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Peter and Andrew

Today in church Pastor Herc gave a run down on the twelve disciples and their personalities. He was making the point that Jesus didn’t pick his team based on the strongest, best traits and abilities like we humans do. Just think back to school days when teams were picked for gym. The least athletic were always chosen last and I was one of them. This was one of the best talks in a long time so I paid close attention to figure out which guy I was most like and it ended up in a tie.

Peter whose name was originally Simon has a lot of my traits. He tended to shoot of his mouth and say things without really thinking. The biggest was saying he would never deny Jesus and yet he did not only once but three times in the same night. It reminds me of the time I said to a patient, I would rather be dead than him. He had lost all four extremities to meningitis. Luckily, he forgave me for about the most insensitive comment I ever made and has gone on to do great things.

I did not realize Andrew was Simon Peters brother and often referred to that way. So no matter what he did he was always over shadowed by his brothers greatness. How annoying that must have been. I often feel this way about my work. I am the invisible nurse. I do a great job but no one seems to remember and rarely am I ever mentioned by name. I know a big part of this is because I take people right after they have surgery when they are still under anesthesia. I am ok with this most of the time but every once in a while when I see the girls with four and five daisy awards or mentioned over and over in patient rounding I get a little jealous and annoyed. I do try to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

Mole Moral ~ It’s much better to be Peter and Andrew than Judas of Iscariot!

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Christmas Angel

It was back in 2004 and I was at church when Pastor Tom spoke about a thing he did called Christmas Angel. For the 12 nights before Christmas you pick someone who may be struggling, had a bad year or just need a lift at Christmas and drop off presents. The first night you leave one of something, and the second night two, and the third night three etc. But there is a catch, you drop the present, ring the doorbell, run, and try not to get caught. Of course if you have your children help, they can do the ringing and running and you drive the getaway car. He had this done to him by a mormon family who never revealed who they were. He said we shouldn’t tell either but if someone did that for me and never said who it was, it would bother me forever. So on day twelve I always left a note revealing who I was. Although he said this was a way to bless others, over the years it has been a big blessing to our family.

The person or people I have chosen were always picked by God. He put their name on my heart at some point during the year. Some years it’s really early like April or May and sometimes its been as late as October. Now God doesn’t talk to me in an audible voice for that would surely make me a crazy person but I just get the feeling this person is the one. Most of the time it is a patient I have cared for, but sometimes its a friend that doesn’t know this secret about me. This year I received a little push back from who I chose, to the point I started questioning myself (and God). But in true God fashion I got the answer loud and clear on day ten of dropping gifts off. I received a note saying this girl had a bad year and every night she had to have painful dressing changes and knowing she would be receiving a gift made the discomfort less. I started crying when I read the note. After all it is the exact reason we have done this every year since 2004.

This is the first Christmas we had without Emily. She is working out in California and ended up spending Christmas with the Lindsay’s. If she had to not be at home, she was at the second best place in the world. After all had Brian and I both kicked the bucket, our kids were willed to them. There were times they threatened to kill us so they could live with them. Emily was very sad that she didn’t get to Christmas angel with us. Allyson said to me she liked houses that were farther away because we had more time to talk. So I started thinking about some of the highlights and I shared some of them with this years girl. I decided to blog them tonight for my girls.

The very first year I worked evenings so I had to drop the gifts off during the day. Since I worked the first three days I dropped them off during the day. Apparently that person worked during the day so finally on day three I made my sister call from her work and say this is your Christmas angel please check your front porch. The next year we did my neighbors I had as a child. She was convinced it was a neighbor down the street and each night would yell thank you and say the lady’s name. She never once thought it was me. One year the family lived in De Soto. We arrive in the dark and not one single mailbox has the address on it. None of the houses do either. I attempt to get on google earth but the houses are blocked by trees. By this time I am freaking out, screaming and cursing when the husband walks out to check the mail. Last year the guy I did was convinced he had a stalker and almost called the cops on us. He also had no numbers on his house so my oldest went rooting through his mailbox (which was attached to the house) to see what address was on the mail. One year we did Allyson’s friends who are twins. The first night she was at their house so I had to deliver by myself. I knocked on the door so loud that the guy across the hall opened his door also. I scared them all so bad they bumped heads on the table they were under. Before I had a smart phone I had to use map quest. I arrive to the street I was supposed to turn on and it had turned into a QT with no way to get through. I had to call Brian who had to get out his street guide to get us to the correct house. One year we pulled up to the house and Kayla says they are in the garage. I say no they are not, deliver the gift. She gets out starts to walk and I hear them in the garage. I say F**k they are in the garage, get back in the car.

This year was no different. The very first night I had worked and went by myself. There were no numbers on this house so I had to walk up to the neighbors to see their numbers. I ring the doorbell, hit the second step and my ankle goes sideways. I almost fell and I said oh hell no, I am not getting caught on day one and made it down the steps. One day just as I was getting out of the car, they came out of the house to go somewhere. I jumped back in the car and hid till they left. Then became paranoid they would forget something and come back and catch me. On the eleventh night just as Allyson was crossing the street a van pulled up into their driveway so she came back to the car. We did a lap around the subdivision and then she delivered. But the thing we will always remember is the stop sign in the middle of a street with houses on each side of the road. No cross-road or anything. The sidewalks are on both sides of the streets as well so we couldn’t figure out the purpose. On the last day I was actually going to ring the bell and wait (I’ve only done this one time in all these years) but they were not home.

So what started out as a way to bless others has turned into a Christmas tradition that we all love and look forward to each year. We’ve had great family talks and great family yelling. We’ve brightened 19 families over the years and hope to do 19 more. Although sooner than I care to admit, it will be me by myself so I better keep on running so I don’t get caught.

 

Mole Moral ~ Ding dong ditch still seems wrong even when leaving fun little presents.

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From Broadcast to Filters

On my Timehop today it popped up that nine years ago today was my very first camp. It’s so hard to believe that tonight is the start of my tenth camp. Where has the time gone?


I remember that first camp so well. I was in a room with three or four other moms. They were all heading into menopause because the room was like a meat cooler. Flash forward nine years and my room is a meat cooler and I’m in shorts and barefoot. Menopause is a nightmare.
My second year at camp I had a room with ninth grade girls. They are probably just finishing college. Again where has the time gone. My calling was not in leadership in this area and the next year I began being just the nurse.
Every camp has been awesome with some being more incredible than others. Of course broadcast my first will always be my very favorite. I’ve talked about it in the past how it was a life changer. I finally “felt” love for the first time. I knew I was loved but didn’t really feel it. Don’t worry if you think I’m speaking Chinese because I am. Ha.
And so over the years I have taken kids to urgent care and the ER for everything from strep to mono to bladder infections to dehydration. And I still worry that I won’t diagnose correctly or get symptoms wrong. My lack of self-confidence can really be annoying. I know in my head I’m good at my job, I have excellent assessment skills and my spidey sense is usually spot on. That’s the sense knowing a patient is about to crash and burn before it happens. So of course this all flows to the kids. Seriously I do so enjoy all the kids that stop by and I try to lighten the mood with my bizarre sense of humor. Although sometimes when I say well you won’t die today they look at me like I have lost my mind. Of course I don’t have a mind but that’s a secret.
This years theme is Filters and I’m pretty excited. I have seen filters on social media for years and I’m not just referring to Snapchat with the bunny ears or Facebook’s filters to change your picture to black and white or sepia. But rather the posts where people attempt to project great love and care when you know them in real life and know it’s nothing but a smokescreen. I do try my best to be the same on Facebook as I am in real life besides curse!
The first session has ended and we are off to a great week. I’ll blog tomorrow about living with Jesus as your filter.

Mole moral~ A sixteen hour bus ride is a small price to pay for an amazing week with God, Jesus and the best age group ever-teenagers!

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Labels

imagesLast week at church Tom talked about everyone having labels and labeling everything and everyone. For some reason this stirred up all the negative labels I have ever had in my life. They all floated around in my head all week which is probably one reason why I had nothing to write about it or even status update on Facebook this week. I’ve been quite and even one of my bosses said I wasn’t myself this week. Even though Tom ended with the only label anyone really has is “the treasured child of the most high God” it didn’t really help me feel better.

Today at church Josh finished up the series and summarized the first three weeks. All of a sudden all the positive labels came to mind. It started with one of my favorites given to me not to long ago. I’ve been a nurse since Jesus was a young boy. Ok so I do have the most RN experience on my floor and only one tech as more than I do. She’s ten years ahead of me in the game. It just cracks me up and it also cracks the patients up when I use that line. It usually gets brought up when they ask how old my kids are and then tell me I don’t look near old enough and don’t believe my true age.

The next one that popped up was CR for crazy Rachel. That also started at work but probably at least seven years ago. They call me crazy in a good way most of the time. I mean how many people run a 1/2 marathon and then a full marathon back to back. Or come into work at anytime between 8 and 3 depending on when one is needed and then take five or six new admissions. Yep CR!

Then funny came along. I first heard that from my counselor when she told me that i am really funny and really good in tough situations with using humor. Ever since she told me that I have tried to embrace my humor and use it to help others.

Next good writer. I have had several people tell me I need to write a book. I don’t think I have the discipline for that so I will stick to this blog. I am horrible at English and spelling and grammar and whatever else goes along with that but I suppose that is what people pay editors for. However I have no plans to write a book anytime soon.

And finally I will end with creative because if I don’t shut up the negative label of conceited will come to mind. I usually deny my creativity but that would be a bold face lie. The Christmas stocking that I did for work (see previous blog) prove that wrong. I am currently still working on the t-shirt quilt from hell. I have learned a lot (the hard way) about what to do and not to do. I am still working on the cake ornaments and they turned out pretty good considering I have never painted a day in my life. I have four left of those to finish. It has come to me in waves as to how to decorate them for each person. For example my niece Sierra we started calling Finster almost from day 1. She has always acted like Chuckie Finster from Rugrats. So on hers I put a picture of Chuckie and wrote Finster Meister because that is what Brian usually calls her. But no I am not creative at all.

So here’s to a better week and some fun Mole adventures to write about.