Happy 4th of July, Brave Fighter!

Seasons change in life.

Things change and shift, reflecting different pictures.

For a season of my life The Star Spangled Banner was one of my most favorite songs to sing. Today, I don’t do too much singing publicly, but I still sing. God bless my children and my hubby for all my singing they listen to around the house and in the car!

I remember singing this song for the first time in 8th grade choir. And then, my sophomore year of high school I was asked to sing this song at a basketball game.

Like I always did, I showed up with my accompaniment track, on a cassette tape in those days, and I sang the National Anthem at my first high school basketball game. Afterward, a coach encouraged me to do it next time without the music!

What?!

I could never sing without the music! That felt so naked!

The next few times I still brought my accompaniment, but then one random time I put on my big girl panties, pun totally intended, and I belted it out acapella.

I sang this song so often that one particular time I got finished, walked over to the student section where I planned to eat the hot dog waiting for me that I purchased right before I sang, and my friends said, “What happened? “ I had no idea what they were getting at. I mean, I would remember for sure if I cracked or flubbed. I’ve done that more times than I can count. But this instance I felt it went rather smoothly. Then one of them said, “You skipped straight to the bombs!” How funny! I didn’t even realize until that point that I had missed an entire stanza!

Time has changed very much. In the video you’ll notice my sweet Ruby Sue on the floor behind me and the kids’ cats moseying around, but as different as the picture looks, this is still one of my most favorites.

There is something about “the fight.” Something about a “perilous fight” and “our flag” still there that stirs my heart and my spirit.

We all face fights. We face unimaginable moments of hardship and difficulty, but we come from a people who are fighters.

I am so proud to be an American. Not just today on Independence Day. I am grateful I was born in this United States of America and have inherited the history of this country and my family.

We are a young country. We have many flaws in our past and our present. Something I can relate to and identify with personally.

But we are fighters. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Brave.

Brave is a word that has more definition, meaning and value to me than I can expand on in this post which I intended to be short and sweet.

But brave is something I connect with.

Brave is what the nurses called me in the burn unit during bandage changes.

Brave is what I tell myself when I’m standing on the brink of what I feel like I most certainly will fail at in my own ability.

Brave is what I tap into when I write posts, write this book in the making, show up to take care of NICU babies, step out on a limb to pray with someone I don’t know, parent my children each day, because honestly people, sometimes they scare me, and to record this song to share with you. Gracious that took lots of brave for me.

But just as we come from fighters. We come from so much more. Brave fighters.

I Timothy 6:12 NLT Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

Psalm 27:14 NLT Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Happy 4th of July, Brave Fighter!

I pray this post spoke to you. Did you know I’m writing a book?! Would you join me in supporting these endeavors by subscribing to our blog and sharing with your friends and family? We can’t grow with out you.

Happy Nurse’s Day

Nurses_Have_HeartNine years ago I felt the Lord stirring my heart.  I continually said, “I know He wants me to do something that I’m not doing right now.  I just don’t know what it is.”  For some reason, I visited the OU College of Nursing website and printed some information on the program.  One day at work I told my Dad, “I think God may be calling me to be a nurse.”  My Dad’s response was, “Why would He do that?”  I had a great set up.  I never had to leave Brooklyn who was three and Jaron who was just three months; I either took them to work with me, or worked after they went to bed.  I had fabulous benefits, a secure income and flexibility.  What more could I ask for?  But there was a lot to ask, because life would drastically change in the next year a half.  My Dad died suddenly on the morning of August 29th 2005.  At the time, I was in the burn center recovering from another round of releases and skin grafts.  That night, I lay in my hospital bed and I said, “I’m going to nursing school.”

I could have never anticipated everything the Lord had in store for me when I finally had the opportunity to begin that journey in the fall of 2010.  I only applied to one program and that was none other than the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing.  I’ll never forget getting my letter in the mail April of 2010.  I waited for my husband to get home, which added to my Mom’s anxiety.  We all sat in our living room and I gave Brooklyn the envelope and asked her to open it and read it.  She was 9 years old.  Brooklyn started at the very top, “Heather Renee Meadows 37531 East…”  We all interrupted her and told her to skip down a little. After she read, “we are pleased to inform you,” that was it.  We all erupted in cries of celebration.

That summer of 2010, my dear friend Heather and I rode to the school and tried on scrubs. We had a glorious time.  Then when classes began, it was nothing less than a whirlwind.  Those two years in that program were some of the best in my life, but the hardest, most challenging too.  I never spent a day there that I didn’t feel privileged to be a part of it all.

2011-02-28d

Mrs. BDub and Me (a.k.a. Tonya Ballone-Walton)
Changing Lives at Hillcrest Reception February 2011

My very first day of class I met a woman who had a contagious enthusiasm for nursing.  She intimidated me, but intrigued me.  She challenged me, but cheered for me.  She was the champion of her students.  Our time together in Clinical I and II set an unshakeable foundation for me and an unwavering passion for this profession of nursing.  On graduation she gave us a key chain that had a phrase she spoke into us every moment she could.  It said, “Remember, You Need a Nurse to Save Your Life! Love Mrs. B-Dub

A year ago, I had the honor to receive my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma.  My entire family worked for that accomplishment and they carry pride in what I do with my life each day I go to work. My inspiration comes from so many.  Like my nurse Lois, who cared for me in the burn center 25 years ago and then traveled from Florida to watch me walk that stage. She understood me and calmed me those times I was intubated when I tried to speak. Kelly who was there to see me at Pinning gave care that was always loving, even though it couldn’t be delicate.  Vicki came for my graduation party and she was with me long ago on a night I nearly lost my right leg from a clot after open heart surgery.

DSC01729

Lois and Kelly with Me at Pinning
May 2012

Then I have my neonatal experiences.  Our second visit to the NICU in July 2009 we had Noreen.  She connected with me as a mother.  She simply wrote her name on the board and identified with my need for a list.  She wrote out the goals my little Gavin needed to reach before we could expect to take him home.  Noreen gave me security by acknowledging my instinctive nature and drive to care for my baby, and she let me do that in any way that I possibly could.  I relinquished control to her because I trusted her.

044

Carrie and Me
October 2012

Stepping into my role as a neonatal nurse, I have developed endless amounts of admiration for my co-workers.  It began with Donna, my preceptor during my nurse externship in July 2011.  She was a natural teacher and her demeanor was a magnificent blessing to me.  Last summer in 2012, I spent ten weeks being oriented for my job with Carrie.  She was quick, organized, and calm.  She just knew how to get things done and the best way to do it.

As we celebrate Nurse’s Day, I have to pay tribute to these amazing nurses.  Nursing is love.  I can’t imagine a greater way of touching someone’s life than in their time of need.  It’d be impossible to remember every patient, but every patient may remember what a fabulous nurse you were to them—I sure do!

I Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

** did you enjoy this post?  if so, please share with your friends and family through email or social media**

Connect with Us! Click Here to Subscribe

Could our story be of benefit for your group or upcoming event?  Click here to contact us!

Want to read what others have to say about previous events? Read them here.

Choose this link to see a video of our story and some previous events

personal messages welcomed to speaking@heathermeadows.com