Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Only in Dakota

Spent so much time on this one thing, and felt so proud of it. Smiled every time I looked at it knowing she'd like it so much. Continually touching up little things, then wrapped it so carefully in Trader Joe's brown paper. Packed clothes around it in my suitcase.

Puked on the plane. Got to see my mom and my bestie from HS. Took her shopping for her wedding night. Whispered and laughed like women with secrets.

We had a nice time at the wedding. Stayed in my parent's hotel, enjoyed breakfast with them. Then, road trip together across the state. Then together with 8 little blondies, some with brown eyes, some with blue and some with hazel. Ate pizza, played games, wrapped up everybody's gifts, and wasn't there. Panic. Look everywhere, even the hopeless places. Finally hunch defeated. A phone call. No paintings at the hotel. Felt four years old and someone just popped my balloon. Felt like my ice cream just fell off the cone. Felt like someone just ate my new chapstick.

Prayed, "God, you know where my painting is. Will you please let my mom get it?"

Made another phone call, really more of a pathetic plea through tear hiccups. Transferred out of pity to the head housekeeper. Trader Joe's wrapping crinkling in the background. "Is it a painting of two little kids on the beach?"

Are you kidding me? No, actually, there was another painting wrapped in a Trader Joe's paper bag from room 320.

Breath of relief and thank you, and "What's your mom's address?" And blowing my nose. And only in Dakota.

Friday, January 07, 2011

just one psycho

Tomorrow, I am going to change the sheets and make pancakes, and I don't feel bad about it one bit. In fact, I feel really good about it. The last two days, I have barely been able to finish a thought without my phone ringing - someone demanding my attention about some "urgent" matter. "Excuse me," I'm thinking, "12 can't breathe. I'm not worried that 5 wants a shower, thank you." Or, "The doctor is on the phone for you." Really, if they could see what position I am in right now, they would not be calling me. And then physical therapy wants to tell me that they took 4 for a walk and they went this far, and the patient was still breathing. And then lab wants to know why I sent pee and didn't put it in the computer yet. And then blood bank tells me they're sending my blood, and then the ER wants to know if I got a chance to look at the report for the patient that's coming right now. And 2's family wants to know when the CT scan is and when his poor, poor (really obese) father can eat. Some people can really eat, I am telling you. Like, some people can eat 5 portions for one meal. And they still want more. I am telling you, as if you don't already know, there is no holding back for some people. They cannot move, but still, they eat. Denial at its finest.

Sometimes I just want to smack the doctor and tell him to cut me a break. "I'm wondering why the hell eight has strep in her pee! Just please quit acting like that's a stupid question!" Oh, I really wanted to clock him today. Really, it hurt my pride. Let's be honest. I have no idea why she had strep in her pee. Was it really that hard to tell me that strep pneumonia is excreted in the urine? Still foggy. Not to mention that my patient is wondering the same thing. Oh, it makes me angry. I asked him a question, and I'm not kidding you - he didn't even answer me! He must've grown up in Baltimore where that kind of behavior is appropriate. Or else he's just a doctor and thinks he can treat people like they are all idiots because they don't understand the mechanism of respiratory pneumonia being excreted in the urine without causing a urinary tract infection. Really? Don't even know where to start.

2's dying, and the son is putting on his strong face.  5 can't move because cancer broke his bones, but he keeps smiling. 15's daughter yelled at her, and her blood pressure passed 200 systolically, and that was the old fifteen. The new fifteen has Bell's palsy and mets to the liver and bone. 3's not mine, but she's fun to walk by. Short term memory loss secondary to brain cancer. Really funny lady. Her hair is always crazy. I can't remember everyone today. So many people came and went. The hospital was in status E today which means the emergency room is full, and we have to shoo people out to make room for new people. I started with six, went down to three, and came back up to five. It's a mess. My head is a mess, and that's why I took a bath. That's why I'm happy about putting sheets on the bed and making pancakes. And it's why I'm writing now. My head's too messy. I'm going to dream about giving enemas and suppositories tonight, probably to that stupid doc. And I'm going to write for it in his own chart. Hehe...

1. Dulcolax suppository BID PRN for constipation or stupidity. No lubricant, please. Pt is allergic.
2. Fleet's enema whenever pt ignores you. 
3. Encourage proper etiquette for normal human beings. Do not call with results.
4. May discharge to home when pt is nice.

and I didn't mention this, but I don't have any other plans for tomorrow. Just sheets and pancakes. Probably a good idea, eh?
It's that feeling I always have - like something's missing. It was described to me the other days in terms of Chinese medicine. Apparently, these certain people, when their qi is out of balance, they have this overwhelming sensation like something is missing..that, and grief. And when she was describing this phenomena that is so common to Chinese thinking, I felt like I was normal in the world. Only, one thing was different. The feeling was described like something was missing, but there was no ability to determine what it was.

I've always known what was missing. And it's why I've always grieved underneath it all.

From Romans 8: ...We ourselves, who have and enjoy the first-fruits of the Holy Spirit, a foretaste of the blissful things to come, grown inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal our adoption, our manifestation as God's sons. For in this hope, we were saved.

I've always known I was missing Him. My soul groans when I look around. I miss Him. I just miss my Friend.

There's something I've always wanted, and it's just to be lovely forever. Just to be a delight to those around me, nothing awfully self-centered, just a joy-bringer through beauty. And I've wanted it in a place where beauty is safe. Do you think it will be like that when He comes? I don't think it will matter as much what I will be like, but do you think I will be like that? I really just hope so.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


The wellspring of life keeps rolling. We're helping to start a new church. Redemption Hill Church. Right smack dab in downtown DC. There's twenty of us now, meeting in Pastor Bill's living room.

The discussions are refreshing. The relationships are underneath the surface, people willing to share themselves a little bit. And one theme keeps surfacing: that God uses imperfect people to accomplish his perfect plan. Yesterday, we talked about being missional - what it is and why we aren't. The definition: being missional means being outward about faith, not so inward. It means that we are not just asking the question, "What does this mean for me?" and "How do I apply this to my life?" but that we recognize that God's word causes a much broader stirring, that as He impacts my life, the world is impacted. Most people voiced the same thing: we aren't outward about Christ, because we don't feel like we have it together enough to pretend that we know something in front of other people.

That's just the thing, isn't it, though? People don't want to hear you say, "I've got it together," because no one can relate with that.

Anyway, somebody, I think, really hit the nail on the head. It's not something you try to do. It's something that happens as you press in to Christ. It's not a goal we achieve. It's not a Jesus T. It's natural. As God indwells us, we wear Him without intention. And I can't get enough of that phrase this week: "press in to Christ."
And I'm talking about His word, and I'm talking about His strength, and I'm talking about His abiding hand on your back. It's the daily grind that sometimes leaves you completely clouded, and it's the wellspring that washes the clouds of life away. How is it both? How is it both a discipline and a motivation? But it is.

There's a nurse at work. I thought of him when we were talking last night. (You know, it was actually two nights ago, but I know no one cares.) I always like it when he's in my patient's room, because I learn about how to coax them to get up, to eat, etc. He pushes the weakest patients forward because of his relationship with them. Isn't that just Jesus? I heard one patient say to him, "You're the reason we still have hope." Anyway, I have to ask Him about his faith. I think it's safe for me.

That's it for me, I think. I'm scared to be missional, because I don't know if it's considered appropriate at my job. It's not safe. Thomas says I just need to speak more, which is kinda funny, because we joke about how his wife never shuts up. I keep noticing different people saying little somethings about their faith, and I think I'm mostly just sitting back and watching everyone, still feeling out my environment.

I found last night to be something that helped me get up the next day, that helped me lift up my head and be glad that I am alive. Normal people who don't have pasted smiles were sitting around talking about things that matter. All admitting we're not there yet, and pressing in to Him together. Do you see it very often? It's the beginning of Redemption Hill Church. And I wish my parents could come next week.

"I'm naive enough to think that God can transform our capitol." -Pastor Bill