An Open Letter to My First Year as a Nurse



To my first year as a nurse,

A year ago today, we started our journey, you and I. I remember how my eyes blurred when they reached the computer screen that revealed I was officially a Registered Nurse. 365 days ago, this voyage began. Each day since has been a little different from the one before it. But the same in that I am still constantly learning. Each day brings new opportunities for me to learn and grow, as well as it’s own unique challenges. While I hope my second year as a nurse has more grace and less tears, I am positive that I’ll continue to learn something new everyday with it, too.

To this first year, you have showed me things about love that I thought I knew already. But then I watched them illustrated right before my eyes and fully understood. You allowed me to be a part of families happy endings as their loved ones were healing. But you also put me in positions where my face would be associated with anger, fear, and sadness. You have let me peek into family dynamics and see first hand, just how frightening and fascinating this human experience is.

During this past year, you allowed my stethoscope to hear the heart beat of fresh starts and new beginnings. But it also heard the silence of a hollow chest when life left its earthly host. I have held the hand that was fearful and I have had shifts where I left with my hands held up in frustration. I’ve listened to the breath sounds of the sick while trying to catch my own breath from being so busy. I have remembered how many times a patient has been to the bathroom while easily forgetting to go to the restroom myself. I have lived in a whirlwind of a to do list, attempting to ensure I also see the big picture of each and every patient. I have stepped in and out of hospital rooms to introduce myself to hundreds of strangers. They have become a part of my story as much as I am now a part of theirs. I have heard stories that have moved me to tears and told my patients stories of my own in hopes of making them smile. If I learned anything this year, it’s that laughter truly is the best medicine.

This year has brought me joy and frustration, happiness and sadness, tears and laughter. It has been a journey, a roller coaster, and sometimes an internal struggle. And as I enter year two of this career, calling, and adventure, I still wonder, God, why did You pick me for this job? Surely someone else can do a better job than me! And while the Good Lord still hasn’t given me His answer, and I’m confident that there are so many people that are doing a better job than me, I also have no doubt that for whatever reason, He has placed me in this field with a mission and purpose. Until I figure that out, I’ll continue to do my best, attempt to be the best eyes and ears for the patients in my path, and show them that someone cares.

So to year one, thank you for your experience. For the lives I’ve been able to affect, thank you. You were not easy on me, and made me cry more than I anticipated 365 days ago. But you showed me that the title I carry is earned, not given.

And to year two, I hope you’ll be a good teacher, as well. I hope you give me more situations where I can show love and compassion. I hope you’ll give me a little more confidence, but never enough confidence to make me dangerous. I hope you’ll let me be a part of more happy endings than sad ones. And I really hope we can show one another grace in the next 365 days.

Thanks for the memories, year one. It’s been one for the books.


“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:16‬ ‭

Love,

The Storm Before The Calm

A Blog Post about fear and anxiety before finding peace.

The storm before the calm.

I know we’re all more familiar with this phrase flipped around: the calm before the storm. But I think that sometimes, it’s the opposite. To me, the phrase is better reversed, transposed, flipped. Sometimes I think life is most scary and painful and difficult and heartbreaking right before something absolutely amazing happens.

You know something really great is on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean you don’t grieve what you’re leaving behind. The time before you meet the next incredible chapter of your life is often overwhelmed by tears, fear, and resistance. You know the next page has beautiful words, but want to linger on the black and white in front of you just a little longer.

Trust me, I get it. Take our recent move to Texas, for example. I knew Texas would provide many unbeatable opportunities for us. I knew it would be a time of growth for our marriage. I knew that it would be an adventure that we will cherish for a lifetime. We had prayed for months and months and felt like God really wanted us in Texas. Still yet, the days before the move were dark and cloudy. Tears came like fat raindrops and I couldn’t always stop them. I was scared and anxious, my stomach was in knots. The storm before the calm.

I find comfort knowing that I’m not the only one who has experienced the storm before the calm. In fact, it’s something my friend Jesus and His disciples experienced in real life.


“And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
-Mark 4:36-41

The Bible says the disciples were terrified. They thought for sure they were going to drown. Sweet friend, has your storm made you believe that you’re drowning? I know there have been recent times that mine has made me feel like I couldn’t get my head above water. But Jesus, sweet, perfect, almighty Jesus, can calm that storm and the wind will obey Him.

The thing about that story that I never realized growing up hearing it in Sunday School, is that Jesus didn’t just come to the disciples and calm the storm right away. He could have. Although He was sleeping, He knew it was storming. He knew they were fearful. He knows everything. But He waited for them to come to Him. What would the disciples have learned if they hadn’t come forward and asked for His help? But because He let them come to Him and ask for His help, the disciples learned the power of the storm before the calm. Maybe He’s hoping we’ll learn the same thing.

Now that I’ve flip-flopped that old adage around, I can see about a hundred more circumstances in my life that have been the same way. Human nature resists change, our brains are literally wired to want things to stay put. Sometimes amazing things come our way, but we still have a hard time letting go of what we know and what we’re accustomed to. Friend, it’s okay to grieve that loss. I promise.

Maybe it’s a big thing in your life that has caused a storm. Or maybe it’s a little thing. I’m not judging, cause I’ve wept over the small stuff myself, so you’re in a safe place here. And each and every day, I still have storms before the calm. But I do find hope in one of David’s beautiful psalms. “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5.

There have been times that the storm loomed over me so badly that I woke up and the joy hadn’t arrived yet. Wanna know what I did? Went back to sleep. Friend, with patience, persistence, and prayer the storm will calm, even when it feels like it won’t. And when you just can’t shake those storm clouds, remember that rain makes the flowers grow. There’s a reason the weatherman hasn’t lifted that storm warning quite yet. I have to believe that. Maybe He’s just waiting for you to ask Him to.

Friend, are you struggling through a storm right now? Waiting for your own calm to show up? I get it. I’m right there with you. Let’s weather it together. You can stand under my umbrella (-ella, -ella). 


“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” – Mark 4:39

Love,

Christmas Grows Grief

Maybe this is the first Christmas since the fire stole your home or the fifth Christmas since your loved one passed. Maybe it’s your first Christmas since the lay off, or the eighth with an empty seat at the dinner table. Maybe this Christmas you have presents purchased and their recipient isn’t here to unwrap the paper and ribbons. Maybe this Christmas is the first Christmas since deployment. Maybe this Christmas you’re miles apart from your family (hi mom). I don’t know specifically what’s in your heart this Christmas weekend, but I do know that the twinkling lights tend to shed light on the darkest parts of our hurt. One thing is for certain: Christmas grows grief.



I want you to have hope through the hurt this holiday. I want you to remember that we celebrate Christmas as the day of ultimate joy when King Jesus was born to change the world for sinners like me and you. I hope you’ll remember the same twinkly lights that emphasize your pain are also a metaphor for the reflective, shiny streets we will walk in Heaven because Jesus came to Earth. I hope you’ll find comfort knowing that Mary felt both joy and sorrow as she welcomed her baby boy into a world that would hate him.

Most of all friend, I pray that the Lord Jesus will fill the holes and cracks of your hurting heart with His love this Christmas. I pray you find joy and peace this holiday, despite your suffering. I pray that there is love in your heart and home no matter how much sadness has taken up space there. I pray that you will remember that historically, Christmas is a time of both joy and pain and that you are not alone. 

Merry Christmas, friends! I pray you find joy this holiday. Happy Birthday, sweet Jesus! I know that because of You, I can find peace despite any sadness.


“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

Love,

When You’re Struggling With God’s Will For Your Life

Encouragement for when you are struggling with The Lord's Plan for your life.

We’ve all been there. In between jobs. Or selecting the right school. Or going through the break up. Or considering marriage. Or choosing the right career. Or dealing with the job that you hate. Or losing everything. The overwhelming heartbreak of feeling lost and not knowing what to do. You feel like your heart is all locked up. How could a God who loves us unconditionally put us in a situation where there is hurt and confusion and an abundance of tears?

I myself have been left thinking, “God, what is your plan for me? What do you want with me because right now I feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling and bouncing right back to echo in my heart. Why have you chosen me for this job? Surely someone else could glorify your kingdom better?”

I’ve struggled with Gods will plenty of times. And I bet you have, too. The good news about struggling with what God wants for our life is that we aren’t alone.

In fact, Jesus, perfect Jesus, struggled with the will of His father. And if the perfect person can share that struggle with us, you know flawed humanity is not gonna have it easy.

Remember the story in Matthew 26 of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his trial and crucifixion? I love that story because it gives us perspective into Jesus’ humanity. Jesus tells the disciples about his sadness “My soul is succeeding sorrowful…” (vs. 38) as he enters the garden to speak to his father. I know I personally feel the most lonely when I’m struggling with God’s will for my own life. When I think about Jesus in the garden alone, facing the most fearful experience anyone could ever imagine, my heart breaks in two. Jesus struggled with God’s will as he faced the act that saved our souls. Jesus prayed “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (vs. 39)

I find myself praying in the same way when I’m struggling with the Lord’s will for my life. “God, not my will, but thine be done.”

I also love the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection found in John 11. To me, this is a story that leaves me wondering more about Jesus as a person and how He shared similar emotions as we do. Scripture tells us that Jesus knew Lazarus was dead even before he spoke with Mary and Martha. In John 11:11-14, Jesus explains to the disciples that Lazarus is dead, and needs to be woken. However, later on in the scripture, when Jesus is led to the grave site of his friend, we are told “Jesus wept.” (vs. 35). There are two reactions from the people that observed Jesus’ tears, these reactions follow in verses 36 and 37. “Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”” (vs. 36) “But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”” (vs. 37)

As a mere mortal, I’m curious as to what it was exactly that made Jesus cry that day, too. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s because he was struggling with Gods will. Jesus knew his friend was dead, and knew that somehow it would glorify the Lord “This sickness will not end in death. No it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” (vs. 4)

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus struggled with the fact that his friend died as part of God’s will. Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus questioned himself and the Lords plan when Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (vs. 21) Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was certain that raising Lazarus from the dead truly was the will of the Lord. Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus stood in front of his friend’s tomb and thought “if only I had turned left instead of right.” Maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

I can’t help but wonder if Jesus stood there among friends that would soon yell “crucify him” and saw Lazarus’ death and resurrection as foreshadowing to God’s will for his own life. And maybe that’s why Jesus wept.

And maybe those are questions we’ll never know the answer to on this side of Heaven. And maybe we’ll never know the reasons were struggling with the plans for our own lives. But friend, know that you aren’t alone in your struggle. Know that even the King of Kings had his moments of fear and sorrow when struggling with Gods will for his life.

How do you cope when you’re struggling with God’s will for your life? How has God shown up and shown off for you?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6


Love,
Cassie, RN


An Open Letter to My Little Brother

An Open Letter to My Little Brother

Little Brother,

Your very existence sparked every creative intuition and energy I have ever had. You are the reason I love to spin stories, beginning with the legend of your birth: “My Brother, The Alien” (New York Times Best Seller in my head!) And once, I took a photography class and you were the subject of my portfolio. In a way, you’ve always been my subject. I have watched you grow and push boundaries to new limits. You have given me approximately one hundred mild heart attacks as I’ve watched the dare devil in you rise to the surface. You are my biggest opponent when it comes to wrestling in the kitchen floor, but my best ally when it comes to our friendship.


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Brother, to the untrained eye you are as solemn as a grave site. But I know better. Over the years, you have induced some of my biggest fits of laughter – and then you tease my laugh. Your sense of humor is unique and special. You challenge me to stop and slow down because I am constantly racing. You have always had more wisdom than I know what to do with. Your life has shown me about Jesus more than I ever could have imagined a younger brother could teach an older sister. I am often amazed by the truth you speak and left wondering how one heart can have so much instinctive goodness.

Growing up, I loved having a brother, but often wished that you were older than me. So many of my friends had older brother that were as protective as guard dogs. Then, one day, without warning, you became the protective older brother, despite me being five years your senior. You guarded my heart and refused to let anyone take advantage of it. Little Brother, it was my job to protect you! But you took the role seriously, and still do to this day. I can never thank you enough for being my personal security guard.


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Little Brother, I wish I could bottle up this time of your life and place it on a shelf, because it is so fragile. This newness of adulthood is exciting and filled with adventure. The novelty of being a “grown up” has not yet been doused with the cynicism of this hateful world. I wish you could live in this realm forever. But because that is not realistic, I pray you dream wider than your arms can stretch. I pray that you will grab any boundaries that are set by this world and shove them out of the way. My desire for your life is for you to do more than change the world; take bits and pieces of this Earth and leave your mark on them. Then show the rest of the inhabitants of this planet what they’re missing out on. I know what you’re capable of, even if you do not. Don’t be afraid to fall. I’ll catch you every time.

Bub, I gave you your first black eye, and you didn’t even cry. I am so proud to be the big sister of a tough as nails adventurer. Brother, you are a fearless leader. Nothing scares you! And while my instincts to be your “second mother” are so strong that I want to suppress your courageous nature, I would never dream of it. This internal boldness is so much a part of you I could never imagine you being any less brave. I pray that this daring innate quality you possess lasts a lifetime and follows you into each and every opportunity you stumble across. You are the son of ministry, of courage, of kindness, and of exploration. Brother, take this world by storm. Leave no stone unturned.


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You are the boy man (I’m still coming to terms with the fact my little brother is now grown!) with a big heart, and a bigger imagination that no one has quite mastered yet. I pray you are the captain of a ship with a quest to show the world the capabilities of the anonymous. I hope you’ll let me be first mate.

“Let brotherly love continue.” – Hebrews 13:1


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All my love, and then some,
Cassie, RN



Bamboo


A blog post about growth and change

I’ve never grown bamboo. I’m sure I’d like to; I love all types of flowers and plants. My favorite food is anything fresh from the garden. But as sure as I’m living, I can’t grow anything to save my life. I was cursed with a black thumb. Give me a pot of flowers, I can almost guarantee they won’t survive the week (I’m sorry but its true!). And I’ve only ever tried the easy stuff. But I’m positive bamboo wouldn’t even stand a chance.

Although I’m not a gardener, I would consider myself a scientist. Before I went to Nursing School, I studied Biology so I was required to take classes that were about all life forms, not just the human body. In some of those classes, we had to learn about plants. That’s how I know about bamboo.

So let me give you a general picture of the growth cycle of bamboo. In the first year, you plant the seeds and nurture them, but nothing grows. In the second year, there is still no growth. The third year, still no seedlings sprout. Guess what happens in the fourth year? Still nothing! Finally, in the fifth year, the bamboo shoots grow 90 feet!

90 feet in one year! Can you imagine being the gardener that started those seedlings? Can you imagine looking at your crop, continuing to nurture it, water it, and care for it, day in and day out, for years, without reaping the benefits? I know I’m not a patient enough person (or reliable enough gardener) for that type of commitment to a tree.

But after those four years, you start to notice something, finally. One day in the fifth year, you see that your bamboo has sprouted from the ground. And from then on, it shoots up like a rocket! 90 feet in one year, friend! After four years of developing, changing, and growing under the soil that bamboo plant is breaking ground, literally.

Aren’t we a little like bamboo? We sit quietly and comfortably deep in the dirt. It’s safe there and we’ve even made friends with the worms. But one day, one special, breathtaking day, we decide it’s time to stretch and show this world what we’ve got to offer. I think we have a lot in common with bamboo. Whether it is in our relationships, our education, our careers, or in our ministry, one day we break to the top of the soil and show the planet who we are and what we’ve been up to.

Friends, I believe this is my 90 foot growth year. I think it could be yours, too! My life is a-moving and a-shaking like I’ve never seen before. I’m bursting through the soil to see the sunshine. I hope you will, too. Let’s do this together. So let’s take a deep breath, soak up that last bit of soil, and “leaf” our fears behind. I’ll see you in 90 feet!

How are you growing in your 90 foot growth year? Were you afraid to leave the warmth of your soil? Tell me more in the comments below. Let’s encourage one another.


“For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11


Love,


Cassie, RN





If You Leave the Mountains

If You Leave the Mountains - a letter of encouragement for if you decide to leave home
Image Credit Corissa Riffe

Dear Friend,

I believe our mountains are the most beautiful landscape God sculpted into His Earthly Kingdom. These mountains are home to more than just coal, lumber, and wildlife. These mountains house the most kind hearted, faithful, and friendly people you will ever meet. I’m convinced the Lord must love us a little extra. Why else would He have us live in a land that is a constant embrace?

But friend, there may come a day when you will have to leave our mountains. That day will move your heart in ways that cannot be described by mere words. Your heart will quiver with anticipation and excitement at the opportunities coming your way. And then your heart will crumble because you will leave behind everything you’ve ever known.

But your journey is just beginning, and while it will be a breathtaking adventure, there will also be days you feel like the wind has been knocked out of you. On those days you will need the strength these hills have instilled in you. Your values, your morals, your beliefs have been sewn into you and rooted deeply. You have heard the voice of God in these mountains as often as you’ve heard it in the church house. These mountains made you who you are. You know it’s not easy leaving home, but You’re strong enough for this.

Over the years, outsiders have stopped realizing how capable the people of our mountains truly are. We have been stripped of many opportunities and without you to show them, people will forget who we are. You are leaving these mountains to new uncharted territory that we are unfamiliar with. But you go with a mission, not with a vengeance. Go catch every chance you can. Learn. Explore. Dream. Grow. And later, come home to these hills and show us everything you’ve conquered along the way and how you can help us develop. You’re not leaving because you don’t love our home. Trust me, I know.

Friend, you will move mountains. And I mean that literally. We are mountain people, and we are all the more beautiful because of it. As you go out into the world, I want you to move mountains to the forefront of peoples minds when they think of successful individuals. Go out there and show them how intelligent we are, show them how special we are, impress them with our heritage, and please don’t ever let them change the way you speak. Trust me, they will try. Down the road, when you look back at our mountains, promise me you won’t look back at them with anything less than pride. Because these mountains have given you everything they have to offer.

These mountains are where you were raised. You fell in love in these hills. This is where your family is. Your friends call this place home. The mountains sing to you. No matter where you roam, nothing will ever compare to Eastern Kentucky. Our mountains made you. Now go out there and show this world what you’re made of.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1-2

Love,

Cassie, RN


How to React When A Patient Becomes Angry

Nursing is a profession that is at the forefront of dealing with the public. Frequently, when nurses interact with patients and families, it is in their most difficult, scariest, and emotional days of their lives. As you can imagine, with emotions running high, patients and family members can often lash out and become irate. As a new nurse, I’ve found it difficult to deal with angry patients the first couple times I’ve encountered them. Here are some tips that have helped me learn to react when a patient becomes angry, maybe they’ll be helpful to you as well.

Helpful Article for Nurses and Other Health Care Professionals, tips and advice on how to react when a patient becomes angry.

1 – Empathize with your patient. Put yourself in their shoes! If you were in their circumstance, would you be afraid? Or annoyed? Or angry? Maybe their emotions are appropriate for the situation, even if it isn’t appropriate for them to lash out at the people who are trying to help them. Seeing things from your patient’s perspective will help you move the toward a positive outcome.

2 – Don’t take it personally. This is my biggest challenge when a patient expresses anger or frustration to me. I always feel like they are angry at me when in reality, they are angry with their situation. When I remind myself it isn’t me that has caused negative feelings, I can handle the situation better. I typically dwell on the conversation until I’ve convinced myself that it wasn’t my fault, so the sooner I remind myself not to take it personal, the better.

3 – Kill them with kindness. (Code Blue!) Sometimes just returning hurtful words with words that are kind and caring can completely alleviate a situation. Return their frustration with kindness and you might just get kindness back! And even if that doesn’t change your patient’s disposition, at least you tried.

4 – If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If you are unable to open your mouth without spewing venom in a situation where a patient becomes irate, it may be better off to not say anything at all. If your words could possibly make the situation worse instead of better, it’s probably best to keep them on the inside. This advice is one of the hardest tips to use in practice, but can definitely save yourself some trouble.

5 – Set some boundaries. Everyone has the right to feel angry, frustrated, confused, hurt, and sad. However, no one has the right to use these feelings as an excuse to be a bully. If a patient or family member continues to speak to you in a disrespectful manner, it may be time to set some boundaries. If a simple, “Mr. Smith, the way you are speaking to me is disrespectful.” doesn’t help the situation, consider asking your supervisor for some guidance.

6 – Remember how they made you feel. The sad, hard truth of life is that at some point, we will likely all experience a time when we, or a loved one, are the patient instead of the healthcare professional. In those difficult times, when you are upset or angry, instead of lashing out at your healthcare team, remember how it felt when you were on the other side of ugly words. And let me remind you, typically things don’t suddenly get accomplished just because you raise your voice.

Have you ever been in a situation where a patient became angry? How did you react or respond to them? Let me know in the comments!

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Love,


Cassie, RN




Why Pokemon GO is Important

I’m gonna go ahead and make the assumption that you’ve probably heard about Pokemon GO. If you haven’t, I’m going to make the assumption you’ve spent the last month under a rock. I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably rolling your eyes, figuring it’s just another video game that doesn’t matter and waiting for me to start talking about nursing again. But this week, I’m trading my syringes for Pokeballs and we’re gonna talk about why Pokemon GO does matter.


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Players are out and about. To play Pokemon GO, you have to get up and get out. Pokestops are only found in the real world and you won’t catch ‘em all on your couch. Instead, Ninento and The Pokemon Company looked sedentary lifestyle right in the eye and said, “Not today, Obesity!” Never has “just a video game” brought kids outside like this. It also encourages kids to exercise, in order to hatch eggs (to get more Pokemon), you have to walk. And each egg has a distance assigned to it that you must walk before it will hatch. Pokemon GO has very sneakily made physical activity a priority.

It brings people together. Pokemon hunting is more fun with a group of people. I love searching for Pokemon with my little brother and love that the game gives us something to bond over. There is also almost always a large group of people hanging out at Pokestops, no matter what time of day. I myself have already met people because of Pokemon GO. I love seeing strangers share tips and advice and see each other at other Pokestops. Cellphone screens are the loneliest place there is. Isn’t it about time we do something together if we aren’t willing to put the phones down?

It prevents separation. Pokemon GO allows players to select between 3 teams to play for. These 3 teams are the same no matter what region you live in, what color you are, how old you are, how much money you make, how many Pokemon you’ve got, or what your gender you are. Three choices. In a world where so many other things are segregated and feelings get hurt when we’re “not enough”, Pokemon GO says none of that matters, you can be on our team.

It gives small towns something to do. In Eastern Kentucky, we don’t have very many activities or things to do. However, Pokemon GO is giving us something to do that we so desperately needed. These rural communities have few places to hang out, but Pokemon GO is giving them a way to hang out and have something to do. It can be so frustrating to live in a small area and constantly wish you were somewhere else doing something fun. Pokemon GO gives us something entertaining that we can do in our own small town.

It bridges the generation gap. I’ve seen more families playing this game together than I have any other game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or not, Pokemon GO is fun for everyone. It doesn’t matter if your family is competitive or all playing for the same team, it’s just fun getting out and catching them together. The game isn’t “too hard” for younger players, neither is it “too easy” for older players. It crosses the age gap and allows us to play together, young or old.

There is opportunity for ministry. I’ve recently heard about churches that are Pokestops and are using this platform to invite players to church. Many churches have a volunteer inviting players to church during prime pokemon hours. If you can get players to the physical church, it’s just a few more steps to get them inside. What an amazing and creative way to spread the gospel to a new population of people.

I’ll be honest, I never thought that at age 23 catching Pokemon would be important or even fun for me, but I am so glad I took a chance on this game. If you aren’t playing yet, I encourage you to grab your family, get out and moving, pick a team, and have fun together. Crazy to think, maybe catching these imaginary animals are making us a little more . . . human?

Do you play Pokemon GO? If so, what do you love about the game? If not, what’s holding you back?

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Love,

Cassie, RN


Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was in High School

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to some High Schoolers who are beginning their path to a career in Health Care. We talked about being the best version of themselves and how to pave their way through the dark and twisty road of high school and beyond. Here are a few we discussed and some I added later on. Maybe they’ll inspire you whether you’re in High School or not.

 

Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was In High School

1 – If you must impress someone, strive to impress your teachers, not your peers. Your teachers could care less about the clothes you wear, how perfect your hair is every day, and what party you went to over the weekend. However, they do care if you show up to their class and are attentive. Show up, every single day. Pay attention. Be respectful. Impress your teachers by being someone that others can count on. In the end, their opinions will matter far more than your classmates’ opinions of you will.

2 – You don’t actually have to be an orthopedic surgeon, just because you said you’re going to be an orthopedic surgeon. In high school, I was dead set on becoming an orthopedic surgeon, so I really struggled with the calling to become a nurse. If someone had sat me down in High School and told me that I didn’t have to commit to a career then and there, it would have saved me some grief down the road. (Although, I probably wouldn’t have believed anyone, anyway) No one will think less of you if you don’t go to medical school. In fact, if you start out saying you’re interested in medicine, and don’t even go down the Health Care path, no one will judge you. You can change your mind a million times before you actually have to commit to a career if you so choose. But if you’re ready to commit now, by all means, go for it!

3- One or two low grades in High School won’t jeopardize your seat in medical school, pharmacy school, dental school, nursing school, etc. Listen carefully here though. You don’t have to be Valedictorian to land the spot in your dream career program, but the habits you begin to develop in High School will follow you into college, grad school, career and beyond. Don’t slack off, but don’t panic if your GPA isn’t perfect. Your sanity is worth more than a 4.0.

4 – Don’t be funny at someone else’s expense. If you must laugh at someone, laugh at yourself. Trust me, people will like you more if the only person you make fun of is you. This world has too many bullies and bad guys. Be the light. Kindness matters more. And anyone who laughs at someone with you, will likely laugh at you as well.

5 – There is nothing in this world like your first heartbreak. But you will survive this. And sweet friend, this was not love, but love is waiting on you somewhere. Pray for your future spouse every chance you get.

6 – And on that note, Don’t ruin friendships because you think it’s love. And if you don’t take this advice, at least promise me you will really, really think about the consequences and how you’ll feel if this friendship is ruined before moving forward with it.

7 – Don’t spread yourself too thin. High School is stressful enough without having one million things on your plate. I 100 percent think you should get involved, but limit yourself to a couple things instead of every single thing your school offers. Find something you are passionate about and chase it passionately. You’ll actually have the time you want to invest in it and do everything else you need to do as well. From a chronic people pleaser, trust me on this one.

8 – Be the kind of friend you want to have. It’s as simple as treating others the way you want to be treated. Be loyal, be kind.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were in High School? Is there anything you would add to my list?

“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.” Proverbs 4:5

Love,

Cassie, RN