Wednesday, May 09, 2012

absence makes the heart grow fonder...

Well, I have settled back into a city I lived in before, but now as a young professional instead of a student.  There have been ups & downs since my return.  I desperately miss the mountains and all that I did that was active & outside.  I also miss the authentic friendships that I had in my last city and the women that I shared life with on a regular basis.

I've had lots of alone time, which has been good and bad.  Good in the sense that I've been able to pause and reflect.  To think about how much I've learned in the last 2 1/2 years about life - as a professional, single woman, friend & daughter.  I've gone through a lot of grief and learned how to process that in a much healthier way.  I've learned a lot of strategies for addressing triggers from my past and how to work through those in a way that will help me in the future, too.  The bad part of alone time is that I often look for things to "medicate" the loneliness.  Sometimes it's movies, music, food, daydreams, exercise, etc.  Some of those are healthier ways than others, but it boils down to the fact that instead of avoiding, I need to process through the loneliness & wrestle with it with God.

I've enjoyed being close to different family & friends.  I had a birthday open house/brunch that I hosted for myself in March.  It was so fun to see people from so many different parts of my life who are so dear.  I did miss my other friends a lot, so that made it a bittersweet birthday.

Another thing I've done a lot of is cook.  My friend recommended an amazing bread book called "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day," which is phenomenal, and makes the most delicious bread ever!  I made pizza margharita from it that was absolutely gorgeous & tasted amazing.  I can't wait to make something out of the "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" book that a friend gave me for my birthday (delicious, whole wheat bread anyone?).  The local Farmer's Market has started up here already, which means that I've bought parsley, pasta & a basil plant (which is looking kind of pathetic due to the lack of sunshine on my patio).

I recently started doing a fitness competition with some friends to see how many steps a day we can take.  I discovered that when I have a busy inpatient day, I can easily take 10,000 steps just at work.  However, on slow days in inpatient (like today) or on outpatient days, I have to bust my rear by walking over lunch and running when I get home in order to get my 10,000 steps.  I'm dreading Friday when I'm at a conference and sitting so much of the day or in the car.  I have a feeling it may end up being pathetic in the steps realm.  

I found a great church that I feel really challenged by on a regular basis.  It's funny, but Sunday morning or evening is so hard to get going for church, and I totally think it's the enemy trying to thwart my attention from the truth of the Gospel that is preached every.single.Sunday.  The more I learn, the more I recognize the depths of my depravity & need for a Savior & I how I want to share the Good News with everyone I know.  Now to really act on it in relevant, meaningful ways that are orchestrated by the Spirit.

That's my life in a nutshell right now.  Good things and struggles.  I am a work in progress!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Driving across Kansas and Eastern Colorado is a trip that I can pretty much do in my sleep because we've done it as a family since I was 6 years old, twice a year at least.  I know all the convenient places to stop that have clean bathrooms and the cheapest gas.  We had many side adventures as kids on the trip to places like Monument Rocks and the Fick Fossil Museum.

Making the trek yesterday was heartbreaking, so I tried to experience some thankfulness and wonder at the small gifts around me through the drive.  I started with looking back at Pike's Peak every opportunity I could between leaving Colorado Springs and when it disappeared below the horizon line.  The first magenta & purple rays of sunrise reflecting off the menacing, snow-covered, sleeping giant were so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes for many reasons.  I am so grieved to not have the grounding of driving past that mountain every morning.

I noted the sun reflecting off the smooth, wind-blown glass surface of the snowy fields on the Eastern Plains that shimmered into a rainbow.  Antelope trotted along a ridge in another snow-drifted field out that direction, too.

When I crossed the state line, I was surprised that the speed limit remained the same.  I haven't made the drive recently, so was unaware of the raise until yesterday.  As I kept going east, I noticed small tinges of green in fields - the promise of springtime that can't be too far off!  Large, ominous windmills spun furiously in the fields creating a vast energy supply for such a quiet state.  I also giggled at large, fluffy llamas (or alpacas?) with fur billowing in the wind that were grazing along the highway.  Chinooks were carefully parked on the tarmac at the army airfield, too, which reminds me of trying to name off the equipment that my brother & I saw as we would drive past on the way to see family.

I want to delight in the little gifts in this season of transition when I can often focus on the challenges.  I pray that my life would reflect thanksgiving to a gracious God who loves to see His daughter cherish such moments.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


Well folks, the last few months were a dud for me in blogosphere.  I've been working on a lot of different things, the biggest of which is preparing to move (again) next week.  I'll be working for a children's hospital and am excited to expand my skill level in some different areas.

That said, I have not ceased to participate in some wonderful fellowship in my current city with like-hearted friends.  Last week I attended a workshop night on spending time with God in the midst of the busyness of life.  For some reason I always assumed in college & grad school that meeting with the Lord would continue to be easy as a working professional.  Wrong.  I get up early, stay at work late, go to the gym, come home, eat, shower & am in bed around 9:30.  I know you think it's crazy I go to bed that early, but I honestly don't function unless I get that many hours of sleep.  I've been able to spend about 15-20 minutes in the Word and prayer in the morning fairly consistently, but part of me looked down on such little time.  l have been used to longer quiet times.  However, the encouragement on Sunday was that even that 15-20 minutes is cherished time with my Savior and to make the most of that time & don't let the enemy get to me with "it's not good enough."

Afterward, some co-workers of mine and I were standing around talking to the Navigators staff person who facilitated the night.  We were sharing how the 20s-30s that are single are just kind of looked over by the church.  There's events for college students, for married couples & for older folks, but, well, the single 20-30 something just doesn't exist.  This staff person shared that he's come to realize that the church views the single 20-30 something as a "resource."  "Oh, you're 28 and single?  You'd be great with the 8th grade girls!"  Umm...excuse me!  I have value as a member of the body of Christ apart from where you can stick me to meet your church's needs, or as a babysitter for your kids.  I would like to be valued for the perspective & unique creation that I am that has value in the church, too!

So friends, please hear me when I say that I need my married friends to reach out to me and ask me to be a part of your lives as much as I try to do it with you.  One of my biggest pet peeves is having to be the one to ALWAYS initiate things with married friends.  Yes, I recognize that you are busy chasing around children, working, spending time with your spouse, and still trying to maintain a relationship with the Lord.  But in the midst of that, initiating time together with me means a lot.  I hope this post helps people understand me just a bit better.