Saturday, December 27, 2008

So this is Christmas...

"So this is Christmas and what have you done?"
---John Lennon, War is Over

Ah Christmastime. I love it and hate it at the same time. I love the warm fuzzy feelings. Yet, just as quickly as this crazy season began, its over. This year has been more hectic than others since the Trevor Taylor family has made some strides in overcoming that beast called debt, more precisely in the form of student loans.
So since August we have been working in two different states: he as a contractor in Oklahoma and me as a contract, or traveling, nurse. Started out in Temple, Texas. It was crazy but I had expected as much since the first try is usually a little crazy.
Since the end of October, negotiations started with a new company for a new location: Harris Methodist in Fort Worth. I feel like my life has become a whirlwind of one thing after another. Most of all I miss my friends in Oklahoma who have become so dear to my heart.
The three hour drive to Texas gives me a lot of time to ponder life so I have listened to some interesting sermons in my car. The latest is a series on faith called Five Things That Grow Your Faith by Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor at Northpoint Community Church. So as this season comes and I sometimes ask, "Why?" this sermon fell into my hands.
One of the things that helps grow faith are providential relationships. Since Christmas is a celebration of how Christ came into the world so it seems appropriate that I think about some people who entered my world and changed it forever. ( And this is by no means an exclusive list I am sure many more impacted my life than I can mention.)
First and foremost my parents influenced me at an early age to be in church and have kept encouraging my to have faith in God to direct my path. I remember how people like Barb Venable and Ron and Bettie Watson came into my life and encouraged me to learn about the Bible and how to have a relationship with God. George Pearson, Kevin Sellars, and Darrell Paulk took the time to teach me how to live out my faith. Claudette and I worked out our faith as we walked around Gordon many a night as we listened to each others' stories. The Haynes and Cherrys helped me develop my faith in college through some tough times. Julie, Brandee, and Elizabeth Erin , Karmen, Autumn and Jennifer were closer than sisters to me in my struggles and celebrations. I also met my husband and cannot say enough how much his life, words,and actions cause me to believe that God can and will win over all.
My husband's family has been good to me too in welcoming me into a second "family." Carla, Mark, Ty, Jess, Tiff, Travis, Denise and Kevin, all brought me in different ways. My Oklahoma "family" includes many sisters too like Alicia, Kendal, Michelle, Kim, Pam, Julie, Jena, Leslie, and many, many others from my church family and beyond. Our good friend Dave encourages with his words. I also have to mention the many in my Tri-State family as well: Jim, Lois, Sue, Dori, John, Teresa, Ben, Sam, Brandi, Holly, Matt, Marty, Andrea, Marvin, Linda, Christian, Kelsey, and so many others.
I start to think about how blessed I am to have so many providential relationships in my life. People who have entered my life like Christ did so many years ago, never to leave the world like he found it. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy." Phillipians 1: 1-2
So when my faith falters I think on "my people" and how God will make things right again. Until that day I will have to believe.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad. They are celebrating 35 years today.


Trevor and I are doing well. Busy getting things "winter proof" and working.
We also:
1) Took a trip to Kansas to the Tri State camp meeting on October 31st--November 1st. Nice to see camp friends and help plan Tri State for this summer.
*Look at the new Tri State camp site. I am excited how God's going to work this summer!

2) Trevor and I have been communicating well. We have "tea times" almost every night.

*This is us on the shores of Lake Belton outside Belton, TX.

3) After catching my electric range on fire yesterday we have done some rearranging in the kitchen to avoid further mishaps. Don't worry every one was fine. Just lost most of my potholders.

4) I accepted a travel nurse job at Harris Methodist in Fort Worth. Its much closer and closer to my parents. They are way excited.

5) Our friends, Nick and Christi Clemons finally had Isabella Faith on Tuesday, November 18th. Christi had been on bed rest for about 3 weeks for preterm labor complications. Isabella, who was actually 35 weeks gestational age, instead of the estimated 32 or 33 weeks, was 5 lbs 6 oz . She looks like a little doll. They were able to go home yesterday.

7) I went to see my friend Jennifer in Tulsa. It was good to see her. She's a cute almost three months pregnant.
*The bunny is house trained! His names is Starbucks.

6) I enjoy helping with the Children's Ministry at Faith Christian Outreach, our church. I help with the 2-3's every other Sunday.
* Aren't they cute!

*8) Jack is doing well. He lies around and sleeps all day. Same old, same old. He enjoys going for walks and chasing squirrels in the backyard. Don't laugh he's our child (:

*Jack all bundled up and lying on the couch the Residence Inn. Yes, our dog does travel with us most of the time.

*Sorry this is kind of backwards since Blogger uploads backwards. If the update has a picture, it is above the update.*

To come this afternoon: an update regarding my parents!!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A word to the wise

I have found the some of the critics of Bush to be disgraceful not only themselves but also to their country.
I warn that we should not be so hypocritical to do the same to Obama. Let us respect our leader and our country even if we have valid concerns.
Check out this link about how our fellow countrymen's harsh, and at times inappropriate, criticisms will affect us all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh I am not finished yet....

I had a situation with a patient's family member at work which left me very angry. By the way, for those of you who don't work in the health care profession, most of my problems come not from the patient but from the well meaning family member who usually just ends up delaying things by getting in the way, causing more problems, etc. If you find this is you, please just go home for a little while and let us do our job, not what you have determined is our job from your uninformed position. It took me 9 years to get where I am now and an expensive degree and license.
As I worked through that anger and basically being told I had done nothing for the patient ( and I had done a whole lot of something for the patient just not what the family member wanted). He basically told me I was a bad nurse and complained to hospital because I did not do everything the way he wanted it done. Also on a side note, this family member is supposedly a health care professional. You would think a fellow health care professional would understand what all I had done that night or be understanding but usually they are the worst.
I realized I was to some degree avoiding that patient's room because I knew nothing I did would be good enough for that man and I couldn't take care of the problem. I was hoping by her not calling out I had somehow fixed the issue with my efforts but I knew it wouldn't. Yes like most people I avoid things I don't know how to fix. Doesn't mean I hadn't done anything for her, it just means I knew it was going to take more than me to fix it and I had other people to take care of too.
I came to realize from all this something Trevor has told me for some time now, I let other people control how I feel about myself. I had always said, "But what do I do about it?" Or vehemently denied it. I guess listening to the series on the heart got me thinking, "Hey it is taking a lot of energy and strength to worry about what other people think about me."
Wow I know, what an epiphany.
One thing that travel nursing has helped me with in my self esteem is to know that I am a good nurse. I have worked hard and I care about my patients. I guess I have come a long way from last year when my former boss told me my patients didn't feel I cared for them. Or from the experiences at a local hospital where I get attitude every day from fellow staff for just being me.( I have some more thoughts on that one coming up) I started to realize I have a lot of people telling or accusing me of things that are just not true. As a truly caring person I had always let things affect me deeply. Things that I am sure most people just pass off as, "That person doesn't even know me why would I let them affect me?"
I have come to know just how much I have let other peoples' issues affect me. From today on I will not let other peoples' jealousy and problems with themselves weigh me down. I came to the understanding with Andy's sermon that the reason these people were treating me like crap is a) because I let them b) because they are jealous of me!
This last part was like a light bulb coming on in my head. I just thought, "It all makes sense! But why?" The why doesn't matter. This just helps me be a better person because I realize it wasn't me they had a problem with.
I thank God I understand this now. The next step is learning from it. "Either you learn from it, or run from it."---Rafiki, from the Lion King.
Wow! I know what you are thinking, two posts in two consecutive days! After this they may be even fewer and far between for a few days.
The three month contract with Scott and White is up in one week. Can't say I am all too sad to leave that hospital. The experience has not been altogether pleasant--or even unpleasant for that matter but always enlightening. Negotiations are underway with a new company that just has a few more options that could be better for us.
I was able to sleep in my bed for the night. Most of it with the little furry friend curled up next to me. (Jack, unfortunately, not Trevor for most of the night) I have plenty to do today. As part of my devotion today I wanted to blog about a series I have been listening to in the car called It Came From Within by Andy Standley from Northpointe Ministries.
The series explains how to have a clean heart, from a biblical but different approach than I have ever seen.
The first message was on the condition of the heart and why we often say things that often surprise even us. Proverbs 4 :23 says, "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." The first step to doing anything well in life, loving, leading,etc is to keep your heart clean.
Jesus talks about where those unexpected outbursts come from, your heart. Those things that come out and everybody, including you is thinking,"Where in the world did that come from?" Jesus says it comes from the heart. Due to time restraints I will reference where the Pharisees question Jesus about not washing his hands before he ate ( not eww gross he didn't wash at all but the ceremonial bla,bla,bla the Pharisees did for show). Jesus replies it is not what comes out of a man that makes him unclean but what goes into him. Meaning what is on the inside matters more than what is on the outside. Those little outbursts come from an unclean heart. Andy says these things get through our filter. Our filter is what we learn from an early age to maintain relationships,etc to keep what is in our heart hidden. The filter comes from when we learn at age 5 we can't say that certain word ( for me it was butt, thanks Mom) or we get in trouble. When we say things uncharacteristically for us those things just make it past our filter. Doesn't mean they weren't always there, just means we learned to filter. I have discovered my filter often gets broken at work, when all the stress brings our rotten things from my heart.
The second message was on guilt and how unchecked it can weigh us down and ruin all our relationships, not just with the person we have wronged. Andy explains how we have to go to the person we have wronged to rid ourselves of guilt. Confession does no good if we only confess to God since he already knows. We have to go to the person we have wronged to truly make things right.
In the next message that Hideous Thing, Andy describes what envy can do to a person. Its not what you have always heard preached either. (I couldn't do his description justice so if you are interested I can get you the sermon series). In short we treat others who have more____ whatever better because of envy. Our problem is not with them but with God. "God why didn't you give me____?"
So far I have a long laundry list for my own heart, people to confess my wrong doing to and it won't be easy. I have to, though, to make my heart clean.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"I'm coming home but I'm still a long way off."

Jack and I are heading back to Oklahoma after a short nap. This is brief for my adoring "fans" who check my blog daily for updates. I have been keeping things updated with twitter. Maybe there is a similar thing for blogger? We'll see...
Heading to Kansas tomorrow afternoon with Trev for a Tri State meeting.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My favorite things about fall

I have thinking about how much I love Fall. October, in particular, is so beautiful! Here's what I love about Fall:
  • The weather is perfect! I have been enjoying walks and front porch tea times chats with Trevor every night when we are home.
  • The leaves change colors. Well maybe not as much in Shawnee. I have fond memories of traveling to Missouri at this time of year. Also a I think of a trip I went on last fall to South Carolina and Tennessee. Sigh, maybe next year.
  • Craving Jack-o-lanterns. I say this instead of Halloween because I like other things about fall besides this holiday. Maybe I will get more into it when I have kids. Craving pumpkins is fun though. I will post our pics when we do our carving.

I am sure there are more I can't think of now. What are your favorite things about fall?

Stranger things have happened

The last few days have been interesting to say the least. Of course there have been the typical issues with our families. We continue to pray. There was an incident yesterday with some things preceding and following that lead me to believe I need to be a woman of prayer more than ever. I wonder what is going on. Well, truth is I know.
I don't claim to know I know why but the spiritual world around is stirring more than usual. The battle for good in this world continues on even as I go about my daily routines. There is a battle going on every day that we get glimpses into from time to time (Ephesians 6: 10-20). Pray for me as I suit up in the armor of God daily. I will pray for you too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

" I had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view. Looking back I see the lead of love. "--Caedmon's Call

Last week reminded me of the song listed in the title quote. Suffice to say, God is teaching me a lot in my daily times with him, though I have a lot left to learn (as cliche as that sounds). If you ask I will elaborate(:
Things are going well but, as always, not as quickly as I would have hoped. Been catching up on sleep, the Office on dvd, and fellowship with friends.
I leave Thursday for another fun filled two weeks of work crammed into 7 days. I do enjoy watching reruns of Jon and Kate Plus Eight and What Not To Wear on TLC from the confines of my hotel room before traveling to work.

Here's a funny blog I came across from my friend Dave (the pbb link) posted today. It's a website of badly decorated cakes. I thought it was funny anyway.
My friend, Alicia, also told me about a blog worthy of mention as well:

Until next Friday, farewell.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

" You must do the thing you cannot do"--Eleanor Roosevelt

Trev and I leave next week to embark on our newest adventure: travel nursing. We ( I should say I and Trevor is going with me) are going to Temple, Texas to work at Scott and White Memorial Hospital. I will be working nights so it will be completely different. And yes Trev is trying to do a part time job while we are there. I will work 6 out of 7 days then come back to Shawnee for a week so Trev can work on projects here.
Why Temple,Texas? I am not sure, God only knows. All I know is our days off worked out perfectly!
Why Travel Nursing? This is something we have been talking about for a while.
1) We want to travel a bit before we "settle down."
2) I like to keep things interesting in my career.
3) We want to better our finances a little too. We need to do the hard things now so that later on I can decide to stay at home with kids instead of being required to work. We also desire to bless other people. We feel we can more adequately do this if our hands aren't tied financially. Debt ties one down significantly, so we have found out the hard way.
Please pray for us in our endeavor. I know some of you are going, "Wait! 6 out of 7 days and then traveling back to Shawnee every other week?" Yes I will be tired but well tended. I keep thinking of 1 Corinthians 9:27 " I beat my body and make it my slave so that after preaching to others I will not be disqualified for the prize."
This life was never promised to be easy! Quite the opposite is true. We must avoid the trap of the comfortable, easy life. May be God glorified in our lives always.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Here's some pics from a recent KC trip and Fourth of July!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"There I am in the spotlight...losing my religion."

This song most accurately describes my day today. Yeah I got too frustrated and said some thing I should not have. I guess I just thought that if you work at something as hard as you can that patients might be, I don't know appreciative, or at least cordial.
This by no means, however, does not justify my actions and inappropriate words. I need to "love my enemies" which could be the people in my life who work against me and not for me. I am called to love those people too. I have learned that honesty is usually not the best policy unfortunately in my line of work.
So if you think about it, pray for me so that my co workers and patients can see Christ by looking at me. They are not seeing it now I'm pretty sure.
Psalm 59:10

Lord ,
Create in me a clean heart, renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Please pray for Lois Eschenbrenner

Last week was a trying week for Lois Eschennbrenner who found out last week she is very ill. Pray for her comfort and healing as she recovers from surgery. Pray for both she and her family as Lois seeks out further treatment in the days to come.
Lois is someone I consider a mentor in my walk with the Lord. Her gentle and serving spirit even through this trial amazes me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lame on!

In honor Embrace the Lame Week (ETL)
My top five lamest things:

5) My fascination with garden gnomes.
Case in point. My "Can you dig it" Garden Gnome

4)My tiny front porch garden

3) "Part 3 of my confessions, if the first two were not enough to scare you away"... My fascination with Weird Al. If you got my quote, then you are a lame Weird Al fan too.

2) Self portraits in the driver's seat.

1) My irritation with major stations for preempting Lost with weather news!
I don't care about a tornado coming towards me, I want to watch Lost!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Heart Trouble

As I read my daily (sometimes not so daily) Bible study last night I read Romans 12. Afterr my favorite verses I read something that I had never considered before. Paul says, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Paul then goes on to talk about the different functions of the Body.
Now for someone like me who has chronically low self esteem, I am not sure how to take this statement. I know God views me as something precious and worthy of praise (Isaiah 63). I also have come to realize life is NOT about me. I intend to instill this bit of knowledge into my children, which is often lacking in this generation.
I also realize there are qualities in my life that need to change for me to be more like Christ. This is not an easy process, no not all. It is a process that is intentional and sacrificial. People do not change for the better unless they intentionally give of themselves. For the process to be complete that sacrifice has to be entire. This is the part which we called "gut check" time in track practice, when you get to the point where you either give it your all or just part.The point that made you a winner or just a participant. Or a whiner like me, Ouch, sad but true "Therefore I urge you as brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12: 1-2

As an aside, life is better. Or maybe my perspective is better too. Spring is finally here. Trevor and I are gearing up for some more high speed insanity we like to call life. Pray for us as we ready for summer and the challenges and opportunities that will arise ( usually last minute if I know my husband well).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Warning: Contents Under Pressure!

If there was a label on my life right now that is exactly what it would read. The storm clouds circle and just when I think its over, it starts raining again.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, after all Jesus never said life would be easy. He just said he would be with me.
I have started doing Bible study again and I realize how much I crave structure and schedule. More than that I need God's power to move in my life.
On Wednesday nights, the ladies in my church started a Beth Moore study called Stepping Up: A Study of the Psalms of Ascent. How good it is to get face down before the Creator and seek Him. Oh but all the excuses I can come with to miss out on what he has for me. Last night I fell asleep doing the study. But I will not give up.
Like I said we have had hard times (hasn't everyone lately). As I was on the verge of tears last week the verses from Romans Chapter 5 came to mind. Suffering produces endurance, endurance, character, and character produces hope. And hope is something we all need to appear and stay!
As part of the study, we studied Psalm 121., which was recently skillfully put into song by the Songs from the Voice project.
He will not Rest, Christena Graves
When I look up
To the vast sides of the mountain
I know that my Creator
Will send the help I need
He will hold me
Firmly in the place I need to be
Never let his eyes leave me for a moment
He will not rest
He will not let us go
He will not rest
He will not let us go
The Lord keeps you so close
that his shadow is cooling shade to you
He'll keep your soul safe
From the first breath to the last breath that you breathe
He will not rest
He will not let us go
He will not rest
He will not let us go

Monday, January 07, 2008

A few more pictures

Christmas did not work out as planned but we had a fun time. Here are a few pictures to chronicle
our adventures. Dave even came up last week as part of our New Year's celebration.