December 25, 2015

Above the Clouds

*(Written 12/21/2015)

As winter creeps up on us day by day (although so, so slowly), those sunny, blue skies slip away faster and faster, as do our daylight hours. I think Milwaukee is down to an average of 8ish “daylight” hours each day, but that does not imply sunny daylight. It’s basically saying, “the sun should rise at this time and set at this time, but you may not actually see it.”

As with most of my blog posts, I am currently 30,000 feet in the air taking a quick escape from Earth. Flying became somewhat regular to me when I began college and moved hundreds of miles from home. Then I moved to Wisconsin which is just a few more hundred; it can be a road trip away, but only with a commitment. Anyway, flying gives me the escape from reality I need that leads to some of my greatest reflection and insight (at least I think so). I severely struggle at shutting down my mind and reflecting on those average-Joe-just-want-to-sleep days. The distractions, commitments, priorities (out-of-line, might I add), and noise often take my attention away from the important things in life: joy, laughter, smiles, peace, community, conversation, etc. etc. etc. I like to be busy, I thrive being busy (a productive nurse is always doing something!). But it certainly does catch up to me, which is where flying comes in handy.

With these gray days that we’re beginning to experience, I always love escaping in a plane to the land above the clouds. The land where the sky is notoriously blue and the sun is shining regardless of the weather 30,000 feet below. The place where clouds look like the coziest lovesacs where I long to relax. A place where children marvel from inside the plane's windows at the Earth below and where people and their things are tiny little specs, if even that. I love reflecting at how small we really are even when, some days, we feel so big, so mighty, so powerful. Although there are definitely days where we feel small, worthless, shameful, and mini, maybe even a spec of dirt on the Earth. Flying above the clouds reminds me how close I am to the Earth’s light source, but furthermore, how close I always am to the True Light. To Jesus.

This season has been somewhat the unraveling of a new season of my life. Although I have no clue what that may be, I know it definitely involves some sort of change. I think for the first time in my entire life, I do not have a concrete plan (HA!) or a place I have to be. I like to see change as wonderful and healthy, a chance to grow. But sometimes change is so inconvenient, so expensive, such a commitment. Last week was a special milestone for my classmates and myself. As we wrapped up our nursing program at Marquette, we got to briefly marvel in one another’s new plans. Very bittersweet conversations nonetheless, as we have already begun branching off to our reach our next goals. Though we were able to celebrate the completion of nursing school together, it is important to keep in mind that the real celebration focuses on what awaits us in the coming year and those that follow. And the real triumph more than anything? We have the skills and knowledge to help us adapt to beginning a new era of our lives. After learning, living, and rejoicing alongside my classmates at Marquette, I am confident that we are all ready for those first few steps. We can watch each other’s dreams unfold. Talk of travel. More education. Whatever it may be, we get to embrace the success of one another and that is something special. At last! We are free.

As we stood there on the graduation stage peering over the edge to the new phase of our lives, we were able to reflect back on the integrity that got us to that moment—the moral uprightness and strong principles we had developed. That accomplishment is worth more than excelling in a sport, success in the workplace, or even the satisfaction we were feeling then, as we danced across this stage, because without integrity, no such accomplishments have significance. I delightfully look forward to seeing that integrity play out in our nursing practices, with all our patients, with their families, and with all of our colleagues. I am so thrilled to have shared this milestone with so many wonderful people!


My Peruvian buddies!!

My rockin' roomies! Couldn't have done it without them.

This Christmas season, I am thankful for our great God whom I so poorly serve. I am thankful that He continues to bless me regardless of my transgressions or how much attention I give Him. I am thankful for my dear friends—that means you!—for loving me always and for accepting me even when you don’t want to, or when you disagree with my actions. I am seriously so ridiculously blessed by all of my family-ships and friendships; so blessed that I often lose sight of that in the midst of chaos. I like to be busy—I thrive being busy, remember?—but I also run out of gas quickly. Above the clouds is such a wonder, a wondrous time for me to fill my lungs to completion and reflect on all the wonder that happens everyday. Thanks for joining me! I pray this holiday season finds you blessed and warm. I pray you fill up with laughter and joy as you spend the days with those you love and those who love you. I pray you are able to use your eyes to find the good in one another, in your patients (for nurses/healthcare professionals), and in Jesus. I pray you put your healing hands to work, that your healing power will touch those you care for and any patients who need you. I pray you follow your caring hearts, for when our hands and eyes become weary, our hearts will still be there to guide us peacefully. And finally, thank you, Lord for the support You’ve given us to get to this moment and for the encouragement to make it through our challenges. We thank You for all our success and future endeavors. Amen.

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