Friday, December 9, 2011

A Cantina Christmas

This past weekend at the Cantina we threw a little Christmas shindig. 
Inspired by J.Beib's song "mistletoe," of course.
If you haven't heard it, hurry up already!

Naturally we made a video invitation.
Because we're just that dedicated to spreading the Beiber cheer.



We filmed it on a whim right after our house thanksgiving dinner.
And we've probably watched it a million times since.
We're our own biggest fans.
Someone's gotta be.

Please notice the part at approximately 36 seconds where I DON'T fall.
Ya, I know. 
Awesome. 

We spent most of Saturday decking our halls. 
And by most of the day, I mean after 2pm, when I woke up after working the night before.


Our party was complete with a hot cocoa bar, a cookie decorating table, s'more station outside by the bonfire, photobooth and Christmas Kareoke.  

And after I burnt the first 2 gallons of milk, the hot cocoa turned out pretty great. 
Although that pot will never be the same.

Unfortunately, my camera was being utilized by the photo booth, so I really wasn't able to take many other pictures. 
But, don't worry, I have 260 photo booth pics for your viewing pleasure. 


since we used the song "mistletoe" for the invitation, we made sure to have plenty of mistletoe on hand (including an awesome mistletoe headband i found in the dollar section at target).
unfortunately (or fortunately?) the only people taking advantage of it were those two crazies on the left up there.
ya, those are my life group leaders.


That's just a little teaser :).
Head over to facebook if you want to see 186 more.

I have to admit I have an obsession with photo booths. 
Especially the one at Musee Mecanique right next to Pier 39 in San Francisco. 
I make sure to take everyone I can to that photo booth.

Speaking of, does anyone have any great ideas for how to display photo strips?
I'm on a quest for a home for the stack of photo booth strips in a basket on my shelf. 
They're so pretty. 


Monday, November 28, 2011

thankful

i'm thankful for a job that's enabling me to pay back my student loans quickly and is constantly challenging me and causing me to fall at God's feet asking for help

i'm thankful for a community of friends, family, brothers and sisters spread all over the world who are constantly encouraging me and pointing me towards the Author and Perfecter of my faith

i'm thankful for families who have opened their lives to me, invited me in, and have become like family to me

i'm thankful for His mercies that are new every morning, because man do I need them every day

i'm thankful for a house full of women who are seeking the Lord and doing life together

i'm thankful for small glimpses of who I would be without Jesus, and that He has graciously kept me from experiencing the depths of where I would be without Him

i'm thankful for the roof over my head, the food i'm always able to consume, the clean water at my fingertips, the car that gets me wherever i need to go, the gel, mousse and hairspray that tame my crazy mane, and the heater that keeps our home a comfy 68 degrees

i'm thankful for the ability to write, to record my thoughts and prayers so i can look back and see proof of God's faithfulness

i'm thankful that this place that's not my home has begun to feel like home

i'm thankful for a mother who constantly lifts me up in prayer, a father who has provided for my every need and a brother who gives selflessly to serve the body of Christ

most of all, i'm thankful for the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, without which I would have no hope and no salvation.

God is good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a very cantina thanksgiving

This weekend my housemates and I made a Thanksgiving FEAST.  
Well, mostly my housemates did the cooking. 
I made green beans. 

Amanda and Emily cooked an AMAZING turkey.  
Seriously, they've got skills. 
They brined it and everything.
I didn't even know what brining was before this.



These women are such an incredible blessing in my life.
I love them all dearly.
And it was so fun to have a full thanksgiving dinner since I work on Thanksgiving this year!



Oh ya, and we listened to Christmas music all day.
We're moderately obsessed with Justin Beiber's song "Mistletoe."
More on that later. 

For now, I'll leave you with a taste of our Thanksgiving, courtesy of Gabby:



Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Patient Stories Series #3: The man who prayed in his pain

A few nights ago I had a patient who I took care of after he had a below the knee amputation. He was an elderly man, who came up from surgery at about 8pm.

One of the major difficulties with post-op patients is managing their pain.
 We try our best to keep it under control, because the more severe it gets the more difficult it is to bring down to a manageable level.

He was a sweet man, who didn’t complain of much pain until three hours after he came up. 
I gave him morphine, which knocked him out for a bit, but less than an hour later he was complaining of severe phantom limb pain. 

Phantom limb pain is difficult to treat, and I didn’t have a whole lot of options of what to give him based on what the doctor had ordered, and how quickly his pain came back after the morphine. 
So I gave him an oral pain medication called Norco and an Ativan to help him calm down and sleep, since there wasn’t much more we could do for the pain.

I had noticed earlier that he had a bible on the tray table, held together by a rubber band because the binding was falling apart. 
All I could do was wait for the oral medication to take effect, and he was still moaning in excruciating pain. 
I hate that my job means I see people in awful pain on a daily basis.

I asked him if he had a favorite passage he'd like me to read from his bible.
He said Psalm 23. 
I read from his bible by the light from the cracked door - his bible that I swear was a version more ancient than the King James, if there is such a thing.
As I read, I could see him begin to quietly say the words along with me.

When I was finished, he continued speaking softly.
It took me a few minutes to catch enough words to figure out that he was praying, begging God to get him through the pain.
I only caught some of what he was praying, but at one point I heard him say “and thank you for Betsy.” 
I prayed for him as well, and as I left his room, he was quiet.

So many thoughts tumbled through my head as I left his room and headed to check on my other patients.
How humbling to be brought before God by this man I only knew for one night. 
What a privilege to be the one to care for him in a time of incredible vulnerability and pain.
These are the moments I’m so thankful to God for getting me through nursing school, and providing me with a job that is incredibly stretching and difficult, but immensely rewarding.


Nursing constantly reminds me that I am not enough.
I can’t save anyone physically, emotionally, or spiritually. 
I can’t take away anyone’s pain – but I can point them to the one who can.
It was this man’s faith in the God who is greater than all that brought him comfort in his pain.
May we cry out to Abba for our every need, acknowledging our complete and utter dependence on him. 
Thank you Jesus, that you are more than enough.


On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 on 10: rookie edition

I'm new to this whole 10 on 10 thing.  
Which is why I'm posting on the 11th.  
And had a really hard time coming up with 10 pictures.  
Don't judge me if they're hideously boring.


Woke up to my Sleep app telling me I have a 17.0 hr sleep debt.
Night shift is awesome.  


The breakfast of champions. 
Or night nurses who eat breakfast at all hours of the day.
 I've been eating this practically every day this week thanks to a tremendous amount of leftovers from Cari's Bachelorette Weekend
Check out Kim's post here
It was a pretty awesome weekend. 


Went to work and spent 8 hours starting IV's with the hospital's IV nurse. 
I'm getting pretty good - didn't even miss one!
But I because of that I have an 8 hr gap in pictures. 
Sorry, but you probably wouldn't want to see them anyways :).





I FINALLY got my diploma in the mail, so I went to HR and got them to add my BSN to my name badge!


 I know, this is an awful picture.  
But if i didn't use it, it would be 9 on 10. 
And that kind of defeats the purpose, right?
I've also been eating ice cream cones practically every day, since Jordan and Cari left them and a half gallon of chocolate malted crunch ice cream (my fav) at my house. 


I've been working on a new map for my friend Samuel. 


Luckily, I had some slave labor - oops, I mean neighbor kids -  to help.


They're pretty cute.
Tavia has them over all the time to make cookies, play volleyball or ride bikes. 


I got this book in the mail the other day, as a surprise from a friend who knows me well. 
And I'm SO excited to read it. 
So I started as a break from my map making. 


Signing up for benefits = I'd rather go to a museum with my dad.
Which, if you know me, isn't something I really enjoy. 

Do I need vision insurance if I have perfect vision?  
Help me out people. 
I'm new to this whole adult job thing.


A whole disc of Friends episodes later - the finished product!  
So excited to get this to Samuel - he picked great colors and I love how it turned out!


linking up here for the first time:

ten on ten button small

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Crafty Halloween

 There once were two girls. 
They were both studying Pre-Nursing. 
They both lived in an all-girls dorm named Alpha Chi. 

Their ridiculous major required them to enroll in a horrible class called Organic and Biochemistry. 
And they became lab partners. 
Who made soap that crumbled like crazy. 



Their names were Tiffany and Betsy.

Fast forward 1 year. 
Tiffany and Betsy move in next door to each other. 
And spend their time doing things like this.


Then Tiffany gets set up on a Gyrad (get your roommate a date) with Jared. 
And they fall in love. 

A year later they have the most beautiful OC wedding.  
I wasn't a believer in the coral/aqua color scheme. 
I was so, so wrong. 


I had the honor of being in this wonderful couple's wedding. 
Seriously an HONOR. 

Fast forward another 2 years. 
To October 31, 2011.
Yup, just 8 days ago.
Tiff and I spend a wonderful Halloween evening together doing something we both love - crafting. 
And eating, of course. 
Those holiday sugar cookies are my favorite. 

We answered the door for the trick or treaters and gave them what candy we hadn't already eaten. 
One little three year old boy was dressed up like Peter Rabbit, and recited some of the book to us! 
It was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.
I would have taken a picture, except his parents probably would've thought i was a pedophile.


Tiff, you inspire me.
I love you, my sweet friend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cari's Around-the-Clock Bridal Shower

A few weeks ago I hosted a bridal shower for my beautiful friend Cari, who gets married in just TWO WEEKS!  
We've been friends since we were 14. 
I can't believe that was NINE years ago. 
And I can't believe she's getting married.




Kim and I are both in the wedding. 
She's a killer bridesmaid.
I'm working on my MOH (maid of honor) skills. 

She flew in for the shower. 
We <3 John Wayne Airport. 


And I chauffeured, as usual. 
We kind of have a system down. 
Which didn't include Kim's plane coming from Chicago and needing to be deiced OR my car getting it's 4th flat tire of the year. 
But Mable the Sable, my roommate Emily's car, came to the rescue yet again!


Thankfully I had plenty of help to get things ready, since I tend to plan high maintenance events.  
 My housemate Amanda helped frost clock cookies.
My housemates are bomb.com.
You can read our house blog here


Besides running a little late with the food preparation, everything went off without a hitch! 
Since it was an around-the-clock shower, I did breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert foods.  
Emphasis on the desserts, of course. 


 Kim made her baked brie. It's my FAVORITE. 
I made almond cupcakes, noir bars, and whoopie pies for desert. 
The whoopie pies were pretty gross. 
I don't recommend those whoopie pie kits.
Even if they are from World Market, which, in my eyes, can do no wrong.
But the noir bars and almond cupcakes made up for it.


These girls are wonderful friends. 
I love the unspoken understanding that comes with years of friendship. 



A day spent celebrating a dear friend is a day well spent. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Announcing....

A few weeks back I announced that I was looking for a new organization for my etsy shop to support.  
I got some wonderful suggestions, and really enjoyed finding out what people are passionate about. 
I even made a new friend, Annie, who is nine months into the process of starting an incredible non-profit called Abundant Harvest.
She's an incredible, strong, visionary woman who is insanely passionate about seeing orphans find families.
Check out their newly launched web site here.


Even though it may or may not be a huge amount of money that will be going to the organization I chose, I really wanted it to be something I had prayed about and felt was where the Lord wanted the money to go. 


Which is why it's been a few weeks with no announcement.  
However, today, I am excited to tell you all that I have found the organization!


Drum roll please......


All profits from etsybybetsy will now be going to The Dave Thomas Foundation!




After watching this video I was sold.
I may have cried.

It's exciting and encouraging to see people making a difference in the lives of orphans in our own country, who may have their physical needs met in foster care, but never are able to have the emotional security of being adopted by a loving family.  

Check out their website here.
They have a lot of cool resources.

Thanks to those of you who commented and emailed with suggestions, I had a blast looking at all the amazing organizations you sent my way!

Keep checking out etsybybetsy for more new products, coming soon!
(Christmas line to be released 11/9/11)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Patient Stories Series #2: Her story

 I love that the Bible says that God knows our names.
In healthcare people so easily become defined by their diagnosis, their room number or their situation.
But there’s something so personal, so intimate, so human about calling a person by their name.


I don’t know this woman's name, and I’m sure I never will.
But her life had an effect on mine that can't be erased or ignored.
  
Stories like these I often feel awkward or uncomfortable sharing, because it’s easy for stories like this to become all about the shock value, and that is not my desire.
It’s also not my desire for you to read this and think how strong, brave or great I am, because, trust me, in situations like the one I’m about to tell you, I’d go running if I was leaning on my own strength or bravery.
  
I share this story because I want you to understand the deep, intense effect it had on me. For me, stories that carry so much emotion are often expressed better through writing, allowing you to picture for yourself what the experience was like.


It was at the hospital in Rwanda, where God has done some of his best and most terrifying work on me. One of our last mornings at the hospital, I saw a woman being carried into the surgery area.  I left morning report and went to the wound care room (now functioning as an ER).  Lying on the table was a woman, face covered in dried blood, but otherwise seemingly uninjured.  There was a laceration on her head about 2 inches long, which was not actively bleeding. She was combative, fighting against us and we struggled to help her, so we held her down while one of the nurses shaved her head, and one of the nursing students, Bernard, started an IV. Bernard translated for me as her story was explained and we worked to clean the blood off her face.

He told me that this woman had been hit by her husband, because he caught another man trying to have sex with her.  The husband claimed he was trying to hit the man with a stick, and accidently struck his wife instead.  He had hit her at 11pm the night before, and they were just bringing her in at 7am.

The nurse began to clean the wound as we continued to hold her down, and we quickly realized this was not just a cut on her head.  Her skull had been fractured, some of the bone fragments were likely going into her brain, and as the bleeding began again she started to go into shock.  The surgeon had been called and we were just waiting for him to come and tell us what to do.

What I initially thought was just another patient to stitch up and send out, I quickly realized was so much more.  Bernard told me the doctors didn’t think she was going to make it, but that they wanted to transfer her to the hospital in Kigali, the capital, which is a 3 hour drive on windy, pot-hole plagued roads.  As the gravity of the situation seeped in, my focus quickly turned from her physical condition to the condition of her soul, and my prayers of “help this woman, show us what to do” became frantic pleas for her salvation. 

Still holding her hand, looking into her eyes as she came in and out of consciousness, I wished I was fluent in Kinyarwanda or that telepathy actually worked!  I prayed for a lull in the streams of doctors to be able to say something, anything to communicate to her God’s love and her need for salvation.  My prayers were answered and I was able to kneel down next to her and whisper a prayer in Kinyarwanda, literally the only words I knew how to say.  I don’t know if she even heard or was able to understand my horrible pronunciation. Most times when I pray for patients in Kinyarwada they try to hold in their giggles as they listen to me struggle though.

It was in that moment I realized the depth of my reliance on God, whether or not I am aware of it.  I was helpless to do anything to save that woman, both physically and spiritually.  I couldn’t even communicate the gospel to her.  All I could do was hold her hand, look into her eyes, and beg the Lord to reveal Himself to her.  I don’t know whether she even lived through the drive to Kigali.

I’ve heard it said that compassion is entering into another’s suffering, but that is much more difficult than it sounds.  Because entering into someone’s suffering isn’t about the result.  It’s not about what you can do for them, or how you can meet their needs.  It’s about being present, about coming along side them and feeling the depth of their brokenness and pain.  Jesus saw people’s pain and entered into it.  Through my brief interaction with this woman, God taught me to love, and to show compassion without focusing on the results. 

I was also reminded of how much more important spiritual healing is than physical healing. When it came down to life or death, my priority was much rather to have her come to know Jesus than gain a few more hours or days on this earth. 

Stories like hers are what keeps me in nursing.
Stories that break your heart, but force you to rely completely on God and give you the opportunity to try your hardest to pray someone into His arms. 


I rest in the fact that God knows her name.  
And regardless of what I was or was not able to communicate, regardless of if she survived the ride to Kigali, her present and future are in His hands. 


But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine."
Isaiah 43:1

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Looking for a Cause

I started etsybybetsy this past spring.



The shop was a means of fundraising for my trip to Cambodia in July.
And it was fun!
It gave me an excuse to spend money and time creating things I love. 
I was able to raise over $700 in less than 3 months that helped send me to beautiful Cambodia:


Now that I'm back, I want to continue making and selling items from etsybybetsy... but I want the shop to continue how it started - supporting a cause. 

That's where you come in. 
I need a new cause. 
100% of the profits from my etsy will go to whatever cause I choose.
And I can't choose a cause unless I know about it, so help a sister out!

I’ll be rolling out some new lines in the coming months as well as adding to the nail art line that's currently listed on the shop.


If you have a cause or know of any missions organizations, orphanages, charity programs, or whatever,  that could use support, let me know!

Comment on this post, or email me at betsy.still@gmail.com.

I will be making my decision by October 8th, so please, comment away!
And remember to check back at www.itsetsybybetsy.etsy.com for what's new!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Patient Stories Series #1: Donald’s Story

I figure pretty much everyone who reads this blog knows me, since I’ve only written about 6 posts total, and I doubt anyone who doesn’t know me would care.
In fact, I wouldn’t blame you if you do know me and don’t care.

But just in case any of you internet randoms have stumbled on my humble blog, here’s a few things you should know before I launch into this story:

I am a nurse. 
I just graduated from nursing school in May and recently started my first real nursing job (praise God!).
And I HATED nursing school.
As in, almost quit multiple times.
What kept me going was both the confidence I had that God had put me in nursing school for a reason, as well as the people I got to interact with and play a small part in their lives.

Donald is one of those people.
Last October/November I was in Rwanda (which is in East Africa, for those of you about to google it), doing my nursing preceptorship (where we get to choose a specialty).
I was working in the surgery and wound care ward of the district hospital in rural Kibuye, Rwanda. 
You can check out a video of the hospital my friend Alex and I made here.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Rwanda, or anywhere in Africa for that matter, GO. 
It’s beautiful. 
The people are incredible.
The food is kind of gross, unless you like goat (which I do), tiny little weird fishes (which I don’t), and this thing called Ugali (which I tolerate). 
I can’t even begin to describe Ugali, besides that you feel like you have a  rock in your stomach for the 6 hours after you eat it.
This is the best google could do:



Donald was one of our patients. 
My partner in wound care, Alex, and I fell in love with him immediately.
And we thought his name was Donate (pronounced DOUGH-NAUGHT-AY) for the ENTIRE time we were there. 
I’m not kidding.
We called him Donate every day for two weeks.
And no one corrected us.
We thought it was French.
We were so, so wrong.

He's the one on the left with the crutch.
Donald had osteomyelitis, which is an infection of the bone. 
It’s not commonly seen in the states, but over there, due to lack of medical treatment we see it frequently.
Donald was 9 years old.
He had been in and out of the hospital for the past 6 months with this infection. 
He had a cast on his leg that went up to his knee. 
For the 6 months before we got there the cast had gone all the way up to his hip.
And he had the cutest crutch (see above).


He always wore that yellow shirt with the ladybugs on it.
The cast had a flap cut in it so we could perform wound care on the infected bone and tissue every day.
This was all the treatment he got.
Once a day, his wound was cleaned and his dressing changed.


Alex and I would play with him and another young patient, Marie, when we were bored, or trying to avoid some really gross wound or procedure.



Alex liked to dress him up as a nurse.


Our last morning at the hospital Alex and I cried, and tried to say goodbye.
Donald told the nurses that he didn’t want us to leave.
I didn’t want us to leave either.

A month or so after we got home I got a facebook message from Bernard, one of the Rwandan nursing students, telling me that my friend Donald was still there.
Donald…. Who is Donald???”
It was then Alex and I realized our mistake.
But, you know, I think he’ll always be Donate to us.

A few months later, another message came through from Bernard, saying that Donald had finally gone home, but that his leg was permanently deformed.


Donald spent almost 9 months in that hospital.
9 months out of school.
His mother spent 9 months in that hospital cooking his meals, cleaning his bed, sheet and few precious articles of clothing, and sharing a bed with him at night.


 Whenever I picture Donald in my head, he's always smiling. 
Because he always was. 
Despite his circumstances, despite the possibility of amputation if the infection wasn't able to be controlled, he crutched around the hospital, joked with the nurses, played with Marie and smiled his sweet quiet smile through it all. 
I'm sure Donald is back in school, still smiling as he watches the other kids run around, while he sits on the sidelines because of the deformity of his leg.
So many things I learned from that boy, so many memories we shared. 

Jesus, be with Donald.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Heart of Worship

Yesterday we took a little excursion to Santa Cruz.  

The guys wanted to find a place to go cliff jumping, so we did a little googling, phoned a friend and headed to a spot in the redwoods known as "The Garden of Eden." 

We're pretty sure it's known as Eden not because of the landscapes' likeness to The Garden, but because of the nudity some websites warned may be present.  

Luckily, no nudists were in sight when we arrived. 

I prefer to think the name refers to the resplendent scenery that surrounded us... check this out.


Incredible right?


While the boys did this...



... i wandered around the river bend, took some photos, and enjoyed God's handiwork.  







The song "the heart of worship" kept playing over and over in my head as I hopped from stone to stone, trying not to drop my camera in the stream.  The story of this song is one that has deeply impacted me, reminding my to not make worshipping God about the feeling I get out of it or singing a certain style of songs.

But this day, the song reminded me of what the heart of worship really is. It's what's in my heart.  It's not what's on my lips, what's in my brain, or what's coming in though my ears. 

As I sat, enveloped by the sound of rushing water, the song playing over and over in my head, my heart was worshipping God more holistically than if my body were jumping up and down, and my mouth was screaming as loud as my lungs possibly could. 

I'll bring You more than a song/for a song in itself is not what You have required 
You search much deeper within/through the ways things appear/you're looking into my heart 

There's something so worshipful, so right, about sitting in God's presence in his creation. I get why Jesus went off by himself and prayed.  There's a special intimacy with God I've found in those redwoods. Something that can't be created, replicated or manipulated. 

I'm coming back to the heart of worship/And it's all about You/All about You, Jesus 
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it/When it's all about You/It's all about You Jesus 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adoniram Judson

What a stud.

On Friday night I returned from a trip to Singapore and Cambodia. More to come on that later.

On the plane ride I read a book called "Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ" by John Piper, which contains three mini biographies of men who suffered for the sake of the gospel.

The night I got home, I couldn't fall asleep until 5am (I thought I was smarter than jetlag. Turns out I'm not), so I finished the book.

The last biography in the book was of a man named Adoniram Judson.

I'd heard his name before, but couldn't tell you much about him. But what I learned about his life has caused me to revaluate my life, my dreams and my willingness to suffer on God's behalf.

This is a lame picture of him I found online. He looks totally boring and pensive, but his life was anything but boring.



The first thing that struck me was a letter Adoniram wrote to the father of Ann, the woman he wanted to marry, one month after he met her.


"I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjugation to the hardships of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting you daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

Can you imagine getting that letter?  I made had my dad read it last night and asked him what he would do.  He laughed as he read and replied, "I hope I'd rise to the occasion."

How utterly ridiculous his letter seems in our culture where commitments are made and broken on a whim, and any destination in the world is merely a plane flight away.  But, man, there's something so right about it.

I also like that it has my blog title in it :).

Ann's father passed the buck and told her that she could decide.  She wrote to her friend in a letter:


"I feel willing, and expect, if nothing in Providence prevents, to spend my days in this world in heathen lands. Yes, I have come to the determination to give up all my comforts and enjoyments here, sacrifice my affection to relatives and friends, and go where God, in his Providence, shall see fit to place me."

Now that's a woman I aspire to be like.  Strong, prayerful, and willing to give up everything for her Savior.

Adoniram and Ann were missionaries in India (the voyage there took 114 days) for several years before deciding to go to the unreached country of Burma (now Myanmar).  They preached the gospel and worked to translate the Bible for 6 years before they baptized their first convert.

SIX. YEARS.

It was only after 19 years of working there, spending a year in prison, and Ann's death due to sickness and malnutrition, that Adoniram finally began to see spiritual revival in Burma.

Adoniram never saw his brother or parents again after the day he sailed for India with Ann. I wonder if he had known what lay in store for him if he still would have gone.

He married again when he returned to America for the first time in 33 years. Unfortunately, his second wife also died, as well as seven of his twelve children.

Today about 3,700 Baptist congregations exist in Burma, all finding their roots in Judson's courage, perseverance and faithfulness to the gospel of Christ.



Adoniram's story makes me simultaneously exhilarated and convicted. What I view as sacrifices are minuscule compared to the sacrifices Adoniram and Ann made. Sacrifices they willingly made because they were so convinced of the truth of Scripture, and the existence of the one true God. Would I be willing to give up all that they did? Am I that convinced of the faith I've based my life on?

Another missionary in the 1800's, John Paton, decided to become a missionary on an island of cannibals, simply because no one else would go. What would the church look like if Christians lived like that today? What if the criteria for where we live and serve was not how it fits our skill set, experience and passions, but rather how great the need?  Paton felt the Lord say to him, "Since none better qualified can be got, rise and offer yourself!"  Oh, that I would be willing to hear the Lord say those words, and not rationalize them away with my sense of worldly practicality!

At the same time I'm convicted, I'm excited and encouraged (that's enCOURAGEd). I'm excited because I serve the God who brought Adoniram through everything he endured, and who protected John Paton from the cannibals and helped him reach them with the gospel. I serve the God who gave them the courage, perseverance and long-suffering to endure terrible trials for Zion's sake.

May God grant us each the courage to be obedient to His call on each our lives, whatever that may be.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Times They Are A-Changin'

Man, what a crazy few months. I haven't blogged in so long because I've been overwhelmed by the amount of huge life events I could blog.

I'll give you the higlights:

I graduated from college,










spent 2.5 weeks studying for the board exams for 6-7 hours a day (and went crazy in the process),



celebrated the marriage of my dear friends Jessika and Jericho,




 drove up to the bay, took my boards (to get my RN),  started work at PCC's (Peninsula Covenant Church) Swim & Gym - my favorite summer job,


went to D.C. and Virginia for my housemate Linzy and her now HUSBAND, Dan's wedding,




visited some lovely friends in Maryland (happy birthday Emily!),



worked three weeks of camp,





turned 23 (which involved eating a quail egg,



a surprise sushi/ice skating night,







and a ZAMBONI ride! ),




PASSED my boards,



and tomorrow (actually today, since I've burned the midnight oil writing this post instead of packing) I  drive down to LA, braving CARMAGEDDON (the closing of 10 miles of the 405 freeway all weekend), so I can be ready to leave for Singapore and Cambodia on Tuesday!

Whew!

The summer's been jam-packed so far, full of life, transition and emotion. I can't wait to see what God does in Cambodia!  It's hard to believe we're leaving in just a few days.  It's hard to miss three whole weeks of camp, as God has been doing some incredible things in the kids here, but I know he's prepared the way for me to go to Cambodia. I've been moved by how God has used so many people to pour out His love in their generosity, kindness and affection. He is so faithful, and he is so good.

Gloria a dios!