Archive for May, 2010

patience. . .


patience truly is a virtue.  i can’t even count how many times i tell myself that in my head.  of course you don’t want to know all the things that i tell myself, but that is a common little phrase that runs through my mind.  i know the reason is that i am not a patient person.  

today i decided that i wanted to bake.  i got canceled from work because we have been having a low census, so instead of spending twelve hours at work today, i was able to do a whole variety of other things.  we have fresh lemon balm (melissa officianalis) growing in our yard here in fairway and i have to say it is truly one of my favorite herbs, other than the fact that it has my name, it makes great ice tea, so i made some of that.  i used to make a really good pound cake of sorts with lemon balm, so i thought i would make some sort of cake or dessert.  of course i got a bit carried away and three hours or so later after running to the store for the essential ingredients, getting extremely frustrated that i could not find the mixer and just deciding to mix this cake by hand and then finally finishing it and finishing the dishes i reminded myself that patience truly is a virtue.  my problem with patience is that, i want what i want and i wanted it yesterday!  

i am extremely pleased with my torte, or at least the way it looks.  we are getting ready to taste test it here at our little house, but it does make me think of more lasting things.  such as our heavenly father, who patiently watches us choose to do and go our own way over and over again.  He continually tells us to draw near to Him and He will be there and we continually seek our own.  (at least i do.)  i am grateful that patience is a virtue that God has and is continually molding in us.


i think i will also LOVE this torte and am glad that i patiently followed all the steps of the recipe!


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fear versus faith

growing up as a child to many i may have appeared as gentle, meek and shy.

BUT, if you would have been around at night while my sister and i were going to sleep as children, you would have seen another side of me.  my sister was extremely afraid of the dark and would many times go to my parents room because of some noise, movement of whatever.  there were actually many nights when i was the instigator of her fears.  i would point out how the laundry pile looked like a wolf or ask her if she had heard the noise that seemed like someone was coming in the window.  i know you may be surprised at me having been such a mischievous child.  part of this mischievousness was inspired because i thought it was funny, but also because i had no idea what it was like to really be scared like she felt.

fear was not a common emotion during my childhood and to be perfectly honest it was not an emotion i hardly experienced at all until this last year.  it seems like in the last year, fear entered my heart in a way i have never experienced and as i feel like i am walking out of that season in my life, i have to reflect to in some way understand and in some way relinquish that emotion that i do not want to have in my heart.

i know that for me the beginning of 2009 i began to think about the fact that i would be turning 28 and i was not married.  i began to fear that perhaps my dreams and desires to be a wife and mother would not be realized.  the lies that fed that fear throughout the year were the ideas that i must not be pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough.  once those lies begin to grow in your heart, they take root and grow quickly.  those thoughts and ideas were so unfamiliar to me, but once given a small place in my heart, they grew with a vengeance.  i thought then i could change those things.  i could be funny, i could look as cute as anyone else!  that fear gave way to jealousy and envy.  (also both emotions unfamiliar to me and i have to say rather unwelcome!)

in november of this last year i had a suspicious looking mole taken off my face.  due to its irregularities i had to have a second procedure to make sure that there were no traces of it left.  the second surgery for me involved overcoming a huge fear in my life and going into an operating room.  both the fact that it was highly suspicious for melanoma and then having a second surgery pushed me because although i am a medical person i have an awful phobia of physicians and operating rooms because of some really scary childhood experiences.

on a completely different note i flew to Texas for christmas with my family and in flight we hit an air pocket and i honestly have never felt so close to dying as i began to process in my head and heart what my family would think losing me over christmas and how hard that would be or what my last words had been hoping that there were not things that would be left unsaid after my death.  we landed safely and i have to say i was extremely grateful!

probably one of the most fear invoking experiences for me was actually the earthquake that occurred january 12, 2010.  i was in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti having a staff meeting when it felt like a wave came through the room.  only later did we begin to hear about the devastation that occurred in Port-au-Prince.  what horror to wait with so many as they did not know if their families were alive or dead.

i honestly realized this emotion of fear was effecting me when i was flying out of haiti in march and i was staying in a room at a hotel in port-au-paix by myself and i said something about it being scary.  a friend andy olsen said to me “melissa, where is this fear coming from?”  that was a good question, one that i have processed in my heart and mind.  the fear was coming from a lack of trust.  a lack of trust in God.

a lack of trust that He will supply the man for me to marry.

a lack of trust that He has my life and every situation and circumstance in His control.

a lack of trust in the fact that He made me to be exactly who i am.

over the last few months i have been thinking about the truth of the word, “perfect love casts out fear.”

the only one who loves each of us perfectly is our heavenly Father.  He loves us with no reservations.  it is His love that beckons like a Father and says. . . 

“remember my dear child when you were young, before you had seen and heard and felt how harsh the world is, 

remember when you had no fear.  

return to me and return to that reality, 

because it is in that reality that you are truly free.

allow my perfect love to cast out the fears in your life.”

i hope and pray this last season of some extremely uncomfortable and raw emotions in my life is drawing to a close as again run to the arms of an Abba Father who knit me together in my mothers womb, who knows the plans He has for me.

trust is a decision that overcomes fear.

faith is a decision that can overcome this world.

i choose faith over fear.

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we had a nurses day yesterday in memory of florence nightingale.  it was just a fun day where all the nurses had t-shirts, we had a ceremony and learned about treating burns from our full time physicians.  the fun part was that we all then ate together and took pictures.  it was a real blessing to just have some fun together.

obviously that was not yesterday – it was the 12 of may, i just was not able to post because our internet was being a bit uncooperative.

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every morning at 7:45 our haitian staff gathers for devotions.  many shuffle in to their seats as the first song is sung.  it is usually a great time for me to focus and prepare my mind for the day.  a couple days ago sylveste was leading.  she is a huge role model for me in my life.  as our nursing director, she works tirelessly with the moms who come into maternity.  she has taught me so much about delivering babies, but also just about life in general.

her words that morning have echoed through my head.  she was praying and just asking God to come and allow His spirit to be with each person that day.  she made the statement in her prayer that “they were born into a prison, that prison being Haiti.”  that statement struck me and has stuck with me.  coming from Sylveste who is a pillar of strength and wisdom and many times laughter and joy, the idea that she would feel imprisoned was telling.  it is telling of the reality of Haiti.

she has risen above her circumstances, above the many boundaries in life, she has and continues to change the world around her, but it is true, she is in many ways imprisoned in a country encumbered with problems that date back many generations.

that statement has stuck with me also because i believe many of us who believe, act like and talk like we are free, but we actually are imprisoned.  perhaps our prisons are not geographical land masses, or physical confines, but we are imprisoned none the less.  

we are imprisoned in our minds.

we have allowed this world and its pressures not only to influence us, but to imprison us.  we allow others thoughts, ideas, expectations and voices to force us to live in the confines of their realities for our lives rather than the liberties that are ours in Christ.  it is the truth of the Word, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us that will set us free.

although sylveste was true in her statement that those born in Haiti were born in a prison, many christians in Haiti live in a freedom i have rarely seen because they live in a reality similar to what John said. . . “what we have heard, what we have seen, what our hands have handled concerning the words of life” (i john). . . many Haitians have seen and know Jesus in such an amazing way because for whatever reason God has made the poor of this world to be rich in faith.

i hope that the reality of the truth of the gospel comes in your life.  that the only one who can set you free from whatever imprisons your mind body and soul will become real and tangible in your life.  it is only Jesus who will and can “guide our feet into the way of peace.” (luke 1:79b)

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this morning a doctor who runs a hospital in the far west in a town called jean rebel came to pick up supplies.  it was so awesome to fill the back of his truck to almost overflowing with supplies that will truly enable him to be able to serve those in that area.  

i am so grateful for the many people who have enabled us to have such an amazing source of supplies that we are able to share with the surrounding doctors and hospitals.  what a huge blessing!

i am also so grateful to have maureen who has worked and worked arranging supplies and medicine to enable us to be able to know what we have and be able to share it!!

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good day. . .

today has just been a really beautiful quiet day for me.

as women staff here at northwest we are doing the beth moore study on daniel. although i have not kept up with my homework the best (of course!) i have really enjoyed the study and today just enjoyed the truth of scripture and remembering some of the things that are very true about our Father.

i feel like today has just been a good day of processing and i am grateful for carving out the time this afternoon for myself to do that. thank you so much to the many who are praying so diligently for me.

our staff cooks are making mexican tonight for dinner, so life could not get much better!!

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