Category Archives: a new start

so, what’s your story?

a hungry caterpillar...i began journaling in high school, ostensibly as a class assignment, however my love for words and the continuous flow of teen drama compelled me to continue writing beyond high school and through college. today, i journal in a specially selected notebook…the qualities of the chosen one include a spiral binding, heavy lined paper and a cool retro type cover illustration like the ones found here.

more recently, at least over the last couple of years, i have especially enjoyed blogging.  i feel like the blog format allows me some freedom to have a conversation…even if it is with myself…or to provide encouragement and a morsel of humor to a reader or two that happen to stumble upon”Out of the Mud.”

of course, the upside of blogging is that i can write about anything i want, on the other hand my posts tend to be sporadic and not particularly focused on any one subject area. it doesn’t take long for the astute observer to conclude i am hard pressed to remain focused on any one ‘thing’ for any significant amount of time. apparently, there is a term for people like me…a.d.d. or a.d.h.d….back in high school ‘airhead’ or ‘dingy blonde’ was fairly accurate… i suppose i could focus all my blog posts on a.d.d….complete with ‘how to’ and ’10 steps to…’ articles.

mostly, though, i write about my life as a ‘believer’ or ‘follower of Christ’ or the older, less hip term used to describe us Jesus Freaks: ‘born again Christian.’ terminology aside, i do have other interests, check my facebook info page…i have a plethora of interests, but seriously, i kind of get tired of reading/writing/talking about recipes, cool new kitchen kitche, decorating my house, all the accomplishments of my overachieving husband and kids, will ferrell’s latest movie and what not to wear.

i’m a thinker, i suppose, so i could examine and discuss the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, whether bailing out the banks is really a good idea, i could decry genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, or Congo…i could debate the ethics of late term abortion, discuss different treatments available for pre-, peri- and postmenopause, i could analyze the US Forest Service’s current policy on prescribed burns on Forest Service lands or hold a web forum  on parenting and disciplining our children…but–

each of these subjects would eventually lose my interest…unless the discussion, debate, forum or rant had the ‘aroma’ of Christ…then we’d need to brew more coffee and put another log on the fire. because, not only do i love to share my story…i love to hear yours…i think that is why social networks, blogs, etc intrigue me…

becomes a beautiful butterfly...as for me…what i truly love to share with those willing to read or listen is how one Person, the most historic figure ever to walk the earth drew me to Him and in a single moment i realized i am not a caterpillar, but a butterfly…

i love to share the moments i experience in my work as nurse…when i see the work of His hands in the birth of a new family. how it is only because of His spirit in me that i can look upon women and children with His eyes…people whom many would pass by on the street without giving them a second thought, those who live among us who are homeless, jobless, helpless, hopeless…and how this life we live, this very hard bumpy, crusty life is worth every bump and bruise…

in a world filled with contradiction, confusion and injustice, my friend Heather (@ especially heather) describes the One that gives me a hope and a future, One whose mercy is new every morning, Who gives me a joy from within that I cannot manufacture. it’s not about prosperity or the good life…it’s about a peace from within based upon grace at the Cross. it’s about the Greatest Story ever told.

Easter is only the beginning of the Story, will it be the beginning of your story? Everyone has one…will you tell your story to Him, to the One who gives hope and grace?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

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i’m not who i was…

as we get older we all change in one way or another…we get shorter, taller, greyer, sadder, happier…you get the picture. but for me, the most significant change in me occurred in the fall of 1993 when i made the decision to walk away from a former lifestyle apart from Christ into a journey of which i had no idea how it would look or what the experience wouldchurch be.

so far, i can tell you i am so very glad Christ pursued me with such vigor and persistence as to send His own into my path that i would meet Him in the pages of Scripture over and over again. when i didn’t know what to do or what to believe, His people, my new friends would point me to Scripture. there were no long philosophical debates, no deep unanswerable questions posed, no esoteric what if’s…just the Truth of the Bible to meet me where i was in the fall of 1993. where was i? i was a single mom with no college education, a checkbook with about $150 and a minimum wage job at the college rec center. i lived in student housing and rode a bike around my college town because i didn’t own a car.

clarity…in a moment of clarity i began to understand without God my life would essentially remain the same, even if I had a college degree, my own car and $15,000 in my checking account…i would still be without Hope. so i bent down on my knees, for the first time in my life and spoke to God, confessing every sin i could remember and asking Him to remind me of the ones i had chosen to forget. after what seemed like hours i rose from my knees, and climbed into my bed, exhausted. the next morning i woke early and opened my Bible, sat with my journal and wrote out my first prayer as a new Believer in Christ…the evidence was there…i realized…i’m not who i was.

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Not to do list 2009…

2008 is but a memory…and the new year beckons.  I love January.  To me it is 31 days of possibility….to remake, renew, repurpose.  Each new year offers a moment of beginning, a place to start fresh…many of us start the new year with a clean slate and a TO DO
list.

Traditionalist that I am, I scratched out a simple TO DO 2009
list…but what about the alternative? What about a
[NOT TO DO}
list? I think there’s some real potential in a {NOT TO DO}
list.

Here’s what I’ve decided I’m not going to do in 2009:


{NOT TO DO 2009}

1. I am not going to use my credit card for stuff I think I want (but don’t really need.)

2. I am not going to forget to return dvds to Blockbuster.

3. I am not going to make a promise I cannot keep.

4. I am not going to miss out on fun activities with my girls because there are dishes or laundry to do.

5. I am not going to say ‘yes’ when I really mean ‘no, thanks.’

Oh, and my TO DO 2009 list…

TO DO 2009

1. Save more than we spend…way more. (like that’s a shocker)

2. Choose joy. (because the alternative is yucky)

3. Be inspired. (I’m a labor and delivery nurse…this is an easy one)

4. Believe God. (…why I struggle with this I’ll never know this side of heaven_)

5. Give generously. (of my time, talents and treasures…but not my chocolate)

Kind of a broad, rather vague list, I know…the details will come over the remaining days in January.  I do have a few very specific projects I’d like to complete, but it’s so much more interesting beginning with a wide, big picture view of the coming year.

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Chchchchchanges….

We have a change in the tide coming to our little corner of the world. I mean, not right away, but gradually little changes have been happening that add up to a big change. We are beginning a new adventure, as a family, as a couple and me personally.

05995_133.jpg

School begins in just a few weeks. I have been gathering school supplies with each trip to Wal-Mart and picking over the sidewalk sales for bargains for my girls. And signing up for classes at the University.

Yes, the perpetual student is back at it. Last summer and fall I was working on a masters degree in Nurse Practitioner in Women’s Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), but after the hullabaloo at Christmas, I was spent…and so was my family. And I actually didn’t really even like the program or the potential for employment as an NP in a doctor’s office.

Now, I could get all spiritual and put a “God spin” on this new adventure, and of course God has His hands all over this, the details are pretty amazing and inspiring, but I will try to just put it out there, how this whole big change evolved.

See, a seed that was planted by a patient I had in labor in Manhattan (KS) in the fall of 2005. In conversation, I had shared with her and her husband that my family and I were moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in a couple of months (January 2006) and I had been thinking about pursuing an advanced degree…but I wasn’t sure in what. The couple had both recently graduated from UNMC College of Dentistry – she was a general dentist and he had completed residency in orthodontics in Boston and they were just opening a new practice in Manhattan. They suggested I consider dental school. I considered it. For 30 seconds. I asked how long does dental school take…they said four years…I said I don’t have that much time…but thanks for the idea.

Not to bore you with all the details…and there are many, but after much consideration, prayer, a visit with the UNMC dental school admissions counselor and the UNL pre-health professions counselor (a former patient), my own dentist (who is of a certain age, like me) and of course my family, the decision was made. I will begin taking classes this fall to prepare for dental school admission in 2010. It is back to freshman biology and chemistry for me!

Eric and the girls have been very supportive as I have been taking an online Algebra course this summer to dust off the math cobwebs. The girls are very excited that mommy is going to be a dentist (Lord willing!)

What I do know is as this big change has unfolded over the last few months, we have asked God to make it very clear what path He desires us (this is so an us kind of thing) to take and to make it very obvious if dentistry is not what He wants for us….so far door after door after door has opened. There have been so many confirmations that we are doing what He desires it gives me goose bumps. I think more than any other time in our married life our spiritual ears on high so we are joining God in what He is already doing rather than striking out on our own and asking Him to support our decision.

For now, probably the biggest blessing in all of this is that I still love my job as a labor and delivery nurse. I am not bailing on nursing because I don’t like or value what I do or that I am burnt out…I just know it is time to move on.

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New digs…

After slugging it out for h.o.u.r.s on another blogsite thingy…I decided to try WordPress and see if it all it appears to be.  I feel like I’m graduating or something…

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Okay, so if you want a good laugh and need some e…


Okay, so if you want a good laugh and need some entertainment, watch this blog. I am teaching myself how to use this communication tool and I think the learning curve is going to be pretty steep. Most of the FAQ topics i don’t even understand what they are and I just figured out what a template is. HTML, URL, links, edits…whatever! I will persevere and in one year i hope to have enough information that this tool will be more useful and less energy consuming for me.

I have been checking out the community and its pretty interesting to see what people will post to go out into cyberspace. There is a lot about blog etiquette, how to write something interesting, yada yada yada. A couple sites suggested using the “f” word a lot…to get some reaction. I don’t think my English Comp teacher at Colorado State would agree and it is possible she could miraculously run across this site…don’t think i will do that one. The best advice i have read so far suggests not to post anything you would not want your mother to read or to be on the front page of the NY Times. That’s a good, simple common sense rule. I like it.

This morning my mind was racing with all kinds of topics to write about so I put them in my notebook and I will start with those ideas. I am excited, energized and randomly focused so this tool will be a great creative outlet for me…I hope in the process others will be slightly amused and entertained, hopefully not annoyed.

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Okay, so now i have figured out how to post pictu…

Okay, so now i have figured out how to post pictures. Cool. This lovely photo is an aspen leaf taken last summer in Colorado, our second home.

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