Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween preperations...

Well, as many of you moms can relate, preparing for Halloween when you have children can be more overwhelming than Christmas! Stores seem to get there pumpkins and bats out earlier and earlier, and this year I swear it was August when Rhett spied some Halloween decorations in a local store. "Oh, mom" he said, "we neeeeed to get ready for Halloween!" I reminded him that we were no where near neeeeeeding to get ready for Halloween. After all, I am a last minute type gal, who was raised by another last minute type gal, who didn't even let this gal TALK about Halloween until October 15th. This rule stood in my childhood home as law until I left home. If you tried to talk to mom about Halloween, she would say, "I'm sorry, is it October 15th?" Sad to say, I find myself expressing the same Halloween exhasperation with my own children. Usually it starts with me saying "Is it already October 15th?"

Anyway, last week I decided to take the boys out and get them some costumes. They are going to participate in a Halloween parade this weekend, and they get to march in their costumes through the main street in town and be judged for their originality. When I realized this was competitive, I became slightly more interested. With Brey and Keller being too old (according to them) to dress up for Halloween, that only left me with three to outfit. Immediately I started coming up with themed ideas that could win them the big prize. "How about the three stooges?" I suggested, rather impressed with myself. They just looked at me blankly. "It would be great", I said, and I continued explaining about Larry, Curly and Moe. I'm pretty sure one of them rolled their eyes at me, as the rest shook their head no. "Okay", I said, "Your cousin Evy is dressing as Dorothy, how about if you guys dress as the tin man, scarecrow and lion???" Again...blank staring. At this point, Keller put his arm around me, "Sorry mom, those are really good ideas though".

Finally, I gave up and we headed to the costume store. Standing in the aisle, staring at roughly fifty costumes, the chaos began. Rhett informed me first that he wanted to be "Mustard". "Really? You want to be a tube of mustard?" I asked. He nodded his head. We asked for the costume and thank goodness, they didn't have it in his size. Hmmmm....Rhett was back to the drawing board. Gabe was after anything that had to do with star wars, or clones, or transformers or some other "cloney" looking thing. After several attempts, we found something "clonish" (I honestly don't know what he is) in his size. He held it tight and began telling me all about all the other accesories he would be needing to complete his costume. This began sounding like the teacher in Charlie Brown in my left ear, because really all I could hear in my right ear was Aubrey. "Can I get this one?" he asked, pointing at the disgusting Jason guy with blood coming out his eyes. "No" I answered. "How about this one?" he continued, pointing at the Freddy Krueger costume. "Nope", I replied. (Big sigh from Aubrey) "Oh, how about thiiiisss one?" he asked pointing to some gross zhombie guy with his guts hanging out and his eyeball in his hand. "Nooo", I answered. He lowered his head and shook it from side to side. Rhett says, "can I be a sumo wrestler?" "Sure" I said and he picked up his costume and smiled. Aubrey looked at me with his mouth wide open. "How come he can be what he wants?" he asked. "Because, he isn't asking for something horrible and disgusting," I answered. "Now do you want to try again?" Ever the diplomat, Keller decided to intervene and help me understand what it was that Aubrey was trying to achieve. "He wants to be something scary, mom", he said, with Aubrey nodding behind him.

So, at this point I tried to remember that I am a girl and maybe this is something I just don't get. So I tried to find my masculine side...."How about this werewolf costume?", I asked, "it's pretty scary." He rolled his eyes, and again we were off and running. "how about this one?" he asked, pointing at the grim reaper. I just shook my head. "Aubrey, if you want to be something scary, you can be the werewolf", I said. He stood there looking at the werewolf costume for a few minutes, which was fine since Gabe was still going on about accessories, and Rhett was searching for facial hair to go with his sumo costume. "Mom, if I get the werewolf costume, can I put blood all over my hands?" he asked. "No" I answered. "Can the werewolf carry a bloody knife?" he continued. "No" I replied. "Can the werewolf be carrying a pistol?" he asked. "No, Aubrey, werewolfs don't carry weapons", I said, "that's why he has such big teeth". He just stood there looking at me. "Mom its just not scary enough", he said. So, we left the store with the clone thingy and the sumo wrestler, but nothing for Aubrey. I'm afraid he is a boy of little compromise. I'm sure that can be used for good when he becomes a man, but for now it doesn't seem to be helping him much. The parade is tomorrow and he is still on the hunt for a costume. Who knows he may just be going as a tween boy with a very unreasonable mother, hmmm...I bet there are lots of those :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Glamorous Life...

Well, I thought it was about time I took some time to blog about my career. For those of you wondering what my career is, if you look at this photo it is very easy to tell that I am in clown school!!! Just kidding, the photo is actually not a joke. This was taken today while I was at work in the operating room. I did not dress up special to try to be funny, this is actually the appropriate attire for the case I was doing today. Being an operating room nurse is not for everyone. If you are into looking your best, dressing cute and providing lasting memories for patients, the OR is not the place for you. As you can see from the photo, job requirement number one is self esteem!!

Being an OR nurse means you dress in dull all blue scrubs that fit pretty much like pajamas. It means you cover your hair every day with some freaky patterned cloth cap. It means you spend the majority of your shift with a mask on, so you get very good at talking with your eyes. But above all else, it means you spend the better part of your day behind locked doors with...surgeons. AAAAGGGHHHH!!! Like I said it is not for everyone, especially not the weak!!

Being an OR nurse also means that you get to do all the stuff nobody wants to think about, let alone talk about. It also means that the majority of your patients won't remember your name let alone your face. Some in my profession call OR nursing "thankless". We are the forgotten group, a group that holds an expectation for our patients. We're expected to make sure that everything goes "OK", they trust us to protect them while they are asleep, to ensure that their best interests are upheld, to respect their dignity and overall keep them safe.

OR nursing is far from glorious, but for me it holds great purpose. It isn't just my job, its my purpose, or part of my purpose anyway. The Lord has placed me in this role for moments I don't always understand. Many days I am tired, discouraged, depressed, stressed, anxious and just trying to make it through my day, but then when I least expect it, a divine moment is orchestrated by God in which I have a purpose. Many times, I am able to hold a hand, comfort a fearful soul or pray over a sleeping patient, and I am in awe of how much my Saviour loves me that He would allow me to serve Him, and have a purpose in His kingdom.

One particular day, I was readying my room for a procedure and the dr's brought my patient in. I hadn't even met her yet as this was a particularly busy morning and in our teaching hospital we are always bursting at the seams with students and residents of all sorts. I looked over at her and smiled (with my eyes of course) and then went back to preparing all of the equipment and supplies that were needed. As the doctors and residents prepared her, they discussed the different things they were going to do amongst each other. They began placing IV's and other monitoring equipment and somehow in my busyness I heard her. She wasn't loud, she wasn't even really saying anything, she just kind of sighed and rolled on her side as the staff continued to fuss with monitors and such. I walked over to her and noticed a tear rolling down her cheek. I knelt down so my face was level with hers and placed my hand on her shoulder. "Are you OK?" I asked her. She nodded her head, and the dr's asked her to hold still. They were placing a catheter in her back to help her with pain after her surgery. "I'll help you hold still" I told her. As I knelt on the floor in that operating room, she and I visited. So much craziness around us yet it seemed like it was only us. I found out she had raised five sons. She told me their names, their professions and the different personalities they had. I told her about my sons and we giggled at the coincidence :) Before we knew it her catheter was placed and I helped her over to the operating room table. As she drifted off to sleep, I held her hand and promised her I would take good care of her. I don't know if she remembers me, but it doesn't matter.

Being a nurse is a great privelage. To have access to people's lives at times of great vulnerability holds great responsibility. To be able to provide comfort, peace, care and love is crucial to a patients ultimate outcome. How true also is it that to be the hands and feet of Christ is even more crucial to a patients ultimate outcome. I am a nurse, but more importantly, I am a vessel of the Most High God. It really doesn't matter what our career is, it only matters that whatever it is, we are willing to submit it to Him, that all we do might show the love of Christ for His glory.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lifting My Face...

In my darkest hour, I felt Him lift my face. "I love you" He said. But how could that be true? How could a Savior, so perfect, love me? A wretched, sinful, disgusting, self centered, prideful, vain woman. I have always known His love, yet I took it for granted. Turned my back on Him, knowing that I truly knew better. I was so angry with could HE allow me to suffer? I have known Him since I was seven, and though not perfect, I loved Him. Yet He would allow me to suffer...why? So I took control. I decided I would make my own way. I would figure out my path, I certainly did not need Him anymore...and while I made my own way, and sinned my own sins, He waited, and He loved me. When my choices led me to the brink of death, He waited and...He loved me. And when I felt Him lift my face in His hands, I knew. I knew I had finally come to the end of myself, the place I needed to be in order to truly understand His love for me and my love for Him. A Savior who loved me so much that He would give His very life for me, and even after I became His, He knew I would stray, yet He loved me so much, He waited...and when I was on my knees, He took my face in His hands and whispered, "I love you and I forgive you."

Living in forgiveness is not as easy as it sounds, I sit with tears streaming down my face, two years later, still trying to figure out how to do it. The guilt overwhelmes me, takes my very breath away, and many times the enemy whispers to me that I will never be anything more than my sins. Sometimes I believe it. Yet, I know its a lie. I know that my Jesus paid it all, that His sacrifice is more than enough. That His blood was shed for me...what a precious blessing, for there is nothing I could do to earn His favor, only by His grace... But, oh, it is hard to heal...the thorn I am left with is all too real. Some days I am thankful for it, but most days I curse it. It will never leave me, and its purpose I do not yet understand.

The only thing I do know tonight, is that my Jesus loves me and somehow He will do mighty things through this woman. And so I submit, I seek and I wait, knowing that He is forever faithful...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Fun!

Just a few fun photos from a trip to a local Jersey farm the boys and I visited last week. Johnson's farm has been a old standby in this part of NJ for many years. It is full of apples, pumpkins and corn this time of year, and in years past when we would visit my family in NJ, we would take a trip to this farm. We have many memories of hay rides, pumpkin picking, corn mazes and the petting zoo. When we visited last week we ran in to one of my aunts that I haven't seen in 17 years. It was so fun to visit with her and my cousins and catch up on all that has happened over the years. She was amazed at our sons and their height!! Anyway it was a really great day!
I'll try to post some football pics next!!!
God bless!