Tag Archives: health

Just Keeping It Real

I started this blog to share life and encourage myself to do it bravely. I hope it encourages you to do it bravely too. But I have a confession to make. Something came up in my life that scared me and I couldn’t write a word. Roger and I want a baby.

We thought that’d be pretty easy. I mean, first comes loves, then comes marriage, now all we need is the baby carriage. We agreed before we got married that we weren’t getting any younger and we wanted an average to above average size family so why wait too long? Sure, I’m in full time graduate school and about to start full time work. Sure, finances are tight. But we put it entirely in God’s hands anyway. Wasn’t that nice of us? And as a month or so went by, I planned my adorable baby blog. I’d announce it with something akin to the photos flooding Facebook these days: baby shoes and chalkboards and what-have-you. But as the next couple of months went by, I got anxious.

I told my sisters and a few friends but didn’t broadcast it because I didn’t want friends to awkwardly avoid the subject of children. Hearing about babies and pregnancies brings HOPE and JOY. Keep those baby shoe photos and chalkboard announcements coming! But honestly, who wants to hear that a couple is “trying”? Ew. And then there is the uncomfortable feeling that as soon as someone knows you want a baby, every day you aren’t pregnant you are failing at being a woman. Pleasant conversations about starting a family and having babies suddenly sound accusatory and insulting.

Loving Friend’s Actual Comment: So are you two going to start a family soon or wait a little while?

What I Hear: Is there something wrong with your 30-year-old uterus or are you too selfish to have children?

Twisted. I know. But I have a feeling this may resonate with someone out there. I have the wonderful blessing of being in a community of loving and supportive friends and family who ask loving and supportive questions.  But when it comes to producing what an entire community is waiting and watching for you to produce, the pressure can be a little mortifying. Just keeping it real.

So as the months have clicked by, I have had several panicky prayer sessions. My husband came to the rescue. He told me in no uncertain terms that we would have a family because that is one of the main reasons God brought us together. He also reminded me that God was entirely in control and knows the timing of our family perfectly.

He helps me stay brave.

He helps me stay brave.

And a few amazing things have changed over the last year. First, I have grown to love and respect my husband more than ever, due in large part to the way he has led me out of fear and into faith. Secondly, the Lord has sharpened our calling as a couple and deepened our desire to serve the Lord in any way he calls us. And I have deep peace with the plans He has for us. Lastly, I have been convicted to write about something pretty tough.  I realized that while I can write about mom’s cancer and death, my struggles and fears, love, engagement, and marriage, when it came to this, I was terrified. I didn’t want to share such a vulnerable fight of faith, a fear of failure in an area that should be so natural. I mean, just take a look around, babies happen! But they aren’t happening quite like we thought they would for us. However, I named the blog eb does life. Not eb fakes life. I can’t shut it down because I’m not producing the perfect results here.

So, let’s be real. Life doesn’t unfold the way Pinterest pins it, the way Instagram chronicles it. It unfolds the way God Almighty says so. If you are fighting to believe today, I am right there with you. If you are afraid to tell people that life isn’t going according to your Twitter feed, just remember what this pastor’s kid just told the whole world.

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I have some new initials! That’s right, I passed the big bad NCLEX. I know most of you thought I had it in the bag and were not worried for a second. I wasn’t worried either until the moment I finished the exam. It was a bright and sunny day….

…And I had done all of the correct test-taking things. I started with sleep and nutrition. I have recently begun a nutrition plan with our friend Carol of Carol’s Cafe. She has me eating lean, vitamin-rich, and delicious. This healthy heroine packed me a pre-exam dinner and breakfast and post-exam lunch that I brought with me to Oahu. I booked a room at the Ala Moana hotel. I adore hotels. I also camp. But hotels and I have a special bond. So I slept like a champ and had a short little walk to the testing center.

I wasn’t nervous when they took my mug shot, scanned my multiple forms of identity, checked my person for cheating materials, and led me to the Cubicle of Truth. I also wasn’t nervous when I answered the questions. But then the computer went blank. I could have gotten anywhere between 75 and 265 questions for the Super Smart System to determine if I had what it takes. I answered question 75 and the Super Smart System either had had enough of me to know I couldn’t hack it or I had proved myself a lot more quickly than I thought possible and they booted me off with a “Thank you for completing the exam, please fill out this survey”.

And that’s when I got nervous. The shaking, eyes burning with tears, holding back the vomit kind of nervous. I got out of there as fast as possible and headed for the closest security blanket I could find, Starbucks. After I steeled myself with a few shots of liquid courage, I proceeded to shop for six hours straight.

If I stood still for too long contemplating clothing, I panicked about question #32 or yelled at myself for guessing. The good news is, I didn’t do too much damage for a marathon shopping trip, because I stuck to the cheap stores with the loud music so I couldn’t hear my panicky thoughts. The soundtracks at Forever 21 and PacSun are also great for covering the occasional outbursts of “Of course! Diabetes! Stupid!” Expensive stores are much quieter. Have you ever noticed that Nordstroms only has player piano music? Who knows what Nieman Marcus does since I only buy one Christmas ornament a year there. They probably have mimes.

I am not sure how Registered Nurse candidates of yore handled waiting for old-fashioned paper envelope test results. I logged on to the Quick Results website approximately 500 times even though it said to wait 48 hours. Hours?! How dare they call that QUICK? If I had to sleep the restless sleep of Post Traumatic Exam Syndrome for two months, I would not be fit for registered anything. At 6:30 am Saturday morning the website showed my results. I had passed. And as quick as the relief settled in, a billion more anxieties rushed in. Job, school, family, boyfriend (?!), travel. And I think it goes without saying but I will say that I wished with all my little stressed out heart that my mom was on the other end of a phone line to tell me how excited she was. So I had to make a conscious effort to enjoy the moment and thank God for his never ending goodness, his awesome blessings, his perfect grace. And I’m still choosing that.

EB, RN. Sounds good.

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TDV…it’s not a disease.

I have a date. With a tall, dark, and handsome licensing exam. September 29. Mark your calendars for prayer, fasting, sack cloth, whatever. I made the decision on Wednesday and ran away to Oahu for a weekend of “Septoberfest” with friends, naps on Kailua beach, fancy brunch with girlfriends, and long conversations under the stars. It was amazing. It was not studying. Today I looked at drugs and IVs and side effects for eight solid hours, interrupted only by sister forcing smoothies on me. About the time I needed an IV hooked up with some straight happy infusing at maximum speed, Dad got me out the door for a walk.

Me: “I hate this. I’m going to fail. Too many knowledge gaps. Bad stuff. Crappity crap crap.”
Dad: “Can you re-take it if you fail?”
Me: “Not an option! I can’t fail! Crappity, say the opposite of what I just said, crap.”
Dad: “You are on the path you are meant to be on. God put you here. Wise stuff. Dad stuff.”
Me: “I hate studying for this thing.”
Dad: “I took the Bar exam and felt the same way. You will pass.”
Me: “Ok.”
Dad: “Make a schedule. Exercise. Trust. The End.”

Dad’s voice almost always trumps the lying voices in my head. The sermon this Sunday was about the community we cultivate and the voices that determine the trajectory of our life. Theoretically, we have five Trajectory Determing Voices that we listen to. Let’s call them TDVs. Well, one of my TDVs is absolutely my dad (surprise). And his voice usually tells me to exercise. Not because I am fat. I’m not…really. But because he hears the irrational edge in my voice when I’ve sat on my butt all day. Break up with a boyfriend? Dad, I’m neeeeeevvvveeerrrrrr getting maaaaarrrieeeed. Exercise. Queen of the World. Works like a charm.

Obviously, Dad says other things to me. That’s what TDVs do. All this nursing studying is making the abbreviation TDV look like a terrible disease. It’s not. He and Mom shaped me and set me on course with the things they said. Good, bad, and neutral. Dad is going to continue to be one of my main voices but as I progress in life, who else will I allow to speak into my decisions and my development as a person? We need to choose wisely…I’m pretty sure we can start listening to people by default when we really need to purposefully point our ears at the right words. The right community is essential.

So, figure out your TDVs and if you don’t know who they are, go get some. And exercise.

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