The thoughts of a woman trying to live simply yet abundantly, contentedly yet expectantly, wisely yet adventurously... all for His glory.


gazing out in hope

Yesterday's twelve hour shift was twelve hours of difficult. I've been caring for some of our VVF ladies, and while I love the work, at times it requires more than I am able to give.

For the sake of all my non-medical readers, I won't go into details about my shift yesterday. Suffice it to say I spent most of the day cleaning up after some ladies who were not feeling too well. I had to search high and low for every single supply I needed to take care of my patients. I had a million little tasks to do, each competing for priority. And at the end of my shift, when I accidentally knocked over a container of urine onto my flip-flop shod foot (this is why you have to wear closed-toe shoes in hospitals at home!), all I could do was laugh. It was either laugh... or cry with frustration.

And so last night I didn't set an alarm for this morning, sleeping in until my body chose to wake up. Today I have done little except be with friends, read a good book, and work on a Bible study. When I finally got online this evening to check my email and catch up on some blogs, I realized that today is Monday. Multitude Monday over at Holy Experience. And as I was reading what others in the gratitude community were thankful for, I came across this gem at a blog I enjoy: gazes out in hope.

Gazes out in hope. What a beautiful word picture.

Yesterday's shift was a tough one, but I think about the VVF ladies and am reminded of their strength and hope. These women hope for a life reborn: freedom from shame and belonging once again to their families and husbands. While we may provide the free surgery to fix the hole in their bladder, only God can fix the hole in a wounded soul. He is the Hope-Giver and the Healer, and for that, I am thankful. I am also thankful for:

15) the gratitude community: as we share our stories together, we are reminded of God's goodness.

16) waking up one day last week with a worship song in my head: "holy, holy, holy/ is the Lord God almighty/ who was and is and is to come/ with all creation I sing/ praise to the King of kings/ you are my everything/ and I will adore you."

17) the study of the book of Esther by Beth Moore. I am learning, I am seeing God's hand at work, and I am seeking to know Him more. And I am finally--finally!--enjoying being in my Bible.

18) a quiet room to myself tonight, a rarity on this ship on which 400 people live.

19) God's quiet reassurance breaking through my fretting about how it will all get done

20) a beautiful story of redemption told by my dear friend Eva.

21) Akouvi, a VVF patient. Although her surgery failed, and she continues to leak urine constantly, she continues to smile, laugh, and even tease me as we communicated yesterday through broken French and translators.

22) anti-malarial medications for baby Jenga. In God's gracious timing, his mama Mora is currently a VVF patient, so we have been able to give her surgery and also treat his malaria... which could otherwise have been deadly.

This week, may we each continue to gaze outward in hope.

holy experience


My Bright Corner said...

LOVE your list!!

LOVE your blog!!

How INCREDIBLE that you get to work on a Mercy Ship. So awesome!!

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

Tea said...

I enjoy reading your gratitude lists. I'm sorry to hear that one of the women's surgeries failed, but glad she is able to have such a good attitude - wow!

Carol said...

You have the most wonderful writing talent. God is using you not only there on the Africa Mercy but in inspiring all of us to look at our lives and be grateful, right here right now. God Bless you! C

lindsay said...

Thank you ladies for stopping by, saying hello, and leaving sweet comments! Much appreciated one and all!

Michelle said...

I almost wordless. I said this once before, but I can now say this again. This is one of the best gratitude community blogs I've read. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Thank you for being thankful like, "malaria medication for baby...".

The conviction in my heart is so heavy at this moment. I frequently thank Him for our health...and I mean it. But I don't usually feel it with this ferocity.

Thank you for your blog. I think I'm going to add you to my blogroll.


lindsay said...

Michelle, so glad you have stopped by! I've been back in the States for a day or two now, so I am getting caught up on my blog--sorry for the delay!

I am pleased that you are also in the gratitude community, and look forward to taking a look at your gratitude lists as well. I don't know about you, but I have found that simply making a list of the things I am thankful for has increased just how thankful I feel, if that makes any sense. God's goodness is so abundant!!

Thank you for joining *with* me in thankfulness, too. I think there's something special about rejoicing with others in their joys, which is what you are doing for me. Blessings to you as well!