Sunday, May 30, 2010

Psalm 27:3
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend & Yard Stuffs

1. My neglected garden has bloomed! Strawberries, raspberry bushes, herbs everywhere!
2. Bought a new AMERICAN flag for the house, the only flag I will fly on the front of the house.
3. Working this weekend, hoping for enough staff to work short days.
4. Bought some new pots to plant container garden veggies.
5. Anxious to clean out the flower beds and plant my summer yard.
6. Bird baths, such a simple pleasure.
7. Big green ferns hung on my deck.
8. Hanging outdoor blinds on the deck too.
9. Year by year a few more perennials.
10. I could sit in my backyard and never need a vacation; lame or lucky?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


So here's the thing, you might not get this. But do you know that particular scent of an attic during the summertime? Kind of warm and wood and baked somehow? If you do, that'll help.
I can smell my gramma today.
I should probably explain, in case you're just joining us, that I live in my grandparent's house. They moved here when I was about six years old. When my gramma passed away in 2008 we decided to buy this house from my mom and uncle and moved in in 2009. I'm sure I'd have survived the grieving process either way, but at the time I thought it would break me into pieces if this house was emptied out and strangers moved in. So we bought it. Furnished with all of her things and feeling very much like the house has always felt. It soothed me.
And also, it smelled very much like it always smelled. There was a particular scent to my grandparents' house. Talcum powder, clean and crisp and a little citrusy. Oh, I can't correctly describe it but her sister, my Aunt Elizabeth's, house smelled the same. Even their cheeks had that sweet scent when you kissed them hello or good-bye.
The changing of my gramma's house into ours has been gradual and gentle. Also, something my heart needed. The ugly dark paneling and blue carpet in the family room didn't seem the least bit unpleasant to me for many many months. It was like spending the night when I was little only I never had to go home, because this was home. Which it always kind of was anyway. We even inherited my gramma's bedroom furniture, which I'd have never have purchased on my own by the way. Early American cherry it is, pencil posts and matching highboy. Oh, very beautiful but entirely too formal for my particular taste. Except for now, it is our bedroom furniture and that's that.
Back to the point. I can smell my grandma today. The house smelled the same for a very long time but slowly and surely it has smelled less and less like my grandparent's house and more like ours. Our particular bouquet being a mix of Citrus & Sage Yankee candles, gym shoes and hound dog. Oh Lord, the place never smelled of hound dog before we took up residence! But now the dark paneling is gingery cream and the blue carpet is a memory and the cherry furnitured bedroom has pistachio green walls (very un-gramma like paint.) And most of the time, no more gramma & grampa sweet talcum powder baked wood citrusy smell. Except for sometimes.
I'm sure it could be attributed to change of season, humidity, barometric pressure or what have you. I don't really care. I just know that every once in a while, there it is. Mmmm. Gramma & Grampa's house again. Warm and love-filled and memory soaked. Their house, my house, our house, The Family House.
Maybe this house held so much love it was absorbed into the plaster and wood?
But it's pretty wonderful, days like today. When I can smell my gramma.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Open Book

Ah yes, satan has noticed me. Of course with my declaration of abundance this has been a week at work that has felt a little too abundant with all the wrong stuff. In our hospital usually staffed with three day shift managers it was just me yesterday and me covering 2 out of 3 units today. Oh, and my boss? Off yesterday and today. It's been pretty much just me and my shadow the last two days.
Naturally, this is about the point when multiple staff decide their multiple issues must be dealt with. Everything for the last two days has been NOW. I'll be honest, I'm whipped. I got home yesterday at 6:00 and was in bed by 7:30. God bless the Mr. who not only made dinner but cleaned up. And then didn't fuss when I was wide awake at 11:00, turned on a light and read for an hour. I love that guy.
Today more of the same but with my heart newly tuned to the Holy Spirit's presence, it was me that was changed and not the circumstance. I opened a Bible and put it on my desk. Did I read it? Nope. No time. Even lunch consisted of 4 strawberries and a banana at my desk. But the simple act of opening the Word and putting it in front of me left the door to my mind open to wisdom. A visual reminder of the path I've chosen and that it is me who is to bring abundance into oppression.
I could've gotten involved in refereeing two staff who are constantly going at it. I referred them to human resources. I could've pitched in on the floor but I realized that the staff was adequate and I didn't need to take on more work that I'd resent (isn't that a lesson? It takes a humbled spirit not to need to be the hero.) I put on my Ipod and walked past my staff telling them I was going to walk off some frustration. They got the message. Back off, she's not playing.
A good day? Well, not a bad one anyway. I thought it was going to be but the presence of that little green Bible sent a message to me and frankly, sent one to the enemy.
Finally the Lord being a loving God who gives good things wrapped the day up before I needed a second walk around the parking lot. By 3:30 afternoon shift was there and running smoothly. My work for the day was, miraculously, done. At 4:00 p.m. I was out the door.
It was an eight hour day without a lunch but I did take that walk that very likely saved several lives from my wrath. I'm home in my quiet little house with the air conditioning and the ceiling fans blowing on me and I am relaxed. Another bonus of abundance. The ability to let moments fall away behind you and a spirit that doesn't allow aggravation to linger.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bearing Abundance

It is often remarkable to me where God is, and what He is planning for me. The remarkable part is how off base I am pretty much always. Even more remarkable is that my ignorance, pride, foolishness, stubborness doesn't get in the way. Let me modify that, God uses my bad as much as He does my good to accomplish His work.
I've been at my current job since January 2008. It hasn't been complete joy. It's been more not joyful as a matter of fact. I love my former position in a way that I didn't love my new one. Things changed from knowing I was good, really good at what I did to trying to figure out just exactly what it was I was supposed to be doing. It changed from an atmosphere of eight hours a day with friends who laughed and worked through the day with me to one of feeling isolated much of the time.
I suddenly found myself in a job that seemed to be completely void of vision. The lack of vision will make you feel exhausted after a while. Yet I know that God has placed me here. I knew every day that God had a purpose for me but it was like I was in a dark and unfamiliar room stumbling around for a light switch. It felt like all the things that made me great at my last position were worthless in this new one, and I couldn't even put my finger on what skills I needed now. Dont' get me wrong, I haven't hated my job for three years. I just hadn't felt like I had quite clicked, quite figured it all out. I didn't feel like I was as good at it as I wanted to be and as God expected me to be.
As the Christmas holidays approached I started to truly bottom out. I heard myself being pessimistic and argumentative instead of encouraging and energetic. I couldn't find the creativity that had been there before. I was clocking my time and that was it. But I knew that God gives abundant life and despite a paycheck and a nice office, my work life didn't feel abundant. Have a week of vacation scheduled between Christmas and New Year, I knew I had to get my groove back. I had to find the work the Holy Spirit was doing at the hospital so that I could get into His wake. So I prayed. I prayed about myself and thanked God for the job and worshiped for power and gave Him glory for the opportunity and claimed it all for Christ.
And I decided to stop speaking anything but life. Life Life Life. I returned in January with restored joy and peace. I asked for revelation and got it. Then I had to ask for courage to be a vessel for revelation. And I got it.
I asked for creativity to see past all of the agendas and ideas into the heart of Jesus. And I got it.
Now I find myself on Sunday evening looking forward to work tomorrow. I know not only what needs doing but God has given me a spirit that can tolerate nothing short of His will so I feel energized.
There's nothing about my work that would be very interesting to you. I don't even talk much about it at home. But I share this to tell you that all areas of your life are destined for abundance. That doesn't mean prosperity by man's measure. It means fullness, completeness, purpose, confidence, peace, joy, optimism, energy, laughter, focus. We must not divide our lives into tiny pieces taking good things here and lesser things there. I encourage you to examine your home, marriage, kids, friends, church, job, whatever the pieces are the build your life and seek God in every area.
Abundance is for every Christian to take with them into the world, sharing the supernatural edge to life that the unbeliever cannot create. Where there is not abundance, there is oppression. There is nothing between. It is the work of the Follower to bind oppression and make the path for miracles to show forth Christ.
Be the bearer of abundance.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recipe for a good day...

1. Don't try to solve other people's problems.
2. Guard your health.
3. Take the high road.
4. Don't gossip.
5. Talk to God.
6. Know scripture.
7. Know yourself well enough to know what matters most.
8. Manage your money.
9. Take responsibility.
10. Be an encourager.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not yet...

I've decided that the first part of my detecherizing will involve my Facebook account. I don't feel that my blog is the problem and in fact, it is more often enriching to share and receive these "letters" between friends. The continual updates on Facebook tend to draw me in to check what's new during my quiet moments instead of the daily blog check-in. Also, Facebook just creeps beyond its own borders too much for my comfort. I'm going to pull back from that whole thing for a while and then will likely delete the entire account.
Having given much thought and prayer to what this overhaul of my virtual life needs to look like, I think I'm figuring out what to do with it. I'm going to organize my home office and make it a nicer place than it presently is, which is a spare room/catcher of all stuff without a home/computer room/ironing board room/dog kennel room. I will pack up the laptop and store it and hopefully, remove it from the center of the family room thereby making myself have computer time and time that is NOT.
I will continue in my decision not to trade up to a blackberry i phone such thing. My personal cell will always be a phone only and that for limited purpose. So if you're someone who chats on your cell in the car, please don't be offended if I don't chit chat during my drive time.
Hopefully, making a home office space will also encourage me to upload my photographs and use them on my blog. Right now they all live inside of my camera and I usually sit on the couch on the lap top.
Finally, I will continue in my determination that this blog will be, if not always brilliant, at least pleasing to God. A place to exchange prayer and encouragement and to share what's going on. I will always be honest but will also respect the privacy of others so you won't find the inside scoop here. I won't use it as a forum for revenge, attention-seeking or veiled references at people I'm angry with. No profanity. Lots of home & hearth.
Consider this a renewed invitation to join me if you're so inclined.
Facebook, your days are numbered.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm seriously considering going computer-free. I know that in 2010, you can't really be 100% computer-free (at least not have a job and do so.) And I wouldn't want to lose all contact with my friends and sisters who are connected by internet only. So not computer-free, but let's say, computer minimal.
I want to be a computer minimalist.
This consideration has a few different origins. One is that the right cushion of our couch in the family room is permanently smooshed from all of us sitting there using the laptop, including myself right now. Another is that I am becoming aware of the first signs of carpal tunnel. And there's the time, time, time I spend unnecessarily online. It's a bit of a pacifier sometimes, I am embarrassed to tell you.
And there's another thing. Is this politically incorrect? Probably. There is the intrusive nature of the internet. I know, it's nasty sounding of me. But we all know I'm anti-social, right? I feel like I am in a fishbowl. Someone at work said to me the other day, having tried to reach me and failing, that I should NEVER be unreachable what with e mail, blackberry, personal cell, home phone, voice mail, facebook. That terrifies me. And kind of makes me angry. I told this individual that I am unreachable when I choose to be. The problem is that with all of the aforementioned, now other people can take it personally whereas in the good old days we had the option of assuming that someone just wasn't home or at their desk. I am 43 years too old for an umbilical cord.
Facebook pushed me over the edge. It seemed lovely really, reconnect with people you don't often see. Enjoy pictures of their families and their homes. Let's just call it what it is, I want the right to voyeurism but don't want anyone else to have that right. Have you ever gotten a friend request and thought A. who the heck is this person? and then you look through their friends to try to find the common thread. Church? Work? Family? High school? or B. great, there is a reason we lost touch and now they found me! It's insulting to decline/ignore a friend request. I know this, having felt the sting.
It's wonderful in so many ways, that's why this is a decision I am struggling with. I so love checking in and seeing what's up with friends I attended Sunday School with but never see. I treasure the connection to family who live far away or even those who live near but our busy lives interfere with lots of personal contact. And those of you who are my online friends? I honestly fear and dread pulling back and losing you.
And yet, anti-social Sara doesn't want her worlds colliding. People at work want to "friend" me and now it's accept or insult. But there are perfectly lovely people at work who I wouldn't choose to invite into my daily life. And I don't like the guardedness I feel when sharing my heart because there are windows into my life now.
Summertime is here and I am ready for flower planting and reading in a hammock and growing my own salad. Maybe it's a good time to figure this out. And so, my online friends (who have become some of the dearest people in my life); will you still be my friend if we use snail mail? Because I still need you. But I need...
I need a life I can hold in my hands and save for my grandchildren.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Psalm 149:3-5
Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify
the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Feels wasteful...

1. Sleeping really late on my day off.
2. Throwing away veggies that went bad.
3. Buying clothes outside my usual style, I never wear 'em.
4. Purchasing coffee every morning.
5. Bottled water.
6. Channel surfing.
7. Purchasing books.
8. Dieting another day.
9. Most meetings.
10. The amount of time I spend on the computer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday at last! I have been so tired all week long but I'm hoping for a little bit of sunshine and energy to come my way! So far, the sky looks promising!
And with all this rain? My yard looks like Ireland for goodness sake! I'm itching to walk around the neighborhood, work in the yard and do some baking. I am going to need an extended weekend.
Anyway, the sooner I get going the sooner (theoretically) I get home so have a great day. I'll be in Ireland if you need me:)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Way-Maker

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 3:18
The Holy Spirit brought this scripture to my mind today as I was getting ready for work. It seems like a verse that might come to mind on a bad day, when you're dreading something. But today it came to me with the sweetest thought. I imagined Christ in my office.
I pictured my empty office, just as I left it last night. I thought of Jesus standing at my window waiting for me to pull into the parking lot. Of peace, favor and joy emanating from Him to fill every corner of the room. Of creativity, energy and wisdom settling into every task I will put my hand to today.
It may be a dreary, cold and rainy week but today I'm happy to follow the Way-Maker into work!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Stretch! Good morning! It's the Monday after working the weekend off. I never sleep in because that would make my day off shorter! However, on work days, I don't have the same approach.
Had a wonderful Mother's Day, hope you did as well. Although I worked I had lots of hugs and well wishes from patients and staff; all of which meant a great deal to me. So many patients whose children did not visit or whose mom didn't come to see them. I can't say I pass judgement on those families, their journeys have been something I have not experienced. But it is my honor to stand in as daughter or mom on a day when everyone is forced to be aware of their place in the world. One young and very ill young man seemed to be there every time I turned around to say "Happy Mother's Day Sara. Can I hug you?" or to just want to hold my hand for a minute while I was speaking to someone else. He's going to be 19 soon, he wanted me to know that. In fact, he was waiting in the hallway when I arrived because he woke up thinking about Mother's Day. No visit for him. Don't know where his mom is, passed away? Ill herself? Just too overwhelmed to deal with him? Heaven forbid, just doesn't care?
There were lots of women understandably frustrated to be at work on Mother's Day but it felt a little like a very important assignment to me. Because I wasn't the only one playing mom or child to a patient. The entire staff was hugging, holding, talking...Every time I turned around some female staff person was talking to someone and telling them how proud they were of the progress they were making, how handsome or pretty they looked, how funny or smart or sweet they are. In other words, every patient at Kingswood from 6 to 90 had a mom for a minute yesterday.
One of our male employees had a wonderful idea, to have the cafeteria treat our staff moms to a free meal. How lovely the way people are so willing to extend themselves to find ways to celebrate one another.
After work my sister brought over cake and my parents came by for dessert and coffee. We exchanged Mother's Days gifts and spent a few hours together enjoying the last of Mother's Day. I am so thankful for all of the parts of my life that come together to make it whole.
It isn't about sitting in a church hearing the virtues of motherhood extolled or wearing a corsage. It's not about beautiful cards or dinners out, all of which are surely lovely. The real celebration should be from the mother and not of her; for the sacred place to which Christ has appointed her.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Psalm 113:9

He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I think a good mom...

1. Knows for certain her kids are not perfect.
2. Learns to do things she doesn't want to do.
3. Prays out loud.
4. Sets limits.
5. Has high expectations that are not unreachable.
6. Laughs with her kids.
7. Is relaxed.
8. Makes a home, makes a home, makes a home.
9. Becomes her best self.
10. Drinks coffee. Wink.
Pictured: My Mother's Day gift!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Today I reviewed the public health code, completed the April Infection Control report & talked to an angry family. I challenged a doctor, hugged a patient and delegated a task to someone who wanted to argue about my authority.
I helped someone use the internet and answered a patient complaint. I left for lunch 4 times before I actually got there. I got out my car keys and spent 45 minutes trying to actually exit the building. I cleaned up spilled coffee off the floor and still haven't figured out where that urine smell is coming from.
Today I got offended when someone mocked nurse's week & set the record straight on just what it is we do. I demanded the respect due me and gave myself credit when no one noticed me.
Today I believed in myself and doubted myself in the same heartbeat. I acted braver than I felt and gave big credit for a small accomplishment.
I am a nurse.
If you know a nurse, allow me to inform you that every single one of us push through bad days on the fuel of moments of thank you.
And if you are a nurse, hold you head up and represent the rest of us with poise & dignity. We will hold our own to high standards and tolerate little foolishness.
Today I laughed until I cried, danced like Beyonce and finally finished a month's worth of chart audits.
I am a nurse.

Monday, May 03, 2010

David & Jonathon

At the hospital, we have two adult units with one manager each. Myself and Natosha. Natosha started in July 2009. She's become not just a co-worker or even a friend, but a sister. Natosha and I have tissues stationed next to each of our chairs because we regularly ending up crying sharing our hearts, praising God and encouraging one another. We both have gospel music on our computers so a few times a day we'll hear a favorite song in the other person's office (our offices are side by side) and end up in one of the offices dancing and praising. We quote scripture to one another and share our requests for prayer coverage. We pray for our staff, our patients and our community. And we have come to serve another purpose in one another's lives, we check each other.
Natosha and I are both relatively new to management, both graduated nursing school in the same year and both love Jesus. That's where the similarities end. I'm a 43 year old Caucasian, married almost 24 years, two grown boys and have parents who are still married. Natosha is a 33 year old African American single mom of 3 daughters. She was raised by a single mom. You wouldn't think there would be enough in common for us to check each other, but we do. And not necessarily about nursing.
We check one another's attitudes. We check tempers and when we are crossing over the line of disrespect toward our leadership. We check one another's language when the infamous foul mouths of nurses starts to rub off. When we're getting discouraged we speak life into each others careers and lives. This has created an amazingly honest, open and surprisingly nonjudgmental relationship. One that is safe enough to ask to be checked.
"Am I wrong in my thoughts on this?"
"Do I need to confront this?"
"I am making this commitment, hold me to it."
"Help me to put this in a positive light."
Everyone, everyone, everyone has foibles and flaws. And when you are in a truly God-inspired friendship; the Jonathon and David kind of friendship, it becomes an act of sacred love to tell someone to knock it off. This can be as simple & silly and "Step away from the bagel chubs!" to "Do you realize that you are acting like a victim?" We are even sure enough of one another's hearts to call each other out on sin.
I pray that God would give me a heart to receive the truth about myself, regardless of the source. That when anyone points out some issue they see I am willing to stop and examine my life to see if there is some truth in the criticism rather than to become defensive. It isn't always those who love us most who can teach us about ourselves. In fact, it may be the ones who love us most who can hesitate to hurt our feelings. I want to be a person who is willing to recognize anything about myself that reflects Sara more than Christ.
Natosha and I are learning together to speak and hear truth, both the kind that builds us up and the kind that stops us in our tracks.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Psalm 72:5-7
They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Birthday Audit

1. Baking stone-love it!
2. Ipod gift cards-love 'em!
3. Electric coffee grinder, already used it &-love it!
4. Bag of Caribou coffee-love it!
5. Ipod-love it!
6. 2 aprons-love 'em!
7. Bible-love it!
8. Lunch at Chang's last week-love it!
9. Dinner with the fam at Golden Feather last night-love it!
10. Birthday cards, notes, e mails, texts, Facebooks, etc.-love you!