Friday, December 23, 2011

Rote and Rhythm

Rhythm-repeated pattern of movement; harmony

Nursing encompasses both.  Nurses are educated to be attuned to the whole person, not just the unique presenting health problem…seeing the WHOLE person, not the disease. The human response to a health problem may be much more FLUID AND VARIABLE and may have great affect on the individual's ability to overcome the initial medical problem. (From some other source which I know don't recall.)

Nurses build on their understanding of the disease and illness process (ROTE) to promote the restoration and maintenance of health in their clients (RHYTHM).
--What is Nursing?  ANA

I didn't make that italicized stuff up, that's the American Nurses Association speaking, but it's part of my m.o. these days.  To this point, it's been a lot of ROTE and man-o-man I'm looking forward to the RHYTHM.  The past 6 months have been memorization of drugs, learning and practicing new skills (Next quarter, our first week back we practice IVs-YIPEE!), watching and participating on the unit, but mostly memorization.  UGH.  It's been difficult, just to sit and stare at drug names, how they are metabolized, what the liver or kidneys do or don't do to them…difficult to go over flashcards repeatedly trying to make new pathways in the brain.  But, I know it's worth it.  Just last night my dad threw a pack of azitromicina (azithromycin) at me and asked, "How much can I take?"  The directions were in Spanish so I was able to use both newly acquired language and medicine skills.  We've also studied a large collection of pathophysiological from the brain and central nervous system, to the heart, to the kidneys and beyond.  I enjoy knowing and acquiring information and I can already see how this is going to be useful in the future.  I continue to be astonished and as if I wasn't convinced before, THE HUMAN BODY IS AMAZING.

So, this is it, rote and rhythm.  I believe strongly in the rote, it's the foundation to my practice, but the rhythm, well, that's where my heart gets to excel.  Lord, haste the day!

Monday, December 05, 2011


Sitting here, yes sitting here, studying.  I'm so tired of studying.  And now I'm done complaining!  I'm sitting here looking over liver-hepatitis-cirrhosis-hepatocyte dysfunction-portal hypertension- gynecomastia (aahheemm-keep drinking alcohol, men, and your breasts are going to grow cause your estrogen levels are gonna go up-up-up!  Soon, you'll be calling Seinfeld asking for the "Bro" George's dad and Kramer invented…ok enough).

Wow, so I really pulled up the blog to post this beautiful song that was flowing through my ear buds while sitting here studying and listening to Pandora.  Bethany Dillon-Hallelujah  Listen for the chorus,  so good.  Let it soar! Countdown has started here…

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunday Ramble

Let's see if I can hold the thoughts in place that I've had this morning.  It's like rapid fire and I want to get it all out.

I woke this morning without an alarm playing in the background arousing me from beautiful, restful sleep.  I cherish sleep, always have, but more so these days because it is my escape from the hustle and frantic movements of school and the pile of books, notes, and quizzes that loom.  As I stirred I thought, "Oh it's early enough.  I have time to go on a run, read my Bible, and get off to church!"  I laid there and prayed and it became clear that I should just stay put.  On this morning, I don't need to strike the beat and hustle on.  I needed to lay there and pray.  I asked and dumped and remembered.  And in my remembering I was taken back to a special place on the property at Prince of Peace.  The room I stayed in had a back door that opened up to the surrounding neighborhood.  Because the home in on a mountain, the view is out across the rooftops of all these surrounding homes and lean tos.  It's not that the view is unbelievably stunning, it's that this back deck was a place between heaven and earth for me.  I read there most mornings with an awareness of God's very presence drawing me into deeper intimacy, greater hope, and unhindered possibilities.  And then I came back to the US and (it seems since that day) I've often lacked that beautiful space, peace, pace of dwelling in His glory.  It is a shame.  It breaks my heart.  It is why I sometimes feel like someone is scratching their nails across a chalkboard…I can stand it, but it is not pleasant.  That's not to say there have not been some spectacular moments of light, love, hope, peace etc.  It just seems I can't get the pace right for my personality.  Now, throw my personality plus school into the mix and well, I long for peace and calm.  My coping mechanism is to take a deep breath, jump in, and try to get through with only a few moments of coming up for air.  It's working, but I'm tired. I swam a lot growing up, a lot.  I loved going to the river.  I love water, being in it and more often these days, being on it.  In a boat, walking over a bridge, standing at its shore.  Back in the day, when we played, we often had races or ended up dunking each other…man, you had to be ready to take a deep breath and go under!  Sometimes you only got a moment to come up for a breath and you were under again.  At the end of these episodes, I had to go to the shallow and catch my breath.  This has also become my M.O. and how I'm moving through school, but I'm realizing 10 weeks plus finals week is a bit too long to wait for a breather.  And I don't want to go through school with my head down just wishing the year away and gritting my teeth to get through.  I feel like I've said this before.  I have.  I don't know if I've said it on here (I'm sure I have), in conversation or in my journal, but I've said it before.  I've lost the trust and dependence in believing that God brought me to this and will be the provision I need to get through.  What I need?  To trust that He has used my desires and insecurities and needs to draw me to seeking a path into nursing AND to trust that He has a plan in this year and after.  To understand that I'm not just in school for the degree so that I can go out after and use these skills, but to understand that this year is just as important to be FULL and aware of how He'd like to move.

I think this morning, laying in bed a lot longer than usual, was His way of slowing me down and getting to my heart.  I long to rest in Him.  I want Him to be my brain, to remember drugs and pathophysiological processes for me, to take the tests for me, to do the research and write to papers for me, and to exercise for me. :) I'm tired.  I need rest.  I have to keep moving on.  So, He must.  And He will.  I'm counting on it and needing to put to rest old ways of operating and move into lighter ways.  He says His yoke is easy, His burden is light.  Somehow, I've warped that and need Him to work in me.

This is a good day.  A good morning.  A great way to end the weekend and put school in it's right place.  Oh I want to be a great nurse, but I believe the pieces that will shine through to patients (the true Light Himself) must be continually fostered and formed in me right along with learning about CVA, schizophrenia, and isoniazid.

Father, You are great.  You are good.  You are strong.  You are omniscient.  You are for me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Aching bum.

I know I should not complain, I don't want to whine, but I have one problem with school-I sit too much!  I've been sitting in the same spot today for the last nine hours working on a research project and the bummer is, I've spent way too much time for what this project is really worth.  Sometimes these theory classes feel petty.  I received advice at the very beginning of this program from a gal who was about to graduate from the same.  Her advice, "Trust the system."  I thought she meant something like, "Don't worry, it will seem fast, but you'll have the beginnings of what you need."  Now I'm wondering if she means, "Trust that what you don't think you need to know (blah blah theory) will actually be beneficial to you over all."  Right.  Ok.  So, my bum still hurts.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Because this is the mood I'm in these days, country in my ears!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I'm here. Same blog, only updated!

I used to post on the ol' blog more regularly.  As it turns out, it's a great place to share thoughts, life happenings, inspirations, and to archive this trip from here to there.  I've been partially paralyzed with this little part of my life, posting blogs, after putting closure on the first blog (Journey Forth) and attempting to start fresh with a new one.  I could have just continued, but was in need of a change, perhaps some distance, as I began what felt and feels like a significant life shift, nursing school.

Still, it's me.  The same life.  Merely a continuation with innumerable threads closing the divide between old and new.  So, after attempts with a new blog, I've returned to the same one, simply giving it a new look.  It's nice to keep continuity.  I struggled after returning from Guatemala and jumping into school.  In short, it caused a "before and after" affect in my life.  Many daily activities and routines changed with a heart touched and a new nursing student schedule.  I functioned outwardly, but didn't know what to do with the "feelings."  I still don't.  Life feels a bit ragged at points.  I talk, but it feels lonely.  In those ways, it's still hard and I tend to turn inward thinking that will make this year, a life consumed with books and study, pass rapidly.  And that somehow emotions and other things will just fall away or into place.  So, school has come in good timing if I'm going to turn inward…STUDY!  The reality is, I don't want this year to pass quickly, I just don't want the pain associated with these changes.  And, I think, I feel like the more involved/consumed I am here, the more I forget about my Guatemala loves.  I don't want to forget.  Oh, I'm still functioning quite well and enjoying life.  But, I still think I'm ready to leave PDX after school.  We shall see.  I trust.

I've often wanted to share things on here (of course really more for myself as a place to speak and feel heard-even if no one is listening), but life has been occupied by both good things and stupid things.  The stupid being the mindless activities, the time-wasters that are still often necessary to give my head a study break.  One of those "time-wasters" is facebook.  It's used for both pleasure and school, but I have this recurring sense that it is on its way out of my life.  It's become very impersonal, a facade of relational connectedness, and well I'm looking for some better ways to spend my "time-waster" time.  Other things that fall into this category would be things that give me a quick release from studying drugs and pathophysiological processes, like "The Office" or getting on here to write and release the reverberating clanging that goes on between my ears.  I've heard of and had conversations with others who share the same thoughts about facebook.  Nevertheless, it is a tool for communication.  

So, what will become of this "face-lifted" Journey Forth?  We shall see.  I just know I miss having this outlet, it feels personal and I feel free to share here and not expect any response.  I'm back.  The blog appears a bit different and has a new tag line, "this long passing." Inspiration for this, this being "this long passing," came from the line of a song that impressed me.  Have a listen, "Jesus draw me ever nearer."  Inspiration also came from a question one of the nursing faculty posed last quarter during an optional lecture on self-care.  The question, "It's just one year, what does one year mean to you?"  Initially, I responded by jumping in deep and holding my breath.  I have since realized that I actually have to come up to breath during this 15 month program.  I'm finding small ways to do that, like taking a walk on a Saturday in October because the sun is out and will most likely be making fewer and fewer appearances.  I welcome the gray and the rain.  Seasons are good for me, each season bringing renewed perseverance and I need it!

Costa Rica, Sunrise, March 2006  
End note:  I transferred posts from the attempted new blog to this blog.  They are below.

Another end note:  This photo really has nothing to do with this particular post.  I shared it as part of a school assignment on hope (sharing true/false hope with our patients).  The sunrise does something in my heart I can't capture with words.  It's promising, and hope rises in that promise.  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. -Romans 15:13a

M & E

Maria Y Estephania

Yep, that's right Maria and me.  My name is Estefania when I'm at Prince of Peace and if you look closely you'll see our friendship bracelets, hers with the "M", mine with the "E".  You can read a bit more about Maria's story here.  I've talked about her before, maybe you'll recall, but had no idea she would continue to drastically transform as she has.  She is proving herself a pre-teen!  I was greeted by her and a few other chicas in Casa B with a trumpeting, "EEEEEESSSSSSTTTTTEEEEPPPHHHHAAANNNIIIAAA!!!!" Followed by a WHOLE LOT of screaming and giggling.  It's beautiful.  It's hard to remember how quiet and hollow she first seemed.  Her Spanish is amazing!  I asked her this time (and she is not at all shy to speak!), "Your Spanish is great, Maria!  Did you know Spanish before you arrived?"  She smiled, a bit shyly and nods, yes.  I winked and gave her a squeeze.  I was under the impression she only spoke her native dialect based on a few conversations with staff and because she just didn't talk in the beginning and then only a tiny bit when she did speak.  I know kids pick up language quickly, but she is rattling off like it's nothing new…and apparently it is not!! ...though maybe not the language she used in her home environment.  

On with the story!

When I arrived to Casa B, the girls sat me down on the porch and proceeded to ask questions and play games.  Maria sat right next to me and would not let go of my hand.  Eventually she got up, told me to wait, and then ran off into the house.  She came back with the above bracelet with an "E" which she'd made for me.  WOW!  Sweetest gift, it's currently on my wrist.  The back story is her bracelet.  Many of the girls have those bracelets with their initials in them.  When I was in Antigua with a team back in April, I saw those bracelets and thought of Maria.  She didn't wear any and I thought it would be a sweet little surprise and act of love to try and break through to this (previously) shy girl.  When I showed up this time, she had it on and she had one for me!  

This picture is from the night we ran for freedom.  I was running along with the girls, busy snapping as many pictures as I could (this was A MOMENT TO REMEMBER!) and suddenly felt a hand grab a hold of mine.  I looked down and there she was with Daniela, both faces covered with huge smiles.  The three of us ran along holding hands for quite some time and, being sentimental at moments in my life, I realized I wanted a picture of this.  I want to remember the transformation I've watched in Maria's life.  I want to remember that it's small things like bracelets that make the best gifts.  I want to remember these girls are FULL of love and at the same time, they need to be shown love.  And I want to remember that it is often in the times we have no great or amazing intention, that our intention makes a lasting impact.  

We Ran for Freedom

I have black lines on my body from the blend of smog and sweat, we ran for freedom.  Whistles blasted ‘til my left ear rang even louder, we ran for freedom.  Girls chanted and sang and shouted at the cars and buses as they passed by, we ran for freedom.  My lungs burned with the fumes of diesel exhaust as those buses blew plumes of black dust in our faces, we ran for freedom.  Sandwiched between the Taurus and the bus, we ran for freedom.  Old men passed by in their shiny cars and bellowed out the window, “Vive Guatemala!” throwing fists in the air, we ran for freedom.  Smiles donned by passersby spoke volumes and increased the volume of chanting, we ran for freedom.  Pride hung in the air as thick as that plume of exhaust, we ran for freedom.  Cars honked –ta-ta-te-te-ta- enough times to cause me to wonder if this is possibly a part of Guate’s national anthem, we ran for freedom.  Fireworks burst in the air as we crossed into Principe de Paz (It does not need to be independence day for fireworks, that is merely coincidence.), we ran for freedom.

It’s called the “freedom run” (from what I understand) and it’s tradition here in Guatemala the day before they celebrate their independence.  Tomorrow, 15 de septiembre, marks the 190th year for Guatemala and tonight, as we ran through the big, loud cuidad de Guatemala, you would-a-thunk it happened just 10 years ago.  These girls ran over 8km! (This is a correction-I was just informed it was 10 miles!) They are exhausted, SWEATY, hungry, and wearing enormous smiles.

The staff was AWESOME tonight as they ran alongside the girls, many girls taking turns carrying two torches on the way back home.  Tomorrow, some of their families will arrive to the home and celebrate while the girls perform traditional songs and dances.  It is a festive week here in Guate, unexpectedly festive, and I feel immense privilege at the opportunity to accompany these girls, staff, and Guatemalans as they celebrate their country’s freedom.  


I was a lifeguard for a period of time in college.  It's not as glamorous as you might initially think.  I distinctly remember needing to clear the pool on more than one occasion (during peak times) because we found feces either floating or at the bottom of the pool…who's eating their fiber!?!  Along with the territory of lifeguarding came swimming lessons and thus teaching various strokes.  The sidestroke is one I especially like(d) and I personally think takes coordination and comfort; coordination to get the scissor kick and arm stroke just right in order to glide quickly and smoothly through the water and comfort because you can't hold your head above water to work efficiently.  You must be comfortable relaxing in such a way that your mouth and eye are just barely above water.  I'm not an expert so don't go calling your swim instructor, but that's what I learned and what I remember.  The sidestroke was also a stroke I often used when I was exhausted and needed rest, but still needed to keep moving and stay afloat (the back stroke also was a good back-up plan).  I think there are going to be times in this next quarter when I am definitely going to need to bring in a little swim wisdom, my sidestroke.  I went into the hospital today and though we have not yet been assigned any patients, I KNOW it is going to be exhausting-learning on top of feeling inadequate and a definite novice, thinking and being on my toes consistently, being uber aware, growing (we all know growing can be somewhat painful)…I've decided there will be plenty of opportunity to implement the sidestroke.  Coordination and comfort when it gets tiring, mind boggling, and I need to keep moving forward, but need some rest along the way.  There have already been life and scheduling changes I knew would happen, but that have "felt" different than I expected.

It's early, but tonight I'm going to practice the sidestroke and I'm calling it a night.  Sweet dreams swimmers.

This picture is worth a thousand words.

Guate-February 2011 

It hangs on my wall in a collage of photos from Guatemala.  When I see it, I'm struck.  Something kicks in and I think, "I know what I'm supposed to do."  God thanks for opening doors to OHSU.  

Saturday, October 08, 2011


A drip of goodness in a hot cup of coffee, a sweet rush of wind on a laborious run, the smell of summer in freshly cut grass, a wave from a fellow runner on an early morning run, a real hug from another-there are certain things I find quite refreshing.  Those certain things I like to wrap my thoughts around and walk a ways with them.  When this happens, I actually think I'm asking myself (though formally it is never phrased into a question), "Why is your soul stirred?"  Often, it causes a hope to rise.  The glimmer of hope this morning is straight from His word.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  -Romans 15:13

Overflowing with hope, what might that look like in the business of living when life often feels chaotic and some things go unfinished? Hope, hope, hope.  The God of hope is good to fill me with hope…I cling to this Hope.


Of course today/tonight would be the time I'm-literally-bursting-at-the-seams!  Yes, of course it would be tonight because tomorrow is our first midterm in this accelerated program, Clinical Pharmacology.  Here's a free tip, black licorice will counter-act your prescription for hypertension.  Eat in moderation.

This week we are learning about Motivational Interviewing and how to use therapeutic language to help our clients move toward behavior change, quitting smoking, for example.  All that is actually not the point. (This is going to be long and I feel rushed trying to spit it out onto this cyber page.  That is actually my point.  I feel rushed.)  During the time with my partner, I discovered I'm still a broken mess over Guatemala.  The whole thing came out of hiding.  We didn't have to share anything real, it was more a practice of asking open-ended questions, gathering information, guiding, etc., but there it was and I spilled it all over.  What a wonder, the gal I was working with just recently spent time serving children with AIDS and TB in Africa.  Sure, much of my brokenness has to do with those girls and missing them, but some of it has to do with what God was doing in my life there and not wanting to cut that short-by way of leaving out sacred space for Him to move and speak and change me.  I actually feel like this year is not only learning about nursing, it's a continuation of freeing myself from the chains that hinder a fully free life in Christ.  I feel a great sense of duty to do well in school, the change I feel and see happening is that I feel an even greater sense of desire to walk lightly in this world, providing a fresh cup of water rather than a glass with a few drops of water clinging to the side.  That second glass has more to do with me worried about myself making it through this or that, getting this project done, getting an A etc!  I've actually been telling myself, this is not about getting all A's.  That is just so empty.  I hope for a C, ok would rather a B, and if an A came along I won't refuse it, but I will not spend countless hours studying ALL THE TIME for an A.  I WILL SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS STUDYING so that I might touch a life with kindness, and a cup of fresh water.

Much of life for me seems to be either lived in what I call "frantic" mode or "chilled out."  Some of you have no idea what my frantic mode looks like, some of you are well aware of it because you've seen the inside Steph.  I don't know if I hide it well from others or if I just kid myself and think I'm being discrete.  Regardless of who sees it, that is less and less of what matters.  What I'm realizing is that I often tell myself, "Once this or this is done, THEN I can relax/slowdown/let myself fall" etc.  I spent some chilled out time in Guatemala and I am now FED UP with living a life that feels FRANTIC…sorta like your insides are being squeezed and every bit of peace vacates the premise for a brief period of time.  The difficulty is that I very rapidly shift from frantic to chilled out.  I mean it's a matter of seconds and I can tail spin into a flurry of madness and task master.  It takes me a conscious thought and a little effort (a lot less than it used to) to move toward chillin'.  My thought has always been, just let me finish this and then I can be fully present. I don't want to discount that last sentence, it is often true.  The problem is, it does not always need to be true.  And I am slowly learning, through aching errors, that I need to let go a little bit more.  This freaks me out!  I just started this intense nursing program and I'm thinking about implementing a little more carelessness into my life.  What???  Yeah, I'm in.  I jumped through the hoops to get into school and I'm done.  I really am.  I TRUST FULLY that my God opened this door for me and that HIS plans for what happen after these next 15, no wait one month already done, these next 14 months are more about serving selflessly, letting my life be moved away.

I'm going to say this and I'm sure you won't be surprised, but I feel like my time in Portland is short, for a few reasons.  One, OHSU is an awesome nursing program and Portland is not lacking in many great programs.  Bottom line, the nursing market does not look good in Portland.  So, maybe I'll stay here if opportunity comes with my clinical rotations, but I'm not holding my breath.  Two, eventually, you'll see me leave the country for periods of time.  I don't have any more of the details or I'd be willing to share.  I just know it and actually believe it is PRECISELY why I'm in school.  Where?  What?  How?  I'm waiting.  It might be 10 years, but eventually I see a beautiful marriage between the Spanish language and nursing skills

Enough for now-still, I want to be still.  And I should be a bit studious the night before an exam.  :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This is an awkward place to sit, hanging in the balance of not there and not quite here.  That's how it feels being back in Portland getting ready for school.  I've had a few needles in my arms the last few weeks, have been on the computer completing all the prerequisite training modules…HIPPA (oh so interesting), emergency codes and training etc.  In between all this fun activity, I feel a bit lost in the waiting.  I keep thinking about writing and wanting to share stories about POP, but being here and writing about there feels strange.  Honestly, I don't know what to share.  I'm aware of having left out many details and gaps in the stories I did share.  I intended to write about the POP staff, a more detailed version of the activities at the clinic, what it looks like when a team shows up for a week, more about the girls and some fun activities, a visit on Easter Sunday from US Senator Mary Landrieu, but I'm lacking.  Maybe this blog has been nagging and calling more because of my own, practical desire to archive those events and not necessarily for you who read.  So, I'm extending myself grace to call this finished though in many ways it is still incomplete.  (Ah, that sounds like a life lesson!)  As I thought about what I'd fill in in these last few posts (which have been condensed into this ONE), I got sad and started to reconsider my initial conviction of putting the ol' blog on the shelf.  And then I quickly resigned that feeling sad is by no means a reason to keep this open.  Looking out the window, my first thought, "Today is a new day."  I'm picturing stacks of notecards and books in my future, looking forward to and thankful for the opportunity to study at OHSU!!!!!!!, and eager to take full advantage of throwing myself into this learning process.

So, it seems fitting to sign off in a place that is out of the ordinary. Ok, I'm sentimental and I want to remember this!  I'm sitting in a huge bay window on the second story of a beautiful home of a friend.  A bit of a retreat, yes.  Why?  Because the opportunity presented itself and a few days at the sea resonated within.  I'm in Depoe Bay, staring at the waves crashing against the rock cliff just below my window.  An appropriate place to wrap things up!  Acutely aware of His closeness.  "He is more intimate with us than we are with ourselves." -Augustine  I'm especially thankful for this insight, in it I find peace and grace.  Journey Forth- I'm thankful for this place to have shared about life, it's been cathartic and encouraging. 

Lastly, I'm still currently head over heals for a new favorite author, Brennan Manning, and just about to finish another of his books, Lion and the Lamb.  Here is where my mind was trapped today…Manning writes:

The story goes that Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the world's greatest theologian, toward the end of his life suddenly stopped writing.  When his secretary complained that his work was unfinished, Thomas replied: "Brother Reginald, when I was at prayer a few months ago, I experienced something of the reality of Jesus Christ. That day, I lost all appetite for writing.  In fact, all I have ever written about Christ seems now to me to be like straw."

Father, grace us with the reality of Your presence, that all else might pale in comparison.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Voodoo donuts-I  vacillated between the choc.ricecrispies.pb
and the maple glazed with bacon…all at 1 in the morning!
I'm here.  Upon arrival, they surprised me at the airport and I was completely dumbfounded.  Gretchen, home from Cambodia for 2 months, ran up behind me and gave me a big hug.  I looked at her like I'd never seen her before.  I was so consumed in my thoughts.  Add to that the fact that I was not expecting a welcome committee, was sleep deprived and I haven't seen G in over a year.  I gave her the stink eye until I realized what was going on and Annie ran up on the other side of me!  Well, forget about sleep after that.  We made our way to Voodoo donuts and finally got home at 1:15AM.  I decided to start unpacking and ended up staying up all night!  My cat-nap was then interrupted by my lovely mom holding flowers.

Mom, so thoughtful.  Thank you, it was great to spend the day with you! 

It's a place you expect to wait and the wait is worth it.  Coffee makes it possible. 

Yesterday, G, A and I went to Helser's on Alberta and I think my welcome back is now complete post breakfast outing.  We had an eventful morning speaking English, Spanish, and Khmer.  Gretchen spent some intense time learning Khmer and is so very impressive when she speaks.  

Folks, thanks for following along.  I have a few more posts I want to share (actually several, but we'll see how that goes) and then I'm going to be closing down Journey Forth.  It's something I've been thinking/praying/processing through.  I love coming here to dump my thoughts.  It's made me a more transparent and vulnerable person, especially in regards to really speaking what the Lord stirs in my soul.  I feel like I can say what I really feel here, the depths of those often unshared thoughts AND the shallowness of everyday life!;)  Blogging here has been great, if you want to know what I'm thinking, here you go, but I've not vied for your attention and I'm not flustered by watching you look over my shoulder waiting for a good opportunity to make your escape from the conversation. ;) Here, you're invited and welcomed to stay if your curiosity is piqued.  Your just as free to pass on through…and for that I feel I can share freely and without (too much) reservation.

Anyway, a few more posts and then this site will go into the archives.  This was started as a way to keep you up-to-date while I spent time in Costa Rica, over 5 years ago, and was continued because I moved across the country.  There has been much movement to life these years, but as is often the case, it feels appropriate to close this chapter.  It has served it's purpose and I don't want to delay or hold on when it is actually time to move on.  This place helped me through the angst of these years, wondering where life is leading.  Starting nursing school feels like an end to the "meandering" that this blog represents.  It feels good and necessary to tuck Journey Forth away on the shelf and maybe time for a fresh start.  I think I will write, just not here.  I'll share that link if it happens, maybe all the wonders of nursing school.

So, expect a few more posts…I just HAVE to share a couple more things about those lady POPsters.

Love 'em, missin' 'em.

Monday, May 02, 2011

May I add...

The goodness of play, sweet smiles, candy wrappers strewn about, florescent lighting, knocks on the door after dinner seeking help with homework or an ear to listen, screams of joy from the kids at the pool on the other side of the fence, eating at a table for 22, hearing my name scrambled into a Spanish equivalent and trumpeted from the balconies of the houses above, hugs, constant cascades of love, sitting on the swing, counting as they jump rope, the amusement of watching imaginative minds create ways to spend time, driving in constant exhaust, reading/listening/musing/talking with God on the back porch, panoramic views of this giant city, riding in a school bus again, blowing and catching kisses-melt my heart, good coffee AND instant coffee, learning faces of those who turn up at the clinic, walking this hill morning after morning, greeting the staff bright and early, playing around the world, partying with piñatas-frequently, headaches from too many chicas screaming at one time, constant questions about movie nights, trying-trying to operate in another language to have a simple conversation, taking pictures of EVERYTHING…just a bit of what life has looked like and what I'm going to miss-minus the exhaust from the buses.

Wednesday is my flight.  Yes, nearly two weeks early.  Life continues to progress, unfold, transform.  I have a lot to say, I think I'll say it another day.  I love them and I am loved by them-that's good and that hurts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photo Update-I heart POP.

Flowers for my 34th from Deisy and Maricruz!

Anay and Lucerito 

Dafne with her candy after the Camp Sonshine Easter Egg Hunt!

Sarai reads to me, "Abba's Child" -B. Manning…how appropriate. 

Flor, Joselin, Marsha and Mabel. 

Velveth showing her Guate pride and prepping for the Camp Sonshine USA-Guate futobol (soccer) match. 

Deisy showing Sarai her freshly painted face.

Get off the road, here come Sylvia, Yohana, and Ana. 

Yohana, beautiful. 

Beautiful Yoselin advertising for Pepsi! Go Guate! 

Mayra aka-Hembra and me-aka Agorita.   

Reyna, Alyssa, Evelyn and Marielos prepping for the game. 

Eloisa, sus ojos! Que Bonita! 

Alicia going all out! 

Odilia, Carol, and Lupita. 

Lisdenia loves her team! 

Girl can jump! 

Maria and Rosita at the luau.  

A fantastic night to cap off a great week with Camp Sonshine!   

Eugenia looking beautiful.

Suleyka making it to the finals in the limbo! 

Dulce, que bonita! 

Blanquita's toothless grin is about to disappear. 

Getting a little love from this sweet chick! 

Velveth looking like she's up to something, as usual! 

Lisbeth and Marielos baking in Casa B. 

Fernanda and I-laundry day! 

xoxo Maria xoxo 


Karen, Maria, and Daniela kind of doing laundry. 

Love this-Rosita, Dulce, and Viviana 

Yes, Guate has a Starbucks on the OTHER side of the city.  We made it an evening outing.
Lauren, Ninoshka and Maricruz.