The Flip-Side

I just finished reading Ephesians 2-4, and all I can say is WOW! This Saturday, Pastor Fred (or PF, as I often refer to him :D) was talking about our attitudes. He laid out how every thought has a flip-side, every perspective can shift. We cannot decide how others act, and we cannot control every injustice in the world. But we CAN decide how we respond to the world. Are we praisers or complainers? Do we choose to praise God in good and bad times, trusting that He has us covered, or do we complain and criticize? I know that in my own life, this really struck a chord. Sometimes I am so upset with things not being exactly right that I forget that God is still present in every circumstance...that instead of being upset about imperfections, I could be praising God and remembering all of the blessings in my life! Now, with this choice in mind, read Ephesians 4:22-24:

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness"

Sometimes it is so easy to sink down into an attitude of complaint and frustration, but God calls us to a different way of life, to a better way of life! I challenge you (and myself!) to work on our attitudes. If even for a day, keep track of how you are responding to the world. When you want to complain, count your blessings instead. Fix your mind on "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things" (Phil 4:8)


A Cornucopia of Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I just love how it is all about family and food...the stresses of other holidays are nonexistent. All you have to do is enjoy the blessings around you! :) Basically, it is the best day ever! Mikey and I had a wonderful two days worth of giving thanks with both of our families. We ate TONS of great food, and I even skipped out on homework in order to give my full attention to giving thanks! Life is so good.

Mom with the GP's at Waterfront Park:
With my honey on the swings :)
The Szymanowski girls :)
Mikey and I at the Baur family photo shoot
All of the Baur boys!
With my sis-in-law on Thanksgiving!
And now that Thanksgiving is over, I can start looking forward to CHRISTMAS! :) Here's a little song to get you in the holiday spirit!


Turkey Outreach!

Today was Northwood's Turkey Outreach. We ended up with 1,920 boxes of food and turkeys to pass out to families in need! Yesterday, all of the boxes were packed up by some dedicated volunteers. And today, Mikey and I got to help pass out the boxes and their accompanying turkeys, along with tons of other volunteers, including Chad, Melissa, and Mel's parents! We had a great time, and the recipients were so grateful. One man that we talked to for a while told us that he didn't know where his dinner that evening was coming from even, and he was very blessed by the food! He helped to point out other families in his neighborhood that likely really needed food. Beyond the food we, and other groups, passed out to neighborhoods, many families called the church to sign up for a turkey dinner, and there was a station set up for those families to come and pick up their food! It was an amazing blessing to get to help these people. It is amazing how easy it is to reach out and help people in need right around us...making the decision to get started is the hardest part.


Dreaming of the Future

Sometimes it astounds me how strong the pull on my heart to become a doctor is! I feel so fully, so unquestioningly that God created me to help people in that way. I really would love to do medical missions one day. I got to help out at a day-long one last summer, and if everything works out, I will be going back to mexico in February for a week long medical mission with the same missions base! :) Until then, I get to work hard in school and dream about the future!
A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed to have two days packed with pre-med experiences. On Sunday, I did an 11 hour ride-a-long with Dorchester County EMS. It was the first time I've ever been able to actually do medical things and HELP people! It was amazing! I got to help move patients, test blood glucose levels, auscultate blood pressures, help prepare an IV (just not stick the needle in the person's arm), help with automatic blood pressure readings and the ECG, and so much more...I was actually sad that night when I left after going for nearly 11 hours straight because I knew it would be a while before I would be lucky enough to be in a similar position again. On the Monday following my EMT ride-along, I went to MUSC for Susan Pershing Day, which is a day dedicated to explaining the mission and process of applying to MUSC for the medical college or for the MD/PhD program. We got to tour MUSC, speak with the deans of both programs, and ask questions of the deans and current students at MUSC. It freaked me out to realize that I am getting so close to taking the MCAT and applying to medical school; both of which I will likely do in the upcoming summer. CRAZINESS!

But all of this to explain that I KNOW and cannot wait to begin fulfilling what God has called me to do...I am in the process now, but I cannot explain to you (unless you are doing exactly what you want to do too!) how much joy and peace I feel when I am getting to learn about how to help people and to actually use that knowledge in the real world!! In my dreams, whenever someone gets hurt, I think about all of the possibilities of what it could be, and I start helping them! When I'm at work at a daycare and a child falls or anything, I always rush to be the one to talk to them about it and make sure they're ok...using the techniques I've learned in my EMT class to analyze their injuries. When I'm driving down the road now and witness an accident, I say a prayer for the EMTs, fire personnel, and doctors that will be helping those people, and I think about the kinds of things I would do if I were there and trying to help the person myself...I've even been on the verge of pulling over to offer my help once (right after my ride-a-long haha)!

I know I'm rambling, and you're a great friend if you've even read this far! But I just had to get all of this out of my mind and onto the screen. Sometimes I feel like being a doctor is so far away...and talking about all of this makes me feel like its a little bit closer, a little bit more attainable. In the end, I just have to work hard and trust that if God is calling me to do this, it will happen...one way or another! :)


A New Addition

This week my parents welcomed a new addition to their family...Oskar! He is a rescued greyhound, and he is SO SWEET! I got to meet him on his first night with my parents, this past Wednesday. My mom has totally fallen in love with him already!
On Saturday, we decided to introduce Oliver and Oskar, and they did so well! Here's a picture of them walking side by side. The only tiny issue was Oskar kept reverting back to his racing days and gently edging Ollie off the path :)
Mom and I took them on a walk along a canal in Summerville, and both of the O-dogs behaved remarkably well..they got along and were very cute and relatively calm together. I was so impressed. We managed to get a picture of all four of us on our first adventure together!


Vampire Dog

At the last minute this Halloween, I decided to run by the dollar store to get Oliver a costume! At first I didn't see any pet costumes, so I almost got him a set of fairy wings (because I figured I could adjust them to work somehow for a dog). Luckily for Mikey, who, I'm sure, would NOT have loved having a fairy dog, I found a cute little vampire cape for a small dog right before I was going to check out. We went to Oscar and Maria's to hand out candy and just chill, and Oliver was the cutest vampire I've ever seen! The costume didn't last long because he's so excitable around visitors (he even managed to get his foot through the hole and almost did a flip at one point!), but Maria and I managed to snap a few pictures in the twenty minutes he was all dressed up :)