Wednesday, April 30, 2014


What I like to call my "creative mess" has covered my desk and part of the floor as I am in the process of making homemade notecards this week. When there is colorful paper spewed out, brads, buttons, stamp pads covering every square inch of my desk and my beloved cordless hot glue gun in my hand- I am in my happy place. While I was searching my overflowing scrap box for the perfect piece to finish a card, I realized that I was thankful for this time. I was taken back for a moment of overwhelming gratefulness. I was happy to be here, sitting in my apartment, in Texas. Don't get me wrong, I have had other joyous moments being stateside, but it has been a journey for sure to find contentment on this side of the ocean. So as I found the paisley (the nurse in me calls it amoeba) paper for the project in front of me, I caught a glimpse of a birthday card from last September. It was a bright purple card with the big "30" cutely crafted on the front. I wondered if I could come up with 30 things I was thankful so far in my 30th year (I'm over halfway to 31!) and consequently for my post on April 30th. So here it goes...

1. Reading 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I know I've skimmed through it before, but I love how Ann encourages us to take time to be thankful and in return we are blessed (hence this list).

2. Wheat Thins and the new Zesty flavor my mom gave me last week.

3. Being able to speak at UT-Tyler's Nurses Christian Fellowship meeting about missionary nursing. I love encouraging the younger generation to pursue their education and career with a kingdom purpose.

4. Leading a Passover/Seder meal for my home group. Hearing how God spoke to them as we celebrated how Jesus took tradition and made it his sacrificial love for us on Easter.

5. Making notecards and magnets (for ship friends) and even burning my fingers on the glue gun.

6. Skyping with my sister, Robyn, in PNG. I love seeing her pixilated face on my parents TV.

7. Plugging into a great church, finding friends in the single's ministry, and Tuesday night home group.

8. Seeing my church friends on Saturday mornings as well for prayer walks at River Legacy Park.

9. For antibiotics when I get a double ear and sinus infections after being exposed to Texas allergies (during the prayer walks) for the first time in five years. For my health always, since this was my first time to be sick since leaving the petri-ship.

10.-14. My South Africa-Zambia- Bostwana- Zimbabwe adventures. Mercy Ship reunions, elephants, Victoria Falls, and holding some cute babies at an orphanage.

15. Even through the pain of losing friends this year, but knowing that Heaven is on the other side.

16. Seeing movies like Heaven is for Real and God's Not Dead making an impact in this world (not so much for Noah). The Trio hanging out and lazy-boy recliners at movie theaters.

17. For coffee when I have to be at work at 4:30. Still not a morning person. (Hence me still being up at 11pm to post this blog!)

18. When my Dad needs help at the house and I get to use the sledge hammer. I love daughter-duty.

19. Your prayers being answered! My blood pressure while driving (and honking habits) have greatly reduced since I asked for prayer a few blog entries ago. I'm driving to Dallas often for work these days.

20. Mornings when I can sit and enjoy my tea with refills using the same bag until the flavor runs out.

21. Living with my friend, Kacy and her engagement to a great guy who decorates our apartment with flowers all the time. Laughing at her offer to buy me an online dating subscription... one day Mr. Right will show up with flowers for me the old fashion way.

22. Meeting my new roommate, Rachel, at an international student ministry just a month ago. We have similar pet peeves and joys in lives. She's moving in with me so I don't have to move again!

23. Finding another Lebanese restaurant in Arlington while looking for lamb for the Passover meal.

24. My sister-in-law, Kara, finished her FNP training. I've always been following in her footsteps. We get to all celebrate together as a family in just a few weeks. So thankful for my family.

25. Still waiting to hear about my acceptance to graduate school, but this time I have an overwhelming sense of peace that God will work it all out- the right school at the right time.

26. For cranberry-orange-strawberry smoothies. I had one today for lunch.

27. Laughing until I cry and my side hurts with new friends I've made here. So thankful.

28. Quick learning on computer charting in the OR. I told them it was my first time and they asked, "Where have you been... Africa?" No joke. Playing the missionary card helps sometimes.

29. For time to journal, to write out my thoughts, what I'm reading in the Bible, my prayers... and looking back at them now and seeing how God is faithful.

30. Tomorrow, I have the joy to serve at a low-income surgery center with former ship friends in Ft. Worth- my first mission opportunity being home! Please pray for the OR team and patients.

If you endured to the end, thank you for reading! If I didn't include you (or an event) specifically, don't think I am not thankful for you. There would be a list 100 times greater, listing everything I am grateful for, but I'll save that for May.


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.