Sunday, October 31, 2010

Erin in PDX

Erin came to Portland for a visit.  Seven months pregnant and all, we added miles to my car, pictures to the camera, yummy food to our bellies, and fun memories in all.  It was such a treat to have her out west for a few days.  She is one of those people who is 9 million percent positive and a straight shooter at the same time.  We talked A LOT…and made our way around to some really ESSENTIAL Oregon faves.
We dined at my favorite breakfast spot, Helser's on Alberta.

This is a Cannon Beach must, fish&chips @ Bill's next to a
toasty fire.

It was moving to FL and living near warm beaches that led
me to appreciate and love the OR coast.  

"O" for Oregon and Haystack rock.

We also made our way up to the Hood River Fruit Loop.  So
very many apples to sample and beautiful weather.

Dear friend.
From the east coast of Florida...
to Kansas city...
to the coast of Oregon.

We have covered a distance from one side of the country ALL THE WAY to the other!  Thanks for making the trip west, Erin.  It's time to meet up in FL again;).

Friday, October 29, 2010


If we've ever talked about personality tests and learning about how we are each wired, then you've most likely heard me talk about the "DISC" test.  It is one (of many) of those tests giving insight into our personalities and used by many employers to find employees who best fit the needs they are searching for.

Back in 2006, when I was in Costa Rica (and just a few days before my return to the states) I showed up at the church, where I had been working with Costa Rican women in the kitchen, only to find a gentleman waiting for me to give him a tour of San Jose.  The previous night, I'd been out in one of the rural parts of the city staying with one of the aforementioned women and her three daughters.  I'd grown close to them in my short time there and found it a privilege and welcome experience to spend a few nights in their home while the other family I stayed with hosted out of town pastors visiting for the conference.

The man waiting for me at the church is the same man I went to work for in Florida, Greg.  I showed up to the church with a plan.  Plan A- Take the bus to the church with Virginia and the girls, walk back to the house where the rest of my belongings were, brush my teeth, shower, spend time reading, writing, documenting before returning to Oregon and then go back to the church for the afternoon/evening events.  What actually happened?  Well, clearly not that!

I walked in the doors and Greg (who I had met one previous time) said to me, "I hear you're my tour guide today!"  Now, remember this, I had a plan.  "Plan A" and I don't tend to be too spontaneous.  I knew Greg was going to be at this conference and I also knew Alejandro (a coworker of Greg's in FL) was supposed to be on this particular trip with Greg.  Come to find out, Alejandro was ill and unable to make this trip.  The night I spent with Virginia and the girls is also the same night I was volunteered (without my knowledge) to show Greg around San Jose.  I was caught off guard and without having even brushed my teeth yet that morning!  I stumbled for an answer and finally uttered, "Uhh, ok.  Uhh, yeah, give me 5 minutes."

Our first stop was an internet cafe so Greg could email Mary Kay and let her know he'd arrived safely.  On our way to this cafe Greg did exactly as he is infamous for…he asked me a million questions all pertaining to, "What is your life about?"  So, not surprisingly, he gave me a link to the DISC test and told me to answers the questions while he wrote his emails.  Guess what, I'm an I-C. (Influence-Conscientiousness)  The short end to the story=I went to work for Greg in Florida and learned so much more.

And that "so much more" is actually what I want to get to in this post!  The D part of the DISC, Dominance, is also (from my understanding) a representation for decision making!  I went on to learn, I am a low, low, low, LOW  D.  Hello, I'm not fond of making decisions and actually find myself bound and extremely distraught when forced to decide.  Not always, of course, but it's been haunting me and the conscientious part of my personality!

So, I've learned other tactics as a crutch to this handicap.  Here it is:  Look long term, plan long term goals and then work backwards on short term goals.  Take those short term goals and make decisions that allow you to meet those goals.  Easy right?!  Well, sort of, but the other hang up of mine- accommodating.  I'm worried about what others will think of me (hello people pleaser) and accommodate for their approval.  Again, this is not always the case.  Sometimes I just DO WHAT I WANT! and that often feels good and hard and wrong.  I think there's context in all of this.

My big-bang-point is this:

I've determined long term goals:

  • I want to work with underserved populations in my city and around the world.  I think being a nurse is a great avenue to making this a reality in the way that I can actually use my hands and help people as a way of living.  
  • I want to be fluent in Spanish.  Yep, that's a mighty goal.
  • I want to work in a hospital setting-acute care/ICU nursing.
  • I want the opportunity to use a nursing degree and my love for other cultures to intertwine and make a beautiful, meaningful difference.
And so the struggle, with prerequisites out of the way, is making small goals and decisions that will set me along this journey.  As well as praying for the provision of actually getting into a program!

The last few months have been a spiral down to here.  Feeling lost, frustrated, finding bandaids to put off and ignore those small decisions which in the short are a pain in my butt and painful in general, but necessary to rise up and move forward.  Well, what do you know.  There it is again.  The title of this blog is always quite fitting, "Journey Forth."

P.S. Details on those small forward steps coming soon.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Isaiah 64:4

"For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!"

Isaiah 1:17

"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows."