Thursday, November 7

extravagant generosity

It is with a big grin that I can tell you that I have, in fact, now finished my 8th book of 2013! I have a personal goal of reading 12 books that are not mandatory school reading/research books in 2013. And a mere 12 books seem easy enough...but I find myself in November with only 2/3 of my goal met! My husband and I just finished reading "Practicing Extravagant Generosity - Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving", by Robert Schase (yes, I can't help but to pronounce it like schnoz, as in a big nose). This book was recommended by our Pastor and church staff in an effort to ramp up the commitment of monetary giving to our church. Yes, I'm talking about stewardship month.

Normally, I *DETEST* stewardship month. Year after year, the month in which the church staff take turns imploring the congregation for more money has done nothing but make me feel like a jackass for not having much money. And also a frivolous human being for spending money on yet another pair of shoes, instead of putting it in the collection plate. No one likes to feel guilty, myself included. So in the past, I have kind of skipped out on church services when I knew they were going to involve asking for money. I'm certainly not proud of it, but it's the honest truth. 

This year, I cannot believe how successfully my church pulled off stewardship month! I've never seen anything like it! Instead of the guilt trips like I was expecting, the sermons were filled with inspirational stories about ways we can build up our church into a community that fulfills each member's hopes and dreams. In one sermon, the older population from the church were asked to reflect on memories they have from Hope United Methodist Church, and how their lives have been changed by having Hope at the center. In another service, the church's youth organized the service, and the theme was what the children's dreams for Hope were. The children of our church yearn for a place that is accepting, loves everyone, reaches out to the community, and sings loudly and proudly. That right there is beautiful. That is what every church should strive to be. Seeing the dreams that our children have for our church makes me want to give anything I can so that our church can be that safe haven in the future. 
In addition to these powerful sermons, the congregation was asked to read about what it means to practice "Extravagant Generosity." I want to share with you a quote from the book that sums up the message quite elegantly:
"Extravagant denotes a style and attitude of giving that is unexpectedly joyous, without predetermined limits, from the heart. People who practice Extravagant Generosity change their lives in order to become more generous. They become rich in giving. They do not wait to be asked. When they see a need, they step forward to meet it, offering their resources as a means of help...They persist in doing good...They pray and hope and dream about the good they can accomplish through their gifts...People who practice Extravagant Generosity change lives."
Never before has a stewardship month been so successful in helping me to see that what I'm giving today has lasting importance on the potential of what our church can be in the lives of those who need it in the future. I have always enjoyed donating my time, talents, and money to organizations who are doing wonderful things to help people in this world. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to see my own church as one of those worthwhile organizations to start donating to. Well, better late than never :)


Wednesday, November 6

two thousand fourteen

Well hey there blogland! 

I know I am officially the most infrequent blogger on the planet, but I have a few minutes tonight {while multi-tasking and watching season 5 of Breaking Bad, of course}, so I thought I'd write up a little post!

Here we are in November!!! Today I realized that 2013 is almost to an end, and that means that 2014 is coming! The thought of 2014 immediately got butterflies going in my stomach, because 2014 is the start of a new set of adventures for us! My husband and I both graduate in May, and we will officially be a Doctor and a Physician Assistant, ready to take on the world with big kid jobs! It's such an AMAZING prospect, because I have NEVER ever ever been this close to the end of the "school era" of my life. After high school, there was college, in undergrad I was preparing for PA school, and it will be time to put everything I have learned to use! It's daunting and thrilling all at once!!!

So, here are a few updates: Tyler has decided that he definitely is going to be a Family Medicine doctor, and he is going to be *amazing* at this! He has such a heart of gold, and he wants to be able to touch the lives of people from all walks of life; young and old (and in between), typical children and those with special needs, healthy and those who require multiple interventions...he is simply going to be incredible! I have never had such complete faith in one human being as I do him. I can't wait to see what he accomplishes in his career! He is in his final year of medical school, has his Masters in Public Health under his belt, and is gearing up for residency interviews --- which start this Friday! He has interviews in California (near Sonoma, yes please!), Salt Lake City, North Carolina, and all over Colorado. 

We find out in March what residency program he gets in to, or where he matches. It's the most nerve-wracking day to ever be designed on this planet. Tyler ranks his residency choices, and the residency programs rank the students who interviewed with them, then some sort of matching machine (robot?) decides which student should be happily attached to which residency program. On "Match Day", you'll find me popping Xanax on a regular basis in order to suppress a series of panic attacks. My heart is already racing, I must remember to keep this phrase in mind come March:

An update on me: I have been having a WONDERFUL year out in the world of clinical medicine! Patients > Powerpoints. I learn so much more effectively when I have a face and a story to put with a diagnosis! Some months are more challenging than others...those of you who are friends with me on facebook know that October was brutal! I had 3 days off the entire month, and was working >70 hours a week. Yuck! 7 day work weeks??? Get real!!! I mean, part of the reason I wanted to be a PA instead of an MD is so that I could work like 3 days a week. This month, however, I am in a rotation that understands the importance of easing into the workweek and also having early release for the weekends - so I have half days on Mondays and Fridays! This is much more up my alley.

Clinic is great. Not only do I learn so many things every day, but I also have a new awkward experience every day. Maybe I should start a series of blog posts called "Awkward Mondays" or "Embarrassed Wednesdays" or "Tongue-Tied Thursdays"...because I seriously have some outrageous stories to tell you all. What do you think??? I might seriously do this

In a completely unrelated note, but in keeping my blog tradition, I have to share with you guys that I finished my 7th book of 2013 {FINALLY}. I literally read it at a snail's pace. Like if a snail could read, that's probably how slowly I read it. And the masterpiece that I just finished is titled, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" - by the one and only Chelsea Handler of course. 

It was ridiculous. It was raunchy. It made me LOL and snort. It wasn't good, but it was funny. I won't likely be rushing out to buy her 3 (?) other books anytime soon, unless any of you can convince me that they're worth it, but I'm glad I read it. It provided some comic relief on nights I wanted to cry from the stress of clinic. 

I'm glad to be done with it because I have 3 books I have been dying to read! Next on my list are "Revenge Wears Prada", "Allegient", and "50 Shades Freed". Considering I'm only a little more than halfway through my goal of reading 12 books in 2013...I better get going so that I can get reading!

Hope you all are doing wonderfully :)

Cheers :)