Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Match Day

Match Day was an intense experience unlike anything else I've experienced other than my wedding day. Yes, that is as close of a comparison as I can come up with and realistically it wasn't too far off. Even though I felt secure in knowing God was in control of our future and where we would go...just like with our wedding day I had no fear of who I was marrying or that I would be spending the rest of my life with my best friend...it was just pure anxiousness of wanting the moment to happen and to experience it. I felt jittery and nauseous all morning and couldn't stop pacing. It really reminding me of my wedding morning when my wonderful bridesmaids kept holding fans up to my armpits every time I would have a hot flash. I was so excited and so anxious to experience the beginning of the rest of my life. (This last sentence applies to both my wedding morning and match day morning!)

(In case you're wondering about the mustache, Derek thought it would be great to shave off his goatee but leave the mustache for match day. He called it his Match Mustache and was very excited about it. It was actually a very nice comic relief considering any time I got nervous I only had to look at him to be reminded of Luigi on Mario Brothers and would burst out laughing. Especially when he would talk just like him!)

The morning of - we went out to a brunch with friends, none of which anyone ate much of. Then we got to the banquet hall in the Alumni Center where the ceremony was being held and got to our table. We sat with Sarah and Kevin, Katherine and Mike, Katie and Chris, and another couple we just met. These pictures are of all of us anxiously awaiting our names (our husbands names rather) to be called.

The way they did this (or more appropriately stated - dragged it out) was every student's name was in a hat and a name was drawn one at a time. Needless to say, we were fourth from LAST of being called. We basically waited through almost every single name called before finding out. It was torture!

The worst part is every student who was called put a dollar in a bucket when they walked up to get their letter and so the last person called got the pot. Basically after waiting all that time I wouldn't have minded waiting through 2 more names to then get a chunk of cash! Oh well...maybe those last two minutes really would have killed me!

Anyways...Derek went up to get his letter and instead of announcing it over the microphone in front of everyone (most people announced it, a few didn't), he brought the closed envelope back to the table and handed it to me to open. I did and we read together that we are moving to PORTLAND, OREGON!!!!! Our very first choice!!! We were thrilled and I burst into tears and couldn't stop hugging Derek. It was very emotional and very exciting.

We are thrilled to be going to Portland and can't wait to see what lies ahead for us! God is so good and we feel so blessed!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


This is from my devotional by Max Lucado I read this morning.

Only One Thing is Necessary

Here is the scene: You and I and a half-dozen other folks are flying across the country in a chartered plane. All of a sudden the engine bursts into flames, and the pilot rushes out of the cockpit.
"We're going to crash!" he yells. "We've got to bail out!"
Good thing he knows where the parachutes are because we don't. He passes them out, gives us a few pointers, and we stand in line as he throws open the door. The first passenger steps up to the door and shouts over the wind, "Could I make a request?"
"Sure, what is it?"
"Any way I could get a pink parachute?"
The pilot shakes his head in disbelief. "Isn't it enough that I gave you a parachute at all?" And so the first passenger jumps.
The second steps to the door. "I'm wondering if there is any way you could ensure that I won't get nauseated during the fall?"
"No, but I can ensure that you will have a parachute for the fall."
Each of us comes with a request and receives a parachute.
"Please, captain," says one, "I am afraid of heights. Would you remove my fear?"
"No," he replies, "but I'll give you a parachute."
Another pleads for a different strategy, "Couldn't you change the plans? Let's crash with the plane. We might survive."
The pilot smiles and says, "You don't know what you are asking" and gently shoves the fellow out the door. One passenger wants some goggles, another wants boots, another wants to wait until the plane is closer to the ground.
"You people don't understand," the pilot shouts as he "helps" us, one by one. "I've given you a parachute; that is enough."
Only one item is necessary for the jump, and he provides it. He places the strategic tool in our hands. The gift is adequate. But are we content? No. We are restless, anxious, even demanding.
Too crazy to be possible? Maybe in a plane with pilots and parachutes, but on earth with people and grace? God hears thousands of appeals per second. Some are legitimate. We, too, ask God to remove the fear or change the plans. He usually answers with a gentle shove that leaves us airborne and suspended by his grace.
Truth be known, some of us discover we have a fear of heights when we are dangling above precarious circumstances - suspended by his grace alone. We'd rather have our feet firmly planted on the ground. We want certainty and facts. We feel a need to know all is going to work out the way we planned. In fact, if we can't be sure of the outcome of our problems, we'd rather not have them at all. Like Paul, we ask God to please make them disappear.

What does the illustration about the pilot and the parachutes tell you about the sufficiency of God's grace during trials?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

During this time of waiting to find out where Derek gets into residency and where we will be living for potentially the rest of our lives, this really stood out to me this morning. I want to remember to lean on Jesus during this time and reflect on His grace instead of begging Him to make the day come faster. I know I am growing and learning things along the way and that this path is important. I don't want to anxiously await and only focus on days ahead but to enjoy the journey along the way and see what else God has in store for me. It is very hard not to feel impatient right now but I am trying very hard to focus on God's grace being sufficient for me in everything and every area of life. He is teaching me to be content in every situation and that "His grace is enough."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back in West Virginia

Wow, time has flown by! We are now back in Charleston, West Virginia for Derek's last two months of medical school. Crazy!

We flew in Saturday night and our friends Pam & Todd Swanson were lovely to pick us up from the airport, cook us a wonderful Indian chicken dinner, and let us stay the next two nights at their house.

Monday afternoon we got keys to a student housing apartment which the school normally keeps for people who are interviewing there to stay in. Since interview season is over the student coordinator told us we could have the room for these next two months. It's called Dunlop Hall.

We weren't really sure what to expect and walking up the stone stairwell and into the smoke filled hall reignited my fears. We opened the door (with a lock that looked to be about a hundred years old and easily pick-able with a credit card) and were greeted with a fresh face full of smoke. If you know me, you know I practically hyperventilate when I smell cigarette smoke so the next scene that ensued was Derek and I frantically running around the apartment throwing open every window we could find. Yes, it was 35 degrees outside and snowing, but inside it was a cigarette hotbox - making the decision to freeze obvious and absolute.

Once I caught my breath we continued to investigate the rest of the apartment. I will say a few positives...it is very nice sized and has a TV with cable. It even gets Sports Center. Now for more negatives...it looks as though the bathroom hasn't seen a sanitizing clean in a good while, lots of mildew and mold all over the bathroom, the kitchen has a good amount of food splatter on the counters, refrigerator, and walls. The bed is a full sized, which is better than a twin, but much smaller than our California King that we are accustomed to!

I think Derek was very pleasantly surprised that I didn't melt down and instead simply said we needed to make a trip to the store for cleaning supplies and candles. We left all the windows open and headed out to Walmart to make some purchases including towels, sheets, and things to eat on.

As we checked out I was reminded of the feeling of being a freshman in college again. Our basket was filled with two bright orange plastic plates ($1), three bright green plastic cups ($3), silverware ($1 for 4 spoons, $1 for 4 forks, & $1 for 4 knives!), two towels ($2.50) that feel a little like sand paper, two pillows ($2.50), a pack of seven candles ($10), bananas, yogurt, granola, and lots of cleaning supplies. I didn't realize how much stuff you can get there for so cheap! Who knew that $2.50 pillows existed!? It reminded me of shopping with my parents at Kmart before moving into Franciscan Towers my freshman year at UCSB.

Since we got back late and spent the majority of our evening cleaning we didn't have time to wash our sheets. Derek, however, is such a smart man and left our two sleeping bags in our Corolla when we moved. We got them out, zipped them together, and made one big sleeping bag and viola! It was like camping, only inside on a mattress! It was actually pretty fun and by the time we were in bed I felt much more adjusted to our new home. I actually very much enjoyed my camping/cuddling time in our sleeping bags on our full sized bed.

Our next fun experience occurred in the morning when Derek got in the shower. He was in the shower before he pulled the knob to make the water shoot out of the shower head instead of the bath part and it came rushing out so intensely that he jumped a full two feet backwards in the tub. The water was spraying out similar to a fire hose and it looked as though the shower curtain was attacking him. I just stood there watching and laughing with my legs crossed so I wouldn't pee! He kept punching at the curtain which would then fly out of the shower and back in wrapping it self around him, all the while water spraying everywhere. I almost peed my pants watching. My favorite quote from him during all this, "well we sure can't complain about the water pressure not being enough!"

Derek is on his second day of Neuro ICU and it will be his most intense two weeks of these last two months. He has to be there around 6:45am until 7pm. It should get easier and he should have shorter days after these two weeks. We also get to find out where he's going for residency on March 18th! Pray for Oregon!! That's our number one choice! (Second choice is Mayo in Scottsdale, and third is Pittsburgh).