Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Blood Covenant

This past weekend I headed to Hillsdale, but not to visit the college, although I did stop in to see a few friends...and steal their sleeping bags. I went to attend a CMDA retreat. CMDA=Christian Medical and Dental Association. And I was blessed to have my roommate, most valuable friend, fellow Lieutenant and med student there to experience it with me. All week since we've been back (even despite failing, almost certainly, our cardio exam), we've been talking about how much it changed our perspective and was 100% worth every minute. Our plan is to make a "blood (probably without actual blood) covenant" with each other about how our future lives WILL reflect our relationship with Christ. Maybe we'll lay our right hands on a Hematology book or something. The idea is not to let each other off the hook, no matter where we are or what we're doing. What's so great is that for the next decade or so, our lives will be pretty similar. I am so thankful and forever indebted to God for the gift of a close friend to share all the headaches and victories of medical school and the air force. But, most importantly, for our bond as sisters in Christ.
Erin and I in front of the jet we flew. Just kidding. I wish.
I was asked for a response to the weekend and this was the best synopsis I could come up with:
At the Midwest CMDA Retreat, Dr. Donlon shared this quote from Martin Luther, "For me there are two days. Today and that day." That day refers to the day we meet Jesus. Spending time with so many fellow disciples following Christ and serving him through medical careers inspired and challenged me this past weekend. It put a sense of urgency into my day to day life. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams and am responsible for the investments with which God has entrusted me. Depending upon the accountability of fellow classmates and the wisdom of the Lord, I will live as if there were only two days; motivated by the desire to hear the words, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." Matthew 25:34

I'm excited to sit down and create a written document stating my intentions for my life. But mostly, I'm excited to share them with her and know that together we can make our seemingly far off goals a reality. I need the accountability. And as always, God has provided.
A random (but awesome) picture from AMP and our first experience at a Skyline Chili.
Taking advantage of military discounts...and aparently, cheese.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inspired by Katie

Meet my cousin Katie. She's the reason I'm reading again. And actually finishing books! And making my own laundry detergent.

I've been reading more since I got back to school for the semester. It started with The Real Hope in Chicago By Wayne Gordon which Katie recommended to me. I stayed with her in Jackson earlier this month while doing my preceptorship at a family practice in town. Staying with her sorta jump started my previous interest in community development (more recently suppressed by studying), mainly because it's what she does, and it was so awesome to glean a little of her experience while I was there. For the record , I can't meet anymore Katies or Erins, it gets confusing when I talk about them to other people--all good things of course!

So, my next book, which is not complete, but will be! is  Irresistible Revolution. I want to document some of the parts that have 1. really challenged me 2. really inspired me 3. made me think or 4. really made me want to reevaluate my life and I could talk AT LENGTH about each one. Here's my attempt to work on the art of brevity. One concept at a time.

In the introduction Shane Claiborne writes:
"This book is not an autobiography...But I do write autobiographically, knowing that few things have more transformative power than people and stories."

I love this. Mostly because I feel like my life has been transformed by stories. Stories break down stereotypes, they are challenging, inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking, and stories are what make the Bible come alive for me. It's my goal to be a better story teller. Telling a good story is more of an art than I'd like to admit. But, that's why it's a goal. I think that's why I'm going to love getting histories from people as a med student, I love to hear their stories. I just hate that there's usually a time constraint. 

Monday, January 16, 2012


We just had a fantastic lecture on how the food choices we make play such a HUGE role in arguably EVERY chronic disease we face. It made me a believer in one thing. Detoxifying eating habits.
I always turned my nose up to those expensive drink mixes and the like that claim to clear the body of its build-up of toxins. I thought the people who did all that stuff were extremists. Maybe I'm just becoming one of them now. Except I will never give up on candy bars. Or cookie dough...

But, Dr. Meulendyk scientifically and clearly explained why these veggie and fruit diets can prevent us from killing ourelves slowly from the inside out.

For example, studies have been done on our fat cells that tell us they are responsible for housing most of the damaging chemicals we ingest on our food and from our environment. The chemicals get stuck inside of them. So, you may ask, how do we get them out? Well, first, we diet too quickly, thus breaking the fat cells open and releasing tons of nasty toxins, and second, we get older and these same cells break down and release their contents. Like we're supposed to, our bodies react to them and a massive detoxification battle takes place resulting in increased inflammation and other deleterious mechanisms to try to cope with all these toxins. Enter chronic diseases that seem to exponentially increase as we age. Or. We take action now to help our bodies get rid of this nasty stuff. How? (For all my nerdy friends out there, give me a call and we can talk about this in more depth, it's fascinating! And makes so much sense!)

By eating things like this:
- Pomagranate juice
- Green tea
- Dark, leafy greens
- Berries
- Brocolli (little buds are better...)
- watercress
- Cabbage
- Brussel sprouts
- Kale!
- Curry and rosemary
-N acetyl cysteine (NAC) supplements

So, all this to say, I went and bought kale. Last time I ate it, it was too hard and cruchy and tasted bitter. THIS TIME, I did my research.

Try this kale salad recipe to get some of it's great detoxifying effects. My next goal is to try to make cabbage taste good. The key is to massage it, who knew?!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Books

I needed a serious break from blogging. I even thought of deleting it. I'm not sure why, but I got really tired of it.

But...I miss blogging. Enter my life of many contradictions.

I say a lot of things that I am going to do and then I never do them (I'm working on this one!)

Ipso facto, I told my mom I was never writing on here again. And therefore, she could not put the web address in our Christmas card. But, lo and behold, here I am! Back to blogging.

A patient I spoke with while doing my preceptorship in Jackson a few weeks ago told me she tries to avoid medication for her anxiety attacks by writing. Writing is therapeutic for me too. I often find that when I really get going about something (namely the Gospel, politics, medical care, or whatever hobby I am currently wrapped up in) my mind is full of so many ideas it's hard to focus. Enter writing. A way to get the craziness out of my head so I can actually do something productive.

(If you only knew how many blog posts I've written and deleted...)

I like to have reasons for why I do things. Which is why I am currently over analyzing the reason I'm back from my blogging hiatus. Plus I want to share my thoughts on a few books I just got in the mail today. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne and Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins. Maybe I'll finish them in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe not...but I hope so.