Sunday, December 30, 2012

Simple Stillness

The flu that I have wrestled with since Christmas Day seems to finally be receding, and I'm recognizing that I've been away from school long enough that the desire to write, to find words, to read, is spilling out of me again.

And today, once I got through my third challenging work shift in three days, I've been embracing the beautiful stillness of that time away from school.

I ate lunch with my family (turkey soup, so good, my first real meal in days) and then headed home.

I dimmed all the lights except for those on my Christmas tree (and laptop), dressed in pajamas, and crawled into bed for a nap.  I'm not sure you've lived until you've drifted off for a Sunday afternoon nap with a favorite show playing on netflix, and the glowing lights of a Christmas tree reflecting off of the brightly colored ornaments I chose when I decided on a whim that this would be the year I'd once again have a tree in my living space.

Three hours I dozed, buried under the heavy weight of blankets, the softness of my newest faux fur throw tucked up around my neck.

And it was pretty much heavenly.

A week of flu has reminded me again of how much I appreciate simple joys.  How thankful I am for basic health that doesn't leave me out of breath after simply walking up the stairs.  How thankful I am when I am able to clean a little.  How lovely a hot shower feels after a week of illness.  The wonder of something soft against my face.  The joy of turkey soup and breaking an enforced fast.

And the glow of Christmas tree lights twinkling against pink and blue and green and purple ornaments.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I know it's been quiet around here, and, honestly, it might stay that way for a while.

That said, I will be back right around the new year with my usual post of thoughts and dreams.  I'm not sure if I'm going to choose a word this year, but I have a few on my mind that I'm playing with, so if I choose one, I'll be sure to write about that as well.

School commands my days, though I've been enjoying a nice Christmas break for the last week or two, with another week and a half to go.  In reality, I've spent the last two and a half days mostly in bed, down with some sort of flu bug that I'm just emerging from now.  I'm thankful to be emerging, but thankful too for the chance to simply take to my bed and rest, rather than try to push through the illness.  That alone has been lovely.

And with that, I'm off to bed again.  I miss writing, but the words just don't seem to flow these days.  I'm feeling alternately frustrated and patient with that, and trusting that at some point they will flow again.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Daily 5 - December 13, 2012

Because thanksgiving is spilling over just now, and nights like this are worth remembering.

I'm thankful for...

  1. quiet mornings sleeping in
  2. cuddling under cozy blankets
  3. a mattress that doesn't hurt my back and hips
  4. studying peacefully and feeling like the material actually makes sense
  5. big pots of David's tea, kept warm under a cute tea cozy
  6. the color turquoise
  7. calendars and lists
  8. infant sized fingerprints on my glasses that remind me of giggles, grins, cuddles, and games of "don't let the baby yank the glasses right off your face"
  9. friends who feed me and indulge my need for ice cream
  10. laughing and more laughing
  11. iced tea
  12. peanut buster parfaits
  13. planning and scheming
  14. dreaming about Christmas
  15. three-year old boys who kiss me goodbye
  16. glitter
  17. twinkly lights
  18. instagram
  19. magic bags
  20. bright colors all over in my Christmas decorations

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It's only 10 am, and I'm curled up in the student centre, with a jacket over my legs, and a scarf around my neck.  I've been here for over two hours, since the early morning class that I scraped myself out of bed for was cancelled.  I found myself a comfy spot, with my tea and scone and settled in.  As I've sat here, I've watched the sun creep up - a dull, wintery sun, fighting hard to break through the clouds that are the remnants of a winter storm overnight.

It's been quiet in this space lately, and, quite frankly, it's probably going to stay that way for a awhile longer.  A casualty of school and life has been writing publicly.  I'm barely finding time to write privately - to process in my journal, and keep up with dear, far-away friends by email.  And right now, the focus of my life needs to be on school, and on honoring some quiet places of pondering, processing, and exploring.  So I walk forward with that.

It's Thanksgiving today for my American friends and family, and it reminds me that I've been less than faithful in keeping up with daily 5 posts as well.  The truth is, after much pondering, I'm saying goodbye to that daily habit - or more accurately, to the daily habit of recording my thanksgiving and smiles in this space.  In the over three years that I've kept daily count, the habit of choosing joy has begun to be deeply ingrained in my soul.  It has altered my internal monologue, taught me the value of choosing gratitude, and given me the ability to celebrate each moment of happiness.  There isn't a day that passes where I don't pause multiple times to mentally note a moment of joy or gratitude.

I think I'll still be here occasionally with those lists, and maybe someday I'll resurrect the daily practice of recording them, but today, I'm saying goodbye to that practice, and ushering it out with a list of smiles that stand out from the last several days.  It seems a good thing to do on a day that one half of my family lineage and so many of my dear friends use to pause and give thanks.

Daily "5":

  1. The boy who walks his dog in my neighborhood while riding a unicycle
  2. Thanksgiving for a sound mind - especially after two rough hospital shifts caring for a patient with dementia
  3. a quiet spot to curl up on this cold morning
  4. Anything that has color in the grey colorlessness of winter
  5. watching the sun climb the sky today
  6. moments of rest
  7. a food awesome cooking successes this last week
  8. an extra large tea and a wonderful scone for breakfast
  9. bus drivers that make it possible for me to avoid winter driving
  10. dear sweet friends who have gone out of their way to encourage, pray for and with, and journey alongside me
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 72-79

It's been midterm season, and life has been a bit overwhelming for the last week and a bit.  Thus the lack of daily 5 posts.  In their absence, here's an abbreviated list of things (in very random order) that have stood out and made me smile in the last week or so.

Daily 5 - Days 72-79:

  1. celebrating a healing anniversary
  2. little boy hugs
  3. a skype date with friends
  4. fun earrings in the mail
  5. leftover halloween chocolate
  6. days spent curled up under a blanket, resting
  7. the continued chance to be learning in clinical
  8. an extra hour of sleep (sort of anyway) because of daylight savings time
  9. some interesting lecture topics in class
  10. worship on campus
  11. seeing a young boy out walking his dog... while riding a unicycle
  12. a cute rabbit curled up by the stone wall in my parent's front lawn
  13. dinner with a friend
  14. being sent home with a bottle of wine
  15. a weekend where I didn't have to study
  16. surviving midterms and doing relatively well on all of them
  17. conversations with a nurse on our floor who has become a friend
  18. clean drinking water
  19. mugs of green tea
  20. an iphone to fill hours on buses and trains

Thursday, November 01, 2012

New Mercies and All Saints - 7 Years of Healing

Today is the 7th Anniversary of my experience of healing from overwhelming depression.

I wrote about it for the first time 6 years ago today.

I've written about it every year since (you can find those posts by going to November 1st in my blog archives, every year since 2006).  I think one of my favorite of those reflections is the one I wrote last year.  It's my favorite because it was a moment of recognition - of recognizing the fact that that day marked both an ending and a beginning.  It marked an ending of hopelessness.  An ending of the all encompassing spiritual darkness and oppression that had marked my days for the previous 7 or so years.  And a beginning. A beginning of another journey of healing.  A beginning of a journey to self-awareness.  A beginning of a journey to know Christ's heart more deeply and personally.

It's that ending and beginning that I find myself reflecting on again this morning.

It's hard for me to believe that I've now been without that hopelessness and overwhelming darkness for seven years now.  That I've been without it for as long as I lived with it.  It seems crazy, because the combination of those 14 years marks nearly half of my life.

Last year I wrote about my journey with the word "heal" and the ways it manifested.  As I continue to journey towards a place of wholeness, I find myself thinking about those manifestations again today.  About the blessing that an excellent therapist, medication, and the development of a number of wonderful friendships over the last year have been in that journey of wholeness.  About the ways that will look moving forward - about coming slowly to an end of that therapy journey, and beginning a journey with a spiritual director that my therapist has recommended to me.

I woke this morning with an overwhelming peace.  A recognition of the gift of these seven years since that moment of healing encounter with Jesus.

I find myself incredibly aware of the new mercies that have become part of my life in the last year.  The mercy of feeling stable and (relatively) whole.  The mercy of healthy relationships.  The mercy of people with similar hearts and temperaments.  The mercy of moving towards a profession and calling.  The mercy of sweet honorary nieces and nephews who never fail to bring a smile to my face, and the mercy of their parents willingness to include me in their lives.

This year I find myself reflecting, too, on the reality that this anniversary of healing falls on All Saints Day.  This morning I read a translation of Pope Benedict XVI's reflections on All Saints Day, and was struck by these lines, "And so this feast day helps us to think about the Church in its dual dimension: the Church journeying in time and the Church that celebrates the never-ending feast, the Heavenly Jerusalem. These two dimensions are united by the reality of the "communion of saints": a reality that begins here on earth and that reaches its fulfillment in heaven."

This reflection of the Pope's strikes home for me in a year where I have spent much time considering the "communion of saints". I am acutely aware of the presence of what the author of Hebrews refers to as "the great cloud of witnesses" both on earth and in heaven, cheering me on, moving me forward in this journey towards wholeness and towards a greater reflection of Christ in my life.  I feel their presence deeply, and find myself so encouraged by it as I go through my days. Pope Benedict put it like this in his address, "In each of them [the saints], in a very personal way, Christ was present, thanks to his Spirit which acts through the Word and the Sacraments. In fact, being united to Christ, in the Church, does not negate ones’ personality, but opens it, transforms it with the power of love, and confers on it, already here on earth, an eternal dimension."  I love this idea - that being united to Christ takes who we are already and transforms it into something eternal - that it is used deeply.  These words resonate with the journey of healing that I have traveled for the last seven years and expect to continue to travel for all my days on earth.

New mercies and the communion of saints - these are the things I find myself reflecting on today as I celebrate seven years since that moment in which God's Spirit so interrupted the course of my life.  I'm not sure I've found words that are all that profound to describe the ways these things are resonating within me right now, but they are, and I celebrate this anniversary with great joy, peace and hope, looking forward to celebrating it over and over again in years to come, and reflecting each year on the ways that Jesus has continued to work His healing and presence in my life.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 70 & 71

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a smooth early morning commute
  2. being paired with a great nurse for the day
  3. a couple really funny patients
  4. studying in bed in my pjs
  5. getting off of school just a bit early
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a much more peaceful halloween day than usual
  2. exchanging a few texts with a dear friend
  3. another really good shift at the hospital
  4. venting about school with a good friend over dinner
  5. AMAZING Indian food for dinner!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 69

Today's Daily 5:

  1. My favorite seat on the bus
  2. a cozy vintage sweater (hand knit wool, formerly belonging to my dad, purchased in Ireland when he backpacked around Europe in the 70s)
  3. Christianne's Cup of Sunday quiet lectio on the bus this morning
  4. the chance to attend worship on campus
  5. a rather needed hug from a friend
  6. discovering a fun gift in the mail from a far away friend
  7. a bit of time tonight to shop
  8. that mom and dad lent me a car to save me a 30 minute walk in the cold at 5:00 tomorrow morning
  9. pumpkin snickerdoodles
  10. leftover vietnamese takeout

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 65-68

It was one of those weeks where time got away from me again, so here's a Daily 5 list for the last several days:

  1. a class that finished nice and early
  2. getting back a grade that was very gratifying
  3. an impromptu shopping trip on a break between classes
  4. an evening all to myself
  5. settling in for quiet
  6. sleeping late
  7. a restful day
  8. mixing up a batch of cookies
  9. curling up inside away from the snow
  10. a skype date with L.
  11. a skype with S.
  12. baking a bunch of pumpkin snickerdoodles
  13. a hot shower after a very stressful work shift
  14. the wonders of netflix when you just kind of need a break from thinking
  15. a mandarin orange
  16. sleeping through my quiet Sunday morning, and not feeling even sort of guilty for it
  17. Vietnamese take out with mom and dad and T & L
  18. puttering around my house, cleaning
  19. plowing through a large stack of homework reading
  20. the use of a magic bag for warmth while studying and sleeping

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 64

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a result with my fitbit that showed I was sedentary for less than 50% of my waking hours today (that makes me rather happy since it's kind of a rarity in my schedule these days)
  2. a really great patient to care for
  3. a great nurse to work with tonight
  4. that the painkillers I took to handle the aching muscles from falling yesterday actually were effective
  5. listening to a James Herriot audio book and having fond memories of childhood roadtrips

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 63

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sleeping in
  2. that when I slipped and fell on some ice, I wasn't hurt
  3. a first time giving meds on the unit tonight
  4. being shown some unexpected grace
  5. curling up in the warmth of my bed after a very long and cold day

Monday, October 22, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 62

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a midterm that could have been so much worse
  2. the joy of standing in a hot shower after a very chilly commute home from school
  3. wearing my new winter coat, scarf and hat, and being complimented several times on how I looked today (it did my ego a bit of good to feel pretty and have it recognized!)
  4. a nice long evening phone date with a dear friend
  5. a lot of laughing over things that could definitely make a private daily 5 list for the day if I were to take the time to compose one!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 61

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping late
  2. a day without ever seeing another human being (such a gift for my tired and introverted soul after several busy weeks in a row)
  3. finishing a novel that enthralled
  4. waffles and turkey bacon for supper
  5. an email with a couple photos of one of my favorite baby girls

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 60

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a little bit of flexibility in my work shift this morning
  2. spending the day in lovely company - with my dad and two missionary friends
  3. a road trip to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
  4. the crazy spectrum of Alberta weather (snowstorm and sun in the space of a couple hours)
  5. Vietnamese food

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 59

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Getting to sleep until 8 am (a lovely thing when you've been up before 6 every day so far in the week)
  2. a recognition of abundance while visiting my doctor and buying groceries
  3. an Ikea trip
  4. a day spent puttering - creating a pretty space for myself to create in
  5. late night Wendy's on the way home from a long work shift

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 58

Today's Daily 5:

  1. giggling over the weird things that nursing has caused me to consider fascinating
  2. writing (hopefully quite successfully) my first midterm of the semester
  3. mango bubble tea (sans pearls)
  4. baby grins and little boy smiles
  5. a lovely evening with friends, laughing and talking over a meal

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 56 & 57

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. the fact that I was introduced to the flashlight app for my iphone just days before the power was out as I got ready for the day at 5:00 am.  That flashlight app saved my butt!
  2. a great patient to work with
  3. a positive and helpful counseling session
  4. a little gift from my brother and sister-in-law
  5. funny texts with friends
Today's Daily 5:
  1. stars out in the early morning
  2. having the power on for another 5 am morning
  3. the usefulness of an iphone - letting me get stuff done on my commute
  4. cooking a healthy supper
  5. working on some organizing and settling in in my place

Monday, October 15, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 55

Today's Daily 5:

  1. handily passing a somewhat worried about nursing math test
  2. the chance to worship with other believers on campus
  3. making good progress on studying for a midterm later this week
  4. the fun of a shopping trip - spending not that much money to add some joy and life to my living space
  5. making it through a long to do list and still getting to bed at a decent time given tomorrow's very early morning alarm for clinical (4:45 am... sigh...)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 54

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sleeping late in my own bed
  2. tackling some homework
  3. a big mug of tea
  4. a church bonfire gathering
  5. baking scones in my toaster oven, just before bed

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 53

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Being out in the sunshine for a bit this afternoon
  2. tackling several "to do's"
  3. some last minute enjoyment of quiet space before housesitting ended
  4. settling back into my own space
  5. yummy bounty purchased on my behalf south of the border
  6. magic bags
  7. air purifiers
  8. making lists
  9. tasty leftovers at two different meals today
  10. curling up in my own (still new and oh so comfortable) bed

Friday, October 12, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 52

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a zoo trip with A and my two favorite little boys
  2. funny kid moments, like M announcing that flamingos are "juicy" thus fully convincing me that his meat loving daddy has completely indoctrinated him!
  3. the warmth of baby J's body against me in the babybjorn
  4. lunch at the mall, including ice cream (mmm... waffle cone)
  5. a bit of quiet time
  6. a nice long skype date with Lyds
  7. cooking dinner for a school friend (baked brie with mango habanero jelly? yum.)
  8. an evening spent studying together for an upcoming midterm
  9. tea and cookie dough
  10. crawling into bed and reflecting on just how lovely a day this was

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 50 & 51

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. That I got a cold while I am housesitting and away from the additional breathing challenges of bad air in Grandma's basement
  2. laughing my way through a clinical shift
  3. a patient who was willing and excited to help us learn
  4. a nurse committed to teaching
  5. sleeping late
Today's Daily 5:
  1. my down jacket
  2. wearing one of my favorite scarves
  3. an audiobook I'm quite enjoying
  4. a quote from Kathleen Norris "Prayers were a torment, but what I knew I needed to do."
  5. the freedom of a Thursday evening with no commitments

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 49

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a restful sleep
  2. waking up with much dissipated cold symptoms
  3. sharing tea and laughter with a good friend
  4. a really great clinical shift
  5. the chance to share a bit of my history with depression and anxiety - to hopefully break down the stigma, and increase the awareness of other future nurses

Monday, October 08, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 45-48

Day 45:
  1. a lazy day
  2. skype date with a faraway friend
  3. enjoying the benefits of housesitting
  4. an afternoon nap
  5. really tasty tortellini for dinner
Day 46:
  1. super lazy day as I began to battle a cold
  2. nap after nap
  3. browsing in Michaels
  4. a long bubble bath
  5. falling into bed after a long and frustrating work shift
Day 47:
  1. going to the mountains with a friend from school
  2. watching the fun her "babies" (two labs) had playing in the snow
  3. mountain scenery
  4. wide-ranging conversation
  5. being fed Thanksgiving leftovers
Day 48:
  1. the beauty of a long weekend especially since I have Friday's off this semester
  2. taking the day at a lazy pace, to really start to recover from this cold
  3. fresh French bread
  4. strawberries
  5. cookie dough dip

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 44

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Dozing on the bus, wrapped in a toque and my comfy down jacket, in the darkness of an early morning
  2. a lecturer with a British accent and a great sense of humor
  3. an off campus field trip with a couple of friends
  4. conversations about Jesus, and healing, and faith, and life
  5. introducing someone to the laughter that is "New Girl"
  7. berry white chocolate scones from Good Earth Cafe
  8. cuddles with baby J.
  9. some reasons to laugh
  10. a lovely last gathering of house church
  11. raspberry jello
  12. a goodnight hug and kiss from M.
  13. the feeling of crawling into my own bed at the end of a very long day/week
  14. new connections
  15. entering a new season

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 5, Day 43

Today's Daily 5:

  1. that it waited to start snowing until after I arrived at the hospital early this morning
  2. a really interesting patient for the day
  3. the clinical nurse educator who sent me down to observe two procedures for my patient
  4. easy access to a shower after a day at the hospital that left me feeling desperate for one
  5. steak dinner out with a good friend

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 42

Today's Daily 5:

  1. housesitting meaning that my early morning hospital shift was a little bit easier commute
  2. resting into the prayers of friends as I faced a daunting day
  3. an early morning moon
  4. a cozy hoodie
  5. the smell of rain
  6. new experiences, always new experiences at the hospital
  7. a meeting that went differently (better) than expected
  8. Jason Upton playing through my headphones as I took the train home
  9. the beauty of a shower any time I want one (thank you housesitting)
  10. being able to prioritize my own needs a little bit more clearly

Monday, October 01, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 35 - 41

Life has been just a little bit crazy over the last week or so, and I've just not made it here to record my daily 5, though I've certainly been aware of those moments that would make the list as the time has passed.  However, since I managed to forget to even write them down in my journal, I'm here to give you a highlights list for days 35 through 41 of Year 4.

  1. Coffee with my friend K and the encouragement he offered
  2. a skype date/book discussion with S.
  3. a yoga class that ended up being held outside
  4. hugging my favorite little boys
  5. a skype date with Lyds - so good to chat with my bestest friend for a couple hours, after a couple of particularly trying days
  6. having the support of a number of dear friends as I've been wrestling through some faith and life issues
  7. the overwhelming sense of being "not alone"
  8. enjoying my nursing practicums
  9. the advice my friend Karla gave me in a phone call.
  10. a phone date with K and baby A in Florida
  11. worship at the university on mondays
  12. Instagram photos
  13. listening to podcasts on the bus in the mornings
  14. listening to audiobooks on my afternoon transit commutes
  15. some really fascinating patients
  16. books that are challenging my heart
  17. slowly figuring out rhythms for this season of life
  18. nurses who have been really great teachers
  19. finding the right resources to make studying go a bit more smoothly
  20. 93% on my first nursing math test!
  21. working with friends on assignments
  22. vietnamese take out
  23. the anticipation of a quieter weekend coming up
  24. housesitting for the next couple weeks
  25. a long hot shower after a really frustrating work shift last weekend

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

They Kill Prophets

Her words have played over and over in my head in the week or so since I sat across from her.

"It seems that in this area, like so many others in your life, you are called to be 'other', to speak, to be a prophet calling out from the outside."

I cringe every time the words come back to me; each time they sink a bit more deeply into my reality.

There's a truth there, but one I'd rather avoid.

She is a trusted advisor that I've come to know over the last year and a bit.  She listened as I shared, as I thought out loud, and then she gently called me to task.

"I don't want to hear those words," I told her.

Tears sprang to life, unbidden, and it takes me a few moments to collect myself, to continue.

"I don't want to be other.  It's alienating.  It's deeply lonely, this living on the outside.  It hurts."

We talk about this for a while, and she tasks me with the job of remembering those who surround me even in this place.

And yet, as the week has played out, it is the truth, spoken again of being separate that has stuck with me.

It's that truth that makes me ache as I ponder various facets of my life - as I consider the places where my spirit is being challenged to expand, to grow.

And it leads again to the conversation Jesus and I have been having for many years.  The one where I stop and look at him, disgruntled, hurting, annoyed.  The one where I ask "This too?  I have to be different, to be other, to call from the outside in this facet too? I couldn't exist from within the boundaries on just this one?  It wasn't enough that I was already separate in all those other ways? You're asking this as well?  Sure, being a prophet is a noble gig, but you remember, they kill prophets!  It was you who pointed this out to the pharisees.  I don't want this."

And it is quiet.  And then I remember, I remember this Jesus who was isolated, whose dearest friends fell asleep in his moment of anguish.  I remember this Jesus who begged his Father for a different path, not in a resigned, "I guess I'll do it, but I'm just checking" sort of way, but with a fervor that caused blood vessels to burst, that caused droplets of blood where sweat should have been.

And my separation, my wrestle, my questions, they're still not sated.  But I am comforted by the reminder that this road is one I don't walk alone.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 34

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the chance to attend worship on campus this morning
  2. a generous friend in the nursing field sharing a very helpful resource with me
  3. sharing a mug of tea with a long-time friend/advisor, and having a chance to process just a bit out loud
  4. a cat nap in the sun on the bus commute home
  5. curling up with my books, in a warm corner, managing to accomplish some much procrastinated homework

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 31, 32, & 33

Friday's Daily 5:

  1. a helpful appointment with my doctor
  2. watching the smile of my work client as we visited her former neighborhood
  3. the kind stranger who covered our dinner bill at the local Chinese restaurant
  4. a long hot shower at the end of a very full and busy day
  5. sinking into my own bed, and knowing I didn't have an alarm to set
Yesterday's Daily 5:
  1. the first sleep-in morning all week
  2. a quiet day spent puttering
  3. the smell of freshly washed laundry
  4. finding a good deal on an air purifier for my room, to hopefully pull the dust and cigarette smoke that are giving me such allergy trouble out of the air
  5. a walk and coffee date with a friend who has already survived nursing school
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a final morning training shift
  2. celebrating my brother's birthday with family
  3. texting back and forth with some school friends
  4. crawling into my pajamas super early, and curling up in my comfy bed to do homework
  5. late night scones, with melty butter

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 30

Today's Daily 5:

  1. that Thursday is my last day of classes for the week
  2. getting through an incredibly long day relatively intact
  3. being greeted with a big smile from baby J.
  4. starting to work through The Jesus Story Book Bible with our house church
  5. a "dinosaur hug" goodnight from M.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 29

Today's Daily 5:

  1. quiet space to reflect on the train to the hospital this morning
  2. an awesome nurse pairing again
  3. getting to watch a minor surgical procedure that was done at the bedside
  4. having some space on my own this afternoon to rest
  5. having J. join me at my house (in my space!) for dinner and to hang out and do a bit of homework... so good to have a friend to sympathize about the nursing program with!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 27 & 28

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. my favorite seat on the bus to class
  2. hanging out with a good friend at lunch
  3. J. promising by text to hate life from afar with me, since we were both having crabby days, and we're not in the same classes to commiserate this semester
  4. the unexpected chance to crash dinner at my parents and be served lasagna, garlic bread, salad, green beans, and peach crisp
  5. managing to get to bed at a decent hour, since I had to get up super early the following morning
Today's Daily 5:
  1. the stars that were still out at 5am
  2. driving to mom and dad's in their car borrowed overnight, instead of walking half an hour to the train
  3. smooth early morning train connections
  4. a first "real" day on the unit that will probably stick in my mind and heart for quite a while
  5. a therapy appointment that touched on some deep heart places

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 26

Today's Daily 5:

  1. That my watch didn't die in the middle of the night, but waited until after the alarm woke me to finally kick the bucket
  2. getting home safely from work after a crazy incident in which the bus I was taking was hit in a hit and run accident
  3. doing all the necessary food prep and chopping to make healthy meals easy to prepare this week
  4. a nice long walk outside as a study break
  5. curling up into the softness of my new mattress to sleep for the night

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 25

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Breakfast at Diner Deluxe with some wonderful out of town friends that I don't get to see nearly enough
  2. a quiet afternoon at home, spent curled up on my soft new bed, tackling a stack of homework
  3. finishing up the last of my errands for the week, so that other than work, tomorrow can be devoted to home stuff, and homework, and rest
  4. laughing with a random stranger in line behind me, and the cashier at the grocery store (a highlight since it was at the soul-sucking megastore that I only shop at because it has the cheapest prices)
  5. texting back and forth with several dear friends, all of whom live entirely too far away for me to be happy about it!

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 23 & 24

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. discovering that for the first time in this program, the lecturers are really great (mostly anyway) this semester
  2. an early morning moon
  3. waking with a worship song playing in my mind
  4. tropical green tea and a scone from Good Earth Cafe
  5. Vietnamese take out for lunch
  6. plug-ins for my laptop in all the lecture halls this semester
  7. a lunch break yoga class
  8. drunken pork chops for dinner (so thankful for the friend who made these)
  9. little boy smiles, cuddles and hugs goodbye (even when they're dinosaur hugs!)
  10. bread and cheese for house church snacks.  is there anything in the world quite so good?
Today's Daily 5:
  1. skype date with H
  2. getting a new mattress delivered
  3. mom loaning me the car so I could accomplish a marathon length errand list more quickly
  4. new phone!  iPhone 4S! super excited for a phone that runs much more quickly
  5. crawling in between freshly washed sheets, wearing freshly washed pajamas, and enjoying the beauty of my new mattress and pillows!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 21 & 22

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. A quiet morning to prepare for the beginning of clinical
  2. a smooth commute and attempt at finding the unit I'm assigned to this semester
  3. surviving my first ever shift in a hospital
  4. a long hot shower at mom and dad's before coming home at the end of the night
  5. raspberry and white chocolate scones, baked in my toaster oven
Today's Daily 5:
  1. the tasty, simple and healthy lunch I prepared before I headed off to the hospital
  2. first hospital shift paired with a nurse (this nursing thing finally feels kind of real)
  3. a really great nurse to work with for my shift
  4. mom and dad loaning me a car to get home easily at the end of a long day
  5. that I don't have to make the transit commute through sketchy neighborhoods alone - hurrah for other students who get to the hospital on the train!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 20

Today's Daily 5:

  1. flocks of starlings overhead, readying for migration
  2. My TOMS for comfort
  3. a pretty scarf
  4. that it was at least daylight when I left for school
  5. settling back into my commuting routine with one of Christianne's Sunday Cup of Quiet lectios
  6. being greeted with a hug by a school friend
  7. a welcome back pancake breakfast put on for free by the nursing faculty
  8. surviving the first day of classes
  9. the chance to attend a worship gathering hosted by a friend of mine on campus at lunch on Mondays
  10. heading out for Ethiopian food for dinner with a friend and catching up on the month since our classes ended and we saw each other last.

Semester Re-entry

It's been lovely to take some time away from this space.  To focus simply on resting, and accomplishing the myriad of things that don't get tackled when school is in session.

To be honest, though, I'm not sure what coming back to this space is going to look like.  I'm still thinking and praying about what structure will work best for this space in the coming months, and about what sort of structure will work with my school schedule.

You see, this semester is the one in this program that has the reputation of being the most intensely challenging.  This is the moment where, after eight months of telling us we essentially aren't allowed to get near patients, they suddenly throw us in head first, and expect us to, well, know things!

My placement this semester is in the hospital that is the furthest away from where I live in the city, and I'll be rotating, two days a week, every other week, between day and evening shifts.

In the meantime, I also have two full days (8am-5pm) of on campus class time, and several hundred pages of assigned reading per week.  Plus assignments.  I piled my textbooks up the other day and took the picture that you can see here.  That is 9 inches of dense reading. (Actually, there are two other books, not shown, for a total of an extra couple inches).  Topics like pharmacology, physical assessment, and pathophysiology don't make for light reading.  It's going to be a school heavy kind of semester.

In the midst of that, I'll be continuing my part time job as a care aide, continuing to lead a small house church, and juggling all the stuff of day to day life.

And somewhere in there, this space, still so important to me, fits in.  I just haven't quite figured out how yet.  Other than the Daily 5, which will continue, I hope to be here between 2 and 3 times a week.  I know that I want to continue with Whimsical Wednesday, and that I'd like to continue writing posts 1 or 2 times a week, and that I want it to have some sort of regular schedule and rhythm to it, but I haven't figured out what that will look like yet.

A lot is riding on how this first week of school goes.  On how the kinks of placements and transportation and reading and life pan out.  On answers that will be gained in the coming days.

So, in the meantime, just know that I'm planning to be back here more often, and that if you're reading this on Monday, when it goes live, and it's between the hours of 8 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon (mountain time), I'm probably in class, getting some of the answers that will let me establish a rhythm to my life, and that once I have those answers, and have sorted out that rhythm, I'll let you know, and be back here on some sort of more consistent basis.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 19

Today's Daily 5:

  1. An early morning walk by the river, before my training shift
  2. a smooth training shift for mornings (have I mentioned that I really appreciate the girl who trains me?)
  3. a long hot shower
  4. a day that was really very productive as I prepare for the return to school tomorrow
  5. a super awesome supper, made in my own space (roasted zucchini and peppers, with a chicken apple sausage)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 18

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping relatively restfully
  2. coffee date and bookstore browsing hangout with J, a friend from school
  3. a lazy afternoon in the sun, in my favorite chair at mom and dad's, reading
  4. really good pasta for dinner
  5. accomplishing grocery shopping and meal planning for the next week and a bit

Friday, September 07, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 17

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a really productive day
  2. a longish walk in the sunshine
  3. finding reasons to laugh even amidst a relatively challenging work shift
  4. brownie
  5. the fun of marking several much procrastinated items off of my to do lists

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 16

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a big mug of mango diablo green tea
  2. safe places in which to process
  3. a phone date with K that was filled with the kind of conversation that made me wish all over again that we lived closer
  4. the comfort of a three year old body curled into mine, as he falls asleep on the couch
  5. a conversation that went well, that left me in a place that feels doable going forward

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 15

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a very low key kind of day
  2. cuddles with my two favorite little boys
  3. the hug and prayers of a friend at a meeting I attended tonight
  4. finding reasons to laugh over certain moments of awkwardness
  5. chocolate.  today was definitely a day where chocolate was both necessary and a reason to smile.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 14

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Coffee with E.
  2. texting and facebook laughter with K.
  3. imagining what the people in Starbucks who might have overheard the VERY varied odd topics of conversation that E and I covered might have been thinking!
  4. using my toaster oven to prepare REAL food in my own space
  5. shopping for (and ordering) a new mattress - hello and welcome, my soft and comfortable new friend, I'm very much looking forward to your arrival
  6. a big mug of tea mid-afternoon when I was cold
  7. getting the news that I'll get the chance to have breakfast with another good friend when they're in town next week
  8. quiet time spent reading this morning
  9. an unexpected phone call from L. and the chance to catch up
  10. a successful day on the eating healthy and caring for my body front

Monday, September 03, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 13

Today's Daily 5:

  1. blueberry muffin
  2. feeling comfortable setting a boundary
  3. walking by the river with my audiobook playing
  4. cookie dough dip as a treat at the end of the night
  5. sinking into bed with a book, to end the day by reading

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 12

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping late
  2. a day with lots of space for quiet reflection, aided by reading and some videos a dear friend linked to
  3. celebrating my sister-in-law and my birthdays (belatedly) with our family
  4. much laughter
  5. answering queries about how it's possible that blogging can have lead to deep and important friendships

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 10 & 11

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. spotting a funny little car, bright yellow, putt putting down the road in such a manner that I burst out laughing
  2. a successful quest
  3. my mom generously sharing her car with me
  4. a hot shower, scrubbing the skin that was flaking as my sunburn peels a little
  5. the satisfaction of accomplishing a great deal of cleaning and organizing that's been ignored for months
Today's Daily 5:
  1. slow and lazy morning
  2. finishing up a few last cleaning, organizing and purging tasks
  3. a long walk at dusk, listening to an audio book
  4. making a new recipe
  5. fresh nectarines

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 9

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Quiet day, tackling items on my to do list
  2. praying for a friend from house church as she prepares to head off to school for the next nine months
  3. little boy smiles, and baby boy cuddles (and getting to give one little guy a bottle!)
  4. a really good meal, punctuated with laughter, shared with house church friends (I love that we eat together so often)
  5. a day that reminded me how much of a blessing having some time off from school really is

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 8

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Dove chocolate with raspberry (regretting that I only bought one bag of this type in Florida)
  2. Sitting on the front steps in the sun, waiting for a ride
  3. a little voice hesitantly, proudly squeezing out my name
  4. the hug of one of my last close friends still residing in the city, and the smile in her eyes as she shared some good news with me
  5. rousing conversations over dinner with my friend and her husband, spanning the breadth of topics such catholicism, nursing, work, dating and parenting

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 7

Today's Daily 5:

  1. aloe vera gel (I got a bad sunburn on the weekend, and aloe vera has been my life line the last few days)
  2. a salesman who didn't make me feel totally inadequate as I began the process of shopping for a new mattress
  3. lazy morning of cleaning and sorting out what needs to happen with the remainder of my summer holidays
  4. an impromptu pedicure
  5. buying a toaster oven, to make cooking at home an even better possibility

Monday, August 27, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 6

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a massage appointment that felt wonderful
  2. a bus trip listening to a new audio book
  3. taking the day slowly
  4. mango bubble tea
  5. sitting quietly with my art journal, mapping out dreams, goals and hopes for this next season of my life

Quiet Spaces

About once a year or so, I begin to crave quiet.  I feel an impulse to turn off whatever it is that I've been watching on DVD or netflix lately, to quiet the stereo, and just be.

Usually when that happens I still find space to write.

But this week?  This week I'm feeling that craving creep up on me, and I'm ever so aware of the impending arrival of another full semester (rumored to be the most intense in my program).  I'm ever so aware that my short summer break is waning, and that I need to honor the craving for quiet.

I'm aware that I need to be present to friends (both long distance and nearby).  That I need to take time to read, and journal, to pray and process, to create and simply to be.  That there are parts of my life that need careful attention, that there is cleaning and organizing that I want to accomplish before heading back to school.

And because I'm craving quiet, and aware of the waning of summer, this space is going to be quieter.  None of the "regularly scheduled programming" for the next week or so.  I'll probably pop in occasionally, and I'll be here with the Daily 5, but that's it.  Just the things that can't help but spurt out of me, and my usual daily practice of thanksgiving.

I'm off to honor the quiet in my life for a while, and I'm pretty sure I'll return with more to say than I've had in quite a while.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 5

Today's Daily 5:

  1. breakfast with a house church friend
  2. hanging out all day with friends at my favorite little guy's third birthday party
  3. curling up to rest for a couple hours
  4. a work shift where I kept my client laughing and it went smoothly
  5. texts, pictures, and facebook posts that reminded me of the sweet time with friends in Florida

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 4

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a restful night of sleep
  2. grocery chopping for fresh, healthy ingredients
  3. curling up in a chair to read, think, pray and write
  4. the fun of concocting a lovely healthy chicken stir-fry for dinner
  5. two hours on skype with L. - nothing like chatting with your closest friend to round out a day

Friday, August 24, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Day 3

Today's Daily 5:

  1. lazy morning
  2. painting with A
  3. cupcakes and conversation with a long time friend
  4. baby L's smile
  5. a truly random collection of titles that I can't wait to read purchased on an impromptu bookstore trip

Friday Reflections, August 24, 2012

Today's reflection is a brief excerpt from Richard Rohr about silence, and it is moving me deeply.

Silence is the language of God, and the only language deep enough to absorb all the contradictions and failures that we are holding against ourselves. God loves us silently, because God has no case to make against us. Silent communion absorbs our self-hatred, as every lover knows.
(Richard Rohr -Adapted from Simplicity, p. 97)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 4, Days 1 & 2

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a first class flight home from Houston, after many flight changes
  2. a long hot bubble bath
  3. the moment when my bag decided that it would also return after wandering like a prodigal without me for about 7 hours
  4. sinking into my own bed at the end of two very long days of travel
  5. a few good deals while I grocery shopped
Today's Daily 5:
  1. Two days into the fourth year of making these lists.  crazy.
  2. waking from a much needed long night of sleep
  3. organizing my kitchen area
  4. the smell of clean sheets and pajamas as I crawl into bed
  5. sharing communion with my house church friends as we prayed together tonight

Catch-Up Day

After I arrived home yesterday, my luggage decided it wanted to keep traveling without me.  The prodigal bag finally returned around 7 last night, a full 7 hours after I arrived home.

That means I didn't get to my own home (I went to my parents, since that was where the bag was being delivered) until around 8:30 last night.

Which worked fine, I suppose.

I did the majority of my unpacking, and then fell into bed and promptly gained many much needed hours of sleep.

And today? Today is a catch-up day.

I'm cleaning and doing laundry.

I'm working on making the little kitchen area I've created a bit more functional.

I'm preparing for house church tonight.

I'm wrapping a present for my favorite little guy's third birthday party on Sunday.

I'm pondering rhythms.

I'm listening to an audio book.

I'm catching up, and enjoying that this is part of my rhythm, part of my routine.  To spend a bit of time creating physical order, while my mind and heart slowly work their way towards internal order as well.

It works for me, this catching-up, and I'm enjoying it - even the blisters on my hand from turning the dozens of screws required to assemble a little cubicle shelf for my makeshift kitchen.

I'm moving slowly, but with purpose, and settling into that space of rhythm.

I'm enjoying this feeling of presence, even as I look ahead to other places and things.

I'm catching up, and it's lovely.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I was hoping to write a nice trip summary sort of post today.

Instead, I'm in travel limbo.

Weather in Florida meant I missed my connection to Calgary from Houston last night.

After grabbing dinner and 4 hours or so of sleep in a hotel, I got back to the airport to discover that weather in Portland was making my connecting flight to Denver late, and that I would again miss my connection to Calgary.

Thankfully, this time they put me on a direct flight to Calgary from Houston.  And in this case they even upgraded me to first class (which given the budgets I work with will probably be a once in a lifetime sort of experience).

And while I wait, I'm writing a blog post about being in travel limbo, and kicking back to chill a bit.

I've got something like 3 hours until I get on a plane for home, and then about 5 hours of flying, and then, then I will be home, and at this point, though I didn't feel ready to leave Florida yesterday, I'm definitely ready to be home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 365

Today's Daily 5:

  1. 3 full years of making these lists - how amazing is that? I've seen such impact on my heart from this practice
  2. final goodbye hugs
  3. airport wifi
  4. book browsing and buying
  5. a smooth airport security process
  6. that even though my heart friends live scattered across different countries and the world, the internet and texting exist
  7. a slower than expected re-entry into life
  8. finding a few friends to share dinner with when I ended up stranded in Houston
  9. Olive Garden and one last vacation glass of wine
  10. seeing growth in being able to roll with the punches of being stranded in Houston instead of at home in my own bed like I'd planned

Wordless Whimsy Tuesday

Monday, August 20, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 364

Today's Daily 5:

  1. baby velocoraptor noises
  2. "I just threw up a little bit in my soul"
  3. a last glass of iced tea and of sangria
  4. sharing final hugs and knowing that these really are heart friends
  5. the blessing of a week in which I was truly seen

Wordless Whimsy Monday

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 363

Today's Daily 5:

  1. attending mass for the first time in a very long time
  2. a homily that was oh so perfect for my heart today
  3. brunch with dear sweet friends (and oh my goodness peach pecan vanilla cream waffles)
  4. cuddling a baby in a tattoo parlor
  5. all kinds of beautiful conversations

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 362

Today's Daily 5:

  1. such sweet time with friends
  2. baby smiles
  3. Lebanese food
  4. sangria
  5. sharing the deep, rarely spoken parts of my story and self with people that are safe and welcoming and gentle with my soul

Friday, August 17, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 361

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sweet babies
  2. hearing the parts of hearts that are sometimes uncomfortable to share
  3. awesome food
  4. stocking up on some chocolate treats that I can't get north of the border
  5. the companionship of dear, sweet friends

Wordless Whimsy Friday

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 360

Today's Daily 5:

  1. honesty
  2. safe spaces for conversation
  3. frozen yogurt
  4. ice wine
  5. laughter

Wordless Whimsy Thursday

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 359

Today's Daily 5:

  1. baby cuddles
  2. laughter, tears, and conversations that ranged wildly
  3. friends that read!
  4. being in a place where my heart feels free to simply be itself
  5. cats sleeping on my feet

Wordless Whimsy Wednesday

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 358

Today's Daily 5:

  1. early morning airport muffins (thank you Tim Horton's)
  2. meeting four awesome friends
  3. the hugs and laughter that ensued
  4. an unforgettable ride home from the airport
  5. red wine and great conversations

Wordless Whimsy Tuesday

Monday, August 13, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 357

Today's Daily 5:

  1. discovering the ability to flex when a 2am work emergency call pulled me out of bed after I'd only been there for about an hour.
  2. the taste of early morning Tim Horton's breakfast as I drove home from the aforementioned emergency at 5am
  3. errands with my mom
  4. the fun of packing and cleaning and anticipating my trip - so joyfully excited for this!
  5. rounding off the day with an apple fritter courtesy of dad, and heading for bed early, so I can make my early flight in the morning.

Wordless Whimsy Week

I've been pondering what it is that I would do with this blog space this week.

You see, super early tomorrow morning I'm boarding an airplane to fly away to spend a week enjoying some in person time with four friends that I've made because of this space, and I plan to focus on the friends, and not the blogging during that time.

As I pondered, two options emerged.  I could leave this space quiet (barring the occasional check-in), or I could do a whole week of Whimsical Wednesdays.

I settled for a compromise, and so I present you with a week (lasting through next Tuesday) of Wordless Whimsy.  Just pictures (one or two a day) that inspired, challenged or otherwise caught my attention (thanks to pinterest).  I hope you'll chime in with your comments over the course of the week - I'd love to hear your thoughts on the images.

I may or may not be around for the Daily 5 - this may just be a week where I write them all in a journal and add them there.  I may or may not pop in with some words, too, but mostly, I hope you'll enjoy the whimsy here this week.

To kick us off, I chose this image:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 355 and 356

Yesterday's Daily 5:
  1. a lazy morning 
  2. beginning the packing preparations for my trip
  3. a last dose of olympic watching
  4. tasty day old pastries purchased on sale
  5. successfully navigating a new and rather large challenge at work
Today's Daily 5:
  1. loving my Sunday morning alone time
  2. random errands with my folks
  3. a long shower
  4. styling my hair so the curls had a chance for a change
  5. the last work shift and beginning of vacation!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 354

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a super chill morning
  2. knocking a much avoided task (defrosting my freezer) off my list after several months
  3. writing my last final of the semester
  4. being 1/3 done my nursing schooling
  5. a perfect birthday gift in the mail from L.

Friday Reflections, August 10, 2012

Another challenging reflection from Henri Nouwen today:

A Window on Our Spiritual Lives

Even though our emotional and spiritual lives are distinct, they do influence one another profoundly.  Our feelings often give us a window on our spiritual journeys.  When we cannot let go of jealousy, we may wonder if we are in touch with the Spirit in us that cries out "Abba."  When we feel very peaceful and "centered," we may come to realise that this is a sign of our deep awareness of our belovedness.

Likewise our prayer lives, lived as faithful response to the presence of the Spirit within us, may open a window on our emotions, feelings, and passions and give us some indication of how to put them into the service of our long journey into the heart of God.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 353

Today's Daily 5:

  1. An encouraging final evaluation conversation with my clinical instructor
  2. hanging out with a friend and her two puppies to eat lunch
  3. one final down, one to go!
  4. listening to a fascinating audio book on the bus
  5. chinese food and cider with the house church gang tonight

Exam Day

I have my final clinical evaluation and first final exam today.

My second final is tomorrow.

Tonight I'm hanging out with the house church gang to eat Chinese and drink wine.

It's just that kind of day.

Where it's about doing and not so much about writing.

But I'm hopeful that as I head into a month of time off, from rest will spring writing.  Hooray for that!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 352

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a lazy, restful day
  2. watching the show "Parenthood" on Netflix
  3. a good olympic medal day for Canada
  4. spending the afternoon cooking with a good friend
  5. baby cuddles and little boy cuddles

Whimsical Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Per usual, it's a truly random and eclectic mixture here today.  Things that made me laugh or smile.  Things filled with whimsy.  Words of wisdom or truth.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these images!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 351

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the leftover joy from encountering Jesus in a special way through worship, journaling and prophetic words last night
  2. birthday love that came from 4 different continents and at least 6 different countries (and who knows how many states and provinces!) via email and facebook
  3. an awesome last day of clinical
  4. dinner out with my dad
  5. wearing a few different pieces of clothing that I really love
  6. sunshine
  7. getting a "good customer discount" on my last day of rental car usage for the semester
  8. a couple hours of alone time this afternoon
  9. a joy of freedom and anticipation of the year to come, largely stemming from the experience I had in worship last night
  10. the growing excitement as we plan and scheme and laugh and talk online in preparation for our girls retreat in Florida
  11. hanging out with my friend N, and going for cake to celebrate the end of classes and my birthday
  12. white chocolate raspberry cake
  13. chicken and snow peas (mmm... chinese with Dad)
  14. laughing at dad's fortune cookie fortune which said that people are often jealous of his beauty!
  15. reading another chapter in "Love Does"

Tuesday Anticipations, August 7, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • the end of the semester
  • hanging out at house church and enjoying good food together
  • celebrating my birthday over cocktails and appetizers with a few friends
  • a quiet weekend of work and prep to travel next week
  • the beginning of a month of time off
  • reading things that have nothing whatsoever to do with nursing!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 350

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a restful sleep
  2. banana with peanut butter
  3. finishing up and submitting my final paper of the semester
  4. a fun tea pot (Keep Calm and Drink Tea) gift from a friend
  5. a worship night that was just what my heart needed, with words of confirmation whispered in the secret spaces of my soul

Holiday Monday

This is my nearly perfect day...

A holiday Monday, preceding the last week of school.

All that I have going on is a bit of studying and paper writing, and a couple of errands.

And I'm so loving that.

So loving that.

Can't wait to sink into rest in a new and solid way.

Here's to finals week that won't be super stressful.

Here's to a holiday Monday for resting.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 349

Today's Daily 5:

  1. wrapping up my clinical notes for the semester
  2. iced green mango diablo tea
  3. shopping and dinner with my long time friend and birthday buddy J
  4. finally solving my summer long shopping for either shorts or capris dilemma (thank you Urban Trade!)
  5. ice cream date with dad

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 347 & 348

Yesterday's Daily 5:
  1. sleeping in
  2. brunch (french toast stuffed with canadian back bacon and gouda, and drizzled with a rosemary infused maple syrup)
  3. shopping and hanging out with a long time friend
  4. finally bought a pair of TOMS
  5. a skype date with my best friend
  6. trading excited emails, messages and facebook posts about my upcoming Florida trip
  7. a smooth work shift
  8. late night Wendy's to quench hunger after my shift
  9. borrowing a vehicle to drive home
  10. the last day of class for the semester
Today's Daily 5:
  1. sleeping late
  2. sunshine
  3. Olympic watching (gold, silver and bronze for Canada today!)
  4. errands with my dad
  5. ice water
  6. my email inbox sitting at zero
  7. curling up in a comfy chair
  8. slowly tackling the last paper of the semester
  9. comfy shoes
  10. a Saturday night off from work

Friday, August 03, 2012

Friday Reflections, August 3, 2012

Today's reflection is once again from Henri Nouwen...

Bridging the Gap Between People

To become neighbours is to bridge the gap between people.  As long as there is distance between us and we cannot look in each other's eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise.  We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our prejudices, and avoid direct contact.  We think of them as enemies.  We forget that they love as we love, care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do.  We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will.

Only when we have the courage to cross the street and look in one another's eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 346

Today's Daily 5:

  1. bus commute audiobook listening
  2. a quiet afternoon
  3. a hot bath
  4. some insights to ponder
  5. hanging out and helping a friend move for house church tonight

Anticipating Still (One Word 365 Update)


I know, I know - I write about anticipation every Tuesday.

But here's the thing - it's the theme of my week this week as I begin to taste the forthcoming promise of a month or so of rest.

My one word for 2012 was Still, and to be honest, sometimes I wonder where it is that that word emerged from - what God was thinking when that word was whispered into my heart.

I kicked off 2012 by beginning nursing school, and my life has not exactly been defined by stillness.

On the other hand, I've learned to really value the little moments of stillness, to sink into them, to appreciate and rest in them.

I was thinking about that as I took the bus yesterday morning - about how I sink into those moments when I can steal them.

I look forward to my Wednesday morning bus commute.  It's the time in which I settle in to listen to Christianne's "A Cup of Sunday Quiet".  I start my day with a scripture reading, then plug in my headphones, close my eyes, and steal a few minutes of quiet with Jesus.

I look forward to the few evenings when nothing is scheduled and there isn't any pressing homework.  When I can enjoy a little bit of cleaning or reading or cooking, or simply crawl onto my bed and lose myself in a television show or movie.

And this week? This week I have the taste of forthcoming rest in my mouth.  I'm writing the last paper of the semester, wrapping up clinical notes, preparing in a lazy fashion for finals next week.  I'm organizing travel insurance for my trip to Florida, and staring at a calendar that is getting emptier by the day.

I'm so looking forward to a month or so where stillness is something that doesn't have to be stolen, but that can be the norm.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 345

Today's Daily 5:

  1. chatting with a bus buddy
  2. favorite seat on the bus
  3. facebook comments that made me giggle a lot
  4. drunken chicken
  5. the indescribable thrill of cooking in my own space for the first time in several years, and sitting down to a really great plate of food

Whimsical Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This week's Whimsical Wednesday has a decidedly bookish theme as I anticipate the end of the semester, and a month of time to spend catching up on reading for enjoyment and personal fulfilment.

As always, I'd love to hear if any of these images catch your attention.  Or, in this case, if you have a great suggestion for summer break read!

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 344

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a really kind salesperson at the rental car place who only charged me for one day instead of the usual 2
  2. laughing with friends
  3. enjoying another clinical experience
  4. a long shower
  5. a quiet, mostly stress free evening

Tuesday Anticipations, July 31, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • the end of the school semester
  • spending time watching Olympic sports
  • time to read things that aren't related to school
  • my trip to Florida (only about two weeks until I leave!)
  • brunch with a long time friend
  • helping a friend move
  • the beginning of a new month
  • a meeting with a trusted advisor
  • cooking an awesome new recipe I tried with a friend last week
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 343

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a lovely nurse to work with
  2. some great conversations about topics in maternal/child health that really interest me
  3. supper at Ikea (meatballs with gravy and lingonberry sauce - so good, seriously...)
  4. an evening that was productive, doing rearranging, constantly working to make my space more liveable.
  5. settling in at the end of the night to rest

Peaceful Stillness

Yesterday afternoon as I was driving a borrowed car, I paused and realized that for the first time in several months I felt truly at peace.

I worked until 3am Sunday morning, and then crashed at my parents place, sleeping and then enjoying the stillness of an empty house on a sunny Sunday morning.

And so I found myself driving and realized that I felt at rest.

For the first time in a while nothing felt like it was hanging over my head.  I'm slowly settling into my job.  There are minimal deadlines left for this semester of school.  I felt free, still, peaceful, joyful.

It was lovely.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 341 & 342

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a super lazy morning
  2. a sweet teller at the bank who chose not to apply the usual hold to my paycheque
  3. homemade hamburgers
  4. ice cream sandwiches
  5. a fun coffee date
Today's Daily 5:
  1. sleeping in super late
  2. being able to drive home at 3 am because my parents lent me a car to save me the transit commute
  3. the stillness of the first Sunday morning in a long time where I was alone
  4. watching olympics
  5. a long, hot shower

Friday, July 27, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 340

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in
  2. lunch with an old friend (and great conversation and food to boot!)
  3. getting a group project finished for another semester
  4. watching the Olympic opening ceremonies (I may or may not have streamed a good chunk of it on silent - mostly the parade of nations - during a very boring class today...)
  5. a moment of quiet revelation

Friday Reflections, July 27, 2012

Today's reflection spoke to my tired and drained heart.  It's once again written by Henri Nouwen.

What We Feel Is Not Who We Are

Our emotional lives move up and down constantly.  Sometimes we experience great mood swings: from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos.  A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings.  Mostly we have little control over these changes.  It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life.  Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us.  As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are.  We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children.