Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Though none go with me, still I will follow.

No turning back,

No turning back.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tests, Clinicals, Papers and Presentations + Perseverance = Graduation

Praise the Lord!

Now on to the "real" education of life and experience.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Nothing can match the feeling of thankfulness.

Look around at your family, your friends, where you've come from, how God is opening doors for the future...and then feel it, sing about it and send up a heartfelt prayer of thanks.

"Lord of all, to Thee we raise, songs of gratitude and praise."

p.s. There was a rainbow over our house this thanksgiving. It was so beautiful! I was thankful for it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Woman of God

What does it mean to be a woman of God?

I think it means embodying an almost impossible balance.

Sensitive: Listens patiently, cuddles children, in tune to feelings, tender, delicate
Strong: anchor in crisis, capable, supports, pulls weight, bridges gaps, volunteers

Friendly: Warm, interested, welcoming, encouraging, genuine, causes smiles
Guarded: Vigilant, veiled, guards the sacred, "feminine mystique"

Humble: Soft-spoken, doesn't seek attention, praises others, thinks then speaks
Brave: Speaks truth, resolves conflict, advises, corrects, valiant, determined

Beautiful: sweet disposition, elegant, classic style, little attentions to appearance
Modest: appropriate, Biblical, natural, pure, beyond reproach, not given to self focus

Sounds impossible. Perfection, godliness, righteousness, holiness...they all sound impossible in human strength. However God enables the called and He has called for godly women.

Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God's ideal for His daughters. I haven't even come close to living up to this ideal,but it is my aim.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Grand Thing About Love...

There was a wedding today. I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Just try to tell me love isn't real.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Solitary Walk

I have been so blessed. Throughout my college years I have never ceased to be surrounded by a myriad of amazing friends. At any given moment there are friends to eat with, study with, laugh with, hike with, and pray with. No matter the major or life goal we have all crossed paths while we prepare and train. All of our journeys seem to have converged for a time and season. A very happy time and season.

Recently I have felt my friend-filled days may be numbered. For several years I have planned my class schedule, meal-times, weekend plans and often summer activities in order to spend time with my friends. What happens when people graduate? when schedules are no longer easily coordinated? when one stays and the other goes?
Life goes from a group hike to a relatively solitary walk.

When faced with the prospects of making life decisions alone, irregardless of the plans of my friends, I am at first quite overcome with bleak thoughts. The thought of close friends being scattered to to the far ends of the earth is disheartening. I cannot seem to see anything beyond the bonfires, Bible studies and hymn sings I will miss so much.

If I ended here it would leave only gloominess and depressed thoughts. There is another side to this coin of the "solitary walk".

As we all know, we are " a chosen race, a royal priest hood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession" that we might "proclaim the excellencies of Him who called" us out of darkness to His light (1 Peter 2:9). We each have been individually chosen for a specific mission just as surely as Abraham, Elijah, Samuel, John the Baptist and others.
Many from this "great cloud of witnesses" were called out into a ministry that was quite singular and at times solitary. One would think they were some of the loneliest must forlorn people of the earth. While they probably did long for companionship, I can tell you with assurance that they were the most purposeful and power-filled people the world has ever seen. Their full reliance and hope was upon their God.

Friendship is precious. I treasure it. Companionship is irreplaceable. I crave it. But as I sit and wonder about the future I have come to a conclusion.
I treasure and crave my God more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I will go...Insha'Allah

In Arabic = "God willing / If God wills it"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wondrous and Amazing Developments

Something momentous has happened. Grandpa has fallen in love. He's a goner. A lady, lovely beyond description, has swept him plum off his feet.

Everyone, meet Cloey. No picture or description does this women justice. She simply sparkles. From the minute I met her I was enthralled and pronounced her a modern-day Miss Lavender. If I ever write a book she'll be in it.

They are positively smitten with each other.

She affectionately calls him a "clown" and he calls her "my cleo" when she isn't around, and many more endearing names when she is around.

Grandpa fell for Cloey and Cloey certainly fell for my Grandpa's charms. As Grandpa likes to say...."I said "wilt thou?" and she wilted".

They'll be married October 17 at Apison Church at 2 O clock in the afternoon. If you'd like to see two people very much in love get married you should come.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Statistically 250,000 - 300,000 people died today. Their stories ended.

Somewhere out there children of untold number were either beaten, sold into prostitution or experienced starvation today.

People all over the world wondered today if there is any purpose or meaning in living.

Spiritual battles were fought in this great controversy today.

And I...I worked on a computer class. I sweat over mowing the lawn. I sat here and wrote a blog. That's what I did today.

The seeming futility of it all is nearly overpowering. Yet, waiting on the Lord is never futile. Even so, if I fail to have a heart for the sufferings of the world now I have failed in much. God forbid that I become a casual observer of a chaotic earth that is falling apart.

I need a heart that is broken by those things that break the heart of God.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wagon Riding

Archie and me have things figured out.

I fill him up will grass clippings.

And he gives me a ride down the hill.

It's splendid!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Not yet...

Summertime puts me in a mood. When this mood hits there is little else I crave more than a fresh peach. I want to feel the soft, itchy fuzz. I want to wash it off, shake off the water and eat it. I want my face and hands to get messy with peach juice.

There is a basket of peaches on my kitchen counter. They look so nice and are so tempting. I want one of those peaches. Every time I pass by I eye them. When I'm close enough I reach out to feel them. Then the disappointment hits. My fingers tell me these peaches can't be enjoyed yet. It isn't time yet.

I wake up the next morning. I see them. I feel them. It still isn't time. Not yet. In time I will enjoy them. Just not yet.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Understanding I Don't Understand

What can take my sin away? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Nothing I do has any power to save me, raise me or earn me the Father's love. No sacrifice or act of self-denial will make me appear more beautiful to the One who sits on the throne of Justice.

I know. But I am just beginning to understand how I don't understand.

Is righteousness really credited to my account in the instant I repent? But I haven't had anytime to show God I'm going to do better. I haven't had time to replace my squandered hour with a hour of Bible study.
Grace. Unearned. Undeserved.

A child of the world who has expended the best years of life for self.
A child of faith who has expended the best years of life in self-denying service.
Grace touches both and they immediately stand on level ground before the cross. Unfair. Beautiful.

If I give up every dream I have held precious, if I go to the darkest parts of the earth, if I fast, pray and meditate...won't God view me with greater love? won't my salvation be more secure?

God loved me incomprehensibly before I existed. Heavens love is unending. How can such love be increase by any earthly deed? Impossible.

My salvation - full and free - was secured for me when Jesus cried "it is finished". It is given to me when I fall before Him empty handed, confess and believe. How can I make such a gift more complete? Impossible.

I will still give up my earthly dreams. I will still go to the darkest parts of the earth. I will still fast, pray and meditate but no merit it earned by it.
Because of the wonder of grace we don't live in a world with good and bad karma points. We don't live in a world where monastic self-torture purges the soul. No amount of good deeds could ever tip any such imagined scales in our favor.

He who knew no sin became sin that we who were sinners might become righteous.

By beholding grace I am changed. I want to spend more time thinking about this grace I don't understand.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Moments

Rain pouring down. Mud squishing between my toes and over my ankle as I walk down long rows of corn. The rain is dripping off my nose as I lug my heavy bucket of corn toward the wagon. I start humming "Showers of Blessings".

Its a happy moment.

Standing precariously in the back of a truck. Green rolling fields flash by on either side. The wind is cool and I notice the thunderclouds that are giving us the welcome shade. Thanks to our driver the mud holes and gravel road is that much more exciting.

Its a happy moment.

Bent over tomato plants. Its been a long day and evening is coming on. I slowly stand up and lean a little farther back than needed just to un-kink my back. The sun is low on the horizon. Its orangy light is catching the dust stirred up by a passing truck. I take a look around at the horse pasture, the pond, the silos, and fields of corn.

Happy moments. There have been so many of them. I can't even begin to describe them all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quandary of a Domesticated Naturalist

I used to fancy myself as a budding Naturalist, bound for a life in the wilderness, studying nature like Marty Stouffer. This dream was long on fancy and short on follow through. Like it or not, this would-be Naturalist has been domesticated. Thus a tug-of-war often commences between my domesticity and wannabe naturalism. It seems to be that I am neither fully one nor the other.

In a most domestic manner, I have been assisting my Grandfather with a small garden plot in back of the house. It has been most pleasant to watch the corn and zucchini plants double their size from week to week. I enjoy it. One day my Grandfather approached me with an air of great indignation and a hefty portion of foul-humor.
"Half my tomato plants have been decapitated and all my Rattlesnake Beans have been mown down! Those Ground Hogs are destroying our garden!"
I suppose my domestic sensibilities should have risen up in great wrath against such rotty little mammals that would wreak such havoc in our garden. I nodded my head sympathetically and murmured soft exclamations of dismay,but was already hoping my furry friends wouldn't be relocated or worse.

As it has turned out, Grandfather indeed would like to take the Ground Hogs out with his trusty shooter. I would indeed like to feed and observe them. So which should it be - Garden or Ground Hog?

Oh the quandary of being a domesticated naturalist.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rustic Living

Maybe I was meant to live in a cabin.

Sure was nice for one weekend at least.

The simple life.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


COME, hoist the sail, the fast let go!
They're seated all aboard.
Wave chases wave in easy flow:
The bay is fair and broad.

The ripples lightly tap the boat.
Loose!-Give her to the wind!
She flies ahead:-They're all afloat:
The strand is far behind...

~ Richard Henry Dana

Sailing is exhilarating and completely enthralling! Next time I'd like to be on the open ocean.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

When Clouds Were Masterpieces...

Suggested Listening: Chopin Piano Concerto 1 2nd movement...listen to all 3 movements if you have time.


My backpack hits the tiled floor with a thud and I wearily drop into a chair. The sound of an unknown violinist drifts up the stairwell from a distant practice room. Although I know I should be reaching for my Nursing Folder there is a moment of hesitation. In quietness I turn to survey the trees, soaring bird and cumulus clouds visible through the wall sized window. Without so much as a word of warning, my mind, so often consumed with swirling thoughts of LRC assignments, random medical terminology and case studies, hoists anchor and sails for distant shores. Vivid memories, like old friends, stop by just to remind me they would not like to be forgotten.

In the olden days of yesteryear there were many happy days spent in an era now commonly called the “Home-schooling Years”. Those were simpler days. I recall them with fondness and a hint of wistfulness. How distinctly I recall reading Wordsworth aloud to my dog in the shade of some great tree. Then there was the time I was working on Algebra to the music of Fritz Kreisler and noticed the greenness of the oak leaves against the blueness of the sky. These memories survive in such a vivid form I still almost smell, hear and feel them. I remember sitting cross-legged in front of the stereo and vigorously conducting the Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.
I remember being the "Cloud-Watcher". I loved to study clouds and make impromptu, impassioned speeches on how “every cloud is a masterpiece, never to be reproduced!” It seemed a pity so many people walked about looking down. They missed the exquisite architecture of thunderclouds, the sun-rays gilding their edges and the indescribable hue they turned at twilight. It was a soapbox of mine.

Whether wandering the fields, sitting in my favorite tree or at my school desk, my One Hundred and One Famous Poems book was often my companion. Poetry’s ability to express the deepest, most profound thoughts and feelings imagined fascinated me. Sometimes I was not always sure of its meaning, but the sheer beauty of the words still held me. Often I’d repeat a line or two until the meaning came to me.

True worth is in being, not seeming, ---
In doing, each day that goes by,
Some little good—not in dreaming
Of great things to do by and by.
For whatever men say in their blindness,
And spite of the fancies of youth,
There’s nothing so kingly as kindness
And nothing so royal as truth...
~ Alice Cary

Aostrophe to the Ocean
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar...
~ George Gordon Byron

There are countless others such as the weighty lengths of “The Present Crisis”, “The Day Is Done “ by Longfellow, “If” by Kipling. Then there is “The Daffodils” by Wordsworth (aforementioned piece read to attentively listening puppy dog).

In those homeschooling days I felt our local NPR classical music announcers were my friends. "This is Allan Ellstrom with the afternoon concert..." This unknown yet known friend told me the time, the weather and the history behind Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony. There was much music during those days. I studied to Bach and Handel in the mornings, faithfully practiced piano an hour a day and played in a Piano Trio with some homeschooling friends.
These homeschooling buddies and I would have very fun, spirited discussions regarding music. They continually sought to win me over to Modern music with all its screaching dissonance. I stalwartly defended the grand ole masters. Once Josh worked on me long and hard to listen to Respighi's "Pines of Rome". I'd have none of it. Time does bring changes though. I just recently listened to the Pines of Rome. Its not all that bad after all.

I miss baking bread every week, taking off for bike rides whenever I wish and evenings of reading stories aloud. I miss tending to our small garden, taking extended road trips, exploring historic sites and old libraries. I miss lunch with Paul Harvey. I miss planting Daffodils and being home to see the first blossom.
I miss the slower, simpler life.

Times are different now, but clouds are still masterpieces.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


For some unknown and mysterious reason, the action of tying knots fills me with inexpressible glee! Its amazing how one piece of rope can intricately wrap around itself and then hold such weight! Some of them are easily movable when slack, only to become as unmovable as the rock of Gibraltar when weight is put on it. The wide variety of knots leaves your mind spinning in awe and dancing with aspirations of inventing a new one!

I cannot deny that some of my fascination with knots is due to the many spiritual and philosophical analogies they bring to mind. There are many.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

O for a Faith That Will Not Shrink

God in heaven extends undeserved grace to all his children. No matter the blackness of the sin His grace is greater than our plague. Sin is sin, but if there is a sin blacker and more terrifying than all others it is the sin of indifference -- a half-baked, lukewarm commitment to Christ's cause.

In light of this fact I cry from a rended heart "God be merciful to me, a sinner, of whom I am chief." Oh, to have the fire that ran through William Wilburforce's veins as he thought of little else other than ceasing the suffering of his brothers the slaves. How much I long to have the singleness of purpose possessed by Amy Carmichael, the giant faith of Jim Elliot, the courage of Mary Slessor. I crave the poured out life that goes to extremes for Christ that other may live, hear truth,and come into contact with their Maker.

Is there really any sacrifice of time, sleep or energy too great to lay on the alter? Is popular opinion, pain, loneliness or death things worthy of fear? The only thing I should fear is a normal existence, separated from my God.

How many countless lives might be lost eternally by the choices of one unsurrendered heart. An unsurrendered heart that is fearful of that which is not worthy of fear and worshiping that which is not worthy of worship.

Written awhile ago, but the thoughts still press on my mind.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Things I Learned From a Canoeing Trip

- There is nothing quite like watching the sun rise over a steaming river or set over a calm one dotted with lily pads.

- Morning Chorus of birds greeting the day is enthralling

- Fatigue hits after 5 miles, but at least another 20 is possible

- You only remember you are tired when they say you're stopping soon

- River Otters are awfully cute

-PFD's (personal flotation devices) keep you warm at night

- Starting a fire is a good way to start the day

- Steer into the wind
- Slice the wind with your paddle

- Its amazing to stand "out in the ocean" during low tide and look at the stars

- You go twice as far when the paddlers have similar strength level

- Teamwork is essential

- I think I should paddle a canoe with someone before ever agreeing to marry them

- Its hard to wash off charcoal

- Being a week free of mirrors was healthy

- Showers are not a necessity. You can live a week without one...I did.

- Smell of pitch wood is heavenly

- Manatee's don't move much

- Bandanna's are very useful and multi-functional

- One can either be aware of the nature and beauty around them or not

- Its easy to forget about the rest of the world when out on the river


- I want to go again

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Things that make me laugh:

The Toilet Times at the Library says (and I quote)
" You know you're old when your first grade teacher taught you that Pluto was a planet."
Now just hold on there!

Running through the rain and a thought comes to me..."what if rain was sticky?"

A postscript on my canoe class packing list:
" NOTE: Try to avoid blue clothing. Bugs love blue!"

These things catch me off guard

... and I laugh.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The present

Don’t strain your eyes to see the future – for you will not be able to see clearly what God wants you to see now.

Elizabeth Elliot.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Called to Die

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 12: 24

"I am afraid of only one thing. That I should beome a grain of wheat not willing to die."

~ A young woman leaving for the mission field

Danita Estrella is the director of an orphanage in Haiti.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where the Heart Is

My heart is in far off places. The place where no one else wants to go is where I want to go. The place of greatest need, hardest living conditions, and most suffering. To be the hands of Jesus serving in His stead.

I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.

~John Keith Falconer

Thursday, January 14, 2010


As I write this 2, no 3 4 intrepid ant explorer are fearlessly gadding about on my desk.

I find then on my toothbrush, in my sink, on my clothes, in my cereal, on my bed, crawling on my wall, crawling on my arm... everywhere.

At the beginning of the year I killed every ant I saw. After awhile I tired of the continuous killing.

Now there is an unofficial truce in effect. When I feel the need I remove them, and when I don't feel the need I let them be. My favorite way to "remove" them is through force of air. For example, I'm diligently working on clinical paperwork when I see a congregation of ants near my book of unseemly size. I then exercise my lungs with a mighty blow and watch ants fly. Certain ants are especially hardy, spread all 6 legs out and resist the unexpected head-wind. These usually take a couple blows before going sailing.

There are still times when I catch sight, during those thoughtful moments while brushing my teeth, of a line of ants traversing into my plug-in and wonder mournfully why they must be there. Guess I'm being prepared for the mission field. I'll try to make friends with them.