Tuesday, December 22, 2009


There are only 3 days until Christmas but I am having a hard time believing it considering today was a sunny 50 degrees and there are only a few struggling patches of dirty snow hiding in the shade. Steve and I will be celebrating our first Christmas as a married couple away from our families and have high hopes of going sledding... SO... I never thought I would say this, but, "COME ON SNOW!!!!" Our other Christmas plans involve making homemade eggnog (scary... I'll let you know how that turns out) and enjoying the Christmas tree that we had to put in our bedroom because it was too girthy for the living room:). It's my first real tree ever and I love it so much. The pine smell is sensational!

Last week I got to spend a few days in North Dakota for a little bit of family/friend time. There is so much going on! My little sister is half-way through her junior year of high school and I am SO proud of her. My dear friend Tiffany is engaged and it was so much fun to see her and talk about wedding plans and see how happy she is. My beloved Sarah-ki is expecting a baby!! She is due in June. After all of our talk in Africa about our fear of old maid-hood and here we are, blessed beyond belief. Thanks God for hearing our prayers and knowing our hearts!!!

I started a new job in November and couldn't be happier about it. The long home healthcare hours and never-ending paper work was taking its toll. I am now back in the hospital and working nights on the pediatrics floor. As much as I loved the NICU I am enjoying Peds even more because of the diversity in age and diagnosis. Since October I have been taking an online class in Forensic Nursing and at my new hospital have an opportunity to take Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner classes in March/April and join their SANE team. Who would have thought that I would love this area of nursing so much? I suppose it makes some sense, since my heart has always been broken for prostitutes and the injustice which angers me more than any other is human trafficking. I see God at work in this whole process, and hope that some day I will be able to be a part of rescuing women and children from sex trafficking rings as well as making sure their captors and the people paying for sex are convicted of their crimes. Steve and I have been praying a lot about where God is leading us and what He is calling us to do with our lives. We have prayed about Africa and seriously considered moving there. But, at least for now, we don't feel like that is the direction we should go. I feel broken about many things (Africa being a huge one) and want to be involved... but my wise husband often reminds me that in order to maximize effectiveness I need to focus. So, with much prayer and God's evident leading, I am diving head-first into sexual assault nursing and we will see what He does!

Steve continues to amaze me with all of his hard work as Children's Ministry Director at our church. It's all very new to him, but he's doing a fantastic job. When he is not at church he invests a huge chunk of time into making me laugh... over and over and over again. Every evening we spend together I think to myself, "this was the best evening ever." What an amazing gift... marriage to my best friend.

Our prayer for 2010 is that the Lord would bring us to a greater degree of maturity in Him. With all of the great teaching available to us at the click of a button, it is easy to sacrifice the irreplaceable reward of digging in to God's Word and letting Him speak to our own hearts. Sometimes we can listen to a 45 minute sermon online and feel that we have done our duty, but we accomplish nothing if we are not seeking Him ourselves. This Christmas I am so grateful to God for His patience with me, His grace which covers me, and His love which I understand ever-so-slightly more this year than ever before.

Here are a bunch of wedding photos for those of you not on facebook... much love and Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Married Life

Here we are, nearly a month after our wedding and finally getting settled back into a routine. My heart feels so full today I just had to sit down and write about it. Our wedding day was my every dream come true and we savored it all. There was really only one "oopsy" during the ceremony... our sweet nephew Caden took a tumble down the stairs after performing his ring bearer duties like a pro. He was more startled than hurt, I think, and sat down with Grandma and Grandpa. There was also that minute I felt like I might faint during Pastor Jon's awesome message but it wasn't from nerves... my corset was laced a tad too tight:). How did women use to manage wearing those awful things all day? Anyway, after staring at the floor for a few seconds I felt better. Being surrounded by so many people that we love so much while choosing one another for life was just completely amazing. Newlyweds generally start out poor, but we are truly RICH in all the ways that matter.

I love my husband more than I could ever express, even though I now know that he starts snoring when he rolls onto his back at night. He quits when I poke him, so it's not a problem in the least. Unfortunately for him, he has now discovered that I am a bed hog... tossing and turning relentlessly... all night long. No amount of poking can make me quit. I think he is adjusting but maybe he's just saying that to make me feel better.

We had a few days at home before going off on a 7-day cruise of the Western Caribbean... don't even get me started on how fantastic that was. Now we're back home but it's not even sad because I get to LIVE with my BEST FRIEND. That is the best deal of all!!

Not only did I become a wife on September 6th, but I also became "Aunt Ginna". I have been waiting for this title for a long time and couldn't be happier to have it now. On Monday my 5-year-old niece, Autumn, called with some good news.

1. "Mommy is having the baby today."
2. (Said with MUCH more excitement) "I just lost my first tooth!!!!"

What a big week! We have been eagerly awaiting little Austin's arrival, and we now have 3 nieces and 2 nephews. And precious Autumn is down one tooth:).

One of the things we decided to do while on our honeymoon was set some goals and stick to them. We will have a lot more time on our hands now that the wedding is over and we don't want to waste it. Neither of us have been working out... at all... for a very long time. So we set a goal to start going to the gym again 2-3 times a week. We have been back from our honeymoon for almost two weeks and have been to the gym zero times. I, for one, am not at all upset about this. It's not only because I enjoy sitting on the couch more than running on the treadmill (although that is obviously true). As crazy as it sounds, as soon as I stopped running and going to the gym I promptly lost 15 pounds, and I don't want them back!! I'm not trying to promote laziness as an ideal weight loss program but hey, it's worked for me. I think running just makes me excessively hungry and since I run slowly I feel that I am burning more calories than I actually am. Whatever the reason, I have mixed feelings about our fitness goals. Perhaps I'll go to the gym with Steve and just walk from machine to machine, laugh under my breath at how ridiculous people look while exercising, and take lots of trips to the water fountain while my husband gets buff and I will myself to stay thin.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Failed at Part 2 :)

**Generally I try to reign in my urges to use excessive amounts of exclamation points, but I could not control it today. Sorry about that.**

Oops! I had such good intentions of blogging more thoughts about this engagement season. I have discovered that wedding planning is, in fact, not as simple as I thought it would be and time has gotten away from me. The wedding is on Sunday!!!!!!!! Can I get a WOOP WOOP?!?!?!?!? Being engaged has been fantastic. I have gained so much of a better understanding of what it means to be the bride of Christ, and how diligent I ought to be in preparing for His coming. I have also gained a better understanding of the unsearchable depths of God's love for me through Steve. Our relationship is positively wonderful, but it takes work to keep it that way! It is the same with my relationship with God, yet I am so quick to neglect it. Wasn't His design of marriage such a fantastic idea?! While being a blessing to us, it also points us to Him and creates a deeper dependency for Him.

Like most females, I have spent a good many years dreaming about my wedding. As the day approaches the top 3 things I really cannot wait to experience are...
1) Getting to wear my beautiful dress!!
2) Having the doors of the church open and seeing Steve!! We will both be an emotional mess I am sure.
3) The pronouncement of husband and wife. I know it would not be wise to jump up and down, but will I be able to contain it? Doubtful.

On that note, I need to finish packing before we board our plane for North Dakota tonight! Steve and I covet your prayers, and look forward to seeing many of you this weekend!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Saying I Do - Part 1

Not that anyone is counting, but in 35 days I will be Steve Cross's bride! Though part of me is tempted to fill the rest of this post with the famous cyber smiley faces I will spare you the sappiness... for now. The thought of our rapidly approaching wedding day fills me moment by moment with almost every emotion under the sun. During the past few days we have been working on our vows and this morning I was in tears of reverence as I thought through what they mean. These are no ordinary words! I am committing before God and witnesses that I will take this man to be my husband and love him for the rest of my life as I love myself. Even to put him before me! "Lord, are you kidding me?!" The very idea seems utterly ridiculous. Now don't get me wrong, Steve is a wonderful man. The problem is not with him but with me. The truth is I am painfully in love with my own desires and comforts. Never have I ever loved someone above myself. God's intention for marriage is that the two should become ONE flesh. We all know the sad truth that marriage in our society is suffering. Divorce rates are sky-high and often the marriages that do last are ones of learning to tolerate each other rather than celebrating one another. It seems to me that merely 'surviving' in marriage is no great victory. Call me crazy, but I believe there is so much more. This wondrous design of God can never succeed without His direct enabling and working in us to change us more and more into His likeness. We love because He first loved us, says 1 John 4:19.

In short, for this high calling of marriage I feel inadequate. I desperately need God to strip away the dark and selfish places of my heart and fill me with His love. How thankful I am that in Him there is an endless supply!

More to come...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Fear

Do you remember the clothing line that was hugely popular about 15 years ago? Everyone walked around with shirts that said "NO FEAR" in all different fonts and colors with graphics of scary looking faces next to the logos. It was a fad much like any other fad (pogs and slammers anyone?). Clearly no one wants to be considered a scaredy cat. But I must admit that I am!

If there is one thing I shouldn't be, it's fearful. God has led me and protected me through so many situations where I shouldn't have felt safe but somehow did. I wasn't afraid in Africa or in Asia or even as a cook in a strip club. Well, not after a couple of weeks anyway. But somehow when it comes to the day to day issues of life I find that I am a complete worry-wart. I worried myself ragged that perhaps I would never meet my handsome prince. Perhaps God would want me to stay single and I would be an old maid missionary. Then God blessed me with Steve and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Beyond my wildest dreams! Then I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find a job I loved that had good hours, and now I have a wonderful job that brings me great joy... most of the time. There is always something to fear. Recently I have had a couple of difficult patients and started worrying that I could make one mistake and end up losing my nursing license. Then there's children. Steve and I are constantly talking about and praying for the children we long to have. But what if we're like one of the other countless couples who for whatever reason can't seem to conceive? These are just some of the things over which I want to have control and don't. I think the times where it was easiest to have faith in God were the times when I knew without a doubt that my life and well-being was 100% in the hands of God. But isn't that ALWAYS true?

This week I've been thinking a lot about Isaiah 26:3. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You." No matter what the future holds, my God is in control. I absolutely believe that mentally, and I really want that truth to be planted deep in my soul.

"There is NO FEAR in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Lub

On February 14th this year a few of us were playing Valentine Scrabble. Steve and I had tweeked the original rules so that any love-related word yielded a 10-point bonus. Despite my best efforts, I was stuck. One of Steve's roommates came over, peeked at my letters, and quickly pointed out a couple letters that would work. No one gets too uptight when this happens because I am really not much of a Scrabble threat. I was uncertain about the word Sean pointed out but he seemed confident and he is intelligent, so I laid down the letters to form "Lub". Apparently the word he wanted me to spell was "Lube" but I didn't think of that. Steve looked at "Lub", gave me a funny look and said, "what's lub got to do with it"? They gave me the points and even the 10-point bonus and ever since that day Steve and I have called each other "My lub".

Second only to God's saving grace, Steve Cross is the greatest blessing I have ever received. He is the man I used to dream about when I would daydream through Cinderella and Snow White. Because of my "lion" personality, my parents used to wonder what kind of man would be able to handle me. Nobody knew precisely what kind of man I needed, but God did. Steve has a way of leading me that is so strong and so gentle. He is wise and loyal and exceedingly patient. At times when he could get really irritated he stays calm and just loves me. The love he offers is such a beautiful picture in the flesh of the way Christ loves me.

We met "randomly" on August 15th of last year while I was passing through Colorado Springs. I was driving from Texas to Montana to start a travel nurse contract and met up briefly with my friend Alecia. She invited me to a birthday party for one of her friends. When Steve walked into the room and we were introduced we liked each other immediately. I felt this very strong sense that there was something different and very special about this handsome man. Later that evening I told my best friend that I had just met the man of my dreams, but I wasn't sure I would ever see him again! But then I was invited over to his house to play cards, then out for lunch the next day, then on a Saturday breakfast that lasted all day long. All too quickly it was time for me to leave for Montana, but we both knew it wasn't the end.

September 6th, 2009 is our wedding day. We have had a blast planning the details of our wedding day, but even more fun preparing for our life together. We signed our first lease (I move in July 1st!), found some basic furniture, and got a joint checking/savings account and have started budgeting together. We are both passionate about marriage and family and love to dream about what God might have in store for us. If the Lord blesses us in this way, we positively cannot wait to be parents! What a true treasure to raise children with the man I adore. We don't know where God will lead us, but whether here or on the other side of the world we will be together. Marriage will be a challenge, we are sure, but we look forward to how God will draw us closer to Himself through it. And we pray that our marriage will be a blessing to others and that it will point people to Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago our friend Matthew took some engagement photos of us. Here are some of them!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Joy Unspeakable

The Lord has blessed me beyond words with a man after His own heart... a man that I have spent a majority of my life praying for and longing to meet. I will write the whole story soon, but for now I wanted to post a picture taken just minutes after Steve asked me to be his wife! We're looking at dates in early September or the end of August. I CANNOT WAIT to be Mrs. Cross!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Keep the Conscience Clause!!!

You may have heard about President Obama's plan to rescind the Conscience Clause, which was put into place by President Bush to protect medical professionals who are pro-life. If Obama overturns this decision, pro-life doctors, nurses, etc. will all be required by law to participate in abortion procedures even though it completely violates our beliefs. As an RN this will directly effect my future career, as I would never be able to work at a job where participating in an abortion would be a possibility. The announcement was made on March 6, 2009, and the White House gave a 30-day opportunity for people to speak out about this issue. There are only a few days left for all of us who believe in the sanctity of human life to make our opinions known. Please go to the link below, sign the petition and spread the word!


Thank you and God bless!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Pals the Elderly

Two months into my new and completely different-than-the-NICU job here in Colorado Springs I am finally getting into a groove. It's not a deep groove, mind you, but it's there. Suddenly I find myself completely comfortable asking, "Did you have a bowel movement today?" and "Can I check your bottom for pressure sores?"

Now, since I've brought up bowel movements, I cannot contain myself from going there. My mother is an RN and when Josh and I were kids we were not allowed to call a #2 "poop". It was a BM. That, she claimed, was the correct and least crude way of referring to this touchy subject. However, as we started making friends in school and at church we quickly realized that calling it a BM was certainly not what the cool kids were doing. We got teased relentlessly and quickly changed our terminology to be more socially correct. Though I have adopted the nursing term now, I have made a mental note to never do this to my children:). I love you, Mom!

Back to my job. For the most part home care here in Colordao works like home care in Mozambique. The only real differences are that I drive around a company Jeep rather than Suzie-Roo (personally I liked Suzie better) and carry a navy duffel bag rather than a big red backpack. That and I understand the language around here which is a nice change, but Sarah is not here and I hate that with a passion! The vast majority of my patients are over 65 and hilarious. If they are hard of hearing the visits are generally even more comical. Last week I asked a lady to take a keep breath and she responded, "TAKE MY TEETH OUT?" She had them halfway out of her mouth before I could stop her. Some are skeptical of my youth and look surprised when they open the door and I am standing there in my pink scrubs. One gentleman asked me if I was still in high school and I assured him that I was qualified to take care of him:). I'm learning SO much about how to dress various types of wounds, how to assess the heart and lungs, how to teach patients about CAD, CHF, diabetes, and seemingly endless other ailments. The continuity is wonderful, and I can develop relationships much more than I could in the hospital.

Having an 8-5 job has made it much more possible for me to spend a good amount of time with the Lord in the mornings, which I need desperately. I had gotten out of that habit working 12-hour shifts when I had to leave the house at 6:15am. I would easily convince myself that I needed the sleep more, but that just is never true! How MUCH I need Him to help me in my great weakness and to show patients His love and care. I used to think that nursing was just going to be a job, but I am seeing more and more how God created me to use nursing, wherever I am, to bring Him glory.

Time to go. I'm reading 'Poor People' by Fyodor Dostoevsky and can hardly put it down. Call me a geek, it's fine. Just be aware that I may, at some point, publicly ask if you are having regular BMs.

How did your parents teach you to refer to this touchy subject? Will you or are you doing the same with your kids?
Comments, please!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If You Love Someone, Tell 'Em!

Recently I received a friendly reminder from my aunt that I am really slacking with the 'ol blog. It's not that I don't enjoy writing on here, it's just that *blush*... I enjoy spending time with a certain someone a whole lot more. But today I am done with work early and ready to get back in the groove.

It probably doesn't need to be said that Valentines Day was last Saturday. Everyone knows when it comes and everyone reacts differently... either very positive or very negative. My personal V-day motto is that you can never go "too overboard". People need to hear that they are loved. I certainly do! Some say it's a holiday invented by Hallmark. I don't believe there is factual evidence to back up that claim, but even if it's true I wouldn't mind. It's a great day regardless. I did a little digging this year and discovered that a primary reason for the cynicism is that most people view Valentines Day as a strictly romantic holiday. I found this information astonishing, because for me it has rarely, and I mean RARELY, been that. But since childhood I remember fondly getting chocolate "I HEART U" letters in the mail from my Aunt Kirsten and giving cards with candy to all of my classmates. One year in high school I had a basketball game, and my dad had a teammate put a beautiful card in my gym bag which I got after the game. I cried. In college my brother and I would spend Valentines Day together and it was always a great time. One year my dad brought me so many roses that I tried to trim them several at a time and nearly chopped my finger off. What an amazing man! It has never even been the gifts that made me feel so cared for, but the thought behind them. I love Valentines Day. Just typing about it I'm already excited for next year.

But that's jumping way ahead. This Valentines Day was the best ever (sorry dad)! The night before Steve and I got a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murpheys. Honestly it wasn't the best tasting pizza ever made, but the shape completely made up for that. On Saturday we played "Valentine Scrabble", which was our own rendition of Scrabble with bonus points awarded for love-related words. Then I went home to get dressed up and Steve made an amazing dinner and the BEST homemade cheesecake I've ever had. And I'm not just saying that! It was white chocolate raspberry, my favorite. Then we went to see one of our favorite comedians, Brian Reagan, and finished the evening by fonduing with friends and playing cards. Here are some pics!

As for what else is new, I started helping Steve out on Sunday mornings with his preschool class. This past week it was just the two of us and seventeen 3-year-olds. We both agreed that 17 is too many, but we all had fun. At one point I had 3 kids on my lap and I looked down to see a little boy with his messy finger at my eye level saying "I have a boogey!" Priceless. Steve was quite a trooper trying to get them to settle down so he could tell a Bible story! Next month Steve has a softball league starting and I will hopefully get to play sometimes as a sub. I really like batting but the outfield is... a different story. So Steve has been teaching me how to throw not quite so pathetically "girly", and I think real progress is being made! Tomorrow we are starting ballroom dance lessons!!! Guess whose idea that was, tee hee hee? I am SO EXCITED.

My new job is awesome. I'll have to post something about that soon!