Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2010 was a crazy year

Once upon a time, a young nurse came down with a case of wanderlust. She could find no cure for this malady but to quit her job, stuff all her worldly belongings into her car, and drive off into the sunset to find adventure.

(this is actually a picture of a sunrise, but we can pretend)

During her travels the nurse learned many things...like flexibility and self-confidence in her career, how to be more outgoing than came naturally to her, how to drive her car on icy roads without crashing, and how to snowboard. She never did crash the car, but the snowboarding part didn't turn out so well.

After losing her job and getting kicked out of her apartment, the crippled traveler limped home to rest and recuperate with her family's loving support.

Three months later her body was healed and her brain was bored. The combination of her increasing restlessness and decreasing bank account sent the nurse to central Texas. It wasn't quite where she wanted to be, but she was thankful for her job.

Over the next few months, her conversations with God went something like this:
"I'll work this job, but only for a few months."
"Ok, I'll stay a little longer, but I don't really need community."
"Maybe it would be nice to have friends after all, but I'm not putting down any roots."
"Well, a few roots wouldn't be so bad, but I'm not going to date anyone."

You see where this is going.

So, this adventure-seeking, root-shunning traveler was having a lovely time with new friends, working hard and planning where the road would take her next...when someone rather unexpectedly caught her eye.

And unbeknownst to her, she had caught his eye as well. These two were both very cautious in the area of relationships and content to get to know each other as friends, so it took a couple more months for anything to happen between them.

Finally the village matchmaker...er...I mean, their good friend Cheryl, got impatient and took matters into her own hands.

With Cheryl's relentless "encouragement," the two friends became more than just friends on January 1, 2011.

It was pretty much the Best New Year's Ever.

Friday, April 22, 2011

getting my ducks in a row

God is so good! I needed to have at least 75% of my finances raised by the end of this month, and I just found out today that I have close to 100% already. :-)

The past couple of weeks have been full. Besides working full-time at the hospital and spending time with Pat, I've also purchased my round-trip ticket to Africa, bought the malaria medicine I'll need to start taking a few weeks before I leave, been to the dentist and had a cavity filled (yuk!), gotten 6 vaccines (I'm finally finished getting shots!), been to the eye doctor, bought 6 months worth of contacts and a new pair of glasses, renewed my nursing license and CPR certification....and I feel like there's more, but I can't remember it all because it's 2:30 AM and I'm in a constant state of sleep deprivation.

Learning to trust God more and more every day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

preparing for africa

Around the same time I was getting more settled in Temple renewing my nursing contract and getting to know new friends at church, I was also busy applying to serve with the charity Mercy Ships in Sierra Leone. It was a lengthy application, but I finally got it all sent in and at the beginning of November I was accepted to work as a ward nurse on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy for 6 months starting in June! Ever since I spent a month working in a mission hospital in Zimbabwe 5 years ago, I've been hoping for another medical missions opportunity, and am so excited to be returning to Africa!

Anyway...that's another reason I've been dead to the blogging world these past few months. In-between my regular nursing job here in Temple and spending as much time as possible with Pat, I've been preparing for this next adventure. So far I've raised a large portion of the finances I'll need, and this week should have my plane tickets purchased.

Getting all my travel immunizations has been a chore. I discussed it with my doctor a few months ago, and she suggested going to the health department to get my shots, since they're more expensive in the doctor's office and my insurance doesn't cover adult immunizations. After calling around to various travel clinics and health departments, I drove 45 minutes up to Waco to get my first round of shots. Technically I could have gotten all my shots at once, but the idea of getting stuck 6 times in one day just isn't a very pleasant thought. I'd rather not risk a drug reaction, and quite frankly, I don't think my deltoids could handle that many needles at once. So last week I went to get the most important immunization - Yellow Fever. It's the only one that's required (all the others are just suggested, and I'm getting them to be on the safe side). I didn't think much of it until the nurse handed me my yellow WHO card (the form that comes with your passport that you document all your health information on) and said "Now, be very careful not to lose this. Not only will it get you INTO Sierra Leone, it will also get you OUT. If you misplace it, you'll have a hard time getting home." Wow. Scary thought.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

yes, i'm still alive

so...i realize i've been MIA from the blogging world for even longer this time. a picture's worth a thousand words, so long story short: