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Not All Who Wander Are Lost… Everything you ever wanted to know about my Dominican mission work

The Faith That Sets You Free…

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Sometimes random song lyrics inspire me to update my blog.  This week, I was listening to country radio (my fave!) and heard Brett Eldredge singing “Mean To Me.”  It’s about what a person means to him and contains this line…

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Somehow, in my mind… this turned into some thoughts about how I have been set “free” to do the mission work in the Dominican Republic… which I love so much.

There are so many circumstances that have come together over my life time, but they all go back to the idea of having a strong foundation, values, and  self-confidence… which I got from my parents and my brothers from the minute I was born.

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My parents taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be, taught me to work hard, to never give up, to believe in myself and to know that they would always be there for me.  My brothers taught me how to interact successfully in a man’s world, how to stand up for myself, how to hit and how to run, and also to know that they would always be there for me.  What a lucky girl I was and still am!  No one has a family as wonderful as mine.

Fast forward a few decades, and I find myself turning into my paternal Grandmother.  “Gram” was quite an adventurer. She loved to travel.  She was an artist, as astrologer and an all-around “cool” independent woman.  Maybe I’m not quite as cool as Gram, but I do love to dabble in artsy activities, love to hike and take photos, and love to travel.  Machu Picchu, one of her greatest adventures, is still on my bucket list, but I’m going to get there, I swear!

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My hubby, as some of you may know, is NOT an adventurer.  He’s a home-body. Very low-key, quiet and introspective.  He does not enjoy the outdoors, photography, art or mission work…  but one of the most wonderful things about him is that he understands and admires the fact that I love these things… and so he supports me doing them.  100%.  With pride.  I could not ask for more.

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Before my first mission trip, I teased Don that I was going to get off the plane at the end of my trip with 3 little “bare-bottomed, brown-skinned babies.”  I’m pretty sure he was petrified that I was serious.  So when I called him from the D.R. to ask him about sponsoring a child’s education, he was all for it!  I wasn’t bringing her home, right?  He’s proud of Yasiri.  He tells his friends and co-workers about her, and shows her picture around.

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So, even though we have very different activities that we’re passionate about at this stage of our lives, I have come to realize that my husband (of 20 years now) has been very involved in providing  me a strong nest from which to fly.  Now, I’m a self-proclaimed “grammar nerd” and I’m not sure if that previous sentence was worded and structured correctly, but when I Googled it, all I got was information about how eagles build their nests… so I’m going to stick with it, as is!  Anyway, here’s a pic of our home… my nest that I’m always glad to come back to, and making plans to leave again in 148 days!

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For the past 10 years, I’ve worked as a Registered Nurse at St. Rita’s Medical Center.  I love being a nurse, and I love working in the surgery department.  The health care, insurance and political environments over the past few years, though, have brought about many changes in hospital care, resulting in staffing changes, consolidations, and other big/scary words that are usually negative.  It’s common to hear people complain, gripe, and moan about the hospital and/or their jobs.  But I have good things to say, and here’s why…

I have had nothing but support from St. Rita’s (the organization and the employees) when I’ve asked for any help with my mission projects.  They made sure I had the shelves I needed for my storage unit (see a previous blog update) and

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the hands-on staff has been VERY generous in donating their used scrubs for me to either take to the Dominican Republic in May or sell to raise money for the next trip.

Most recently, the H.R. department GAVE me 2 winter coats for the Solid Rock Int’l staff members who are coming from the D.R.  to the Midwest for the Winter (crazy, right?).  All I had to do was ask.  They’ve never said NO to me.  I am unbelievably grateful.

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Finally, I just want to share the latest project that I’m exicted about.  I submitted some rough sketches to a company called FundTheNations.  They create t-shirts for people and groups who are trying to  raise money for various projects such as mission trips, adoptions and local causes.  I am going to make sure each person who is going on the 2016 Mission Trip to the D.R. has the ability to sell these shirts to raise $$$$ to help pay the expenses for their own trip.  Each individual usually has to pay $1300-ish to go on the one-week trip.  Any money that they can raise really helps offset their costs.  Here’s the design.

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We will have short sleeve available in V-neck and crew neck, and long sleeve available in crew neck.  The shirts are excellent quality and very soft.  Will probably sell the short sleeve for around $20.  I hope you’ll save some of your pennies to purchase a shirt to help with my expenses.

At this most wonderful time of the year, I am feeling very thankful for my friends and family.  Your support is so heart-warming and I truly appreciate you being on my side, one of my peeps, or in “my tribe”.

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