Monday, August 31, 2009

Power Washing

Ladies and gentlemen, family, friends, and neighbors, I am honored to have recieved an award. This is from my most favorite sister-in-law, "A", who also blogs at . She is an accomplished blogger. If you haven't read her blogs yet, follow the link and check her out.

I would like to pass this award on to one of my best friends ever, Sharon, who blogs at . She is a wonderful sister, friend, and blogger. You won't regret going to read at either of these blogspots. Thank you Amy and thank you Sharon for the one you gave me a long time ago. I didn't know how to do it then, and although you told me how, I didn't understand. Anyways, Here's to you guys:)

I want to be back at this place, lying stomache down on the rocks with the water running on my face. I want to feel the cleansing power of it washing away my worries and anxieties while cleaning the somewhat fogginess from my mind's eye. I want to be clear again in seeing my blessings instead of all caught up in asking, "Why?" I really don't want to stay there, although right now I feel I do. I just want to get away, God, to where it's only me and You.
I think I will.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tea & Crumpets

My job title is Caregiver, my job is being a companion. Servicing seniors in their homes is what I do for a living. Today, my primary client, Mr. John Doe (Oh, so you've heard of him, too??lol) gave a very special gift to me.

To help you understand a side part of this, Mr. Doe is from a country where tea is one of the highlights of the day, and the prefered drink with lunch and dinner. Not iced tea, but hot tea with sugar and cream. At first, I thought it looked kind of gross. But, after several days of watching him enjoy his tea so much, I decided to go home and try it myself. Hmmmm, that was pretty good.

Today, Mr. Doe was spending some down-time out on his patio, just watching the cars go by and scanning the sky for rain. I decided to make him some tea and serve it, along with some of his favorite cookies, to him. So, I did.

Mr. Doe is about as old as Mathuselum (sp?) and has the most beautiful european accent. After he sampled his tea and declared it good, he looked held up the cup, looked at me, and asked, "Are we going to share this cup?" I smiled because I knew it was his way of wandering aloud whether I was going to have tea with him. I smiled and told him no and that I would be right back with my cup.

As I sat with Mr. Doe and sipped on my tea and had cookies with him, a thought entered my mind. "I wander if this cookie, dipped in my hot tea, would taste good." I dipped the cookie into the tea and then took a bite. What??? That was Really good.

The longer I sat there in silence with Mr. Doe, the more I began to evaluate what was happening. I had just been given a beautiful gift. It was a gift I had wanted for a long time ago and now it was happening. The gift was to sit with a wise and dear old friend and enjoy each other's company in silence. There were no words for about 10 minutes and it was amazing how peaceful those minutes were.

When I remembered my wish from before, I thought about how I'd imagined that (not one in particular) dear "old" friend would be one from years ago, not in the literal meaning of old. God knows how much I love elderly people and I think this was God's way of not only granting my desire of the past, but also, I think it was His way of bringing a special comfort to my heart and soul, to put a soft touch on the ending of what felt like such a harsh week.

Today, I had tea and cookies with an old friend. I am blessed.

Until next time,
Love and peace,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today was my first day in my Anatomy and Physiology101 class and then later my Phychology (Lifespan Development) class. It was exciting to drive to the campus where I once met my sister-n-law to sit as "security" with her as she waited on her classmates, when she was in school for nursing. I remembered the fun I had studying with her at Denny's once when she was prearing for a big test. I was excited that it was finally here, for me, too. When I got to class, I was one out of no less than at least 80-100 people. It was interesting and it was exciting to me that my mind was "waking-up" and recalling many of the things the instructor was talking about and showing us. I remembered things I forgot I learned way back in 2000-2001, in A&P during school for massage. This class definately seems like my choice of classes to naturally feel excited about attending:)

Later I would drive to the main campus and get to attend my first Lifespan Development class. That was another great experience. My instructor seems like a wonderful person, overall, with nothing less than an inspiring story of her rise from a poverty stricken upbringing in a foreign country where people would not "normally" reach their dreams of "success"to working, with sheer determination all the way, to earn and maintain straight A grades all the way through her regular school years, which would later gain her a scholarship to college where she became a teacher, then earn another scholarship and invitation to come to the U.S.A. and study at a great college, where she would earn yet another scholarship and go from her Master's to now, her Doctorate. I was honored to be able to attend her second-ever college taught class in America, today. She is a true gem.

I learned sooo much in this one day, one of a whirlwind of emotions that didn't last for a long time, but definately hit when they hit. Yesterday, while preparing my things for today's classes, I went onto my college web-site, personal student services (records, etc.) and was looking for something when I saw that my math class was no longer on my current schedule. (My last math class:) While I was sure it was a glitch, I still couln't seem to help but wander what happened to my schedule that I printed only a a few days ago that showed my all of my classes that I'd signed on for, including Math118.?. As I looked my records through, fear began to rise. (I'm not a math fan.) So, I printed off what I was seeing, including the e-mail that I had from back in the end of last semester, from the chair of the RN Nursing Program, stating that my next Math step was to be Math118. I also printed off the page where my grades were suppose to be posted all along, last semester, but never were, blah, blah, and blah, got it all organized, went to bed and cried on God's shoulder and begged Him to help me handle myself, inside and out, with grace regardless of what reasoning was for this when I went to sort it out, today.

After my last class, I went and sat with an Advisor to learn that I had been allowed to sign up for Math118 AND Anatomy & Physiology by mistake (somehow I was accepted and even on the roster I signed in my A&P class this morning.) I didn't understand totally, but I did feel my "heart rising to my throat" and my hearing changing into that monotone machine roaring sound (I know-sounds contradictory, but true) that cranks up when I experience extreme anxiety. She explained to me although she didn't know how this all had gotten messed up I will need to repeat Math050. What????noooo:(..... I fought the tears and all I could say to this helpful and kind lady was, "Well, thank you Jesus." What?? I heard those words come from my mouth and thought Rachel, what do you do now? So, she went on to explain to me that because I had not passed Math050, I would also be dropped by the system from my Anatomy & Physiology class and asked if I would like to go ahead and drop it on my own or just wait until "it" dropped me. Why did feel like someone had just asked if I wanted to "pull the plug or let 'em go on their own?" I decided to drop it myself right then so that I could go on and be done and over with it, and then she helped me to find a spot in a Math050 class.

Long story, right? It's not over. It only got better from there. Sarcastic? No, I mean it. As I sat with her and went through this process, I felt anger. Why hadn't my failing grade been posted, delivered via my school e-mail, or at least why wasn't there some type of key to know what the heck an SD was???? Why? WHy?? WHY!!?? Without allowing my anger to exscape my mouth, I asked her to help me understand where to find and how to identify a failing grade (for sake of future reference or to perhaps be of help to someone else in the future.) She was very patient and helpful. That's when it dawned on me the word "grace". I stopped and took a moment to breathe away my math fears and feelings of serious "set-back" and remembered what I prayed to God, last night. It dawned on me that this did not have to be about failing general math three straight years in a row, in high school, and that I wasn't way back there, now. It occurred to me that this is a grand opportunity with tons of blessings planted along the all through it.

This evening, I am blessed that I have a second chance to attend a Math050 class and really "get it", this time around. I am blessed that I went with my gut feelings at the end of last semester when I decided to keep both my Math050 books to use for reference during my Math118 class. In other words, I have the books already unless they've changes them at the last minute. I am blessed because I went with my gut and haven't taken any of the plastic off of my A&P books or my Math118 books. This means I can get full refund on them (right at $600 on A&P alone:) I am blessed today because I get this opportunity to show myself that math is not "my past" and that it's harmless:):):) I am blessed because my now current Math050 class is only one hour after my Spanish class and in the same building, But Wait......and this learning center is only 20 minutes away from home. I am blessed because I didn't get messed up with my finacial aid, since I went from 13 credit hours to 11. And I am blessed because at least I will be familiar with the math that I will study this time around:)

The way I see it, the responsiblity was mine- to pass that class. I didn't via my own mistakes. The way I see it, God has given me more opportunity with this than any college can ever offer. The way I see it, God came through for me today. The way I see it, I am one of the "luckiest", most blessed students in Indiana because I am aware that with my diligent work, positive outlook, and focussed/disciplined mind, and greatest of all= God's help I am about to really learn some math and a lot of life lessons through Math050. Thank you, God:) and, I joyfully shout, "Yes!!!"

I am blessed.
Until next time,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"I'll say "Yes,Lord."

"When your spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I'll agree and my answer will be "Yes Lord, yes."

These are some of the words to a song we sing at our church. When I am singing these words and when I'm going I about my daily routine, I mean these words with all of my heart and soul.

I believe that God speaks to us, regardless of whether it be in an audible voice that we may hear in our minds or through a silent voice, or even other ways. Sometimes I hear and, truthfully, sometimes I don't. I am sure that when I don't hear him, when he is speaking to me, it is because I am either busy talking or putting my attention elsewhere. As time passes, I learn more and more about paying attention in my spirit, so that I do my best to hear when and what God speaks to me.

There have been times when I knew God was nudging me to do or say something for someone else and I knew that if I didn't do it, whatever it was, that I would regret it later. The first time I felt moved in my spirit to do what I felt God urging me to do, I held back and said, "No." I was afraid of the unknown outcome. Because I said no, I regretted it so much later on. It took that heavy feeling of regret for me to decide that I wouldn't say no anymore. Since then, I have determined about doing what I feel or hear God moving me to do. Sure, there have been times when I felt fear arise before I did or said whatever it was that I felt God leading me to do/say, but I muster the courage to walk through the fear and do it anyway. Especially since I know that God is not the author of fear.

Not every time was I thanked or did I physically see a grand outcome from doing what I'd said yes to, but every time I have walked away with an un-explainable peace in my heart. I've never, until now, felt that anyone had ever totally rejected listening to what God had for them, that I was delivering or doing for Him.

I waited until I knew that I was clear on what God was speaking to my heart. I delivered the message , carefully and cautiously, due to surrounding circumstances of frustration. As I delivered what was in my heart, I was caught off gaurd that I had been cut off and not heard through, and, needless to say, felt the sting of rejection. But this was a different feeling of rejection. It wasn't like being told you aren't good enough, or even like being rejected from a group at school or church or a club. I remember being picked last, many times, to be on one of the teams for gym ball, in elementary school. That becomes a serious feeling of rejection after several times of it happening. If you can relate then you know what I mean. This sting was so much deeper than any I've ever felt. I don't know how better to explain it. I can happily say that I hadn't had my feelings on my shoulder or anywhere near my sleeve, but all of a sudden, I felt cut and the searing sting of a different kind of rejection. I did my best to explain a little better, but it appeared that I was at a dead end with the delivery. I knew what I was suppose to do and I did it, but it didn't feel like near enough. I stopped and very quietly said, "God, I don't understand. I did what you told me to do and I know that you are right. What just happened? I said "Yes, Lord". Why does this feel like this?" The sting only began to feel worse and so overwhelming. My joy was not stolen:):) I still have it, but such a heaviness and sadness moved in that all I could do was just be and ask God to help me. I felt sad for God. Yep, I said it. I felt sad for God because he'd been clear with me and, though I'd done what he prompted me to do, and being confident in what he'd placed in my heart, it never got a chance to proven to be effective, according to His will, not mine.

Did I take it personal? For a few moments I did until something crossed my mind, "maybe, since the sadness does not feel anything like or near a self-pity, this sadness I feel isn't for me." It was for God. It made me feel like crying and apologizing to God for what had happened, although no apology was due from me. I got away for a few minutes and cried and told God that I didn't understand. He knew my heart, better than me, had been humble upon delivery and that I was struggling w/how to handle it. I asked God to please make my heart whole and help me not to feel what I was feeling, and also to help me resist the anger that was beginning to knock on my heart's door.

Hours later, I am still astounded and wandering why God would "speak" to me and then allow it to "backfire." Then, I think to myself, "Maybe this is the start of a new level of spiritual growth. Perhaps it happened that way because God is turning up the temperature on this "piece of rice" and preparing it (me) for the big boil. (Re: previous post) I don't know.

What I do know is that when God speaks to me, I will still say yes. When he shows me a way to break down a "wall" and turn a situation around, I won't ever stand back, again, and wait to be joined. When God says move, I refuse to stand still. He is a loving and patient God, but time doesn't stop and wait on us to move.

At the end of the day, I am feeling more and more grateful (with each moment that passes) that I responded, "Yes" to God and that I didn't turn back to my old ways of lashing out upon the first sign of any type of rejection. What I learned is that God knows what is best. I have no doubt God saw what was ahead and that He remains in control. He's Great and greatly to be praised.

Thank you God for using me. "Yes, Lord, you can use me."

Until next time,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How To Simmer For A Time Without Spoiling???

(This image & article is of
To fathom living on $1.25 per day blows my mind. Take away my home's food supply and start the day with only $1.25 and what do I do? Maybe I can buy a small bag of rice and a small off-brand can of beans and then pray that my bill doesn't exceed the amount in my pocket. If it does exceed, then I might put the beans back and get as much rice as I can and next time do the same with the beans. (I don't know.) Then, I will need to prepare the rice and beans and ration them throughout the day. This is what I would do for myself. Now, in the scenario where it's not just me, but also my partner and our children. We have to make this meal last as long as we can, do our best to keep it from spoiling (we are too poor to afford luxuries of air condition or even a small fan, let a lone a good refridgerator.), and we have to consider other needs that we have, aside from food. The children need to see the doctor when they are too sick to be treated at home, which is usually a spontaneous occurance, and we feel that we need some type of toilet paper and we need soap to clean our clothes. $1.25 per day. Ummm??? O.k. I can deal with hearing my stomache talk for a day, and maybe even push through two. Maybe I could trick my mind by only eating a small spoon full of rice and beans, one for each day. Maybe if I don't eat, the food will last longer and we can use the extra money for the paper and soap. As far as the doctor, we don't have the $, ever, because we have to eat. So, we have to use what natural resources we can find, that are free, to help us cope and pull through times of infirmity. We need to have a lot of faith. But, what if we don't know about God?
Wow!!! I've literally survived on crackers w/ketchup for a whole month, once before. I didn't make enough money to cover buying groceries and paying all of my due bill payments for that month. I had a new doctor bill and it really through my grocery budget "out the window". I was much younger and decided that I wasn't going to tell anybody because I wanted so badly for the people who knew me to see me as being able to take care of myself and succeed on my own, and it was my very first apartment/place on my own, alone. Yes, I got hungry many times, but I pretended that I was eating "normal" food and imagined it many times as I crunched into the salty crackers and induldged in the tomatoey taste of the ketchup. It helped me to get through it.
What I wander is, how I could live like that while "knowing" that this was a life sentence, the poverty. No bigger paycheck by next month to help me bounce back and afford "real food." And with children?
My deepest heart's desire has been, and is still, to reach out in humanitarian/missionary work, as best I can, and make a difference for people in the world like those who live in poverty and need. Sometimes my heart cries out, "Now!! I need to go NOW!! People are dying and more people are needed to help make a difference. I KNOW without a doubt I am one of those chosen people!! Now. Tomorrow is too late!!!!"
Sometimes, to cook a "good" pot of rice, a good boiling is needed. A grain of rice goes into the boil as a hard piece. It is through the rise of the temperature and the thrashing of the boiling water that the rice begins to cook. After so long of boiling, the rice begins to soften and become more flexible, making it usuable to fulfill its job. Once it has reach the desired softness, the cook usually reduces the temperature and covers the rice pot with a lid to let the rice simmer. It is through the simmering process that the rice absorbs the water, as well any seasonings that might have been added. This part of the process can change the appeal of the rice, totally.
In "being" with the desires of my heart and my thoughts of people who are victims of the worst real poverty in this world, and from "being" with the overwhelming "need" and pull of my heart to Go Now, I have realized that I am like that rice.
I think that I am ready, AND, I imagine that I'm really not. Otherwise, in my mind, God would have already made a way for me to be gone fulfilling my heart's calling. I am going into the pot for preparation just the same as a hard piece of rice.
God has put it clearly to me that I am to go to school for Nursing. Every since I was little, in elementary school, and read a little book about Mother Theresa, I have wanted to go into undesired places and help people. There have been soooo many times when I turned and returned the thought of quitting college so that I could work above and beyond what was needed to make sure that the bills were paid and that then there was "nothing" to worry about. However, God has helped me to hang on and reminded me sooo many times of my calling. Sometimes I think to him, "God isn't there another way? Some way where it doesn't take so long to get to the big picture of my service for you?? And God, perhaps one that isn't so costly???" Maybe I'm just not listening carefully enough, after asking those questions, but I never really hear anything back. However, I do somehow get a second, third, seventeenth, etc. wind and feel renewed to continue on and stay focussed just long enough on school not to worry about other things and I am able to pass through the firey tests and finals.
I figure this must be the boiling process. You know, I could eat a piece of uncooked rice and maybe the only complication would be that it would be hard on my teeth. The thing is, what is the benefit? Where is the taste? Where is the pleasing feeling that my stomache gets from cooked rice? Maybe in order to please God we need to go through the process. I, like rice, in my mind "am ready to go NOW" and therefore have been stiff and without benefit to God. By going through the boiling emotions and the thrashing thoughts that stir-up thrashing and deep soul prayers for these people, etc.. I have begun to soften and become more flexible, like the boiling rice. I imagine that God says, "Ahh, now she's getting more tender. Good. I can use her before too long. Just a little longer and then she'll be ready. But a little longer."
Maybe in the simmering, God will pour out his special blend of seasonings on me. Then again, perhaps the simmering process of an experience comes before the seasoning. Maybe the seasoning comes with the experience. Regardless, As I have begun to allow myself to lay back against the "churning water", and have stopped fighting the process, I realize that God can not only use me more, once I am ready (according to his plan) but that maybe he will find good flavor and favor in the future finished product of my life in his will.
Until next time,