Monday, December 13, 2010

Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows

Do you remember that phrase? If I am honest, this is what my life has felt like the last few years. But it's funny how while you are in a rutt, you don't recognize it. I have been doing the best that I can to help others, make a living and try to get into graduate school. I've been spinning around and around moving fast and not knowing which direction was left or right or up or down. Just trying to gain momentum in any direction. It's not that I don't love babysitting by any means, or that I am not passionate about nursing. And it's not that I haven't been absolutely blessed along the way. It's just that I didn't have the proper steering. It really is about a long season of babysitting full-time coming to an ending for me. (About an 8-9 year season!) I did a lot of praying through it all, hoping that somehow a door would open and I could go into grad school.
Then, I starting working an a financial advisory firm part time thanks to my lovely and wonderful roommate. I thought it would be great to work there because babysitting had somewhat drastically slowed down and was even more unsteady; and I'm going to India and could always benefit from extra work. Then, it turned out that the firm was needing a full-time employee. My roommate then really began to advocate for me at work, and also showed me a lot of ways of how having a set schedule would allow me free evenings to study and go to school and would be such a benefit for me. A concept that seriously seemed so simple, but also seemed like such caring and wise counsel. So, because of my roommates influence and the respect she holds with our boss I was able to meet with him and he really wanted to hire me. I was ecstatic. Honestly, it seemed like a dream come true. Like it was too good to be true. But it was and is true! I am now working full-time at a financial securities office! I am learning so much about how to manage my finances wisely, and so much about the financial industry that I know is going to help me for the rest of my life. And this is such a good place for me to be in so that I can work on my own goals and aspirations in life.
With all this to say, it was so hard for me to get myself to say yes to such a good opportunity. I felt like I was abandoning the families I babysit for. Leaving them in the dust. Not to mention, I love the families and kids I sit for! But I was allowing it to be my main focus, and getting overly caught up in it. I feel like the whole journey through this for me was allowing myself to actually do something good for myself. To give myself more freedom, more room to breathe, and to also work on my dreams and what I feel God has called me to do. And to also trust God, knowing that He would provide for the families I sit for no matter what. Needless to say, working full-time has already been so absolutely beneficial to me. It's made me feel so thankful and so taken care of. And, the funny thing is that basically the day after I allowed myself to take this job and fall into doing something so worthwhile for myself I registered for classes for the Spring semester. And guess what? I am now signed up to finish a pre-req that I haven't been able to get into! It will start 2 hours after I get off of work, allowing me plenty of time to get to school and possibly finish any needed work or study. God isn't a god of coincidences, is He? He's a God of love, caring, freedom and amazing plans (for me AND YOU)!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stream of Consciousness: A Death Certificate and Why I Go

The other day, for some reason I came into contact with a death certificate. I know, I know. Seems a little dreary and morbid. Actually, with my work that I am doing it's not uncommon for me to see them. However, last week I was really struck by the fact that I was holding an "original" death certificate (because a lot of the time I just see copies). I thought, wow this is so official. And it validates a persons life. I mean, in the U.S. there are people who make a living investigating the reason that someone dies to give a cause and in a way to answer questions for the surviving friends and family and give closure. I was overwhelmed by it because I right away thought of India. How in general, peoples lives are not valued. There are different levels of worth and value in the Hindu religion, and most people's lives don't get recognized. I've been to India and literally seen one small version of a cemetery. Most of the time, if someone dies they either get cremated/burned or thrown in the river. Never to be recognized or documented. I know that part of this is due to a that I'm not use to which many cultures are more focused on each individual being part of a whole and working for the greater good. But, there had been one time when I visited I went to an elderly home that Harvest India built and a man had just died 30 minutes before we got there. People were mourning his death but also celebrating his life, and that He believed Jesus was his savior and was going to heaven.

As all these thoughts and memories were going on in my brain, I couldn't help but think that I would never want to live not knowing that I was created by someone who knows me by name and who ordained all my days and wrote them in His book "before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16). Someone who cares for me and I actually have a relationship with. A Creator who knows every hair on my head. Who cares about my heart and not meaningless sacrifices. One who lets me know He is real! Like today, I got up early (despite not wanting to) to go to a doctor who could write me an anti-malaria prescription before I go to India (because bugs are filthy things that carry lots of germs that I don't want). I tried to go to the travel clinic in Orange County, but they've been booked up for a while. In addition to the anti-malaria prescription, the doctor also suggested that I get another typhoid vaccination. I thought, sure. I'm due for it so why not. The nurse comes into the room with the injection in hand and lets me know the vaccination would be $95. I thought, "what!?!". And I just had a big red flag feeling come over me. I sought some other options and even though I'm not opposed to vaccinations, they had an oral prescription that would last for 5 years instead of 2 for the injection vaccination. I started contemplating my other options, like going just for the typhoid vaccine at the travel clinic if it was cheaper (which would be nice to save money). But looking at paying for another nurses visit and the vaccination, it didn't seem like a cheaper option. I called a few pharmacies, and there was one close by and it was $69.99...but then I remembered that a friend mentioned an on-line free discount prescription card I could get. So, I ended up paying $50 instead of the minimum $65 at the travel clinic. And I didn't have to travel 30 minutes or waste work time. It made me feel that God directed me, He was seeking the best for me, and knew what I needed. This is why I go to show people that I care for them and this is rooted from what God has shown me, done for me and instilled in me. I'm so thankful for how much He loves me! :) And He continually shows me. And I'm thankful for all the ways He continually molds my heart to be like His as I go back to India.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A roadtrip picture post :)

A (week) long awaited post about my roadtrip to Denver. I'm so proud of my friend Stephanie, for taking a leap of faith to move outside of California on her own, and begin a life as a therapist/social worker. She's already gotten so many great opportunities in Colorado. Early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving, we left for a 19 hour drive. Stephanie was excited, see.
Her car was filled to the max :)
And, while Stephanie drive I loved taking pictures with my new camera. Happiness!
We drove through Arizona...a land of beautiful mountains. The architecture of nature is just amazing, isn't it?
Then we went through New Mexico all on the 1st day. (Do you see the "Welcome to New Mexico" sign?...yeah, I wasn't quick enough with my camera once we noticed the sign)
And saw a beautiful sunset with gorgeous land around us.
After 12 hours of driving, we stayed overnight in Albuquerque. (a little guide from our hotel room)
Then, we got up the next morning to head to Colorado! (Not without a little car maintenance 1st...but such is life). In Colorado Springs we visited a Cracker Barrel. This was a 1st for me.
Can you tell that I had fun taking pictures in the store? I love their displays!

One night, we went out for a night on the town (Denver style, that is) :)

we also celebrated my birthday (a few days after the fact) at Maggiano's :) yum!
And I'll leave you with this video we took when it started to snow as we were leaving downtown Denver...I know, I'm such a nerd in it. But I still think it's a fun video.