look for a place to rest.  And I look up for that place.  And I realize all this is keeping me from finding here any real home.  I really, truly only find rest in the Holy Spirit's ministry to me and through me; as he teaches me of Jesus and conforms me to his image everyday, and as I open the Word, in which I find all my hope in the promises of God.

He will make all things new.

He blazed the trail of no place to lay his head.

He authored my faith.  He'll finish it.

He is my comfort.  He is my rest.  He is my home.


I'm Just the Farmer.  But I Am a Farmer.


"Oh yeah, well what if I don't want to be a Christian?!" the angry boy bit back at the answer given to the question he had regarding his correction.

"Well I believe dad!"  he shouts as he stomps off feeling successful at taking sides in a family where there are sides, and there should only be one side.

This constant opposition is... constant.  This struggle, this teaching, hearing arguments, correcting, disciplining, comforting, enduring rejection, choosing the unpopular best... it's daily; moment by moment, and I'm tired.

But it's good. It's a constant reminder to me that I can't make the seed come to life.  I can only plant and water and pull weeds and protect from gophers.  But I can't make it grow.  I can't give life, I can only bear it and train it.

Right now there's a tight reign on the most defiant plant.  It wants to grow wild.  It wants to grow sideways and its full of thorns, but with God it has the potential for great beauty and fruit.

I can't just give up and look up and say, "It's all on you God.  Only you can make it grow."  But I can keep doing my part as the farmer and train this wild shoot and look up in faith and say, "Apart from You I can do nothing Lord.  Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  The Lord gives children.  You will not let your word return void.  But you will prosper it for your purposes."

Life this side of heaven is like Saul chasing David.  We are called kings and priests... children of the King.  But we don't get to reign yet.  Instead we are constantly opposed from within and without.

One is not more important than the other.  I need to have the Word and a life that backs it up and lives it out.  I can't just teach Bible stories and quote scriptures.  And I can't just be a nice person and a loving mom and wife.  I have to have both.  A farmer can be the nicest guy in the world but if he doesn't plant a seed he won't have a harvest.  A man who plants seeds but doesn't tend the soil and labor to care tenderly for the plant, to provide it what it needs, what is best, to give it warms and water and good soil... that farmer won't have a harvest either.

This means a lot to me.  It's a much needed reminder:  I am where He has me.  This is my work in His field.



 Quieted,
Sheila

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