Friday Favs

ImageHowdy ya’ll!

It’s Fridayyyyy! Which for me means a stretch of nights at work, but I’m okay with that. Here are a few articles/blogs/videos I’ve enjoyed this week. Check em out!

A post by Preston Yancey at Prodigal Magazine on this whole “ring by spring” and crazy after graduation wedding season and how his outlook has changed, even while remaining single.

-Here’s a good post at Good Women Project by Elena Pellizzaris about not fitting into the category of the work woman rolling in the dough nor the category of the perfect housewife. 

-Here’s my younger brother’s blog. We are very similar, so I really relate to his post about friends and being intentional.

-I present to you a treat for your ears: The Piano Guys cover Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are on piano and cello.

Pregnant and I know It video- I have a feeling that a few of my friends would totally do this if they were pregnant. I would do it, but not on video for sure haha!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if you decide to do any baking, make sure you do it to the Robin Hood Motion Picture Soundtrack Pandora station – you will feel like you are creating a masterpiece!!

Letters to a son

A wonderful blogger I just found, Diane Comer, is writing a series of letters to her son, Matt, who asked her to write him letters describing what to look for in a woman. She has done very well and I’m eager to see what else she writes him! My favorite letters thus far are this one about leading a woman with words and this one about God-needing versus man-needing women. Here is the link to the letter series: http://www.hespeaksinthesilence.com/category/letters/ (These aren’t just “Oh, these are interesting, you should read them if you have time” kind of letters. These are “No, seriously. This is worth your time” kind of letters. Read ’em.)

Her letter about leading a woman with words was incredible, to say the least. 10 ways to lead a woman with words, whether she be a quiet, shy woman or a girl who can’t seem to stop the flow of words coming from her mouth. How to ask questions, how to affirm her, how important it is to give her the Word, to initiate conversation and guide it, to look in a girl’s eye and more. I would definitely say these letters are a must for anyone – man or woman.

I was especially intrigued by the God-needing vs. man-needing woman letter. Upon reading the title, I immediately categorized myself as a God-needing woman. But as I read on, I quickly realized that in the past few years, I have been leaning more and more towards the man-needing category.

A man-needing woman wants something good (fulfilled life and dreams), but she’s going about getting it in entirely the wrong way. She’s seeking a man because the world around her has told her that she will find enjoyment, happiness, love, fulfillment, and stability in a man. And it’s true – those things can be found in a man but only for a time. It may be for a few weeks, months, or even years. But a man is just that – a man. A man will try hard to please his woman and make her happy, but because he’s only human, eventually he will fail, leaving both of them sitting there wondering what happened. How are we supposed to find a fulfilled life in the creation when it’s only the Creator – the One who made us – who can show us our purpose? Men and women both were created to find fulfillment in God alone. We were made God-needing.

Too often, we women expect men to fill our craving for purpose, love, and more. We think that by getting married, giving ourselves to a man, starting a family – we think that if we care for, love those things enough, we will feel fulfilled, we’ll find our purpose.

Searching for the right man – that’s not a bad thing! God created marriage and it can be beautiful! Married, engaged, or single, how many times do we think a relationship, marriage or our husband will be the end-all, be-all, that all our insecurities and loneliness will evaporate into thin air. No matter what our situation is, we easily make the mistake of thinking a man can be everything for us.

So women- which are you: God-needing or man-needing? God created us and it’s only through Him that we can find our fulfillment. While a man will eventually fail us, God never disappoints. We may not understand what’s going on, what He has planned, what He’s trying to teach us, but God promises us:

“For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11)
and
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11).

So sure, do I fall into the pit of thinking that a boyfriend or husband will fix things, get rid of my loneliness, be someone who will always make me happy? Duh. Of course I do. Which is why I need reminders like these letters to put me back on track. I don’t want to be the man-needing woman. Those kinds of women only tear down their husbands and set themselves up for more pain.

Instead, I want to be one of the God-needing women – “…women who are learning and growing and practicing what it looks like in everyday life to ‘hope in God’ (see I Peter 3:5). They’re not perfect, not by a long shot. But they’ve figured out that only God can satisfy the craving in their hearts for more…pursuing Him actively and purposefully, gaining wisdom and knowledge and intimacy with God…Instead, they look to God for all that He has to say about happiness and joy and serving and giving out of the overflow of a heart that belongs wholly to Him.”

It ain’t easy. But it will be worth it.


old towne

I drove through the town of my old high school today and I had mixed feelings driving through it. The pizza place with the tasty onion rings is still there. The corner lot that saw a bazillion businesses fail in the 4 years I was in high school – it is now a small medical center. The old high school itself is now a daycare, a metal welding shop, a tanning place and a few other businesses. But the track’s still there, and the old baseball diamonds where I watched my brothers play countless games and I practiced for marching band. The softball diamonds where I played so many games and got the nice scar on my leg. They finally after nearly 8 years, built that walkway from the new school to the diamonds. Some things the same, some things changed.

But somehow I felt like I was looking into someone else’s memory. The town is only fifteen minutes away, yet I hadn’t visited for longer than driving through in…three years? I couldn’t help but think that my life is so different from what it was then. Sure, life was easier and simpler then. My biggest cares were if I was going to make it to the bus on time and if I was going to pass my anatomy exam.

Now – I have thousands of dollars of debt (well worth it though); I pay for my own gas; I have to coordinate what social schedule I have with my work schedule, along with everyone else’s; I have to choose my words more carefully because they seem to carry more weight and often have greater consequences. I struggle to know how best to serve and support my family – what to do or say or not.

And the biggest yet – I find it harder and harder to remain spiritually disciplined in a time when it is so crucial to me (and somehow, to those around me as well). How do I keep myself disciplined enough to keep diving into my spiritual life and staying connected to God when I’m the only person my age in my church, it’s a struggle to even get to church with my work schedule, and, compared to college life (where I was constantly being spiritually fed and was surrounded with godly peers, investing in me and challenging me) I feel alone and malnourished. I keep finding ways to occupy my time: TV, movies, music, reading, sleeping. Those things are entertaining, but also numbing. I keep falling farther and farther “out of practice” with my spiritual life.

I don’t mean for this to be a debbie-downer post. Is my life going the way I had planned? Not really. But is my life still very good and blessed? Yes! I’m happy with my life and the years I’m in now. I talk to so many friends who don’t like the job they’re in or they miss their family and God has blessed me enough to have both a wonderful job and be near family. I just feel like I’m not making the most of this time. There so much potential I’m missing, but how to get it? How to live the life of purpose I know God’s called me to? What do I do in the here and now?

I found this post by Allison Vesterfelt encouraging as well as this post by Allison, writing at Prodigal Magazine; and finally this post by John Hanan at Prodigal Magazine. Anyone have any insight?

I work in the NICU

So I love my job. Love, love, love it. Which is saying a lot considering a year ago at this time I was dreading doing anything nursing and hadn’t really considered NICU ever. But times change, and here I am only months away from being a NICU nurse for a year and lervin’ it. I’ve been thinking about my job a lot lately, and how it’s so hard to describe my work to people sometimes. When I describe the things I do, people usually react one of three ways: sad, in awe or nauseated. Sometimes when I stop to think about the things I do…and with tiny babies…I’m blown away!

Anyway, so I’ve seen lists like this before, but this is my own personal list of things I’ve said/thought/done in the past 9 months. All true stories. NICU friends, ya’ll will appreciate this list I’m sure : )

I know I’ve become a NICU nurse when:

-I’ve carried a container of poop through the breakroom.
-I can change a baby’s bedding with one hand while holding the baby with the other.
-I’ve touched a cheese head with my bare hand. And I ain’t talking about the Packers.
-I’ve caught poop with my hand as well.
-I smell that baby’s poop wherever I go, dang it.
-My nightmares consist of things like taking care of conjoined octuplets with one of them only being able to breathe underwater. Totally a true story.
-Chest compressions are done with 2 thumbs or one finger. Any other way seems incomprehensible and cruel.
-Any medication given that’s more than 3 mL is considered a huge amount.
-News that a term newborn is coming makes me more nervous than a 30 weeker.
-A preemie’s eyes are fused closed for a week and when it finally opens them, you shove medicine in them. “Yeah, my first time seeing the world and this nurse jammed something in my eyes!” Welcome to the world, little one!
-The amount of fluids I’ve spiked in one shift has to be counted on 2 hands.
-I see pictures of my friend’s pale newborn and all I can think is, “Oh, I bet she has a low crit…”
-I’ve cared for a baby that weighs as much as a bottle of water.
-I’ve, um, broken wind in a baby’s room and blamed it on the baby.
The worst thing I can do to a patient is take their temperature and blood pressure. Torture.
-I hear alarms of every sort on my way home and when I wake up.
-I can’t feed a baby the normal way – it has to be side-lying because what if they aspirate?!
-When an adult tells me their heart rate is in the 150s, I think, “So? That’s normal…”
-Sometimes I cheer when a baby poops.
-Bubble wrap is not only used for packing – it also keeps sick babies warm.
-I’ve put an intensive baby in a swing. Or a wagon.
-When I see a normal blood pressure cuff, I’m astounded.
-I think of baby weight in grams.
-Most used words or phrases: cute, burrito, hot mess, he’ll bring himself back up, and she just needs to poop.
-When I see a feeding tube in an adult, my mind is blown at the size of it.
-IVs in the umbilical cord seem natural. So do scalp IVs.
-Kangarooing? Doesn’t have a thing to do with kangaroos.
-If I say something like, “It’s been a good night” or “It’s quiet in here”, I automatically regret it and wait for something bad to happen.
-Feedings on a pump over an hour? That’s a great night. Breastfed baby? Worst night ever.
-When a baby weighs more than 2000 grams (about 4lb 6 oz), it’s considered a big kid.
-I want to kill whoever set that noise as the alarm for the carseat monitor.
-But whoever made the silence button is a saint.
-The baby’s crying a lot? Obviously he needs Versed. Or Ativan. Maybe Fentanyl.
-The phrases “carseat trial”, “I’m sorry…I didn’t understand you”, and “the parents are staying all night” make you shudder
-When a friend told me she was pregnant, I cheered and congratulated her then stupidly said, “Let me know when you get to 23-24 weeks because that’s when they’re…erm…that’s when we’ll take them in the NICU…” Biggest fail yet.
-And the classic sign: I examine every child under the age of 2 for good veins in their head. To be honest, even my nieces and nephews.

For my NICU pals, check out a few more at this page and this page. We live in a weird world, us NICU nurses…