Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I look to You.

One of my most favorite places to be--when I have nowhere to go and nothing "important" to do--is curled up on the couch, with a mug of hot coffee in one hand, and my Bible and journal in the other.  Worship music is playing (often too loud), a blanket is draped over me, and I could stay there for two or three hours.  Spending time with Jesus is the most important thing I do in my life, and when I can't do it, my heart aches.  I can definitely make it through my days without this time, but I'm probably not a joy to hang around!  I have learned over the years that I need to come to the waters of life and drink deeply to get my fill.  In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites enough manna for each day.  Not for each few days or for each week or month; for each day.  I am a needy person, so this works perfectly.

Now, though I have learned my needs, this doesn't mean I do this everyday.  My work schedule does not lend itself to being very flexible.  If I am working a day shift, I am up at 5 and out the door by 6:15 and not home til 8pm.  I walk through the door drained of energy, physically and emotionally spent.  I am learning to commune with God in the day to day.  As I love and serve  my patients, I am loving and serving my God.  As I bring a cup of cold water to the thirsty (with ice or no ice?), clothe the poor (need a fresh johnny?), feed the hungry (sometimes the cafeteria puts me on hold for 5 minutes), and heal the sick (that is a nurse's highest priority) to the least, I am doing those things for Jesus.  See Matthew 25:37-40 for proof.  But this doesn't mean that I don't still crave quiet time with my Savior.  So on my days off, I will still get up early enough to get my fill before my busy (in a different way) day off  gets going.

Lately, I have been feeling more and more drained and exhausted.  I'm feeling desperate at times... Can I live like this?  Who is looking out for me?  Will I ever have time to be who I feel like I should be?  I can't do this anymore...  It's when I'm having racing thoughts like these, I know I need to get fresh perspective from God.  This morning the song "God, I Look to You" sung by Jenn Johnson with Bethel Church is filling my soul up and overflowing.  Sometimes someone else's lyrics, that were birthed in their secret place, birthed from the innermost parts of their heart, is exactly what I am feeling and thinking and crying out.  I love what I do.  I love caring for the sick and bringing hope and healing to the hurting and broken, but twelve hour shifts back to back to back with one day break then back to back to back is hard.  I get worn out.  Those above thoughts seem more easily thinkable than ones that inspire and encourage.  I need God.  Not to mention when I leave work, there is my best friend-husband at home waiting for my companionship/dinner/engagement, there is a how-did-we-accumulate-that-much-dirty-clothes-in-three-days pile of laundry, dishes that have been drying on the counter for 96 hours, and dust EVERYWHERE awaiting me at home.  Oh, and I have friends, too.  And a brother and sister I want to spend time with.  And I disciple some wonderful college women.  And I'm a part of a team of people who are moving to Tempe, AZ to see a move of God happen.  I need God.  

In this past week I've started reading a new book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  She is a stay at home farmer's wife, mother of six homeschooler, and follower of Jesus.  She has learned through the years that being thankful is the key to living a full, whole life in God.  Even being thankful for the little things like the sun shining so brightly that it looks like it will burst through my closed blinds any minute.  My friend Joy recommended this book to me, and I know it was really God doing it.  Her words and revelations are like honey to my lips (or music to my ears?) in this season of my life.

So, these are just my random, wandering thoughts this morning.  I look to God for my hope, my help, my encouragement, my inspiration.  I'm not at all complaining about my life, and I know that when each of us sits down to think of all the people/things that we are devoted to, the list is long.  I just want a heavenly perspective for my life and a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.  He is faithful to do it whenever we ask.  Thank you, Lord!  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring! ...almost

The sun is out, the windows are down, and pretty much all of the piles of snow are melted away.  Spring is arriving soon!  This winter has been sooo long, and I didn't realize how much I miss getting to be outside more often.   So I sat down to write this post one week ago, and it's almost funny how things have changed!  It's March 24th, and it's snowing outside.  !@#@(*!  Just kidding.  But needless to say, I am longing for spring. 

One of Andy and my favorite things to do is go on walks around the neighborhood at the end of the day, and I'm looking forward to getting to do that soon.  In the meantime, we've stayed in and watched a movie or read on our free nights (which aren't that often!).  We also got into the show "Lost"... and watched the whole series on Netflix over the course of a month and a half!  I'm not much of a tv watcher, but I was sucked in.  I was glad when we finished!

We're also working on sending out our support letters, letting our friends and family know the details of our move to Arizona.  It's a little bittersweet.  Sending out the letters mean we're finally getting close to our departure date, but it also means that our time in Boston is soon coming to a close.  I've been getting nostalgic and a little sad over the past week... I'm realizing how nice it has been to have family so close.  I've never had that, and over the past few years, I've had my mom and dad's family just a short drive away, and then Victoria and Nick up the street, and now my parents just 40 minutes away at times.  I love being near family, and that will be the biggest sacrifice as we plant this church.  But I've counted the costs, and know that following Jesus wherever he leads us is worth it to me.  I'm going to spend as much time as I can with my family in these next couple of months.

I'll leave you with some pictures of my latest creations...

Oreo-stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from picky-palate.com.  Andy loved these so much that he actually did not let me share them with our friends!  I had to hide them! 

King Cake for Mardi Gras!  This was so fun to make and delicious.  My coworkers loved it.  From baked-bree.com.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes from Annies-eats.com.

SO pretty!

Cinnamon Rolls from baked-bree.com.

Brought one batch to a new mom and froze the other.