The Diary of a Young Girl

Midwest, USA – April 2, 1969 – 13 years old


My journals since 1969!

My journals since 1969.

Dear Angie,

As you can see by the cover, this is supposed to be an autograph album, but I am going to use it as a diary. Friday, President Eisenhower died at the age of 78, so on Monday we missed school in honor of mourning.

Yesterday was April Fool. Only one more day till Easter vacation! Just a little while ago I was outside in the yard practicing my tennis serve.

Reflection

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee.” Deuteronomy 8:2

This was my first entry after reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank who was a 13 year old Jewish girl in Holland during World War II. Because Hitler, the German dictator, hated all the Jewish people, he had his soldiers corral them in cattle cars and send them to horrible concentration camps.  While there, over six million Jews were exterminated in the gas chambers or died of disease. In 1942, Anne’s family went into hiding in an attic to try to escape the camps. Because she was so lonely, she wrote in her diary to her imaginary friend named “Kitty”.

June 12, 1942

Dearest Kitty,

             I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.

Sadly, they were discovered and arrested August 4, 1944, and were sent to the concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen, near Hanover, Germany. The typhus epidemic swept through the camp as the result of horrendous hygienic conditions and claimed Anne’s life and that of her sister in early March, 1945 shortly before the camp was liberated by the British on April 12, 1945. Only Anne’s father, Otto, survived the camps. When he returned to the attic, he was given Anne’s diaries which two secretaries in the building had stored safely after finding them scattered all over the floor. After long deliberation, he decided to fulfill his daughter’s wish and publish her diary.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

I was so moved after reading Anne’s diary, that I decided to keep a journal which I have continued to the present time. However, I no longer write to my imaginary friend who I named Angie:) I never wrote in my journal daily, but wrote summaries of life events periodically. Sometimes I record a Bible verse that has been a special blessing to me or helpful quotes from books I read. I love to reread my journals from time to time and go down memory lane. Many times I exhort myself to walk closer to the Lord and seek Him more! I encourage you to consider recording your own lessons from the Lord as you travel the path of life. Because of these journals, I am able to write this blog which I pray God will use to bless and encourage you.

God blessed me this morning with verses in Deuteronomy 33: 25, 27:

“…as thy days, so shall thy strength be. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.”

As I continue in this year of Spanish language school, it is so good to know that God is my strength and is carrying me. Only He knows how many days any of us have remaining here on earth. I desire to be used by God for His glory and honor and be an empty vessel in His hands.

Please share a Bible verse with us in the comments section that God has used recently to bless you!

Oceanographer or Nurse???

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10

March, 1971 – High School Junior – Midwest, USA

I thank the Lord that He has now given me peace and a purpose in life: to walk worthy of the Lord, serve Him, and increase in my knowledge of God.  My sister, Marsha, withdrew from the university pre-veterinary program and is now studying to be a nurse at a hospital diploma program. She comes home every weekend and teaches a Bible class for my high school friends and me. It is so wonderful to study the Bible, God’s love letter to me, so I can grow closer to Him!

I also am reading books in the home Bible study program and biographies of Christians which have been so helpful.  I especially like Major Bible Themes by Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Seminary. Notes on the Pentateuch by C.H. McIntosh has really helped me understand the first five books of the Old Testament. My favorite Christian biographies so far are By Searching and In the Arena by Isobel Kuhn, and God’s Man in China about Hudson Taylor. They both served God in China with the former China Inland Mission which Hudson Taylor founded.fav books sm

While she was a student in Bible school, Isobel Kuhn learned to put the Lord first every morning and spend time in Bible reading and prayer. So after reading “O God, thou art my God, early will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth for Thee…” in Psalm 63:1, I asked the Lord to help me get up earlier so I could read my Bible and pray before I went to school. It is really wonderful to set my mind on the Lord in the morning and ask Him to teach me before I get so busy with school. When I oversleep, I really miss it! When I get home from school, I study my Bible for an hour before I start my homework. It amazes me how God multiplies the time and helps me do my homework faster! I also silently pray before I take a test at school, and God helps me figure out the right answer.

The past year, I have asked God to show me the way as to what career He would like me to pursue. Before I became a Christian, I wanted to be an oceanographer or landscape architect because I enjoy science, art, and the outdoors so much. But now, I want to work with people and hope to have opportunities to point them to the Lord Jesus Christ. I have considered becoming a teacher or a nurse. I think I would like to become a nurse like my sister because I like science, but I could still help people. Perhaps I could even teach nursing or the Lord will allow me to be a missionary nurse!

Reflection

Old and new electronic edition!

Old and new electronic edition!

And so the Lord led me to become a nurse. I think my concept of nursing was strongly influenced by the Cherry Ames RN series by Helen Wells which I avidly read in my early teens. The first book was published in 1944 during World War II and was a catalyst for many young women to join the Army Nurse Cadet Corps. Cherry went on to work in about 25 different fields of nursing! I was delighted to discover they are now available as electronic books. I smiled as I reread the first book, Cherry Ames, Student Nurse.

On her first day of nursing school, the Nursing Superintendent said to the new nursing probation students, “Let me remind you that you are going to need good health, intelligence, unselfishness, patience, tact, humor, sympathy, efficiency, neatness, plus plenty of energy for hard work.” A groan echoed around the room. “But let me remind you, too,” Miss Reamer said, “that nursing is the most rewarding of all professions for women. And frequently the most romantic and exciting,” she added with a twinkle in her eye.

Real nursing is not nearly as glamorous, but it is fulfilling. Although I never became a full-time missionary nurse, the Lord blessed me with several short term medical missionary trips to Belize, Honduras, and China, as well as a graduate nursing course in the Dominican Republic. Many opportunities have been given to me to point my patients, their families, and my co-workers to the Lord Jesus Christ, for which I thank Him. I never lacked for a job for long, never went hungry, and always paid my bills on time. God has proved Philippians 4:19 over and over again to me, “But my God shall supply ALL your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

So nursing has been good to me. There have been the challenges and frustrations that are part of any career, but it still gives me great satisfaction when one of my patients says, “Thank you so much for helping me today, Pam!”

By the way, I am so glad I never became an oceanographer since I later discovered that I am very prone to seasickness. I will share more about that in my blog about being a cruise ship nurse — for one week! Truly, God makes no mistakes……

Life Changing Letter

Saturday, January 16, 1971

I gazed out the window of our small stone home in the country and saw the mailman drive away. “I’ll get the mail, Mom!” I hurriedly put on my winter coat, hat, and mittens to brave the bitter cold. I ran down the gravel driveway, scooped the letters from the mailbox, and skimmed through them as I raced back to our warm home.

I was thrilled to see a letter addressed to me from my older sister!  Marsha was a freshman at the state university three hours away, so I didn’t see her often. When she came home for a visit in October, she seemed so happy, said her headaches were gone, and she broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn’t a Christian. She eagerly told me that her roommate told her how to become a Christian, and she started going to Bible classes on campus.

When she came home for Thanksgiving, she asked that we give her money for Christmas instead of presents so she could attend a missionary conference. As a sophomore in high school, I would never give up all my Christmas presents to attend some old dumb missionary conference!

Since she returned to school in January, I can’t stop thinking about how happy she is now. So I wrote her last week and asked her to tell me more about God.  I eagerly took her letter to my desk in my bedroom, closed the door, and began to read.

Dear Pam,

I would love to share with you more about God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Even though we went to church every Sunday and heard about Jesus Christ, the pastor never told us that each of us needs to personally receive Him as Savior.  I am so glad my college roommate shared the good news about Christ with me our first night at college.  I went to a Bible study with her, and  I received Him as my Savior shortly afterwards. I am so thankful that I have a personal relationship now with Him for all eternity and my sins are all forgiven!

As it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (Pam) that He gave His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (Pam) believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  This is the most important decision of your life because it decides whether you will spend eternity with God or perish forever without Him.  He loves you so much, Pam, that He died for you on the cross to bear the punishment for your sins.  After three days He rose again and lives in heaven today.

I asked the campus group at noon prayer meeting today to pray for you to receive Him as your personal Savior.

Love in Christ,  Marsha

I don’t think anyone has ever prayed for me before. I am so amazed that God loves me so much that He died for ME so I can be saved and be with Him for all eternity.  He knows all about how shy and insecure I am, and that I am so fearful of death ever since my cousin was killed in the Vietnam war.

As my tears flowed, I bowed my head and prayed,

Dear God, I come to You as I am– a sinner.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying on the cross in my place for my sins and that You rose again from the grave.  I receive You now as my Savior.  Thank You that You love me so much! Amen.

When I opened my eyes, my heart was flooded with the peace and the joy of God, and my fear of death was gone!

path of life

Reflection

Dear Reader,

I would love to share with you in this blog how God led me to  become a nurse, and how He has taught me about Himself on the path of life.

If you have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I invite you and encourage you to do so now as I did over 40 years ago.  It has been so exciting to grow in the knowledge of my Savior and let Him lead me through the joys and the sorrows, the laughter and the tears.  I look forward to that day when He takes me to heaven above in His perfect timing! “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20

Pamela, APRN

Blog Update

Dear Readers,

I mentioned in August that I retired from nursing a year earlier than I anticipated. God has opened a wonderful door for me to learn Spanish this year in a very intense language program for missionaries. God has laid a desire on my heart to minister to Spanish speaking people during my retirement years as He gives me the strength and health. I am enjoying the program immensely, but it is a tremendous amount of work every week as I go along “poco a poco” – little by little. God has also given me several opportunities to assist the other students and my professors with their health problems, so I am still using my nursing skills unofficially.

I thought I brought all my needed journals with me to complete this blog, but I discovered that I put some of them in my storage container, so I am unable to write new material at this time. I don’t trust my memory of events nearly 20 years ago!

Since many of you are new readers, I have decided to start over from the beginning and repeat the past posts. For of those of you who have been with me from the beginning, perhaps you won’t mind reading them again. I enjoy rereading some of my favorite books and am amazed how I notice things anew because I am at a different stage in life.

So thank you for praying for me in my language studies as I desire to glorify the Lord here and keep my eyes and heart on Him.

I will close with this poem they found in Hudson Taylor’s journal. He was one of the early missionaries to China in the 1800’s and was used by God to found the China Inland Mission which is now Overseas Missionary Fellowship. I am enjoying translating the English flash card story (by Child Evangelism Fellowship) of his life into simple Spanish for my classmates.

“Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me,

A living, bright Reality;

More present to faith’s vision keen,

Than any outward object seen;

More dear, more intimately nigh

Than e’en the sweetest earthly tie.

Hudson Taylor flashcard story I am translating into Spanish. (CEF)

Hudson Taylor flashcard story I am translating into Spanish. (CEF)

“O God, from my youth You have taught me; and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”  Psalm 71:17-18

Pamela, APRN

The Final School Year

September, 1997

I completed my one on one research course this summer with the Director of the Nurse Practitioner program, Dr. K. I learned about the different types of research broken into two broad categories of quantitative and qualitative research. Our small school does not have the staff to support doing quantitative research with labs and statistics, so I have chosen to do qualitative grounded theory research. The topic I chose is “Coping Strategies of Caregivers of Non-Ambulatory Patients”. I know it’s a mouthful!

I chose this topic largely because of my observation of how wonderfully my Dad took care of my Mom after her massive stroke. She learned to walk again slowly with a quad cane, but her left arm remained paralyzed, so he had to help her with her bath, dressing, and style her hair. I thought it was so sweet of him when he took Mom to the beautician and asked her to teach him how to use a curling iron! I don’t know of too many men who would do that. He also did all the cooking, cleaning, driving, and grocery shopping. My Mom became his full time job which he did the last five years of her life. Thankfully, he was retired and in good health. He also traveled with her by plane and in their trailer home across the country on vacation.

During my years as a visiting nurse, I took care of a dear elderly couple. Ruth had a blood clot that went to her spine and left her paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 70. Her husband, Ray, learned to do everything for her much as my dad did, and bought a van equipped with a wheelchair lift to make it easier to transport her.

Most caregivers at home are women rather than men, so I think Ray and my Dad were the exceptions. Most people would have placed people like Ruth and my Mom in a nursing home because they simply could not provide 24/7 care for them. So I asked myself, how did people cope at home with providing care for a family member who cannot walk? I noticed that when a person can’t walk, their care could become totally overwhelming.

I completed my review of literature and found an oncology nursing study with a similar theme, so I will repeat it to see if I get the same results. At the Master’s level, we are not required to do original research, but only repeat what others have done to see if we get the same results. My proposal was approved by  my two thesis advisors. My goal this semester is to find caregivers to interview and tape record them to gather all my data. Next semester, I will analyze the data and write my thesis. It was so nice to concentrate on nothing but research this summer and not have to work full time! I thank God for my Dad’s financial support to make this possible.

January, 1998

Last semester was very busy, but I really enjoyed it. My clinical assignments were so interesting as I spent two full days a week working in an Internal Medicine office with two physicians. Dr. R. established his private practice about 20 years ago. He grew up in Costa Rica, so he is fluent in Spanish. He moved to the USA when he was 16 years old, but still returns to Costa Rica annually to visit family there. He is a very kind gentleman and an excellent teacher. He just hired an associate, Dr. G., who recently completed his residency. Dr. G. likes to tell me all kinds of interesting stories about patients he saw during his residency. I see the patient first and take the history and do the physical exam. Then I present the patient privately to Dr. R. or Dr. G. and tell them the plan of care that I think would be best. We discuss it and they agree or disagree with me and tell me their reason so I learn how to treat the next patient with a similar problem. It is working out very well!

One day, a lady who was originally from Jamaica, came to see us in near hysteria. She had coughed up a foot long worm that she put in a bottle of water to show us. I immediately recognized it as a round worm which I had learned about when I was in Dominican Republic. She last visited Jamaica two years ago, so it had been growing inside her all that time. Neither Dr. R. or Dr. G. had ever treated worms before, so I told them the medicine to prescribe and calmed the lady after telling her we could easily treat it. She thanked me and said she felt relieved to learn about it. It was fun to teach the teachers that day!

On my third clinical day, I worked several weeks in a clinic seeing adolescents with a Pediatric NP. Rich was also an excellent teacher. The other half of the semester, I shadowed a Neonatal Intensive Care NP. I was too scared to touch the premature babies who looked so tiny and fragile in the incubators on ventilators. I watched her do a lumbar puncture on one of them where she stuck a needle gently in his spine to withdraw cerebral spinal fluid. I also watched her work in a general Pediatrician’s office. I’m just not too comfortable taking care of babies because they can’t tell me what’s wrong!

I found enough caregivers to interview for my research. I tape recorded each session, then took the tapes home and played them back. Whenever the person stated a coping strategy, I stopped the tape and wrote it on an index card. After listening to all the interviews, I took all my cards and separated them into different piles of coping strategies that were repeated. I’m really enjoying doing this type of research!

Graduation, May, 1998!!!

I completed typing my thesis and both my advisors approved the final copy. It was 120 pages long! I am so glad I didn’t have to hire someone to type it, and am thankful for my high school typing teacher. We each made a poster about our research results and presented it a week ago. All my preceptors came to look at it, so I was grateful for their support. I submitted a summary of my research to the Nurse Practitioner Journal, so I will see if it is accepted.

I am amazed that I have had ten job interviews. The job I chose is to work as a Family Nurse Practitioner at a psychiatric hospital. I have never worked in psychiatry before. I will have all weekends and holidays off, and  don’t have to take call at night since a physician stays on grounds each night. The salary is excellent, so maybe I will be able to move to a one story home in the future.

 

1998 Pam MSN

I was so excited to finally receive my Master’s of Science in Nursing and become a Family Nurse Practitioner!

I thank God that my entire family came to my graduation to help me celebrate. I dedicated my thesis to my Dad and read it to them with my theme verses for graduate school:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me….But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus! Philippians 4:13, 19.

The school placed a copy of each graduate student’s thesis in the school library for others to read.

Reflection

How I thank God for carrying me through four long years of graduate school. I know I only had the strength to complete it because of Him. I enjoyed working as a Nurse Practitioner in a variety of roles over the next 16 years.

The Nurse Practitioner Journal published a few paragraphs about my research. As I recall, the caregivers that did best were those who used wheels to help transport the patient, took respite from care, and recruited/accepted help from others. My thesis is currently in storage, so the next time I look at it, I will see if my memory is accurate:)