I am a fussy toddler…

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Cultivating the quiet”, 01/08/12, Psalm 23: 1-6

Hey…I’m into January in this book…well actually I’m backlogged and still have some blogs from December’s month in the book to write but I kind of just dog-ear them and will get to them, eventually.

Interestingly this one came up. In a previous entry in the book the author had encouraged us to spend our time productively and not waste it and I wrote a blog about how taking moments to ‘space out’ and how valuable that can be for ones mental health. Now in this entry she encourages moments of quiet stating that a ‘quiet heart is a receptive heart’. 1 Peter 3:4 states, pulling from the previous verse–beauty…”should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Pslam 23: 2 states: “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams…”

Flipping through the book this morning to find an entry dog-earred to write about I came across this and it hit a nerve for me. In the past few weeks my life has taken a tremendous turn. Continue reading “I am a fussy toddler…”

Love and Riddles: How often do you say you love someone important to you?

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Love and Riddles”, 12/6/2011, Song of Songs (Solomon) 2:1-17

So I’ll be jumping around a bit as I play catch up in my devotional blog ‘series’ out of this book. I’m combining two entries in this blog. So Song of Songs or Solomon as its called in some Bibles is quite the ‘lovers’ book. It’s very short, only 8 short chapters (about 4 Bible pages) and sits between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah. I kept missing it when I was flipping through my Bible trying to find it. And the book is all about love and how to treat your lover. And how can you not think this books is about desire with verses like:

1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine. 1:13 My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.  1:16 My love is mine and I am his… 7:9-12 May the wine go straight to my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth. I belong to my lover and his desire is for me. Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened,and if the pomegrantes are in bloom–there I will give you my love.

In spite of the lack of explicitly religious content, Song of Songs can also be interpreted as an allegorical representation of the relationship of God and Israel, or for Christians, Christ and the Church or Christ and the human soul (Cited from Wikipedia).

What struck me was the sincere passion these two characters within this book had for each other. Like all good internet junkies I googled “love”… Continue reading “Love and Riddles: How often do you say you love someone important to you?”

Minions and Mentorship…

Devotional Blog:

Topic: “Mentor Me”, 11/16/2011, Proverbs 9:9-12

I don’t know how many times since starting my postdoc that I’ve desired minions. Cohorts in my pursuit of viral evolution and ecology. Kindred spirits clad in lab coats and laced with the smell of phenol chloroform. Ok…really I just need people to help me with lab work that I like doing but I have less and less time to do as analysis and writing alone consumes me sometimes. But in return I’d like to mentor.

I mentored a very motivated undergraduate student while in grad school and she turned out quite apt and successful so I figure I did something right…and I tried at all costs to minimize her interactions with my boss who also happened to be her academic mentor. He had the uncanny ability to make many women (including myself at times) who worked in his lab want to staple things to his head and leave in a hail of frustrated cuss words and gunfire.

I mentioned in my last post that many topics in this book seem to be on repeat and I realize I posted a blog earlier on ‘leadership’ but I think this is different…the idea of leadership and mentorship. Ideally they should go hand in hand and I aspire to that but many times they don’t. There are many leaders that are terrible mentors and mentors that if you put them in charge of something wouldn’t know left from right practically speaking–rather they are gurus of ‘sense’. They are often the ones that you want to quote a lot because they inspire you, even if practically speaking they may not get a whole lot done.

Leaders you follow, mentors you quote. And if you have someone that is both, then  you get the great leaders of our time. But they all had to start somewhere. Continue reading “Minions and Mentorship…”

When it’s dark outside you can see the stars: repost from Mar 22, 2007

I’m back from Brazil! I am not going to relate the specifics of my trip if you want to know that stuff check out the blog I kept: http://springinbrazil.blogspot.com but suffice it to say it was absolutely amazing.

When I decided to go to Brazil I went to refocus and clarify somethings in my life about my future and where I am supposed to be following the completion of my thesis. I got down there and the people were so wonderful, so passionate about their work and what really matters in life, it was so intoxicating and contagious. They were so full of faith and perserverence. It was such a priviledge just to be down there and help out with their ministries and be with them in general.  Being down there re-confirmed what I already knew in my mind. I had lost my passion, my direction which I know may sound odd since I’ve been on this PhD path for the past 4 years and have never really detoured from it. But I was beginning to forget why I was doing it…who I was doing it for…

I think it’s healthy to every once in awhile really take stock of your life and if you are living it the way you were intended to live it. Idealistic, faith driven–I am…I believe there is a reason for everything, even the shittiest things that happen to us in life. Going to Brazil allowed me to darken my mind and pay attention to the spots of light in my life that I’d thought I’d lost.

I made some amazing contacts and I will be pursuing the possibility of returning to Brazil one day after I graduate or going to the Tenwek mission hospital in Kenya to see about the research ward there. Currently they do not have one, I would love to establish one. The hospital is the only one for 100’s of miles in either direction and it’s a good hospital but I need to look into their staffing for monitoring of infectious disease/epidemiology, outbreaks in the area, and what the possibilities are.

I am so excited for the future, I cannot even begin to describe how much easier I breathe now. I don’t know honestly where I will be when the chips fall, but I walk through the doors that open to me, I don’t question the ‘plan’ for my life, I simply walk it, run it, drag myself through it if necessary, easy or hard–the way I always have and I believe that’s only way I will be content in this life.

It took darkening my mind to see the pinpoints of light representing the good things and promising things in my life that drive my passion.