Sunday, July 24, 2011

Restless


This past week has been a busy one! Brooke's wedding was beautiful. It was a lovely weekend that included dinner at In the Raw, a sleepover bachelorette party at Embassy Suites, mani/pedis with the bride, bridesmaids, and the bride's mother, yummy steak, and a perfect wedding full of God's love and pretty colors. I am blessed to have such a wonderful friend - so happy for my dear Brooke!

I am currently trying to find ways to fill my free time (though I didn't have very much last week) with things other than the Internet. However, I discovered Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and have become obsessed with repinning photographs. Hopefully it is a phase that I will outgrow, but I am thoroughly enjoying it! I have a drawer full of t-shirts that are begging to be turned into a t-shirt quilt, so I think I may accommodate them and start sewing again. My mother will be pleased to see me give sewing another try after I convinced her to let me stop in 8th grade. I was too impatient for sewing back then, but I think I've learned a thing or two about patience since then. I will let you know how the quilt adventure turns out!

Ever since graduation, I have been feeling restless and discontent. Lately, I've been learning the importance of restlessness in the context of my relationship with the Lord - never being content with where I am in my spiritual journey, always longing to go deeper with Him. In the midst of my restlessness, God has also been showing me that I need to be content in the physical sense. I am struggling through that right now, not really sure what contentment looks like but longing for the peace that would accompany it. The sermon at church today was about putting on the shoes of the Gospel of Peace. The verse that stood out to me, one that God has always used to draw me into His peace, was Psalm 46:10: He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” I have also been reminded of the words of Paul in Philippians, that he had learned the secret of being content in all things. I stand on the truth that Paul discovered and that is no less true today: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)."

I heard a song on the radio the other day that describes the current state of my spirit. It is sung by Jon Foreman, one of my all-time favorite artists. Really listen to the words: they're incredible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomorrow is Thursday

Hello again! Lo and behold, two weeks have passed since I last posted! Here are a few of the things that occurred over the past 2 weeks:

Monday: No work due to the 4th of July. Went to bed early instead of watching fireworks.
Tuesday: Chilled at home to prepare for the NCLEX on Wednesday.
Wednesday: Went to the testing center at 7:30 a.m. to take my long-awaited nursing exam
Thursday: Treked to B-ville with Brooke to visit Jude's coffee shop and meet up with the girls, with whom we then drove 9.5 hours to Sioux Falls, SD.
Friday: Arrived in Sioux Falls at 3:30 a.m. and promptly went to sleep. I got word around 10 a.m. that I passed my NCLEX! I'm now a registered nurse! I had lunch with my cousin Zach in Sioux Falls - it was so good to see him! I had a yummy "vegan" salad at Qdoba, which included mango, lime vinaigrette dressing, and guacamole. Made a trip to Oscar's coffee shop with the girls before driving an hour to Mitchell, where we met up with the other girls from school. We helped finish decorating the church for Tirzah's wedding, which was the next day. Rehearsal dinner and bachelorette party followed. Mariah's house for sleeping (30 minutes out into the country - she lives on a farm!) - fun times slumber-partying it up in the basement!
Saturday: Mariah gave Brooke, Jamie, and I a tour of her luscious garden - oh to live somewhere conducive to growing one's own food! All of us girls then drove into Mitchell, where we promptly found a cute coffee shop/wine bar downtown. I got to see the Corn Palace, which is made entirely out of corn! I must admit that it was rather strange to find a tourist trap way out in nowhere South Dakota. Strange, but also quite fun. Wedding preparations followed, which included eating, putting on cute dresses, and collecting wedding gifts on a specified table. Tirzah was a lovely bride! After the reception, Cyndi, Brooke, Ashley, and I began the long 12 hour journey home. A gas station near the Nebraska border provided much-needed coffee an hour into the trip - it was the best coffee I've had in a long time! We arrived in Bartlesville at 5:00 a.m., after which Brooke and I made it back to Tulsa in record time. We discovered there isn't much traffic on the highway at 5:00 in the morning on Sundays. Surprise!
Sunday: Slept 'til noon, lazed around the house all afternoon, had celebratory frozen yogurt with the fam, went to bed early.
Monday: First day as a registered nurse. Working as an actual nurse, I discovered, is entirely different from being a senior nurse tech. I now have more responsibilities and there are so many details to remember! I came home exhausted and frustrated, determined to do better the next day.
Tuesday: Much better than Monday. Definitely getting more into the groove of being an RN.
Wednesday: Today is my Friday! I liked today. Work was good, I ate lots of yummy food, and even snuck in a small visit to Starbucks to start my library book. I'm reading "Quite a Year for Plums" by Bailey White.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of wedding festivities for my dear friend Brooke. The festivities will begin after my eye appointment and hair cut! I can't wait for my hair appointment - much anticipated and needed! The weekend promises to be wonderfully busy - so excited! Have a lovely Thursday :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Being Alone



Ever since I was a small girl, being alone seemed like a punishment. When I misbehaved, my parents sent me to my room, where I would be forced to spend time by myself until I couldn't stand it anymore and agreed to behave. They weren't being mean, they just knew that I would get tired of being alone and would shape up quickly. It always worked because I got bored and wanted to be with people. I love people - watching people, sitting with people, talking with people, laughing with people. Loving people, I've discovered, is a gift, a strength. However, like all other strengths, loving people can also be a weakness. I got to the point where I believed that if I was by myself, something was wrong with me. I wasn't loved or accepted, people didn't like me, I didn't have any friends. Lately, I've come to realize that this is the farthest thing from the truth. Being alone isn't a curse or something that has to be forced due to unpopularity. Spending time by oneself can be freeing, enjoyable, and exciting. This past weekend, I've found myself wanting to be alone, going to coffee shops, the mall, and even a wedding by myself. Surprisingly enough, I had a delightful time. I wasn't alone because I didn't have friends or because I am a reject. I was alone because I could be, because I wanted to spend time with Jesus without being interrupted, because I am free to be who I want to be, because for the first time in my life, I enjoy just being me. I'm not at the point where I go to dinner by myself or take myself dancing, but I'm getting there. And I'm loving the journey.