As my fourth, and final, semester of nursing school gets started I am feeling a bit… overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed… with the amount of homework I have. Ten weeks of class, three tests, one final. Several paper/projects. Online tests every week. Three full days of NCLEX (nursing board exam) testing prep. Eight clinical days. And THEN preceptorship begins… 144 hours in the hospital one on one with an RN.

Overwhelmed… that my formal school training is coming to an end and I’ll be able to sit for boards and receive those sweet letters after my name… RN

Overwhelmed… with the desire to finish strong. I am on track to graduate with our honor society – there are only 11 of us – and that is something that is important to me. There is still the fear of not passing something this semester, but what I really want is to finish with honors. Prideful? Maybe. But I’ve waited a long time to do this!!

Overwhelmed… at the sheer amount of knowledge I have gained and am expected to know from here on out.

Overwhelmed… with the reality that I will be caring for real people, not “Manikin” people in the lab. Overwhelmed with the knowledge that I will be present when people come into this world… and leave it.

Overwhelmed… at the thought of having to say goodbye to some really sweet people. A lot of my classmates are here for college, their families living in other places in Texas. I have surely enjoyed being “Mom” to some of them – they have made this experience enjoyable. They have also made the loneliness of the Bearkat being away at school a little easier – being with them is a lot like being with her. I do love their hugs, lending them pencils, giving them ibuprofen, and sharing my snacks with them.

Overwhelmed… at the way the Lord has surprised me with great study partners and a super sweet “nursing school chum.” We study together. We laugh together. We have cried together. She gives my girls her hand-me-down workout clothes. And I have sent pretty dresses over for her girls. We have eaten breakfast, lunch, dinner, and countless bags of Boom-Chicka-Pop popcorn together. This gal is a post for another day, though.

This experience has been overwhelming from the very beginning until the very end. But I am absolutely loving it all. There are only 101 days left until our pinning ceremony!

it’s almost time…


Screenshot 2016-01-27 15.21.08

I really don’t have the words. I haven’t really had words for the last 18 months. I should probably start a series of posts about my experiences in nursing school. It has been one of the most challenging things I have ever set out to do. Today I will just put that picture up there and try to let it sink in. Tomorrow I will try to put into words all that I am feeling about it!

it’s almost time…




I think I am a servant by nature.  I don’t lead.  I don’t teach.  Tell me a need and I’ll do my best to meet it.  I think it is that need to serve others that has been behind the desire to be a nurse.  When I was little I’d say it was because I wanted to “help others.”  Now?  It is really just the same.

I’ve been accused of begin idealistic and a little too romantic at times.  “Things will just work out” and “everything will be okay” are things I say a lot.  I have a feeling that balancing these traits with reality will be a struggle for me.  I just look at it as another way I’ll become stronger.  And it will likely keep me from giving up.

So this summer has been one of checking things off the “Nursing School Check List.”  I’ve been very diligent about getting these things done… EARLY.

  1. Get fingerprinted
  2. Go for drug testing
  3. Provide proof of vaccinations and get a few shots
  4. Get a physical
  5. Buy a parking permit
  6. Buy uniform
  7. Get a stethoscope
  8. Find good nursing shoes

I didn’t realize how much TIME I would have on my hands this summer.  Time makes me think.  Sometimes thinking too much is just… too much.  But I’ve been careful about where my thoughts go and I’ve tried to focus my thoughts on the positive aspects of the next two years instead of scaring myself to death.  (Trust me, there are some nursing related memes and ecards on Pinterest that have sent me into a mild panic about what I am embarking on!)

Lately I’ve been looking for a scripture to have engraved on my stethoscope.  I’ve been through quite a few but I think I have finally settled on one.  Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  It reminds me of WHY I am doing this… WHO I am doing this for… and HOW I am doing it.  Some patients will be easy.  And some will be difficult.  But I know that God is so good.  He has gotten me this far.  We’ll finish it together.

following dreams…



It’s good to have dreams.

Even if they take a long time to be realized.

Especially when they’ve been put off because of such wonderful things…

Like raising three incredible, smart, beautiful, sweet daughters.

And homeschooling those same kids.

And working with your husband on his dream.

I’m not very good on follow through.  But this dream has stuck with me for a long, long time.

I originally thought I would pursue nursing school about 15 years ago.  But the time wasn’t quite right.

I’ve spent the past year getting classes in and tests taken to prepare for today…

The actual application.

I walked it in.  Leaving the delivery of this envelope was not going to be left to the US Postmaster.

With a prayer and a smile, I’ve applied to nursing school.


new year… new thoughts…



What is it about the beginning of a new year that seems like we have a blank slate for life?  What is different about today compared to yesterday?  It’s just a date on a calendar, but it all feels NEW!

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.  It seems everyone is making some kind of resolution or has a word of the year or is starting some “this is the first day of the rest of your life” exercise and diet regimen.  Amazon has all kinds of free devotionals and self-help books right now to help people with these new starts.  I’ve thought before about the word of the year and have never been able to come up with one.  Perhaps this year I have found a word, without really even trying… But before I get to that, I wanted to reflect on some thoughts about new beginnings around here…

As a student, it IS a new beginning.  New classes.  New professors.  New books.  I’ve enjoyed the time off and I’m looking forward to getting back to class.  This semester will be the toughest one yet.  I think I’m up for the challenge, though.

This is the first break in a long time where I haven’t had to fit work in around the family time.  Working outside the home definitely has its advantages, especially when the boss is my husband!  He has generously allowed me some time off to be at home with the kids.  A new year makes me want a clean pantry, no laundry mountain, and cleaned out closets.  It has brought me much joy to plan, shop, and cook many meals for our freezer.  Laundry and little projects are slowly getting done, too.  I might even squeeze in a little craft project before the break is completely over.

We have some ideas for making our eating habits better.  The jogging bandwagon is hitching up.  There is a much-anticipated vacation on the books for later this year and I plan on bringing a little less of me on the trip.

This morning I pulled out my Bible reading plan and started working on a Bible memorization app.  It’s lots of little changes, but things I should be doing anyway, so it doesn’t really seem like it will be too much.

So when I was reading this morning, my reading was in Exodus.  These verses from chapter 34 jumped out at me…

34 Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

I think they spoke to me because it is really the prayer of my heart.  In all I do, as wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend, student, receptionist, I want people to see Jesus shining from my face because of the time I spent with Him.  I want my time with the Lord to be unveiled, with nothing held back from Him.  My heart bared before Him, ready to receive wisdom and love from the source of all wisdom and love.  When I come out of His presence I hope people see Jesus, not Shannon.

Wherever I go, whatever I do, I want to be so full of the Lord that I shine.