In His Arms

Coffee mug in hand, I stare out the window at the cloudy sky, and my tired mind tries to focus on something that feels beyond reach.

I begin the slow climb up into His arms.  It takes all my might – it has been too long, and I haven’t done this climb nearly enough lately, and so these muscles feel rusty, weak, and afraid.

Resting my head against His chest, I listen for His whisper, yearn to hear His heartbeat.

It takes practice, I know, to push away the thoughts that crowd out His voice, and I do not take for granted those precious moments when He overwhelms my head and heart, and He is all that I can feel.

There it is.

exhale

It’s been a long year.  A year of too much coffee, and too little sleep.  A year of good grades, and unmet expectations. A year of test anxiety, undone laundry, and a family that is learning to adjust . . . there were times this year I could almost hear my family creaking and groaning like a ship caught in a mighty storm.

But here . . .  in His arms . . . here I am safe from wind and wave. In this moment, I feel I am sleeping with Him in the bottom of the boat, unfazed.

The storms of this year have weathered me.  My skin is thickened from too much sun and sea-spray. My heart feels callous – my feeble attempt at protecting myself from all life has thrown at me this year. My words are sharp, and sometimes cold. Lately, I feel the iciness of my words even as they leave my mouth.  And I hear in my head: Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks . . . 

My prayer in this moment is for the return of sweetness in my life and words.  A sweetness that I know comes only from regularly climbing into These Arms.

I know I am loved, accepted.

I know who I am called to be.

My head and heart are bowed, heavy with repentance. Every fiber of me cries out for closeness with Him. I know if I take my eyes off This Face, or wander from These Arms, I will quickly become confused, unsure, and the waves will be all I can see.

And so I pray.

It’s a start.

 

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Amid the Dizziness

Hello Friends.

I would like to update you all on what my life looks like right now.

I am in week 2 of a beautifully crazy full-time nursing program.  My program is the top-ranked nursing program among all the community colleges in the United States, producing the best, most-prepared nurses. I have discovered this week how it earned that ranking. Things I have learned:

While a certain university down the road requires a 2.2 to pass a nursing class, my college requires a 3.0. I must get higher than 80% in every class or else….

However, it isn’t easy to get those good grades.  These classes are stinkin hard!  The professors are strict, and write challenging tests to prepare us well.

As one of my professors said “You all walked in here 4.0 students, almost none of you will leave here with a 4.0.”

Apparently, many of the second year nursing students are on anxiety medications just to get through school.

Oh and we are expected to gain an average of 20 pounds a person over the next two years. Lovely, eh?

There was even a meeting held the week before school started just for the families and support people of the student nurses. Do you know what was said?  Pretend like your loved one is missing for the next 20 months. They will be unavailable and completely consumed.  Step in and take over their duties for them. They need so much support to get through this.

It is so true.

This is one of (if not THE) hardest things I have ever done in my life.

I am away from home so much, and when I am home I have to be virtually consumed with studies.  There seriously isn’t enough time in a day to even study everything I need to.

I have cried every day for the past ten days. (True, some of those tears were tears of joy, tears of exhaustion, and tears in the card aisle at Meijer while finding an anniversary card…but still…I’m ready for a dry-eyed break.)

I am used to sailing through classes with relative ease, and now I am stretched to understand and keep-up.  The rush hour commute, copious reading, extra-lab time required, crazy-difficult tests… well, they don’t mesh so well with how I am used to doing life.  I am missing dinners with my family, bible-studies with friends, conversations with my kids (I haven’t’ seen them since 7 am today for instance… oh how I miss them!) My house is a wreck, and will be for the next 20 months (But as my dear friends reminded me, the house will recover eventually.)

Anyway. Where am I going with all this?

I want to tell you that if you are reading this, and you are someone who is used to seeing me, and maybe occasionally grabbing coffee or something, it may be a while before that happens again.  I love so many people. My old self loved to keep up with friends so much I would have coffee with at least two different people every week.  Now I have to put that on hold a little, and I am afraid people will be hurt that I am not available, not calling…. but it is my life for now. When it all boils down, I need to prioritize like never before. I NEED time alone with God – that is so evident. He alone is my rock through all this.  Finding undistracted alone time lately has been near impossible…. I NEED to pour attention into my marriage and my children – so critical. And then I NEED to study my brains out…stay up late, drink lots of coffee, get up early, drink lots of coffee… and I will try to keep up with friends when I am not completely drained . . . And then I will blink . . .  and it will be April 2015 and I will be graduating . . . and I hope that some of my loved friends will still be around.  Please don’t mistake my absence as lack of interest or love. It is killing me to have to miss out of my favorite conversations….

And finally I want to thank the people who have already come along side me.  The loved ones who have stepped in for me watching my kids… picking them up from school, feeding them, playing games with them, loving them. I want to thank my husband for being amazing. For pitching-in extra around the house and understanding when I just can’t think anymore. I want to thank my kids for understanding when I can’t remember what day it is, when I don’t have time to read an extra long bedtime story, when I can’t watch a movie with them . . .

My heart is tender….

I am praying for strength and the wings of eagles.

In Faith, Hope and Love,

Amy

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