Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Times

Sunday night, and I must say it has been a lovely weekend. My brother Josiah graduated from college yesterday with a Bachelor's of Arts in History, Summa Cum Laude. So proud of that kid! Josiah has always been my best friend, the one I turn to when things don't make sense, and in more ways than one I've always felt like the younger one because he's always been so mature!  Needless to say, I was busting my buttons when he walked across that stage yesterday!  I went up early for graduation so that Josiah and Jeff and I could go to Jude's for one last cup of coffee together. Our friend Randal, who has been away at boot camp since January met us there to surprise the guys- their faces were priceless! I am so blessed to have such great friends in my life! 

 Since I started my job as an ER nurse, I've been really curious about what happens out on the streets, where my patients come from and such.  I decided I'd like to ride along on an ambulance to get a feel for "the other side," the part that I never get to see.  I got the chance to do that last night and I had such a great time! It was quite eye opening and I learned things I didn't know beforehand. I had never worked a night shift, so that was also interesting, but I made it without a single cup of coffee! It's interesting to me to discover how other people live and what happens outside of my little box of a world.  

A few months ago, I decided that God brings people into my life for a reason, and I can learn something from every single person who crosses my path.  Sometimes it's a good lesson, sometimes it's not.  Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes I never really understand the reason.  Sometimes I get hurt, sometimes I get to make a difference.  No matter what or whom or where or why, God has a purpose in everything, and I am learning to live with an open heart, saying yes when He asks me to and asking for wisdom in the moments that seem foggy and unclear.  Slowly but surely, God is expanding my box to include more of the world, more types of people, more things that I never imagined existed.  "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:28-29)."  The first part of that verse is quoted a lot, but it's easy to overlook the second part. Yes, God works all things for good for those who love Him, but He doesn't just work all things for good so that we can have hunky-dory, worry-free lives.  He works all things for good so that we might be conformed into the image of Jesus, so that we may be more like Him in every way.  What a blessing!  These verses make it easier to stop asking "why?" and instead ask, "what am I supposed to learn?" and "how is this going to make me more like Jesus?"  As we enter into a new week, ask God what He has in store for you.  Ask Him to direct your steps, to direct your words, to teach you through every encounter you have with each person around you.  I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Monday, May 7, 2012

City Girl in Montana

Hello! I made it back from my lovely long weekend in the mountains of Montana! Let me tell you, it was quite the trip! I almost didn't come back, it was so incredibly amazing! Okay, so I never actually planned on staying, but I must say I was tempted! My family traveled to Montana when I was a small child, but never before had I experienced it through the eyes of "locals," i.e. my friends Jamie and Jake. I'll share a brief summary of my trip.....if you want the longer version, we'll do coffee sometime and I'll add the dramatic details! 
 My first full day in Montana, Jamie and I ventured to Yellowstone National Park, about an hour's drive from her home in Bozeman.  I was blown away by the mountains and the splendor of it all!  Bison were everywhere along our drive, and I of course made a point to photograph every single one.  They didn't seem to mind one bit.  We stopped for a little bit at some hot springs/geysers, hiking up some wooden stairs to reach the lookout.  That's the first time the altitude got me.  But, it was super fun and Jamie took a great picture of me being a tourist! 
 Saturday, we drove to Three Forks to watch some horses run from their winter grounds to their summer grounds. It was quite the event...every organization in town was out trying to raise money, selling foods and goods, and there was even a huge rummage/bake sale at the Methodist church in town! Jamie and I bought some yummy trail mix for 25 25 cents I've ever spent!  We also toured the local historical museum, which was quite informative. I had no idea that Sacajawea was kidnapped near Three Forks, Montana.  Quite the claim to fame, I'd say!  

We waited three hours in the cold/snow flurries for the horses to quit getting lost and find their way through town, but the wait was more than worth it!  I'm so glad we went, because this was the last year of this event! The horses were so beautiful, parading straight through the middle of town, surrounded by cowboys and cowgirls on every side. I have to admit I jumped up and down, clapping my hands like a little girl the entire time they ran through!
Yesterday, Jamie and I went to a hot springs, which was really a glorified hot tub. Definitely cool, but we only lasted about an hour in the steamy water. Jake took us on a hike last night and I climbed a mountain for the first time! 
God came alive to me like never before on that mountain, looking out over His creation.  The past few weeks have been filled with worry over the future: what's going to come next, how I'm going to handle it, when to take certain steps.  As I sat there, admiring the beauty painted by my Maker, I thought: how arrogant it is of me to think that the very same God who SPOKE these mountains into being cannot handle the fine details of my life.
      "Before the mountains were brought forth or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." Psalm 90:2