Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Post Birthday Update

Since my last post, several new developments have gone undocumented. I wish I was blogging more, but inspiration is lacking. First on August 16, my niece Julianna Elizabeth Langelaar was born, weighing 6 pounds 14 ounces. She is a sister for Owen, and is a healthy, fairly contented baby who is settling into a routine at home. Her parents live in Saskatchewan so I won't see her until October 20 when I am travelling out there. Second I have registered to take some correspondence courses at Athabasca with the goal of eventually becoming a registered nurse. Next year I want to get into the two year accelerated program for nursing at McMaster. I plan to keep working while getting through the courses in my spare time. Right now I am working fulltime at Connon Nurseries, but that will end sometime in November, so after that I will most likely get a part-time job while I finish up the courses. I am starting with just two courses, but will be completing four.

When I explain my plans to people, I frequently encounter surprise, mingled with shocked disbelief or, occasionally, thinly veiled disapproval, and the question of "What made you think of nursing?" Well, I am attracted to a career of helping others who are sick and making a difference in their care. I like the idea of getting practical training which I then can use in as a professional in the health care field. Nursing is a career that is in demand, and the skills I will learn are highly useful. If I would like to work as a volunteer in the developing world, that is an option. As someone who has been to the hospital and been helped by nurses myself, I feel I would have the sympathy and compassion for my patients that is necessary in a good nurse. While nursing can be stressful and nurses need to be thick-skinned, it is a rewarding career that really makes a positive difference in the lives of people in need. In the past I have considered becoming a professor of biblical studies, but that requires six years of schooling and in the end, it may be hard to find a job in the field. I have talked about being a Bible translator too, but being a missionary in another country is a daunting prospect and a very sacrificial life path.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a strange birthday, in that I didn't see a single family member. They are all in Saskatchewan until Labour Day, so I will be celebrating with them next week. I started out the day with a flat tire, so that was an adventure getting to work. I did get to go out for dinner with a good friend, so that was a better ending to my day. It is hard to believe I am already twenty-eight, and I don't know where the year has gone. It went by really fast.


Exomorph said...

I think it's great that you're interested in helping sick people get healthier. I'm curious about possibilities of helping people in the areas of dreams and energy healing. I wish you well in your plans for the future. INFPs are sometimes called a "healer" personality, sometimes a "dreamer" personality.

Suzanne den Boer said...

Thanks Andrew. I have never heard of energy healing before. What does it involve? That's interesting about Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving individuals.

Exomorph said...

Energy healing is a generic term I use to describe a group of practices including higher-level Yoga, Reiki, shamanism, and Adam DreamHealer ( ). Basically in Yoga and other practices it is taught that there is a basic life energy, in the form of light, surrounding all living beings. People have their own energy and this energy can be used to heal ourselves or others through intention. I find it very interesting and have had some experince healing myself with my own energy, and it has been very beneficial to me.

Suzanne den Boer said...

I must admit I'm surprised that you are into this type of healing. I don't know much about it, but I wonder how you fit these beliefs with your Christian faith. I know life is more spiritual than Western medicine recognizes, so I can see how energy healing would be attractive. Also I think that there are likely real spiritual forces behind it, so I wouldn't discount it as fake. And obviously you have had success using these methods. Still I would personally be cautious about getting involved in these practices. Maybe I am being close-minded. I know I wouldn't feel comfortable doing higher level Yoga or even getting traditional acupuncture.

Exomorph said...

I know this comment is very long, but I hope that's ok with you.

I guess I'm not surprised you're surprised. It's common for people to respond negatively to me mentioning energy healing or Yoga. Few I know have been really interested, though I have tried to share with people close to me.

My interest in energy healing positively interplays with my Christian faith. I don't find a conflict -- only a desire to discover more about life. I know energy healing is not mainstream in current culture or in current popular Christian circles (especially the CRC). That doesn't mean that it's incompatible with Christian beliefs. I believe that genuine love is more powerful than just a happy feeling inside -- one can use it to heal oneself and others. I don't absorb foreign beliefs or ideas without considerable questioning and comparison to my existing beliefs.

My experience with Yoga has developed in parallel with my walk with God -- hand-in-hand, as it were. I discovered Yoga at a time when I really needed it, and I experience(d) it as a gift from God. As I've developed, I've become more advanced, but my beginnings (pre-discovery of Yoga) and the core of my advancement has been done through prayer. I guess my advanced Yoga isn't the same as one would find from a typical Yoga teacher because I've done it mostly on my own, with the help of some books. I've never taken Yoga training in person.

I do find that I am more open-minded than many people I have come across in life. However I don't think this is a bad thing. Of course I do have limits. I know that some mental or spiritual experiences can be draining, harmful, and dangerous. I've experience spiritual darkness and chosen not to despair, but to hope in Christ. I've climbed a long rocky path out of depth of darkness, sadness, and despair. That's why I seek love, light, and God. Prayer and breath control have been a huge help in this seeking.

In the area of energy healing I am very curious and explorative. For instance, I would view acupuncture as potentially helpful and not dangerous to my belief system: it's basically physical and doesn't require a shift of beliefs. I'm not sure I would want to actually have tiny warm needles put into my skin, but I would probably try it if I were given a free comfortable opportunity to do so.

I've developed this interest over years and much personal experience, so I've had time to get used to new things. I wouldn't expect a person to embrace something so unknown, unusual, and new in mere moments. I just think it's a valuable new area which western culture is beginning to learn about and adapt into itself.

Suzanne den Boer said...

Thanks for your reply Andrew. It certainly is food for thought. I am glad that you have chosen to hope in Christ and that you have found a way out of darkness and despair. While I may be wary of energy healing and Yoga, I admire your spiritual seeking and desire for healing for yourself and others. I think we could have a long discussion about your experiences and discoveries.

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