great is his faithfulness

I am drinking tea this evening. And it is so nice to get my hot water from a tea kettle like this:

The small pleasures of life are not lost on me.

A couple things God did recently.

[This paragraph is for a little background info.] At the beginning of my pediatric clinical rotation, I thought to myself, “OH. EM. GEE. This place is TOO FAR from where I live.” But two things happened in the first four weeks: 1) I figured out I can leave at 10 to 7am and get there perfectly on time (not bad). 2) I had the most wonderful experience there, and I just started loving the place.

Last week something crazy happened. I went up to the lunch room at my clinical site to eat my lunch and do some work during a short break. And who did I run into, but one of my co-workers from Northwestern (which is SUPER FAR from this site). CRAZY TOWN. I was all, “What are you doing here???” and she was all, “Same thing you’re doing here!” She’s in FNP school at UIC (a bit ahead of me), and she was at my site doing her adult/family rotation there. Her preceptor was sitting right next to her, so she introduced us quick, and then after a very brief chat with my old co-worker, I was on my way.

Unrelated: the day after that, I thought to myself, “I just love this clinical site so much. I wonder what Family Practice is like here. I wonder if I could do my adult clinical rotation here. I would love that.” I even said that out loud to Jeremy.

Ok so THE VERY NEXT DAY (two days after I bumped into my friend from work), I got an email from my clinical coordinator (aka woman who is in charge of setting up all the rotations), Ingrid (who I hadn’t talked to about any of this). This email was actually to the woman who connected me with my peds preceptor; I was just getting CC’ed. The email basically said, “Hey, any chance Erin might be able to do her Adult rotation in the FP department? Can she do it with [woman’s name I didn’t recognize], FNP?” So my first thought was, “How on Earth did Ingrid read my mind like that?” And then my second thought was, “I wonder if I would recognize this NP,” so I googled her, because I know all the providers are listed on the site’s website with photogs. And OH MY GOODNESS THE WOMAN IS THE WOMAN I MET WITH MY CO-WORKER FRIEND. Wait whaaaaaaaat? My next thought was, “I should try and find her while I’m at clinical and ask her if she’ll precept me,” which honestly made me sort of nervous. But then the following day I got an email saying, “This FNP would love to precept Erin!” Mmk. Has anyone ever gotten a clinical rotation so seamlessly? That is just unreal. Unreal enough to suspect God’s faithfulness, and not just a random string of insane coincidences.

Different story: fast forward to today. I was thinking about two things as I drove to clinical this morning. Not stressed, just thinking.

One: I was thinking about a case presentation I need to finish by next week, to present in class on Tuesday. I am supposed to be presenting on a patient who is a toddler, but I’ve only seen 2 toddlers in my 5 weeks of clinical, neither of which I wrote down/remember enough about to really present on. So I was just thinking, “hmm. I really hope I see a toddler today. And it would be nice to see one who might make a decent case presentation.” [I prayed that I would at least see a kid between the ages of 1 and 3.]

Two: I was thinking about my upcoming clinical rotation, which will start in 4 weeks. I was thinking to myself, “I should connect with my soon-to-be new preceptor while I’m at my site one of these days. I hope I can figure out a good way to do that. I love this clinical site. I sort of wish I was going to be able to chart on my patients for my first adult rotation [No charting in peds at this site]. Oh well. Totally not a huge deal.”

Then two things happened at clinical today.

One: I saw three toddler patients, two of which were totally appropriate for a case presentation, one of which was especially interesting, baffling, and (in my opinion) perfect for a case presentation.

Two: The FNP who is going to be precepting me came over to peds to say hello to me, and to informally coordinate a schedule. She also told me she was really looking forward to having me as a student. Also that I would be charting on every patient I see. And that by the end of my rotation with her, I would feel really comfortable being autonomous, seeing my own patients, and doing everything with her simply popping in behind me to check all my work.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

So. To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine… to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! AMEN.

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Be still, my soul

The older I get, the more I wonder how anyone gets on in life without God. Even the smallest of my troubles have the ability to overwhelm me. I fail to hold together my own neatly laid plans. When I am on top of life, at the top of my game, convinced I am in control of my life, I am reminded that I am so not. I am reminded that we are so not in control of our lives.

God is the most loving of beings, whose love is simply greater and more comprehensive than we have the ability to grasp. He created and upholds the Universe, exists for eternity, knows all things, and yet he reaches down to our little lives. I am struck today by his faithfulness and provision. Not because everything is going according to plan (in fact, it is going quite not according to plan), but because today I can see the smallest glimpse of evidence that he is indeed at work in my life.

Isn’t it so true that we are constantly forgetting who God is? More and more I am aware of my need to be reminded of him every day. Every hour, even. I am a Christian, and I have been for almost 20 years. But the world can be a tumultuous place, and my human soul is in deep need of a Savior at all times. Today as I rode on the train, on my way to a meeting with my advisor [to discuss how to not fail my peds course], and thinking of a dear man of God whose life was taken last night, one of my favorite old hymns reminded my soul of the following:

The Lord is on your side. In every change, God will remain faithful. Your best, your heavenly friend leads you through thorny ways to a joyful end. Your God will undertake to guide your future as he has the past. The waves and winds still know his voice who ruled them while he lived on Earth. He comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears. The hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. 

Praise to the Lord, the only one able to still our souls amidst the stormy waves of life. And who promises to us the restoration of love’s purest joys.

two seconds to mention two things I love

[Found this picture at rollingstone.com]

I don’t care what the critics say. And critics there are, now that these men have become uber-famous, their music heard and “loved” by the vast majority of mainstream music-listeners. I hear the criticism, and am sympathetic to much of it. But my love for the music of Mumford and Sons remains steadfast, two years after I heard it from the grassy knolls of Grant Park. Babel finally arrived in the mail yesterday, and it sparked an afternoon of interesting conversation between my husband and I about music. More on that, and my response to the critics, at a later date. For now, I’m just declaring my love.

And speaking of love, last night I saw what instantly became my absolute favorite movie to date.

OH. EM. GEE. I loved the first Batman. But I FREAKING LOVED the Dark Knight Rises. THE STORY. THE CAST. THE CHARACTERS. THE SCENES. THE TWISTS AND TURNS!!!!! I can’t even handle it. Christopher Nolan is a freaking genious. This movie was SO AMAZING. I want to see it again. HOLY COW. Those were two and a half of some of the best hours of my life.

back at it, for better or for worse

Three short days ago, we were here:

mexico

Peurto Vallarta, Mexico. One of the loveliest places on the planet, I’m sure. We relaxed with good friends, listened to the ocean as we read on the beach, went horseback riding along a river and swimming in a waterfall, and adventured through the hills of the Puerto Vallartan jungle with a jeep and a butterfly net. It was glorious.

Mexico made me forget my worries, put away my anxieties, breathe easier. All my responsibilities and stressful obligations were miles away, and tropical paradise gave me a full-armed, five-day-long hug.

Thursday, the morning we woke up to leave Mexico, I was sick to my stomach. Flying to Dallas the sore throat developed. And by the time we landed in Chicago, I had body aches as well as a terrible headache to accompany my other lovely symptoms. Friday morning I woke up at 5:45am to leave for an 8-hour day of clinical with a stuffy nose to add to the mix.

I survived that day at clinical (thanks in part to my awesome clinical site, which–although disgustingly far away–is a really wonderful place to be in clinic), slept nearly all day Saturday and Sunday, and unfortunately my body is still protesting my return to real life through physical ailment. This is my last day I have to myself to do work before an exam tomorrow and two days of clinical this week, so there’s no more time for recuperation through rest.

It’s been a rough semester. A rough start to year #2. My body, mind, and soul are crying out for a month long vacation. Mexico was a welcome time of rest, but life in Chicago is still as crazy as it was before I left. I keep thinking things will settle down, but I’m not sure where I’ve gotten the idea that they will.

The thing is, I need some perspective. Because if I fail at everything, the world will keep turning. The salvation of the world does not depend on whether I succeed at everything I’ve committed to. And isn’t it true that the Creator of the Universe has got my back? At the end of the day, God is King, and I can’t do anything apart from Him anyways. There are SO many people in the world who are burdened by far worse than anything I can even imagine. And there are SO many people who are doing work where the stakes are SO much higher than they are for me right now. I’m a student, for heaven’s sake. What in the world could possibly go so wrong?

I came across this today:

“Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties upon him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11, ESV)

Wow. That’s a whole lot more than the simple, “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” that we tend to quote. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devourThe God of all grace will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Lord, protect me from my adversary. Make me not an easy target. May I hope in the truth that God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me.

Jesus is Lord, the Spirit is my comforter, and God the Father is sovereign over all the earth. Let us remember this! The Lord has brought me to this place, he has called me to this work (and not any other work I sit and daydream about), and I want to be a faithful steward of my calling. Lord, forgive me for my lack of faith, strengthen me to do your will, make me strong and courageous.

Oh, how we need to be daily ministered to by the work of the Spirit. Let us encourage one another in faith. Xoxo.