Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: July 25, 2013 : Blessings

God has been very busy in my life in the last few months.
I didn't really see just how busy He's been until last night when I took time to reflect so I have quite a bit to be thankful for but I am thankful for the blessings of my job.

To some a C.N.A. or Certified Nursing Assistant is nothing more than a glorified babysitter but to me it's one of the most honorable jobs that there is. My Nanny was a C.N.A. for as long as I can remember.I remember she always worked 3 P.M. to 11 P.M., though I will never know why she stayed on this shift. Every day she was scheduled to work, we would have lunch and then Nanny would get in the bath tub, her white uniforms were washed and so white that it would blind you. She polished her white nursing shoes, made sure her teeth and breath were just right and she would head into work. At times that I was visiting her, she would sometimes take me with her.

 When I wake up at 4 A.M. and start to get ready for my day, I make sure I get a shower, I brush my teeth and use mouth wash, fix my hair, put on make-up and my scrubs that don't have a single wrinkle in them, lace up my shoes and head down the highway to work. I am thankful that my Nanny instilled this in my mind many years ago.

Yesterday made day 6 in a row of work. It was hard for me to get out of bed, it was hard for me to wake up, it was hard for me to get dressed and to make it to the gas station for a Monster, which I shouldn't drink and I don't really like but that's how tired I was. I pulled into work, took a deep breath and headed inside hoping that the day would come with very little challenges and go by quickly. I was here to help these people and so I would do it at my own pace, quickly.

It's funny how you think you are helping someone else and really they are helping you so much more. Since I work in the medical field, I cannot tell you why people are in my facility nor can I tell your their names but I am going to tell you about a few of my residents who blessed me on a day that I just knew was going to be terrible. It started with Ms. A who was so happy that I was there it made my heart flutter. See, to some people, working there is just a paycheck or a job but I take it really serious because it's my calling from God. I'm glad that she anticipates the days that I am working.

Next came Ms. B, Ms. B greeted me with a big, toothy grin which in turn made me shoot her back a big toothy grin. Remember, when I woke up, I had already decided that I was going to have a bad day. Ms. C instilled more of her wisdom on raising kids and how to survive the teenage years, something I value since she survived having more children than me and managed to stay sane. Next came Mr. D who was having a terrible day himself. It was really a simple fix and before I left for the day he loaned me a Joyce Meyer CD to listen to in the car. This CD prompted me to apologize to Joseph for emotionally manipulating him or at least trying to.

Lastly came Ms. E. Ms. E's spouse comes to visit her every single day at the exact same time every single day. Most days he stays in her room reading to her, talking to her, taking her outside so her skin can absorb the Vitamin D and he never misses a single day. It made me really think about love and getting older. Joseph is almost 18 years older than I am which means that he is already in the beginning stages of aging. I personally have no issue with this at all but it raises some real questions about what I would do if and it also prompted me to think what if we were Mr. & Ms. E?

I have no doubt in my mind that Joseph would come every single day and take care of me just like Mr. E does for Ms. E. I also have no doubt in my mind that I would do the same for him. It just goes to show that we are not as mighty as we think we are. God will use people we least expect to bless us in big ways.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: July 18, 2013 ~ My Calling

Welcome to another addition of Thankful Thursdays!
This week I am thankful for my calling.

Deep down I always knew I wanted to be a nurse but somehow I pushed that feeling to the side to focus on more important things in my life like hanging out with my friends and boys. It wasn't until I was older and had my own children in high school that I decided Nursing was for me. 

I think back to when I was a kid. I had an aunt who was an R.N.
She would have all this tubing, tape, those cool scissors that were slanted and all kinds of cool things that we could play with. We would make her shed that they converted to a playhouse into a hospital and we would tape tubes to each other, to dolls, stuffed animals and we even watched what things like alcohol and peroxide would do to earth worms ~ terrible children I know.

Being on the volunteer fire department for 3 years really rekindled that flame for me. Last summer I got my C.N.A. or Certified Nurses Assistant licensed but I didn't actually start using it until Tuesday when I started my new job in Austin.

To many people a C.N.A. is one of the worst jobs that they can think of. Who in their right mind wants to give people baths, clean up poop, vomit, snot, empty urinals and change the diapers of adults, well I raise my hand high and I raise it proudly.

When women (yes, I am about to stereotype) decide to go into the nursing field, they tend to lean one of two directions: Pediatrics or Obstetrics. Honestly, after my rotation through these two departments, I hope I never have to strictly work in Peds or OB ever. Maybe I feel some kind of connection to my Nanny through being a C.N.A., maybe I've been around old folks my entire life or maybe I'm just an old soul myself, whatever it is, I'm not sure but I love working with old people.

Yesterday was a fine example of both ends of the spectrum.
There are patients whose family members come every single day to check on them, do their laundry, make sure they are comfortable and that they feel loved and then there are patients who cannot even tell you when the last time someone came and saw them. They are sweet or angry depending on their moods for the day, their medications, how they slept or any of the other millions of factors that come along with their day to day lives.

As I've gotten closer to finishing my pre-reqs and going into Nursing school, I find myself wanting to look into what kind of nurse I want to be. I don't want to work in Telemetry, I don't want to work in Oncology (though this specified field does interest me), I might work Med-Surg for the experience, I don't really want to work a general Emergency Room but I have something in mind.

I love old people so of course Gerentology appeals to me but I really want to go in two different directions.

I thought a lot about going into ER Trauma. 
Some of the things I've seen with the fire department helped me to know that in the moment I am able to handle some pretty bad stuff. It's after it's all over that you reflect on things and shed a few tears.

I also thought a lot about being a Hospice Nurse.
We have had hospice in our families lives on several occassions and we had wonderful experiences. There is something about being there for a person in their final days, making them comfortable and helping their family through a difficult time that is comforting. 

Jesus helped everyone, brought the dead back to life, healed the sick and while I never want to compare myself to Jesus, I am thankful this Thursday that God put a calling on my life and has allowed doors open for me.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: Checked

I know I've said I'm thankful for Joseph before but I am again this morning too!

Since I haven't updated y'all in awhile.
We are taking the house in Lexington aka The Middle Of No Where, I am staying with my cousins right now and Joseph is on assignment in California.

Lately I've had kind of a bad attitude about not being in my own house yet. Please don't get me wrong, I am so glad my cousins offered to let me stay with them but since the divorce I've lived with someone else and not in my own house so I'm kind of anxious.

This morning I was having one of my pity parties (Did I mention that the house is ours in a matter of weeks?) and Joseph checked me bigger than ever.

He told me that I should stop! That I should be GRATEFUL, not Thankful that my cousins allowed me to stay in their home until my own is ready. Yes, the drive to interview and drive to work (when I get a job and until I move) is a pain but I should be GRATEFUL that I was even getting calls back to schedule an interview because there are others who would kill just to get a face to face interview.

He was right and it made me think about my own Nanny.
My Nanny had very little but everyone was welcome at her house and if she had it, so did you. It also made me reflect on some thing Biblically:

Mark 12:41-44

New International Version (NIV)

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

What she gave was so much more because she gave ALL she had!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Because I could be out of God's will for me but yet, HE is making a way, HIS way!

James 4:6 

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Have you checked your humbleness lately? I know I had to this morning.

So I guess I'm thankful today for a man who knows his word, who is a man after God's own heart, who understands things on a spiritual level that I might not know or need to be reminded of. I am thankful for my cousins, for my Nanny, for Jesus and for the doors that are being opened. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Have You Ever Really Thought About:

Today I sat down and composed an email to my cousin Chris' fiance, Brittany. They live about 40 minutes from where I am trying to take my life and so I asked the one question I didn't want to ask: 
"Do you mind opening up your home to me for a few weeks so I can job search and secure an apartment?"

No, I don't like having to ask anyone for anything, especially my own family but I started thinking about family this week and I also started thinking about how I got to where I am in life. I don't mean where I physically am but how my being alive even came to pass. Deep stuff.

Many of you know that my family and I typically don't have a great relationship. Most of the time I don't speak to most of them, especially my parents (who have been divorced since I was almost 6) or their spouses. I don't speak to my sister at all and my brother and I live really different lives though we love each other.  Two days ago I sent my mother a really long email telling her about how I was feeling about things and being brutally honest about things that I find hard to forget and even to forgive and I was honest about my relationship with Joseph, something that she isn't going to be thrilled about based on some of her views. I have yet to reach out to my dad since the divorce and since I changed my phone number but that's coming too.

There has been quite a bit going on in my life right now and the main thing is Joseph and I figuring out where we are going to live. His brother has a home that they will be vacating soon and they've offered to let us rent it BUT it's kind of pricey for us and it's not really close to anything so I'm not sure that is what we are going to do, regardless, I'm not able to move in until they move out which also means I can't really look for a job in Austin either. Apartments go quickly and with Fall semester of UT starting next month, they are really few and far between. Joseph has said a million times
"If you only had somewhere you could stay for a little bit so you could find a job down here, that would be so great." And he's right.

So I started talking and pleading with God to give me some kind of sign, some kind of answer, some guidance as to what I needed to do and once again God proved he had a sense of humor when showing me the steps I needed to take. This has been happening a lot lately, thus the reason I contacted my cousin and his fiance, still waiting on a reply (just sent it like 20 minutes ago) but it made me start thinking about my life in general.

I only know the family history of my dad's dad's side of the family. My first relative to come to the United States was 1/2 Scottish and 1/2 Irish. He came here with nothing. That really got me to thinking. First he's half of two places that were once in civil unrest, see, love does break down every barrier. Second, he took a chance. He took a chance and got on a boat and sailed across oceans full of sharks and other fish that wouldn't mind taking a bite out of him had anything crazy happened on his voyage over here. He didn't care that he would come here with nothing because to him, this was the land of opportunity.

A funny thing happened when he moved here. He didn't find one of the women or daughters who had come from other countries to the United States, instead, he went and found himself a Native American woman, Texanna Crow and they had several children including my great grandfather, James "Jim" Long Lively. Pa, as his grandchildren called him, also didn't have much and his children were raised by their stepmother but he worked his butt off and he provided for his family. In my dad's eyes, Pa could never do any wrong. Next in line came my Papaw, R.Q. Lively. He raised a daughter that wasn't his biological child in a time when things like that just didn't happen, he took a chance and he married my Nanny who was MUCH younger than himself but even before that he took chances. He lied about his age to enlist in the Army and serve his country, a huge risk in itself. He went and fought a war in a foreign country only to be haunted by the nightmares of things he saw while he was there. He barely had a 4th grade education but he was one of the smartest men I know. Then came my dad. Now I don't exactly have a great relationship with my dad but I have more respect for my dad than I do most people in this world.

When my dad was just started to walk, he contracted Polio and he never walked again. My dad never let Polio beat him. He wears braces on his legs and uses crutches to get around and while the toll of having to use his upper body is starting to shows its effects, he still isn't letting that stop him. My dad is a farmer and can do anything you dad can do except one thing. My dad was never able to carry his own children in his arms but we had something I think is much better. My dad would have us get on his back and he would crawl with us down the hall of our house and tuck us into bed, something no one can ever take away from me. My dad is prideful and doesn't take kind to help but my dad is amazing. 

My dad never thought he would get married and then he met my mom. My dad never thought he would have children and be a father and then I was born and then my brother. Sure, his marriage didn't last but he took a chance and out of that chance he got 2 children and 6 grandchildren. I said all that to say that had it not been for the first man, none of us would exist.  Had it not been for them taking chances and going after their hopes and dreams, none of our entire family would be who or where we are in life. So, I took a chance sending my cousin and his fiance a message about staying with them for a chance to move closer to my dream. I'm taking a huge chance but isn't that what life's all about?

Thankful Thursdays: Happy 4th of July

This addition of Thankful Thursdays is brought to you by the men and women who risk their lives and who have given their lives to keep our country safe from harm and grant us freedom!
Thank you!

 Have to thank the grown man in this picture who is half Irish and half Scottish, who took a chance and came to America with NOTHING, found himself a beautiful Native American wife and gave birth to these amazing children. Without him I would not be an AMERICAN.
I also have to thank this man, my Papaw. R.Q. Lively who served his country, fought in WWII, sent all his money back to his family only to come home and experience the worst of times only to pull up his boot straps and make a life for my Nanny, my Daddy and my aunts and uncle. He lied about his age to enlist (common back in the day) because serving the country he loved meant the world to him.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Back In Dallas ~ Boo!

I am in love!
That may sound like a crazy expression to just throw out there but it's the truth!
I am in love with a man who is simply complicating!
Yes, I said it and I mean it but I love him.
Truth is I've always loved him, since the very first day that we spoke a single word to one another.
Together we have managed to put one another through hell and back and yet we are here today, still loving one another. 
He finally got a day off and is finally out of Oklahoma
but I am in Dallas and he is close to Austin...for now.

Tulsa the 2nd time was a little different than Tulsa the first time. 
To some it may seem boring to stay up all night while your love is at work only to sleep next to him all day long but if you get it, you get it. Just to touch him, feel his warmth next to me, to watch him breathing, to hear his voice, to spend 5 minutes with him, it was worth it. We did manage to hit the casino where we both did well one day and only Joseph did well the 2nd day. We also made it to the park. Here are some photos from Tulsa X 2.

 And I want to know why my own local Walmart here in Texas doesn't have stuff like this?

 Yep, sitting in the car taking pictures of myself and the car...why you ask?

Because my love runs on CPT and ALWAYS makes us late for everything!

 From here to the end are photos taken via Joseph. He had fun learning how to use the camera.