I want to read/am reading too many books right now. And instead of going book by book, I'm reading them all at once. Which means I'll read a chapter or two out of each and won't finish single one. Should I switch strategies? Yes. Will I? Probably not. In fact, I'm embarrased to admit how long I've been "reading" these books for...here are a few
Miracles at Tenwek by David Stevens
Preach and Heal by Charles Fielding
Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
My heart feels like it's being pulled in every direction. Not in an anxious way. But more of an excited, Christmas morning feeling kind of way. Not just in a book sorta way, but in a I big picture what am I gonna be when I grow up kinda way.
This weekend I spent some time in Louisville, KY for the Global Missions Health Conference. I wish you could have been there to hear Charles Fielding speak. Have you ever heard him? He's with his family over (literally all over) the 1040 window. His sense of urgency for sharing the Gospel is contagious. The 1040 window is a term missionary Luis Bush used to describe area between 10 nad 40 degress north of the equater. An area with the most socioeconomic difficulty and least access to any Christian resources....a church, a disciple, a Bible, etc.
I wish you could have been there. I tried explaining the weekend to people who weren't there. It's impossible. I got off the phone with my parents last night and felt like after an hour and a half I still hadn't really conveyed the conviction, passion or excitement I felt.
Today is one of those dreary days. A tomato and grilled cheese sort of day.
It's days like today that remind me of how thankful I am to be in medical school. There is so much freedom in being a student. You make your own schedule! Unfortunately, it's about to come to an end, so I'm gonna soak up every minute of it. You see, you can't make grilled cheese and tomato soup very easily if you have to pack a lunch. And this morning, I'm "working from home" which gives me the stove, pot and pan I need to simply enjoy every moment with my grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Also, in the last couple of days I've realized that I don't think any other medical school could have provided me with the joy I have here. I realize this is all I have to compare it to, but I don't care, I'm still going to believe that. Last night at CMA we had a worship night where we just poured our hearts out in praise. I forget how unique it is to have such a great cloud of witnesses surround you with such consistency on a daily basis. It reminded me of the Bible study we had sophomore year in college where we sang the song Sanctuary together. There is something powerful in community worship. This is why I believe coming to MSU, being in this particular class of students, and meeting every single person I've met is not a mistake. It's so much easier to empty yourself for the glory of God when you can constantly be refilled again. Go figure, right?
Bre shared Romans 8 last night. This week has been a strong reminder that we must fight the temptaion to stop running towards God. The distractions are endless. I pray these words from God penetrate and rejuvenate your heart and mind like they have mine.
Romans 8:16-39. In video and in words. Whatever floats your boat.
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j] 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
They seem to be everywhere! Which is totally awesome.
Don't these guys just make you smile.
I got to be a part of telling a woman she was pregnant yesterday as I was spending the day in the Coldwater clinic. SO incredible. I want to tell people they are pregnant all day long. The look on her face was the highlight of my day. Unfortunately this encounter was very short; I just wanted to stay in the room and ask her all sorts of questions and hug her and smile a lot. But, I'm pretty sure the resident I was with would not have appreciated it at all. He clearly didn't understand. Maybe it's a girl thing?
I also met the most amazing woman in the clinic this week. She was absolutely, hands down, the fourth year medical student I hope to be someday. A wonderful teacher. Incredible communicator. Caring, respectful, and an extremely compassionate mom. She was 36 weeks along with their third child. We got to talk about missions...her husband is a pastor and they go all over the world...and even take their kids...and she is just so cool.
We also saw a lady with Fragile X. And last week one of the patients had been diagnosed with Guillen Barre. Both diseases I'd only seen/heard about in lecture, but who knew they really existed! It makes things much more real. Can I skip the rest of second year and go right to the hospital? Please?
The game of catch up. Are any of us really ever ahead?
Life is busy. But very fun. Here are some things I've done and thought "I should blog about this" but never did until right now. And this is not in chronological order. My sense of time is being replaced with clinical signs of renal insufficiency and GI disaster scenarios.
I dumpster dove. Luckily it was pretty empty. But I thought I dropped my mail key in there when I threw my garbage in there. Turns out I didn't. I dropped it on my way out of the apartment. Instead I ripped the dress I was wearing as one of my neighbors watched me jump out.
No worries, the dress is fixable.
Remember how nice these days were last week? I rode my bike to study at Lake Lansing. The rain for the past 48 hours makes me miss it...
I bought a guitar. It's a little one. But, it's just about all I can handle. I'm working on CCR's Bad Moon Rising. It's fun and a lot harder than it looks.
Then the Jones' went to the Tiger's game to celebrate Nana's birthday and Mal and I went to the Wings game right afterwards. It was great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. They both won and I still passed my exam the next morning. Win-Win-Win.
Oh yeah, and I ran a marathon. It took us 4 and a half hours. The last 10 miles were a little crazy. I said I'd never do it again after about mile 20. We'll see though, I guess i should never say never.
And that guy is Bre's fiance, who let us stay at his apartment, then drove us to the race, then stood in the wet cold rain and cheered for us, and then drove us back afterwards.
Thank goodness for those two; Bre and Erin. Without them, this would not have happened.
Plain and simple.
The day after the marathon I bought this. A beautiful new road bike. I went for an 18 mile ride wih Chrissie a couple days ago and am so unbelievably happy to be on it instead of running. Bre helped me pick it out and Charlie gave me the magazine that led to the purchase. So thankful for the biking friends I've met up here. They are a great influence.
Oh, and I have plane tickets to Denver and Montana for Christmas break. And tomorrow I start working with a family doc in Coldwater. Hooray for clinical work.
If all goes as planned, at this time tomorrow I will have finished the marathon.
I can't believe I'm actually doing, in fact, I've felt kind of like I'm lying to everyone I tell.
I'm getting excited. I've been a little preoccupied with school...we have an 8 am exam Monday morning...ugh. So hopefully I don't sleep through my alarm. But, on a positive note, I've never been this prepared this far in advance for an exam! Knowing this was coming up made me more proactive than ever.
Me and Erin at Detroit last Fall running the half
I'm so thankful to have these two girls running with me...Erin and Bre. It's fitting that the only two half marathons I've done have been with them, so putting them together gives me a full marathon!
Me and Bre in Traverse City running the Bayshore Half
A recent article from Christian Medical and Dental Association. Worth the read. I promise.
When Every Turn
is Toward Death by Jim Ritchie, MD, Captain, Medical
Corps, United States Navy, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth,
A friend of mine found himself in the middle of
a war. He was a general medical officer in the Navy, fresh from his internship.
He was in a tent combat-support medical unit, far forward in the fight. Along
with the help of four corpsmen, he was desperately trying to save the lives of
three badly injured U.S. Marines. Their injuries were prodigious.
Though the Marines might possibly be saved,
there weren’t enough people to do all the work, and they were beginning to lose
the battle against death. Just then, soldiers brought in an enemy combatant
prisoner who was also very seriously wounded. His wounds appeared to be more
serious, but he remained conscious. Knowing his obligation to the enemy as per
the tenets of the Geneva Convention, my friend turned to treat the enemy
soldier. The corpsmen and other conscious Marines were outraged, and called for
him to return to treating the Marines. Just then, the enemy soldier caught sight
of the injured Marines . . . and laughed at them. As he was in the same unit as
the injured Marines and knew them personally, my friend was disgusted with the
enemy soldier and returned to his Marines. But that wouldn’t do. The soldiers
who had brought in the enemy belonged to a special forces group; they had been
pursuing this man for a week and had lost two of their own men in the firefight
that day. This combatant was a “high-value unit” and possessed valuable
information. They told him, “Doc, you have to save this guy.”
Imagine yourself in his place. What would you
do? The war is raging outside your tent. You must act. Decide now. You don’t
have time to think. Each choice will result in death. But you’ll have to live
with that choice for the rest of your life.
[I skipped a few of the other stories he tells...CLICK HERE to read the rest]
We hate the “no-win scenario.” We want to be
like Captain Kirk from “Star Trek” who contends, “I don’t believe in the no-win
scenario.” We want to have a last-minute revelation that will save the day and
the patient. Such an idealistic mindset is the stuff of fun movies and great
stories. I think it is hard-wired into us by our Creator, who has given us a
vision of Heaven or of the world as He made it originally. But if misunderstood,
this idealistic mindset can create horribly inappropriate expectations. I know
of many military personnel, medical and otherwise, who have been crushed
emotionally by overly idealistic expectations of themselves and their
This isn’t Heaven. It’s a fallen place. And
here, the no-win scenario is very real. War and catastrophe provide an
overabundance of no-win situations. By all means, we should try for the right
outcome. But when confronted with a no-win situation, we should recognize it as
such, pray for guidance and realize that the power to make it all better is not
Let’s return to the story of my friend in the
tent hospital. The special forces soldiers ordered him to take care of the
injured enemy soldier instead of the Marines. He refused and treated the
Marines. As a result, he saved two Marines and lost one. And the enemy soldier
died. He was later charged with violations of the Geneva Convention and with
disobeying an operational order. When I last spoke with my friend, he was the
subject of a formal investigation. (I am embarrassed to say that I lost contact
with him, and am unaware of the outcome of the investigation.) When he told me
of his predicament, I tried to tell him that the accusations were unjust and
that he was innocent. I tried to reassure him that surely he would be found not
[This next part is so so good...!]
But he corrected me. He realized that he could have called for
additional resources and could probably have saved all of the Marines, as well
as the enemy soldier. He told me, “After I got past my denial, I realized that I
am responsible for the death of two people, and indirectly wasted the loss of
the special forces guys who died bringing in the enemy soldier. What I don’t
need is for some judge to declare me not guilty. I am guilty. What I need is to
be forgiven. And I asked God to forgive me, and He has. After that, all this
other stuff isn’t as important anymore.”
Here's the formula: My birthday (June 5) + Mal's birthday (March 24) = Sister Day (September 29)
I posted this quote last year and love it so much that I am declaring it "our quote" for this day. Jane Austen says, "the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply..." I love her and I miss her so much. And am so glad some of our clothes are the same size finally! And that she is so much fun to watch play volleyball. So many good memories, lots of laughing, and hopefully (fingers crossed) lots more dancing to come. I love you Mal! So much!
Here are some photos of us this past year together...
We now navigate the boat (that you can't tell we're on here) ourselves!
In Charlevoix (also an example of how we can share clothes! she's wearing my shirt...)
Successfully pitching a tent, and loving every minute of it!
The day I got to watch her team almost win a tournament...I was probably more emotionally invested than I should've been
But, I can't help it.
I'm still a tad bit taller...it's official.
Mal's the only family member who really trusts me with her neck!
This morning Team ABE (Amy-Bre-Erin) ran 22 miles. I have never felt so exhausted in my whole life.
Luckily, Playmakers (the most awesome running store in the world) puts a 20 mile course together for people who are training for a fall marathon. They have aid stations set up and Great Harvest bread at the finish.
Unfortunately, I was too nauseous to eat the wonderful pumpkin/chocolate chip bread and doughnuts that Bre brought until I'd showered and settled down a bit. Apple cider, however, is a great post run drink, you should try it! But, it was so hard. Harder than I thought it'd be. A lot harder than 18. Not until about mile 16 would I say I really struggled. Since the course was only 20 miles and we wanted to do 22, we had to back track a mile to get two more in...it was so mentally painful to have to turn around! But, I'm glad we did. Those last 2 miles were good to get in, I feel like they were crucial to the mental and physical exhaustion preparation for the big 26.2 miles we'll have to run in just 3 weeks!!! Crazy! I can't believe how fast it came! The run took us about 3 hours and 15 minutes. We're aiming for a sub 4 hour run on October 16.
No pics of us...although an after picture would've been a good idea. I'm sure we looked terrible! But, the course was so pretty, all along the Lansing River Trail and in Hawk Island Park. I never knew there were so many nice running/biking paths in Lansing. I'm gonna miss them. The weather was perfect as well--cool and sunny. Ahhh....crossing my fingers it'll be like that for the marathon.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
Mostly, because it's not today.
Do you ever have those days?
Today was that day for me.
I'm documenting it so someday I can look back on med school and think, "I'm glad those days are behind me." In case I forget or something. What's funny, well sort of funny, is that just yesterday I told Erin that it was the "best day ever" and that if given 100 million dollars I would still choose to be a doctor. And I wasn't lying! I don't really ever have days like this, for which I'm incredibly thankful. But, sometimes I do. It's the truth. And a bummer.
I may or may not have searched "Bad day" on youtube. Not surprisingly, youtube delivered...
I need to get some bubble wrap :)
I can hear what you're thinking. But sometimes, I think it's actually healthy to just say how you feel and right now, I feel like I am going to be a terrible doctor. (Please refrain from trying to persuade me otherwise...trust me, it'll make it worse) I think I'd just like to leave it to the gunners (an affectionate name we use in med school for the top 10% of the class aka the people who never do anything except study...I think I'm a little jealous, truth be told). It's hard not to think, ''I'm not gonna be able to actually help a single person. I'm totally incompetent. I'm not gonna remember anything I'm learning. I'm not as smart as anyone else here....and well, it's a downward spiral from there.
On a positive, it's really, really humbling. When I'm weak, then He is strong.
Thank you little ballerina for making me wish I was 4 years old again.
I am so addicted to recipes. Looking at them, cutting them out of magazines, buying cookbooks, and of course, making them. It's my prime go-to productive procrastination activity.
So, last night, Erin and I made some delicious pizza.
You've got to try it.
Gruyere and Veggie Pizza
- 2 pre-made personal pizza crusts
- marinated artichokes (a 7-8oz jar would be plenty)
- cherry tomatos
- Le Gruyere Cheese (you'll have to splurge on this, BUT IT'S SO WORTH IT!)
That's it! Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Then, brush some of the marinade mixture on the crust then load it up with the ingredients, throw it in the oven for about 10 minutes or so and voila! Delicious pizza in no time at all. [Pairs well with your favorite Pinot Grigio...just in case you were wondering]
Also, in case you've been drooling over the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I posted about yesterday...here's the recipe so you can drool over the real thing. They're bite size and irresistable, so when you get addicted, don't say I didn't warn you...
Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 1/3 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 T. pumpkin pie spice
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 large eggs
1 15oz. can of pumpkin!
1 C. butter, melted
1 bag of mini chocolate chips
- Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini muffin pan or use paper liners.
- Thoroughly mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Whisk eggs in separate bowl. Add pumpkin and melted butter and whisk until blended.
- Pour over dry ingredients and fold until moistened. (Get ready for an upper body workout...)
- Stir in mini chocolate chips
- I baked mine for 8-10 minutes, but check often, as always, they're better underdone than over done.
It'll make about 80 mini muffins (depending on how much batter you eat...) Perfect for sharing and therefore making friends or freezing so you can eat them ALL FALL LONG! bon appetit!
So, my pumpkin bread may have failed. But, that just means more room for improvement!
This morning I didn't sent a second alarm, ipso facto, I slept through it. Thanks to Bre's text, I didn't sleep away that entire morning!
Which was clearly meant to happen, because I stayed home and did a load of laundry, made smoothies for lunch the next couple of days, enjoying Smart Start cereal (thanks to Anna for helping me fall in love with this!) with vanilla almond milk (and a second thanks to Kate for introducing me to this wonderful invention!). Oh yeah, and made mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (Lastly, thank you mom for a love of baking and this wonderful "Fall Luke Favorite"). And I sang along to Ingrid Michaelson. Far Away. On repeat.
I feel like I can take on anything! Which is good, since I have lots and lots of work to do.
[I'm refering to studying for school as work from now on...
it sounds more sophisticated?..
or at least more important and more urgent I suppose]
Fall is wonderful. It is most definitely my favorite. A few words of advice: Never get a Bigby's Pumpkin Spice Latte. There is nothing pumpkin about it. Find yourself a Starbucks. Trust me.
Anyways, at about 9:15 and I threw some pumpkin bread ingredients into the bread machine. I'm still building my bread machine confidence up...as the last loaf didn't rise quite right...but tonight this pumpkin bread is providing more than a delicious snack. That is if it turns out.
Cross your fingers!
It's sweet, sweet motivation. Now that I have completed the procrastination by being here, I am forcing more information to go into my head for at least 2 and a half more hours...
More good things that happened today:
- I had another breakthrough where doctors, even though it was a resident and intern, felt more like collegues than superiors! Love when that happens...
- Got to listen to a real live neurosurgeon talk about head injuries this morning...it's crazy to think that that guy cuts into people skulls when he's not talking to us.
- Just found out I'm on a first name basis with April in the student services office. I never planned on being involved to the point where they'd know me by name. Oh well...
There are hospitals all over MI that the 300+ members of our class can choose from to do their 3rd and 4th years of medcial school for clinical rotations. Unfortunately, there are only so many spots at each one, so for the more competitive locations and programs, the spots "go to lottery."
It was a weird night, a night of pulling names out of a silver bowl...a night of crying and cheering and anticipation. I'm not kidding. My first choice was Munson Medical Center. There were 5 spots and 6 people. I was the one person not picked. Bummer.
But, not too much of a bummer. My second choice, which I got!, was Bay Regional Medical Center in Bay City, MI.
It's essentially the same program just not up north. There may even be a little more rural, underserved kind of medicine I'll get to experience there, which is great! It's also closer to home, where a handful of my friends will be, including Erin!, and even has the potential to provide free housing! ...I'm thinking with all the $$ I'd save, I could go on some awesome vacation before residency starts! Erin and I were thinking Alaska...or maybe Hawaii...or maybe New Zealand. But, we'll see :) It's fun finally having a place to associate with the rest of med school.
Bear with me. I got 4 hours of sleep last night. And it's almost 1 o'clock in the morning.
But, right now, I really feel like I could do anything. I just got back from seeing "The Help" and that's exactly how that movie made me feel.
What does it feel like to believe in something? To know a plan will succeed. To know that someday I will become a doctor. To know that I will be heaven someday. To have a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed. It's exhilherating. And peaceful. Maybe scary.
The women in the history behind that book and movie were set free by sharing the truth. It made them believe and it gave their lives purpose. I love watching people with purpose. I could watch anyone do something if they could convince me that it was what they were made to do. It's contagious and I love it.
For my intents and purposes, a mantra is a group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation." I realize there are a lot of hindu or other religious auras that surround the word, but I don't care.
In college, my cross country coach suggested creating a personal mantra. Something that defined my goals in a simple, straightforward way. Something I could repeat to myself when I needed some encouragement.
This is Coach Sarah...the single most intrinsicly motivated person I know
A couple weeks ago in church, the pastor made a statement upon the examination of the life of Gideon. (I highly recommend reading Judges 6-8 which outlines his story)
"Those who follow God's mission WILL face the constant temptation to exchange God's agenda for personal ambition." - Steve Sommerlot
After a month off, school is a challege and getting motivated is a chore. Everyday I am tempted by the thought of doing something else that is seemingly easier and more fun. Thankfully, reciting this simple sentence is enough to bring me back to reality. Although it is fun to dream...maybe it's because I just got back from Lake Charlevoix, where I still daydream of the day I'll buy a house on the lake, waterski every morning and make dinner every night -- see picture below. I could make it all work somehow, I'm sure...
My mantra is also a reminder that following God's mission doesn't have to be anything extravagent either. Or an intricantly planned future. I can do it now as a med student, the barista at Starbucks can do it as he hands me "a perfect skinny vanilla latte," and my sister can do it when she makes my day with a random text message. It's being so present and in tune with where we are right now, that God can expand our territories into something we can only dream about down the road. It's easy to trust God 5 years from now. It's much harder in the present.
So, I'm adopting this statement as my mantra. I am convinced a sacrifice of personal ambition (for me that's a life of nice, material things, where I get to cook a nice dinner every night) and comfort (...8 hours of sleep each night) will be worth it. So much so I can hardly call it a sacrifice. It is more blessed to give than receive, God promised.
I can't believe I am getting paid to do something I love so much. (I admit, I don't always express this while I'm in school, but...I'm a lucky, lucky girl) Today marked the first day of my 2 week training period of the Air Force's Aerospace Medicine Primary Course. It's is the first step enroute to becoming a flight surgeon. Please note that the term "flight surgeon" is a historical one from the days when any physician in the military was considered a surgeon.
Wikipedia had a pretty good definition so here's a condensed version of what they had to say:
A flight surgeon is primarily responsible for the medical evaluation, certification and treatment of aviation personnel. They perform routine, periodic medical examinations for the personnel and are trained to fill general public health and occupational and preventive medicine roles. Flight surgeons are typically on flight status (i.e., they log flight hours), but are not required to be rated or licensed pilots. They may be called upon to provide medical consultation as members of an investigation board into a military or NASA aviation or spaceflight mishap. Occasionally, they may serve to provide in-flight care to patients being evacuated via aeromedical evacuation.
I'm currently at Wright Patterson AFB and just being back on a base has been a lot of fun. It's weird transitioning from knowing the Air Force as a trainee to an actual officer, but I feel like today was a good step forward as I was reminded by a Major in my program that we are on a live base, so saluting is necessary, oops! I'm also getting used to using the words sir and ma'am again which just isn't natural when you don't come from the south.
Overall though, SO aweome. After completing this program, the doc gets their "wings" and, if you ask me, is much more of a military officer than a medical doctor. It's unparalleled in the civilian world of medicine. So much more variety, action, and flying. It's got me thinking...I'll keep you posted. Oh, and I get to fly! (weather permitting) I'm so excited!
Since beginning med school, my concept of time has been completely thrown out the window. Med school is weird, for instance, we have no consistent schedule from day to day like in undergrad and classes may end or begin at any point throughout the semester. My perception of time (which is really no perception at all) continues to evaporate as the days of each week all sort of blend together. Mondays feel like Fridays and last month feels like it happened about a year ago. It makes me wonder how this women we just recently read an article about in class viewed time...after a mere 122 years.
Here is an excerpt from the article, it made my morning yesterday!
In 1997, the oldest person to have ever lived died at age 122 years and 164 days.1 Jeanne Louise Calment lived in France, took up fencing at age 85, and still rode a bicycle at 100. She did quit smoking when she was 117, reportedly because she was nearly blind and felt embarrassed asking for a light. In 1965, when she was 90 and had no living heirs (she had outlived her daughter and grandson), she entered into a legal agreement to sell her condominium apartment to lawyer Francois Raffray, who was then age 47. He agreed to pay a monthly sum, similar to a “reverse mortgage,” until she died, so that he would obtain the apartment. Unfortunately for him, she survived him, and his widow had to continue the payments. In many ways, one can view the life of Jeanne Calment as an example of “optimal aging.”
Meet Amanda. Her name appropriately means "fit to be loved" or "lovable". And she is just that.
She is the source of all things good.
1. Quinoa stuffed peppers and a mexican fiesta! A welcome back dinner from our beloved weekend off after pharmacology--the class I'd never wish upon a single soul.
2. Bookmarks from Turkey. She spent a year there with Campus Crusade for Christ. In the words of her insightful nephew, "She went there to tell people about Jesus. Can you believe the people there have never heard of Jesus?!?!" The baked peach was dessert from the fiesta night. De-lish.
3. Practical floatation devices. While I won't mar her good name with this crazy idea, I appreciated her
supporting my upside down lifejacket as a means of floating carelessly in Lake Lansing. Mom, Dad, and Mal and her friend Katie came to Lansing last Sunday with the boat. I was more fun than any med student should probably have...
4. Fashionable sunglasses. They are perfect, see picture at the bottom--or better yet see her in real life. Amanda is just fashionable in general...even if she's going to dissect in the cadaver lab. I secretly admire her style and wish I could be one of those people with her own style. For now, I'll stick to choosing clothes they put on mannequins. And admire hers.
5. The Bible and Straight Up Truth. I don't know if you remember, but I wrote a blog a bit ago about how I want "to learn to tell Bible stories like it's my job". Amanda constantly reminds me of this goal by doing it herself. Anytime someone needs advice, encouragement, or discipline, Amanda ever so eloquantly puts her knowledge of God's word to use. It's inspiring.
My friends here are my source of strength, encouragement and fun. I am convinced that there is no other group of people on the planet that I would want to spend the two most potentially fun deprived years of my life with. They make me love being in medical school. Thank God for that. Thank God for Amanda!