August 28, 2022


The above was a frantic attempt to carry on with my job without a functioning keyboard. Ever wondered what it’s like to type with a stuck “shift” key? No, neither had I. Until about 9:30 on a Monday morning. And I can assure you, it is not enjoyable to try to troubleshoot this issue when in the middle of a patient visit, in mid sentence, when your job is to type as quickly and accurately as possible, while being as invisible, and professional, as you can be.

After a few minutes of a valiant effort at maintaining my cool, I shot my hand up in the air. The doctor turned and looked down at my schoolchild appearance, squatting on a little stool and peering up eagerly, waiting to be called on.

“Um, excuse me,” I said. “I have a problem.”

After running around the clinic for a few minutes, frantically asking if anyone had a computer they didn’t need, I re-emerged in the room and attempted to pick up where I had left off, while logging into someone else’s laptop, and putting pieces together as to the parts of the conversation I had missed.

I had a sneaking suspicion that the week was not going to be a smooth one.

I also wondered if I am death to keyboards, this being the new computer I had bought to replace the previous one that had also, oddly enough, gone kaput on me while I was in the middle of a patient visit while working as a scribe.

Is it Friday yet?

I tend to ask that question, as do many, I suppose. But my reason for asking it is not because Friday is the last day of the week; rather, it is because Friday is the day of the week when I get to do clinical work for the whole day. I do not hate scribing . . . but I do not exactly enjoy it, either.

But Friday—ahh, happy Friday, with all of its bodily fluids, and syringes, and stool samples, and . . . (what, you’re not convinced?) For whatever reason, at least in this season of the life I am living, I find clinical work insanely challenging . . . and utterly gratifying.

This week Friday was a doozy. We were pummeled on every angle, it seemed, by short-staffing issues, an apparently very ill city population of little ones, and unexpected emergencies. By 10:00, I realized I’d been working for over 2 hours already without having a chance to take a sip of my morning coffee. This, in my world, is not a minor detail. I also realized, however, that my working adrenaline had been so strong that I had felt caffeinated without a hint of >>>TO BE CONTINUED> MY SHIFT KEY JUST GOT STUCK AGAIN AFTER WE FIXED IT>

lesa wa wa ma

August 18, 2022

The moment she began to speak, I knew her accent—felt it deep within, as one does with the sound-memories of a childhood home. 

It was with the rushed and harried aura of a mother in distress that she spilled out the words I quickly typed from the corner stool. In the background the infant wailed, unconsolable and in obvious pain. It didn’t take long for the Nurse Practitioner to realize that more needed to be done than we were equipped for, so after a brief 15-minute visit, she stepped out to consult the the doctor, and then returned to tell the mom that she needed to go, now, to the emergency room. She stared back, stunned—alarmed at the rapid turn of events. Coming in today had been, she thought, the solution; but things were worse, so much worse, than she had imagined. Starting to gather her things she stopped, “May I go to the bathroom before I leave?” 

“Of course,” the NP responded and then, when the mom hesitated, looking down at the child in her arms, I stood and asked, “May I?”

She handed the infant to me, then rushed down the hall.

The NP also left; before seeing our next patient, she wanted to call the ER so they could expedite the process while the mom and child were en route.

Alone then, with the child, I rocked him back and forth and then began to sing. Lesa wa wa ma, Lesa wa wa ma. Lesa wa wa ma, kinye wa wa ma. 

Over and over I sang the refrain and then, miraculously, he stopped crying. Closing his eyes, his breathing slowed and, when the mother returned to the room, I was still singing and he was sleeping, calm. 

“Thank you,” she managed. And again, “thank you.”

I nodded in response, then buckled him into his car seat, while she gathered her things. As she walked towards the exit, she stopped and turned back to me, “Please, remind me your name?”

I told her. She thanked me again, and then was gone.

I don’t know what the outcome was. The rest of the day was a flurry of other patient visits – of typing. Typing. Typing . . .


God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He’s so good to me.

*photo is simply a moment of softness from our weekend on the homestead…sharing the bunny love with a young friend


August 6, 2022

Nursing is an art. I suppose one could say the same about a number of different careers. But the more I settle into this new one, the more awed I am at the level of precision, focus, and concentration involved in the work that so many spend all their daylight hours, long shifts, and body-wearying workdays doing, quietly investing in the health of the world. “Quietly” because, at the end of one of these days, there is little energy left to care for one’s own household and family, never mind to talk about what it’s like to do what one does. So as I observe the nurses I work with, it has not taken me long to develop a deep respect-awe, even-for them. I know that the perspective of age makes it difficult to accurately gauge how challenging one season of life has been compared to another; but it really feels as if, on the days when I get to work clinical, it is the hardest-and most rewarding-work I have ever done.

Today our clinic participated in a community health fair, with a booth offering vaccinations. I had no idea what to expect going into it, but even so was shocked by the large scale of it all. I’m a poor estimator of crowd numbers (perhaps due to the fact that anything larger than a group of 20 or so overwhelms my introverted-ness); that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if thousands were involved in the fair. It filled up a two-story university gym/student center, with people seeming to occupy every square foot of it. 

We were, as you might guess, kept occupied.

At one pause in the flow of patients (customers?), I lifted my mask off and commented to my coworkers that I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the lack of struggle involved in this day’s work. Giving injections to grown-ups is just unnaturally quiet and calm.

A few minutes later a woman probably a decade older than me sat in my chair. “Which arm would you prefer?,” I asked, after introducing myself to her. In response she pulled her left arm out of the sleeve. I turned to put my gloves on and pick up the syringe, and when I turned back toward her, I saw a scrunched up face and heard sniffles. Slightly alarmed, I paused and started to abort the procedure. Her sniffles then changed to chuckles and she smiled, “Oh don’t worry honey-I’m just teasing.” “Oh! Of course!,” I stammered, embarrassed at my immediate assumption. While fixing a Spider-Man bandaid on her, I heard what seemed to be the words “You’re good!” Not exactly accustomed to such feedback from my usual young clientele, I paused to look at her smiling face. Then, assured, I grinned like an insecure middle schooler in front of a demanding teacher. “Thanks!” I gushed.

On a scale of difficulty when it comes to a clinical day’s work, this particular vaccination did not rank very high up. In fact, I have yet to feel competent, never mind confident, in some of the blood work that we do. But I must admit, it felt good.

Recently a group from my church began another in a series of memorizations we’ve been doing. Usually, I gravitate towards using the 1984 NIV version for these, as this is what I read for most of my childhood. When I picked up one of my early Bibles (that I am thankful made the trek across the ocean decades ago), however, I realized that this one was NKJV. It didn’t take me long to decide that this was it, though, for this particular project. One line, in particular, grabbed my heart and has been rolling around in my wordy brain for the past few weeks. 

Yes, I have a good inheritance (Psalm 16:6).


Indeed. I am beginning to let settle, deep into my bones, the truth of this. In spite of it all-and in the midst of my oftentimes anxious and wavering emotions-the truest truth is that, yes, it will be good.

It is good.