For My Friend Who Wants to Be a Mommy

I’ve wanted to say this for a while now, but I wasn’t sure the words would come out right. Even right this minute I’m not sure, but I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful you’ll see my heart.

I’ve always been an odd sort of person, I guess, when it came to sensitive issues. I’m a sensitive soul myself, and I spend a lot of time with my heart on my sleeve. Despite my tendency to take things the wrong way I often get frustrated with a society that seems on the verge of running home crying to their Momma. Most issues just make me want to shake my head, and wonder, what are they getting so upset and offended about?!

But then there’s you. You’re not being too sensitive, but are in fact handling it far better than I ever could. And I get it.

No, I don’t get it like you get it, but I try. And when I do I feel like my heart may fracture right down the middle. I look at the most amazing thing that’s happened in my life, and then I try and imagine what it would be like if I couldn’t have that.

That’s when I understand. And that’s when I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t see it before.

I’m sorry I didn’t see it in your eyes when I told you I was pregnant again. A month after trying. I’m not apologizing for being happy that I had conceived, but rather am regretful for not being more sensitive to the pain you felt at that moment. I know you were happy for me, and you wanted to be happy too, but your own negative test at home overshadowed all else. I can understand that.

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I’m sorry that I didn’t understand why you were too sick to come to my baby shower. Too heart sick.

Oh God, I’m sorry I complained so much about morning sickness and swollen feet. How did you not stab me in the eye?! But seriously, I couldn’t see my ankles.

I’m sorry that I complain about my kids so much, and although motherhood is so damn hard; I’m sorry if my grievances make it seem like I don’t appreciate the opportunity in my hands to care for my sweet babies. It’s not fair to you or them.

And even though I know I’m human, and sleep deprivation gets old, I do realize my comments are sometimes like lemon juice to your paper cut. I’m sorry for that.

I apologize that I make flippant comments about having another like it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. I don’t say it to hurt you. I guess sometimes I just don’t think.

I suppose aside from my sincere apology to you during a time that is more difficult than I can fathom, I want you to know that I’m thinking of you. I really am. I know that in your loss people may remain silent, as if commenting on miscarriage or infertility is too taboo of a subject to speak out loud, but just know that even if I don’t say anything that I’m still praying for you.

You want to be a mommy, and rightfully so, but I’ll tell you this. I think you already are. I think God has placed the desire in your heart for a reason, and I believe He will fulfill it. You’re a mother already, and I can see your glow, even if you cannot. You’re just waiting for your child, and whatever miracle avenue that God will use to bring it to pass. Keep the faith Mommy.

Just remember that even when I mess up, because I know I will, or other people also step on your feelings, even if unaware; know that Jesus sees your heart. He sees your pain, and He catches every tear. Hang in their Momma. You are loved.

I Can’t Do This Without You

I was trying to get my toddler daughter dressed, but she laughed at my efforts, and she ran off down the hall while I held her pants in my hand.

“Get back here!” I commanded, and while she laughed hysterically I added, “or I’m telling your Daddy!”

And it hit me then. Hard. A trickle of worry had been running below the surface for the past twenty four hours, but I had tried, albeit in vain, to keep it subdued. It fought its way to the surface as my baby giggled in the hall, and I thought, what if I couldn’t tell him?!

And I told my husband in my head, I can’t do this without you.

Today was the day, the day that maybe we could find out something. Maybe we could find out what the knot was that my husband found in his belly.

Perhaps a thrombus they said. Perhaps not. Doesn’t matter since reason is evasive when things get real, and hit too close to home.

Why did I think it was nothing when he asked me weeks ago? And I berated myself once again.

What if it’s something really bad? I wondered again. But I pushed that frightening thought away. I had to because I couldn’t do this without him.

He wasn’t scared. That’s what he said anyway, but I wondered. I would be going with him for the test, and I knew that was the right thing when despite his proclaimed lack of fear that he still said, “I’m glad you’re going with me.”

I prayed. God knows I prayed. I got down on my knees, and even though I didn’t want to, I let it go. I let him go. But still. Still I thought, I can’t do this without you.

Below my worst fears ran a river of hope, a trust that God had it working together for our good, even if I couldn’t see, or despite if I could understand. I was grateful for it, that river, but still. Still I prayed, God, I can’t do this life without him. I don’t think I can.

When they wouldn’t let me go back with him for the test, and I sat without my human rock at my side, I had time to think. Think about how I would do it without him. It hurt, but in an unfathomable way, because the fullness of such a tragedy never came to me completely. I wouldn’t let it, I just couldn’t. I only knew one thing. I can’t do this without you.

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When he came back out, and he was with me again, I took his hand like an anchor. His solid grip held me safely, and I felt peace. It kept me grounded to the floor when his following words made my body want to soar. “They said it’s fine. Nothing.”

And though we still had some more answers to obtain the important part was that it would be okay. He would be okay.

We carried on like a regular day, and stopped at the market to get the baby some juice. As we walked, still hand in hand, I stopped near the cans of tuna, and I collapsed against his chest. Tears poured, and I fell over my muffled words as they tumbled out emotionally upon his shirt, damp from my cries.

“I can’t do this without you.” I cried.

He patted my back, and he stroked my hair. “It’s okay. You don’t have to.”

I looked up at him all smiles, and he wiped away my tears. Then we kept walking down the grocery store aisle, and we picked out the juice we thought our daughters would enjoy best. As we agreed upon a selection, and walked out together I knew I couldn’t do it without him. And for now I don’t have to.

What I Didn’t Know I’d Regret About Becoming a Nurse

I still remember when I realized I wouldn’t be a veterinarian. I had wanted to be an animal doctor for as long as I could remember, and spent the majority of my childhood trying to mend frogs’ broken legs or bottle-feed baby bunnies.

Despite my dream career ambitions, while in college I changed my major. I wanted patients who could tell me what was wrong, and being the daughter of a registered nurse, it was only natural to want to follow in the footsteps of a woman I admired so greatly.

I now realize that other than my admonition that “what’s good enough for Mom is good enough for me,” I had no idea what I would encounter in the field of nursing. I was clueless in fact.

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I figured that I’d make a really good salary, and I dreamed of the day I could be a rich nurse. I was unaware how paltry the check would seem in the face of the very real responsibilities I shouldered.

I was pretty excited for the shifts I’d pull, and imagined how great it would be to only work a few days a week. I didn’t factor in the recovery phase that follows a thirteen hour shift, and I missed the memo about working weekends and holidays too.

I watched all the medical dramas with my mother, and I marveled at the knowledge she possessed. Especially when she angrily corrected the flaws in the script.

I wanted that! The excitement and the skills. I didn’t understand that sometimes excitement turns into fear, and although in-depth, full knowledge of the field is never obtained.

I had no idea that even as I made my career and performed in an intense area of nursing, full of chaos and abounding skills, that simply holding someone’s hand would be the most rewarding thing to me.

I knew it would be challenging. My mom told me so. But I had no idea it would be like this.

I can’t recall her telling me that I would desire so completely to be the best, to give of myself so fully. I never realized I would doubt my abilities so much, or wish so deeply that I could change the outcome for those who sought my help.

I didn’t know I would feel regret. Regret that I couldn’t do more, or know more, or even be more to those who put their lives in my hands.

How could I have known that I would feel the pain of another so intensely, or that I would grieve so fiercely for someone I had just met. Did I really think that I would feel the loss experienced by another like it was my own? And that then I would embrace that empathetic side I didn’t even realize I possessed?

Is there any way I could have known how I would regret that I couldn’t be more, better, or what my patient deserved?

I don’t think so.

There’s no way I could have known.

I didn’t know that it would change me, that it would become me, and that I wouldn’t know any other way to exist than to care.

I didn’t know I would regret that I didn’t care more.

I didn’t know I would beat myself up over not knowing every answer, or especially catching every mistake or sign of impending doom.

I didn’t know that I would regret not knowing more, paying attention to detail more, or simply just being more. More of a nurse. More of a better me.

I realize now that I had no idea what I was getting into. While I didn’t know how hard it would be; I also didn’t realize how hard I’d be on me. Or that I would regret all the things I couldn’t be.

I guess Momma forgot to tell me that part.

Don’t Slip Away

I brushed my lips across her smooth forehead, and as I parted from the kiss I gazed in awe at the angelic face of my sleeping toddler. I quickly kissed her again. I had to. I had to do something before the moment slipped away.

Time was like that, a slippery rope that left me with a burn after it raced through my grasp. Fleeting moments, an ever-changing reality. The passage of time seemed so cruel and evasive when I asked her to wait.

Wait. Slow down. Not so fast.

My baby, always my baby, struggled to remain confined in the lime green, cotton sleeper. It’s pink roses stretched at the knees where her growing legs pushed.

Do you remember when it fit your firstborn? I asked myself.

Yes. How could I forget.

Big sis was no better at cutting it out. She insisted on growing taller every day, and a lovely young lady looked back at me when in my heart I still expected to see a baby face.

In these quiet moments it seems like time stands still, and a part of me wishes it would. It’s the part that wants to keep rocking in the dim light, and never stop. It’s the same quivering mommy heart that tries to halt time with eager embraces, as if a well-placed kiss will make her stay. Stay little.

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In the busyness of our waking hours, and in the chaos of our constantly moving day I don’t notice as much. But when the passing minutes slow in the middle of the night, when the sands of the hourglass match her evenly paced breaths; that is when I see it. I see that she is changing, and so very quickly. Sometimes too quick for my heart to accept.

I almost scream, no! Stop it. Don’t slip away. Let me hold you a little bit longer. Just. Like. This.

I kiss her again, and I breathe in her scent. But the baby smell is gone.

I gaze longingly at my growing daughter, and I capture every detail in my mind’s eye. Stay just a bit longer. Just like this.

And for that moment, she does.

For that moment I don’t think about how fast she’s growing. I don’t wonder what happened to that little baby. I don’t even daydream about the amazing woman I know she will become. Instead I just rock.

I rock in the dark, and I steal sleeping kisses, and I marvel at every single thing about her. I take it all in, and I don’t worry about it slipping away. I simply enjoy it while I can.

Because no amount of astonished gasps, or imagined regrets over not savoring every single second will sufficiently slow the cascade of time. I cannot stop it in its tracks. I can only enjoy it while it’s there.

I intoxicate myself as I drink in her every feature, frozen in that moment while she still rests in my arms. For that precious moment she listens to her mommy, and time doesn’t slip away.

7 Simple Tips for Keeping a Clean House With Small Children Present

There seems to be no more difficult or challenging of an endeavor than that of keeping a tidy home when you have small children present. But I am here to tell you that it can be done.

Perhaps you’re like me and the smell of bleach is like Grandma’s apple pie to your soul. Or perhaps the sight of an empty laundry basket, albeit briefly, sets your heart aflutter, and makes you feel like, yes, everything is alright with the world.

If you’re anything like me, and you feel like Magic Eraser is the best invention ever, then you’ll appreciate these simple tips I’ve learned over the years for maintaining my home despite my raucous offspring.

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1. Clean while they’re asleep. Well this is just brilliant. I am certain this advice was devised by someone with multiple children, and I’ll bet she’s in her late thirties just like me. After all what mother wouldn’t jump at the chance to get up early and clean?

I suggest setting an alarm since you might be unable to wake on your own after being woken repeatedly during the night by a sick and/or teething baby. Just remember sleep deprivation makes you look more youthful.

Don’t worry that the vacuum or dryer may wake the children. If it does kids are great at being woken before they’re ready, and this will make for a pleasant, relaxing day with a non-cranky kiddo.

2. Let them help. Is there anything cuter than a toddler carrying around a Swiffer duster? It’s probably only rivaled by those sweet moments when they dip the duster in the commode and proceed to wet mop the furniture.

And is there any prouder moment than when you see the flood of soapy water in your kitchen floor after the preschooler finishes washing dishes?

3. Have them clean. If you’re going to let them help then why not give them full responsibility for their mess. When faced with the overwhelming task of a destroyed home and the unending responsibilities of your housework it’s always a good time to think about teaching life lessons to your young, and mentoring eager minds to the appreciation of cleanliness.

Kids are great at picking up their messes, and really only need a gentle nudge in the right direction. They are not distracted easily, never whine over the insurmountable job of cleaning their room, and seldom spend more time playing than cleaning.

4. Offer a snack. I find it extremely pleasurable to try and distract my children with food while I clean. After all you’re already washing dishes so what’s a few more?

I like to give popcorn, or really any kind of easily crushable cracker. A bright red juice is always a good choice as small children very rarely make spills.

5. Distract them with an activity. Oh yes. This always works. You will not spend more time setting up the craft than you do performing actual housework, and clean up afterwards is a cinch.

You can just put them on autopilot really. Kids do excellent with glue and scissors unsupervised.

I also like to give mine play doh. They very rarely drop thousands of tiny balls of it into the floor, and typically do not track it throughout the house.

6. Send them outside. This is probably one of my favorites. It’s a great opportunity for kids to get plenty of fresh air in those two minutes and thirty seconds before they’re begging to come back inside to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.

Mopping is so easy when kids are outside because they rarely track dirt and leaves across your clean floor the moment you finish.

I find mine don’t usually get completely filthy while outdoors to the point that I have to strip them naked on the back steps and add muddy clothing to the ever growing pile of dirty laundry. They also probably won’t need an immediate bath before touching anything.

7. Television. This is really a last ditch effort for me. I usually abstain from using the TV as a baby sitter while I do chores. My children do not know every single line and song to the movie Frozen, and I don’t play it over and over to keep them occupied.

Well there you have it. Just remember sometimes, just occasionally, people who do not have children or who have had an empty nest for twenty years and who might have forgotten that the struggle is real will tell you not to worry about cleaning. They might mention something about the importance of spending time with your babies before they’re all grown. You will have never thought of this.

I usually don’t grit my teeth knowingly while wondering if they’ve actually smelled the odor coming from my fridge.

As a rehabilitated clean freak I am pretty comfortable with the chaos of no counter space and toys everywhere. I don’t usually feel like I’m suffocating in the mess or that I might have a mental breakdown if I have to pick up one more pair of discarded shoes.

But every once and a while I feel like I might should pick up a few little things here and there, and in those rare moments where I feel like I must clean I find these seven, simple tips work like a charm.

You’re welcome.

I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

I’ve always been the analytical type, and even as a child I enjoyed searching for the answer in my Mom’s Encyclopedia Brittanica. Today I have Google, and boy do I use it. But some things I just can’t find online. And some answers are hard to come by.

Some days I think I have no idea what I’m doing, and most days I am quite certain I’m doing it completely wrong.

How do you get out of the house on time?

Where do shoes go, and why is one always missing?

I don’t know.

Why do I promise myself I’ll be more patient, that I won’t yell today, but then I do it anyway?

Why do I feel like a failure, like I’m really messing up this mommy thing big time?

I don’t know what I’m doing! And I don’t know if I ever will. Completely.

How can I want to strangle my child if I hear one more whiny word? But then when I look at her I lose my breath at how completely perfect she is. And I can’t imagine letting anything in this world hurt her.

What if I have hurt her, or I’ve damaged her by saying the wrong thing, or answering the questions wrong. Or not being patient enough, loving enough, or compassionate like she deserves.

Oh God, I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m doing it all wrong.

I see them sleeping, or when the sun catches their hair. So beautiful, so perfect. And I want to get it all right. I want to do this the very best I can.

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I don’t know what I’m doing, and I feel clueless. But I know I love them.

I desire to be the best me I can be, and as long as I draw breath I will continually strive to be what they deserve.

I’ll get it wrong, so wrong. I’ll mess up, and I’ll wonder if I’ll ever figure it out. But I won’t give up.

I’ll keep trying, day in, and day out. And when I don’t know, I’ll just keep on keeping on.

I’ve never persevered so thoroughly despite my feelings of inadequacy. I’ve never wanted to succeed at something so ferociously. I have no idea what I’m doing, but that’s okay.

I’ll figure it out. And not having the answer has never been so enjoyable. How I can flourish in the face of faults is beyond me, but I do.

When I hold them close, breathing in their very essence, I feel like I’m doing okay, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I look at the precious little lives in my care, and I feel blessed. Even in my ignorance, I feel blessed, complete, and as if I could conquer the world.

When I can soothe their cries, and they say “Momma,” and “I love you;” I am complete. And I feel like I know everything I need to know at the moment.

I celebrate the small victories, and I cherish those moments when I feel like I did good. I look at my babies, and I know, I did good. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing okay. I’m doing good.

I Want to Sleep With You Baby, But…

In the early morning hours, long before even a rooster would think of waking, your cry rouses me, and I go to you quickly. I just can’t stand to hear you calling for me, and no matter how deeply I dream, when you call out, I wake.

I pull you from your crib, and your cries ease immediately as I draw your warm, tiny body to my chest. Despite my weariness, when I hug you tightly like this it just feels good, and sleep doesn’t seem to matter. Until it does.

We rock, and you fall back asleep easily, but I know better than to put you down. Not yet. And so we rock, and we rock, and I doze off too. Stiff-necked, and upright I try to drift back off, and I pray as we rock. My mind drifts in all directions, but it’s always pulled back towards the bed. After all, chair sleep just isn’t the same.

The warm bed, it calls to me, and I heft you up as I stand. You stir, you frown, and I consider taking you to bed with me. Yes, perfect. We’ll both sleep then.

I want to sleep with you, to hold you in the crook of my arm, your comforting body next to mine. I want to sleep with you baby, but I can’t. Or rather you can’t. And neither of us get any rest.

You toss, you turn. Flip, flop, like a worm in hot ash, and I wonder confused how your dear dad sleeps so soundly as you pounce back and forth.

So back to the chair we go. Just to get you back to sleep. Asleep enough to sleep on your own. I hold you close, we rock, and as I look at your angelic face I know you don’t feel well, but even Momma needs to sleep sometime.

Off to the crib we go. I creep slowly, desperate not to wake you, and I pray not to knock your noggin on a door frame in the darkness and my weariness.

Again you cry, and I wonder, is she hurting? I volley back and forth in my mind whether I would be medicating you, or medicating for myself. So we could both sleep.

I stand guard over the baby monitor trying to let you fall asleep on your own. To cry it out. But I never make it very long. The sound of your tears, the longing I hear there draws me back to you.

Two hours, and still we rock, and I doze upright, and I wonder if we shall ever sleep again. I rock, I kiss your forehead, and I pray for you. For me. For sleep. Do mommies sleep?

An hour later I lay in my bed, and you lay in yours. I watch the lights on the baby monitor, and even as I drift to sleep I think I hear your cries. I pry my eyes open, and my ears too, but I sigh in relief at the silence. And we both sleep. We both finally sleep.

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No. You’re Not a Nice Guy.

If you spend any amount of time around people you will find that there’s different kinds of folks in this world. If you work in a vocation where you serve the public you’ll notice this especially. If you are not your own boss, or you work under others, you will notice it even more.

Some that you encounter are nice, pleasant people. They’re a joy to be around, and their words and actions parallel one another. These types of people often treat others with respect, and the way they would wish to be treated.

Then there’s the other type of people. Basically take the above, imagine the exact opposite, and there you have it. My grandma used to say someone was “as mean as a snake,” and I still hear her voice and perfect description when I encounter unpleasant individuals. The venom of their vile attitude is poisonous.

But there’s also a third type of person. There’s the type of person who professes to be kind. They often attend church, and proudly title themselves a Christian. And the thing is, they still are, but their actions usually don’t line up with the character of Christ, and this is beyond bothersome to me.

In the nursing profession I’ve had the opportunity to encounter all types of personalities, and I’ve also had the unfortunate experience to be treated less than I deserve.

Often times when someone is in a position of authority over someone else their behavior can cross the line of professional, and easily become demeaning. It can also become abusive and downright mean. As a snake.

Sadly I’ve experienced this more than I’d like to admit. I’ve been called names like “circus monkey,” or had objects thrown at my face.

I’ve been told I was stupid, and I’ve been yelled at in front of others. And while I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong, in all honesty most of these occurrences took place when I did absolutely nothing wrong. That somehow makes it feel even worse to me.

I recently got in a conversation with someone about the behavior of one of these not so descent people, and the fella said, “he’s actually a nice guy outside of work.” But I wasn’t buying it.

He continued, “he’s bought me dinner before.” Then he added, “he sings in the church choir.”

I’m reminded of my time as a waitress, and the poor behavior I would receive from the occasional customer who felt their main objective in life was to treat their server like a dog.

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Food service is like that. Something about serving someone makes them think they can treat you poorly, and like you are less than you are.

I have family that works in the restaurant business currently, and I hear the stories of the despicable behavior of others. We live in a small town so sometimes the irate customer is someone I know, and guess what? Nine times out of ten the words and behavior they exhibited don’t match up with the scripture they just posted on Facebook. Just being honest.

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Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

You cannot profess to be a follower of Jesus and continue to treat people poorly. I mean, I guess it’s your prerogative if you want to be mean, but be aware it doesn’t coincide with being a Christian.

You cannot go to church and smile sweetly from your pew, but then cuss out the girl in the drive-thru at McDonalds at lunch afterwards. I suppose you can, but you shouldn’t.

Just because you’re nice when it benefits you, makes you look good to the public, or elevates you socially, it doesn’t mean you’re a nice guy.

No. You’re not a nice guy. Or a nice woman.

You cannot post prayers on Facebook, but then talk down to someone who is your server in the restaurant. Or your nurse. Or your employee. Or any other human being for that matter. I guess you can, but you shouldn’t.

You absolutely cannot profess to be a Christian, but then treat people indecently. I suppose you can, but again you shouldn’t. The two, conflicting personas do not match up. They are not cohesive, and in fact you are giving the title of Christian a bad name.

When someone you have treated despicably is also searching for a relationship with The Lord will they see a clear example when they look at you?

I have prayerfully considered this post as it’s been on my mind for some time. This isn’t written out of anger, and it’s not a personal jab at anyone in particular. I’m writing this because it’s needed for the kingdom.

Maybe you’re reading this and it’s you. You’re the person who doesn’t treat your fellow man like you should at all times. Stop.

Stop being cruel. Stop treating people like they are less than you. If you can’t do that then at least stop labeling yourself as a Christian, because you’re giving the family a bad name.

Somewhere a soul is being lost because you have given a false impression of what being saved really means. This is serious business.

You can’t be a nice guy sometimes when you serve God. You have to be a nice guy always. We all make mistakes, and we all get angry, but we should strive to always season our thoughts, words, and actions with the characteristics of Christ.

We can do better at this, and I think God expects no less.

Why I Don’t Even Think About Trusting My Husband!

All I needed was a nice, hot bath, and I’d feel like a normal person for sure. Being a stay-at-home mom during the week while my husband worked made finding me time a little scant, but I was determined to squeeze in a soak and scrub before the children started tearing the walls down. So while they were occupied I hurried to the tub.

And that’s when I saw it. My husband’s wedding ring hanging on a peg in the shower. Forgotten, and cast away.

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He had gone to work without his wedding ring. He had left the symbol of our union abandoned in the shower. Do you know what I did?

I hurried to fill the tub before the kids could start hollering my name. That’s what I did. I noticed the ring briefly, and then all thoughts of it passed away. Why?

Because it wasn’t important.

At all.

In fact I completely forgot about my husband’s wedding ring until he texted me an hour or so later that day. He asked that if I got out if I wouldn’t mind bringing it to him. And I did get out, but then I forgot it anyway.

My point is that I never for a moment wondered why it was not on his finger, and its presence never caused me even a fleeting thought of concern. I knew he took it off because it slips around when he washes his hair, and then he forgot it in his rush out the door.

I never worried why he forgot it, or if there was a reason he did. I never for a moment questioned his motives, his allegiance to me, or anything else for that matter.

I don’t think about trusting my husband. I just do.

When his phone rings I don’t wonder who’s on the other line. I don’t feel the need to check his text records or even his pockets. Those kinds of things never even cross my mind. If someone asked me right now “do you trust your spouse” I might hesitate for a moment, but only because it’s not something I think about. It’s just something I do.

I trust him like he trusts me, and it becomes a passive action, an act as natural as breathing. I inhale the love he pours out to me, and I in turn exhale my unconditional trust and faith in the man before me.

A good man is nourished by the adoration of his wife, and he flourishes under the trust she rightfully bestows.

If I doubted my husband’s faithfulness would he not in turn distrust me also? I see trust as a two-way street, and indeed we collectively believe in the others’ ability to love abundantly, and in truth.

I don’t doubt my husband’s love, and he doesn’t doubt me. We don’t even think about if we trust one another. We just do.

When my husband got home later that evening I brought him the ring as he stood in the kitchen, and he smiled as he slipped it on his finger. It rested neatly in the indention years of marriage had formed in the skin. Perfect fit.

I smiled at the symbol of our covenant, the circle of our endless love, but I knew it was more than that. It went beyond simple metal. And while a wedding band shows the world you belong to someone else, it’s simply window dressing when compared to the commitment and trust you show one another.

You see our actions are our bond, and our trust in one another is the reflection of our commitment. It isn’t something we think about. It’s just something we do.

A Letter to the Community From Your Nurse

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To the Community at Large,

This morning I thought of my mother. This is really nothing new since her passing six years ago, but this morning I wondered what she would think. I wondered what would be her take on all this mess swirling around the world right now.

Mom was a nurse, and a really great one. She loved the job. Honestly more than I could ever try to do, and there are many days I wish I could be half the nurse she once was.

This morning I imagined us sharing our opinions of the news stories abounding over Ebola within our borders, and I wondered what she would think. Knowing her it would probably be something profound, compassionate, and simply amazing.

I’m not like her though. I’ll be very frank here. Sometimes I get aggravated with my chosen profession. Nursing. Often times, probably more than I’d like to admit, I complain about it. I make inappropriate jokes, vent my many frustrations, and overall likely make some people think that I just don’t like what I do. Sigh.

But I do.

When I saw the headlines about the Dallas nurse contracting Ebola I’m quite certain my first thought was one of fear. Similar to my days in the military, and when the War on Terror began, I had a moment of trepidation over being on the front lines to fight such a formidable enemy.

But do you know what emotion trumped my fear?

Do you want to know what feeling overshadows my frustration every day of my career?

Can you understand what came over me when I discovered another one of my comrades in health care had fallen ill in Texas?

Pride.

I felt pride in the field of nursing. And though I was terribly distraught for the fate of my sister nurses, overall I was proud. I was proud of them, and proud for the call to service that they accepted. They knew the risks, they knew what could go wrong, and still they charged forward with dedication to duty, and to that of their patient. Wow.

And I guess what I want you to know is that they are not an isolated event. Nurses go forth onto the field of battle like this every day. That might sound dramatic, but it’s true.

Nothing will bring this truth to light like an epidemic. Because even in the face of a challenging, frightening disease process nurses like those in Texas will be right there at the bedside.

If, God forbid, you find yourself fighting for your life, you will not be alone. You will look up, through a veil of feverish sweat, and you will see a nurse looking back at you.

It may be wrong, but that fact, that truth, it makes me proud. It makes me proud of my brothers and sisters in health care, and it makes me proud that I walk among the ranks.

Does fear still try to creep in? Yes.

Does frustration over lack of community education and properly taught protocol assault me? Does it assault me as if the blame for personal infection were placed on me too? Of course.

But do you know what places all my fear, anger, or frustration in the shadows?

My duty.

Nursing is not a simple task to be taken lightly. It is a calling, and a duty that is taken with utmost care and seriousness. Even when I joke.

This pride for the profession may make some people roll their eyes, but when you’re in the trenches of a serious epidemic that threatens to spread quickly it will be the pride, dedication, and compassion of a caring nurse that will mean the most to you.

I don’t want you to be afraid. I want you to trust God in this mess. But if you do find yourself feeling some fear I want you to know you’re not alone. There are rows of nurses standing in the gap for you. They will be there if you need them. In fact, nothing could keep them away.

I know if my mother were here she would be the first to do her job, and to do it with all she had within her. I only hope I can make her as proud of me.

If you want to take the time to thank a nurse you know, or to tell them how proud you are of them, then by all means I encourage you to do so. But it won’t matter.

Nurses will continue to do what they do because they must. The fire burns within each one so bright, and that dedication will not wane. No matter what the world throws our way. And yes, that makes me proud. I can’t help it.

Sincerely,

Your Nurse

*original image from nursetogether.com