Apraxia Awareness Day 2023: Caiden’s Apraxia Journey

On Caiden’s third birthday, hot tears of disappointment and frustration adorned my cheeks like sprinkles on a cupcake. You see, Noah, my 5 year old, had been saying for months, “When Caiden turns 3 years old, he’s going to talk like us! When he’s 3, he’ll speak just like me.” The child-like faith that has been instilled in me for generations was stirred by his words. And while I fully understood that speech delays don’t work like that, my child-like faith experienced child-like disappointment when God’s answer to Noah’s plea was a gentle, “Not yet.” I can still see the Thomas the Train birthday banner I was hanging above the window as I cried in annoyance with Caiden, who desperately needed something from his mama, but try as I might, I couldn’t understand his words. Desperately, he told me over and over what he wanted. I would guess and get it wrong, and he would cry harder. I would ask Noah if he understood what his brother was saying. More often than I care to admit, Noah would translate for us. It seemed like he understood Caiden better than the rest of us, and I felt both admiration and jealousy of this brotherly bond. If Noah didn’t know, we would play a broken and distressed version of charades – until Caiden either gave up or we guessed correctly. All five of us were exhausted, Caiden was desperate for connection and communication, and God answered our prayer with “Today isn’t the day that Caiden’s speech will suddenly catch up and be corrected. Not yet.” My tears blurred Thomas and Percy’s smiles as I finished securing the birthday banner.

Most days were like this. When I think back to Fall 2022, my memories are a blur of sick kiddos, attempting to help Noah adjust to kindergarten, balancing going back to work with 3 kids, communication that consisted only of a series of broken syllables, grunts, and pointed fingers, watching people misunderstand Caiden’s speech, speech therapy appointments with goals that remained unmet for months, reminders of “use your words” and “move your mouth when you speak,” and more tears than I could ever count. Caiden spent most days angry, sad, anxious, or frustrated. A lot of nights I went to bed tired and teary eyed, discouraged and disheartened. What kind of mom can’t understand her own child’s voice? What kind of mom must I be if Caiden doesn’t even want to talk to us? How could I have prevented his frustration today? Should I have read to him more when he was a baby? Most of the first 2 years of his life, we wore face masks due to COVID. Could this be the reason he’s struggling with speech? I would pray nearly every night, God, make this easier. Make Caiden’s experience easier. Frequently, I would crawl into bed next to him and pray over him. I would text my mom after he had fallen asleep, “It’s been another hard day, please pray.” For her December birthday, Mom asked her trusted friends and prayer warriors to pray for Caiden during designated times of the day. In my own vulnerability, I asked our small group, some church members, and coworkers to pray alongside us for Caiden. I begged them to pray big and bold prayers on his behalf. My own heart echoed each day, Lord, make a way for him, make it easier for him; make it easier for us.

In January, I committed to spend every single day in the Gospels. With a plan each month to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and record what stood out to me in each pass through. I’ve heard many of these stories hundreds of times in my life, but on this particular day, the story of Jesus healing a deaf and mute man stopped me in my tracks. 

“After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.” – Mark‬ ‭7‬:‭33-35

I had heard that story told by dozens of pastors and Sunday school teachers over the years, but that day, hearing the words “The man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened…” felt like God saw my struggle in the same way that Jesus saw the struggle of the deaf and mute man: up close and personal. My prayers changed in that instant. I dropped the mascara I had been applying while listening to Mark’s words, so I could talk to Jesus. With clenched fists, I had been holding on to the prayer that God would change Caiden. But from then on, my new prayer was, “Lord, if You aren’t ready to loosen Caiden’s tongue, would You instead open my ears to understand him better?”

Later that month, I needed new language for what Caiden was dealing with as I completed an application for him to attend a day camp at the high school. “Speech delay” didn’t quite fit anymore for a 3.5 year old who spoke full and complete sentences, but words in his sentences weren’t understood by listeners. I brought my question to our kind and caring speech therapist who had been seeing Caiden consistently for 6 months. At this point, he had already been in speech therapy for over a year, but I truly believe the consistency of one therapist over the course of this season was evidence of God’s provision. His therapist tenderly told me that Caiden had consistently not met speech goals, and although he could follow directions incredibly well, he couldn’t recreate the words and sounds she would prompt him to say. She did an assessment that very day and explained to me that she suspected Caiden has childhood apraxia of speech, a motor function speech disorder.

That afternoon, I turned to Google. Until the day I was told my son had childhood apraxia of speech, I had never heard the term. I read descriptions of apraxia of speech in every variety, from layman’s terms to professional articles. I listened to podcasts from professionals, found a Facebook group for parents, and soaked up every bit of information I could. For a few days, we grappled with what this all meant for Caiden. We grieved a little. And then, like any mom on a mission, I got to work. While rocking Levi for a nap, I made a bulleted list on my phone of every step of advocacy Caiden would need from me–from obtaining documentation of his official apraxia diagnosis by his pediatrician to getting more resources for him to methods of better communication with him. I texted my list to Drew with the same urgency as a flaming arrow.  It was the first time I really realized our boy is fighting for his voice, and from that moment on, I refused to let him go to battle alone. Sweet Levi snoozed in my arms, unbeknownst that while he dreamed, his parents were applying their battle armor. 

Fast forward to today. Currently, we have increased our number of speech sessions per week, and Caiden will get even more speech therapy in the fall. The therapy he’s receiving is a specific therapy that is evidence-based in treating CAS. We’re now learning and using a ton of American Sign Language as a family. Caiden also has several “freestyle” signs and gestures that he has created himself and uses to communicate with us. We have entirely eliminated the phrases “Use your words,” “Move your mouth,” and “I don’t understand you,” from our vocabularies and won’t allow anyone else to say those things to him either. Caiden has received a grant to help cover speech therapy co-pays. Drew and I received a scholarship to attend an Apraxia Conference to learn more about what our boy is overcoming. I wish I could go back and tell myself at Caiden’s 3rd birthday that God’s “Not yet” that day was really more like a “Buckle up; your schedule is about to become very busy but just wait until you see the joy in the process. Also, strengthen up that patience muscle, Sis. You’re in for the long haul.” Maybe Thomas and Percy wouldn’t have looked so blurry if I could have known all of this then.

The Lord has been abundantly kind to answer my prayer request of opening our ears to better understand Caiden’s speech with a “Yes!”.  Most days I understand his words better than I did in the past and almost always better than anyone else around him. He’s happier now; he laughs more often. My boy attempts to speak more now than ever before, even when we can’t understand. Instead of crying, these days when he can tell a listener doesn’t understand right away, he says “Follow me!” so he can show them his needs. He combines speech with signs and gestures to better communicate his words. Recently, I sneezed, and when he said, “Bless you, Mama!” I nearly wept, because he had never said that before. Caiden works so hard at his speech every single day; his resiliency is truly outstanding. And as far as I’m concerned, there are few things in life cuter than a preschooler using sign language. Every day still has its own challenges with communication, articulation, and understanding, but I will be the first to confess that today is easier than Caiden’s birthday was. However, it isn’t lost on me that while Caiden has progressed and the hard work is his alone to claim, the Lord first had to humble me to realize I was a work in progress, too. My desire for “this” to become easier wasn’t met until I stopped asking God to change Caiden and instead, asked God to change me.

Caiden’s apraxia diagnosis has opened doors for him and for Drew and me, as his advocates. We now have language to better understand the challenges he faces, support groups where we glean wisdom from families further down the road than we are, and a therapy team who sees Caiden’s strengths and weaknesses and knows he’ll want a blue sucker after his session. But it would be unfair of me and unfair toward Caiden to wrap this up with a pretty bow. The Lord has answered some of our prayers with a “Yes,” but He’s answering many of our prayers with a “Not yet.” YES, Caiden is making significant progress, and yet his speech is over 50% unintelligible even to a familiar listener AKA his own parents. YES, our boy is resilient and yet how tired he must be of repeating himself. YES, I see our boy who is happier and more confident than he was six months ago, and yet I know he still has an uphill battle for every sound and syllable that is second nature to us. YES, I will sing along to “Christ be Magnified” when it is played during worship at church, and yet I will cry through the opening line: “Were creation suddenly articulate” because sudden articulation was my literal prayer for our son not too long ago. YES, doors have opened for Caiden and yet the key to those doors has been plans of care and IEP paperwork that make my eyes burn with tears. YES, childhood apraxia of speech isn’t something I would have wished for Caiden and yet naming what he’s facing has answered prayers that I didn’t even know I had. YES, the Lord has opened my ears to better understand my boy, and yet today isn’t the day he has quite loosened Caiden’s tongue. 

Not yet.

So we will wait. Like Abraham and Sarah waited for a promise to be fulfilled. Like Hannah waited for her own little boy. Like Joseph waited in prison: with purpose and without bitterness. Like Elizabeth and Zechariah waited for the forerunner of Christ, but no one ever mentions the impatience they must have felt waiting for the return of ol Zech’s voice, and I can’t help but empathize with Elizabeth–waiting for the voice of someone you love is a really hard wait, too. . .

We will wait, but we will praise Him in the waiting.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.” Philippians 4:8

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1

The Lord’s Army

Saying "Yes Sir!" to God

I’m a terrible singer. And I’m not just saying that. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but thankfully my 6 month old son doesn’t know that. I love to sing praise and worship songs and Noah loves it when I sing to him so everyone wins!

Recently, I’ve been singing old Sunday School songs that I grew up singing along to. One of my favorites is “The Lord’s Army”. Have you heard of it before? Maybe you need a refresher?

I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly o’er the enemy
But I’m in the Lord’s army!
Yes Sir!

I’m in the Lord’s army!
Yes sir!
I’m in the Lord’s army!
Yes sir!

This song was legit. We were allowed to stand up during this song, because each line had its own motions that made the song even better. During the “Yes Sir!” Part of the song, we would salute our Sunday School teachers and one another, and enthusiastically raise our voices. “Yes Sir!”, we would say as loud as permissible, with grins across our faces. I look back at singing this song, and remember everyone having fun singing it, but it seems like the “Yes Sir!” part sticks out the most.

So yesterday, as I’m singing this song to my little boy while he splashes in the bath tub, I sing it exactly how I remember it, motions and all. Emphasizing the “Yes Sir!” and even saluting to Noah to make him grin back at me. And suddenly my adult heart and my child heart collide and I’m overwhelmed with guilt.

As a Christian, and a soldier for the Lord’s Army, I’m called to say “Yes Sir!” as enthusiastically and happily as I did while singing this song in Sunday School to anything God calls me to do. However, instead of saying “Yes Sir!”, I’m guilty for making excuses.

“You must mean someone else, Lord.”
“I’m not well equipped for that, someone else could do it better.”
“The timing isn’t great.”
“I can’t afford to do that right now.”
“When I’m finished with school.”
“Someone might judge me.”
“I’m too afraid.”
“I don’t know how.”
“I’m too tired.”
“I don’t think I can do it.”

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Friends, this thought hit me like a ton of bricks! Our Heavenly Father is the Commander in Chief of His Army with the very greatest mission in all of the universe which is for others to know His grace and His love so they can spend eternity with Him.

And yet here I am, looking at my feet in doubt when I should be grinning and saluting and yelling “Yes Sir!”

So now, I’m praying that God will take my hands into His. I pray that He will hold my hands that are too often spent wringing in worry and teach them how to salute instead. I pray that I won’t let my own “stuff” get in the way of His mission. I pray that The Lord will use my life and my family as a vessel for His divine mission. I’m praying the same for you, friends.

So here’s to less excuses and more saluting. To saying “Yes Sir!” even when we’re afraid of the order because God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22:5‬ ‭

Love Always,

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I hope that you guys are having a blessed day with your families and have lots to be grateful for – today and everyday! Here’s ten things I’m thankful for this season:
1 – My relationship with the Lord. I fail Him daily, yet He has never failed me. I am grateful to have a Heavenly Father who loves me abundantly when I don’t deserve it. He cares for me, and best of all, He desires a relationship with me in return. I’m thankful that the King of kings laid down His life so I could have life more abundantly in Him.
2 – My husband. In the past year of pregnancy and parenting, my husband has shown me grace upon grace. I am so grateful for the servants heart he has shown me time and time again. He works so hard for us. My love for him grows daily and Drew has truly been the most amazing partner, friend, and father I could have asked for our family. I‎t is a blessing to love and be loved by him.
3 – My son. I don’t think I understood how deep and wide the depths of my heart was until I met the tiny human I call mine. I am so grateful for his smiles and I want to bottle up his little baby laughs and squeals so I can always remember their music. I am thankful for every single beat of his heart and I love that the Lord lets me be his momma.
4 – Our armed forces. I am so grateful for the dedication and commitment of the American soldier. For protecting us and our freedoms while sacrificing time with your own family, thank you.
5 – Chick-Fil-A. Do I even need to elaborate? Hearing the sweet voices of the kind employees saying “my pleasure” feels like coming home. There’s nothing better than a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries in my book. Can we just skip the turkey and have Chick-Fil-A instead? 
6 – Coffee. This delicious nectar of the gods has been giving me life these days. In a “gotta have it, can’t stop, won’t stop” kinda way. Thank you, Sweet Jesus for coffee with creamer!
7 – Sleep. Since being a new mom and a night shift nurse, sleep is a luxury that I feel like I never appreciated. This year, I am especially thankful for sleep because I’ve been guilty of taking it for granted in the past. 
8 – FaceTime. FaceTime has allowed me to better communicate with our friends and family while living in Texas. I’m so grateful that technology helps us stay in touch and still see each other, even virtually. Definitely better than nothing!
9 – Pretzel and Pepper. Our little cat and dog can sometimes add more things to our already full to do list, but honestly, I wouldn’t be “me” without them. They’re sweet and snuggly and cheer me up when I’m sad. I’m thankful that our son will grow up with a dog best friend and learning about responsibility, love, and kindness.
10 – Friends and Family, aka YOU! I’m so thankful for the network of love that Drew and I have. Love, laughter, and support are priceless and Drew and I have an abundance thanks to our family and friends. Y’all are loved.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

God’s Grace in a Back Brace

God's Grace in a Back Brace

Long before I ever dreamed up the possibility of the letters RN following my name, I was a little girl with another dream. A dream rooted deeply in personal experience and passion driven by frustration. Before I began chasing this dream, I dreamed of becoming a pediatric orthopedist because this girl was on a mission to fight the object that angered me most: my back brace.

I was prescribed a back brace for my kyphosis in the 7th grade. I remember I hated my brace, but not more than my momma hated it for me. I recall being an adolescent, desperate to fit in, which was sometimes hard because my back brace literally stuck out 3-4 inches right between my shoulder blades. Once, in the heat of an argument, my sister called me ugly because of my brace (don’t worry, we’re cool now). And another time, I remember my dad threatening to ground me because I hadn’t worn my brace in a couple hours (He was the compliancy police when it came to that back brace). I remember a kid in my class that used my back brace as a set of drums with his pencils when his assigned seat was behind mine. And I remember my little cousin being born and not being able to snuggle him as a sweet baby because the plaster I was encased in was the very opposite of gentle. I’ll never forget my collection of maternity jeans as a 7th grader because the elastic fit over my brace better. Or the time I woke up in the middle of the night to rip my brace off because I couldn’t sleep comfortably with it on.

But when I look back at my time in a back brace, I don’t remember those challenges as specifically as you would think I would. In fact, I really have to make myself dig deep and get to the hard stuff to reflect on those moments. Instead, I remember grace. Sweet, beautiful, unmerited grace that I didn’t deserve.

At the time, I don’t think I fully understood the impact that brace would have on me. To this day, not a day goes by that it or my scoliosis doesn’t cross my mind. At the time, I don’t think I could have grasped the platform that my brace was going to have on my future. I don’t think I realized that I would one day use it to speak to groups of high schoolers about pursuing careers in medicine and leadership. I never could have predicted that wearing that brace for two years would lead me to lifetime in healthcare.

You see, that’s how God’s grace works sometimes. During the challenge, we don’t always see the way the Lord is working in us. We only see the hard parts, the parts that make us go home and cry and tear off the orthotic devices our dad says we have to wear. While the Lord is working on us, we only see the construction zone that looks more like demolition. And we forget to read the sign that says “Please excuse our mess, construction in progress”.

But friend, even when it’s messy and challenging, and just plain miserable, God’s grace is still in action. He’s cooking up something amazing for us during our time of weakness. I have to believe that those two years in a brace were shaping more than just my spine. Those years spent wrapped in shiny metal and hard plaster would soften my heart for my future patients.

I saw God’s Grace in a back brace. I still see it every day in my life, how He challenged me for two years to mold me into the person I am today. I saw God’s Grace in a back brace with the outpouring of love and support from a classroom full of preteens and my compassionate teachers. I saw God’s Grace in a back brace at every single doctor’s appointment when I met children with diagnoses that had as many words as sentences.

I see God’s Grace in a back brace when I can look back at a difficult time in my life and use it to help others and glorify our Lord. This is exactly what grace is about. In fact, the Lord Jesus teaches about grace in one of my favorite scripture: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 Check out those words in red, y’all.

God’s grace was exemplified during my time in a back brace. Probably the weakest part of my life as an adolescent, but I will boast all the more gladly about that weakness so our Lord can be glorified by it. And that’s God’s Grace in a Back Brace.

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” 2 Peter 1:2


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


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


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

Cassie, RN

How Could Jesus Do Your Job Better?

It all started a couple weeks ago…

I said my typical daily prayer on my way to work and asked The Good Lord to guide my hands and give me a good attitude. I was exhausted on my way to work, after a long week of school. I felt tired, and emotionally insufficient. When I prayed, I begged God to give me a heart that loves people the way He loves people.

Very first patient of the day needed their foot wrapped, and I immediately dreaded it. (Seriously, no one likes feet.) I walked into the room with an attitude that was less than gracious, but something triggered inside of me when I entered the room. It was as if the Lord said, “Cassie, Jesus washed feet, if He washed feet, you are not too good to wrap this foot.” After that, my perspective changed. I thought to myself: How Could Jesus Do My Job Better?

how could jesus do your job better

For starters, He would have a kind heart to even the most tattered and torn toes. He would have walked into that exam room with dressing in hand, opened arms, and a glad heart. Jesus’ heart would not have hardened like mine had in the first instant. And I am so thankful he turned my heart to him and reminded me of this scripture:

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” John 14:13-17

Jesus could do my job better because He would wash feet with a cheerful heart and be blessed because of it.

Often times, the clinic becomes incredibly busy. If you ever see me working on a weekend, you’ll see me running around like a chicken with their head cut off. It can be very stressful, and my mind often races with an ever growing to do list of patient needs. When a patient asks for a glass of water, my first reaction used to be less than enthusiastic. However, when I consider how Jesus could do my job better, I am reminded that although I may give a patient a glass of water, Jesus gives living water, which is exponentially more beneficial.

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:14

As a nurse, I may hand a patient a glass of water to relieve their thirst, but Jesus does my job so much better by giving anyone who asks, the gift of living water; eternal life.

As a nurse, the most basic job description I could offer would be to help promote healing. Whether that is through administering medications, cleaning wounds, or giving injections, I am assisting patient’s in their healing. But Jesus could do my job so much better because He is the Great Physician. While I can help promote healing, I can never provide the healing power that our Lord Jesus can. Jesus can do my job better because He can truly heal.

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Luke 8:46-48

My touch will never heal, but Jesus’ hands truly heal. 

I find an amazing amount of comfort that Jesus could do my job better than I can. From here on out, my daily prayer not only begs Our Lord to let me love people like He loves people, but also allows me to thank Him for doing my job better and guiding my hands and heart to become a better nurse.

So let me ask you, How could Jesus do your job better? Because I know He can. Because in the end, it isn’t about me or you, or even about our patients (What?). Instead, it’s about doing the work for His Kingdom. And the hands and feet of Jesus are blistered, callused, and dirty. Let your work look more like His. How can you show others more of Him in your life?

I pray that Jesus does your job better than you do. I pray that Jesus guides you to be more like him, in your career and in  all aspects of your existence.

He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” John 3:30-31

How is Jesus doing your job better? How can you show the world you are Christ like?



How Nursing Taught Me Grace

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted anything because I’m in the middle of my RN preceptorship while still working weekends. Right now I’m averaging 60 hour work weeks while still doing my other class work. I realize this is the norm for a lot of people, but this part time girl is worn out! Nevertheless, I’m grateful for these opportunities to learn.

I wanted to share one of my favorite stories of working as an LPN: when a young child taught me more about my faith then I’ve learned in 23 years of life.

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                            Grace: The unmerited love and favor of God toward human.

One of my first weekends working as a nurse, I had to give injections to a room full of sick children. Because there were 3 kids, I knew I would need some help, so I grabbed my sidekick and syringes and prepared for a battle. What I didn’t know was that full fledged warfare was waiting for me behind the exam room door.

I initially assumed the oldest sibling would have her injection first. Boy, was I wrong. As soon as I attempted, a tantrum commenced. No amount of convincing could change this child’s mind! Eventually we moved on and each younger sibling took their injection with very little drama.

Then, it was time for the oldest. If you thought the temper tantrum I mentioned earlier might have been bad, this one was miserable. That child screamed and wept and kicked everyone out of their way. Even mom and dad were forcefully pushed back to their seats with flying feet and fighting fists. Friends, whatever you’ve envisioned at this time, multiply it by 10 and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have an idea of how difficult this encounter was.

Finally, with three of us as human shields and one injecting, this child  received the injection they needed. The battle was won, but I couldn’t celebrate my victory right then and there! Instead, I grabbed our “treasure chest” and allowed each child to choose a toy as their reward for taking their injections. I started with the youngest sibling, since the oldest was still laying on the exam table with tears flowing. Both younger siblings accepted their new toy and smiled. When it was the oldest child’s turn, the reaction was not the same.

Instead of being met with eagerness to see the contents of the toy chest, this child continued to weep. Even after encouragement, this child continued to cry. Eventually, she looked at me and said, “I don’t deserve to get a toy because I wasn’t good when I got my shot.” My heart melted. Again, I begged her to choose a prize. And again she said “I don’t deserve it.”

I left her a little bracelet. I don’t know if she took it home with her or not, but I hope she did. The rest of my day went on as usual, but my drive home, I found myself thinking about that family and the sweetest Son I’ve ever known.

As humans, we are that stubborn, fearful child. We fight what is good for us, we disobey the very One who gave us life, we throw punches because we don’t want what is being offered. We kick and scream and cry and yet, God still offers His love, His mercy, His salvation. And we don’t deserve it. We will never deserve it, and we know, deep down, in our heart of hearts, we don’t deserve it. And yet His mercies are new everyday. Oh, how He loves us.

I had thrown around that “grace” word for years and years, but I never truly understood it until that day. So to the stout little soldier defending them self against a rocephin injection, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that in the eyes of The Father, I am you, fighting what will make me whole. Thank you, for showing me that I don’t deserve it, but I can still receive it, because He is good. This is amazing grace.

“For by grace, are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Has nursing ever given you an “aha moment”? Has a patient ever taught you something you thought you already understood?



Scripture for Nursing Specialties

I couldn’t get through Nursing School without my faith. The past year and a half of Nursing School have seen some of the most stressful, difficult, and often discouraging days of my life. (Fellow Nursing Students, can I get an Amen?) However, God’s good grace has eased days with even the worst anxiety. Also, while working on the weekend as an LPN, some days are incredibly busy and stressful and it’s my faith that sees me through those days. Sometimes I just have to take a minute to pray for guidance and before every single shift, I beg to be the kind of nurse that glorifies our Lord.

I decided to scour my Bible for some Scripture for nurses that correlate with different specialties, and thought I’d share some Bible Verses that have gotten me through Nursing School. This list is far from all inclusive, but I hope it’s helpful just the same!




Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.    Proverbs 12:25

You won’t see this recommended by the American Heart Association, but for a healthy heart, start with speaking kind words.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart. Do not give it away blindly; surround yourself with positive people; and do not allow disappointment to blacken your heart. And protect your heart- prevent a heart attack by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly!

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

Medicine is truly amazing, people receive heart transplants all the time, but these hearts are pre-owned. Only The Lord can remove a Heart of Stone and replace it with a New Heart.


Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

“That teardrop rolling down your face, roars like thunder in His ear.”

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Corinthians 15:55

Sinners who have been saved by the Grace of God, know there is no fear in death. They’re just trading this old body in for a new body in Heaven.

Long Term Care

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

The Bible teaches us how to treat elders. It directs us to treat them as if they are our Mothers and Fathers. Pretty clear instructions, if you ask me.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.      Psalm 71:9

In this Psalm, David is begging to not be forgotten when he grows old. I think this could also be a silent prayer from elderly patients.

Obstetrics/Labor and Delivery

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

Never forget that each and every baby you care for has their whole life ahead of them and The Lord already has a plan for that little soul in your arms.

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

The greatest thing about OB is that you get to witness the miracle of life, a whole human being is created and formed and given life by the same God who maketh all! Is that not incredible?


And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

We can apply a cast or a brace to stabilize a fracture, but it’s God Almighty that makes crooked things straight.

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

Want strong bones? Trade in your broken spirit for a merry heart!


Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.        Psalm 127:3

Note to Self: Remember this Scripture the next time it is nearly impossible to swab a kid’s throat for strep.

For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:       1 Samuel 1:27

Children are a gift and a reward from Him.

And for those of us who are currently specializing in everything because we’re still in school and anything is free game on an exam…

Nursing Students

 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

Not some things, or a few things, but ALL things through Christ.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness… 2 Corinthians 12:9

In Nursing School (or any School), it is so easy to feel like your best isn’t enough. This is my favorite verse to lean on when I feel self-disappointment creeping up on me.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

Don’t be afraid, because the Lord will go with you wherever you go. This includes clinicals and exams.


Through Nursing School, my Bible is as essential as any textbook. Unfortunately though, just like with my textbooks, I’m guilty of not studying it as often as I should. I pray these words encourage you and revive you on your next shift, next exam, and in the very instant you read this.

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

What Scripture gets you through a tough day? Do you have any Bible Verses for Nursing Specialties that I should add?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small commission. But I’ll always give you honest reviews on products that I’ve tried. Pinky swear.




This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small commission. But I’ll always give you honest reviews on products that I’ve tried. Pinky swear.