Thoughts

What Makes a Place a Home?

IMG_4834

What makes a place a home? Is it the physical house you live in? Is it the familiar route you drive every day to work? Is it the memories made on the front lawn or the family friends down the road?

It dawned on me one evening that there isn’t just one thing or one right answer to this question.

It was late and I was driving home down country roads after a pleasant evening with some ladies from church. I had the window rolled all the way down, of course, and, turning my music off, savored the stillness. Just the crinkle of my tires on the gravel and the sound of buzzards somewhere in the thick darkness, which was pierced only by the light of a few twinkling stars. The warm evening breeze kissed my face and the the piney, woodsy scent of the trees gave me chills of pleasure, translating to a wide grin and closed – er – squinted eyes.

I wondered to myself how a place can become more than just a dot on the map. How do clusters of buildings and acres of land wheedle their way into your heart and how do you come to love it? Now while all of us Christians are never truly home until we reach heaven – our final and ultimate, glorious destination – I do think there is a degree of “settledness” or lack thereof surrounding the place that we inhabit. While I can’t speak for anyone but myself, I do think that a big part of this settledness is borne out of experiences and memories made. Remember that country song “The House that Built Me,” by Miranda Lambert? I wanted to cry the first time I listened to it, emotion welling up inside of me as I thought of the homes that do indeed harbor the memories of days, months, and years of my life gone by:

I thought of my pink bedroom with puffy clouds painted on the walls and hours of “mommying” my dolls, the kitchen where I first learned to bake bread, the steep hill where I propped up a tiny fort with my brothers and ate under ripened pears from our tree in the backyard, the driveway where Mom let me take the wheel of Daddy’s old Buick for the first time with trembling and sweaty palms, the dining room table where birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas celebrations took place and the love shared between each person there, the pasture my room overlooked with my beloved horse and the times spent riding, brushing, and feeding him every single day, the walking trail through the woods that I spend hours in prayer, singing, quizzing myself with my anatomy flashcards, and processing my thoughts aloud, the coffee shops where I giggled with friends over lattes and shared our hearts with each other, and the parks where I studied many an hour throughout nursing school. Oh, what sweet times!

Looking back, it does hurt a little and I want those times back again. But as time moves on, people change, circumstances change, and few things remain the same, even if I had lived in the same place my whole life. The only thing that does not, nor ever will change is the steadfast faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. All we can do is cherish what He has given us today, here and now. Can we trust in Him fully and completely? Is that enough for us?

Yesterday in my Bible reading, I was encouraged by Psalm 16:5-11. The Psalmist’s contentment in the Lord being our portion and our cup struck me in a new way as I pondered the gift of Himself to us. Read this slowly: 

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

   you hold my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

   indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;

   in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me;

   because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;

   my flesh also dwells secure.

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,

   or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;

   in your presence there is fullness of joy;

   at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

We are not promised tomorrow and cannot even anticipate most of the changes that will happen in our lives. Yet we can rest, unshaken, in the promise of God’s gift of Himself to us, that we may experience fullness of joy and everlasting pleasure in Him.  

I now remind myself that here, in Minnesota, are many memories yet to be made and experiences yet to happen. Yes, it’s hard to move on. It’s hard to call a new and unknown place your home. “Beginning again” in a sense is exciting, but overwhelming, and oh yes, discouraging at times. Over time, however, chances are I will drive the same roads, I will find kindred spirits, attend the same church, work in the same job, run the same trails, shop at the same Aldi, and this will be my new home for a season.

It’s a fresh start and a bright beginning.

Even more importantly, though, is that it’s held – all of it – by my heavenly Father, who knows me infinitely more than I will ever know myself and cares for me inexplicably.

In that I find contentedness, rest, and thankfulness.

Thoughts

A Short Update to My Faithful Readers

IMG_4527

If you are reading this, allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping up with my sporadic posting and for faithfully reading what I have to say.

Wow, sitting down and looking at the computer screen, I honestly don’t know where to begin. You may have noticed the recent update to my blog: a more “grown up” version for a more grown up me. :) Little did I know when I started this blog at 15 years old that it would continue to change with me. If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, you’ve seen my posts morph from family ice cream celebrations and pictures of our pets to more of my thoughts and writings. For me, writing is a wonderful thing. I love to communicate my heart through words.

Also the categories of my bungalow have dropped to two simple things: homemaking (because I will always delight in sharing new recipes, life hacks, products I enjoy, hairstyles and beauty tips, etc.) and thoughts, which are vast and varied. I may post a few pictures with updates on “happenings,” but I have been using social media, particularly Facebook, to share life events. I also updated the “about me” section of my blog, if you want to mosey on over and check that out.

I will write more on this later, but right now I find myself in a huge season of transition. Yes, I finished the ASN program, moved to Minnesota to live near my family, passed the NCLEX (woowoo!!), had the privilege of traveling to Ireland, and had an interview just today for a job as an RN. I don’t know exactly how the next years, or even months or weeks, will unfold. I love my dad’s encouragement to write during this time of so much change. It has been difficult and very stretching, but also very blessed, which I’ll be writing about.

So, with all that said, and with the intention of keeping this post short, will you continue to join me on this journey? I hope that you enjoy it and again I want to thank you for following along. Until next time, dear friends! 

Homemaking

The Importance of Breakfast

Hey Y’all!

Today was a snow day! This morning my 5:30 alarm went off as usual and I rolled over to peer at my phone and behold! A text from school saying that all classes were canceled for the day!! I groggily turned off my alarms and sank into a blissful sleep for 3 more hours. Ahhh.

So. All that to say, with my extra time today, I decided to make a video! For our pediatric course this semester, we needed to come up with a teaching project on a topic of choice. As you probably know about me, I love studying nutrition and decided to make a short video on why breakfast is important. I’ve met far too many people who don’t eat breakfast (if you don’t, I promise not to hold it against you, but you may hear my opinion on the subject, haha). ;) Here is my write-up that I also turned in along with it. Hope you guys enjoy and here’s to a wonderful snow day!

I am passionate about nutrition. I believe that it affects our well-being significantly and has a huge impact on our overall health. I believe there is a shortage of good nutrition education, especially for kids, aside from teaching them to eat lots of fruits and veggies. Everybody knows that those are good for you. But with this project I wanted to dig deeper and address an issue that I have seen in multiple kids and adolescents: the issue of skipping breakfast. So many kids see this  as an easy way to not “get fat” or they just “don’t feel like eating in the morning” or they are “too busy.” Whatever these children may tell you, not eating breakfast is a problem and can turn into issues over time. As they grow older and become more independant, teenagers are are forming habits – whether good or bad – that they will carry with them into their adult years. Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are a sad reality, some of which I think could be prevented with good education. We should be educating teens, encouraging them to take control of their health, have a proper relationship with food, and help them to form healthy habits. I created this short video to provide education about the importance of breakfast and some healthy breakfast ideas. My target audience is primarily high-school aged kids, between the ages of 15-18. As a nurse, I have a great opportunity to teach my patients about nutrition. Nutrition education should start from a young age and we should be helping to instill habits that begin now but will last them a lifetime.  

References

Emmerich, Maria. (2012). Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism. Hudson, Wisconsin: Craig Emmerich.

Neithercott, Tracey. (2011). The Importance of Breakfast. Retrieved 1/21/16 from http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/sep/the-importance-of-breakfast.html