My Bucket List

A list of things I want to do someday…

May 21, 2017

Backpack to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and camp there overnight 

Learn how to kite surf

Bike the Dairyland Dare 

Have a high tea in London

Epic kayak + camping trip (like, out in the boonies y’all) 

Learn how to play the guitar

Join a choir

Learn how to swing dance

Go on a snowmobile trip

Catch a baby 

Attend an AWHONN conference

Go to a naturopathic conference

Go on a road trip from the east coast or west coast (or vice-versa) 

Run a Tough Mudder

Sip tea at the White Sands Hotel in Prince Edward Island

Run on a horizontal airport escalator

Be totally and completely immersed in Hispanic culture for a short amount of time, forcing me to speak only Spanish

Skydive

Sew a log cabin quilt

Nail the technique for rock climbing

Sleep outside under a canopy of stars

Make my own kefir, kombucha, and red-raspberry leaf tea 

Plant a garden

Convince my older brother to like coffee

Win a watermelon-seed-spitting contest

Jump in a body of icy waters in the middle of a Minnesota winter

Play tag on top a bunch of hay bales without breaking my neck  

Eat a worm

Experience the Northern Lights

See Carrie Underwood live in concert

Learn the art of hammocking

…..more to come with inspiration!

Thoughts

Oh, the Great Love of Jesus!

February 24, 2017

I don’t know why, but many times as I drive home from work, I find that as my brain is happily spent from practicality, medications, therapies, responsibilities and plan ‘ole adulting, my mind soars to creative, imaginative, inspired and enthralled places. In other words, I often find myself in a beautiful bliss of musings. This in turn sometimes inspires the desire to write…. .using words to form sentences to somehow, somewhat coherently communicate what I’m thinking. Other times I end up at the piano, feverishly composing a song and finding notes and words to express the simmerings of my heart. Other times in a bubbly daze of jazz and country bliss, I immerse myself in the delights of the language of dance – two step, lindy hop, east coast, charleston, or my own half-ballet-half-random-leaping-around-the-living-room variation. And, quite honestly, other times I sit with a glazed expression staring at silly YouTube videos long past my bedtime. Because you know, even creative juices have their ebbs and flows, haha.

But you know? Today is a day to write. Nestled comfortably on my couch with protein pancakes in my tummy and a view of the looming, overcast sky which threatens to break forth, dumping its flaky contents any minute…before I take my makeup off and swallow a melatonin to help me sleep, I must tell you about my thoughts. More importantly, about Jesus and the blessed reminder of His unimaginable love for me.

Let me first back up to last night when I watched a movie with my dad and brothers called Risen. Perhaps you’ve seen it. I had to leave for work before it finished, but the movie struck me powerfully. The setting began shortly after Jesus’ death and focused in on the life of a Roman general. As more of the story unraveled, it seemed to reach a climax in a scene where the resurrected Jesus was sitting with His disciples in an upper room of a house. As He conversed with them, He took one of their hands and gently placed it over the wounds in His hands and His side, inflicted on Him at His crucifixion.

Friends, this agonizing, excruciating proof of unimaginable suffering is a reflection of love so great and so powerful that not even death could stop or break it. Jesus, fully man and fully God, exemplified the power of the cross, the brilliance of His purity standing in stark contrast to our sins and in turn imputing to us the eternal gift of salvation. It was a breathtaking picture and I got cold chills as I realized that someday I will be able to do that very thing.

….I will touch His scars that He endured for the salvation of His sheep…of me.

Words cannot begin to describe the emotion, joy, awe, and power we will experience as all of his people will spend eternity with Him.

Eternity with Him! Let that sink in for a moment!

Driving on my way into work, I felt an intense longing, a burning for heavenly things, knowing that a place has been prepared for me. Basking in the reality of His nearness, I felt such a wonderful peace – a gracious reminder of the inseparable, life-changing grace of God as I am utterly lost in love with my Savior, my Shepherd, my King, my Lord…in love because He first loved me and He has drawn me to Himself, woos me, won me permanently to be His own. I can celebrate this truth every moment of every day because He reigns!

So this morning, I felt as if my Bible reading couldn’t have been more timely as I read the following passage from 2 Corinthians 5:1-8,

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

If you don’t know Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior, I entreat you to invite Him into your heart and accept Him as your Lord. Believe in the gospel – that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and can only come to God through Jesus Christ, covered in His righteousness alone. There is no adventure worthy of comparison to living fully in Him. 

Well, my dear friends, though I wish to tarry and write more, the clock hurries me along and into bed, for another night shift awaits when I wake up. Until next time!

Thoughts

Where My Worth Lies

January 15, 2017

I let out a dejected sigh that gloomy Tuesday morning while driving home from work, my lips pursed tightly together and my jaw stiff as my mind jumbled over and over again various challenges from my shift. Man, I thought to myself, I should have worked with my mama more on hand expression instead of giving her donor milk for baby to help them get ready for discharge, I should have started her flush sooner so she could get her epidural more quickly, I should have had more information in front of me before calling the doctor about my laboring patient, I should have, should have, should have….thoughts of negativity and self-doubt swept over me as I once again picked out my shortcomings and thought of all the things I could have done differently.

I am thankful to say that I haven’t had what I would call a big mistake at work which caused negative effects on the patient (Lordwilling I will avoid those!), but there are moments where, especially looking back in hindsight, I thought I could have done a procedure more efficiently, documented more thoroughly, communicated more effectively, or assessed with better clinical judgement.

It’s easy to get swept up in these. It’s easy to flood our minds of our own inefficiency. We are truly our own greatest critics. Mulling over our shortcomings is a ruthless cycle and was getting me nowhere this particular morning. Nowhere good, at least.

And yet, ever so gently, the Lord is teaching me that the gospel transforms even these situations. When He reminds me of a greater perspective, that is, to know Who I’m serving and Whose I am, as I do all to the glory of God, the focus comes off of myself and a greater heavenly perspective replaces my mere earthly one. I remember that I am part of a much larger picture of God’s plan for salvation and that by faithfully doing what He has called me to do, day by day, He is working out His plan in my life. I need only to trust and obey.

Now of course I can and should absolutely learn from my experiences as I seek to grow and expand my professional nursing career, but the negativity so often associated with those thoughts is gone when I remember that my security lies at the foot of the cross. My worth is not in my job, my academic achievements, my age, appearance, relationships, stuff, talents, or anything else, for I am rooted in Christ today and forever. What blessedness and peace is ours for trusting in our Redeemer, Greatest Treasure, and Wellspring of our souls.

Please take a moment to read through the words to this song by Kristin Getty or listen to it here.

My worth is not in what I own

Not in the strength of flesh and bone

But in the costly wounds of love

At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name

In win or lose, in pride or shame

But in the blood of Christ that flowed

At the cross

My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die

Fame, youth and beauty hurry by

But life eternal calls to us

At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might

Or human wisdom’s fleeting light

But I will boast in knowing Christ

At the cross

Two wonders here that I confess

My worth and my unworthiness

My value fixed – my ransom paid

At the cross

I rejoice in my Redeemer

Greatest Treasure,

Wellspring of my soul

I will trust in Him, no other.