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Karen's blog is about life, love, and the pursuit of writing well
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26. Excited to Board Our Ship

IMG_5358

Still waiting to board our cruise ship to Alaska. This was back in October 2013.

We chose Holland America. It was the last cruise to Alaska in 2013. It was a smaller boat and full of old people, we were one of the youngest couples on board. It was comfortable though and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It won’t be our first cruise line choice in the future, but we certainly don’t regret sailing with them.

If you’re ever in the market to take a cruise, TIP: stay overnight in the city where your shipped is docked. We flew down the same day our cruise was set to take off (it was our first cruise – rookie mistake) and very nearly didn’t make it in time. It was one of the most stressful times of my life and we vowed NEVER to do that again. Yes. It’s more expensive, but it’s money well spent in the end because you arrive, get to do a little sight-seeing, get a good night’s rest and arrive in plenty of time to board the ship the next day.

And speaking of cruises … I don’t think we’re going to have the money to go on a cruise this year. Which is very disappointing as this will be our 25th wedding anniversary and I’ve always told Kevin I would love to go to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary. I wanted to take a seven-day cruise around the Hawaiian islands this year but wow – expensive. And we would have to cash in ALL of our AA airline points THEN SOME and well, money is tight. We’ve been fixing up the rental house and … life happens. So. I know Kevin feels bad about it but I don’t want to stress him out so I have firmly declared that we’re taking a staycation this year.

There’s always next year, right?


Filed under: Cruise 13

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27. Linda, Listen to Me

The doctor I work for actually showed me this video. We were coming back to Springfield after our out-of-town clinic last Friday and he, his PA and his nurse were talking about it. I mentioned not having seen it and Dr. M. pulled out his phone and showed me. (That sounds sort of dirty, lol).

What a cutie pie! Of course, after getting over the cuteness I would probably spank his little bottom but you have to admit, it’s pretty cute.

It won’t be so cute when he’s seven/eight though.

And you know he most likely picked up this “bargaining” power from the adults in his life. You can tell his mom is always saying, “Listen to me.”

This is a pretty terrible example to set for your child. Instead of teaching humility and responsibility, (“I’m sorry, mom. You’re right, I shouldn’t have tried to ask for cupcakes when you already told me I couldn’t have one”) it’s all about talking your way out of bad behavior.

Yes. Of course I realize he’s only three years old – you’re missing the point. Cute/funny aside, look at the big picture. What is this sort of behavior teaching him?

Kids are sponges. They react and learn from the people in their lives. Think about it.


Filed under: Funny

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28. Update on Roy

For those of you just tuning in …

We moved Roy into the house on Saturday.

It was … fun … ish.

The house needed a good cleaning though. It’s been vacant for a little over a year and with all the construction that we’ve had done and Kevin’s projects that he’s been working on, it was a giant dust storm. (In fact, when I got done cleaning the wood floors – which nearly the entire house is wood floors, I was actually wheezing).

Then Blake helped me move his tubs of clothes over to the house and Kevin went over to his parent’s house with Roy to get the rest of his stuff.

Two truck loads later (no seriously – TWO truck loads), we finally have all of his stuff moved in.

And the place is JUNKED up.

Let me explain.

I know people do what’s necessary to cope with stressful situations. I get that. However, it annoys me to no end that Roy’s caregivers didn’t see, or plan, for the bigger picture. Instead of allowing him to spend money on superficial, spur-of-the-moment and rash desires (I think he has five remote cars, one violin, a drum set and countless video game systems) in order to entertain and appease him into submission, why didn’t Roy’s caregivers start a hope chest for him. Like a bedroom set. Living room furniture. Kitchen gadgets and appliances. Items he could store away in his “hope chest” so that WHEN he moved out (because come on – it HAD to happen one day, one way or another), he would be better equipped to start his new life.

Instead, when we moved him into his house, he had nothing. Nothing. Not even his own bed. And being the middle of the month, and several hundred dollars poorer (not sure where that money went, quite frankly), he’s starting out with the barest of bare essentials.

We ended up buying him a $100 bed frame. It’s rickety and sheer plywood, but it’s a bed. He didn’t have enough money to buy a mattress, so we ended up buying him an air mattress. And he’ll likely have to sleep on it for several months because we’ve already budgeted his money out a few months and he has upcoming expenses that he won’t be able to get out of, unfortunately.

He doesn’t have anyplace to put his clothes, so he’s quite literally living out of plastic tubs, for now. He does have his own TV and plenty of entertainment, OF COURSE, and his own recliner that actually belonged to his mom (Kevin’s grandmother). He also got her dishes and towels, so there’s that.

We bought him super cheap (like you can actually bend it with your hands) cookie sheets, silverware, kitchen gadgets, toaster and pots and pans. (The pots and pans are so small, like almost look like they belong to a doll, but they will work for now since it’s only him). He already had a George Foreman grill and a toaster oven, which he’s okay using. We’re not sure he can handle a full-blown oven yet. And I’m not sure we feel comfortable with him trying. So, he’s not to use the oven, for now.

Of course, the house has a microwave and a fridge, so there’s that.

And that’s pretty much it.

I can assure you, Kevin now has full control of his money and will make every dollar count because Roy is going to need every dime in order to make a life for himself. No more brainless purchases. We counselled Roy and told him when it comes to money, bills first, needs second, wants third. Period. That’s how life works.

So what the heck was the two truck loads of stuff, you ask? Good question. We haven’t had time to go through it yet. But just Kevin’s initial survey? It looks like we will be donating a bunch of stuff to the Goodwill and/or filling a dumpster.

Roy has his dog. Who is 11 years old and not getting around very well. She belonged to his mom (Kevin’s grandmother) and she has several teeth that are rotting away. They made an appointment for her to see a vet the beginning of next month (government payday) and Kevin found out how much that is going to cost: $320 – they will have to put her to sleep and pull several teeth. And they also cautioned that since she’s so old, she may not even survive the procedure. So … Roy has the emotional stress of not knowing if his dog will survive another month or not.

This poor kid (I call him a kid, but he’s 44 [?] – a kid in a man’s body) has been through so much in his lifetime. I found out some pretty shocking news about his birth mom – Roy told me himself. I never knew his family history and I won’t repeat it here. Suffice it to say, NO ONE should have to go through life with the crap that Roy has had to go through. I think that’s another reason Kevin and I are so determined to help him – we just feel sorry for the guy.

I’m a little annoyed with Kevin’s family, to be frank. I feel like everyone is just waiting to write Roy off. No one offered to help move him into his own house, no offers to periodically bring him food – complete silence. (What the hell??) Granted, we have no idea if Roy will be able to handle living on his own, but at least this way, we can say that we tried it. This is a trial run for Roy. We’re hoping he’s able to handle it, and himself, and if/when the time comes that his parents want to move into the house, Roy will be used to living on his own and will prove that he CAN live on his own, so we can move him into a nearby duplex or apartment. If Roy can not live on his own, then we will have to look at a housing program for him. Which, in some ways, may be better for him because at least this way he will have people around him and can make friends.

Roy has lots of acquaintances. He is the most sociable, and likable quite frankly, person that I know. He has no qualms walking up to people and striking up a conversation. (Which is both a good and bad thing). But friends/friends? I’m not sure. He goes to church every Sunday (Kevin has been taking him) and he has friends there. We sort of have a standing joke that people are always saying “Hi Roy!” to him wherever we go. He seems to know EVERYONE. But I don’t know how “close” these “friendships” are, you know? I think people are just being nice to him because of his mental condition. I don’t know that Roy has ever been close to anyone outside of Kevin’s grandmother.

So maybe a home would be good for him in that aspect.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re in trial mode now. We’ll just have to see how he does and hope he doesn’t hurt himself or burn the house down.

leroy-lawnmower


Filed under: Life, Roy

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29. If You’re Going to Be A Christian…Then Act Like It!

act-like-it

If you’re going to be a Christian…then start representing! Stop moping around…giving people attitude…and complaining about every little thing that throws off your day. People are watching you.

How do you think you’ll ever be able to convince someone that they should investigate Christianity if their only interaction with Christianity is poor old you and your negative outlook on things? Have you ever considered that you’re actually hurting Christ more than helping him with how you treat other people? Do you think that showing up on Sunday and listening to the band or singing in the choir is going to bring others to Christ?

Christ said that you should “let your light so shine” so that others will want come unto Him.

Instead…you’re like a walking fire hydrant extinguishing any light that might be burning faintly within others.

So if you call yourself a Christian…then just start loving others and overlooking their faults. Quit trying to make everyone else pay for their sins. God’s got that under control. Become ambassadors of mercy instead heavenly bounty hunters and you’ll never have to beg someone to listen to your message about Christ again.

Source


Filed under: Abundant Life

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30. We Have a New Member of the Family

At least, temporarily.

At least, I HOPE it’s temporary.

Kevin has a special-needs uncle – let’s call him Roy. His grandmother adopted him out of foster care when he was a toddler.

I guess, technically, he’s not really special needs. He’s not retarded but rather, just slow. His birth mother drank and probably did drugs when she was pregnant with him which caused brain damage. He’s only a few years younger than myself.

Kevin’s grandmother passed away and he’s been living with Kevin’s parents all of these years.

However – Kevin’s parents are getting older and it’s harder for them to get around and quite honestly, they just want to live their remaining years peacefully. The situation has become tense and Kevin became his co-guardian – he’s now fully (or will be when his mother passes away) responsible for him.

We knew, at some point, he would need to get out on his own, learn to be independent. The challenge? He can’t really be by himself. He has no concept of money. He will never drive. And he doesn’t always have common sense when it comes to some things. So he will need frequent supervision. Our plan was to get him moved into an apartment and the family would take turns dropping by to check on him – take him meals once in a while, etc.

I came up with the plan of moving him into our rental house across the street. He would pay us rent and we could keep a close eye on him. (He gets money from the government every month due to his disability and might I just add – THIS IS WHAT GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS WERE MEANT TO DO: to help those that can’t fully help themselves. NOT SUPPORT PEOPLE WHO ARE MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY CAPABLE OF WORKING. *ahem* Focus Karen, focus). No one is currently living in the house now and we need to get someone in there so we can start paying down our loan.

Kevin originally bought the house with his parents in mind and they are still welcome to move in, as soon as they sell their house. The problem? Who knows when that will be. It could be months. It could be years. In the meantime, Roy can live there and we’ll come up with another solution if/when his parents sell their house and/if they still want to move in when that happens. We talked about this plan and he was going to present this plan to his parents after bowling with Roy.

Things sort of reached a breaking point on Sunday night. Kevin left to go bowling with Roy and was gone for several hours. He was gone so long, I started to become worried about him. When he finally came home, he had Roy with him. He felt like the situation was getting worse and why wait?

Our plan is happening now.

The problem is – Kevin didn’t do this gradually so Roy doesn’t have any of his stuff moved into the house yet. So, he’s living with us until we can move him into the house. I’m sure we’re still going to have to “introduce” him slowly to being in the house and living on his own. I’m going to try and talk the boys into spending a few nights with him at the rental house so he doesn’t get scared being on his own. Plus – it’s always a little spooky spending the night in a new place.

But it’s time. Kevin’s parents won’t live forever and no one in the family really wants him to live with them. And to be perfectly honest, Roy is mentally capable of living on his own, he just hasn’t up to this point. There has always been someone to baby him and look after him.

And he won’t be “alone” per se, the family will still be available and did I mention we’ll be across the street if he needs anything?

I think it’s a win-win for everyone, quite frankly.

This is going to be quite an adjustment on everyone’s parts. I think this will actually be good for Blake. He has always had a special connection to Roy – Kevin’s grandma watched Blake when he was a baby so I could continue to work and Blake and Roy have sort of grown up together. They are pretty close. For example, right now, Blake is watching TV with Roy and I can’t tell you the last time Blake came out of his room to watch TV. I think he feels like he needs to take care of Roy and that might be a good thing in the long run for Blake. Roy gives him purpose. He feels comfortable around him and he’s the most animated whenever he’s around him.

Again, a win-win situation. Stay tuned … we’re turning the page to another chapter in our lives.


Filed under: Life, Relationships

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31. Commitment is Too Hard Nowadays

LOVE this article!! This was linked on Facebook and honestly, I don’t have much to add. It’s spot on. It perfectly describes the social media age.

And if you wonder why you can’t commit, or if someone you love can’t commit, consider this article. It might save your relationship and possibly teach you long-term happiness.

When we choose—if we commit—we are still one eye wandering at the options. We want the beautiful cut of filet mignon, but we’re too busy eyeing the mediocre buffet, because choice. Because choice. Our choices are killing us. We think choice means something. We think opportunity is good. We think the more chances we have, the better. But, it makes everything watered-down. Never mind actually feeling satisfied, we don’t even understand what satisfaction looks like, sounds like, feels like. We’re one foot out the door, because outside that door is more, more, more. We don’t see who’s right in front of our eyes asking to be loved, because no one is asking to be loved. We long for something that we still want to believe exists. Yet, we are looking for the next thrill, the next jolt of excitement, the next instant gratification.

We soothe ourselves and distract ourselves and, if we can’t even face the demons inside our own brain, how can we be expected to stick something out, to love someone even when it’s not easy to love them? We bail. We leave. We see a limitless world in a way that no generation before us has seen. We can open up a new tab, look at pictures of Portugal, pull out a Visa, and book a plane ticket. We don’t do this, but we can. The point is that we know we can, even if we don’t have the resources to do so. There are always other tantalizing options. Open up Instagram and see the lives of others, the life we could have. See the places we’re not traveling to. See the lives we’re not living. See the people we’re not dating. We bombard ourselves with stimuli, input, input, input, and we wonder why we’re miserable. We wonder why we’re dissatisfied. We wonder why nothing lasts and everything feels a little hopeless. Because, we have no idea how to see our lives for what they are, instead of what they aren’t.

Read more…


Filed under: Facebook Stories, Relationships

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32. Photo: Vancouver, You Have a Lot of Glass and Boats

9865794846_98cbf39657_b

October 2013 – we’re in Vancouver, British Columbia. We flew into Vancouver the day before our cruise was scheduled to leave and we spent the day sight seeing. It was a GORGEOUS day and this is one of my favorite pictures.

One. Because there is so much glass! And boats!

Two. Because I think I look pretty good leaning up against that post. Note to self: wear dark clothing – it hides the chunky monkey.


Filed under: Cruise 13, Photos

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33. Photo: {Sexy Son}

blake-hat

Blake is so sexy. LOL

Bring on the girls!


Filed under: Photos, {this moment}

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34. Work: Take Your Crown, Princess, and Shove It Somewhere Dark

angy-drama-queen

Can I vent?

Too bad, I’m gonna vent.

I don’t DO drama. I just don’t. It’s stupid, immature and a complete of waste of time and energy. I’ll pick my battles.

And today, I picked a battle.

Look. I don’t ask much out of my co-workers. Be nice. Have a sense of humor. Be professional. AND DO YOUR DAMN JOB.

That’s it.

Well. Bonus points if you have common sense. (A rare commodity nowadays, granted).

I work with all women, save for one male MA, the doctors and the PA’s (though my PA is a woman and QUITE AWESOME, I must admit).

So learning to get along with all of those personalities, and yes, divas and drama queens, can be quite challenging.

And when I say divas and drama queens, I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. We all have our “days.” Those days when every little thing sets us off and we’re either snapping with claws out, or we’re crying and dabbing at runny mascara.

I have my days, too. The difference, I think, is that I RECOGNIZE when I’m feeling hormonal and I issue blanket apologizes and warnings before it gets out of hand. And I try my hardest to keep the collateral damage to a minimum – after all, my issues/annoyances will soon pass.

But I think that comes with age and since I’m the oldest person in my group (wow – when you put it that way), I have experience to back me up. I know where that line is and I’m very careful not to cross it.

I had an one-on-one meeting with my boss this past week. Nothing too unusual in that – we have a standing monthly meeting with her to address any concerns we have and to bring her up-to-date on what’s going on with the nursing department. She’s always busy with meetings and whatever else managers do on a daily basis.

The meeting was going great. (I truly admire my boss). And we get to this part,

“How is clinic going?”

I wasn’t going to say anything, guys. I truly wasn’t. I mean, my nurse is new, she’s still trying to get the hang of things … give her time. And I overlook, and ignore, a lot of things. (Such as the fact she gives more attention to the lunch menu, what she’s going to order and other food topics more than she pays attention to clinic, but I didn’t bring that up. I think her obsession with food is stress related and I don’t want to add to her stress).

success-work

But if there is one thing I can’t stand is lazy. Do your damn job. We’re all there with one goal in mind: to take care of the patients. And if you’re not going to do your damn job, then don’t you DARE complain that it’s not going well and THEN TRY AND BLAME ME for that.

Oh yes she did.

She didn’t come right out and blame me, but she certainly implied that the reason things were not going that smoothly was because of me. She told our PA that.

I never take lunches. At times I’m literally running to bring patients back and keep his exam rooms full so that he’s happy and we’re taking care of patients in a timely manner. I’m responsible for bringing patients back to exam rooms, starting notes, recording current complaints, getting vitals and then after the doctor has seen them, to schedule whatever they need before wishing them a great day and showing them to the exit.

I’m fast, but I’m not THAT fast. So there are times we have several charts up front (which is my cue that patients are ready to come back) and several empty rooms. In the meantime, I’m stuck with either starting notes or scheduling follow ups – I need help. This would be the perfect opportunity for my nurse to jump in and help me unless she’s busy scheduling a surgery or in the middle of something.

But most times, she’s not. And she just chooses to sit on her ass and let me run around with my head cut off.

And even though I hinted that we had patients to show back, she either chooses to ignore my hints or just ignores me entirely. And I’ve let it roll off my back. Whatever. I go on thinking pretty bad thoughts but keep them all to myself.

Luckily, other people have noticed this little snafu in our clinic. My PA has noticed it. Another nurse from another team (that we share a pod with) has noticed. And I’m relieved because I thought maybe I was just being overly sensitive.

Whew. It’s not just me.

What I’m asking her to do is not unreasonable. All the other nurses help room patients when they can.

So. I mentioned the lack of help to my boss. I mean, how can a person improve on something if that person doesn’t ever know there’s a problem, right?

My boss listened to my concerns and then said, “Well. Let’s have a meeting with said nurse later today and see if we can’t come up with a solution.”

Erhm, awkward, but I agreed.

We had our meeting and I was pretty honest in my “suggestions.” To my surprise, instead of this nurse saying “Oh sure, I can help out more,” she has multiple excuses as to WHY she can’t help more.

I was truly flabbergasted.

But you know what? Screw it. I voiced my concerns. My boss knows about the situation – I’m just going to continue doing my job to the best of my ability and say nothing more.

I’m confident my performance will speak for me. And I’m confident that her lack of performance will speak for her.


Filed under: Work Stuff

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35. Work: The Sky is Falling

So, I get to work (side note – it was freaking COLD last week!! Wednesday’s high was 13!), reach out to grab the door handle to go into the clinic and I hear it – the faint sound of an alarm.

Was the alarm our clinic? Was the alarm coming from the apartments behind the clinic?

Feeling cold and not really caring overly much, (I’m curious – but not THAT curious), I enter the clinic. I head back to the pit (side note – did I tell you guys that we call the nursing area where we answer phones – we don’t have voicemail – the pit? Because it is … the pits. Get it?) when the medical secretary asks, “Did you hear the alarms when you came in?”

“Yes. But I couldn’t tell where it was coming from.”

“It’s us,” she says.

“Wait. How is it us? Wouldn’t we hear it in here?” Which I didn’t.

“It’s coming from the back, something to do with the sprinkler system, I think.”

“Humph,” I shoot back, because honestly, I don’t care overly much. I’m very choosy what I expend energy on – just ask any of my co-workers. lol

I go out into the clinic area, grab some clean gloves and Sani-wipes and begin to clean my exam rooms. (Because I forgot to do it the day before). As I’m nearing the last room, I hear dripping water – like several drips. I round the corner and see this …

wet-room

I hunt down management (they’re in a huddle near the door trying to figure out why the alarm is going off because OF COURSE).

“Um, guys? Did you happen to see exam room 15?”

Apparently, we had some pipes burst. But not because of the cold but because the pipe threads, on several pipes over exam room 15, had rusted through, weakened and with the cold weather expanding them, they broke, spilling A LOT of water. I don’t if you can see it or not, but the white chunks on the floor? Is ceiling tile. A big section fell into the room. Management put trash cans out to catch the dripping water and started making calls.

Luckily, that didn’t happen the day before, because there was a doctor USING that exam room yesterday. And I remember that doctor’s team commenting on how HOT the room had been – a precursor to today’s disaster, I suppose.

And luckily, it wasn’t one of my clinic days. Because the MA’s who were in clinic that day had to re-direct their patient traffic in order to avoid wading through ankle-deep water.

And that was the start of my day that day.

If there is one thing you can count on in healthcare, you can’t count on anything in healthcare. It’s constantly changing from day-to-day. Sometimes, from hour-to-hour.


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36. Video: Can’t Choose

This is my great-niece. The pretty blonde is her momma, my niece. I love babies. I’m afraid this may be the closest I ever get to a grandchild. :-(

Also. How creepy would it be if adults suddenly shrieked when they couldn’t contain their joy a moment longer? HA!


Filed under: VideoPlay

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37. Prompt: Windshield Bug Juice

Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

Did I tell you guys about the time Kevin nearly got ran over by an ambulance in New York City?

It was a few months after his motorcycle accident. It was July 2010. We had already booked a cruise out of New York to Canada and we weren’t sure if we would be able to go considering Kevin shattered his pelvis in April.

He had to live in a wheelchair for about 8 weeks after his accident to give his pelvis time to heal. Once the doctor’s said it was okay, he had to learn to walk all over again.

I tried to talk him out of the trip. Luckily, we had bought trip insurance and we could have gotten out of the trip if he really wanted to. He waffled back and forth on whether he could handle it and in the end, we went.

The trip was super hard on Kevin. SUPER HARD. We walked all over that city and poor Kevin hobbled along with his cane at first, but it just got to be too much for him so he switched to his walker.

You can really tell how weak and exhausted he was in this picture:

New York '10

We were riding the New York subway and it was almost more than he could handle.

I felt so sorry for him.

And the weather certainly didn’t help – New York in July?!? What were we thinking?! I think we all lost five pounds in sweat alone.

New York '10

We were only in New York a few days before catching our boat, but Kevin was exhausted after those few days and we still had another four days on a cruise boat to go!

In hindsight, we probably should have canceled the cruise. But I will say that though the trip for Kevin was super hard, it did him a world of good. He recovered by leaps and bounds after that trip. I think pushing himself really helped his body to heal faster.

But I wouldn’t want him to go through that again to test my theory.

And did I mention he didn’t complain once??

I am glad, though, that we took his walker. At least he instantly had someplace to sit when our walking just got to be too much.

New York '10

We were walking through Times Square and … I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Times Square but it’s sensory overload, on crack. There’s so much noise. So many sights to see. So many people to dodge that your eyes don’t know where to land first and it’s hard to pick out sounds because THERE ARE SO MANY SOUNDS!

We were walking across the entrance to a side street, all of our heads turned in opposite directions, when I suddenly picked up the sound of a siren. (This was before I worked at the hospital – my life on foreshadow mode). I glanced down the side street and noticed an ambulance barreling toward us.

I hurried the boys across and then noticed that Kevin was distracted and hadn’t picked up on the fact that a two-ton truck was nearly on top of him. I yelled over the noise, frantically pointing in the direction of the white blur baring down on him. He was using his walker to cross the street and when he spotted the ambulance, he stumbled/speed walked to get out of the way.

I would have laughed but I was too terrified. It’s sort of like making a joke too soon after a traumatic event – the adrenaline hasn’t had a chance to wear off – and we had just survived six weeks of hospital and rehab after his motorcycle accident – how ironic would it have been for him to recover from that harrowing experience only to be run down by an ambulance, using his walker, in Times Square?

I didn’t really “rescue” him, more like I “warned” him, but I deserve a kudos for making sure the man didn’t end up bug juice on an ambulance windshield.

Right?


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38. Photo: {My Work Peeps}

work-peeps2

I truly love the people I work with. Everyone has a sense of humor. Everyone takes her job seriously. We all work as a team.

I couldn’t ask for a better work family, truly.


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39. Write: Girl Unclaimed

I threw the stick and watched Daisy run after it, her tongue lolling to one side, her stubby little legs pumping unrestrained excitement.

I glanced out over the water and became momentarily mesmerized by the light flirting with the small ripples from fish nibbling algae on the surface of the lake.

And then I saw it – a yellow spot among the tall, green grass gently swaying in the sweet twilight breeze. I narrowed my eyes to try and pick out the object without having to actually move closer to it. My peripheral vision blurred as I concentrated on the object that did not belong in this secluded spot. A slow feeling of dread started in my sternum and gently crept up to give my heart a warning squeeze.

Daisy dropped the stick on my sandal and I jumped – I had momentarily forgotten all about her. I bent to pick up the stick, my eyes never leaving that spot of yellow. From my lowered vantage point, my eyes focused on something new. Was that … an arm?

I quickly stood up, my breath caught behind the sudden fear in my throat.

I gripped the stick tighter in my hand and cautiously moved toward the object in the grass.

Daisy happily skipped alongside me. Her gait faltered as we got closer, her nose lifted and she suddenly growled low in her throat.

“I know, Daisy. Chillax,” I crooned in an attempt to keep her calm and not start a barrage of barking. The less noise we made the better.

I held the stick out in front of me – I guess I thought I could use it as a weapon. Though not long or sharp, it was thick enough that it might do temporary damage to a skull, or two.

My eyes never left the object, but I was keenly aware of where I was stepping. I had enough combat experience to slip back into that persona with very little effort. I had thought I had lost my edge but moving toward the target brought back a barrage of memories and I involuntarily winced as horrific images began to flicker and flit through my consciousness. Memories I had spent countless hours in therapy trying to eradicate.

My eyes narrowed as I got closer. It was definitely a body, a woman, no, a girl. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-years old. I paused to assess my surroundings. I looked out over the lake and studied the parameter. No movement. The birds continued to sing, a raccoon edged toward the far end of the lake and carelessly swiped at the water gently lapping the shore.

A soft breeze swept over the body. I crinkled my nose. Decomp – she had probably been dead for at least 24 hours.

“Damn it.” I sighed and slowly stepped back from the body. I couldn’t afford to leave any trace of myself on the body. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone. I pressed 9-1 and then stopped.

Even if I called in anonymously, they would still track my cell phone down. I couldn’t afford to be found. Not yet anyway. Not after I had spent the last three years making sure every trace of my existence had been erased.

I studied the girl’s face and slowly put my phone back into my pocket.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered regretfully. My apology dissipated on the summer breeze.


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40. Photo: {Vancouver Pier}

10228347915_7da3d18e0d_b

Kevin took this picture while we were waiting to board our cruise ship in Vancouver, Canada in October 2013. We were cruising to Alaska. And though I had to talk Kevin into this cruise it actually ended up being the best cruise we’ve been on so far. (And judging by my flushed cheeks, I was having a hot flash).


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41. Life: My Aches and Pains

seen-better-days Have you noticed, when you lay down for a nap, or settle into a comfortable position as you’re willing yourself to fall asleep – that moment when your body begins to quiet and your breathing evens out, grows shallow, gets comfortable, when your heart slows and beats a comfortable staccato against your breastbone, how many nerve endings quiver and jump?

I’ve been noticing it more and more. It seems my body is beginning to protest more and more the older I get. Luckily, the various body parts that occasionally give me problems tend to play nicely with one another – one part will flare up while the others grow quiet and wait their turn. My aches and pains rarely flare up all at once – my pain is considerate of my tolerance level.

I have a high pain threshold. I can take a lot before I reach the point of going crazy or crying uncle and see a doctor. I do not have a primary care physician because I’m rarely sick. If I ever reach the level of going to see an urgent care doctor, it’s serious. I try very hard to control my body, not the other way around.

I realize that I’m blessed with good health. This fact has never been more apparent than it has been since I started working in healthcare. My problems are minuscule, almost non-existent, compared to others whose bodies have completely betrayed them.

Nothing warms my heart more than helping a patient be able to walk relatively pain free, to come in for their post-op appointment looking 110% better than they did before surgery. It’s satisfying and it makes me very proud and honored to work for miracle workers.

I have predictable aches and pains – my biggest issues are:

Sinuses/Headaches – but I have that under control with Sudafed products and migraine medication. I can tell what sort of issue I’m having based on where my headache originates. If it’s in the temples, it’s caffeine withdrawal. If my nose feels like someone has a pair of vice grips on it and is squeezing, it’s sinuses (and this usually corresponds with the barometric pressure).

Low back – I started having low back problems shortly after falling off a 6 ft ladder when I worked for Wendys and tried to stand on the very top to change the marquee. I landed on my low back, knocking the wind out of me and bruising my kidneys. I have a permanent bump around my coccyx (tailbone) area. Kevin calls it my “tail.” I suspect, though this has never been confirmed with testing, that the tissues did not heal correctly in that area and whenever I get really stressed or really lazy, the muscles around my coccyx will swell and tighten thereby decreasing my blood flow in that area. It hurts to straighten up and walk. I have found that Ibuprofen and heat works really well at massaging those knots out. (Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and works to reduce swelling). I now know to do stretches, squats and to walk whenever my low back starts to feel tight.

My vagina feels like it’s falling out – I know. I’m sorry. But I’m just keepin’ it real. At first, I thought maybe my pelvic muscles were getting weak. Which, they might be because your muscles do get weaker as you get older. And I did have a large bowel resection (my large intestine had a few twists in it that required three feet of it to be surgically removed). As a result, I’ve been doing squats and reverse sit-ups to counteract that possibility. I don’t really know how to describe this feeling. Whatever is happening, it puts pressure on my bladder and I have to pee a million times. It’s not a UTI, it’s just an overwhelming urge to pee. I’ve really been paying attention to what I’ve been eating and when it happens. I think I’m eating too much fiber. I make two scrambled eggs, toast, orange juice and one fiber bar for my breakfast in the morning. Sometimes, instead of eggs, I eat a bowl of oatmeal. I force myself to eat a heavy breakfast in case I don’t get to eat lunch and I’m not dying of hunger later. I then eat another fiber bar mid-morning to take the edge off my hunger. You can imagine what happens when I get home from work. Since I’ve been trying to cut back on the amount of food I’m eating, I’m wondering if all the fibrous foods I’m eating is putting pressure on my intestines and since I’m not eating that much food, there’s nothing to “squeeze” out? And the pressure on my intestines is putting pressure on my bladder? I have no idea if this is what’s going on, but I’m going to experiment in the next few days and test my theory.

My left (dominant) arm is weak and hurts – This pain started a few weeks after my flu shot. (*SIGH*) I have VERY STRONG FEELINGS AGAINST THE FLU SHOT but if I want to keep my job, I’m required to get the damn thing every year. I think the girl who gave me my flu shot this year did it wrong. I think she gave it to me too far up my upper arm. I never felt a thing. I didn’t feel the prick when she stuck me or any burning after the poison was injected. I did a little research and that’s actually not a good thing – to not feel anything. I’ve had forearm and elbow achy pain ever since. I almost went to the doctor the pain was so bad – it was keeping me up at night. However, after doing a little research, I began to ice it (which really helps), put a heating pad on it, (which hurts like hell the next day but then evens out and doesn’t hurt at all for several days after that), and took Ibuprofen, which really, really helps (which leads me to believe that I have some inflammation going on in there) but Ibuprofen is not good for your liver, so I only take it when the pain gets unbearable. I also have pain in the palm of my left hand, too. This pain is aggravated by typing so I wonder about carpal tunnel, though I don’t have numbness in my fingers. The pain does seem to be getting better, so maybe it’s just muscle strain. I haven’t given up trying to control it on my own yet and have no plans on going to the doctor for it at this time.

And that’s about it. That’s the extent of my aches and pains. This may sound like a lot to some but it’s really nothing compared to many people. I rarely come down with colds and I honestly can’t remember the last time I came down with a cold. (And no, it’s not because I take the damn flu shot – I wasn’t sick for years before the stupid thing). Whenever I start to feel icky, I suck on a Zicam, use nose spray and burn the back of my throat (which burns off any lingering bacteria – and yes, I know it sounds crazy but I SWEAR it really helps).

All of this to document how little discomfort I have now. I’m curious to see if and/or when this changes as I get older. I think the key to staying on top of aches and pain is to keep moving and that’s exactly what I plan on doing – staying busy and physically moving.


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42. Life: Changing Faces

personality3

I’m not a social person. Not really. Though I bet if you ask the people I work with, or even my family, they would say that I am.

Yes. I CAN get along with people. Yes. I DO appear like I enjoy interacting with people.

But here’s a secret – I don’t.

Not really.

I interact with people because I have to. Given the choice of being isolated or around people, I will choose isolation every single time.

Generally speaking, I don’t like people.

I would describe myself as being a chameleon. I tend to be whatever the situation requires me to be.

At work, I’m a confident, no-nonsense, efficient, humorous, compassionate co-worker with one goal – do my job to the best of my ability.

At home, I’m a wife, mother, daughter (in-law), and aunt. I play these roles when the situation warrants. I tend to laugh too loudly, contribute to conversations when appropriate, (or not), and play my familial role when necessary.

In public, I’m polite, considerate, and unassuming when around strangers.

I don’t have any close friends so I’m spared of having to assume yet another exhausting personality.

Whenever I’m alone, or I’m in public but by myself yet surrounded by people, my personal mantra is: please don’t talk to me. Ignore me. I’m invisible.

And yet. People still approach me. I get asked questions a lot when I’m in public. People take one look at me and assume I want to know their life stories. I assure you, I do not. Apparently, I have a trust-worthy face.

I was talking to my old boss the other day – I was toying with the idea of transferring within the company to a different position. I was a shoe-in for this position but it would be quite different than what I’m doing now – it would be in a quiet office, dealing with insurance companies all day long. I would have very little interaction with ACTUAL people. When I was weighing the pros and cons with my old boss, she said, “But Karen. You would miss the patient interaction. You’re so good with patients.” And I nearly laughed – she really didn’t know me at all. The LACK of interaction was one of the biggest PROS to the job, in my opinion.

It sort of made me sad that my work persona is so convincing that even people I’ve worked with for years don’t really SEE the real me.

personality I’m never outright rude to people. I always smile and pretend I give a rat’s ass, but inside, I’m desperately looking for ways to end the interaction. And I thank God every day people can not read my thoughts.

I would likely be burned at the stake if they could.

I don’t really dislike people, per se, I just don’t have any desire to be around people. I would much rather blend into the background and simply watch. I ADORE people watching. People are fascinating to me. I love watching the play of emotions cross their faces, their body language and mannerisms that give away what they’re thinking and feeling. These tell-tales may not be obvious to the casual observer, but to a people watcher such as myself (that sounds creepy), I see them.

I have a knack (gift?) for reading people. I can tell, within a few moments, what sort of personality someone has and then I adjust my personality accordingly. Queen bees, loud/obnoxious, vain, quiet, no-nonsense, shy, uncertain, braggart, brash, bold, vulgar … there is usually a reason for all of these types of personalities – some insecurity they are covering up, or exposing. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. Sometimes it takes a while to get to know the person, but eventually, I start to get a picture of what type of person I’m interacting with and become the person they can get along with.

Sometimes I wonder who the TRUE me really is? I’ve been someone else to either survive a situation or to assimilate into a sub-culture so many times and for so long I don’t even know anymore.

I’m not sure I really want to know anymore.

People, generally speaking, annoy me. I find fault with everybody. She’s too loud. He’s too obnoxious. She’s too vain. He’s too confident. She’s insecure. He doesn’t possess a funny bone in his body.

I don’t know why I’m so critical of people. Lord knows I’M not perfect. I guess I do not want to spend the time, nor the energy, trying to compensate for these perceived flaws. Life is too short for the nonsense that comes with drama.

I realize I’m not painting a very attractive picture of myself, but I’m just keeping it real. I’m a realist, if nothing else. And that’s not always a glamorous personality trait, I guess.


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43. Prompt: Accidental Healthcare Career

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

It’s Obama’s fault that I work in healthcare.

I never, in a million years, even TOSSED the idea around of working in healthcare before our glorious dictator, erhm, leader, (*said with sarcasm*) started the current nightmare we’re living in right now. (Have you guessed that I DESPISE the man?)

It never even occurred to me to attempt it. I knew I could never be a nurse. Not so much for the gross factor (though there is that – KUDOS to nurses!), but I get so impatient with people who are sick or in pain. (Just ask my family). My first reaction is to say, “suck it up, buttercup.”

Not exactly stellar bedside manner, right?

This attitude applies to me, too. It drives me CRAZY to be sick or have some pain I can’t seem to control or get rid of.

But when Obama waved his scepter and deemed Obamacare to be the law of the land (*snicker* – yes, I’m being bitchy), I knew I had to DO something to protect my family. I had been a stay-at-home mom for the past seven years – the kids were old enough to take care of themselves and it was time to get back to work. But where to work? I could try and use my degree (I graduated from college in 2003 with a Technical Writing degree – more on why I didn’t pursue this later), but what if it took me forever to FIND a local job in that field? Time was of the essence, who knew how Obamacare would screw everything up for us?

Kevin was (is) self-employed. And with me not working, we were paying ASTRONOMICAL fees for family health insurance. And we were looking at even higher fees once Obamacare passed.

What were my options? I could go back to retail, banking or even the restaurant business. I have a lot of experience in all of those fields, but even then, how much would it ultimately cost us for health insurance?

I admit, the main reason I applied at the hospital was because I wanted to thumb my nose at Obama and his stupidity. How ironic would it be to have health insurance through a healthcare facility? Oh sure, I know that Obama will never know, nor care, about my decision to work in healthcare simply because of his God-like complex to ultimately control his minions (again with the bitchy), but I figured, on some level, that it might be the safest option in order to protect my family.

So. I applied and to my utter astonishment, I got the job.

Actually, that’s not true. I applied first to the insurance processing center and made it to my second interview. I sat at a table with four other women, the women I would be ultimately working with, interviewing me and I guess they didn’t like me because I didn’t get the job. I didn’t give up though. There was a scheduler’s position at the neurosurgery center that I went for and got. I was now responsible for scheduling testing for two neurosurgeons.

I was both excited and terrified. I bought my required scrubs (at that time we were wearing a different color every day so it was quite expensive initially) and my first day on the job consisted of all-day training, becoming familiar with the hospital rules and regulations, signing up for benefits, etc. We were allowed to wear business attire for my first two days of training.

There were a handful of us – maybe around 20? I remember feeling VERY THANKFUL because the economy was tanking at that time and I was just grateful to have ANY job, let alone the job I landed. I felt extremely grateful to be there.

That feeling quickly dissipated when I started my first day at the clinic. It was on Wednesday and after my boss took me around the clinic and introduced me, I began to fully appreciate what I had gotten myself into.

I knew nothing, NOTHING, about the medical field. In essence, I had to learn a whole new language. I had to learn new software; I had to learn how to be what they wanted me to be by constantly adjusting and readjusting my expectations and my personality. I was absolutely terrified and I wondered, on more than one occasion, just what the hell I was doing there.

I also came very, very close, to walking out several times. (Even recently).

I was so stressed. Just when I thought I had “gotten it,” something, or someone, would throw me a curve ball and I was left floundering. I suppose I did a good job of hiding my terror because months later, when I had become comfortable with my position and the people I worked with, I told them how I felt when I first started and my co-workers were shocked – they had no idea, they said.

I guess that was something, at least.

I could BS my way through patient interactions. I’m telling you, the most helpful class I took in college was communication. It taught me to understand different personalities and how to get along with those personalities. It taught me patience and how to word things so that people didn’t take offense but at the same time, it allowed me to maintain control over the situation.

I think everyone should be required to take a communications class like that (and I’m talking about the art of communication – studying Aristotle and the likes. It sounds boring, and it was, for the most part, it was also difficult to digest, but once that light bulb went off in my head, I feel like I can pretty much handle any personality now).

What stressed me out the most, and still does on many levels, was interacting with the doctors. As if rubbing elbows with doctors in general is not nerve-wracking enough, I’m rubbing elbows with BRAIN SURGEONS. To become a brain surgeon, you have to be the top 1% – these guys are SCARY SMART. Human, but Einstein smart.

I would feel nauseous anytime I had to speak directly with a doctor. Did I ask my question plainly? Should I have been able to answer my question without going to the doctor? Did I present myself in a professional manner? Will they like me or ask management to get rid of me?

(Hey – that’s actually happened before).

The doctors TERRIFIED me. I drove home, on many, many occasions when I first started working for the hospital, crying because I was so stressed out from trying to learn everything. Thank God I’m a fast learner. I tend to catch on quickly.

Looking back, I’m pretty proud of myself. I stepped into a world I knew little to nothing about and conquered it, somewhat. I’m currently working on educating myself so that I can take a certification test and become a CMA (certified medical assistant) which will lead to a raise and more responsibility. I’m feeling more comfortable in my duties and I’ve been told by both management, and the doctors (EEK!) that I’m doing a good job.

It sort of blows my mind, to be honest.

Oh – one more first to tell you about – the first time I had to take staples out. It was a PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion). The nurse showed me how to use the tool and I got down on my knees, swallowed the bile back down my throat and took those suckers out. It’s actually sort of fun, to be honest. Unless they’ve been in for a while and they’re starting to scab over. Then you have to dig into the flesh a bit and that hurts the patient. I’m still not 100% confident on removing staples, but I just swallow my apprehension, grit my teeth and force myself to do it and appear confident while doing it. (Which is key – my lead nurse told me that patients will never know that you haven’t done something very often, as long as you sound confident while doing it).

I watched a carpal tunnel suture removal the other day. I haven’t done one of those yet. My doctor doesn’t do very many carpal tunnels. That’s pretty cool. You first don a pair of clean gloves, swab the stitches with rubbing alcohol to remove germs/bacteria, then you take your scissors and snip the stitch while pulling it by the knot with the tweezers. I’ve yet to see one long continuous stitch removed – I’ve put the word out if anyone gets one of those to come get me so I can watch how they do it.

So those are some of my firsts. Without sounding like a braggart (too late, I’m sure), I have to admit, this job is one of the things I’m most proud of in my life. I have grabbed this medical monster by the tail and conquered it. Not bad for someone who didn’t go to any sort of medical school. The other girls I started out with? The other schedulers? Didn’t last. They couldn’t hack it and transferred to other departments.

I’m the last scheduler standing.


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44. Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Eight

trinity

Click the arrow to listen.

Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? The short answer is no. The Bible does not mention a “Trinity,” let alone state that one must believe in it in order to attain salvation. Furthermore, no verse in Scripture says you must believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to be saved.

1. Jesus is the son of God – NOT GOD.
2. Soul is breath life; it’s what animates you and makes you a LIVE person. You lose your soul, your breath life, when you die.
3. Holy Spirit is the gift of salvation that is bestowed upon you when you do one simple thing:

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is of the utmost importance, so let’s be sure we understand God’s instructions, which are really quite simple. To be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means that you say what the Bible clearly declares—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was raised from the dead, and highly exalted to the right hand of God. Have you ever opened your mouth and said, “Jesus is Lord?” Why not say it right now? It’s simple: “Jesus is Lord.”

Romans 10:9 goes on to say that along with confessing that Jesus is Lord, you are to believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. What is it to believe in your heart? It means to really believe it. Is that difficult? No, not at all. You probably believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States, even though you never saw him. In the same way, there are many, many valid reasons to believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead.

For proof, read our article, “23 Arguments for the Historical Validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Once you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are saved. Salvation is very easy because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering it as a free gift. The reason it is free to you is because Jesus Christ paid the price for it with his life.

[For further study, click here]

If what you have just listened to has been a blessing to you, please consider sowing into our continued outreach of the Gospel, all over the globe.

To donate online via PayPal or any major credit card, click here. To contact the folks at Truth or Tradition, click here.

We trust you have enjoyed this free online class. God bless you!

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
iTunes

More from Write From Karen
[archives]


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45. Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Nine

trinity

Click the arrow to listen.

Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? The short answer is no. The Bible does not mention a “Trinity,” let alone state that one must believe in it in order to attain salvation. Furthermore, no verse in Scripture says you must believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to be saved.

1. Jesus is the son of God – NOT GOD.
2. Soul is breath life; it’s what animates you and makes you a LIVE person. You lose your soul, your breath life, when you die.
3. Holy Spirit is the gift of salvation that is bestowed upon you when you do one simple thing:

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is of the utmost importance, so let’s be sure we understand God’s instructions, which are really quite simple. To be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means that you say what the Bible clearly declares—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was raised from the dead, and highly exalted to the right hand of God. Have you ever opened your mouth and said, “Jesus is Lord?” Why not say it right now? It’s simple: “Jesus is Lord.”

Romans 10:9 goes on to say that along with confessing that Jesus is Lord, you are to believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. What is it to believe in your heart? It means to really believe it. Is that difficult? No, not at all. You probably believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States, even though you never saw him. In the same way, there are many, many valid reasons to believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead.

For proof, read our article, “23 Arguments for the Historical Validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Once you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are saved. Salvation is very easy because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering it as a free gift. The reason it is free to you is because Jesus Christ paid the price for it with his life.

[For further study, click here]

If what you have just listened to has been a blessing to you, please consider sowing into our continued outreach of the Gospel, all over the globe.

To donate online via PayPal or any major credit card, click here. To contact the folks at Truth or Tradition, click here.

We trust you have enjoyed this free online class. God bless you!

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
iTunes

More from Write From Karen
[archives]


Filed under: Abundant Life

0 Comments on Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Nine as of 8/20/2014 1:07:00 PM
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46. Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Ten

trinity

Click the arrow to listen.

Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? The short answer is no. The Bible does not mention a “Trinity,” let alone state that one must believe in it in order to attain salvation. Furthermore, no verse in Scripture says you must believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to be saved.

1. Jesus is the son of God – NOT GOD.
2. Soul is breath life; it’s what animates you and makes you a LIVE person. You lose your soul, your breath life, when you die.
3. Holy Spirit is the gift of salvation that is bestowed upon you when you do one simple thing:

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is of the utmost importance, so let’s be sure we understand God’s instructions, which are really quite simple. To be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means that you say what the Bible clearly declares—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was raised from the dead, and highly exalted to the right hand of God. Have you ever opened your mouth and said, “Jesus is Lord?” Why not say it right now? It’s simple: “Jesus is Lord.”

Romans 10:9 goes on to say that along with confessing that Jesus is Lord, you are to believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. What is it to believe in your heart? It means to really believe it. Is that difficult? No, not at all. You probably believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States, even though you never saw him. In the same way, there are many, many valid reasons to believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead.

For proof, read our article, “23 Arguments for the Historical Validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Once you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are saved. Salvation is very easy because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering it as a free gift. The reason it is free to you is because Jesus Christ paid the price for it with his life.

[For further study, click here]

If what you have just listened to has been a blessing to you, please consider sowing into our continued outreach of the Gospel, all over the globe.

To donate online via PayPal or any major credit card, click here. To contact the folks at Truth or Tradition, click here.

We trust you have enjoyed this free online class. God bless you!

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
iTunes

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47. Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Eleven

trinity

Click the arrow to listen.

Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? The short answer is no. The Bible does not mention a “Trinity,” let alone state that one must believe in it in order to attain salvation. Furthermore, no verse in Scripture says you must believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to be saved.

1. Jesus is the son of God – NOT GOD.
2. Soul is breath life; it’s what animates you and makes you a LIVE person. You lose your soul, your breath life, when you die.
3. Holy Spirit is the gift of salvation that is bestowed upon you when you do one simple thing:

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is of the utmost importance, so let’s be sure we understand God’s instructions, which are really quite simple. To be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means that you say what the Bible clearly declares—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was raised from the dead, and highly exalted to the right hand of God. Have you ever opened your mouth and said, “Jesus is Lord?” Why not say it right now? It’s simple: “Jesus is Lord.”

Romans 10:9 goes on to say that along with confessing that Jesus is Lord, you are to believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. What is it to believe in your heart? It means to really believe it. Is that difficult? No, not at all. You probably believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States, even though you never saw him. In the same way, there are many, many valid reasons to believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead.

For proof, read our article, “23 Arguments for the Historical Validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Once you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are saved. Salvation is very easy because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering it as a free gift. The reason it is free to you is because Jesus Christ paid the price for it with his life.

[For further study, click here]

If what you have just listened to has been a blessing to you, please consider sowing into our continued outreach of the Gospel, all over the globe.

To donate online via PayPal or any major credit card, click here. To contact the folks at Truth or Tradition, click here.

We trust you have enjoyed this free online class. God bless you!

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
iTunes

More from Write From Karen
[archives]


Filed under: Abundant Life

0 Comments on Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Eleven as of 9/3/2014 1:32:00 PM
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48. Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Twelve

trinity

Click the arrow to listen.

Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? The short answer is no. The Bible does not mention a “Trinity,” let alone state that one must believe in it in order to attain salvation. Furthermore, no verse in Scripture says you must believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to be saved.

1. Jesus is the son of God – NOT GOD.
2. Soul is breath life; it’s what animates you and makes you a LIVE person. You lose your soul, your breath life, when you die.
3. Holy Spirit is the gift of salvation that is bestowed upon you when you do one simple thing:

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is of the utmost importance, so let’s be sure we understand God’s instructions, which are really quite simple. To be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means that you say what the Bible clearly declares—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was raised from the dead, and highly exalted to the right hand of God. Have you ever opened your mouth and said, “Jesus is Lord?” Why not say it right now? It’s simple: “Jesus is Lord.”

Romans 10:9 goes on to say that along with confessing that Jesus is Lord, you are to believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. What is it to believe in your heart? It means to really believe it. Is that difficult? No, not at all. You probably believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States, even though you never saw him. In the same way, there are many, many valid reasons to believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead.

For proof, read our article, “23 Arguments for the Historical Validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Once you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are saved. Salvation is very easy because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering it as a free gift. The reason it is free to you is because Jesus Christ paid the price for it with his life.

[For further study, click here]

If what you have just listened to has been a blessing to you, please consider sowing into our continued outreach of the Gospel, all over the globe.

To donate online via PayPal or any major credit card, click here. To contact the folks at Truth or Tradition, click here.

We trust you have enjoyed this free online class. God bless you!

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
iTunes

More from Write From Karen
[archives]


Filed under: Abundant Life

0 Comments on Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Twelve as of 9/10/2014 11:38:00 AM
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49. Breaking Silence

Good Lord, it’s 2015.

The last time I wrote/posted anything of substance was back in June.

JUNE, PEOPLE!

Six whole months I’ve neglected this blog.

UNACCEPTABLE!

To be fair, there really hasn’t been a whole lot to write about. I get up, go to work, come home, get through dinner (I’m finding that I hate to cook ANYTHING more and more), then collapse into bed, physically and mentally exhausted.

And the things that do happen, I can’t really talk about, or am cautious about writing about, because it’s work related and though no one I work with knows about this blog, I have crossed that fine line and accepted people I work with on Facebook so it might be a matter of time before they find this blog so I have to be careful what I write about because I’ve already offended someone in my family with my hot-headed blabber mouth, and/or fingers in this case and I really don’t want to offend anyone I work with because I see the people I work with more than my own family.

But life. She’s passing me by. She’s not waiting around for me. She’s trudging ahead and I’m left stumbling after her. Events, thoughts, milestones (we’ve had milestones? Yeah, I guess we have) are whizzing past me so that my life is fast becoming a blur of fleeting thoughts and impressions – it’s time I put the brakes on and slow Mother Time waaay down by attempting to capture snippets and pin them on this blog.

Again.

Should I start where I left off in June? I haven’t even told you about our Cruise to Alaska ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO.

Though the boys are still living with us, they have also gone through some changes.

And there’s the rental house, which still hasn’t been rented out yet.

Did you even know I’m using a new blog template? I actually bought this one so it will be sticking around for quite some time – though I can switch up the color schemes once in a while so I don’t got completely out of my head with boredom.

Did I mention my dominant arm, (I’m left handed), has been hurting like a Mother Effer ever since I got the damn flu shot in November?? I’m beginning to think I have damaged my ulnar nerve, or maybe carpal tunnel? (*shudder* Say it ain’t so!)

Have I mentioned that I’m nearly a half a century old?! And how that both annoys and terrifies me?

Have I mentioned that I’m finally, FINALLY, comfortable in my own skin and though I’m “technially” overweight and need to lose 30 lbs, I’m sort of okay with that? (Though I AM going to start back on the treadmill soonish – okay – like tomorrow – for reals).

Did you know that our 25th wedding anniversary is THIS MAY (what?? How did that happen??) and we won’t be going on our Hawaiian Cruise because money is tight and we’re being responsible people by putting it off another year, or two? (*sigh*)

I bet you didn’t know that Brandon is 19 and on his THIRD job, did you??

Christmas was one of the low lights of our year this year. Not because it wasn’t great, it was just .. meh. Every day is Christmas in our house. Truly. (Does that sound pretentious?) Since money is a bit on the tight side right now (rental houses don’t improve themselves, don’t cha know), Kevin and I bought each other one gift each (I bought him a fancy-smancy power strip/box thing for his band – did I mention the drummer and bass player quit and they’ve been working on replacing band members) and Kevin bought me a laptop cooling tray … thing … so I don’t scorch my fleshy thighs and … yep, that was our Christmas. We bought the boys all practicable things – such as pots and pans (and may I just say, NICE pots and pans from the Food Network – I got a deal on a set, two saucepans, two skillets, both regular and deep-dish style, a big pot to boil pasta and two cookie sheets), a toaster, a fancy-smancy one cup coffee maker (because Blake drinks more coffee than I drink now), bathroom towels, kitchen gadgets and silverware. And yes, the boys were as excited to receive all of these things like you were excited to read about them.

BUT – they will appreciate said gifts when it’s time to move out BECAUSE that’s our goal, well, that’s me and Kevin’s goal, to move the boys out into their own apartment THIS YEAR.

IF Brandon can keep this job after the holidays. He was hired on as holiday help. (There’s another story for another time).

Did I tell you that I read 66 books last year?

2014-books

And that my goal is to read 62 books this year?

Now that’s one thing I DID do right this year – I read my butt off. In fact, I have three gift cards to Barnes and Noble that I’m going to use on ebooks. Because I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve read an actual book – my Kindle is becoming a permanent body part. I’m trying to figure out how to convert a Nook ebook to a format that Kindle will recognize and I think I have it figured out. (Pst … I found this website that will convert it to a MOBI, which is what the Kindle recognizes. But don’t quote me on that yet. I’m buying a book tonight to see if I can make this work. If it doesn’t work, shoot the messenger, k?)

And I don’t buy books very often, either. I usually “borrow” them from the library, though I end up downloading them and transferring them to my Kindle because trying to read a library book in the two weeks the library sets up puts too much pressure on me and I don’t need anymore stress in my life, thank you very much.

Kevin is great. He still has his office and he’s still looking for “that perfect client, or five.” He’s been SUPER busy on the rental house and honestly, I couldn’t be more impressed with him. Is there nothing the man can not do?!? The house doesn’t even look the like the same house. (Note to self – brag more about the hubby).

I’m on a mission to give my professional life a kick in the butt. Either sweet talk my boss into allowing me to take the certified medical assistant certification early (will need to jump through some hoops to make that happen) and/or work on an alternative plan that quite honestly, scares the shit out of me but I think I could make it happen providing I can find the courage to actually take that first step.

Vague much?

And my nurse at work just text me (I left early today) to tell me that the CT machine is down and she had to cancel some appointments. AARGH.

It’s always something.

And that brings us up to date, sort of. Those are the highlights; I’ll see if I can’t do a better job of putting flesh on those bare bones.

Oh. I got to see a carpal tunnel suture removal today. I’ve never done the sutures, though I’ve taken quite a few staples out. It was cool. You just snip and then pull the sucker out. I’m rather spoiled on removing staples/sutures. My doctor has it set up where his post-op patients come in for their first visit two weeks after surgery, which is when they need to have their staples/sutures removed and the PA takes care of removing them so I rarely have an opportunity to remove them myself. I think that part of the job scared me the most when I first started doing this job – I would feel sick to my stomach when I had to do it. It still sort of weirds me out whenever it comes up, but I’m feeling more confident about it now.

I can admit, with all honestly, there is NEVER a dull moment in health care. NEVER.


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50. Work: I Live in Lounge Wear

hello-kitty I bought this scrub top for work – and then actually wore it.

Once.

I felt like a fool and won’t wear it again.

I do that. I get bored. Buy/wear something and then promptly regret it.

(I actually bought four pairs of reading glasses from Coastal.com. Why? Because they’re cheap, for one thing. And two, because they tend to change my look with very little effort on my part).

I mean. I wear scrubs to work every day. Basically, pajamas. Which one one hand – COMFY! On the other hand, they’re dangerous. Because we’re talking elastic waists and polyester, which easily expand to allow for expanding waistlines.

Overall, I LOVE wearing scrubs to work. The biggest reason is because I don’t have to rummage through my closet every day trying to figure out what to wear. My biggest challenge is choosing which color I’m going to wear that day and I only have three colors to choose from: Navy, Black and Pewter.

I HATE dressing up. I HATE trying to color coordinate my clothes then finally picking an outfit only to find out that it’s too tight because I ate one too many cookies the week before. Then I have to rummage further in my closet for an alternative which takes more time, frustrates me even more and makes me long for the days where I could eat what I wanted and not have to worry about adding an extra fleshy roll.

And then, there’s another 15 minutes trying to figure out what accessories to wear.

I spend my days in scrubs and my nights in t-shirts and sweats, or shorts if it’s summer time.

I’m so sexy.

I know Kevin probably gets sick to death of seeing me in lounge wear but honestly, if I’m comfortable, then I’m happy. And since we never go anywhere anyway …

I bought the Hello Kitty scrub top because I’m a child at heart. I’ve always loved Hello Kitty and I don’t know, I thought it was cute. It IS cute. But probably not appropriate attire for a nearly-50-year old woman.

Scrubs are not cheap. I wear cargo-style pants (which are super cute, are somewhat fitted and don’t look like something out of an MC Hammer video) and those suckers cost $30 bucks. Scrub tops are about $20 bucks a piece. I guess they figure you aren’t going to buy scrubs very often so they might as well gouge you while they have the chance.

I work with a gal who is a double zero ….. *pause* …… (just letting you soak that CRAZY fact for a minute). I kid you not, she’s a double zero. She’s TINY. Not just in size but she’s not very tall – I don’t think she’s even five feet tall. I call her my pocket MA … but I digress.

This poor girl has to have her scrubs ALTERED because even the smallest size is too big for her. So, not only does she have to pay about $50 bucks for a pair of scrubs, she in essence has to pay twice in order to get them altered to fit her teeny-tiny frame.

I guess that’s one advantage to being an Amazon – my size is pretty typical and completely average so I never have to worry about that sort of thing. My biggest challenge is finding pants that are long enough. But even that’s not that big of a deal anymore since they have tall sizes.

Since I wear scrubs all day every day, I like to mix things up with different hairstyles, earrings and shoes. My favorite hairstyle at the moment is the hairstyle in my profile pic in the right-hand column. And my favorite shoes at the moment are my uber-cool Sketchers – I blame my mom for this latest obsession. I saw her wearing a similar pair the other day and I HAD TO HAVE A PAIR. I’m currently on a mission to find the same style in blue. And they’re so comfortable! I don’t even feel like I’m wearing shoes, it feels like I’m walking barefoot.

My favorite brand of scrubs are Dickies, though WonderWinks are cute and comfy, too. I used to wear Cherokee, but they are boxy and tend to fit poorly, at least, in my opinion.

I won’t even tell you how much I’ve spent on scrubs in the three years I’ve been working for the hospital – it’s downright embarrassing. I buy everything online, so I’m never quite sure how something is going to fit. But I’m tossing the blame on to the people I work with because of the styles they wear – I had no idea there were so many CUTE scrub styles! Who knew!

Sometimes I miss dressing up for work. Who am I kidding – no I don’t.


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