Patricia St John, RN

An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Faith

A few weeks ago, I was looking over my books to see if I could find a good one to reread. I pulled off the shelf an autobiography by Patricia St. John, RN. Patricia grew up in England and became a nurse during the London bombings of World War 2. She nearly dropped out of nursing school because of illness, but God encouraged her to keep going. By this time, her brother, Farnham, was training to be a doctor in London. While she was spending her day off visiting him, he was called to deliver a baby at a home as the sirens sounded and the bombs started dropping. Together they climbed over rubble and broken glass and arrived just in time. “Never shall I forget the feeling of peace and achievement as we sat, with the world apparently exploding around us, and drank hot sweet cups of tea around the bed with that tiny morsel of humanity cradled in his mother’s arms.”St John RN 1

After the war, Farnham went to a mission hospital in Morocco to try and improve relationships between England and Morocco. He ended up remaining there for over 30 years where he and his wife raised their six children. In 1949, Farnham asked Patricia to join him. Their parents approved, so “oblivious of formalities, I packed and went. It did not seem to have occurred to either of us that this was not the way to join a mission and I received a rather surprised letter from headquarters shortly after my arrival. But I was there and there was no turning back; I remained an associate of the mission through all my years of service.”St John 4 St John 3 St John 2After Farnham married, Patricia felt led to relocate to a village up in the mountains. She moved into a small white washed house with a flat roof which was quickly flooded in the March rains. She was surprised to “meet her saucepan floating across the floor” when she arrived home. Bugs pattered from the rafters in the attic, so she went to buy insect powder. The shop keeper tried to sell her one powder for bugs on the roof, another for bugs in her bed, and a third for bugs on her body. This seemed a little much, but to her dismay, she later realized that she should have bought all three.

As she studied Arabic hour after hour, she discovered what the simple presence of Jesus could mean when there was no other companionship and no one else who could talk English. Also during that time, her lost manuscript of Treasures of the Snow was found that she had written during the war for children about God’s forgiveness in Christ Jesus. She finished writing it, and it was published. (This book is still being published today, is available on Kindle, and is on DVD where it was filmed in the Swiss Alps. It is a beautiful family film which I highly recommend.)

Treasures of the Snow - a wonderful family DVD on forgiveness filmed in the Swiss Alps.

A wonderful family DVD on forgiveness filmed in the Swiss Alps.

Slowly, the village women and children began to trust her and come to her for medicine and Bible stories. Several received Christ as Savior and were persecuted for their faith, but stood strong. The Muslim village officials began threatening the believers and after much prayer, Patricia decided it would be best if she left the village and went back down the mountain to Tangier to work in the hospital with Farnham and his wife.

Patricia visited a hospital in Egypt for two months to study their nursing school, and then returned to Morocco to start a new school with 7 teenagers, their first nursing students. They taught them anatomy, physiology, basic nursing skills, and the Bible. This training was something of an innovation in Morocco, as nearly all the nursing in the government hospitals was done by men. The students did well, but struggled spiritually. The cost was high to become a Christian in a Muslim country. “Only a very few have let their light shine clearly and have suffered.”St John 5She continues on with her autobiography in telling about being “auntie” to her many nieces and nephews, her adventures of driving with her sister in her VW camper in the steps of Apostle Paul, visiting Rwanda to write a book on the revival there, and ministering in refugee camps. The only man she ever wanted to marry was killed during the war, so she remained single all her days on earth. While working as a missionary nurse, she continued to write and publish Biblical children’s stories, many of which are still in print and e-book form today.

After I read The Rainbow Garden to my 8 year old niece, God used it, and she received Christ as her personal Savior. Patricia also wrote a biography about her father, Harold St John, who was a worldwide evangelist and Bible teacher. I am thoroughly enjoying this book currently. So I hope I have shared enough to cause you to read Patricia’s autobiography for yourself and some of her books. I know you will be blessed and encouraged!

But Jesus said, “Permit little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:14

 

We Need More Nurses!

January, 1987

The nursing shortage is increasing, so the leadership of the 1000 bed hospital where I work had a  session last fall to brainstorm a solution. They decided Staff Development should design and teach a refresher course for nurses who have been out of hospital nursing for over 5 years. The goal is to give the interns review classes in a variety of specialty areas, and let them work with a preceptor for 4 months. The hospital will pay them a slightly reduced salary during the refresher course, and then offer them a job at the end of satisfactory course completion. In turn, the nurse must commit to working for the hospital for 2 years after the refresher course.

I was honored when my Director asked me to design and conduct the course. In turn, she relieved me of all my other duties. I barely knew where to start as I could not locate any other hospitals who taught a refresher course. So I held a meeting of all the staff development nurses and gathered their ideas for classes. I made a class schedule and arranged for various nurse specialists to teach in their area of expertise. Next, I took the proposed class schedule and gathered ideas from the nurse managers of the medical-surgical units. We tweaked it again and printed the final schedule.

In November, I met with human resources to design an advertisement for the newspaper to run over the next four weeks. They also helped me design interview questions to ask each candidate. As the applications arrived, I reviewed them to choose the top 30 candidates to interview for the 19 openings. I interviewed all 30 in 3 days. This was my first time to ask the interview questions rather than give the answers. My heart went out to the ones who were so nervous that they could barely talk.

After I completed the interviews, I narrowed them down to the 19 who I thought would be most likely to become enthusiastic long-term nurses for the hospital. Most of the women had taken time off to raise their children and were now eager to return to the work force to help put their children through college. We had several younger ones apply who graduated from 2 year associate degree programs and felt they needed a longer slower paced orientation to hospital nursing.

The First Week

Nurse interns of refresher course met in class daily

Nurse interns of refresher course met in class daily

I have felt so overwhelmed this week with the interns starting, but God has carried me through each long 10-11 hour day. It’s exhausting, but I keep looking to God for serving grace.

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities (limitations) that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9

February 25, 1987

Three of my problem interns resigned after they decided they were overwhelmed by the changes in hospital nursing. One 50 year old intern came to work intoxicated from alcohol, so we had to terminate her that day. It was sad to see her alcohol addiction ruin her life. How I pray she would receive Christ as her Savior, be forgiven of her sins, and set free from her addiction.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

Reflection

When I graduated in 1977, there was a surplus of nurses, followed by a shortage the next year. My first hospital imported nurses from South Africa and Canada to solve their shortage problem. The 1987 graduating interns became excellent employees.

One of my readers, Deyanara Riddix, sent me an article about the upcoming nursing shortage that is occurring as the baby boomers, such as myself, retire. She gave me permission to post the link for you to read. It is called “Nursing in an Aging America”.

http://www.nursingschoolhub.com/nursing-aging-america/

 

Post China Tour

January, 1987 – Midwest USA

Since I returned from my nursing tour of China in June, things have been busy! My director of staff development asked me to do a presentation of my nursing tour to the entire hospital. The audiovisual department helped me make title slides and convert my best photos from 35 mm negatives to slides at no charge. I did the presentation in the auditorium and was amazed when 300 people attended. People are very curious about China since it only reopened to tourists less than 10 years ago. I asked the Lord to give me peace since I don’t think I have ever spoken to so many people before, especially my peers!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

By God’s grace, He gave me a quiet heart and strong voice and it seemed to go well. Everyone seemed fascinated by my photos since it is so different from here. One of the nursing school instructors happened to attend, and asked me afterward if I could present the slides at the nursing school, which I agreed to do.

I invited my Chinese teacher, Mr S, along with his wife to come to my home to show them my photos and tell them all about my trip. They were so interested in seeing what the other cities are like in China since they have never been permitted to travel outside of Beijing. I had fun learning how to make dumplings from Mrs. S!

Mrs. S. taught me how to make dumplings!

Mrs. S. taught me how to make dumplings!

My Pastor also asked me to present my slides to several churches and at the children’s Bible Camp where I have been a counselor the last few years. During these presentations, I emphasized how the Christians in the underground churches often suffer since they are forbidden to meet openly. I asked them to pray much for the believers in China to be strong in the Lord in the face of persecution.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

Afterward, one of the counselors encouraged me to pray more about teaching at the hospital in Beijing where they offered me a job. I explored it further with my Pastor and a former missionary to China, and both encouraged me to apply. The missionary said Beijing has many foreign Christians and a regular Sunday service in English. Fellowship with other believers and prayer partners should not be a problem. So I sent the Director of Nursing a letter explaining my interest in the teaching position along with a letter of recommendation from Mr. S. who is returning to his teaching position as English Professor in Beijing.

After several months of waiting, I finally received a letter from the Director of Nursing. She said she only meant that if I ever visited again, she would like me to give a lecture on nursing care. They have no money for a foreign nursing instructor. Apparently, things got a little mixed up in translation! But I thank God for making it very clear that this was not an open door.

Reflection

Even though God never opened the door for me to live in China, I thank God for the many opportunities He gave me to tell the brethren more about China so they could more effectively pray. I know of at least two of the children at the Bible camp who have returned to China as adults to minister there in various capacities. It was such a privilege to expose them to another country that has been closed to the gospel for many decades.

New Friends from Asia

October, 1985

I am thanking God that I am feeling so much better physically since I switched to day shift last spring. I asked the Lord how I could reach more students at the University and decided to try putting a sign up for a Bible study on the bulletin board where the international graduate students live. I taught the first class last month and was surprised that 3 men came and no women. Two of the men, Min and Park, are from Korea and getting their PhD. All three listened intently to the class as they have never had any exposure to the Bible.

At the same time, one of the elders at church began teaching a Bible class in the married students’ apartments and had three Korean women attending. So we decided it would make sense to switch classes. The women listened well as I taught them slowly and carefully in English. They are learning English so sometimes communication is challenging, but we both ask God to help us understand His precious word and are making progress. I recently read a very helpful book in understanding their culture called Korean Patterns by Paul Crane who was a missionary in Korea for many years.

The book called Korean Patterns helped me understand the Korean culture.

The book called Korean Patterns helped me understand the Korean culture.

I also now have a Bible Club for children in my new home and am delighted to discover I have many Japanese neighbors who work at the nearby new Japanese auto plant. The auto plant brings their engineers and their families from Japan to the USA for several years at a time to teach the Americans how to build Japanese cars. The wives stay at home raising the children and are very eager to have their children learn English since they are attending American public schools. They readily send their children to Bible club to help them with their English. The children are listening well as I teach them, and I pray they will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior as well as learn English.

Colorful Origami ball one of the Japanese Bible Club children made for me!

Colorful Origami ball one of the Japanese Bible Club children made for me!

Min recently told me that after being closed to outsiders since 1949, China is once again letting a few foreigners visit in tour groups or teach English. As I was reading one of my nursing journals, I read the ad for a nursing tour of China in June, 1986 for 16 days. As I recalled all the missionary biographies I have read of Hudson Taylor, Isobel, Kuhn, and J.O. Fraser from the China Inland Mission, I asked the Lord if He wanted me to visit China on this tour? I asked my Director if I could have 3 weeks off to go on the tour? She agreed but declined to give me any educational days, so I will have to take 4 days off without pay since I don’t have quite enough vacation time. So I sent in my registration with my deposit which included trip cancellation insurance.

One of the Koreans  introduced me to a visiting linguistics professor, Mr. S. from Beijing. It was a great privilege to meet Mr. S and share the gospel with him and invite him to the main Bible class on campus. He has come for three weeks in a row and said he wants to attend every week! He also volunteered to give me private Chinese lessons at his home! He said I could learn 500-1000 phrases over the next 8 months.

December, 1985

I learned there are 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese which is what they speak in mainland China where I’m going. The word has a totally different meaning depending on the tone you use. I think my music background is helping me recognize the different tones. Mr S. said I’m making good progress, but it seems very slow to me. I’m not even attempting to learn how to read or write the characters since my time is so short before June. I’m glad they use the Pinyin system which uses the 26 English letters to write out the Chinese words like they sound.

My Chinese phrase book and 1982 cassette I listened to many times.

My Chinese phrase book and 1982 cassette I listened to many times.

Mr. S.’s wife has started attending the Korean women’s Bible class with me weekly. She doesn’t speak much English, but she is trying very hard to learn. I was so excited when she memorized John 3:16 in both Chinese and English!

I have also contacted a Christian couple who are teaching English in western China. I hope to visit them while on the tour. I received their prayer letter recently which began, “Please….do not publish, do not post, but do pray…Also, please don’t share this letter with a visiting scholar or exchange student from China. We have already seen someone punished severely for helping a foreigner to do something not sanctioned. This letter was hand-carried from China.”

Only the Lord knows how many Chinese Christians have been tortured, imprisoned, and killed since 1949. But there is some word getting out now that the believers have grown exponentially into the millions as a result of the severe persecution they have suffered under the communists who promote atheism. How I pray for the believers there to be strong in the Lord! I also pray God will let me meet some of the them and that we might encourage one another in the faith.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matthew 5:44

I had Mr S. translate an English gospel tract for me to take with me. I also ordered 50 Chinese-English Gospels of John to give out as gifts. My parents gave me a beautiful book on China from the National Geographic Society that has over 400 photos. I so hope the Lord allows me to go in June! So far, all the doors seem to be open for me.

Chinese English gospel tract my Chinese teacher translated for me.

Chinese English gospel tract my Chinese teacher translated for me.

Chinese English Gospel of John I took with me.

Chinese English Gospel of John I took with me.

Reflection – 2015

Over the next posts, I will continue with my journey to China and how it was nearly cancelled. Over the years, the Lord has brought many Chinese people into my life, especially visiting students. I have had the wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with quite a few of them and have had the joy of witnessing several receive Christ as their Savior. They always are excited when I pull out my photo album from 1986 as some of them weren’t even born then! Not too many Chinese nationals had cameras in 1986, so their parents usually do not have many photos to show them from that time period.

Several of the Japanese Bible Club children also received Christ as their Savior and then returned to Japan with their parents. They are now in their late thirties. I pray they are worshiping our Savior and growing in His grace.

Min and Park both received Christ as their Savior and returned to Korea after receiving their PhD. For several years, I received Christmas cards from each of them and was delighted when each of them wrote to me and told me God had given him a Christian wife! How wonderful It will be to worship the Lord together for all eternity!

Research on Shift Work

November, 1984 – Night Shift

After finishing my first rounds on the nurses in orientation, I paged the security guard so he could admit me to the library. I signed in on the clipboard and noticed there were several interns and residents also here, probably preparing for their next presentation. From a child, I have always loved to go to the library and check out books. It’s like going on a treasure hunt! I went over to the long row of the large red Medline books that listed all the medical and nursing journals by subject and date. I looked under “Shift Work” and began to write down the Journal title, issue, date, and page numbers of the articles. After I had written down about 10 articles, I went to the stacks and began to pull the bound journals. Because this is a large teaching hospital, we have an excellent library. I turned to the page number, scanned the article, and if it looked good, placed a book marker. Then I took my stack of journals to the copy machine and copied and stapled each article. I stuck my stack of new articles in my notebook, signed out of the library, and went back to my office to begin to read. I highlighted in yellow the best points and began to take notes. I discovered that most of the research has been done on factory workers rather than nurses.

Night shift was taking its toll on me. (photo by R. Spearrin-used with permission)

Night shift was taking its toll on me.
(photo by R. Spearrin-used with permission)

I have now been working full time night shift for over 4 years and I’m afraid it is taking its toll. It has become more and more difficult to turn my body around on the weekends during my two days off. I have been asking God to give me grace and strength to endure, or deliver me by giving me a job on day shift again with weekends off so I can sleep better and be more involved with the ministry at church. While I’m waiting, I asked my director if I could do a research project on how shift work affects nurses? She readily agreed! I’m excited about learning something new, and hopefully I’ll pick up some hints that will help me cope better.

After I finished my review of the literature, I asked my director if I could do a survey of the nurses and compose the results to present at our annual hospital research symposium? She excitedly gave me the go ahead. I contacted the hospital research review board, and they gave me a packet to complete about my project which needed to be submitted for approval before I could proceed.

At their next meeting, they said I could go ahead with a pilot survey and then submit the results to them. I typed a four page survey and gave it to five nurses on each of the three shifts to complete. I compiled the results and made a few changes to the survey. Then the review board gave me permission to go ahead with the large survey of nurses.

Every staff nurse has to either rotate shifts or work full time evening or night shift at the hospital, so I surveyed an equal number of rotators and permanent shift nurses.  The results showed that the night shift rotators had the most difficulty adjusting to the off shift compared to the permanent night shift nurses. The evening rotators did not have much difficulty at all. This makes sense since they did not need to adjust their sleep schedule as much as night shift. Based on my results, I made a one page handout to give the nurses in orientation with suggestions for adjusting to the shift change. I made a poster of the results and presented it at the annual research symposium.

April, 1985

The Lord wonderfully opened the door for me to work on day shift in Staff Development! How I thank Him for His perfect timing. It is so wonderful to start feeling normal again without the constant  headaches from lack of sleep and be free of the struggle to stay awake at work at 5 a.m. It’s also much safer as I don’t fall asleep at every red light when I drive home!

Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19

Reflection – 2015

I no longer have my research results or the handout due to my many moves over the years, but I discovered they now call it Shift Work Disorder (SWD). http://www.webmd.com/heart/video/expert-commentary-fryhofer-shiftwork This video talks about the increased risk of heart attack, stroke, smoking, and breast cancer for those who work shifts, especially nights.

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/shift-work-sleep-disorder-topic-overview This article lists their suggestions to help people adapt to sleeping during the day such as making your room dark, quiet, and cool temperature, not drinking any caffeine 4-5 hours before sleeping, and no exercise 4-5 hours before sleep.

I thank the Lord that there are some nurses that seem to be able to sleep easily any time of day or night! But I’m not one of them.  I never have worked night shift since then.

I also am grateful that it is so much easier to review literature now with the advent of the computer. The days are gone of lugging those heavy bound journals to the copy machine! But libraries are still one of my favorite places to visit. And the best part – they are free!

Tragedy in the Hospital Lab

January 2, 1984

It felt good to get some extra sleep on this Saturday morning as I turned my body around from night shift and was off duty last night. I nonchalantly opened the newspaper and gasped as I read the headlines! Two female employees at my hospital had been stabbed to death in the lab late Friday afternoon. No one had heard any commotion and they had no leads yet. I had never met either of the women who were murdered, but immediately prayed for their families to look to the Lord Jesus Christ and be comforted. I also prayed for the Lord to help the police find and arrest the murderer. This 1000 bed hospital is located in a nice middle class neighborhood with a very low crime rate, so everyone is in total shock.

Tragically, two women were murdered in the lab.

Tragically, two female employees were murdered in the lab.

This will be my first night to return to work since it happened on December 30. The nursing supervisor called me this afternoon and said I was to report to their office on the first floor when I arrived at 11 p.m.  rather than go to my office on the eighth floor alone as I normally do. The hospital hired 12 extra security guards for night shift to assist the 2 guards we normally have. She said I would also need to show my identification badge at the hospital door. Then they would call a guard to escort me to my office since I am the only one who works on the whole 8th floor at night. The rest of the staff development staff works on day shift and one other person works on evenings similar to my position. Before I left home, I looked in my Bible concordance and read verses on “fear not” and “courage” and prayed that God would give me a quiet heart.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee. Be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.

Isaiah 41:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

I arrived at the nursing office and greeted the two nursing supervisors on tonight, Janet and Lisa. They said all the employees were very tense, as to be expected. They paged a guard and Jim came and escorted me on the elevator where we exited at the eighth floor. I saw that the hallway was brightly lit tonight rather than only partially lit like normal. I knocked on Jane’s door, the evening nurse, and she opened her door with relief and greeted me. I said goodby and then went in my office and locked the door behind me. Jim asked me to page him when I was ready to go on rounds, and he then escorted Jane down to the first floor so she could go home.

Around midnight, I called Jim and he began making rounds with me as I checked on each of my new nurses who were in their last two weeks of orientation on night shift. They all seemed to be doing all right. I then returned to the nursing office and spent the middle of the shift with Janet and Lisa since I didn’t really feel like being alone in my office tonight. I then made second rounds with Jim and spent the last hour in my office, waiting for the day shift staff to arrive. I was so glad to see the sun rise out my window and thanked God for keeping us all safe during this long tense night!

Reflection – 2015

A few weeks later, the hospital installed electronic locks on all the doors that were locked at night which required us to swipe it with our ID badge to unlock the door and enter.

I later read in the newspaper that they suspected that the husband of one of the women had killed her. The second woman must have entered the lab when he was doing it, so he killed her also. They could not prove it was him, so he was never arrested. Several months later, he collected her life insurance money of $350,000 and moved to Florida. Three years later, he was involved in a shootout with the FBI over a robbery, and they killed him, but not before he had slain two FBI agents. In 2012, they reopened the cold case and one of the original detectives came out of retirement to try and solve the mystery.

I’ve included this episode in my story to remind me to be compassionate and pray for my coworkers. We never know what difficulties someone at work may be enduring at home with their family. I also am comforted that God is the righteous judge and knows who killed those women, so I can rest in His great sovereignty.

Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:19

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Genesis 18:25

I don’t know why my cousin was killed in the war in Vietnam when I was a teen. But I know God used that tragedy to get my attention and cause me to seek Him. When my sister gave me the gospel two years later, I willingly and joyfully received Christ as my personal Savior. (See Life Changing Letter post) I need to remember that God sees the big picture while I can only see my little corner, so I trust Him one day at a time.

For a wonderful Bible study on God’s 12 Principles of Judgement, follow this link. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/romans/judgment.htm

Pam Builds a House!

June 3, 1983 – Midwest, USA

Ever since I read Miss Clarkson’s book (see previous post) about how much she enjoyed owning her own small lakeside cottage, I have been asking the Lord if I should buy a house and put down roots here. I have never met a single woman who bought a house, but I began looking at houses a couple months ago with a realtor. One of my friends suggested I build a house instead and told me about a new neighborhood in my price range about 5 miles from the hospital. The mortgage would only be slightly more than the rent I pay now, and I would be able to build up some equity in the house. So I looked at the model home, liked one of the floor plans, and applied for a mortgage. Today is the deadline for the approval. I just received a call from the banker telling me that I was approved! I asked the Lord to block the approval if He didn’t want me to go forward, so I’m taking this as a green light from Him.

June 10 – I met with the builder today to choose all my finishes – siding, flooring, carpet, cabinets, etc. It only took me about an hour. He said I was the quickest decision maker he had ever met! I guess it helps that I don’t have to discuss anything with a spouse. I told him I learned to make quick decisions when I worked in labor and delivery. Sometimes that is good, and sometimes I need to learn to slow down and pray about it.

The walls go up on my new house!

The walls go up on my new house!

I’m really enjoying my new job in Staff Development. I make rounds on the nurses in orientation on the various hospital units at the beginning of the shift around midnight. All the orientees have had 4-6 weeks orientation on day shift, and then the final 2 weeks on evening or night shift. If they are not meeting their weekly goals, we can extend their orientation on rare occasions or end their employment. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Then I teach in-services between 2-3 a.m. on the various units, eat lunch with the night nursing supervisors, write policies, and make second rounds about 5 a.m. Sometimes it’s a struggle to stay awake around 4 a.m., so I start walking to help wake me up! I miss my coworkers in Labor and Delivery, so I stop by and chat if they are having a slow night. I have also become a certified CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) instructor, so I will start re-certification sessions soon. Each nurse has to renew their CPR every 2 years.

My back feels much better, and it is nice to have weekends off, spend time with my friends, and attend church every Sunday. It is such a joy to help my friend teach children’s Bible Club in her neighborhood! I didn’t think I would be allowed to return to Bible camp this summer as a counselor because that is our busiest time with orienting all the new graduate nurses. But my coworkers told our director they would cover for me, so she said I could go!

December, 1983

My house is finished!

My house is finished!

My house is finally finished! Originally, they said it would be done in October, but it was delayed 5 weeks. Someone once told me that when you build a house, it always takes longer and costs more than the builder initially tells you. But I’m all moved in as of today. I’m exhausted, but so thankful to own a home of my own. The only mistake I made in my color choices was the green trim. I have to agree with my brother-in-law that it looks like a John Deere tractor! I will have a mud yard all winter, but in the spring they will plant my tree, bushes, and lay the sod.

I was so blessed in reading tonight:

…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

(A virtuous woman) looketh well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:27

(Jesus said) Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:1-2

Dear Lord, Thank You so much for giving me this little home. I pray You will use it for Your glory and honor, that I would be of good hospitality, and always hold it with an open hand to You. Help me to be a good steward of this home. Thank You for that eternal home in heaven that you are preparing for me! Amen.

June, 1984

I went to bed one morning in March after working all night. When I woke up, I looked out the window and was amazed to see green grass, a nice shade tree, and bushes! No more mud yard!

Dublin Sandy

My new puppy, Sandy!

I had the green trim painted white which makes the house look so much bigger. I also decided to buy a Cocker Spaniel puppy and named him Sandy. He’s lots of fun, company, and quite a bit of work. But I forgot how much puppies like to chew. So far he chewed a huge hole in my new carpeting and another hole in the seat of my new recliner….  Oh well, I can’t take these things with me, so I have to relax with it, and keep trying to train him. I think the Lord will use him to teach me patience!

The trim painted white looked much better!

The trim painted white looked much better!

I enjoyed my perennial herb garden

My new perennial herb garden

Sandy and me enjoying the spring tulips.

Sandy and I enjoyed the spring tulips.

Reflection

I enjoyed staying in this little home for the next 8 years until I moved to New England. I was thrilled that it had increased in value by 50% when I sold it, so it was a good investment. I also began and taught a Bible Club for the neighborhood children, many of whom were from Japan. It was my privilege to host quite a few missionaries when they came to visit my church also. It became my oasis after working all day, giving me a refuge and quiet place to study God’s precious word.

Since then, I have owned 4 other homes. I built another house in New England, and totally remodeled my current home built in 1957. Sometimes it is very frustrating dealing with builders and contractors, but the Lord always helps me get through it as I lean hard on Him. My friends tease me about how many times I have moved, but contrary to popular belief, I really don’t like to move!