Saturday, May 30, 2009

Calculation Theme

I was sitting in the library at the hospital where I'm doing my clinical. I was sitting there because I've been barely human for the last while. I was sitting there because I did not -at all- want to be near other people. Then my phone beeps. A new message.......

How are you? thought that I would send you a message of encouragement. Phil 4:13! We can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.Those who wait upon the lord will renew their strength they will mount up on wings like eagles they will run and not be weary and walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

I felt my world shift and the darkness lift. Of course! OF COURSE! Of course I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me! Of course my strength will be renewed as I wait on the Lord! Of course. 

Fast forward 12 hours. I'm sitting on a bench in the park across from The Bridge and reading my bible. 
Hebrews 12 leaps from the page and slaps me across the face with this beauty of a verse....

 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Fast forward to this morning. I'm sitting on a rock with my feet hanging over the edge to the water below and the sun is warming me as I read from my bible for a good long while. 2 hours later I go to the Silver Bean Cafe and get a coffee and sit down with my Pharm text book. 2 friends walk up a little while later and before long i'm jumping off a cliff in an old rock quarry into freezing cold water and breaking the surface having to work to catch my breath. Then I'm eating salmon and asparagus (my mom and sister will not believe this) and drinking a cup of coffee. Then I'm the judge in a rock throwing competition. Then gravel is being carefully picked out with a knife from my sliced open toe. Then i'm 50 feet underground in an abandoned mine shaft with no light source and 2 friends and in the middle of a giant wonderful adventure. Then i'm having a great conversation about sin and despair and Mary and Martha and i'm eating pizza and cherries and cookies and watching the stanley cup finals. 

Then i'm in bed. Ready for sleep and reflecting on a beautiful- amazing- relaxing- adventure of a day, thanking my Lord for beautiful friends, a beautiful day, beautiful nature, and beautiful disciple. 

Monday, May 25, 2009


"Remember me with favor, my God." 

I love Nehemiah. I've read it before but reading it over again this morning was totally different. Maybe it was the delicious coffee or the relaxing environment or maybe it was God speaking to me. 

Nehemiah did a crazy thing. He went to King Artaxerxes looking sad and when the king asked what was up, he said "May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?" Then he prayed to God and spoke to the king and asked to be sent to the city in Judah and rebuild it. The king said "Ya for sure!" and even supplied Nehemiah with safety during the trek and army officers and a cavalry. 

I love that Nehemiah didn't give up. He knew what he wanted, and he went for it. He sought the Lord and feared Him. He persevered. He was wise and listened to the Lord. He got the city rebuilt and then in chapter 9 the Levites say to the Israelites this beautiful beautiful speech about how the Lord provided for them, protected them, and remembered them even after the Israelites were arrogant, disobedient, insolent, idolatrous , blasphemous and every other awful thing you can think of. 
"In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly." vs. 33
At the end  of chapter 9 and beginning of chapter 10, they make a binding agreement, an oath, to "follow the Law of God given through Moses, servant of God, and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord.....We will not neglect the house of our God." 

I love Nehemiah because it starts out with him being moved by the state of much so that he's visibly distressed and he's fasting and praying. He carefully and prayerfully tells the King of his distress and by his wisdom in approaching the King, is granted what he needs to carry out this vision. When faced with opposition many times, Nehemiah responds with confidence. He places guards and soldiers in places where the people working on the wall and reminds the Jew's that God's got them.. "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your people.." When another threat came- this time from within the people- Nehemiah says to them "What you are doing is not right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God and avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?" He shows integrity. In the third attack, Nehemiah vehemently refuses to play into the enemies attacks and goes to the Lord in prayer ".... but i prayed to the Lord, now strengthen my hands...". When the enemies saw the work that had been done on the wall in just 52 days Nehemiah says "When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God." 

All this to say.... I want to be like Nehemiah. I want to be a leader. A leader with integrity, with conviction, with perseverance. A leader who hears a call and listens to it. A leader who acts. A leader who prayerfully considers their options and seeks the Lord in every aspect. 

Insert segue here...

I had an interview for, and was hired by Youth for Christ/Youth Unlimited. I will be working this summer in Lakefield (a small town a 30 min bike ride from peterborough..I'm going to have great legs!) doing a variety of things. Included in the variety are: organizing and running Art in the Barn nights where youth come and we do artsy things together, organizing The Feast- a community meal that happens every wednesday, manning booths at local festivals getting the YFC/YU name 'out there', putting on movie nights in the park once a week in August, and the best part of it all--- hanging out and building relationships with awesome youth! I'm really excited for this opportunity and when the 2 guys interviewing me came back after saying "we'll let you know in a week" and changed it to "we don't need to wait a week, we want you", I was totally overwhelmed. 

The thought of the work, and prayer and growth involved with this position makes me shake with excitement. It also makes me tremble in fear. What if I can't connect with the kids? What if I make giant mistakes? What if I'm not good at it? What if I'm not an effective leader? What if I can't do it? 

And when I'm done with those thoughts- I grab them and make them obedient to Christ. I'll be able to connect with kids because I'm working for Christ, serving Him with my gifts, and will be blessed. I'll make giant mistakes but I'll make them, learn from them, and be a more effective leader because of it. I'll be good at it because I'm passionate about it, because I've sought the Lord about it and because I've been led to the position by Him. I can do it because it won't be ME whose doing it alone. It'll be me serving the Lord, Him working THROUGH me.

9 months ago you couldn't have paid me to do this. You couldn't have paid me to want to do this. I always said that least favorite age group was jr. high's. I'll be working with a ton of jr. high's this summer. 9 months ago God could have called me to it and I doubt I would have listened.

But 7 months ago God called me to The Bridge and I listened. Christ broke my heart for these kids in the exact same way He did when I was in Uganda. That whole time He was preparing me for this next step in my life. 7 months ago I was in control. I was dependent on myself. 7 months ago I had it all together. 7 months ago I was 110% sure that I was getting in and out of school the fastest way possible and would be writing my last exam on the way to the airport to hop a plane to Uganda. I'm out of control. I'm useless when I depend on myself. I have nothing together. But I'm glad, and I'm blessed. 

Because when I read Ephesians 2:10 i know that I am God's handiwork. Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which Christ prepared in advance for me to do. 

And that, my friends, is unbelievably exciting. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Putting my nursing skills to good use....

It's time to play a little game. I like to call it "Lets see how well you've paid attention in class to see if your self diagnosis is accurate".  

Let the games begin!

First- I self diagnose myself with a torn Rhomboideus major muscle of my posterior left back.  I am basing this diagnosis on the wide breadth of symptoms i am experiencing and from thorough self questioning.

Secondly- I self diagnose myself with a kidney infection that should have been treated over 3 weeks ago. I'd love to get into the lovely array of signs and symptoms but besides from most of the being pretty embarrassing, i'm not too sure if those kinds are things are appropriate blog topics. :) Due to the craziness of school and life, and the ridiculous lack of walk in clinics in Peterborough I've let this one slip... Cross your fingers I'm not about to go septic or go into acute renal failure due to my reluctance to seek medical attention in a timely fashion. 

I'll update later with the doctors medical diagnosis and we'll see if all this money i'm spending is really being put to good use! Cheers!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Therefore since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet he did not sin. Let us approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  - Hebrews 4: 14-16

This morning a good friend of ours and a local pastor came over with a guy who had been away at this christian rehab center for a year. We sat down with tea and we had the best conversation about God, life, ministry, redemption and grace. This guy S told me and Jenn all about his life and how his addiction stemmed from lies that had been placed in him at an early age and how it all grew out of his feelings of being a 'mistake', unloved, and useless. He began using hard drugs, prescription meds and abusing out of these lies he was told and the lies he believed about who he was, what his purpose was, and who God was. 

As Christ began to move in his life he met our friend and the pastor guy J. Through relationship with J, S received Christ and tried to live a 'christian' life for a while but eventually turned back to what he knew. J and a few other people from the church confronted him and told him he needed help and so S went away for a year to this rehab place. In a year he has worked through the lies that were planted in his heart and he said that it wasn't the addiction the counsellors tried to fix or reverse. It was the lies that were in S's heart that they worked on and they worked on S learning who God is, and who S is in Christ and what living out of that relationship really looks like. 

S said something really interesting. When we turn to Christ we're not patched up, we're born again. I've heard that a million times but it really struck me in that moment. I'm not a drug addict, or an alcoholic but I'm a sinner and there are definitely areas in my life where I constantly fail, I constantly turn away from Christ. I turn from who I am in Christ, and the purpose I have in Him, and live out of lies in my heart. My intense need for controlling my life to the n'th degree is a perfect example. I am lost when I'm not in control. That is so contrary to what it should be. I should be feeling secure when I'm not in control. I feel like Paul in Galatians... a person ruled by rules. Trying desperately to please God with his actions, being in control and only being freed and truly living when he let go of that need for control, a desire to please, and simply live in His identity in Christ. 

S said he often thought of the song "i will never be the same again." I remember being here.....

.... sitting on top of Land Rover with my awesome friends on safari in Uganda. I remember watching this storm brew over the Nile and I remember singing that song in my head and knowing it was so true. I will never be the same again. 

I feel so blessed to be in this city, surrounded by these people, living out of my identity in Christ. I'm in a constant battle for control and making that desire and though obedient to Christ. "Take every though captive." Written on my mirror is Ephesians 2:10- "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do." 

As J and S got ready to leave out house, we sat and took time to pray together. It is so beautiful to have prayer be such an easy, familiar, normal part in relationships. I've had a hard, long, overwhelming week- burdened with school, dealing with death as a nursing student, learning to create emotional boundaries so i'm not a mess of a nurse, relationships with friends- and its wonderful to know that I have these people and many others who care for me, who pray for me, who pray with me. 

As I grow and mature, my relationship with Christ and my faith in the Lord grow and mature and deepen and my life is so much more full and rich. And as I stumble and fall on this journey- I am comforted to know that I can approach my high priest, knowing full well that I will receive mercy and grace in my time of need. There's this song by Sara Groves called Less like Scars and I think it suits my life right now perfectly.
It's been a hard year 
But I'm climbing out of the rubble 
These lessons are hard 
Healing changes are subtle 
But every day it's 
Less like tearing, more like building 
Less like captive, more like willing 
Less like breakdown, more like surrender 
Less like haunting, more like remember 
And I feel you here 
And you're picking up the pieces 
Forever faithful 
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation 
But you are able 
And in your hands the pain and hurt 
Look less like scars and more like 

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I'm listening to a 5 part series on Hosea by Ravi Zacharias. IT. IS. AWESOME. 

You should listen to it. Really- go now and listen.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Two Hands. Jars of Clay

I’ve been living out of sanity
I’ve been splitting hairs and blurring lines
I am a house that is divided
In my heart and in my mind

I use one hand to pull you closer
The other to push you away
If I had two hands doing the same thing
Lifted high, lifted high

I have a broken disposition
I’m a liar who thirsts for the truth
And while I ache for faith to hold me
I need to feel the scars and see the proof

And if we just keep digging we can reach the foundation
Of our souls
And if we just keep cutting all the chains from our hearts
We’ll lose control

And it feels like giving in
It feels like starting over
It feels like waking up, and you know it’s coming
It feels like a brand new day
Open your eyes

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

It's my birthday today. I had a dream that this person knocked on my window and talk to me, and then someone tapped on my window twice in real life. My sympathetic nervous system kicked into gear and my alpha1 1 receptors dilated my pupils, inhibited salivation,  constricted a variety of sphincters; my beta 1 receptors increased my heart rate, heart contractility and conductance; and my beta 2 receptors stimulated bronchodilation, decreased activity in my gastrointestinal tract as well as  my urinary system.
I relaxed though. Thanks to my parasympathetic nervous system that stimulated my muscarinic receptors to calm my body right down. Now its 6:55am and i found this beauty of a birthday cake on google. Since i am fasting from McDonalds for 1 year (I've been going strong since January 1), I figured today would be a good day to induldge in an imaginary big mac cake. Trust me- it was delish!

Today I'm going to work hard during my 2 seminars and labs, eat some lunch with good friends, do a ton of homework, and then maybe take a solo meandering around Jackson Park with the Good Book. I'm getting to know Ezekiel. 
In absence of the following people: Mollie, Michelle, Rachel, Arielle, Erin and Leigh; I've posted this photo of "Tom" doing the exact birthday jump that I know they would all perform for me had they had been able to be with me in physical form on this 12th of May. 

Monday, May 11, 2009


I'm doing my tutorial prep for pharmacology tomorrow and I came across this little interesting fact...

" it is now acknowledged that when patients have strong spiritual or religous beliefs, these may greatly influence their perceptions of illness and even affect the outcome of pharmacotherapy." 

Makes sense right?

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." Ephesians 1:11-13

"If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick". 1 Peter 3:13-15

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You're gonna want to see this!

Go HERE. read it. watch it. be amazed. be inspired. do something like...

tell someone

post it on YOUR blog

tweet about it

facebook it

write it on a banner and hire a plane to drag it through the sky

shave it into your dogs fur

write it backwards on your forehead

just don't do nothing. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Day of 2 of summer school went well, minus the bike ride to school (only because i'm terribly out of shape). 

I've begun to really notice just how much UG is in my blood now. My new room has 3 giant blown up black and white photos of sophie, mia and christina over my fire place. Over my bed is a beautiful painting that my roommate Jenn did of a photo i took at STAO in Mafubira. Between my windows is my beautiful ebony wood Africa. Over my desk are more photos and my Isaiah 54:17 piece that hung over my bed for 7 months in Jinja and now hangs over my desk. On my bulletin board is a note from Katie given to me as i was hopping into a car to head for the airport and come back to Canada. There is a painting that my friend Steve did for me at Christmas of my dear Soph, and countless other UG related items.

Today in my disease condition and illness experience class, we had to come prepared with a variety of supports and resources available to someone suffering from a chronic illness. The majority of people chose Alzheimer's or Diabetes. I chose HIV/AIDS. 

In my pharmacology seminar we were discussing P-Glycoproteins and how they related to CYP3A4 and what they do in the body. (Am i losing anyone yet?) Besides being ridiculously interesting -for real- P-glycoproteins act as pumps in some tissues and when a drug is given and that drug enters to cell to modify the nucleus or DNA, P-gp's pump that drug out. Its called the MDR1 in the human genes. Pumping drugs out of the cell before they can do their work is bad....obviously. This is the case with many small cell lung cancers which make it so hard to treat. 

P-gp's are bad news for HIV/AIDS patients. THe p-gp pump is activated when drugs like Indinivir enter the cell and the drug is pumped right back out. The T helper cells can't access the drug and viral load increases.... Or something like that--- don't take my word for it. 

So my prof tells us about grapefruit juice and how it reacts badly with many heart meds but it has been shown to DECREASE P-gp's in patients with HIV therefore making their ARV's more effective. Neat. 

Anyway- its day 2 and i'm consumed with homework already. Yesturday i did homework and prep work from 2 to 7 then took an hour break to visit a friend then worked till 930 then went to bed at 10. AHHH. 8 weeks is going to FLY by. 

I start another rotation of clinical this saturday on a medical floor. I'm really really REALLY excited to start acute care and learn new skills! 

Break is over- time to hit the books again!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We were both drinking fiction with greedy tongues.

Lately I really love:
  • Fiction Family particularly the songs "when she's near", "elements combined" and "out of order".
  • Making my bed in the morning and fluffing my duvet after someone sits on my bed and makes a mark on the bed.
  • Being barefoot
  • Painting my finger nails clear. 
  • C. S Lewis and Henri Nouwen
  • Columbian coffee with 10% cream and one brown sugar packet
  • Only wearing mascara
  • Reading my pharmacology textbook
  • My Gustav Klimt print "Der Kuss" (its that photo above)
  • Love
  • Being in Peterborough
Lately I really don't love:
  • The presence of fruit flies
  • Straightening my hair
  • Top 40 music
  • Thinking about how I may not be able to go to UG for a long time
  • Washing the toothbrush cup in the bathroom
  • Feeling obligated
  • Cursive
  • Over thinking
  • Indifference

Friday, May 1, 2009

Holding out for the O

They did it! Marching around Harpo Studies like Jericho has succeeded.!!!

Check it out HERE 

Watch Oprah today. It's going to be WORTH IT.