Saturday, February 23, 2019

Just a Student Nurse

On Tuesday of this week my Fundamentals of Nursing class covered legal and ethical concepts of nursing.

There's a lot to think about in those areas, hot topics that cover our newsfeed.

We were talking about student nurses and their role in patient care and I heard myself say something that has resonated with me, "You may be just a student nurse today..."

I went on to remind them that they are the future of our profession, and that they are held to the same ethical standards as anyone involved in patient care.

Those four words have ran through my mind, though... "Just a student nurse..."

You may be just...

but you are so much more.

I see you, single Mama, juggling school work and family time and holding it all together with tattered strings.

I see you, hardworking senior who is striving to learn all you can in your practicum because before you know it, you'll be the sole responsible one.

I see you, college kid who is living on your own for the first time, tasting the independence that means that you don't have to get up for your 8 AM class but knowing that the major you  have chosen means life or death for those you will be caring for, so you turn the snooze button off, throw your hair into a ponytail, and drag yourself onto the bus.

I see you, working those extra shifts as a server or a clerk or a patient tech because your scholarship doesn't quite cover all of your cost of living.

I see you, reading those chapters that seem like they are 500 pages long...

I see you, blurry eyed as you struggle to take one more note, answer one more question, jot down one more flashcard.

I see you as you submit that care plan.. words on a page that in no way fully represent the thinking, and dare I say it, blood, sweat and tears that went into developing it? (Maybe not blood or sweat, but definitely some tears.)

I see you as you enter your patient's room the first day of clinical, scared to speak but so very excited, uniform pressed and stethoscope ready.

I see you holding your patient's hand and taking time to listen because compassion is what draws you in to this profession.

I see you, lips moving silently as you read through the options for that select all that applies question, racking your brain and trying to fight the urge to not listen to your gut because every answer can have a rationale and the right answer isn't always the best answer.

I see you...

so much more than just a student nurse.

Even if I don't always share it, I'm cheering you on.

There will be struggles. There will be failures- maybe of whole courses. There will be days when you question your commitment...

and I'd like to tell you that it gets easier, but really it doesn't, because that doubt, that failure, that sense of being overwhelmed will follow you as you scurry up and down hallways, going door to door making your hourly rounds on your patients.

You'll look back on those days, sometimes, and wish that you could be "just a student nurse"... but then you'll straighten your namebadge, plaster a smile on your face, and answer that call light...

because you were born for this. And someday you may hear the phrase expanded, "I'm just a nurse"... as opposed to something more full of grandeur...

But you're a lifeline to your patient. A smile when there is none. Sunshine in the dark days of gloomy diagnosis. Comfort when the patient is overwhelmed. An anchor in a story sea.

"Nursing is an art,  and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit?..." Florence Nightingale

Just a student nurse... learning what will have eternal impact.

How blessed am I to have just a small part of it?

Writing this today based on a prompt from Five Minute Fridays (even though I am not writing on Friday and also even though it took me longer to write than 5 minutes). This week's prompt? JUST....
four words that can be seen as condescending but in no way tell the full story.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Get in the Word

Today I saw a post on Facebook that made me think.

It was a photo that showed the amount of time it would take a person to read through the Bible in certain lengths of time. In order to read through in a year, it estimated reading 12 minutes a day.

It usually takes me a little longer to read the portions of Scripture aligned in my reading plan, but I'll admit I sometimes get distracted and I also pause to take notes sometimes. I'll admit that sometimes it becomes another thing on my "to do" list... and I don't want it to be that for me. I want it to mean something... because I know that His Word is living and active.

As I read, I ask that God open my heart, my eyes, and my ears to what He wants to show me. With some books of the Bible, that's easy. I understand about being foolish when I read the Proverbs. I get David's cries of solitude when I read the Psalms. I soak in as I read about Jesus and His miracles...

but the Old Testament is tough, y'all.

I don't get a lot of it.

But I'm reminded that when we are in His Word, it gets in us... and things happen. Things become clear. And the Scripture you read today will show up somewhere else tomorrow.

It may take you longer than a year to read your Bible through. That's ok. There are lots of different reading plans out there.

The key is to open it, read it, and internalize it... even if it is just one verse at a time.

Thank You, God, for Your Word to me. Thank You for Your Word, Jesus, who became flesh. Thank You for Your revelation. I may not always get it... but I know that You are faithful and You are doing a work even when I don't understand.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Surviving

So one of my goals this month was to write every day.

It's a short month, so surely that won't be too hard, right?

Except that sometimes by the time I get home, I'm mentally exhausted. I can't string two words together some nights.

As I was walking on the treadmill tonight, I found myself thinking I am 99.9% done with this week... but it's only Tuesday.

Fitting that as I thought about what to write about, and couldn't find any inspiration, I turned to the 5 minute writing prompts developed for this challenge.

Today's prompt?

Survive...

Which is what I do most days.

Just barely.

Except I can't help but think that it's supposed to be more than that.

As I thought about being 99.9% done with this week, I thought of having a glass half full mindset...

which so often I don't have. I tend to look on the negative side, even though I'd love to be a Pollyanna (and let's be realistic. I'm not even sure why Pollyanna is known for her positivity. I've never read the book nor watched the movie...)

So I kept putting one foot in front of the other on the treadmill...

and realized that tomorrow is another day (just like Scarlett says. I have read that book, and am reading it again...)

So here's to doing more than just surviving tomorrow...

and I'll go fumble my way through Leviticus in my Bible reading tonight... but I'll survive =)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Grace for Granted

Several years ago I chose the word "grace" to guide my year. I wanted to embrace the grace that God gave me... as if that is something we can ever fully do.

Instead, it was a year of transition for my family, and I found that the real reason God had led me to choose the word was a reminder for me to give grace...

As one of our P31 OBS values says, "We give grace because we so desperately need it."

Today I was reading The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. This quote hit me hard, because I don't tink I had ever really thought about it.

"Grace no longer amazes us. We have grown used to it: we take it for granted."


In a watered down society, we are told that God is love and that His mercy endures forever.

Biblical, yes... but also hard to reconcile with a God of judgment. Sproul talked about the seemingly inconsistencies between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God.

How can a God that hurls fire and brimstone be a loving God?

Surely we should focus on the God of love and forgiveness... so much that we get caught in an endless cycle of doing the same thing over and over. We praise Him with our lips on Sunday morning, yet curse our brothers and sisters by the time we are headed home.

Grace is to be given to us... but we aren't so good at giving it. Surprisingly, we aren't great at accepting it, either... because if we truly accepted God's grace, we would be in awe of His goodness. We wouldn't treat it so casually.

May I never grow used to Your grace, God. May I embrace it so that it changes me. May I embrace it so it changes others. I don't deserve it, but Your mercy gives me so much that I don't deserve. Thank You is not enough...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Haiku

If you know anything about me at all, you know I love to read.

I read many books at a time. I switch back and forth between different ones. I've rarely picked up a book that I couldn't find something good to say about...

because reading is an extension of who I am.

I read all kinds of genres- fiction, nonfiction, history, biography, Christian, classics...

but a couple of  genre I've always struggled with- poetry and drama.

I loved Emily Dickinson growing up, and still do enjoy reading some of her poems, especially I"m Nobody, Who are You... because can anything speak quite so perfectly to how we feel sometimes??

I have recently discovered in my exploration of all things Kentucky Wendell Berry- who writes fiction and nonfiction and also poetry, and I'm learning to like his poems.

I can't remember from high school all the different types of poetry, and odd literature terms stick in my head (like iambic pentameter and onomotopeia... although I'm not sure I can tell you if the spelling of them or what their exact meaning is...)

So, since I'm learning to like poetry, I thought I'd try my hand at writing a poem or two in this space...

 Rain drips down slowly.
Drip, drip, drop on my window
Will it ever end? No....

There you have it... my haiku, which according to a website is three lines, 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, 5 in the last.

And very reflective of my mood...

Sunshine where are you
I need you to come out, please
I don't like winter rain.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

One 24 Hours

This morning we woke up to a blanket of white, the kind of snow that makes the world turn into a winter wonderland.

Even though I don't like winter, I do like those types of snow, especially before the cars hit the road and it turns into muddy slush. 

By noon, the sun was shining full force and the sky was blue and the snow was melting.

I should have gone for a brisk walk outside. After all, I am the one that complains when it rains 500 days in a row about how the lack of sunshine affects my mood...

but I opted for a nap, which I am sure will end up being a bad idea as my sleep schedule is already off and I have to get up at 5 AM to go to work.

I woke up grumpy, as I often do from naps.

I was reminded again about how I am responsible for my own attitude. I had let something bother me and it festered like a splinter under my skin.

Have you ever been there? Something somebody says just keeps popping up over and over, and just as you forget about it, it's there in the back of your mind, until you start to focus more on their opinion than what you know to be fact.

In our world of offense and bullying, I am convinced that there is no greater bully than an adult. Often the people who spout about other people bullying are the ones with the plank in their own eye.

As I'm typing this, I'm reminding myself that I can't let things get to me..only I am responsible for my reaction. I can't change the actions of others. I can't really change the opinions of others.... and quite frankly, they don't matter anyhow.

I CAN change my reaction. You can, too. And remember, we only get this 24 hours one time. We may have another 24 hours tomorrow, but it won't be the same.

Don't waste it allowing someone else to have power over your attitude.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Confident of This...

I am often unsure of things in life.

Unsure of my abilities.

Unsure of my next move.

Unsure of what God's purpose is in my life.

Unsure of myself.

It's especially true when I focus on my own abilities, because I can do so little by myself.

I wonder if those in the Bible ever felt unsure...

I mean, we know Moses didn't feel adequate enough to lead the Israelites. He was full of excuses about being slow to speak.

and Gideon argued with the angel that he was from the least tribe, and that he was the least of his father's house.

And surely the disciples felt unsure of themselves, as they fell asleep in the garden when they were supposed to be praying.

But what about the giants of faith- Joseph and David and Peter and Paul?

Did they struggle with self-doubt?

Paul admits he was the chief sinner.

Let that sink in... even as he preached the good news, he knew where he had come from.

We aren't caught in our past, nor do we have to dwell on it... but we can't forget where we come from.

We do know that even as Paul recognized how far he had come, he knew who empowered him. "I can do all things through Christ"... "Christ in me, the hope of glory..."

And this, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

We may not be confident today... but we can be sure that even in our mess, He's perfecting His masterpiece.

Writing today using the prompt from Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes unedited on one word. Today's prompt? Confident.