Stick Em Up!

While the title of this post sounds loaded with fun…it’s not…well…it’s just loaded I guess. It’s about surrender. Whoa! Come back! I lost you there for a second didn’t I? Surrender is a tough thing. For me at least.

I’ve been reading Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray lately. First let me tell you that it’s one of those books that I have to read each sentence twice to make sure I understood what I read. And second I should probably confess that I’m only in the second chapter, but it has me doing some serious thinking. I was so blessed this weekend to have some time for a mini retreat. I told Kerry that I felt like God wanted me to get alone with him, and well…that’s tough to do with 4 little boys. (The post about mommies getting up early for “alone time with God” comes later). So he kept an eye on the kiddos while I went for a cup of coffee and took my Bible and journal to a little coffee shop that was almost deserted. Yes!

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. While we’re not in a place where I can be home full time yet, I find myself balancing work and life at home. It’s something I know lots of moms struggle with. Some by choice and some by necessity. We are continually praying that God will make a way for me to stay home full time soon. It’s where my heart is. Which brings me back to surrender. I’m going to be totally transparent here…I struggle to fully embrace what God has called me to be as a wife and mother. I want to, but my human-ness pulls me in another direction.

First of all…I like praise. I like to be told job well done, I like to feel useful and know that people rely on me to get the job done. I like to feel invaluable. I like to blame it on the fact that I’m a first born and I got praised for just about everything I did when I was a kid…but in reality it’s my sinful nature. Ouch. When I go back and read that last paragraph it sure sounds self serving doesn’t it? Well guess what? It is. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing with being told you’ve done a good job or wanting to do a good job. But when that praise becomes your motivation for doing something…you’ve got a problem. (I should say I’ve got a problem).

As I sat there sipping my coffee and thinking about my need for praise it hit me…I can’t rely on me, I can’t worship myself or expect others to. Call me a slow learner. I will fail to live up to mine (and other’s) expectations every single time. If I judge myself by human standards when will I be good enough, smart enough or giving enough? The world doesn’t value me like God does. In fact, they’ll keep taking what I can give without regard to me as a person. But how do I let that go? Wanna hear something really convicting? Galations 1:10…10For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.


Serve God not man (and not myself). My actions, thoughts, and words should point to God and not to me. Embrace what God has called me to be as a wife and mother. So I’ve begun studying just what that is. What  I’m to do scripturally. I’ve heard it all before, but have never really taken the time to study it for myself.

I plan to share my thoughts here and with you in the hopes that we can be on this journey together and that I can learn from you and you from me…both of us learning from God. I will be brutally honest and transparent (something else I struggle with) so be gentle. 🙂

Hug a nurse

How many of you knew it was nurses week this week? How about that Friday is nurses day? Not many, I’ll bet.

I was in the store the other day picking up a few cards (for another big day on Sunday). I thought I’d pick up a nurses day card or two to send to some special nurses in my life. Guess what…I found 2. A whole 2 to choose from and they were dumb. Really? I’m just gonna say it…nurses are more important than that and I don’t just say it because I am one and because I educate them. Nurses are important to everyone.

It sounds so cliche’ to say that nurses “care” and nurses have “heart” and all that other mushy stuff. You know what though…it’s true. When I started going to college I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people. I got in school and completed 2 years of pre-med and was working as a CNA on our peds floor. (Because I heard med schools liked people who worked from the “ground, up”). What I discoverd though is that the doctor I aspired to be really only spent 5-10 minutes with the patient and it was the nurse who made the connection. That’s what I wanted to do, the CARE part of healthcare. So that summer I got married and changed my major to nursing. I’ve never been sorry since. While in nursing school I worked as a nurse tech on the maternal child floor. I’ll never forget the first birth I saw…I was hooked. I saw that warm, wriggly baby brought into this world by his mother and I KNEW that was it for me. I have never lost my awe at the birth of a baby. It is just as miraculous the 1000th time as it was that first time. Nursing is IT for me.

There are so many opportunities in nursing. I am currently working in education because I wanted to make a difference in the future of nursing. I wanted to influence students, but there are times (more often than not) that I miss my patients. I miss the bedside…where the caring takes place. I think I’ll go back there someday (probably sooner rather than later). I miss the awe of it all…the intensity of labor, the work that is done, the reward of that first cry, the joy on the faces of new parents. Even on my worst days in nursing I feel like I made an impact, I CARED.

When you talk to someone who has been ill or had a family member who has been ill they’ll tell you about their nursing care. They’ll tell you about that nurse who made the difference to them when they were feeling their worst. Nurses make a difference. Nurses are up at night working, nurses miss holidays and parties and family stuff to care for someone else’s family. We do it because we CARE.

One of my students was quoted in the paper this last Sunday…She says ““My contributions to health care will be simple. I don’t believe I will ever discover the cure for cancer or create a new life-saving pharmaceutical drug.  But, I will listen to, care for, offer words of encouragement to, and hold the hands of dying and sick patients and their families. I will be a patient’s first line of defense when they experience a change in their physical or mental status. I will be their advocate and push for whatever it is they may need to feel better, get better, and help them through their plight. My contributions may be small but may make a world of difference in the life of a sick person.” That’s it exactly. And that’s why I love nursing. (You can read the full article here it was written by her dad).

So this nurses week, hug a nurse. Tell them you’re glad they CARE. Because we really do.