Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Hospital Experience

Well, I thought I would tell a little about my recent (very recent) hospital stay at the lovely Tomball Hospital. Not that anybody really reads this -- but now I can say "What? You didn't see my blog?" when everyone complains that I didn't tell them about this little adventure. haha

So, Sunday night at about 10 pm I got this severe pain/cramping in my lower abdomen, sort of on the right side, but kind of all over. I suffered through the night and on into the morning. Even telling Chris to go ahead and go roping with some friends Monday morning. I'm kind of stubborn. :) So, a couple hours after he left, I realized the pain was going absolutely no where and I needed to get to the ER. I called the best mother-in-law in the whole world and so started my Labor Day adventure. The ER doctors ran tests for appendicitis at first and then kind of starting ruling that out. I did a CT Scan after I had to drink this horrible "fruit punch iodine cocktail" as they called it. Which, of course, I threw up almost a 1/2 of what I drank. Cassidy, my sister-in-law was amazing. She was there for the 4 times I puked that junk up. She was my trashcan holder and face wiper.

Eventually, they started thinking I had a cyst on my right ovary. So, they admitted me and moved me to a room. Shortly after, I went down for an ultrasound so they could get a better look at the cyst. After all that and a one night stay in the hospital, it turns out it was a cyst that had managed to rupture. The pain I was in was from the bleeding and fluid from the rupture. Basically, my body will/has reabsorbed all that. Apparently, it is not uncommon for women to have small cysts and sometimes they do rupture like mine did. I go to my regular gynecologist next week, so I am sure I will have more information and questions answered then. I wasn't impressed with the gynecologist on call at the hospital and I knew I was seeing mine really soon, so I didn't go into a bunch of details with him. I expect to know more this time next week.

Anyway, that's my adventure! I'm taking tomorrow off again to just kind of rest (as most of you probably know, there is no sleeping through the night at the hospital -- vitals, blood drawn, empty and beeping IV bags) and to make sure everything is pretty much back to normal.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Russia Memoirs

So, Russia is the first Missions Trip that I did NOT keep a journal throughout. I can't believe I allowed myself to do that! Hopefully, I will make myself sit down and try to write a little bit about my experiences. For now, here is an overview for any of that are interested...

The basis of our trip to Russia was to team up with 4 local churches to run a camp on the Black Sea for teens. This was the very first time for the camp and it went remarkably well, all things considered. Apparently, it is a feat in itself for 4 seperate groups to come together and actually be able to plan something. To allow Americans to come in and help was another big feat. The camp went really well. The kids had a blast. It ran smoothly -- from a Russian perspective. As Americans, we had trouble getting accustomed to the laid back, casual feel of the whole camp. We were used to being in a certain place at a certain time and having every single minute of every single day planned. Not so for a Russian camp. We had a lot of down time and planned times for activities were a little loose. But, as I said, it all worked out and it was an amazing time for everyone. We had over 100 campers, many of which were non-Christians. On the evening that the Gospel was fully presented, 36 kids came forward to give their lives to Jesus! It was an amazing sight. I was expecting a handful of kids to come forward, because there usually will be in that type of situation. But, I almost fell out of my chair when they just kept walking up and the entire front of the stage was full. I almost couldn't catch my breath and my eyes filled with tears. God was moving in tremendous ways that week and it all hit me in those few minutes. It was such an incredible feeling. Everything that I had experienced during my time in Russia, good or bad, was worth it at that moment.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Russia Pictures!!

Visit here to see a few of my Russia pictures!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Russia, Here I Come!

So, God willing, I am officially going to Russia! I am so, so excited. If you haven't read my previous blog about Russia, it covers a little more about the trip itself.

I'm turning in my final application materials tomorrow (I had to wait for an expedited passport name change because it was still in my maiden name -- there was an exorbitant amount of money!!). I just finished writing my prayer support letter this evening and will be sending those out shortly (some of you will see those soon!). In the mean time, I still am coveting your prayers. Specifically for:

~ Raising my support money -- $1200.
~ My visa application and letter of invitation for Russia -- we are in a hurry for these and since my passport is just now coming in, well, we are time crunched.
~ Absorbing all the information about Russia. There are a lot of things that I need and want to know about the culture, religion, and people of Russia so that I can knowledgeably minister to those I will be working with.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I am prayerfully considering a Russia missions trip this summer. There are 9 slots for our church to fill for a trip through EastWest Ministries International. From what I understand, it's a one week camp for Russians age 14-21 plus some adults. We'll be basically hanging out with the campers - hiking, walking to the beach -- the Black Sea! -- and group worship times. Most won't speak English; so there will be translators.

I'll be heading to my first meeting, completed 20 page -- yes, 20 page! -- application in hand, Monday evening. Would you please pray with me -- that if this is what God wants me to do this summer all the doors will be open wide for me?

This is a much more involved missions trip than I have ever participated in, mainly because of where we are going and the oppurtunities that we will have while there. I'll keep everyone updated on my final decision. This is something I really want to do, but I want to be sure that the "want to go" is not blinding me from what God's will is. This is why I need some prayer warriors! And, some of my most faithful prayer warriors are right here in MySpace!

Oh yeah! I almost forgot... Another reason I am so excited about this trip -- my sister-in-law Cassidy is also submitting her application to go. We are so looking forward to sharing this experience together. She is an amazing sophomore in high school. I'm so proud of her!

Friday, March 24, 2006

yep -- i'm from illinois...

You know if someone is from southern, middle or northern Illinois as soon as they open their mouth.

While these are ALL true -- the blue lines are specific ones that my dear friends have so sweetly pointed out to me over the years!
Oh! And one thing I definitely want to clear up -- There is more to Illinois than Chicago. Just because I say I am from Illinois does not mean I am from Chicago. In fact, I have never even been to Chicago!

~ When you say "the city" - you mean Chicago.
~ You think ethanol makes your truck "run a lot better."
~ You know what's knee-high by the Fourth of July.
~ Stores don't have bags; they have sacks.
~ All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, or animal.
~ You think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, soddie, and Jell-O salad with marshmallows.
~ You know what "cow tipping" and "snipe hunting" is.
~ You spent a good deal of your high school nights hanging out at DQ.
~ "Vacation" means going to Six Flags.
~ You don't pronounce the "S" in Illinois like the rest of the world.
~ Whenever anyone mentions going out for steak, the first place you think of is Ponderosa.
~ You know more than one person with a septic tank.
~ You pronounce the invisible "R" in the word wash.
~ Down south to you means Kentucky
~ You have no problem spelling or pronouncing "Des Plaines"
~ You think Chicago is a completely different state from Illinois.
~ You know the answer to the question, "Is this Heaven?"
~ You know where all the Yoders live
~ Detassling was your first job
~ You've ever been on a "Geode Hunt"
~ Your idea of a really great tenderloin is when the meat is twice as big as the bun and accompanied only by ketchup and a dill pickle slice
~ You learn your pickup will run without a muffler
~ When asked how your trip was to any foreign, exotic place, you say, "It was different."
~ You consider being called a "Pork Queen" an honor
~ People from other states love to hear you say "Illinois" and other words with "Os" in them.
~ Your dream vacation is a trip to Rock Home Gardens
~ You drink "pop." (Actually, I call it soda, but that's a sin here in Texas where every carbonated beverage is "Coke." I will not get on my soapbox... But -- Coke is a namebrand, folks.)
~ You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Illinois.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Life Requirements

There are some things in life that should just be required. For everyone. Maybe by the time you are a certain age, I don't know. But, they should be required none the less. For instance, waiting tables. To eat in a restaurant you should be required to wait tables for one night, preferably a Friday or Saturday, in a busy restaurant. Just to experience what it is like to juggle 72 things at one time and keep a minimum of 5 or 6 groups of people happy. Some would learn, very quickly, that their entire meal does not rest on the shoulders of one person. There are 72 things going on in the back that the customer never sees or knows about. Unfortunately, some believe it is okay to take out their meal's frustrations on their waiter/waitress. Then there are those that just go out to eat in a bad mood. Why do you start out the night like that and then take yourself to a public place? I will never understand.

But I digress.

I recently read the book, Night by Elie Weisel. Yes, this falls into the category of something everyone should be required to do. Elie Weisel survived the Holocaust after being deported, crammed into a railroad car, losing his mother and little sister to the gas chambers, and struggling to survive with his dad in various concentration camps. An amazing book. A stomach turning book. It will make you groan out loud in pain for this teenage boy. It will make you think about all that you have taken for granted. Freedom. A bed. Food. Water. Your family. Your life. And so much more.

Which brings me to my next life requirement. Visiting the Holocaust Museum. I went today with Cassidy, my sister-in-law. The pictures, the videos, the handwritten documents, the spoken accounts, the various other objects from the Holocaust era. It was all so surreal. For instance, the photograph that I can see so clearly in mind right now, it may as well be sitting in front of me. It was a series of photographs actually. Photographs of Jewish prisoners digging their own graves before they were shot, either execution style or in the back of the head. There were other photographs. Prisoners waiting in line to go to the gas chambers, some of them not even realizing that was where they were headed. Families separated upon arrival at a concentration camp. The women and children on one side, the men on the other. Often this was the last time these families would be together. Photographs of piles (piles and piles and piles, unimaginably high) of shoes, clothing, eyeglasses. These were all discarded by prisoners before they headed to the gas chamber. I might add, that a lot of times the prisoners still did not realize that was where they were headed; they thought they were taking a shower. Photographs of prisoners enduring medical "experiments" conducted in the camp. I can see, in my head, the picture of about 8 children sitting in a group. They had burn marks on their bodies where they had been "experimented" on.

The videos. Videos of young German boys joining the Nazi Army. Videos of the ghettos and life in the ghetto. Dead bodies in the street being picked up by officers and then dumped in a pile. To be burned.

So many things I saw today, I can not do justice with my words. And so much more that I don't have room to type and you don't have patience to read. You must see it to believe it. How can anyone deny the Holocaust? There is too much evidence and history there. We must remember what happened so that we will not be blind sighted again and sit idly by while human beings are destroyed. I read a quote on a magnet in the gift shop. I know I will not get it right, nor do I remember who said it. But, it went something like this:

"First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not Jewish.
Then, they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Next, they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak up for me."

By the way, it was not only Jews who were targeted during the Holocaust. We cannot forget that the Nazi party worked to systematically eradicate the mentally ill, handicapped, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists, and Socialists. Now, I may not agree with everything that some of the groups stand for or believe in, but they also did not necessarily deserve to be treated the way they were. And, there were those that worked to save and hide the targeted ones. Some of them were ultimately arrested as well.

One thing that struck me today was the systematic and organized plans that were layed out to make the Holocaust happen. This was not something that was worked out between a couple of people and simmered out over a few months. This was a nation of people that blindly followed their leader and participated in the murder of innocent lives. This was a massive operation. Oh yes, I know there were many that tried to reverse what was happening and would do anything and everything in their power to protect the innocent. As I mentioned, many of these also ended up in the concentration camps. If they weren't executed on the spot.

And by the way, yes, I am aware that there were other times in history when humans were mistreated. Why do I dwell on the Holocaust? Why has the Holocaust always been such an interest to me? I don't know. All I know is what I saw today.