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We all love poop.

Being a children’s nurse, poop is a big part of your life. Poop. Wee. Vomit. Blood. They’re all a part of a nurse’s life, but poop. That’s got to be a children’s nurse’s favourite.

For some reason, whenever you get a handful of children’s nurses together, in the same room, the conversation will somehow, end up at poop. It’s a magnet.

Today, I had a lovely 30 minute chat with the nurses about poop. I mean, sure it’s natural for mum’s to talk poop about their newborns etc, but, this. This was the good stuff. Adolescent poop. Have I made you want to skip your next meal? If not, keep reading!

Suuuupposedly, a teenage fella had a abscess on his bottom. Best place for one, really. So, he needed weekly dressings. According to the nurse, he wasn’t the best at wiping away the debris… She didn’t think he attempted to do that whatsoever… So, the smell. Ohhhh, I can just imagine the smell!

I also heard of a young lady who, for one reason or another, did not poop for 3 weeks. She was eating normally, but would just not go. Ughhh. Can you imagine that?! Supposedly, because she was so backed up, her breath began to smell of poop… Do you still want dinner? How about a poop mint instead?

My other one, a personal one. Not as in I did it. That’s just not how I roll. Or skid ha ha. But, last year I remember we had some child ~ or their parent, we never did find out! ~ who needed a poop. So they went to the loo. Great start. Their bed was a good walk from the loo, a 30 second walk if that… But, they obviously didn’t make it there in time. So there was some lovely, skidmarks, shall we say, halfway between the bay of beds and the loo… And when I say skidmarks, that’s putting it nicely. It was more, diarrhea. To make things worse, the person managed to leave half of it ON the toilet seat. AND not clean up after themselves, or alert a staff member to this.

Sometimes, sometimes I love my job. And poop. Obviously, we all love poop!

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A Right Spirit & Failure.

I’m reading Ps Brian Houston’s 10 Day Devotion at the moment – My Spirit, My Responsibility. Day 6 today is brilliant.

“In life, sometimes we win and sometimes we learn. Every mistake or failure is a chance to grow and learn, and if you understand that then you’ll never lose – you either win or you learn – both of them are worthwhile.”

When I read that, I thought of athletes. I’m obviously not an athlete. But athletes and sportsplayers, they go out and run a race, or play a game, and they either win or lose. Like, the English football team. We always lose. But, if I was an athlete, and I lost a game or race, I’m guessing my next move would be to watch that game or race, learn from my mistakes, and practice even more until my next game or race. And if I happened to lose again, I’d watch it again, learn from it, and practice. It’s not really rocketscience.

But how often do we make a mistake, and dwell on it. How often do we lose in life, and stay in that same place. If an athlete did that, do you think his manager woul let him back on the field for the next game, or ever? No, of course not! And yet we think it’s okay to do that in life. I know I’m guilty of doing it myself – failing, making a mistake, losing, and not learning from it and getting better.

But I think it’s about time I forget my mistakes. I’ve accepted my mistakes and I’ve forgiven myself a long time ago about some things, but I’ve not yet stopped rewatching the game and started practising to get better for the next game. I’ve not yet forgotten those mistakes so I can learn from them and win.

The other thing I found that stuck out in this was this:
“When it comes to loaning things, I believe that if you can’t afford to lose it, you shouldn’t lend it. You are better off to just give and be generous than to put someone in a position where they have power over your failure or your success.”

That’s good. Immediately, my mid went to money. People lend money all the time and you hear them (compaining) that they never got it back. But what if they had just given it, generously, to begin with, not expecting that person to repay it. I really hope one day I can be that kind of person. Someone who is blessed enough just to bless people freely.

This lending applies to other things too. That book you lent your best friend. That jacket you lent your sister. That DVD your ex borrowed. And all of which never gave them back… Don’t lend it if you’re not happy with them keeping it as a gift! – again, this speaks so much to me! Forgiveness, SJ. Let it go. (Thanks Frozen!)

But this also applies to friendships, relationships, non-material things. How often do we go out for coffees and pay for a friend’s coffee, expecting them to pay next time you do it. How often do we go to a friend’s party, expecting something in return. How often do we give our love, time, energy to friends and family, only to expect something in return.
I think this year, I want to be able to give – money, time, energy, love – without expecting anything in return. Without expecting it to be “repaid” to me. I’m going to give generously, give wisely, and leave it at that.

It’s time we stopped expecting things in return. Have no hidden agenda, no motive, except to love, to spend time, to give to others.

SJ x

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God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    His merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great Your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

~ Lamentations 3:22-24 (MSG)

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I’ve been thinking about school lately. Highschool, to be exact.

I was speaking to a friend the other day about what subjects I took in highschool. Initially, it was more or less the basics with Latin and French added into it… When I got to GCSE age (year 11) I moved schools. Thankfully at the new school, PE, my most hated subject, wasn’t compulsory anymore. I still played netball, and eventually football too… But being forced into playing sport or exercising. No thank you! So I ended up doing a weird mixture of subjects in year 11. The compulsory English, Science and Maths, but I added History, Latin and Music. History, that was fun! I loved learning about the World Wars. Music,

Anyway, year 11 came and went, leading me into year 12. That’s the equivalent of A Levels. So I picked more Sciencey subjects – Bio, Chem, Physics, rather than the bum History / Music, despite reeeeally enjoying History. Music, however, I did not enjoy, despite loving it at a younger age… Anyway, I kept with English and Maths, again the only compulsory subjects, and kept Latin again.

And again, in year 13, the equivalent to the second year of A Levels, when most kids did only 5 subjects, I kept at all 6. None of which were now compulsory, but I stuck with English and Calculus, Latin, Bio, Chem and Physics.

English though, along with Maths, I must admit, to this day are still my favourite subjects. I don’t know what that says about me. A future nurse who finds more joy in Maths and English than she does the Sciences? What is this?! Maybe it was my teachers. I don’t actually remember any of their names during highschool. I remember their faces. My Maths teachers throughout year 11-13 were great. To this day I do love a little maths equation. How nerdy. The other day we did a mock exam for maths at university, and it’s really quite sad to say, I really enjoyed it. It was so satisfying getting back into numbers… I know it’s not really maths, but I might just have to get back into Sudoku. Numbers and I definitely get on… But, it’s interesting that, although I really enjoy numbers and maths, I would never in my wildest dreams want to do accountancy or finance or anything like that…. It’s a bit weird…

My year 11 English teacher was also my year 13 English teacher and she was great. Again, I don’t remember her name, or really anything that happened in those lessons. But the books, poems and films we studied those years were great! If I remember right, they included: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the film Out Of The Blue and a bunch of Maya Angelou poems. There was a few other books and films we studied but they escape me for some reason! But I found, especially during years 11-13 (although I barely remember year 12 English for some reason!), I really enjoyed writing. I think that’s partly the reason why I started this blog. I like writing. I don’t like writing essays (unless it’s something I’m super passionate about, or something I’ve really gotten into. Like my Law & Ethics essay last year, that I really enjoyed. I’m sure when I eventually stop procrastinating too, I’ll really enjoy writing this Child Development one too!).
But I also remember around then I wrote letters to the girls too. They weren’t great letters. Just a page or so that I’d give to a friend after we finished class or something. There was one memorable one that I gave my friend Anna just before she went off to Tibet for a holiday, maybe? Anyway, I wrote that for weeks. It ended up being a good 20 pages, back and front, with the odd picture – I cannot draw! But that was fun.

But, except for those few years in highschool, English totally doesn’t stand out to me. Like, I wouldn’t want to do it at uni, it just seems boring. And it’s really annoying now, but I also can’t seem to get back into the groove of reading anymore. I thought I had it the year before last (2013), when I managed to finish TWO books in one year. But 2014, I failed again. It’s not even like my books are boring. They seem SUPER interesting. But I can’t seem to read anything fully. And I miss reading. I miss just lounging around and being so engrossed in a book! I miss that!

Ugghh. Anyway, here’s hoping that this fling with blogging gets me back into writing, which ~hopefully~ gets me back into reading. Hopefully I’ll finish a few books this year, something other than The Princess Bride, again.

SJ x

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My thoughts on Biology…

So, I’m studying for my life sciences exam in just under two weeks… Biology always amazes me.

I have found this year so far, I’ve loved my university modules. Life Sciences (biology), Child Development and Mental Health. Child Development in itself is ridiculous. I love finding out all those little bits that God is up to when He makes a foetus and it, in turn, grows into a baby. The first week of that module we were told to watch a documentary, War In The Womb, and that was beautiful! How does the unborn child’s body know how to do all this? How does the mother’s body realise that there’s a baby growing and not want to kill off the “parasite”.
Life itself, it really is a miracle… But really that’s all another post in itself…

But, biology, it’s always amazed me. It just reiterates my belief in God. Not just in God, but that God created us for His glory. How else could you explain the body having all these magical and wonderful things going on?

I’m learning thermoregulation at the moment. Pretty much how your body is able to keep itself at a normal temperature… Because obviously, a person is unable to survive long periods of time at one extreme or the other – i.e. having too high or too low of a body temperature. So your body somehow manages to keep you, most of the time, at your 36.5ish degrees celsius.

But how does your body know how to do that? There had to be some mastermind behind us who came up with such a genius idea to such a small problem.

Like, for me personally, I don’t normally think twice about my body’s ability to keep my temperature normal unless something bad happens, i.e. me currently having a fever. I’ve got a fever and it’s only now that I’m thinking, “okay body, sort yourself out”. Except for now, every other day of my life, I don’t really care for my temperature. I mean, sure I know when I’m cold or hot and I’ll add or remove layers of clothing as necessary… But it’s such a small part of my body, a tiny part in my life. And yet, that giant, magnificent God up there in the Heavens. The same God who created the beautiful stars and planets. The same God who created the mountains and the rainforests. That same God who did all that, He created a mechanism in my tiny little body, so that my body regulates its temperature and I don’t die of fever or hypothermia within a day of being born. He made that mechanism in my body that 99% of the time I even forget is there!

Like, honestly, how ridiculous is that!? That my God cares so much for me that He’d do that. He’d make that tiny weeny, forgettable thing in me. It’s really those little things. The mechanisms that regulate my temperature. The hormones in my body that stop me from losing too much blood when I get a paper cut. The insulin that makes sure my glucose levels are normal. Those little things that the majority of us take for granted, that no one really takes time to think about during our busy hectic lives. Those little things that God made in our body, in Adam & Eve during those first 7 days in the world’s beginning…

In my head, (although God is waaaaay more organised than me), I assume that those 7 days were pretty crazy-busy for God. He created the earth, the waters and land, the animals, and humans. Everything. And yet, in those seven days He not only perfected the animals, fish to swim in the seas, birds to fly in the sky and animals to roam the land… But He did a pretty sweet job of creating us humans, Adam & Eve… And He didn’t do what I would have done. He didn’t just do most the job of creating Adam, create the main exciting bits, the head, arms, legs, torso, heart, brain, lungs. Those very vital bits we need. I would have probably done those and stopped, needed a break, finished off the following day after a nap. (I’m glad I’m not God!). But, God perfected the man. He created that mechanism in Adam’s body to keep his temperature normal. He created nerves and hormones. Blood vessels. Hairs on Adam’s arms. Even things that Adam probably wouldn’t need for a while – the hormone cortisol, the main stress hormone. I don’t actually know what Eden was like, but I doubt there was much for Adam to be stressed about in Eden. I mean, God had their back! That same hormone also helps to increase the circulation of nutrients in the body which is super helpful when fasting… And why, if you’re living in Eden, surrounded by every fruit and veg that you would ever want, why would you be fasting in a land of plentiful?

In those first 7 days, God sorted us out with everything we might ever need in our tiny bodies. It’s almost like, He had our back even before we thought we might ever need it. Before I had my fever, I didn’t think to myself “oh, hey thermoregulation, how you doing, I need you today!”… When I have breakfast, or am chilling by the tv, I don’t think “ohh, I definitely need some cortisol later tomorrow”. But God knew I need those. He knows I need that thermoregulation otherwise I’ll get a fever. He knows that this cortisol will help when I’m fasting, or am stressed by exams. He knows it all.

I know when I pray, I usually don’t tell him about my thermoregulation. I don’t ask God to increase the production of white blood cells. Nor do I remind God that my hormone levels need to be sorted out. I don’t think anyone does, do they, unless something is specifically wrong with these parts of their body… But, you know, God has already given these tiny mechanisms to us. Even before we wanted them… It’s not necessarily what we want. But it’s what we need. He’s given us what we need to survive.

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Day 2.

I’m sick.

I know it’s just an annoying cold, but it’s fully come at the worst time ever. Not only is it the start of the year, where I was hoping to organise my life, but exams. I have exams in just under two weeks. Two exams, as well as one essay, AND placement starts next week. Like how is that for bad timing!

On a very small positive note, two days in I’m on top of my resolutions. Obviously, I’m still blogging… I’ve started the She Reads Truth devotions so far, and I’m going to try and keep up with their Bible In One Year (#365DaysOfTruth). Annnd, I’m doing a 30 Day Squat Challenge.. That’s so far been the hardest… Day 1: 50 squats, done. Day 2: 55 squats, done. It ends at 30 days with 250 squats. Which really, that’s a ridiculous amount to do in one session! It’s quite good though, because the website I found that on have a bunch of 30 day fitness challenges, so here’s hoping I can do at least 10 of them this year!
Better start praying for that motivation!…

SJ x

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Goodbye 2014… Hello 2015!

As another year draws to a close, I love to reflect on all that’s happened. The good, the bad, the ugly.
2014 has been a great year, living in London.. Crazy busy, but filled with fun!

I’m now a year closer to graduation… A year closer to being a registered children’s nurse… That in itself has scared me. To think that I’m halfway through my studies!… But, 2014 has been manic, study-wise. Placements that made me want to cry. Some of those definitely tested me and I questioned whether this was really what I wanted to do. On top of that, finding motivation to get up out of bed for 5am to get to a very, very tiring 12 hour shift. That was tough… Exams and assignments too… And learning that procrastination is the most stressful part of studying!
But it wasn’t all bad. As much as I complained about my placements, I loved them. Especially seeing some of the kids that I nursed last year, all fit and healthy now… And especially seeing the boys that were now cancer-free. That definitely got some tears out of me!! There’s also the fact that I’ve made some great friendships at university… It’s nice to have a little group that are all in the same boat as me… It’s nice to have someone you can have hour-long conversations about children’s poo and vomit with – it’s all part of the job!

I’ve found, it’s also been quite a good year socially… I was thinking about this last week, about 2014, and initially I thought it was just an average year. Nothing amazing, nothing terrible. Just average… And then I started looking though my photos. And it’s been quite a good year, really. Socially, I’ve found some great friends at uni. At least a couple who I hope will be life-long friends… There’s also the case of finding some great friends early in 2013/2014 at church, to have them all but unfriend me when we left it… That was painful. I’m a very friend-focused person. I don’t know why, it always annoyed me just how much effort I put into friendships, because generally, most of my friends wouldn’t put as much effort in and would disappoint me one way or another… Moving church and having most of the people I regarded as friends disappoint me, well, that really did hurt. But then I realised that friends are there for seasons in your life. As much as I really wished I was still friends with some of them, it was good while the friendship lasted. We had fun! So although my friendship group is nowhere near as large as it was when 2014 started, I’ve learned a few things from this…

But socially, it’s been a good year. I’ve seen some great bands and comedians live. The comedians especially, it was great just having my face hurt from laughing so much!!! I also went to my very first English football game! And I had a few friends from home visit me here in London, which was lovely! On top of that, I saw some very close family friends who are very frail and old and well, I hadn’t seen in, over 10 years! I call them my grandparents, because they’re really the closest thing I’ve ever had to grandparents… It was both lovely and really sad to see them… The last time I remember seeing them, they were full of life and energetic… And now to see them so old and frail, it was really quite depressing. It also reiterated that I could definitely not do adults nursing, just because seeing them like that had me on the verge of tears!

What else, what else…

Church… Like I said, as a family we moved church around August 2014 for personal reasons, really… That was tough, especially seeing as we felt God call us to that church, and we’d been a part of the planting of it since early 2013… But, you know, God has a plan, and He knows what He’s up to! So we’ve been to a number of churches recently, searching for a new one… I’ve found personally, Hillsong to be the closest to what feels like home… Although I’m really not sure because although I do get a lot out of the worship and the service, I just find it quite difficult to, I dunno, fit in… It’s almost like I don’t feel welcome, and all my attempts to befriend people there feel quite forced by me. So I’m really not sure about it…
But I’ve been to most Hillsong services since about September, including one night session at Hillsong Conference at the O2 Arena. That was spectacular. It always blows me away to see what God is up to in London! It’s amazing to see thousands upon thousands pack into an arena that is normally used for popstars or comedians… But instead, that night, it was used to declare the love of Jesus over our city and to see His name lifted higher than any other name! I also went to one of the Hillsong’s women’s event – Sisterhood. It was put on in a club within the O2 complex and again, it was amazing to see so many women gather under the name of Jesus and to stand on every promise He’s given us! Honestly, I used to always hate large gatherings of women – I thought it was so fake, too judgemental and full of gossip, I always tried to get out of going… But since I’ve been in the UK, Jesus has sorted that out in me. I’ve realised that those events full of women that I hated, they’re the birthplace of something amazing, something beautiful! Anyway, that’s another story for another day…

The other thing I’ve loved last year is being able to give back. I know that sounds super cheesy. But I’ve loved being able to volunteer for stuff and help out just because I can. I volunteered at the Tower of London when they had the Poppy installation. That was special. 888,246 poppies spread out on the Tower of London’s moat, symbolising every single man and woman who laid down their life for our freedom in World War I. Seeing all those people who gave their life for our freedom. The whole installation had such an impact on the UK, and I’m really glad they did it. I’m really glad I could be a part of it too.

As well as volunteering, I’ve been given a great opportunity to work at university too last year, and then later being promoted into a senior position. Not only is it some extra cash, it’s helped me to build up contacts and friends within the university. It’s a mixture of things, ranging from working with highschool children, to answering phones, to taking tours, and I’ve really, really enjoyed it! It’s also given me something fun to look forward to outside of the actual university studies and placement…

And so, that was my 2014. As I said, it’s been a good year. It’s been a year that I can say, I don’t think I have any regrets. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ve enjoyed what and who God’s brought into my life.

So now, 2015. I don’t really know what to expect.
It’ll be my second-going-on-third year of university, meaning more responsibility, harder work and higher expectations.  Also now as a senior student ambassador, I’ll have more responsibility too. I’ll also be 25 this year, ohhhmy!!! Scary! I’ll be like an actual adult… So, 2015 is the year of more responsibility? Who knows! I do know though, that this year is God’s year to do what He wants.

I must admit though, I never keep my New Year’s Resolutions… I think because I usually make this huge to-do list and just can’t really be bothered… But I’ve got three New Year’s Resolutions for this year, 2015…

1. Blog regularly. At the very least, once a week. I just want to write down my thoughts, maybe one day they’ll turn out useful!
2. Fall ridiculously in love with Jesus. I’ve found last year, that friendships come and go, but this year I don’t want my bestfriendship with Jesus to go anywhere!
3. Fit into my ball gown… It’s embarrassing to say, I tried my 2008 ball gown on last night, and it didn’t fit. So, I want to fit back into that by my 25th birthday… Six months. Hello new body!

Other than these three resolutions, I just want to have a fun year! And learn to stop procrastinating….
So really, that’s 5 resolutions…

SJ x