Sunday, May 29, 2011


(Most of this is a compilation of my notes/thoughts from the last couple months as everything has fallen together and clicked in my head.. I have noticed both of these topics coming up a lot lately, and was just reading through all the writing I've done while listening to sermons/reading books/etc... These are pretty much the direct notes, so if it's choppy, I apologize!!)

Circumstantial faith is when you believe based on your current circumstances. If life is all hunky-dory, you stick God in a backpack and live your life the way you want it to. But when life gets rough you dump the backpack out and beg Him to make things better.

In the same way, we also have physical blessings. We don't feel blessed unless it is a blessing such as a new car, good job, boyfriend, well-paying job, big house, or fancy clothes.

Both of these will falter when the going gets tough. Our circumstances are not always going to be amazing, and we won't always have everything materialistic that we think we should. If we believe and find our security in these things, it will be short lived.

Our faith should be based on Him and what He did for us on the cross. Because of who He is, what He did, and our confidence that He will do what He promises to do, we can rest assured that our faith is solid.

Likewise, we should look at our blessings from a spiritual viewpoint rather than a physical one. He has chosen us, adopted us, redeemed us, and forgiven us. How much more do we need? Even when life is falling apart, shouldn't knowing that the Creator of everything we see and know wants to be with us be enough for us? Do we really need anything else if we know that He chose us as His own, adopting us as His children, freeing us from our sins through redemption and His forgiveness? I'd say that should be enough to bless our socks off from here until eternity!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011


One year ago this week (Tuesday), my knee looked like this.

Roughly 10 hours later I was back in my bed with my leg looking like this. Thankfully, I remember very little of the in-between (other than the nerve block [OW], waking up the first time, vomiting, and various random pieces from the ride home).

A couple days later I had the great revealing.
It actually didn't look half bad (all the bruising was on the back).

Two week check-up, I got to see what they had done.
That crack/lighter area from the top of the bone above the screws to a ways below them?
That's a purposeful break. And yes, it does hurt when they break your tibia. I promise.

I had done everything possible to avoid this surgery. Therapy, braces, more therapy, orthotics, not doing anything active, and more therapy. It's not a fun surgery and sometimes it doesn't work. But I was desperate to be able to sleep a night through without the aching or to be able to run without a dislocation..

I did it out of desperation.

God turned it into a blessing.

He took the therapy that I did and all the time I spent rehabbing. All the time I spent on crutches and in braces, and gave me a heart for people who are going through the same kind of thing. He took what I originally thought was horrible and awful, and turned it into a blessing.

Because of my knee, I have an understanding for those who are frustrated.
Because of my knee, I have a sympathy for those who are feeling defeated.
Because of my knee, I discovered my Love for people who are hurting.
Because of my knee, I discovered what God was trying to show me.

It was right in front of my face the whole time. I enjoyed going to PT. Weird, I know. But I was intrigued by watching the therapists and the athletic trainers work with their patients. The way they interacted. The knowledge they had. I never realized He was showing me something that would make such an impact in my life!

It did finally click. And I am on my way to PTA school in a matter of months... I love how He once again, took something that was such a pain at one time and turned it into something I am incredibly excited about. It just goes to show that He knows me better than I know myself!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I think we all struggle with this to a point. We get hit with something scary or intimidating, and we freeze. We don't think coherently. We don't make sense. We're irrational. We don't want to be rational. We want a quick fix and an easy out of whatever just happened that we don't like.

Last week, Tuesday, May 10th was the 4 year mark since Mom had been diagnosed with cancer. That's one of those days that you wake up feeling so blessed to be celebrating that she is still here, while at the same time wondering what the future holds.

When Mom was sick one of the things I struggled with was not instantly reacting to everything we were faced with. I can fake a calm front, but inside I am going nuts as I try to get a grasp of what's going on and figure out what I can do to fix it.

On Tuesday, I had just finished one of my final exams when I got a text from Mom. This in itself was weird enough, she rarely texts me... "Am on my way to ED having hard time breathing maybe asthma."

First, Mom never goes to the ED. She hates the ED.

Second, her asthma never gets that bad.

Third, I froze. I couldn't really speak and was too scared to move.

All the memories came rushing back. The memories of sitting in the living room as Mom and Dad told us our lives had just changed. Of waiting for Mom during her first surgery, and the sick feeling I got when I saw her in her hospital room. The memories of emergency trips to the hospital because she was so dehydrated and couldn't stop vomiting.

That's all that I could think about.... Thankfully God gave me exactly what I needed at that time, including immediate reminders that He was in control. He had a purpose. Mom was in the best place she could be, no matter what was going on. A reminder to pray. To trust. To listen to Him. I kind of wish I had a voice recorder and could replay those reminders every time I start freaking out... I need those reminders, and sometimes they have to be verbal, right then, in my face.

Every time I think that I am getting a grasp on trusting Him and knowing what's going on, He gives me a reminder that I don't have it all figured out. That there is always more room to grow.
This was one of His more shocking, less gentle reminders. A reminder I am thankful for, but nonetheless still caused my heart to skip a beat or six.

I realized a couple days later that while I was focused on all the negative things that came from what Mom went through I was completely glancing over the joys that came from that time... Scrabble games during chemo, hat and scarf shopping, laughing over silly wigs, the amazing meals people brought our family, the lessons I learned about caring for my sisters, playing with sea-cucumbers in Newfoundland, breakwall jumping on the last day of radiation, Dad Loving Mom in sickness and in health, my walk with Christ becoming my own, late night prayer times, getting to show Christ to all of the nurses, doctors, and techs we came in contact with, and most importantly, our strengthening as a family in Christ.

These are all incredible experiences, and these are just a few. The list could go on forever. The storm that we were going through has come to be one of our biggest blessings. I'm not saying that there weren't negative impacts in some ways - there were. But overall, the things that God grew us in during the year and a half of treatment is priceless.

I am thankful to Him for the reminders He gives us. I am thankful that He gives grace when we need it. I am thankful He takes our trials and turns them into testimonies of His Power. I am thankful He gives us the strength and encouragement we need, exactly when we need it. His timing is perfect in the things He shows us, the people He places around us, and all that He does. There is no doubt!

(Mom is ok now, for those who just got to the end of this and are wondering.. After spending all day in ED, we think it was an allergic reaction to walnuts. =(. I can promise you, she will not be eating any anytime soon!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

One Bridge Crossed

The last two weeks have been a flurry of final activities; final projects, final papers, final quizzes, final exams, final classes, final study sessions, and final days of work.. All leading up to one final night at the college, complete with cap, gown, not one but two tassels, PTK stole, and a blingy medallion.

I have spent the majority of the last two years in the same six bui
ldings, with the same group of people. We have become friends, study buddies, and motivators. Most of my favorite memories of the last two years include something at the college. Whether it was studying in the library or out on the grass in the sunshine, trudging through the snow/rain/sleet, taking a break to walk the nature trail, working out in the gym, stocking
shelves, packing boxes, or just relaxing and talking.. I have made friends that are close to my heart.

Within the last week I have come to the realization that life is going to change in the next couple months. I like routine and having a set schedule through the week. I knew when I had to be where, and who I would see each day (to a point). To be honest, I took great security in that. As I said goodbye to my friends last night, I was struck with the desire to keep those friendships alive. This summer it will be easy, but this fall it will become more difficult.

The story of David and Jonathan emphasizes the importance of friendship.

The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved hi
m as himself."
(1 Samuel 18:1)

"Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself."
(1 Samuel 18:3)

"Jonathan, Saul's son, greatly delighted in David."
(1Samuel 19:1)

The two of them have a sweet story. They were incredibly close and had a relationship that speaks of humility and selflessness. Yet, Saul was jealous and suspicious towards David and tried to kill him more than once. Because of this, David had to leave for his own safety.
Thankfully, none of my friend's fathers are trying to use me as a dart board. That would bite... Also, as far as I'm aware, my friends aren't going to be overtaken and killed by Philistines. Which would also bite.
What strikes me though, is their selflessness. They each strove to serve one another, no matter the consequences. Near or far, that is truly important to a successful relationship of any kind.
We are told to..

"And all of you, clothe [ourselves] with humility toward one another,
for God is opposed to the proud and gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5)."

The more I read this verse, the more I am comforted about being away fro
m both my friends and family. If I am putting myself in a position where I am serving them and acting towards them in humility He will grant me grace.

In Bible Study this week we defined grace as "the strength to endure." Life isn't easy, but when we ask Him and trust that He will give us the strength that we need to endure the challenges set before us, He will. He will give me the grace to endure the new challenges. He will give me grace as I make new friends, acclimate myself to a new area, meet new professors, and adjust to communication via phone/text/FB/e-mail/letter with my family and friends... And His grace will be sufficient.