Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A long-overdue post

It's funny how quickly things can change. Just a few weeks ago, I was posting about how overwhelmed I was, asking for prayer as we make a big decision about the next step in our lives. As I reread the post I just linked to, it doesn't really even convey how scared and worried I was. I was really feeling the stress when I wrote that, though it doesn't exactly sound like that. My true feelings are more aptly portrayed by the hymn I posted that week, especially this verse:

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Holy His will abideth.
I will be still whate’er He does,
And follow where He guideth.
He is my God,
Though dark my road.
He holds me that I shall not fall
Wherefore to Him I leave it all

Even just a few days after I posted that, from my "dark road", and had talked to people I know asking for prayer, I immediately felt so much better. It's amazing how prayer really works. Sometimes I doubt that my prayers are doing much, because so often the things we ask for God has a timing that is different from our own. But for a few weeks, I was in knots all the time, drowing in worry about our future, Jeff's job, what the right decision would be, afraid that I'd want to go somewhere that Jeff wouldn't, and then what would we do?

But so quickly, (and I know it's because I, and many, many other people, were praying for us), this peace just came over me. I was so surprised by how quickly my whole perspective changed. All those questions I had still had no answers, and we still hadn't decided where we were going, but I guess God helped me to understand and know in my heart that everything was going to be ok. He was in control. I didn't need to worry or doubt, because he was taking care of us, just like he has always done.

Our rank list was due this past wednesday, and we got it turned in. We are both excited about the city that is at the top. (And also the other cities, in case God decides we should go somewhere else.) We can officially annouce where we'll be headed on March 15, also known as Match Day. (If anyone is curious about where we think we'll be going, feel free to call or email. We don't mind talking about it, but decided not to post it here.)

Praise be to the Prince of Peace, who gives us the peace that we ask for.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some things never change

While looking for a photo to use in during match day, I came across this old one:

Here I am, doing my one of my favorite snow-related activities - eating snow. And since that is something that I apparently haven't outgrown, here I am again:

At least I learned that your hands stay warmer if you wear your gloves.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Perfect Place

Last Saturday my flight got in to Indianapolis about 4 hours before Aubrey's flight did, so I had some time to kill. Fortunately for me, I was in the airport. And if you have time to kill, there's almost no better place to be than in an airport.

It was lunchtime so I started with a trip to TGI Fridays. I love eating at airport restaurants. I feel important, because I'm in the airport, so clearly I'm going somewhere. I like the food, a cheeseburger and fries did the trick. I like the feeling of being at peace while all kinds of people are rushing places all around me. I got a great table by a window so I could eat my cheeseburger, write in my moleskine, and watch the snow fluffer down on the enormous Indianapolis Colts banner hanging off the side of the terminal.

After lunch I settled in for some more serious people watching. If you're going to watch people, airports are the place to do it. I grabbed a seat behind one of the less busy luggage carousels and chilled for a while. Lots of people on cell phones. Lots of stir crazy kids. A few stir crazy parents yelling at stir crazy kids. A few emotional reunions. One person who sat unnecessarily close to me and asked if they could read a section of the USA Today which was sitting next to me, but wasn't really my paper at all. I said that they could help themselves, although the thought went through my head of saying they could read a section so long as they moved a little further away.

The Indianapolis airport has one of the more miraculous gadgets I have seen. An iPod Vending machine. Yes, a vending machine. All the little pods lined up in their rows inside the machine, waiting to be chosen, when they would then be pushed off the shelf and fall to the bottow where you could reach one. Some of the slots had headphones, and some had fashionable iPod cases. And there was a credit card slot on the outside so you could swipe away.

But no airport activity beats sitting by a window and watching the day-to-day activities of the port carry on below. Airports are like the dream worlds I would design with lego's as a kid. Not only are there the airplanes, but there are all sorts of little vehicles driving around, each with its own specific purpose. One to cart baggage around, and you can add endless trailers to these. One to carry fuel, one to push the planes back, the hydrolic "GateGourmet" truck, which lifts up to plane level, and is a really cool way to get a few peanut bags onto a plane. And then there are all the little roads painted onto the tarmac, most of them with little lights. When you're not riding on a plane or a truck, you're probably standing on a moving sidewalk. Some new airports even incorperate trains, to add to the mechanical allure.

Airports: filled with restaurants, trucks, shops that deal exclusively in magazines and candy, technology vending machines, and sidewalks where you don't even half to walk. It's so obvious that airports were designed by boys with legos. I love them!

(by Jeff)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ahhh....

There is almost no feeling better than the feeling of coming home after being gone. I slept in my own wonderful bed last night, next to my own, wonderful husband. It's good to be back.

An aside: Last night for dinner, I ate some fried plantains (a decidedly south/central- American food) which I got from the chinese restaurant (???) at the Atlanta airport. They were delicious.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Economics

To walk into Mexico it costs 25 cents. 1 quarter.

To walk back into the good ole' USA, it costs 30 cents.

Apparently, the USA is worth 1 nickel more than Mexico.

(I might have been willing to pay a little extra.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Poem for Aubrey

Her will I marry and her will I hold,
Her will I love through the days we grow old,
Her will I cherish each year even more,
For hers is the heart and the soul I adore.

Hers is the sweet, soft spoken volition,
Which loves without cares, strings or conditions,
Hers is the pity, by which I am smitten,
For broken down dogs, and ravenous kittens.

Hers is excelling, driven ambition,
Which thrives in each post, place and position,
Penguins, stockings, and quilts she has made,
A crafter at heart and a doctor by trade.

Hers is a simple, free, caught-off-guard smile,
My heart melts for days, and then grows by a mile,
Her smile so free, and her laugh so sincere,
My focus is rapt as she's bending my ear.

Now Mine is the joy, Mine the good fortune,
Mine is the glowing and glamorous portion,
For God has seen fit to order my life,
And treat me to Aubrey to have as my wife.

(again, posted by Jeff)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

update from Texas:

1. My time here is winding down. I'm very ready to go home.

2. I borrowed a car (Hallelujah!) over the weekend and got to get out of my apartment. I actually walked to Mexico. Well, I drove to the border, and then walked across the bridge. It was me and the retired people. Mexico, I've learned, is apparently the place to go for cheap dental work and prescription drugs. I'm not sure how I'd feel about getting dental work done in another country, but tons of the retired folks here swear by it. It is also the place to go for knock-off Gucci bags, pirated DVDs, and cheap margaritas.

I bought some tasty, fresh tortillas from Mexico, which I've used to make quesadillas. Yum.

3. One big benefit about not having much to do for fun has meant that I've been able to get lots of sewing done on my quilt. I might actually finish it. And soon.

4. I learned last week that the guy who announces the words at the national spelling bee, who has an exceedingly distinctive voice, (not that I'm admiting to actually watching the national spelling bee) won the bee maybe 20 years ago.

5. Last week, I thought a lot about that verse in Matthew (?) where Jesus is talking about judgement, and he tells people, "I was a stranger and you invited me in." Even in just that one week of feeling like a stranger and having the loneliness that comes with not knowing anyone, I have a renewed understanding for why Jesus uses that as a standard. My tiny taste of that life reminded me of how badly people want a place to fit in, a community that they can call home. I need to pray that my eyes are opened to those around me, in my life at home, who I can bring into the circle of my life so they might find a place where they are rejuvenated and encouraged.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Things I'm learning while Aubrey's away.

Aubrey's not the only one learning a few lessons while she's in Texas. Here's a few I've been learning.

1. Aubrey was a good cook when we got married, and she's gotten a lot better since, meanwhile, my cooking skills have deteriorated. Tuesday I messed up a freezer pizza. I forgot to take the pizza off of the cardboard before putting it in the oven. It was not the end of the world, but the crust was soggier than I prefer.

2. My life is more disorganized when Aubrey is gone. Somehow Aubrey's presence has an organizing effect on me. When she's gone I never know quite what I should be doing.

3. When I have unscheduled blocks of time, I tend to be quite ambitious about what I might get done, but quite unproductive in what I actually get done. Sometimes a deadline really hits the spot.

4. I remember liking MacGyver a lot when I was in high school, but now that I'm watching it on DVD, I'm kinda disappointed. He's not as cool as I remember. But then again, I think some of my memories blend MacGyver together with Knight Rider. KnightGyver, that would be awesome!

(this post posted by Jeff, even though it says Aubrey at the bottom)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lessons

So here is what I'm learning:

1. There is apparently a huge group of people who live up North, but come every winter to this part of Texas and live in RV parks. They are called "Winter Texans." So they see the doctors down here during the winter, and then go home and see their other doctor during the summer. I guess I figured that only happend in Florida.

2. Texas = better Mexican food. I figured it would be better, but WOW. It is REALLY good.

3. I am no good at witnessing. We went to a health outreach today, and the doctors here are so great at sharing their faith with their patients. I am bad. I'm so uncomfortable and I do not know what to say. Jesus saved me many years ago, and yet I find myself silent when looking into a hurting face and knowing how to share with people. And let me tell you, it doesn't get any easier when you try to do it in another language. I've always loved mission work, and going on missions trips, but how can I expect that I'm going to easily share with people in another culture when I rarely talk about Jesus with my closest friends who aren't Christian? I've always wanted to be a good Christian doctor, but really I need to pray and reach out more to those around me right now. Becoming a doctor, I realize, will not suddenly transform me into a totally different person than the one I am now.

4. Moving to a city where you don't know ANYONE and don't have a car is HARD. I didn't know how hard it would be.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Texas

I arrived in Texas a few days ago and have started my rotation. The weather is quite nice here. For all you in cold climates, I won't rub it in how today I'm wearing a skirt, no jacket, and really enjoyed my nice bike ride to the hospital. A few more random thoughts:

I have a nice roommate who is from Texas. It is kind of strange having a roommate again, but I did get a good one. She also has a car, so I won't be totally stuck riding around on my bike.

I'm trying to figure out if I can ride my bike to the local high school to do my speed work tonight. It doesn't look too far on the map, but you never really can tell.

Lots of people here (including one of my patients yesterday) actually make fresh tortillas EVERY DAY sometimes TWICE a day. I decided I needed to figure out how to get some of those. And, since I've never been to Mexico, I'm hoping I can venture a little trip across the border so that I can add another country to the list of places I've been. I guess that is all for now. If I can figure out how to post them, maybe I can take some photos with my phone and everyone can see where I'm staying.

Eating alone is not fun. Especially when there is no TV or anything to watch. I'm working on my quilt and reading a bunch, which I suppose is better for my brain. I can tell I'm going to be using lots and lots of minutes on my phone. So if anyone wants to talk, the evening are a GREAT time for me. And last night, while working on my quilt, I was listening to the radio (my only form of media at the apartment), which was playing classical music. And I was quilting. I felt very old-fashioned.

That is all for now. Back to the grindstone.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Away from home

Tomorrow, Jeff and I leave to visit Greenwood, SC to take another look at the residency program there. On Sunday morning (really, really early) I fly out to Harlingen, TX to do a two-week rotation to work with some more hispanic patients, hopefully enough for me to be able to sharpen my rapidly rusting spanish skills. In case you haven't heard of Harlingen, go here and see exactly how FAR it is from everything. It is very, very far from here. And also far from many friends and family in Dallas, sadly. Thankfully, I'll only be gone for two weeks, and then Jeff and I are going to Indiana to take another look at a program up there. (I've been traveling a LOT these days, it seems.)

I won't have a car in Texas, but the secretary I spoke with assured me that the residents could give me rides to and from work, and make sure I could get some groceries. (As if their lives aren't busy enough, without having to cart me around.) Hopefully there are places I can walk to from the apartment they have arranged for me to stay in.

Right after I get back from all my travels, we'll have to turn in the big rank list. We have lots of big decisions to make!

I'm not taking a computer with me, so I'm not sure what chances I'll have to post in the next few weeks, but hopefully my better half can keep our two readers supplied with some good stories.

And just because I can, here are a few more exceedingly cute pictures: