Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mid-day on Christmas Day

The sun never really gets very high, but it is pretty

The firepit

A silly thing to happen, but big consequences (warning graphic foto)

I broke my second toe on my right foot.  I wish you could  see the xray.  It is terrible.  It was a little over  week ago I was walking down our hallway in the dark in the morning.  I tripped on a wooden legged footstool that was misplaced in the hall.  I knew right away that I had broken it.  It was jagged out to the side and didn't feel like any jam I'd ever had (I am a former basketball player and I've had plenty!).  I went to my bed and told my husband that I broke my toe.  We turned on the light and looked at it.  It was hanging out to the toe side.  I straightened it up the best I could.

Since this picture, it got more purple, then all the middle toes were purple, now it is almost back to normal color, but it is still very sore!  I had it xrayed at work and the break is nasty with jagged edges.  One of my orthopedic colleagues looked at it and told me all I need to do is buddy-tape it.  The other people at work insisted that I call him since it still looked displaced.  He said it would heal fine :D.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our first introduction to Alaska

In February 2010 my husband and I flew to Alaska in a 3 day, very full weekend of interviews at Peninsula Community Health Services and were introduced to the Alaskan winter. 

Tim near Ninilchik, Alaska over the Cook Inlet

Me at the end of the spit in Homer

Orthodox church in Ninilchik

Over Homer - this is the Homer Spit reaching out into Kachemak Bay

Eagle at Homer
We flew up early on a Thursday, interviewed all day Friday, explored the area on Saturday and flew back home Saturday night.  The days were short and snowy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Making a Dream a Reality

January 2010 our family came to a crossroads.  We had been in mission work for 4.5 years in Colorado working with Youth with a Mission.  It was a hard time to be in missions.  Support was difficult to raise.  I was going through a lot of changes spiritually - moving to a more Torah-based theology - and I was having a hard time fitting in.  Tim was getting burned out working in the kitchen.  We both were ready to move on.  I had homeschooled for the past 6 years, and even that was getting hard.  I felt I was finally ready to let go of the kids, and to trust God to help us raise them, even if it meant I wasn't fully going to be the one educating them.  This was a crucial turning point, because outside of YWAM I have been the major bread-winner in this family, and if we were going to be going back into "the real world", I'd likely have to go back to working full-time.  We had very little resources, and to move meant we'd have to find a job in a bad economy that would be willing to foot the bill to move us.  It made sense that I would need to be willing to go back to the workforce, at least in the beginning.  We put my resume online and "threw out the fleece".  If God wanted us to move, He'd have to show us.  It didn't take too long. 

Alaska has been in the top 5 of every crossroad decision we came to in our lives.  I wanted to go do a mission trip to Alaska when I was 17 and graduating from high school.  I ended up doing a YWAM DTS at that time instead.  Since Tim and I were married in 1994, we've moved four times to start over in a new state or a new place.  Alaska is number 4.  We started in North Newton, Kansas, as I went to physician assistant school at Wichita State University.  When I was done with PA school, we moved to Horton, Kansas where I took a position in rural Kansas to pay off my National Health Service Corps scholarship time (two years)  After that was done, we moved to Illinois "temporarily" so we could figure out what to do with ourselves.  We ended up living in an intentional community of anabaptist believers there for almost 7 years!  From there we moved to YWAM in Colorado.  Every time we came up to one of these crossroads, we thought of Alaska.

Originally, Tim and I were very interested in homesteading.  Something about moving to the "final frontier", living like pioneers, building our own home, living off the land, was very appealing to us.  However, we read books about people who had done this,and we saw a trend of how this life broke up marriages and families, and it sobered us. 

In Colorado we had a few friends who were interested in doing YWAM here (there are at least 3 bases that I am aware of).  That is what first started us thinking again about it.  We kept finding ourselves looking at one base's website in particular - in Homer, Alaska.  I figured if they would let me work part time as a PA, we could easily do it.  I looked for jobs in the Homer area, but none came to fruition.  In the job-seeking however, last January, we found the clinic where I am currently working, about 2 hours from Homer.  Tim was burnt out on missions and he'd already made it clear that he did not want to go overseas.  I still wanted the adventurous life that missions brought me when I was in YWAM from 1986-1991.  I wanted to do full-time work in an underserved area.  I figured Alaska would give us the adventure I craved and the Americanness Tim clung to.  When the clinic administration asked us to come interview in a week, we prayed and decided to see what they wanted to offer.  Their offer was better than anything I'd ever had in my previous 14 years of practice.  It was a dream come true.