Monday, March 31, 2008

High and Low Points of the Week

High: Sat/Sunday at various times:
The realization I really like my new job. Kids are so much more fun to work with than adults at times! Though this weekend was very hectic and at times frustrating (psycho parents and a quarrelsome pre-teen who likes to protest by pulling off their ventilator), it was extremely fun and satisfying. It was nice to love on some giggly infants while their parents took a break. Even sick kids need a occasional ride in a little red wagon, a joyous birthday party, or a trip to see the fishies in the big tank! It was nice to hear a heartfelt 'thank you' from some very grateful parents and to receive a drawing from a new little friend. It felt good to know I had a pretty important part of bringing some really sick kids back to health, and that the things that I do or don't do can have a huge impact. Even though I still feel like a complete idiot at least once a day (and a partial one more often), it is wonderful to like nursing again.

Low: The flip side of working where I do
Sad, sad situations. Guilty parents. A poor prognosis. Problems we don't know how to fix. Parents forced to live at the hospital with their dying child because nobody will help them care for her at home. Cancer. Disfigurement. And the list could go on and on.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

High and Low Points of the Week: A Day Late

High Point: Easter Sunday, the entire day.

I couldn't sleep. I was too excited, hyper actually, so I got up super early and spent a long time in prayer and study reflecting on what this day symbolizes. At church, the pastor made the announcement that when our facility changes locations, the new name will be Hope Summit Christian Church. I adore the word 'hope' (notice the title of this blog). Easter really is all about hope. If I ever have kids, my daughter has a high likelihood of carrying "Hope" somewhere in her name. The message was great, the worship was powerful, and I was surrounded by so many wonderful people. One of the older ladies who has become a semi-adoptive grandma had me over for lunch with her and her family, which was such a blessing.

Night: Murder Mystery Party in celebration of my birthday!
Almost all of my closest friends gathered to dress up and play an adult version of "Clue", 1920s style, complete with bribes, scheming, and the occassional murder.We were an interesting group of characters, to say the least. 5 of us were ousted by the time the dust settled. After we broke character and laughed till we hurt at different scenes from the event, the night carried on with some quality conversations. My friends are beautiful.

Low Point: Saturday, midday.
A friend called to tell me something that I will admit disappointed me quite a bit. She kept talking, not noticing I was trying to get a few words in and had resorted to just saying her name over and over. Finally, something snapped and I couldn't take it anymore, and I hung up before I realized what I was doing. Immediately appalled at myself, I called her back, kicking myself for being so incredibly immature and for putting a friendship on the line in an instant of anger. Thankfully, she just thought we were disconnected, and didn't think a second thing about it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Day of Spring

I love running. Today the temperatures rose to the point where I could tolerate a long run outside, and it was glorious after a rough winter of begrudgingly doing time on a treadmill. Do not get me wrong: I am not a hardcore, focused runner, but more of an undisciplined, casual, sloppy jogger. But I love it.

I like having the ability to be acutely aware of my breath and the power to control it. I love the feeling of crisp air rushing to where I can almost convince myself I feel it in the very tiniest end portions of my lungs. I love that feeling of accomplishment when I'm done, knowing I've done something good for my body and soul. I love the time alone, time to process or to not think at all, to pray, to silently sing while keeping time with my breaths or the soft pounding of my shoes.

I love the feeling of wrapping the cuffs of my long sleeved t-shirt around my fingers. I love finding oddities around town on my haphazard routes, like random Cambodian stores or teal houses. The myriad of animals that cross my path never cease to amuse me. I adore the endless paved paths, courtesy of the city of Rochester. I love the lakes, the clouds, the sunrises, the sunsets, and the streams. I am proud that I can easily run what most people consider a decent bike ride. I like running in the rain with a baseball cap on, blatantly slashing in puddles and laughing at the geese who look at me like I'm crazy.

I get a kick out of the people I meet along the way too. I like looking in the face of oncoming runners and being able to speculate their reason to run: most people have a distinct look. You can see the determination and discipline on the face of those training for a big race just as much as you can see the joy and peace on the face of one who loves being outside just running. There are the regulars-people you see often, knowing you both like to run but never knowing their name. You see little glimpses of life: the couple married for decades, holding each others' hand either because they want to or they have to to keep going. The new mom groups pushing their infants in giant strollers. The dog-walkers, the fitness buffs, the young couples, the teenager skateboarders. It is such a cool way to see a dynamic cross section of life.

And I even love what comes after the run. The endorphins flow dramatically, improving my mood and energizing my day. Stretching is so comforting, and it is incredibly satisfying to practically feel the lactic acid buildup dissipate into nothingness with each stretch. No matter what else happens that day, I have accomplished something. I love the way I feel when settling down to sleep the night after a hard run. I can't really think of a good word for it--tightness is too strong, achy is too negative, but it is a content, relaxed strength of body and a peaceful mind that welcomes a healing rest.

Monday, March 17, 2008

High and Low Points of the Week

Low Point: I have such a wonderful life right now I can't even think of one. But if I have to put my finger on it....I'd say Sunday morning during the Sunday school lesson I was teaching. The kids were bored and a few older kids spoke the dreaded, "Do we have to?" Tough life, I know.

High Point: Today, of course, because it is my birthday! I mean, what could be better than spending good times with friends and receiving a bazillion phone calls, emails, and packages? I am loved. :-)

Honorable mention: Wednesday night dinner and following. A decent group of us gets together most weeks for Wednesday dinner and worship. For some reason, I was the only girl who could make it this week for the first few hours. Me and a bunch of guy friends hanging out and singing. It was lovely, even if I did have to pull soprano.

Monday, March 10, 2008

High and Low Points: A Weekly Report

I'm going to try to make this a new Monday tradition: a little glimpse into my life by taking a quick view at the high and low points of the previous week.

Low Point: Sunday--starting about 12pm.

You never notice how much Sunday is considered to be a "family day" until you move incredibly far away from your family. You (maybe I should just sub in 'me' here, since it is my blog...) struggle with who to sit with during service. Most people sit with their family. Should I sit by myself and if I'm lucky someone will join me? Should I awkwardly place myself on the fringes of someone else's family and pretend like I fit in?

And I never know quite what to do after church--go home by myself, or hang around long enough to be annoying so maybe someone will ask me to join them for lunch? Be bold and ask other people to lunch, just to have them say they're planning on going with their family? Or hang around long enough to be awkward and yet not get asked to join for lunch? That's what usually happens.

My church is wonderful, and I'm slightly exaggerating my normal response to these situations. Usually someone sits by me if I sit by myself. I often join other friends who have no family nearby. Sometimes I have no problem sitting by myself. I usually am just as happy to go home alone as I am joining others. But this past Sunday it just made me sad. I missed the comfortable presence of knowing who I belonged with. Combine that with the lingering winter bitterness and it was just about more than I could handle.

High Point: Monday-starting about 5pm.

Every week, I meet with a small (but growing) group of girls to discuss life, God, struggles, praises, etc. I just can't say enough good things about this group. Each woman there is a beautiful, sweet, unique testimony to the goodness of God. Each of us have dramatically different personalities, yet we balance each other wonderfully. These girls challenge, encourage, and love me. We started, barely knowing each other, with the intention on creating a community of believers that shared life. And we are doing just that. We share everything from tears to giggles. We challenge each other with what God is teaching us that week. We pray passionately with and for each other. I just love them so much. This silly paragraph does them, and the God who made them and put them in my life, absolutely no justice whatsoever.