Jesus is Better

img_9613It’s no secret that I greatly enjoy following Jamie Ivey ‘s life.  I listen to her weekly podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, follow her on social media, and read her blog.  Most recently, I was beyond honored to be chosen to participate in the launch team for her book!  I have been waiting on this for a long time.  Waiting for her to tell her story.  It aligns with mine in several ways.

In If You Only Knew, she lays everything on the line and bares her actual heart.  If you only knew her past, you might not think she’s worthy of being a pastor’s wife and so greatly used by God.  That’s the whole point.  None of us are worthy, but God has a way of redeeming stories and making beauty from those ashes.  I could go on and on.  I gave this book 5 stars hands down.  Well written and a true breath of fresh air with its honesty and transparency.  Some of its readers will be agog at the fact that she put all this on paper and sent it out into the world, but I am so grateful.  It’s a story that HAS to be told.

Jamie talks about her life growing up in the church and how she was a full participant there and in the party scene of high school which left her knowing ABOUT Jesus but not being in love with Jesus.  Her college experience is riddled with sin and pregnancies.  She was the most reluctant Jesus follower ever there for a while.  But when Jesus saved her, He did a true work.  Glory, hallelujah!  He makes all things new.  Whatever you’re in.  Jesus is better.  Whatever you’ve done.  Jesus is better.  Wherever you’re going.  Jesus is better.  That’s the mantra now.  Jesus is better.

And there’s no better time to preorder her book!  Today, December 12, 2017, when you preorder her book and then redeem your purchase on www.IfYouOnlyKnewBook.net, you are entered to win prizes and jewelry from Noonday Collection and Waterloo Style.  You also get a coupon code from Waterloo Style.  I redeemed mine for the cutest earrings around.  If you purchase this book as a Christmas gift (which you absolutely should), you will receive a download for a print out about the book which comes out January 18, 2018. And the ebook is only $9.99 right now!  WORTH IT!

This is a book that will be well worn in my house and in my circle of friends.  Check it out now and get yourself a copy and a copy for anyone you know who needs to know that Jesus is Better.

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Work Friends

In the real life, outside the interwebs, I am a Labor and Delivery nurse.  I work the night shift at a somewhat local hospital three nights a week.  This is the fourth hospital that I’ve worked L&D at, and they all have a lot in common.

I’ve met some of my dearest friends at work.  When you work 12 hour shifts three nights a week with the same people for years, you get to know them quite well.  It’s basically a slumber party three nights a week–without the pranks of course…mostly.  Over the years, there has been so much laughter and a lot of tears, too.  Your lives get intertwined somehow, even when you don’t necessarily live that close to one another.  I’ve celebrated birthdays and holidays, new life and beautiful life, new jobs and retirement, love and loss with some of the greatest people in the world.  I seriously have no idea how I would survive without my work friends.

Those same sweet friends have been so good to me, too.  When I got married, they were there.  When I had my babies, they were literally right there, in the room.  When our family has moved, they were so supportive and helped me cope.  When I don’t want to do this nurse gig anymore, they ground me and remind me that it’s only 12 days a month and it’s a WONDERFUL job!  When my husband was burned and stayed in the hospital 10 days and we didn’t get back in our house for over two weeks and I was pregnant with one and had a three year old, they were the absolute best and made sure my family ate. The day shift works with the night shift and visa versa to help make sure none of us miss out on things with our families that start early or late.  We’ve been on road trips together, to ladies’ conferences, on shopping trips. I could literally go on and on.  Dang, I love my work friends.

You know who else I love at my job?  My patients.  Most of them are only with me for a few hours–12 max, but every once in awhile, I will have one for several days or weeks or months at times.  Those are the ones that I can sit and listen to and learn about.  Those are the ones that share their hearts and stories.

I took care of a patient several times during her pregnancy a while back, and over those weeks, I learned so much about her family’s story.  There was some serious loss.  Lots of abuse and heartache.  The few of the family that is left are very close.  After hearing what little bits of their story that I did, I hugged mine a little closer and I really am grateful for that patient and her family and I’m grateful they have each other.  And now they have a baby to love.  Somehow, a baby brings people closer together and brings joy where there is so much hurt.

Also, having babies almost every day can be so much fun!  My favorite thing at work is for a new dad to tear up at the sound of their child’s first cry.  I’ve cried at other people’s deliveries over and over.  I didn’t even cry at either of my own.  There is nothing like witnessing a family welcome new life.  I do thank God for giving me that privilege.

Honestly, I want to quit sometimes.  When I have missed four soccer games in a row due to my work schedule, I want to trade it all in for a 9-5, but I know I would be so unhappy working 20 days a month instead of 12 and not having days off when I just sit on my couch and read and wash clothes and dishes while my whole family is gone to work and school.  Life is full of choices.  Work friends and the community we build there make those choices a whole lot easier.