Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

DC Happenings!

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I’m very excited about this upcoming week for two reasons.

1. I am in Washington DC for the Mobilization to End Poverty conference. 2. My friend Misty Jo is here with me from California.

I am so excited to see what God has in store for this time. When I was praying about it this morning the word God gave me was “hunger”. I’m not sure everything this word is supposed to mean but I look forward to discovering God’s heart and hunger for justice for the poor. I’ll try to check in as often as possible and share….

Until then I pray you all have an amazing week. If you think about the conference please pray for God’s will to be done and his/her spirit to move. And if you happen to be in Richmond hang out with my husband for me.


Earth Day

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm

So I’m a couple of days behind. Blame school. Happy Earth Day anyways! As I was doing my devotions two days ago it was neat how God led me to Psalm 8…

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor, You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All the sheep and oxen- Even the bests of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How great is Your name in all the earth!”

What a beautiful world we have been given. May good stewardship be one of our acts of worship.

Garden Update…

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 9:51 am

I am rather worried about our garden. We have not put anything in the garden yet. I am not sure whether we are buying already started plants…though I feel like we will have to at this point because of the timing…but we need to do something soon. I am hoping that while I am gone next week Phil will have more time to work on the garden. Some of our herbs have started to appear but rosemary, lavender, oregano, and parsley are being stubborn. I hope we have not over-watered them. I do not feel like my words are very interesting right now so I think I’ll go with pictures….

Our front yard

Our front yard

Herbs, tea, and birthday cards...Happy Birthday Becca!!

Herbs, tea, and birthday cards...Happy Birthday Becca!!

plants, plants

plants, plants

Flowers from Phil

Flowers from Phil

I will be free as of next Friday!! and my friend Misty Jo will be in town. Hopefully she will be down for gardening with me.

Until then if I do not write; I hope everyone has a great week filled with the love and grace of Christ. If you are feeling hopeless or alone please know that you do matter. You are loved and chosen. We all are. Great huh. God has a purpose for you, me, Fidel Castro, George Bush, my neighbor, the millions imprisoned, and all those who are dying from preventable diseases.

growing up.

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm

When I was growing up I always had a picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. “Most of life” to me during my teenage years was me in my twenties. It was during my twenties that everything exciting and meaningful was going to happen. I do not want to knock my twenties. They have been great thus far. At age 24 though I am starting to realize how much more of life I still have to go. I think that when I was younger I had this picture of me being settled into my life (marriage, family, career, ect) in a way that was permanent and clear cut. This is not how it has turned out to be though. Yes, I am married. We are not though planning on having children anytime soon though unless God tells us otherwise. We may start the adoption process at sometime in the nearer future, but only because it can take so long. I suppose the thing that has changed the most from the picture in my teenage head has been that of my career.

A lot of my friends have started careers. A couple of my friends are nurses. I know people that are teachers. A couple of my friends are pastors. A couple of friends have become missionaries. And then there is me…still in school and never having worked a job more serioius than Starbucks or a full-time job for that matter. Having worked simple jobs all my life, it has been sort of a odd revelation to me recently that I am on my way to starting a career. Ever since highschool ended there has almost been a nonstop flow of college. Going to school has become such the norm for me. I got used to the idea a couple of years ago that what I had thought I would be doing for a career in high school was not in any way what God was calling me to. In some ways this helped me stay in the school bubble because I knew what God did not want me to do, and was not sure what I was supposed to do except continue my education. And so I did…and when God called me to study social work off to graduate school I went.

This past year at my internship has begun to open my eyes to the fact that in a year I will be done with school and looking for a job. While I know that God has called me to also go to seminary I know that right now is not the right time and so into the world of work I will go. Does anyone else get a little scared about having to actually do what they are trained to do upon graduation? I guess I have been a student for so long that the concept of me actually being the one who does something versus learn about it is foreign to me.

Last week though all those foreign thoughts got pulled to the forefront of my mind and then anxiously shoved aside as I had no choice but to go about “doing” what I’m being trained to do… So I have been working with persons who are homeless for about eight months now. It has been hard and eye opening. I work as a case manager and try to get my clients connected with all services available to help them create stable lives for themselves. Throughout the past eight months I have had a minimum amount of exposure to crisis’s. Crisis’s happen fairly often at my agency in the medical clinic or mental health clinic but they rarely involve me. So far the closest I have come to crisis was a woman who had been off her meds for a few days and was starting to decompensate, and two men who suffered from depression and were struggling…in each of  these cases though I had assistance and for the most part I never had to make any final decisions…and then there was last Wednesday.

Every morning when you walk into the agency the front entrance is filled with persons waiting to do an intake, use the laundry and shower, or see one of the health clinics. Its hard to notice everyone in there because there are always so many faces. I said good morning and started for the stairs when one of my coworkers stopped me and pointed at a woman. I recognized from the previous week when we had done an intake together. She was crying. “She wants to see you” they told me. I didn’t even remember her name. I told her to give me a few minutes and then raced upstairs to look up her file and importantly her name. One of my coworkers from the job training department followed me up. She explained to me that the woman had come in that morning asking for me and had proceeded to tell the front desk workers that she was going to kill herself. She went on to say she was going to do it at our agency. Mental health was called and after talking with her they decided that since she knew me that it would be best if she waited for me. I understand this. They were under the impression that I had a working relationship with the woman, which is always desirable in a crisis. However from my point of view the words “BUT I’M JUST AN INTERN” were screaming through my head.

It is worth mentioning that my supervisor was not in that morning. The head of our mental health clinic talked to me for a few minutes giving me reminders and then told me he was leaving for a couple of hours but would have someone followup with me afterwards. “WHAT?”

My coworker offered to stay with me and I gladly accepted. I went downstairs and brought my client up. As we walked towards my office I remember praying for God to give me the right words to say. We began to talk.  I asked her what was going on. She sobbed and talked about how she was tired of being alone. She was alone in the world. She was sleeping on the street. She was cold and she was tired. It was heartbreaking. Loneliness is one of the most devastating things I have ever seen. I heard the questions I have been trained to ask coming out of my mouth. With each question came a response which would lead to other questions. I told her that I had heard she was talking about suicide. She said she was. I asked her if this was something she had thought about before. It was. “Have you ever attempted suicide before?” No. “Well can you tell me a little bit more about how you are feeling this time?” and then of course “Do you have any sort of plan for how you would commit suicide?” She did.

While anytime a person is suicidal is a big deal; it is always a lot more complicated if the person does not want to go to the hospital. I was lucky because my client was willing to go. In fact I think she was relieved to go. I called for an ambulance. They asked me questions that reminded me how much I still have to learn. I had forgotten to ask her whether or not she had weapons or pills on her. My coworker and I gave her something to eat and drink and then worked to get her thinking towards the future. We tried to draw out any hope we could find. We worked to show her that she mattered and was not alone. When it was all said and done we gave her a hug and walked her to the ambulance.

I hope she has gotten the help she needs. I hope she has had a warm bed to sleep in. I hope she is seeing someone and perhaps receiving any medication she needs. When it was all over I was in a daze. Someone from mental health did follow up with me . After talking for awhile I started crying and I said something about how I felt replied that I sounded angry. He was right. I was. I was angry at my agency allowing me to handle the situation by myself. Obviously my coworker stayed with me but neither or us had any real crisis experience. I was angry for the casual way one of the other case managers handled the situation when I asked her to be the client’s case manager. I was angry that I could not reach my supervisor over the phone. I was angry at how unprepared I felt.

In the days following last Wednesday I have thought a lot about what happened. I have thought about the fact that I was allowed to see the client by myself. While supervision is always needed I believe, I have started wondering if the reason everyone seemed so nonchalant about me seeing a client who is suicidal is simply because it was expected that I could handle it. That it is something that as a social worker I can handle. I guess I hope that they would not have sent me in there if they did not think I could see the client . The thought kindof terrifies me though because I still feel inept to handle something so serious. I’ve started realizing though that I am not just entering a career next year after I graduate…I am both learning and practicing right now. The word “practicing” seems like a cruel joke when your “practice” is with someone who looks at you and says they want to kill themselves. I don’t know. I just don’t know. It is just still hard for my mind to process that I am starting a career where I am entrusted with things like this that scare me.

I suppose the work of the kingdom is always going to be a little scary though in that it involves people and all the things they experience either good or bad. Needless to say this is not where I would have envisioned myself years ago. It is funny though because just now as I sat here writing I remembered one night I spent at church as a kid of probably about age ten. Twelve at the most. I remember that I went up for an altar call and one of the older youth leaders came and prayed over me. I do not remember everything she said but the gist was that she felt one day I would work with people who were struggling. That I would counsel them. It is pretty incredible and humbling when you realize that God really does have a purpose for your life…and then when you follow it you will be exactly where you need to be even when you don’t realize it…and that he/she will help you remember this when you are doing something so simple as writing a blog. huh. crazy.

this will do.

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2009 at 12:35 am

Ohhh life. Four descriptive adjectives for my life at present: 1. tired 2. stressed 3. appreciative 4. anticipatory. I miss sleep so badly… I miss my husband even more. It is not like I never see Phil but for the past two weeks it has been little more than me doing homework while he does other things around the house. We steal a couple of hours every week but I still want more.  I have been so very blessed by God to have Phil as my partner. I would not be where I am today without him. Last night Phil and I celebrated six months of marriage. I feel like it has flown by and at the same time I feel as though we have been married for a long time. I am thankful for all our time together and am excited to spend the next six months with him…and from there the rest of my life.

I am also heavily anticipating summer break. I want to be free from school work…the fact that I am taking two summer courses is besides the point. I am beyond excited to have some crucial hangout time with God, my husband, myself, and my family and friends. I have every hope of it being an awesome time. Ohhh to read books again that have not been assigned to me. Ohh to spend as much time in the kitchen as I desire. Ohhh to sleep more than four hours a night.

So aside from all consuming school work life has been filled with some good and a lot of struggles. My family is going through some hard times recently and I’ve spent a lot of time in tears. I’ve wanted to throw things at walls.  My pastor has given me a book entitled “Boundaries”. And I’ve been reduced to consuming caffeine again to help me function. On the good side our herb garden has begun to sprout and Phil and I have become proud parents. We also rearranged our living room and I am more than pleased with the openness we now have. We decided against having a tv in the house…technically its still in our basement…and it is a wonderful thing. There is now more room for what we care about-people. And as always God has been faithful to us everyday. He/she has not solved my life’s problems…but God has been with me in the midst of my tears. I am learning. I am trusting as best I can. And every morning I wake up tired but still breathing. This will do. Yes, it’ll do.



….I pray you have peace in the midst of your life circumstances. I pray that you will learn to hope in a God that is bigger than we will ever know. I pray that we will all live under the shadow of his/her wings together.

We don’t have souls, we are souls

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

There is something so pure and wonderful about our God. I know we can never fully understand or comprehend him/her…but there are moments when I feel that I catch just the briefest glimpse that leaves me feeling overwhelmed. These moments always bring tears to my eyes and quickens my soul. My soul is eternal and I believe that in those moments it recognizes the beauty of experiencing God in a way that it did before I was born. It recognizes something that is completely set apart from this broken world…a oneness with God that it will not fully experience again until I pass from this world. Ohh the whispers of God; I am so thankful for them.

Sometimes the momemnts of feeling a sense of God happen while I am walking down the street. Sometimes they happen as I worship. Sometimes they come through God’s words… “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable yeaer of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteaousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

How great is our God who comes to redeem and rescue all of our souls. Not just the souls that this world bestows value on…but all those who have been ignored and tossed to the wayside. We were all created for oneness.