Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Praise You in This Storm (May 21, 2013)

This post was originally written back in May and yet was never published. I feel like now is an appropriate time to post, as we all could use a little reminder every once in a while.

May 21, 2013: This weekend, when I arrived at the HFH conference I was surprised to see our conference quarters for the weekend. When I hear conference, I assume hotel. I was very wrong. We stayed in cabins with 6 bunk beds, 12 girls in each cabin. We ate in a cabin that was divided into a serving area and a seating area. And we listened to talks in a covered pavilion. At first I was skeptical. I was not too pleased with the nagging mosquitoes that came out to dine as night came. I wasn’t super happy with the freezing temperatures at night. Mainly I wasn’t pleased with the fact that where I was spending a weekend did not match what I had expected in my mind.

Thursday night, the rains came, and by Friday we were in the midst of a full blown storm. We used umbrellas and ran through the muddy gravel to get from the cabins to the cafeteria to the pavilion. It was cold and wet and I was trying not to be discouraged. We all gathered into the pavilion as Constance, the head of the conference, got up to speak. Constance spoke these simple words that changed my whole outlook. She stated: “As the storm rages around us, remember that we are covered…” In the moment she was speaking about the actual storm blowing around us as we sat in the covered pavilion. But she also was talking about life in general.

It was a beautiful reminder that we are not guaranteed to always have sunny weather or a ideal circumstances in life. We may have disappointments and things may not be exactly as we expect. But when life throws us curve balls, and when the unexpected happens, we are covered. We are covered by Him. We are safe and protected even when life rages on around us.

I was also reminded of another invaluable lesson. If we trust Him, and wait out the storm, there is so much worth waiting for. Because on that Saturday, when the rain cleared, Tennessee was beautiful. The temperatures were much more mild, the bugs stayed at bay, and the sun was shining while we took turns on the tire swings and tetherball. It was a perfect day for a walk around downtown Franklin, and my heart was so full.

By the end of the weekend, what I had realized was that the conference, the location, the speakers, the friendships, were all more than I could have ever expected. What I learned was this: God’s plans were far greater than my plans and my expectations. And even when life feels chaotic and stormy, we are covered and we are safe. As long as we stick it out and trust Him through it, we sometimes end up coming out better and stronger on the other side.

Finding Beauty at the OB/GYN

The title is pretty straight forward and maybe a little bit shocking. Hang with me for another minute to see what I mean...(and yes, Dad, it's safe to read).

In nursing school you see many different views of the human body; inside, outside, dead, alive, old, young, and everything in between. But today I saw a completely different view than I’m used to. I saw beauty in imperfection. Let me explain…

I’m about a week into my maternity rotation, and to be completely honest, have not really loved anything about the birthday process in general. However, today was my first clinical day and I was in an OB/GYN clinic. My job was to give a few shots, observe a few exams, and hold a few babies. And I learned a lot from doing all of these things. But my greatest lesson came to me when I was least expecting it. There was a mother who had recently given birth to the most adorable twins. As she walked back into the office I noticed something different about her. Most of the women before her had been very hesitant when stepping onto the scale; however, this sweet mother happily stepped on the scale, and yet she never took her eyes off of her babies, sitting happily in the stroller. She didn’t care about the number; she cared about her two precious gifts. And in that moment I saw such a beauty in her. No, she didn’t have the “ideal” body (or what society has deemed “ideal”). Her eyes looked tired. Her shirt had a mysterious stain on the shoulder. Her stomach was soft and round. And yes, her eyes were tired, but they were also beautiful and full of love and pride as she showed off her babies to the whole office. Her shirt was stained probably from cuddling one of her sweet little ones. Her stomach was soft because it just housed 2 precious lives for 9 months. I have no doubt that this woman’s eyes will see tears and laughter as her babies grow. Her shirt will continue to get stained from spit up, arts and crafts, or school projects. Her arms will get strong from holding those growing babies, and her legs will get a work out chasing 2 toddlers around the house. And her heart will swell with pride, and grow more than she could ever have imagined.

Today I did not judge a less-than-perfect woman based on her appearance (as I so often do with myself). Today I saw the beauty in imperfection. So maybe I still don’t know exactly what a cervix feels like, or how to read an ultrasound. But I did see some very cool things today, and learned some very important lessons. And for that I am thankful.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I’m ashamed at how long it’s been since I’ve last blogged. Between nursing school and working at the childrens hospital, most of the things I do with my day are protected by HIPAA, meaning I can’t share any fun stories with you! But to catch you up a little bit, here are the things I can share:

1. I finished my behavioral health rotation with an A!
2. I got a JOB at the local children’s hospital. I’m working on the pediatric oncology floor, which is exactly where I wanted to end up. I love my coworkers and my kids.
3. I went to Nashville, TN for the Hungry for Hope conference and it was life changing. I made some amazing friends and learned some great lessons.
4. I finished my adult health rotation, where I was on a gynecological oncology unit. I hated it.
5. I went to a crazy bachelorette weekend for my best friend. I don’t do crazy.
6. I turned 24. Yikes!
7. I got on an airplane and flew to Connecticut ALONE (which is huge for me!)
8. While in Connecticut, I went to my cousin’s wedding and we took a day trip to Mystic, CT and Watch Hill, RI. I want to move to Watch Hill. It was gorgeous beyond words.
9. We found Taylor Swift’s house in Watch Hill and mom made friends with the security guards. She’s never met a stranger, that mother of mine.
10. My best friend, Emily, got married and I got to do fun bridesmaids things all week. It was a beautiful wedding, but it was emotionally and physically exhausting.
11. I said goodbye to said best friend, as she left for Croatia for her honeymoon and then is moving to Tennessee. BOOOOO.
12. I drove to Florida with my roomie to visit our friend Katie.

And now on Saturday, I’M MOVING! I’ll still be in the same city; I’m just moving to a house closer to school and work. I’ll be the 4th girl living in the house, so it should be fun. The whole street is owned by the school, so it’s all houses with students and people from my classes. I’m excited for this next chapter in my life, but I’m also nervous. First of all, I hate packing and unpacking and the physical act of moving. Second, I’m going to miss my current roomie. Linds and I have lived together for a total of 3 years now, and we’re very comfortable together. It will be different moving in with strangers and moving so far away from Lindsey. Third, I have never lived in a house with 3 other people before. That’s a lot of girls under one roof, so we will see how that goes.

Anyways, I’m going to try to get back to regular blogging once I get moved in and settled!
Hungry for Hope and Bachelorette weekend!

my birthday, Taylor Swift's sign outside of her house, and me and my cousin at a wedding!

pouting about Em moving, laying out in Florida, and me and Em at her wedding