Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Vol 2, Ed. 3

 News in the Bates house this week: 

Caleb tested positive for COVID. He's doing ok, just tired with a headache, but this leaves me working from home. It's funny how we've been in this "new" normal for almost two years and it still seems like we are living in a dream. I'm not sure we'll ever go back to "normal" again... but I know so many of us are just getting tired of it. My thoughts and prayers are with all my healthcare friends. 

My classes started at EKU. This is my first semester doing clinical... and it's been a little overwhelming. My courses are 8 week courses. I wasn't prepared for how much work I'd have... even though I knew it. Guess I've been living in denial. 

I've been thinking a lot about distraction and multi-tasking and productivity and focus... probably because I don't have any focus and am not feeling very productive or motivated at the moment. More on that later, I'm sure. 

Books I Read This Week: 

A short list. 

1. The Heart Between Us- About a bucket list, a set of twins who have grown apart, and how they find one another and themselves. A great read! Highly enjoyed!

2. The House of Kennedy- It's James Patterson, who I enjoy. And Camelot, that I'm obsessed with. And details about ALL the Kennedy family. Two thumbs up

Take care of yourself. Don't take yourself too seriously, either! Much love! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Vol 2, Ed. 2

 #22for2022 continued...

-Get my passport/Real ID. 

I want to travel more. I'm not sure in this COVID world that it's possible. I don't know about you, but the thought of getting on a plane right now makes me nervous... but I'm going to get it so that I'll be ready. 

-Watch a movie every month. 

I had originally thought I wanted this to be an older movie, a classic, if you will, that I've never seen. There's a lot of them out there... but then I realized that just because it's a classic, it doesn't mean I'll like it... but I do want to watch a movie at least once a month. I love going to movie theatres, but we have so many options with streaming services as well. I guess what I like about movie theatres is the atmosphere. I don't look at my phone, I'm not tempted to get on my computer and work, and I'm devoted to the movie in front of me. I'm learning that in our world today, distraction is the enemy and we can't NOT multitask... but when we do multitask, we are never really in the moment... even if the moment is an imaginary setting. So I guess this is more about escapism, or being present... or a combination of the two, which seems like somewhat of an oxymoron. 

-Complete a puzzle every month. 

I'm not sure this is feasible. I see people on social media posting about how quickly they've put together these huge puzzles and that's just not realistic for me. I find this hard. It's hard for my brain. I have to concentrate, and as I think we've established, I'm not good at that.... 

but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. 

and hard things, different activities, are good for your brain. 

-Record three things I'm grateful for each day. 

I've tried doing this different ways over the years. This year, there's a box in my planner so in my nightly reflection/planning for the next day, I take a couple of minutes to jot these down. I tend to focus on the same things over and over. I want to be more aware of small things, things I don't always consider. I'm hoping as I make this more of a habit that will come. 

Thought for your week-

Just because it's good for somebody, doesn't mean it's good for you. We are all different. A "must see" show or book may not be a must see for you. A "diet" that works for somebody else may not be what your body needs. Somebody's "master" organization plan may just leave you in chaos, confusion, and overwhelm. Figure out what works for you, and let the other stuff go. 

Books I Read 

I really wanted to post a book stack each week, but only one of these is an actual book format.. the others are on my Kindle or audiobooks... so this will have to do. 

1. Walk to Beautiful

2. The Dummy Line

3. Sole Survivor- do you remember a serial killer that attacked two UK students back in the late 90s? I didn't... but this is her story, and it's fascinating. 

4. D is for Deadbeat

5. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

6. The Music of Christmas

7. When Christmas Comes

8. God Hears Her: A Joyful Christmas

None of these were started in 2022. The Christmas ones were started on December 1. Each have daily devotions. I don't read them every day, obviously. I skip around and try to read at least one devotion a day from some Christmas devotion book... but continue them on into the new year... because Christmas really isn't just about one day a year, anyway. 

Be blessed, friends. <3

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tuesday Tidbits, Volume 2, Ed. 1

 Happy 2022! I've been quiet around here as the end of the semester got crazy...

but it's a new year, and while I'm the same old me, I do want to keep working on my writing. 

I didn't set any resolutions this year. I did create a 22 for 2022 list as recommended by the Gretchen Rubin podcast. A few of my goals this year (I'll focus on a few each Tuesday). 

1. Organize my books and create a catalog. I had reached the point where I didn't even know what books I had in my bookshelf, and instead of bringing me joy it was making me anxious, so I pulled out all my books and sorted them alphabetically. I still need to go through and make a list of what books I have, and then I'll go through my Amazon wishlist and delete any books that are already in my possession =)

Another thing I found was that I had 50+ books on my "currently reading" list on Goodreads. Some of these were print books, some on my kindle, some Bible studies I had abandoned... so I deleted them all and will add as I read. Seeing that many titles made me anxious that I'd never get any finished. 

2. This is on down on my list, but since we're talking books, my goal is to read 120 books this year. I read 100 last year, not quite my goal of 150, but I read fairly large books, so that's ok. I've started listening to some books on audio. I don't like fiction books in that manner but a good memoir read by the author is enjoyable. 

3. Another goal that has to do with reading- "read" the Bible through again. I'm using the Bible Recap plan on Youversion, which is a Chronological plan. Again, I like that app because it will read the Bible to you. I usually do this first thing in the morning as I'm getting ready or driving to work. Since the first, I've been taking a few minutes to jot down where I see God and reflect on what I hear. There's a podcast that goes along with it and also a book that is pretty much a summary of what she says in the podcast, so each day if I do all of that I'm engaging in the Word in three different ways... which is a good way to learn. 

4. Visit 3 state parks I haven't been to. 

5. Visit 12 Kentucky counties I haven't been to. 

6. The year of CS Lewis- a book a month. This month I'll be reading The Screwtape Letters. I haven't started it yet. 

My word of the year is worship. I realized I needed to stop making everything about me, because I can't change me... and start making it about God. I had been thinking of this word for a while and then saw this video on facebook after the Western Kentucky tornado and I knew worship was my word. More on that to come...

Books I've Read this week: 

One of the bad things about not reading all physical books is you don't get the joy of a bookstack... so this will have to do. 

1. Greenlights- I listened to on audible. The author narrated it and it was pure pleasure to listen to his smooth voice. There was some pretty heavy language in parts, but it was a sweet story and I jotted down tons of quotes from his "prescriptions" and "greenlights". 

2. Station Eleven- this is a new series out so I wanted to read the book first. It's one of the best books I've read in a really long time. Not the best situation to think about in light of COVID, but the characters are weaved together so good and it kept me engaged. 

Hope you've had a great start to the New Year. May you be blessed all year long. I'll try to be more consistent in writing this year and I hope you'll join me for my random thoughts. Love y'all! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021


 I've been feeling depressed off and on for a while now. 

I've never been officially diagnosed with depression, but I can always tell a change in my moods based on the seasons, and while I love the fall, I also can feel myself spiraling as we get closer to dreaded wintertime. 

I love sunlight. I love the feel of it on my skin, the warm glow of the blue skies in the brightness. 

Life has been tough for many of the people I love the past few years. 

I've learned more about mental illness than I thought I'd ever know, and have even felt inspired to try to make a difference in the lives of others. I still have a year or so to go before I complete my Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification (I have to pass this semester, first... and it's been a struggle!)

Recently I was listening to a podcast featuring Dolly Parton. She was talking about when she left the Porter Wagner show, and how she wrote "I Can See the Light of a Clear Blue Morning". 

That how I feel right now. I've been in a good place the last few weeks. I'm always hesitant to say that, because I live in a perpetual state of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I've realized that I'm focusing more on the light. 

Thanking Jesus that He is the Light of the World, and that His mercies are new every morning, so the light of a clear blue morning really can be realized. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


"As a man thinks, so he is..."

A great quote with lots of truth to it. 

I just wish I lived it out more... because let's face it. A lot of what I think isn't the best. 

I often judge myself for "stupid" things I do or "stupid" things I say, reliving moments over and over. 

I often judge others when I don't know the whole story. 

Too many times I open my mouth and spill out what I'm thinking, even if it isn't beneficial to anyone. 

The Bible tells us to transform by the renewing of your mind.. by changing the way you think. Philippians tells us to "think on" what is lovely and pure and true...

yet how often does my mind go in the complete opposite direction? 

I've really been thinking...
a lot about thinking. 

When I catch myself being my own worst critic, I've been trying to stop and pause and clear my head. 

I've been journaling my thoughts, and trying to clear out the negative. 

I don't want to be a Pollyanna (I don't know if I even know what Pollyanna does. I just know she's associated with rose-colored glasses, you might say)...

I know we have to be realistic...
but we also have to give one another the benefit of the doubt. 

We have to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. 

By pausing and holding our thoughts up to what we know to be true. 

And even if some days we have no idea what is even really true, we can pause to see if what we are thinking is really beneficial. 

If it's not... nip it in the bud. 

Monday, October 25, 2021


One thing that I tell my nursing students is to never think in terms of absolutes. 

Every patient is an individual, with individual experiences, and their bodies adapt differently. Just when you think you've got a care plan perfect, something will happen to throw a wrench in it. 

I don't know why I don't practice what I preach...

because my mind often thinks in terms of absolutes. 

As in...

"You ALWAYS are late."

"You ALWAYS put your foot in your mouth."

"Why are you ALWAYS so socially awkward?"

"Why are you ALWAYS a disappointment?"

"Quitting is ALWAYs your way out."

You get the picture...

The truth is, I am a creature of habit, and some of those habits are not good. I do often skimp on exercise. I do often sleep late. I do often procrastinate...

but not ALWAYS. 

This all or nothing mentality has been my downfall in many things. 

I love to plan. Love goal setting. Love to think of how I'm going to improve myself (ha, ha!) 

And then... I miss a day of exercise. Miss a day of whatever "habit" I'm tracking and then... I ALMOST ALWAYS fall off the wagon. 

Today, I had planned my day. I knew I had class from 930-330. I knew I had some things I needed to do for work tomorrow. I knew I had Bible study. I also knew that I wasn't going to be able to walk many days this week, so I planned a walk. 

Here's an absolute for you...

when I plan my "to do" list, I always overestimate how quickly I can get things done... and that really is something that is an always. I never finish with time to spare. So, tonight, I had worked on a couple of assignments after work, and didn't account for having to change clothes before my walk. Nor did I think about having to grab something to eat. 

So, I went to the park and walked... and only got in 1.5 miles before it started raining... which meant I quit about 10 minutes earlier than I had planned... which meant I got in line at Wendy's with just enough time to grab a bite to eat and slide into a seat at church as they were starting the readings. 

So, perfect timing... but that surely doesn't always happen. 

Tonight, I'll just be thankful it worked out and roll with it. =) 

Sunday, October 24, 2021


 I love hiking. 

It's one of the places where I feel closest to God.

Standing in the forest, sunlight filtered by the tall trees, there's an ethereal feeling. 

As I hike, I often miss out with what is around me, because I tend to watch my feet. I've been tripped up by tree roots one too many times, so even though I know that as I gaze directly in front of me, I'm often not seeing the blooming flowers or ferns or greenery... I can't take my eyes away from the path ahead of me. 

I also like a path. 

What I mean by that statement is simple. I'm not one of those hikers who likes to go "off the beaten path". 

Several years ago, when we were hiking more frequently, we would often venture on more difficult trails that weren't trodden down by larger groups of people. While we usually ended up seeing some great scenery on those trails, I didn't enjoy making my own path. 

I guess that's kind of how I am in real life, too. I don't like to blaze a way. I don't like change and don't consider myself a leader, so you'll not find me trying things that haven't been done before. 

In one way, that is smart... cautious... safe....

but is life supposed to be safe? 

Maybe we aren't necessarily supposed to make our own path... rather, we are to look to the path that is laid out before us. We're told in Scripture not to look to the right or the left... eyes straight ahead... just like me when I'm hiking... although I don't think we're to keep our eyes on our feet. 

Rather, we are to look to Jesus... the author and finisher of our faith. He forged every path for us, and He's still walking with us. 

Let's keep walking, friend.