Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Children

I really like to think. (I blame med school) But, sometimes it's really nice not to think about anything. Profound, right?

This morning I woke up and read Mark 10:13-16 on purpose because the idea of being a kid sounded especially nice. Kids are so good at not thinking. It says:

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

The Message translates Jesus's words:
Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

So after I read that, I tried to blog about it. But couldn't think of anything to say. Then I went to Blacksoil. Which I could talk a lot about in and of itself, but I'll leave it at it's a church body in Lansing that is full of children that aren't confined to a nursery or Sunday school. And tonight, instead of being a distraction, they prefectly portrayed these children in Mark 10.

This was one of my most favorite memories from our time Haiti. We danced to music on an iPhone with these kids for so long...I guarantee you that for however long we did this, I didn't think. I was just really, really happy.
[Photo courtesy of Kyle Martin]
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, one of my favorite things to do has been to close my eyes and picture God, arms open wide, and me, running into them. Like the children with Christ in this story. I don't know if that will actually happen in heaven, but I hope it will. Francis Chan spoke about visualing ourselves in God's arms during a high school youth retreat...IYC. It has stuck with me and I think the kids at Blacksoil will too. It was refreshing to see a complete church body worshiping together. And it made me really excited to go to heaven.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

English in Medical School

Since medical school began I have learned how to spell some words that have always tripped me up. Off the top of my head, there are a few I now spell flawlessly.
- rhythm
- diarrhea
- hemorrhage
- erythropoietin
Ok, so maybe I never had to spell hemorrhage  or erythropoietin before. But I couldn't spell them when I started medical school and if I need to spell either one on the exam Monday, I'll get them right.

Here's some cool quotes from lecture on Friday. The doctor speaking was an electrophysiologist. He was so smart and so cool. Someone you would want to go have a beer with after he maps out the electrical pathways of your heart. The lecture from which the quotes came was on atrial fibrillation--which seems to be pretty mysterious. I think that was the subliminal message he was sending us in these quotes at least...

First slide:
"As we aquire more knowledge things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious."
- Albert Schweitzer

Last slide:
"...The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
- Robert Frost

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feather Bowling!

So there's this awesome girl, named Amanda, who knows of this awesome place, the Cadiuex Cafe in Detroit. The have oysters (although we didn't order any...but next time!) and really good reubens, live jazz music and feather bowling. All you need to know about feather bowling is it's fun and a combo of shuffle board and bocce ball. You must go! We loved it!

The Birthday Girl!

Monday, February 13, 2012


"God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable." -Irresistible Revolution

Some group shots I'm so glad I saved!
The first time I remember being uncomfortable was at Somerset Beach Campground. Talking one-on-one with girls who came from very different circumstances forced me to recognize my upbringing wasn't the only way people are raised. I heard stories that broke my heart, many I know I will never forget. Low self esteem and self worth were common themes. I learned so much from those summers. Thank you Kyle and Sara Luke, those summers were so great. [Side note: I'm meeting up with Marisa, middle picture, girl in the pink, this week for lunch! I passed her in Fee Hall at school a couple weeks ago and we reconnected on Facebook....small AWESOME world huh!?]

Quoting his teacher, Tony Compolo, Shawn Claiborne says, "Jesus never says to the poor, 'Come find the church,' but he says to those of us in the church, 'Go into the world and find the poor, hungry, homeless, imprisoned,' Jesus in his disguises." I remember the second time God made me uncomfortable. I know it was God because nobody of this world would have told me there was something wrong with my life. Prior to being a part of a middle school girl's Bible study at my college home church (HFMC!) I didn't really think there was either. Who knew 6th graders were so profound? I remember listening to a young girl talk, without hesitation, about how often she'd leave church or a friends house to arrive to locked door at home. "Sometimes my mom forgets I'm coming home and leaves," was her comment. Other stories followed and after slowly taking it all in I got to thinking:

The middle school Bible study!

Why in the world did I get so lucky? Why do I get to have a great supportive, Christian family, the opportunity to go to a private college, and never have to really worry about money? Then came the medical school acceptance letter and an Air Force scholarship. Why me and not them? Or possibly even more challenging was the question, if I were in their shoes, in their situations, what would my life look like? Who would I be or become?

Answer: Luke 12, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Erin and I sat down this week to work on our "blood pact" I talked about earlier. It's based on Christ's instruction to his disciples in Luke 12 (or check out Matthew 10...). It outlines our desire to serve Christ with all we've been given (see the parable of the talents in Matthew 25), but recognizes the traps and temptations we already face and foresee down the road.

In one sentence, the guilt surrounding my comfortable, nurturing, loving, supportive, basically wonderful life turned into a mission. A part of God's plan for my life. Shawn Claiborne says, "The more I read the Bible, the more I felt my comfortable life interrupted." I couldn't agree more completely. Interrupted sounds negative though. I'd say, for me, comfortability has become insufficient. It didn't and doesn't make me happy. (more proof I attribute to Christ transforming my heart over the years...because even to me, this rationally, or I dare say evolutionarily, doesn't make sense). It's impossible to have a relationship with someone who is suffering or hurting and then go back to living life as before. At least impossible to do with a clear conscience, and more importantly, purposeful life.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


First things first. Peponi: a Swahili word meaning Paradise.
Our Bible study is diving into Revelation. (btw: I just typed the word Revolution instead of Revelation. I think I've been writing Irresistible Revolution way to much...) Basically, it has made me think about Heaven a lot. In Revelation at the end of the letter to Ephesus, it says, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God."

I love basking in the thought of being in Paradise with God. The ultimate happy place. Can you imagine being the criminal Christ says, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." to? That blows my mind.

Ok. Now watch this sweet video.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Community vs Independence

In Irresistible Revolution, Shawn Claiborne says this about his time spent in Calcutta, India.

On a leper colony:
" was so close to what I saw in the early church; a people on the margins giving birth to another way of living, a new community marked by interdependence and sacrificial love. They had not chosen to live in "intentional community." Their survival demanded community. Community was their life. The gospel was their language."

This, along with a few other recent instances, has made me question the importance I place on individuality and being self-dependent. I've been valuing independence for so long.
But recently I've begun to realize the beauty in relinquishing my independence. God is showing me that the importance I have placed on providing for myself and trying to avoid asking for help is not what he intended. We aren't created to go it alone. It's my goal to fight against the individualistic mentality that is so common today. Being in community is such a blessing.
...Especially communities like Pinterest. You all know what I mean...! Check out this recipe I found and tried this delicious! And something I never would've come up with on my own!
Baked Egg and Avocado!! You know how people take pretty pictures of their food? I apparently can't do that...BUT, it's delicious. Don't just take my word for it...

Friday, February 3, 2012


I just ordered a grande skinny soy vanilla latte from Starbucks. Took a sip and thought to myself, next time, ask for no foam.

"Could I have a grande skinny soy vanilla latte with no foam, please?"

Wow. I never thought I'd be that girl. I'm also a gold card member. Which means instead of paying almost $5, it's only $3.55.

Which brings me to my next topic. Budgets.

I'm so bad at doing them. But, luckily I have a lot of friends who are and who inspire me to do better. Also, I think the Bible has a thing or two to say about--See 1 Timothy 6:6. So, I'm going to share something awesome that Bre shared with me.

Have you heard of envelope money systems? Where you put an allotted amount of money for a specific thing, like grocery shopping, in an envelope and that's all you can use for that month. Well, in this modern, technology driven society, going to the bank is inconvenient and carrying that much cash is just dumb. So, there's an app for that!

EEBA: Easy Envelope Budget Aid

I'm giving it a go this month and already, I am much more aware of how much $$ I spend on things like coffee or eating out or grocery shopping. And, if you're married, you can sync it to the same app on your spouse's phone so when you spend something and take it our of the "envelope," your spouse will be able to see it too! A lack of privacy, no. Accountability, yes. It'll probably keep me from my grande skinny soy vanilla lattes with no foam and encourage a tall pike's place with room for cream. Or perhaps, do-it-yourself Maxwell House coffee. Or perhaps not.