Sunday, April 14, 2013

Feels like Freedom

Hi all, 
It has been a busy couple of weeks: getting settled in to my new job, trying to do our spring cleaning/organizing, and we made a visit down to my parents last weekend! It was a blast to be back, see the ways the town has changed and stayed the same. We ate good food, saw good friends and family, and had beautiful weather. All of the best things in life. :)  

If anyone reading this has been in Americus over the last few weeks, I hope you have had the privilege of being at Central Baptist and hearing Bryan bringing the Word! He taught last week on what it means to carry our cross, and really count the cost of following Christ. It was challenging, powerful, inspiring... I have been meditating on those passages of Scripture all week. I must put down everything else, and just hold fast to Him. 

In thinking about carrying my cross, I just starting praying about what this should practically look like in my life. Why we fight against it. Why He says we need to do it daily. And as I was praying about this, I realized that the thought of it made me feel... relieved. An odd emotion, I thought initially. People always talk about how hard it is to sacrifice our desires, to desire Him alone. So why would I feel relieved by the thought of carrying my cross?
And then, It hit me that compared to all of the other crap I carry around, carrying my cross is beautifully freeing. It is all I have to carry. I can choose to carry my shame, guilt, doubt, insecurity, sin, baggage... OR I can choose to lay all of those things down and pick up my cross, and follow Him. Not to say walking with Jesus will be a cake walk. He says that the Son of man had nowhere to lay His head. That we should hate our mother and father in comparison to our devotion to Him. That is hard stuff to grapple with. But compared to the alternative of struggling through life, holding on to all of that other garbage, it is an easy choice. It means I can quit trying so hard and rest. I can choose to invest in the things of earth, or the things of heaven. I am choosing the things of heaven! I am pressing into what it means to truly walk with Jesus and daily release everything but my cross. I know nothing else will give me more joy, peace, and purpose. He is so gracious to take our burdens. Yes, it may involve much difficulty and sacrifice- from a worldly perspective. But I will keep on taking heart in that I am building treasures for myself in heaven as I learn what it means to follow Him, step after step.

I am loving this song, and this entire album right now. Give it a listen.. it will bless you!!! 
Have a great week ya'll! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

my new job.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to begin working as a hospice nurse. I started out working just once a week and continued my job in oncology, but a few weeks ago a full-time position opened up and I decided to leave Emory. It didn't feel sudden, it was over the course of a couple of months, and the way everything fell into place really affirmed to me that it was a good decision! I will be mostly in homes, with the patients and caregivers one-on-one. I will be working 8-5 for the first time ever!  While there is a lot that I'm excited about with this new job, there are things that I miss about my old one.

I have been reflecting over how much I have learned over the past few years at Emory. I could never list everything if I tried. There is something very formative about a person's first "real job".  I learned:
How to wake up and be in my car on the way to work in 10 minutes flat.
How to think about at least 26 things at once and be able to mentally prioritize all of these. 
How many different types of personalities there are! Not everyone is just like me (shocking, I know!) Many times my first impression of people was completely off. I've learned to pause before judging someone and get to know them.
How listening more and talking less is always better.
How to remain calm when nothing around me is calming.
I have learned that everyone is carrying a heavy burden of some kind.
.... Not that I have perfected these things, but I have definitely grown. Looking back, I learned them slowly, making a lot of mistakes along the way. I have been humbled many times. I'm reminding myself of that as I step into this next season and I keep on learning. I want to become the kind of person who reminds everyone around me that there is hope and beauty in this world. I want to lay my own heavy burdens at the feet of Jesus every day and help make others' a little bit lighter.

I don't have a lot of pictures from my job at Emory (this is a good thing, believe me!).
But I love this one that was taken on Christmas Eve last year. It was a fun way to spend my Christmas. I have been blessed to get to work with such an awesome group of people. I will always love my 7E girls!!!

Here's to growing, stretching, and new seasons of life!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday morning

I think the reason I don't blog well, or often, is because I journal so much. It feels like double-charting (sorry for the nurse references!). And because I never slow down long enough to finish a blog post! I tend to be a little tornado that doesn't stop until I go to sleep and crash at night, but lately I have been learning about rest. God is teaching me how to do this and I have been enjoying the process! Hopefully, as this process continues my blog will get a little more TLC from me, but we shall see.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Answered Prayers!

I just had to share something that happened last week that blessed me. To pieces!
While at work on Friday, I ran into a patient's wife ... I had not seen this person in over a year, at least. She immediately asked me how I was, and if Kip had gotten a job yet. She proceeded to tell me that she'd prayed every single day since we last spoke, that the Lord would provide Kip with a full time job.  I remembered how she would write down prayer requests in a book and in her spare moments she would pray over the needs specifically. When I told her that he started working full time in August, she threw up her hands with joy and praised God right there. It was such a humbling moment. I asked her how many people she prayed for every day..."Right now, 210."

This has caused me to evaluate the people I pray for, how inconsistent I can be, but also what an honor it is to intercede for them. So many times I pray only for what affects me, or for people whose situations affect me. I think there is something really beautiful about talking to God, honestly asking Him to meet other people's needs when it has no direct benefit to myself. How many of our prayers for others does He answer without us even being aware? I may never pray for 210 people every day, but I want to be transformed into a person of remarkable prayer. Our God does remarkable things, and I want to partner with Him in them.

This woman is still praying for us - now, that we would have children. She says she is asking Him for twins! :) It builds up my faith to know how she's praying so faithfully for someone she hardly knows, believing that God hears and answers. If I find out one day that I'm pregnant with twins, one of the first things I'll think about is her faith. And how much blessing one person's faith can bring to the world.