Thursday, September 25, 2008
I figure I play bass enough without owning one that it warrants maybe like getting my own...essentially, I don't want to mooch as often. I mean, I don't play super often, but I've played some for worship, and I played in a pit orchestra and various other random times in the last few years, and I really miss it...plus, I can't safely store my cello, yet. So, it's not here for me to play on, and it's not quite the same to noodle on a clarinet, really. So, I figured I'd look into getting a bass for Christmas. I've always played an electric bass guitar. But for some reason, I've had it in my head that I should try acoustic electric. I mean, I like the versatility and it seems so practical. I keep thinking, "I could play it when my friends are having guitar parties...or if I go back to camp, it could be used at worship or campfire...I could noodle around without necessarily buying an amp because most gigs I play provide the amp...I can only afford one guitar; so, why not have one that can be played plugged or unplugged?" But then I get to thinking about the adjustment and the fact that I don't know if people would WANT my acoustic bass at the guitar parties (as it would be...supa different...and superfluous)...and what if I don't go back to camp? PLUS, I just don't know if I can really play one. I mean, I tried one out today at the guitar store, and technically, I can play it. I mean, it requires some technique adjustment, but totally do-able. The real question is if I can make the STYLE adjustment. I've always liked to sling it low and rock it hard...that's not exactly how you play acoustic. I've always been a bass chick -- a rock chick (a bass-a-chick-a-rock-a-chick-a-boom!). So, can I be an acoustic chick? Would it just look unnatural to put me behind an acoustic? Could I figure out how to rock out in that new stance...I mean, my bass wouldn't get to be slung near my hip...and the ability to like...move...would change...Could I make that adjustment? Should I make that adjustment? Would it be too weird if I made that adjustment? Would I miss electric too much? Would I get guitar envy when I hung out with David and John? Would this just open the door to me buying a second bass? I know the versatility and practicality suit me...but does acoustic-electric guitar suit me...they're pretty but in such a different way...I just don't know...and if I got one, I'd probably have to steer clear of the natural wood look...it might creep me out too much. I mean, at the store today. I liked playing the acoustic electric, but I couldn't help buy eye the hott electric next to it. Do I have too much of a wandering eye to be satisfied with an acoustic electric? I must figure this out so I know what to put on my Christmas list. My dad wants to know what I want so he can do his own comparison shopping...*sigh*
I wrote this to vent, but by all means, comment...guide me...I just don't know.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So, life’s different…but tumultuous? I dislike using that word, but it seems it’s the best I’ve got right now. I mean, it seems like such a cop-out…like it implies I’m somehow special in life sucking from time to time. I don’t even really know what to say, right now. The past few days, I’ve felt weepy at times, and last night was…no good. It was reminiscent of the early stages of many a no-good day. Where I’m excessively pleased with my empty stomach…and certain I will fail nursing – certain I can’t learn this content and apply it in a sensible way…convinced that I shouldn’t have facebooked people because they’re probably getting sick of me, if they aren’t sick of me already – I should probably quit bugging them…a night where I lie in bed irritated by life…and thinking about how fast my heart is racing (thanks to the gratuitous amounts of coffee I drank to try to pick myself up), wondering what it’d be like for my heart to give out while I slept, realizing you can’t drink THAT much coffee – unless I paired it with way too many prescription pills – but that’s impractical…so, with tears rolling down my eyes, I curled up, praying God would hold me and went to sleep.
So, then, after a night of weird dreams…again…I wake up feeling refreshed and energetic and clear-headed. So clear-headed I almost didn’t drink my morning coffee (it tastes soo good, okay?).
Okay…so, I’ve been in dark places before…nights worse than last night…and had that go on for weeks…I figured I’d have those times again this fall…but things are different now. I have hope and faith…Yeah…Like I have faith that God will use me and guide me to somewhere awesome (I’ve been thinking more and more about going overseas, for the record)…I have faith that God will bring me through…He is my hope. Isn’t there like a verse…something about “our ever-present hope in times of trouble”? Or is that liturgy…either way it just leapt into my head. I have faith that God will hear me when I cry, hold me and never let go…it’s really weird for me…Sometimes I think that I’m kind of slow to get on the religious train…have to be certain and go through many doubts before I realize truth…maybe that’s my perception…but that’s how I feel…I feel that I wade out into the waters, rather than diving in…I guess I have the child-like faith of a timid child (which is weird…cause except for in the case of swimming lessons, I wasn’t one). Point is…I feel like I have more faith…or am stronger in my faith…in my faith that there is a God, one who cares for me and loves and will care for me, even though I can’t say I’m supa solid.
Here’s another big thing I’m growing in…self-care/recognizing need for care. Yeah…like I’ve been sleeping more and more regularly. I don’t really stay up late to work. When I get tired and start struggling to focus, I go to bed (which has been earlier and earlier…but consistent). When I’m hungry, I eat. I’ve been getting like 6-8 hours of sleep…usually closer to 8 hours…I know, weird, right? The weirdest part, I’ve felt less guilty about like sleeping and stuff…less guilty about making sure I’m taken care of (that’s worded strangely…it’s not that I’m doing it all on my own). Like, I don’t feel guilty about sleeping because I do better when I’m well-rested. Once again, my book encouraged me in this. Mother Teresa was talking to the sisters in her convent and expressing her beliefs about not needing to give penance to God in the form of fasting or denying sleep but rather making certain that you are in good health and well rested so that you can give yourself fully to God when serving the poor, the destitute, etc. I mean, she’s right…not that I just believe it because I read it in the book…but it’s like I was coming to this realization and then read it in print and then realized I’d been moving in that direction…if that makes sense. I mean, how can I care for others, if I’m not caring for myself. If I’m tired and weak and sick, I have less of myself to give. Now, granted it’s God who does the work anyway, but I guess…it’s about offering myself to Him and His service…and treating well the body that He has blessed me with…Yup. Maybe when I master this sleeping and eating and Bible reading thing…I’ll be able to add exercise into the balance. Yeah! IDK…just a thought.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
One of the passages that stood out the most to me the other day was regarding the lepers in Calcutta: "(I want to) make them know that they too are the loved children of God & so give them something to live for."
That really struck a chord with me because it's really something I believe. I believe that Christ brings hope. I believe, like Mother Teresa, in bringing people to Christ by showing them His love. When she was establishing the house for the dying, she said it would give her a chance to put her "love in living action". That's what I want.
I got into nursing because I thought it would challenge me intellectually while allowing me to work with people. I figured I could live a comfortable life with good pay and excellent job security. I figured it'd be flexible and I could raise a family...but God's been working on/in me as I've gone through school...somewhere along the way, my focus stopped being on comfort and success -- on nice houses, comfortable living, and pretty things. It's been kind of a slow process as I see it...gradual...I can't think of when it started...but I know it did. I mean, it must have started a ways back, but I know a big step was declining internships to go to camp...and that led to a lot of learning and a lot of growing...and it seems I'm even more in this new place. Like I always loved Mother Teresa and what she did, but her words never sounded so much like my own...that probably sounds cheesy or like I'm trying to say I'm awesome...I know I'm not...I'm no Mother Teresa, but I understand...I I can related to what she says about people. I know people matter to God, and I am thankful for all the times He has let me show them His love. Like at the nursing home...I still had rough days...but I don't think I could have been patient enough to really care for those people if God hadn't been doing it all for me. It reminds me of something my teacher said at my mental health clinical. She was talking about how, especially in mental health nursing, we (our presence) is instrumental in the care we give. She wrapped up her explanation with, "Who are the tools?"...to which, after a slightly awkward pause, we replied, "We are!"
And I want to be God's tool...maybe that'll be my new blog title. I want Him to use me. I want to respond when He calls. I want to go and do and share Him and be with Him...everyday. ;) Because I love that while that's my desire for my life, God can call and use me everyday. I want that...everyday.
It's been weird. I haven't really been ruminating on what I'm going to do with my life lately, but it seems that somehow, it's becoming a little more narrowed down. Just in talking with my roommates, I've been realizing the things I believe in...the things I value...the places where I want to take God (through my nursing skills?). I really believe in Good Samaritan's slogan: "In God's love, everyone is someone." Mother Teresa said something about caring for the poorest of the poor, the unwanted, the rejected, the forgotten...that's what I want to do.
I want to care for people. I want to let them know that they are cared for, not by me because I can't care for them...not like they need to be...because I get hung up on the things that annoy me, I get impatient, I can be harsh and hurtful...but I what I want so badly is for them to know that they are cared for through me...by God...I want them to know that they are loved by God, that they matter. I want them to know that they are not forgotten, they are not useless, they are not beyond love or hope, they are not beyond forgiveness...because they have a God who passionately and eternally loves them...I want them to know that and the beauty of that. I don't care if I have a job where I get to perform a lot of skilled procedures. I don't care if it's action-packed and "exciting". I don't care if I "see a lot". I don't care if I start a thousand IVs and become pro at assisting in surgery. It all means nothing if I'm not caring for someone. I don't want to treat illnesses. I want to treat people...not even that...I want to CARE for people. And I don't just want to care for people who look like me and live like me and I can relate to...I want to care for those who don't know they're cared for. I realized just how much I mean that when my friend and I were discussing convicts the other day. We were discussing what "privileges" convicts should have and which were "a waste". I took a very different stance because I told her that I didn't think that convicts were a waste of time...yes, some will never leave the walls of that prison, but God still loves them, and they can still change...they can still learn...they can still change...We also discussed that day different areas of nursing. My favorite settings so far have been community health (and school nursing), long term care (of the elderly and the developmentally disabled) and mental health. I'm also intrigued by hospice, but haven't tried my hand at it, yet.
You know what I want? What I want so badly that it makes me cry? (I'm almost scared to say it...) I want to go somewhere most people don't want to go and care for the people that think no one cares about them. I want to show them that they are loved. I want to love them so badly. I don't even know who exactly those people are. Sometimes, I think they're the dying. Sometimes I think they are the aged. Sometimes, I think that it's young people who are lost in the business of this world. Sometimes I think it's the poor. Sometimes, I think it's the mentally ill.......Sometimes....Sometimes, I think it's people who aren't in this country...people somewhere far from here...people who don't even have "the basics" of health care...
Maybe those dreams are me parroting "noble undertakings"...but I don't think so...the desire is too real...too huge...
Oh, and when you pair it with my desire to live simply. Oh my goodness. So, I was reading in 1st and 2nd Timothy, right? I was just blown away over and over...1st at a passage that talked about "charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of a faith unfeigned." Oh, I cried...real charity...real love...real faith..."unfeigned"...sincere. It frustrates me because I know I can't do that...not perfectly. Mother Teresa talks about her shortcomings! I'm so impatient...I can be so disconnected...so short-tempered...I question my ability to show compassion and charity to others...but I suppose the beauty of it is that if that's truly my call...then it won't be my compassion or my charity...it won't be my actions...it'll be God...and He...He can do that so well. Reading those books, too, just reminded me of God's provision in all things -- His faithfulness. Like in 1 Timothy chapter 6, I was rocked by the thoughts of richness in the Lord and contentment with His provision. It talked about putting trust in god instead of riches, recognizing that we "can't take it with us". And how if we have riches in this world, we should be willing to help others with what God has provided. Then, in 2 Timothy chapter 1, I was reminded to trust in God's provision of strength and love and faith...it talked about how God had given us a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. I mean, it gave me a lot of peace...because as I come to realize more and more that I want something different..that I want to go out and love people...that God will provide...He will provide everything I need...He'll provide the love and the strength and the faith and He will care for me. And too, it made me think about the assets I have, the blessings I have that I can share...that can help me to help others...like graduating without debt...or (fairly) good health...
I don't know. Maybe I'm just over-excited. Or maybe I'm now embarrassed by my excitement and wishing to diminish it. But that just reminds me of what I was reading in Timothy...about not allowing anyone or anything to dim what I have seen God do. So, I will choose right now to not be ashamed of the desires and the excitement and the learning that I wrote about...it's a blessing...oh, the tears I am crying as I right all this. I feel like my heart's going to explode, and I like it...I like it a lot. Alright, to wrap this up...I'll share the clincher, what really brings the tears to my eyes...I don't want to tell people that "people matter" or that "people matter to God". I want to tell/show each one that they individually matter to God. "You matter because you are loved by God." The crazy thing...is more than ever before (not saying I'm totally on board)...I realize that I, too matter. Like, when I think about how "People matter"...I also hear that I matter...and that God loves me...it's pretty sweet...and I know it's not cause I'm perfect or have become more perfect...He's always loved me...it helps to know that...because it's a great reminder that He'll continue to be faithful, continue to hold me, continue to be with me. Plus, it reminds me that no one else will be perfect either...and they are already loved. It's just a matter of letting them know the truth. Jesus did the grunt work, we get to let everyone know what He's done. It's awesome. It's awesome. I'm pretty sure I had a share along those lines this summer...I feel compelled to find it, now...but perhaps in the morning. For now, I'm going to sleep with a big ol' smile on my lips because Jesus loves me, too.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So, I always had hoped that God would put a "new song" in my heart, and it seems like I'm getting the joy of that pretty frequently. I've just had this desire lately to write and sing...to write poems and songs and whatnot. It's kind of weird for me because I'm not really skilled to write songs, and it's been a looong time since I wrote poetry. It's refreshing, though, to have so much inside me wanting to bubble up and out. Plus, in the past, I wrote poetry out of frustration and anger and angst. It's kind of neat to be writing out of such a good place. I just hope that I have the time one day to sit down and finish one or two of these poems.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Well, that got me thinking a bit. Actually, I'm not even sure why I was thinking about that episode or that show...I've not seen either one for a loooong time...whatever...Be that as it may, I was thinking about this and what's in my purse and what that says about me.
I remember a friend digging through my purse one day a couple years back and finding a multi-tool, an eye patch, some lip gloss, and payment options...yup...don't know what the eye patch was for really...I think left over from a city band performance of Pirates of the Caribbean...
Now, the contents would vary depending on the purse and the occasion, but you would most likely find: kleenex, carmex, a comb, band-aids, moist towelettes or hand sanitizer, various keys, money (checks, cards, etc.), phone, and my Java City punch card...on special occassions, you might find my multi-tool or a camera or my Bible (those vary, though).
So, what does that say about me? Sean was impressed because the kiwi lip gloss was exotic and showed that Angela cared about her lips. The sonnets showed she was deep. The action tickets, someone fun.
Mine would show...that I'm prepared? and...have responsibilities that require money? I have a home and a car? I am a caffeine addict? I could be outdoorsy or sentimental or spiritual? IDK...perhaps I can't analyze it because I actually put those things in my purse...and can only think of the reasons why and not the traits that those reasons reflect? (I especially don't know what the eye patch said about me...though that was back in the day...) Just musings. Do with them what you will.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
However, I was actually pretty good about getting sleep this summer, especially when there were kids in my cabin. I was exhausted most of the time; so, the fact that they had to go to bed early was awesome to me. Of course, I often had to sit awake while they went to the bath house, but that's another issue all together. This fall, I've been doing pretty well. I've had some random nights of sleeplessness, but most of the time, I go to bed at a reasonable hour...or at least more reasonable than in the past...and I sleep...Or, I get to tired, and I go to bed...most of the time. I'm pretty proud of this.
I'm now facing a dilemma, though. My parents came out to visit this past weekend and brought with them a few boxes that hadn't fit in the cruiser on my trip to Brookings. Among those boxes was my bedding. That might sound weird to you, but...it's how I roll. I figured since I'd stay at Bobbie's a few days on my way out here, I would need my sleeping bag. So, I packed that and have been sleeping in my sleeping bag sense. Well, but then again, I slept in my sleeping bag all summer except when I was on day camp. And...before summer started, I was already sleeping in my sleeping bag...starting about April-ish. I went home for Easter and washed my bedding. When I came back, I never felt motivated to make my bed. So, I slept under my quilt on top of my mattress pad, and once recharge season started, I was mostly all about the sleeping bag. Yup. So, other than a few choice weeks, I haven't really used bedding since...sometime in March? And now that I've been sleeping so well...I'm nervous. Do I put my bedding back on my bed? Or do I put it in my closet for a while and keep rocking the sleeping bag? Should I maybe phase in the bedding...like start with just the top sheet and blanket and sleep on top of my sleeping bag but under the top sheet and blanket? Then add the quilt? Then the bottom sheet? I just don't know. All I know is I've definitely been stalling. My bedding's been in my room for 3 days now. I'm still happily sleeping in my purple sleeping bag...I think I'm an addict.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Everyone seems to want to know what I plan to do after graduation. Well, see, I don't graduate until May...so, well, I don't know what I'm doing, yet. The semester just started. BUT...still everyone asks, as if I'm to have an answer...or have an answer soon...between random strangers, schoolmates, friends, and....*sigh* most of all, family...I keep feeling pressure to know what's next.
Maybe it's because I'm a "Type A" in a class full of "Type A's", but I'm starting to fear that I'm behind the curve...My classmates are starting to secure hospital specific scholarships. They're starting to apply to places. They're discussing dream career paths and plans for future schooling. I actually don't know what I want to do or where I want to do it...but I feel like I should have more of an idea than I do, and that feeling alone frustrates me.
Worst part is, it's like I'm being barred from beginning my job search. I know it seems early for such searching, but it's how I roll...I generally apply early for whatever the next step is so I have plenty of time to narrow down my options and can make sure that I have plenty of options -- a complex security net of choices. However, my crazy schedule has kept me from applying anywhere, or even updating my resume and portfolio. Knowing that my stuff isn't up-to-date is irritating because it means I can't apply anywhere, yet. What frustrates me more is my clinical schedule will prevent me from going to the Nursing Career Fair on Monday. That means that I will be unable to meet with, talk with, and interview with potential employers...many potential employers in one spot, and I will be 2 hours away. I feel like it'll just make it so that I'm further behind.
I think it frustrates me most that I'm worried about these things. I kind of alternate between being anxious about getting the job search underway, and guilt at being so worried and impatient. I mean, God and I have talked about this some, and I trust Him to lead me to where I ought to be. I have no reason not to trust Him. He's come through every other time, and He promises to always do so...So, what's my deal? God and I talked one day in the car, and He made it clear to me that it'd be cool...I mean, I'm not really tied down to anything or anywhere...or (while I love many of you) anyone (meaning I'm not married or whatever)...So, it's just God and me, and He is not bound to any particular place. So, we can go anywhere from here (SDSU reference...anyone?). It was also made clear to me that God often puts me in positions where I get to love people and care for people...which can also take place anywhere...because...well...God loves everyone. So, there are people to love and care for everywhere. Plus, I'm going to be a nurse (hopefully) and that means I can get a job about anywhere...so...at this point I was like, "Truth, God. I'll be okay anywhere, and I'm down with that...but...that really doesn't narrow it down...I still don't know what we're doing or where we're going." It's weird because I don't even know how to start my job search at this point. I have no limiting criteria to type into a search...I don't know where we're going...I don't know what I'm doing...I don't know what type of setting...*sigh* So, I guess instead of looking at career postings and job search websites...at this point, I can only look to God to know...which isn't bad...but definitely different...Which is why I'm led to believe that perhaps I'm not behind the curve...just maybe on a tangent to the curve? or on a separate curve? or...something...Regardless...it's perception. I might seem behind, but I could just be going in a separate direction, or maybe on a different plane...or maybe just waiting to leap forward...I don't know...I'm mixing metaphors...I just keep twisting it around in my mind...to come to terms with the fact that I'm not behind...just on a different time-table -- God's.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Okay, I've been especially drawn to certain lines in songs lately. It's weird because those lines stand out so much that they bring tears to my eyes. Sometimes, I don't even know what song I'm listening to, or I've forgotten that I'm still wearing my headphones, but I ALWAYS hear these lines. They just resonate with me. I like that word right now -- resonate. I feel like the lines are singing out the prayers I carry in my own heart.
Here are a few of them:
"I cannot live, I can't breathe unless you do this with me." - The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves
"Jesus, can you show me just how far the east is from the west 'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again...You know just how far the east is from the west, from one scarred hand to the other." - East to West by Casting Crowns
"Wreckless abandon wrapped in common sense. Deep water faith in the shallow end, and we are caught in the middle. With eyes wide open to the differences -- the god we want and the God that is. Will we trade our dreams for His? Are we caught in the middle?" - Somewhere in the Middle by Casting Crowns
"Your love is extravagant. Your friendship, it is intimate." - Your Love is Extravagant by Casting Crowns
"You don't need the answers to all of life's questions. Just know that he loves her, stay by her side, and love her like Jesus." -Love Her Like Jesus by Casting Crowns
"Never let me go. Never, never let me go. Never let me go. I can't without you. Never let me go. It's you that knew me first, and you will know me last." - Five Prayers by Ryan Goeken
I really love the entirety of all of those songs. But those lines just really speak to where I'm at right now. I just want to be caught up in God's love and I want to be secure in it. I want to rest in the assurance that God is present and that He passionately loves me. I want to be in love with Him and seek Him everyday. I really feel challenged by that, though, at the exact same time.
Like, I have so much going on this semester already. I have class and clinical and a bunch of things at church...and I'd like to have time to study and workout and what not. But just juggling...heck, just surviving my standard schedule, is truly demanding. That's why I love the lines about needing God and praying He won't let me go...because I know I can't do any of this without Him. I can't do any of it on my own. It's humbling...and kind of scary...Scary because I so often become a Martha...I get caught up in serving and tend to not make time for worship and prayer. And when it becomes hard to find time, or when I don't feel connected, I'm prone to giving up.
I feel like it's good that I at least have a desire, though. I keep praying that God will increase my desire for Him. So, I would literally hunger and thirst for Him. *sigh*
I don't know how to put my thoughts into words right now. All I keep thinking is that those lines I listed...I sing them over and over again with tears in my eyes...cause...it's like they're the words I can't quite seem to string together on my own.