Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We Are Just Beginning

Well, it's been a while!

Almost an entire year, and it has been a year

In January 2016, in front of our family and closest friends, James asked me to be his wife (insert so many emotions and tears of joy).

I don't think I can give the right or needed words to express how excited we are, how grateful we are to be engaged, to be so close to this next chapter of our life together. Our wedding is now 6 days away, and it still feels so surreal that we get to choose our best friend as our spouse for the rest of our lives. 

Of course we had the standard wedding-planning to-dos, but we were also preparing to graduate from college, and that brought a load of stress like we hadn't seen or expected. There were major low points, and now that we are on the other side, I am so grateful for the chance to be there for each other in ways that we hadn't needed before. 


Graduation came, and it was emotional to watch my sweet man walk across the stage and receive his degree. I felt so proud, and I still do! It gave us both so much joy to receive the fruits of four years of very hard work and seemingly endless stress. It all had a purpose, one that we could see a glimmer of, but didn't fully understand and grasp until now--so many lessons are learned that way, funny right? 



The summer was spent getting into our new jobs, James working for a local business, and me with the same children I have been with for 2 years, but now in the role of a RN. The transition was hard-- but not in the way that everyone had prepared us for. I was prepared to have difficulty delegating, and picking up nursing skills and assessments. I wasn't so prepared for the weight of nursing judgement calls, parents now looking to me to answer questions, and the strain that three night shifts a week was going to take on my body. We dealt with our fair share of unexpected bumps with his new job too, and the combination of both of our stresses wasn't always perfect, but even through that we've grown and evolved in our communication and understanding. And I was just thinking the other day, "Man I hope that James and I have taken full advantage of our engagement time to grow as a couple", God you guys, He gets you when you least expect it!

So here we are, less than one week away from our wedding day, and I can't imagine having anyone else with me along this journey. 





We are just beginning; I have so much faith and trust in what we have worked to build, what God has strengthened and molded within our relationship, within our life together. 



Friday, January 1, 2016

Choose

There are two ways this post could go, in my mind. I could tell you all about how life's changed, how fast everything seems to be flying by, and how I wish that I could slow it down, really breathe it all in. Or, I could ramble on about new year's resolutions, about making healthier decisions, being more present, more humble. Against my better judgement, either of those potential posts holds truth; unavoidable heaviness.

My last semester of college starts in 3 short weeks, with graduation this May and boards this June. Real-life responsibilities are creeping around the corner, and its exhilarating and terrifying all at once. I find myself wanting the newness that the end of college promises, and desiring the simplicity of naive irresponsibility. Stories about nursing boards have been circulating for months, but it wasn't until the end of the fall semester that the horror within those stories reared its ugly head. And its all a reality; the months ahead may be difficult, pushing me beyond my place of comfort. How easy it could be to ignore that possible struggle, to be 'ok' with some version of complacency. Often (much too often, in my opinion), I find myself wracked with debates over how much worry should be spent over a class, a grade, a situation. Exhausted, I end up not caring for the class or situation at all, leading to a lucky break or a miserable confrontation with my failure. Complacency in life is so far from what I feel called to, but that doesn't make the fight against it any less of a struggle. 

The beginning of a new calendar year is honestly such a weird holiday, especially as I have spent it in the hospital working for the past two years. This year I actually felt its weight, its call to gratitude for the end of one year and hope of another. Resolutions have never sat well with me--even in the season of Lent or the beginning of the liturgical year in Advent. I struggle committing to change, habits are easier and require much less of an effort. This laziness I have grown accustomed to--no sugar-coating the truth--contradicts my future profession, my morals, and my faith. Unhealthy stress, diets, exercise, and especially prayer life works against what I've worked in college and in my relationship with God.

Becoming lack-luster will not be my story. I could choose to live with the mentality that "a nurse who passes with D's is still a nurse" (insert "businessman/woman", "teacher", "husband/wife", etc.). But that's not my story either! God created us with the capacity to choose, to impose our will freely upon our lives. He also created us before we were even conceived, with the desire for each of us to live with Him in perfection. Choosing the will of God over our own, that's the battle, no, the adventure of life. Its ugly and beautiful; a desert and an oasis. How blessed are we, though blind and lost, to search for God in the world, in our very own lives? So yes, I did come up with a resolution this year, something that has been stirring within my soul for a while, patiently waiting for my heart to respond. Choosing God's will and trusting in that choice, in Him above all. 




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Seeking Truth

The beginning of summer flew by, and with the beginning of my senior year a little over a month away, the changes that have come since January and the end of the school year have been on my mind quite frequently. Reigniting immense gratitude for those around me, and God's will despite my own desires.

Moving home six months ago has been one of God's biggest shockers/blessings in disguise to come to me in a long time. The relationships in my life have molded into these slightly different, more wholesome versions of what they used to be, and I know and believe that's God's purpose shining through. Those closest to me have withstood some crazy stressful and honestly bizarre moments, a major confirmation to me that together we can withstand whatever comes our way, and that moving home was the best decision.


So with this new found peace moving home has brought, I've also been able to do some personal "upkeep." I've found that writing out my thoughts gives me a lot of peace and clarification, something that being an over-thinker, I just flat out adore. When I don't express my thoughts in someway, they're bound to overflow: be it in an argument over small details, anxiously wanting the future, losing motivation, or damaging relationships. I have wasted so much energy being upset over things I don't even care that much about, a pattern I am determined to change.

One of the paths towards this has been in seeking the truths of God, of the Church. Some days are more fruitful than others, but the big goal I aim for is to not only be a Catholic woman who knows her stuff, but to be a woman who if she doesn't know the answer, at least knows where to start looking. Who seeks the Lord before the world, and ends her day praising Him for His blessings, sacrifice, and the chance to choose love.

I am growing, learning, and right now slightly overtired and over-caffeinated. But I also have an immense sense of joy, peace and faith because of God's always loving presence in my life. If I take anything away from the first half of this year, its that God's will, when given full trust, is more perfect than anything I could ever want.

"And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen and establish you." 1 Peter 5: 10