Rejoice Always

The Bible does not say “rejoice sometimes, pray when you need something, and give thanks when things go your way.” 

I was afraid this post would be different from what it is. I was afraid I would fail my exams today. (And I can hear my mama and daddy right now: “You’ve got this, stop being so negative.”) But I knew if I did fail, I would rejoice anyway. I would thank God anyway.  

Luckily, I’m rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks because I passed two of my hardest exams this far. And by pass, I got a 100 on one and a 1000+ on the other. One of these exams would determine whether or not I could move on to next semester.

I am out here doing the dang thing. I go to school, then I go to work, and then I come home and study. Sometimes all night long. I’ve pulled more all-nighters this semester than I’ve pulled in my whole life. But I couldn’t do this on my own. I’m not doing this on my own. I have people who believe in me. I have a big God who put me on this earth for a reason. I am working towards my calling. And I am so thankful. I have prayed so much this semester and God answers. 

Nursing school is hard. Life is hard… but we weren’t put here for things to be easy. What would be the point in that? 

If you are struggling… if life is knocking you down, I have been there. I feel for you. I care for you. I am here for you and I will pray for you. But do not forget to rejoice in the good.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

{1 Thessalonians 5:16-18}

Dedicated, Not Defeated

I had a rough day yesterday. One of those days where nothing felt right and I couldn’t seem to shake it. 

I try to keep things as real as possible, so let’s be real about what happened. I failed my pathophysiology test. I got a 70% so I failed by 5 points. I have never failed an exam before. And when I tell you I studied for that thing, I studied. HARD.

I immediately felt defeated. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I wasn’t smart enough. I felt like I’d make a bad nurse. I let it get to me all night. On and off, throughout the night, I kept getting so freaking angry at myself. 

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel angry… or sad. I felt happy. I truly felt so blessed. I realized how lucky I am. I realized that I am so grateful to be where I am. Not everyone gets to go to college and love it. Not everyone meets people who they instantly become friends with. Not everyone gets to do what they love every single day. Not everyone gets to walk in a room full of sick people and watch their faces light up just because I walked in with a smile. Not everyone gets to make difference.

But I do.

I’ll do better next time. I’ll study harder. I’ll be a good nurse. I’ve never been one to go easy on myself, but I’m pretty excited to have a week with no tests, not gonna lie about that.

I am dedicated to being the best version of myself I can be. I will not allow myself to be dragged down by one mistake… and you shouldn’t either.

“The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days.” -Ray Wylie Hubbard

Here and Now

I thought this would be a really cool way to kick off my favorite time of the year. October is kind of a pivotal month of the year, where the air starts getting crisper, the leaves start falling, and everything just feels okay. Soon enough, I’ll be buying candy for half price and then eating enough turkey to make me want to sleep for days and then sharing gifts and memories with the people who mean the most to me.

I tend to think ahead. I jump ahead into next week, next year, hell, sometimes I’m thinking about being 80 years old chillin in a rocking chair. I don’t often take time to appreciate the moment I’m in because so much of my life, I’ve spent preparing for the future.

I challenge you to be present, for one month. Yeah, I’m a few days late… what are you gonna do, sue me? Good luck, you won’t get a dime. Take a few minutes out of each day and be present. Give yourself a break, and enjoy where you are right now.

I sat in my bed tonight trying to be present and I would be lying if I said my mind didn’t jump to my test next week. I would be lying if I said my brain didn’t try to run through the Foley catheter check-off list one more time before tomorrow. But part of this is catching yourself. Bring yourself back in. Center yourself. Take a moment to appreciate who you are and what you are doing.

If you’re struggling during this season, like I happen to be, take a breath and enjoy whatever still moments you can. The struggle is when you need it most. 

If you’re having the best month of your life, succeeding in your business, in your school, in your wellness… whatever it may be, please do yourself a favor and be present. You want to remember the way this felt.

Take in this moment. Feel the feelings. Do not rush life. For a few minutes out of each day, for one month. I promise you will not regret it.

P.S. The back porch of the Amicalola Falls Lodge has some beautiful sunsets. Shoot, go be present somewhere with a view, y’all.

ANOTHER P.S. Comment on this post — or click the “Contact” tab above this post — and tell me how you chose to be present this month! I would love to interact with y’all and share some of your tips!