Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Throughout this Holiday season, I have thought of little things that I am so thankful for...

Special Liberty at work as I got to sleep through Santa's visits and have lots of energy on Christmas day

24 hour Christmas music on the radio

Skype... I got to open presents with my family via this beautiful invention

Dogs... I got to watch my friends dog and it reminded me of how happy dogs can make a person after a long night of work.

Christmas Spirit... b/c how can anyone be unhappy on Christmas Eve at work when we read "Twas the Night before Christmas"?

Airplanes... they take me home to my family

Roommates... they make an apartment home.

Candles... they rouse memories and nostalgic feelings

Midnight Christmas Eve services... so much thought, effort, resources go into this service and Jesus is so incredibly worth it.

Cell phones... b/c now we don't need candles for Christmas Eve services... the cell phones work the same way!!

Anticipation... I know we're supposed to live in the moment, but anticipation makes life so exciting!

Kenny Chesney Christmas songs... they help me remember that some people want to be by the warm ocean void of snow on Christmas...

Resolutions... its fun to think of easy things that you just want to do and make them into a resolution. For example, one of mine: Go to Disneyland this year. Easy enough:) Anyone wanna go in on that one with me?

Those are just a few... So while I half way dreaded this Christmas season, it turned out to be so special despite the miles between my dear friends and family. Jesus is ever so gracious and concerned even with my dread of his own birthday.

Have a wonderful New year!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Splendiferous Season

And so it begins... my first week before Christmas 1000's of miles from my family, traditions of my own to create, and a smack-down with the reality of being a grown up nurse in a 24/7 hospital:) It'll be my first Christmas to stay up all night and wait for Santa though! That's pretty cool... I remember the days that I could say that I'd never pulled an all nighter. Now I do it regularly!

I get so nostalgic just about every other moment of the day. The first day someone played Christmas music at work, I had to fight tears. So then I made myself listen to Christmas music all day long when I was off so that it wouldn't affect me so much!:) It worked. Now I don't blubber at the first notes of "Oh Holy Night!"

How precious Christmas season is, yeah? It is beautiful... the anticipation, the lights, the festivities... it's almost like we can set aside reality for a bit and get lost in a magical world of kindness and generosity. Sometimes when I think about little baby Jesus and young teen Mary and Joseph's honorable faithfulness... I'm absolutely awestruck and my mouth hangs open. It's the feeling that C.S. Lewis talks about when he says "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." I think Christmas awakens those desires. I desire to say thank you thank you thank you! to Jesus for coming and laying in a mucky manger. For God orchestrating divine visitors, for little babes sacrificing their lives (without choice albeit) so that little Jesus could grow up to be our Savior. I am curious to know what he was like as a little toddler, a kindergärtner, a preteen, a teen, a twenty year old, etc. Why is God secretive about that? He is going to regret it when I pummel him with questions when I get to Heaven!!:):)

In any case, I wish wonder... magnificent wonder this Christmas to every person I see. And that somehow, we as Christians can be stubborn and hold onto the wonder even after 3pm on the 25th when all the Christmas presents are unwrapped, the ham and turkey have been cooked and demolished, and all the Christmas parties are checked off the list. Because our story continues past the 25th and it is a magnificent story to live in.

Merry Christmas with lots of hugs and kisses to you from me:)

P.S. Did you know "splendiferous" is actually a word? Yup... says so.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

weather theme!

Yesterday we had a big storm. I'm talking big. The palm trees were bent over, the sky was an ominous grey, and water was shooting out of the clouds as if they hadn't let loose since Noah's flood! We're almost NEVER ever inconvenienced by weather here and so it was interesting to be reminded of what life is like when it isn't always sunny and at least 65 degrees outside.

I had to leave for work a15 minutes earlier, my hands gripped the steering wheel as I drove on the freeway with little visibility d/t the water splashing onto my windshield from all directions, I had an eerie feeling sitting in my apartment and hearing the wind rattling the windows, my fleece was soaked by the time I got to work and my hair was matted to my head. But I loved it because weather is one thing that we have absolutely NO control over. It is a reminder of how big God is and how little and insignificant we are.

Then this morning I got off of work and the sky had scattered clouds, with most beautiful peek- a-boos of blue, and the sun rays were spotlighting the vibrant greens renewed by the rainfall. Life looks so much brighter when the storm clouds part. And rather than reminding us of how big and powerful God is, it reminds us how passionate, creative, good, and beautiful he is.

I just loved the lessons learned and made me wish for home so that I could wonder at the trees frosted in white, and the cardinals flying in our neighbor's trees across rainbow, and the big snowflakes that catch on your eyelids. So to all who have to shovel and leave for work 20 minutes later every day, and arrive to work wet with hair matted down (especially you dad), I'll spend a day in your shoes any day:)


hehe:) I think palm trees look so funny tossed in the wind:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

War at Christmastime

This morning I had to be at the hospital at 6AM (on my day off mind you!) for a meeting about disaster preparedness. See in the military, they say we not only have to master the skills of nursing, but we also have to have collateral duties... it's all about leadership and leadership is demonstrated by being super duper involved in everything... which I disagree with but it's the culture I signed for:) Maybe you would think that I would be a stellar disaster preparedness officer, but I would say I am sub-par evidenced by my lack of concern during tornado warnings in Iowa, venturing into the waves even with flood watches and crazy wind, no fire alarm in my apt... maybe you see what I mean. What will be will be... being prepared takes the adventure out of it! Anyway...

As I was walking to my car I saw all these signs of "Season's Greetings", "Happy Holidays", "Celebrate", "Noel", etc. Meanwhile I hear the shouts of sailors training and I can't help but think how there is no room for war in this season. None. I close the door on it.

Yet, the world I live in doesn't allow closed doors for war. It reminds me of this song by Garth Brooks:

"Belleau Wood"

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing
A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
The song was "Silent Night"

Then I heard my buddy whisper,
"All is calm and all is bright"
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
'Cause I'd die if I was wrong
But I stood up in my trench
And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
Another's voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
Stood the German soldier
'Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me
As if he seemed to say
Here's hoping we both live
To see us find a better way

Then the devil's clock struck midnight
And the skies lit up again
And the battlefield where heaven stood
Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
The answer seemed so clear
Heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's just beyond the fear

No, heaven's not beyond the clouds
It's for us to find it here

See? It's universal. What is it about this season that will equalize all of us if we allow it? It is a precious time. So my prayer this year has been that little baby Jesus turned great King and Savior will be incredibly glorified and discovered this season by all. Oh how I love Christmas:)02babyjesus