Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Your real, new self will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come as you are looking for Him."
- CS Lewis

Monday, May 17, 2010

A lousy cup of coffee

This morning I woke up knowing that I had no coffee creamer in the house for my daily cup of joe. I decided to pilfer some of my roommate's coffee creamer and buy her a new bottle when I hit the store later today. When I finally crawled out of bed to make my pot of coffee, I discovered she had used the last of her creamer too. What to do? I cannot abide black coffee and did not want to make a pajama run to the store. I remembered that our landlords had left a commercial size container of the powdered stuff and attempted to doctor up my coffee with that. Ugh, no amount of peppermint syrup or sugar could make that coffee as delicious and rewarding as my liquid creamer. But did I dump it? no, I was more than willing to down not one, but TWO huge mugs of the second-rate coffee to get my daily fix.
This reminded me of my morning devotions (which were accompanied by said mediocre coffee). For many years I have struggled with consistency, and working the night shift has made the situation worse as I don't have the same daily wake-up time. I would much rather read a novel or even a book about the Bible than read the Bible itself. However, I promised myself that I would read through the whole Bible, in order, this year. And I have loved the thirst I am developing for this rich Word of God. It seemed that the Word was like a mediocre cup of coffee with powdered creamer and other books were the more expensive cup but in recent months, that has reversed! I'm so excited to finally have that genuine thirst for God's Word that I have longed after for years. This isn't to say this cultivated taste won't last forever as I'm sure if I suddenly gave up coffee and then tried to drink it again in 5 years it would be second-rate again. However, now that I've seen the light, I hope I never give it up.
Maybe there is hope for the powdered creamer? (There needs to be as the liquid stuff is more spendy and hard to come by in Manila. *sigh*)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exciting progress!

As you may or may not know, the current facility for the birthing clinic where I hope to work is a small house that is also home to the British midwife/founder/administrator. This tiny living room and back bedroom serve as labor/delivery/recovery/pre-natal check-up/post-natal check-up/teaching/finance/ and just about any other purpose you can think of. However, it is CRAMPED! This picture shows the main room.
There is a lady in the curtain giving birth, the gal on the floor is recovering (with her baby there), and the lady on the right is having a prenatal checkup. Right behind the midwife is a scale that every now and then would be used to weigh a baby! Behind the camera was another woman in labor...yeah, it is a bit crowded (and very warm!).

Praise God that a new clinic is being built on adjacent property to house a two story clinic that will feature a labor & delivery room, recovery room, classroom, offices, guest rooms, dorm for midwives and nursing students, laundry room, ambulance bay, etc... They are now to the second level of the building frame, but funds have slowed to a trickle. More money is desperately needed to finish the construction so the clinic can move to the new building! If you would like to learn more about the clinic, please click here to view the webpage of the missionary family overseeing the construction. It is so exciting to see this dream become a reality!

A nun or 1940s Pin-up?

My life isn't all about getting ready for missionary work. In fact, much of my time is devoted to working full-time as an acute care nurse in a local hospital. Life as a nurse is never dull - every patient is different and we must learn to cater our care to the needs of the patient.

One night a couple of months ago, I had an elderly gentleman who was admitted needing blood transfusions. Normally this is pretty straightforward, but this guy was deep into Alzheimers Disease and his mind lived in his days as a WW2 soldier. He kept making comments like, "well, when are you going to start?" or "You sure are pretty!" I just thought he was confused and joked with him that he needed to get his glasses checked. He started to get more adamant about me starting the show. It took me a while to figure out who he thought I was, but the light bulb flashed on when he said, "You can just get up on that table there so I can see you and start your dancing and singing for me." Oops! This poor guy thought I was a pin-up model from the moving pictures!

Then several nights ago I had a different patient who was very much alert and "with it." He had a difficult night feeling like all his rights were being impinged on. His nurse insisted on leaving his door open and set his bed to alarm whenever he tried to get out of bed because he had fallen on the floor of the bathroom the night before. This is standard protocol for "fall-risk" patients. He had none of this and tried to leave "Against Medical Advice" at midnight but his wife wasn't willing to drive 200 miles from his home to come pick him up. Oops. He eventually came to me on a different unit. I was my normal friendly self with him and explained that we couldn't force him to do anything. I changed his now unruly dressing, helped him into his pajama bottoms, gave him a midnight snack, and helped him into bed. As I was leaving he said, "Are you a nun?" Startled I said, "No, do I look like one?" To which he replied, "No, but you're just so nice."

Haha! A pin-up girl and a nun...all in a day's work for a nurse. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Has it really been nearly TWO MONTHS since I last blogged. At this point I should just tuck my imaginary tail in between my legs and slink off, much like Hansel, our favorite family dog. But, I have so much awesomeness to share, that I will persist.

Last weekend was huge on my journey to become a missionary. I spoke at two events: a ladies' brunch in Desert Hot Springs and a Senior Sunday School group. Going into the weekend I felt very intimidated and unworthy. Here I was, a very young, unexperienced, green woman, trying to give a devotional to people much beyond my wisdom and knowledge (basically, a polite way of saying I was younger, they were older). What in the world could I share that they couldn't share better than me? I prayed, I waited, I asked around for ideas and got the same suggestions - just share my story. Since I've never really had a problem talking about myself, this seemed pretty reasonable.

I was utterly amazed at what came out of my mouth. It surely wasn't me speaking. I was humbled, encouraged, honored, and reminded that this journey is not my journey. Ultimately it's God's journey and I'm merely along for the ride. Who knew that my own struggles between clarity and trust would resound with so many people? And yet, why am I surprised?

Now my job is to write another newsletter in the next week or so. Praise God that I don't have to do this alone either because writing prayer letters can be pretty daunting. Now I know why it always stressed out my dad so much and was often procrastinated. :)

If you think of me this Friday, I'd love your prayers. I'm speaking to a Filipino youth group in downtown LA. Talk about going from one extreme to the other! Thanks for your prayers and for following my sporadic blog. :)