Friday, September 27, 2013


If you've been anywhere within 30 feet of me over the past 8 months or so I'm sure you've gotten a dose of our attempt at living a healthier lifestyle. Or perhaps you've seen all of my Instagrammed chicken pictures which I believe now total more than those of my children...yeah, it's an issue.

Our original crew...some have since gone on to that big chicken coop in the sky. RIP Elvis and Momma!

Anyway, what a ride! I have started conversations with folks I never would have spoken to in length before, and generally been surprised and impressed by what I can learn from the most unlikely sources. My curiosity is enough to pull me out of my introverted shell at times and usually it is worth it.
When I'm the one striking up conversation to some poor unsuspecting soul who is just going about their business and eating what they please (sorry Mom, Dad, children, random people) I have seen some common reactions. Some will care but not know what to do about it, some will roll their eyes, some will look at me like I have 3 eyes, hopefully some will be inspired! No one has yet told me to shut least not out loud.
Who am I to tell you about any of this? No one really....just a woman with my own thoughts.

So here's the bottom line from my tired little mind today....Sometimes I wonder if I am worrying aimlessly about things that might not really be important. Maybe food, vaccines, and responsible land stewardship are not spiritual issues- but maybe they are. Our body is a temple, it is meant to be cared for, and it is amazingly able to heal itself if we will let it. I believe God entrusted us with this land to care for it, not to rape it and take from it, leaving it infertile for the next generation.
Since when did the resources He gave us become not good enough that we have to enhance and modify and create "frankenfoods"?

What are these issues in the grand scheme of life? I don't know, honestly....I could be hit by a truck tomorrow (certainly hope it doesn't happen!) and would anything that I've consumed or chosen not to consume over the past 8 months matter?

What is simply a distraction from my life's work...and what is going to be pleasing to God? I certainly want to be honoring to Him in the manner that I talk about these issues, sometimes I mess that one up big time- I hate it when that happens.

What about those people who mock these choices...treating me as less, old-fashioned, uneducated, or living a risky lifestyle because we do weird things- (I'm talking crazy things like avoiding chemicals and lifeless food). I don't think my way is superior, nor do I believe that everyone should live their life like I live mine, but I DO believe people should seriously educate themselves on the impact of their decisions.

When I discuss newfound information and encourage thought other than what is recommended by the CDC, the FDA, or other government agencies does it make me look radical? Oh well, I gave up worrying about that one, because I believe anything that opposes mainstream "liberal" thought is typically viewed as radical.

When I'm passionate about the companies I do and don't support based on their ethics and values- does my dollar really matter to these billion dollar corporations? Some will say it doesn' opinion is simply that I have to do my part. Now that I'm aware I can't unlearn these facts of how "food like products" are thrown at us and we consume it like no other...and then we wonder why we're sick and tired and our kids are afflicted. Can we seriously continue to deny the cause and effect of our life choices in relation to rising rates of cancer, autism, diabetes, heart disease?

All I know is that I can't and don't want to live my life to support what I don't believe in. So if that means that I'm going against the (non-GMO) grain, that I'm doing the difficult thing, that my way is certainly not the most convenient- well, that's just the way it is. I simply want the freedom to do so.

For the sake of your health, your family's health, and the following generations who will pay for our indifference to these topics, I strongly encourage everyone I know and thus care about to take off your blinders. A year ago I didn't care about any of this. Now I know more than I EVER intended to about GMOs, MSG, pesticides, Monsanto and the revolving door with the government.

Pay attention to who is controlling your food supply, know who funds the study that is providing the information that you are basing your healthcare decisions on, and explore what our world will look like if nothing changes.

I've beaten myself up so many times because change comes slowly, and sometimes it appears to go in reverse. I'm so thankful for the people who have been excellent resources to me and reminded me that I can't fix it all in one day. So little by little IS actually how it's done...patience is just not a strong virtue of mine, but I'm learning.

So I'm plugging along, believing that one better decision each day CAN matter!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Oh My Garden

Somewhere along my happy little oblivious road of life I was introduced to a book that turned my life upside down made me stop and think about our western culture.
If you have never read 7: AnExperimental Mutiny in Excess by Jen Hatmaker and you are tired of feeding the American machine then I’m gonna tell you- Go. Get. It….right now! I’ll wait….

Okay, so I joined some ladies from our church to do a study on this book, and I {very weakly} copied what Jen had done during her fast from 7 areas where we tend to overindulge {food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, stress!} We spent 2 weeks fasting from certain elements in each category, and we each determined exactly what we would cut out or allow. It was a good, painful growing experience, and if you have a few gals to walk through this with I highly recommend it.
The reason I’m introducing it is because through this book and also through Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I learned many things about the “foods” we’re eating. I cannot even begin to address the literally sad state of the SAD {standard American diet} and I’m not going to attempt to here in one post. I do encourage you to educate yourself in this area. As they say: You are what you eat!
I digress…
Now that I was educated {just enough to be dangerous} I had to force my husband into slave labor include my husband in determining how to make and obtain our own food. He was beyond thrilled with my new knowledge!
 He was all like “Oh precious wife, thank you for showing me the light, and how awful these processed poisons are- I will throw them in the trash where they belong and never, EVER feed them to our kids again”
Well, maybe that’s only how it happened in my dreams.
Reality check: He’s still kicking and screaming…but who can blame him? Even I had a little melt down over the weekend when I realized that Cheddar Fries contain MSG. My life is ruined yet again.  
Cheddar Fries aside, we now have a garden which is {hopefully} going to produce some really nutritious goodness for us soon. Of course I’ve been thinking 'soon' for months now, and can we just say "THIS GIRL IS DISENCHANTED".

Let me explain.
{Remember- this comes from a girl who grew up on fast “food”- so a little grace please. I didn't know anything about plants. Nada. Had never even kept one alive before this year. Total idiot in this department. Got it?}
It’s truly so amazing how working in that garden has taught me so much, and how on a very real and basic level I reach a fuller understanding of myself. Just like my plants have needed me to tend to them physically, I’ve relied on God, cultivated new soil, removed weeds, and grown deep roots spiritually.
But for all of the work we’ve been doing {God and I}, today I’m so stinkin' discouraged.
Here it is: I feel stuck, I feel emotionless, drained, tired, cranky, and like I’m never going to get “there”- wherever “there” may be. Granted, I do have some trials that I’ve recently walked through/am walking through- I get that. But still. Shouldn't I be at least deep enough to maintain my composure and withstand these tests? It’s almost as if I’ve taken one step forward and so many steps back in my walk with God, and I’m a little disappointed.
And funny enough, as I was walking around my garden today I noticed that I feel that way about my plants too. For months they’ve been growing- each in their own way. Some climb on vines, others grow on stalks, and still others expand across the ground and branch out wide until I can hardly get in there to weed them.

For months I’ve been amazed and thrilled and in awe as this tiny seed sprouted and grew.

Taken back when I was an excited novice gardener...who had NO idea what was going on.
 But I’m so tired of this waiting stage now.
To the yellow and white blooms that showed up a couple weeks ago- I’m over you. Yes, you were exciting at first…now our relationship is just whatever.

Horrible right?

I just want the things to bear some fruit, or some vegetable, or something besides yellow flowers!
And I just want my life to bear something besides what it is right now. There. I said it. While it seems that others are bearing fruit I feel like I’m stuck over here with my little yellow flower that isn’t worth nuthin'. 
I know that it is not from God, these thoughts, this overwhelming fear of messing this whole thing up and never seeing a harvest. I’m trying to choose not to feed those thoughts, not to let those weeds that I’ve worked hard to remove sprout up again. I’m waiting. I’m hoping, and I’m holding on to this promise:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9
Because I'm sure that is right where the enemy wants me to be. To get me off course, to distract and discourage and dishearten. I have to choose to remember, just because the things I'd like to see brought to fruition may not be happening, there are still so many blessings.

How quickly did I forget the good things, like the lettuce and radishes and green beans that I HAVE been able to gather and feed to my family?
It's so easy to slide down that slippery slope and forget the blessings.

But you know what? I'm not giving up. I don't "feel" positive, I don't "feel" like I'm getting there, but I know that I am. Just like my plants, in due time there will be a harvest and those seeds that are sown in tears will be reaped in joy. And I can't wait.

In the end, there is no way to describe the joy that will be ours when our lives are done, when we lay down our tools and stand before our Creator and we look behind us and see the harvest from those seeds that we toiled so hard over, and from those we didn't even realize we had started in someone else's life.

I just want to encourage you today. If you are feeling discouraged with your situation. Don't grow weary. Give yourself some grace, look to His word and absorb the truth as you weed out the lies. In due time my friend, you will reap in joy.
Sow something beautiful.


Friday, June 28, 2013

What it means to me.

I'm not sure that any of us ever get in to our career in nursing hoping that we will experience anything traumatic, that we will not get our expected outcomes, or that we will be heartbroken.

I also believe that when we start out we think we are going to be the ones to change lives.
And there is no doubt- we do!

My graduating class 2007. Gotta LOVE white pants!

The point I missed, and that I'm sure others might miss- is that while we're caring for our patients and their families, they will change our lives too.

Our patients will expose parts of us that we didn't realize existed. We will have to deal with emotions and feelings and life and death in ways that only those who work in our environment can understand.

After a particularly rare but terrible experience as a nurse, I needed some way to release the torrent of emotion that raged for days following.
So I wrote and posted the following reaction on my Facebook page:

It's a long thought....having lots of those these days!

I'm a Nurse.
I know how to start your IV, hopefully on the first attempt (unless you tell me how awesome your veins are, you're begging for at least 2 attempts in this case)...
I've been trained how to read monitors and recognize a change from your baseline vitals, how to perform a detailed assessment before you even realize you're being ass
essed, and how to cluster your care so I don't wake you 234 times through the night- although my task-oriented self would like to wake you up to finish all of our to-do's so I can proudly report off to the next shift what I've accomplished!
I know BLS, NRP, ACLS and many other protocols in order to quickly respond in an emergency.
I'm sure you know all of this, it's why I went to school right?

Well, the parts you may not know about your nurse....

I think about you long after you are no longer "assigned" to me. I mean days, weeks, even years.

You aren't just a patient number to me. I give a little piece of myself when I care for you, and I hope I touch your life in a good way.

I sing to your baby during the night while he is on oxygen and you need some rest, because that's what I would do for my own baby.

I cry at your delivery if you cry..or if your husband, your mom, or your friend cries...because I realize that this is a miracle and I'm thankful to witness it.
I tell my family if I got to help deliver a baby, how many boys and girls were in the nursery, and their first names if I can remember (no worries- no HIPAA violations occur)

I am afraid at times. I hide that so that you won't be.

I try to not get annoyed when you want the entire county in with you during delivery...but it's really because I need room to move quickly if something goes wrong and not because I'm mean.

I would go to bat for you as a patient advocate, even if that means the doctor probably won't like it, and I'll pay for it for awhile, long after you have forgotten.

You come first, even if you think we're taking our time with your pain medication. It is likely that it's the computer's fault. There are safety mechanisms that I won't go around to be faster, because you are too important.

I will starve and dehydrate while massaging your back or getting you more Popsicles, jello, or ice's what we do.

I cry....a lot. When I remember you, those with empty arms and broken dreams and unforeseen complications...I cry because I know just a little of your story, just a tiny sliver, but probably a major defining moment that I was witness to.
I think about how it rocked my world and I cannot even imagine how it threw yours completely off it's axis. I know you'll never be the same....but I hope you know that I won't be either.

I wonder about how you cope, if anything I said made a difference, and I pray that you know God and his peace that passes all understanding.

I think of you when I'm in the room where you delivered a baby you would never take home, or where resuscitation was required, or where good outcomes didn't happen. And when I think of you, I pray for you.

Nurses aren't just nurses for the pay, the ability to test how long a bladder can be held, or to see how many years of nursing it takes to wreck 2 knees and a back. Nope, it's because our heart is in it, and I hope you can tell.
~Following the post, I was so humbled by the reaction of my friends and family. It was simply a pouring out of my grief and it touched people!
I was told I should start a blog- and my reaction to that is, I had been thinking about it for well over a year, but I very rarely have anything THAT deep to say, or even more, what does anyone care about what I have to say?
Oh well, here I am, saying it.
I thank God for giving me those words during that time. In the days that followed I became hard. I couldn't cry..... even though the sights, the sounds, the smell were still very present in my memory bank. I don't understand this process, but I know there is more to be dealt with, so perhaps there will be more words. 
Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Have you ever just had one of those days?

You know, the kind where your good intentions of cooking healthy meals, getting the house in order, catching up the laundry, solving world hunger or human trafficking, and helping orphans seem like reasonable, attainable goals?

Everything goes along great if you manage to wake up before the rest of the house, which lasts all but .45 seconds.

Then lo' and behold

DAY things like a child who has 3 accidents in 1 day. {What is up with that?? You're potty trained!!} Another who runs in the house despite warnings, hurts her knee and is all "I'm pretty sure it's going to need surgery, and you should probably keep bringing me ice packs- oh and some chips while you're at it", and the last one that you are trying to keep from breaking himself as he attempts to scale new heights on anything vertical...... and you get to the point that you just don't know where to start other than by hiding somewhere no one would look. {Like the cleaning closet.}

Yeah, me neither!
I'm so glad we're perfect and those things don't happen to us. Riiight.

Well, it's sort of been one of those days, and I sit here in the middle of it, knowing that my husband is likely on his way home and probably hoping that I will be well kempt with something on the stove and that those toys over there would magically be in their place.

{I'm so glad he loves me even though this is NOT going to be his reality!}

Yep, I'm a mess of all sorts and of great proportions and I'm so thankful that it's okay. Because I have a Redeemer who knows that I'll never live up to anyone's expectations.
Not my own, not my husband's, and not the world's.
So many years I spent trying and striving just to find that I can do it for a short time, but it left me drained, tired, empty, and hopeless.

How much better is it to rest in the assurance that I'm accepted, I'm loved, and I was rescued even though I would continually fail- From rogue, tramp, scoundrel to paid-in-full, made new, redeemed.

As you listen to the words of this song I hope you will open your heart to the meaning and accept the truth.
There is nothing in your past that will make God love you less, and there is no amount of working that will make Him love you more.

Romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", no matter what expectations you're trying to meet, God is the only one you should look to, and in comparison with God, we will never be holy and blameless and perfect, because we are human.

And it doesn't matter.

Because listen to these promises:

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. {Romans 5:8}

I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. {Isaiah 44:22}

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. {Ephesians 1:7}

In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. {Colossians 1:14}

So soak in that truth for today, thank him that his mercies are new everyday, and in case you like to clean bathrooms I know where there is a floor that could use another good scrubbing!

In His love,