Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's a hodge-podge!

First, my sister-in-law has been able to move her shoulders. She remains on a ventilator but has been breathing "over it". Her lungs have been bruised badly from the fall and are causing the most difficulty at this point - filling up with fluid and causing the need for chest tubes to be placed. Otherwise, if she continues to stabilize then hopefully surgery later this week.

Secondly, can I just praise God for wonderful neighbors! I have lived in this house for 6 years and NEVER been locked out - until today! I was trying to keep one dog in the house while trying to get the other one to come into the house. Only partially successful, I kept the german shepherd inside and locked myself outside with the golden retriever. Seriously, no shoes - no keys - no pride! Lucky for me, I have a brave neighbor who was willing to get a ladder and climb through the only window open (2nd floor) and brave my crazy german shepherd who was going nuts in the house.

I knew I bought the box of Ecuadorian cigars for a reason! Good thing, my neighbor likes cigars! :o)

Last but not least, this was my final look at Quito, Ecuador just one week ago. With all that has happened, it sure seems like it has been longer than just seven days! I hope to have some posts together soon that share more of my time in Ecuador. It was an amazing adventure!

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Night Vigil

I was watching intently the news report of the dust storm in Australia. I couldn’t help but feel some kinship with those suffering through the night-like haze that blanketed the Aussie sky. My life has been a bit of a dust storm this week.

As I was groping, not so delicately, with the inevitable transition from mission experience to home our family was blindsided with the tragic accident of my sister-in-law.


In a single breath of a moment, life is blurred beyond recognition. The known becomes the unknown. Naked and empty within this great and deep dark silence, I can do nothing.

A sacred vigil has begun.

In this midnight hour of waiting, I beg for sight to see the purpose; I beg for hearing to find comfort in the spoken word; I beg for wisdom to make decisions beyond myself; I beg for air both cleansing and replenishing to fill my breaths.

I asked not for this pervading darkness but within its murkiness I am not alone. I stand watch with those who find themselves enveloped by circumstance. Together we wait for the dust to settle and the air to clear.

This sacred pause to life will fade as quickly as its darkness fell. I know that. So, within its brevity I surrender only to the trust I have in Him who does not change.

Life will change.
He will not.

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises.
Psalm 119:148

Update: My husband's sister is still sedated and on a ventilator. They hope that soon they will be able to wean her off the ventilator. The extent of spinal damage remains a mystery but there will be permanent damage. The hope is she will be stable enough medically that next week they can surgically stabilize her cervical spine.

Thank you for your prayers.

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Need for Prayer Please!

My husband's youngest sister (44 yo) fell down 15 stairs while on vacation in Topsail, NC. She suffered three cervical fractures, a lacerated lung, a lacerated liver and a broken collarbone. Currently, she unable to move or feel anything below her shoulders. Her breathing became more difficult after the injury and has required a ventilator. She did not sever her spinal cord but the swelling that is occurring post-injury can cause permanent damage. She was life-flighted to a hospital in Wilmington, NC.

Please pray that the swelling will go down quickly and that the damage to the cord will be minimal. Please pray that she will regain as much motor and sensation as possible. Please pray that she will stabilize soon and can be medivac'd to Ohio to be closer with family. Please pray for traveling mercies for family as they travel to be near her.

Last, but definitely not least, please pray for God's hand to be evident to all in the midst of this situation. May hearts of those who do not believe be softened and may lives be changed for the glory of God.

I started my nursing career working with spinal cord injured patients. I am trying my best to keep a positive outlook but it is difficult. I know the possible roads that lie is hard.

Please feel free to pass this request on and thank you for your prayers!

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dwelling in the Possibilities

In the midst of the gestures and words of welcoming, I was drawn like a moth to a flame to this littlest one. There in the arms of the one I would soon come to know as his father, was the most precious bundle of cuteness. Large chocolate almond eyes and the chubbiest cheeks I have ever seen melted my heart with each innocent, sweet giggle that passed through his lips.

Knowing what we were offering was not for ones so little, his presence was unexpected. Who was this precious one, I wondered.

Clarity came in the form of his mother. A dear young woman who bore this bundle of sweetness not more than 4 months ago – she needed what we were offering. Pain and dysfunction care not of age or circumstance. She knew that all too well. She lived it daily. She survived it moment to moment because she had no other options – until today.

As chaos and need overwhelmed us all, her voice was heard.

In that moment, her want united with our offering. Soon, upon a simple operating room table, a sacred communion of faith and grace was celebrated. With the last suture closed, a future and a hope were restored.

This young mother and I met in a moment of possibility. Together with a few hesistant steps we began a path toward potential. While my efforts were minimal, I continue to pray that her results are phenomenal.

Through a tearful goodbye, we promised each other much the same...she would think of us when she was chasing that bundle of cuteness around the home and I would envision her doing that very same those moments we would pray for the other.

Humbled by grace.
United in faith.

Love was made visible in that hospital in Ecuador.

May we all continue to dwell in the possibilities that began there!

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

See you soon!

I am off to the airport. I don't know if I will have time or opportunity to blog from Ecuador. Thank you for your prayers and see you in a week!

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Whispers in the Wind

Each moment that I am given another breath is an opportunity to make my life count for the glory of God.

I am learning, therefore, that my life is a simple offering of choices. Even those choices that seem inconsequential have an impact of lasting proportion. That fact alone has given much pause to my spirit of late.

I have, for a good while, wanted to live my life in God's will. Yet, what this really meant has been an elusive search.

I had always assumed that bearing children and being a mother would be a part - a very large part - of my life. Are we not called to be fruitful and multiply? Is that not why we women are made and fashioned? When the days, months, years passed by without a pregnancy, doubt settled in. Where was God?

With doubt came an open doorway for fear to enter. Fear that I wasn't who I should be; that I wasn't ever going to have what I wanted; that my life would be insignificant and forgotton. Paralyzed and numbed by fear, I made choices that kept me hidden and irrelevant - the very thing that terrorized me was being fashioned by my very own hands.

So, I hid my search for God's elusive will. My choices were weak and half-hearted because I couldn't see the future. Weak choices - weak life. A wallflower existance in the midst of a garden of opportunity.

I lost sight of my purpose. I lost hope in my desires.

"Our desire to live should be for the sake and the glory of God, who put us on this earth in the first place." - Francis Chan

My hidden time searching for God's elusive will was wasted moments. Misspent and misdirected focus on a future that could never happen. It would never happen because by looking ahead, I missed the now - the foundational moments for what is to come.

My now is a whisper in the wind of my eternity. Yet, it is the point of departure for the future to come. Learning to choose for His glory in all things, small and large, I will be in His will. No need to search anymore. No need to hide anymore.

Live. Live now. Live in the fullness of God's grace and glory.

In doing so, I prepare now for a mission trip. This time tomorrow I will be on an airplane with its final destination in Quito, Ecuador. I pray that I will stand boldy and courageously in the strength of my Lord. I pray that I will be used as a vessel of grace and an ointment of healing balm to those on this surgical mission. I pray that all that I think, say or do will bring glory to the One who inhabits my very being.

(This photo was taken through an operating door in Nicaragua - our last trip)

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's starting to become clear...

"When the darkness of our world, and all the fears we hold in that darkness are pierced by the light of God's love and by the possibility that God has other ideas in mind for how we are to live, something liberating happens. But there is also danger of our becoming mesmerized by the dazzle of the light. It can become quite comfortable, like a campfire. We can crawl up into the hands of God and fall asleep in the sweet aroma and cozy warmth, asleep by the fire. And much of the world lies in the cold, clammy darkness of human suffering, oppression, inequality."
The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne

As I said in my last post, I have really felt the whisper of God to my heart. An unsettling whisper it has been because it has no answers yet - no path to trod - just an awakening of sorts. Clearing of my vision and now I am starting to see.

Seeing beyond my warm and cozy existence.
Seeing outside my comfort and abundance.
Seeing past me.

I know that my trip next Saturday to Ecuador with Operation Walk has tendered my spirit towards missions. It doesn't surprise me that as I have moved through the bloggy world I have stumbled on some amazing stories and have had my heart pricked by those who have stepped beyond the safety of home and serve in the name of Christ.

Take a moment and visit a few....

Ali's African Adventures is full of experiences aboard a Mercy hospital ship off the coast of Africa.

The Livesay (Haiti) Weblog is the pilgrimage of a family living and serving in Haiti.

Oh Sweet Caroline is the journey of a young nurse in a small clinic in Haiti. She has just returned to the states but her archives are full of amazing stories.

The Journey - on earth as it is in heaven is an odyssey of one young girl who wanted to take a year off before college to serve in Uganda. She has started Amazima , a ministry to orphans. Incredible!

I encourage you to go, visit and stay awhile at each of their blogs. May your heart be pricked as mine has been.

Least you think that ministry has to happen overseas...check this out Ordinary Hero and be prepared to consider how close to home a need really is.

But before you go, please watch this video. It is beautiful.

© A Sacred Longing 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Countdown to Ecuador

I know that I have been noticeably absent.

I am not sure why.

I am full of words, thoughts and yet, not a single one have I been able to muster into a coherent idea to share. I think as the days draw closer to my trip to Ecuador, I am feeling overwhelmed.

One of my inherent weaknesses is my need to control. Which is why I tend to be a good planner – planning and control seem to be good companions. Yet, for this trip I am planning nothing but my own arrival to the airport. There it will end – my control - that is.

So for now, I worry. I can do that. I am not supposed to but I am really good at it.

Why am I so gifted at the things I am not supposed to do?

Will you help me by praying? Pray that as I prepare for this trip I will release my grip and open my hands to receive what God gives. Also, that I will find the strength to give my anxious thoughts to the only One who can give me the peace that surpasses all understanding.

I know the grace that comes from trips such as this. My heart has been overwhelmed in the past and I expect that it will happen once again.

I can’t help but feel nervous though because I have felt the Lord whispering to me of late. At times it has felt like a commissioning – the call to move on. I am not sure the where, the why, the what or the how and that is unsettling. I guess that is the point. I should be unsettled. Comfort is not what He has called me to. Where this trip fit to this is yet to be seen but I am sure of one thing – it will be seen. In His time and when He reveals.

So for now I will share a journal entry from my last Operation Walk mission trip as much for you as it is as a reminder for me of what is to come...

It is hot, oppressively hot. Every pore of my body is sweating in a wasted effort of trying to cool itself. I am soaked, exhausted but grateful I am here in Nicaragua.

I am blessed with the opportunity to be in this place, right now. Living a brief moment of my life outside of the box. Here I am living my vocation – giving my vocation to those who may have never had an opportunity for this life changing surgery, were it not for grace.


In this brief moment, we all are experiencing it.

I have often heard from those who have traveled similar paths before say, “what is received is so much more than what is given.” No truer words could be spoken. It is impossible to live this experience and not be changed in some way.

In my ordinary, I am a nurse. It is my occupation – with is many rules, regulations and expectations. In this extraordinary moment, it is my vocation – a sacred calling. I am lost in the grace overflowing – to me, within me and from me.

I cannot be the same

© A Sacred Longing 2009