Thursday, September 29, 2011

The colors changed today...

"God, I look to You! I won't be overwhelmed.
 Give me vision, to see things like You do!" ~ Jen Johnson

                    Photo by Heath Cates, all rights reserved.

I'm sure I thought I'd never update this blog again. While I still enjoy waxing poetic from time to time (or at least attempting), it seems that the M3 year didn't allow for the time to write it out, format a photo and insert a quote...I guess my yearning for perfection got the best of me again.

So here I am, a year later, and a year different from where I was last year. At this point, I'm sending off residency applications, anxiously awaiting to hear back on interview scheduling, and basically finishing up the last few "check boxes" I have in my medical school training. So in May of next year, I will walk onto a stage as a medical student, and walk off as a physician...terrifying as it may be for me to accept that responsibility!

Spending this week at Kosair Children's working as an acting intern has truly cemented my drive to finish this thing strong and pursue the pediatric residency with all I've got. It's amazing how passion turns work into fulfillment, I pray I never lose that. Although spending the time away from my wife this month is one of the harder things we've had to do, I know it's for the best for right now. Completing this training should bolster my application for residency, and I pray God uses my "utmost for His highest" in this situation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lazy Days of Autumn

I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me,
I know that You are  for me even in my weakness
I know that You have come down, even if to write upon my heart
To remind me of who You are. ~ Kari Jobe

                             Photo by Heath Cates, all rights reserved.

In case you hadn't noticed, autumn is my ultimate favorite time of year. Although I generally love all the seasons, autumn brings such crispness to the air that you almost feel like you can breathe deeper, like breathing in the change that's coming.

Bit of a confession, but the things that I identify most with autumn are scents. In my education, I've learned that of our senses, olfaction (smell) is the sense most linked to memory. If you think back, this really might ring true for you. For me it's my Nana's apple pie, tobacco smoking in the barn (though I wholeheartedly abhor tobacco abuse, I am a "country boy" of sorts), sawdust in Pa's workshop, and wet leather -- from my soccer playing days as a kid.

Autumn always seems to be a welcome change in my life, and it seems like that change can never come too soon. I guess there are a lot of people who are scared of change, but in my life I'm always chomping at the bit for it, haha! I guess that's good since due to my education we have to  move about every two years or so.

Haven't done much today, but even lazy days around the house are amplified with all the windows up and sun streaming in....I love autumn!!!

P.S. I get really annoyed with those who write rules of grammar...the seasons should totally be capitalized, without it they seem less important than they are.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The new woman

Thought I'd let you in on my latest love: Penny. Amazingly enough she was virtually abandoned, but thank God we found her! She's very sweet, and at the moment very chewy...hopefully we can figure a way to get that under control. It's the first dog I've had since high school, and if you can't tell, I'm pretty excited. I'm very much liking the idea of taking her along where our lives take us over the years to come. It seems that dogs more than any other pet develops a relationship with their owner, likely through their more dependent/pack nature. The whole thing came up unexpectedly, and although I fell in love the first time I saw her, we needed to talk out the details and responsibilities that a new puppy will bring. Regardless, the morning after finding out about her...she was here in our backyard! Our two cats are finally adjusting to her presence and actually behaving quite well...if we could just get Penny to stop chewing on them, haha!

Just giving you an opportunity to fall in love with her as we have.

                                Photos by Heath Cates, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going home

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

                    Shot by Trey Ratcliff, info here

A few years back (actually, several years back) in the summer of 2002, my then girlfriend (now wife) and I took a road trip to the small town in south central Tennessee where I spent a few of my formative years. We moved back from being out West in Farmington, New Mexico for a year, closer to our Kentucky home. We spent five years in Tullahoma, and for some reason these are the years I find myself traveling back to in my mind. It's where I learned to ride a bike, play baseball, started soccer, spent a brief stint in gymnastics (while Mom took her Jazzercize was the late 80's) get the picture. We moved away from this town back "home" to Kentucky when I was 8 years old, and although I'm sure my parents explained everything to me, I felt blindsided by our move as a child.

When Leslie & I got a chance to travel back, it was like unlocking a box of my childhood. It's funny how things change and yet stay the same. I drove by our old house, which hadn't seen the care and attention we'd given it. I saw the remnants of the giant magnolia tree in which I climbed all the way to the top, several times, before Mom had the wits scared out of her and had it cut down. The little Baptist church where I was baptized...which had grown to a much larger church, was still in the same location. I loved the opportunity to catch a peek into the life of one of my childhood friends while I was there. I guess everyone has these points where their life takes a turn, and you go back later to think "I wonder what my life would be like if..."

I heard a country song today by Miranda Lambert called "The House that Built Me," in which one of the lyrics says:

"I thought if I could touch this place or feel it,
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here it's like I'm someone else,
I thought maybe I could find myself."

 I guess this is what I was hoping from that trip as well, like maybe if I could get back to that place I could course correct. Truth is, there wasn't a correction that needed to take place. I realized that day that things happen in our lives beyond our control, and some things hurt like you think you'll never heal...but the truth of the matter is this: He works all things together for the good of those that love Him, for those that are called according to His purpose. Today that verse seems ever more real, and yet ever more difficult to accept.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And so it is...

"But if for rain to heal, uncontrollably fill, the soil of eternity!" ~ S. Barnard

    Photo by Leslie Cates, all rights reserved.
While I still haven't decided how on earth I'm going to find the energy & time to commit to blogging, perhaps the catharsis it provides will be somewhat more of an incentive. I'm currently staring at study books and review materials, hoping that the next time I blink these things will have disappeared, haha.

Moving to Madisonville from Louisville to finish my medical training has honestly been one of the most surprising events for my family in a while. We absolutely love our little home that we're renting out in the country. It's amazing how much your mind can unwind simply by stepping outside, feeling a warm breeze brush across your face and breathing in the sunshine-enveloped scent of all the things growing and blooming right before your eyes. Even on days that are difficult, coming home to (what amounts in my mind) such serenity is almost healing. Truly God's glory and craftsmanship on display. We've also had the pleasure of sitting on our back porch and watching storm fronts roll in, bringing the soft falling rain that so easily seems to relax me. It seems to me that there's no more therapeutic of a sound as a soft falling summer rain -- it's almost like I can literally feel my mind unwind and relax, as if a cogwheel key was lessening its tension. There have also been a couple of instances where we have looked out our window to view a herd of deer crossing the road about 20 feet from our house (drivers, beware!), and I've always been a sucker for animal watching. Needless to say, this new house that God literally dropped in our lap has become so much more!

It's also fairly unbelievable to me how my time in Louisville literally flew past. It hasn't sunk in yet, I don't think, that that stage is complete and finished...all the checks have been marked. Also, realizing that the stage I'm in now (clinical training) lasts the same length of time boggles my mind...because by the end of this, I'm supposed to know how to be a physician -- terrifying as it is. I'm sure my classmates can relate.