Audra Krell

On Purpose

Not Earmarked for Erosion

I’ve seen lots of posts on “Five Things to Do If 2013 Wasn’t Your Year”.  Truth be told, I don’t even click through. Because every year could be considered “not my year” if I chose to think that way.

Some are better than others, I will concede. 2013 was filled with joy for me. Sure we had our share of heartache, loss and disappointment, but overall there were so many beautiful things that God did in our lives. I am able to continue my education, we have our health, we have each other and most of all a God who loves us beyond measure.

So it’s led me to wonder, what things should I do since 2013 was my year? How can I repeat another good year?

I can’t.

One thing I  know that I shouldn’t do, is make drastic changes. I don’t need to till up my life, pummeling and shoveling dirt, displacing the nutrient soil my roots are made to absorb.

Digging up dirt is just earmarking my life for erosion. Definitely not what we’re created for.

My plan for 2014 is to continue fostering my root system. Water, feed and care for my Spiritual life. Look to God and  do what He is asking me to do.

Love like He is asking me to love.

He has the opposite of erosion planned for my life. He has plans to save and preserve my life, eternally.

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (New American Standard Bible)

David and Goliath New Book Review

David and Goliath New Book Review

Absolutely loved Malcolm Gladwell’s new book David and Goliath. It opens with the original Underdog vs. Giant battle from 3000 years ago in Palestine. Quickly, the stories explode and bridge to present battles we all face on a daily basis. Whether it be sibling rivalry, surviving culture and/or running a business, David and Goliath brings an offering, a gift which gives the ability to see life in a different way.
One of the best quotes is from a man with Dyslexia. “Dyslexia…forces you to develop skills that otherwise might have lain dormant. It also forces you to do things you might otherwise never have considered…”
I ask you this Christmas, what is your Dyslexia? What (or who) is it in your life that you consider to be a great hinderance? A God-given something that may never change? But most importantly, how can you consider your greatest thorn in a new light?
Read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell to find out.
*Thank you to The B & B Media Group for providing this book to review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a favorable review.*

Bound To A Promise Review

I recently read an interesting book called Bound to A Promise by Bonnie Floyd. It’s a true story that reads like fiction. Bonnie’s parents were killed as they traveled the world on their boat. Bonnie goes on to forgive one of the men who had a hand in murdering her parents.

Through a meeting only God could ordain, Bonnie is able to speak with and be in physical contact with one of the men who bound and gagged her parents. The following is the most powerful part of her experience for me:

“I didn’t go there to forgive him; I went only to tell him about Jesus. Forgiving him happened as a result of my obedience to God..”

For me that is often how forgiveness happens. When you least expect it. The air being let out of a balloon. The silent, gushing relief.

It’s my belief that I must daily intend to be obedient to God. That way, all will be in place when I decide to forgive with every fiber of my being.

I recommend Bound To a Promise. Makes a great gift this season too!Image

Many thanks to B and B Media Group for providing this book for my review. I received no compensation for this and was free to communicate what I felt was true. I was not required to give a favorable review.

Happy Hospital Dreams

Portrait of happy woman doctor

Only a few dreams haunt me. I remember with startling clarity a terrifying dream from my childhood and I have yet to decipher what it means. I suspect I never will. It’s so scary that I hope to never get acquainted with the meaning by living out the dream.

Then there was a prophetic dream five years ago, foretelling of a medical tragedy two people continue to struggle with today. (That is for another post as I can’t publish it here until after it’s hopefully published in a story compilation book.)

Last night though, I had a happy dream. I was the only nurse caring for at least 8 babies in a hospital. Which I confess is based off the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. I realize the fact that I still watch that show is a confession I shouldn’t make here or really anywhere. But back to the happy dream of being the only caregiver in a stressful NICU, I realized this morning that I cared for the babies all night and was not stressed. I was happy. Blissfully happy.

During my run this morning it became clear that I’ve had many dreams about caring for people in a hospital. In every  one of them it was hard and exhausting work, but overall, I’m wildly happy in that setting. Wildly happy I tell you.

Further this morning it came to light, that God speaks in these happy hospital dreams. I’ve spent my life asking God to reveal my purpose, my direction, what I should do with my life. I’m certain that He has whispered to me in many dreams over the years. There is no doubt that the happiness I experience in dreams and especially in real life medical settings is a gift from Him.

Caring for all of God’s people is a calling, a purpose, an upward direction and definitely what I should do with my life.

If I can show the love of Christ with a smile, a nod of understanding and a gentle healing touch then I believe I’m at the center of His will. There is not a happier place to be.

Does God speak to you through your dreams? What has He revealed to you?

Learning and Serving with Thanks

Learning and Serving with Love

Valladolid. Hundreds heard of our great God. Many chose to live for Him. All chose to love.

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. We could not have done it without you.

3 John 1:4  reads ” I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” NIV

It is with the greatest of joy that I profess that we did just that.

We came alongside the underserved, took them by the hand and walked with them in truth.

Amen.

5 Ways to Support Our Medical Mission

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Keegan and I are deeply blessed to be going back to Valladolid, Mexico in June. We’ll be serving with International Medical Assistance and working in the same hospital, Centro Medico San Lucas. This is IMA’s biggest trip of the year. Our team will perform hundreds of surgeries over 5 days, as well as 300 dental procedures, build an eye clinic, and see hundreds of children in the villages. We will play with them and run medical clinics. And best of all, every patient will hear the gospel. We will love and care and support and come alongside the sick and the poor. We plan to once again, give our brothers and sisters everything we’ve got.
A few significant changes are happening this year though. Keegan is coming back, but in a medical capacity. The trip touched him so deeply last year, that he changed his major at U of A and is pursuing a Family Studies Major with a pre-health minor. His ultimate goal is to become a pediatric oncologist. I came back to the US and went back to school. I’m now a Licensed, Certified Nursing Assistant and plan to pursue a nursing degree. Can’t wait for pictures this year as Keegan will be in scrubs too!
We must thank all of the donors from last year, who made the trip possible for us. As you can see it has changed our lives. Our only desire is to continue to serve those who need our help while continuing with life-long learning. Keegan and I are committed to assisting people at the highest level.
We have raised a good portion of funds this year, but as you’ll see below, we have a little gap to fill. We appreciate in advance, any and all support. We love you all and look forward to partnering with each of you to get our boots on the ground in Valladolid.
5 Ways you can help:
1.) Pray for provision in every way, for the safety of our team, and for those supporting us from home.
2.)Donate readers. You know those cute reading glasses from Dollar Tree? There is a desperate need for those and we’d be more than happy to take them to Mexico.
3.) Donate Advil, Tylenol or other pain killers. Please note, we cannot take expired medication into Mexico.
4.) Donate airline funds. Keegan and I are using points to purchase our airfare and are one round trip ticket short. Airline tickets are about $850.
5.) Donate to our individual trip fund. If you give to Scottsdale Bible Church it is tax deductible. Keegan and I are $350 short (total) on our trip fees.
Instructions for online giving are as follows:
Click Online Giving
On the right side of that screen click on Mission Trip Giving
In the drop down for Trip/Project select the team (Mexico, Yucatan #756)
In the individual drop down select Participant-Put name in memo (Audra Krell or Keegan Krell)
The donor should type in the team member’s name in the memo box
Hit next and complete steps for donation
We are truly grateful for your precious friendship. Thank you for your prayers, we couldn’t do this without you.

How To Know if You’re A Bully

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Bullying is a pervasive problem which I believe stems from abandonment issues. It’s defined in multiple ways and some countries have no legal definition of bullying while the US has state laws against it. Bullying is a form of abuse which covers a gamut of emotional, verbal and physical scenarios. It is abuse, harassment, mobbing,threats and assault. Bullying by any other name, stinks just as bad.

While the definition and recognition of what exactly bullying is, is growing rapidly, our culture houses bullies of all ages and stages, who do not not know that they are abusive. Even people who are viewed as good and upright are bullying their peers and family members. Instead of jumping to judge others, we would do well to look inward and make sure that we are not contributing to the bully culture.

The following may be extremely difficult to consider.

Eight ways you might be a bully:

1. When you don’t get your way, you intentionally make others feel uncomfortable.

2. You put people’s dreams on a leash and then parade them about and mock them in front of others.

3. You hold people’s past against them and threaten to expose your knowledge.

4. You threaten harm verbally and in your actions, even though you believe you will never act on your threats.

5. You subtly and constantly try to coerce others to do anything and everything you want.

6. You try to isolate others from social circles at church, work, school or any gathering place.

7. You indirectly bully your loved ones and others by refusing to speak to them.

8. You verbally abuse people in front of others even though you  follow with “I’m kidding,” or “I’m just sayin”.

Bullying includes name calling, verbal or written abuse (Cyber bullying), exclusion, physical abuse and coercion to name a few. We all fall down. But if after reading this you realize that you have a pattern of harming people by repeatedly doing one, some, or all of these, I encourage you to seek help. Learning about your behavior can lead to positive change and a healed soul who isn’t looking to others to fill a God-shaped hole.

A Cell By Any Other Name

iStock_000015786484XSmall

What is it in us that wants to rewrite history? I suspect some of it is money driven.

In my teen and early adult years, I was a bit of a hoarder. I was hoarding before hoarding was cool. I saved my college text books. All of them. They were heavy and hard to lug around. In the fall, my mom drove my textbooks down from storage in Colorado. Our oldest son Keegan is taking an Africana Studies class this semester and needed a book called Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl. Can you imagine my joy when I pulled out that old book and gleefully presented it to my son? Over the top I tell you. Me and the Mister were gonna save $17.46 on a text book, clearly paying for all those years of carting the books back and forth between AZ and CO.

But just like that it was over. My book, wasn’t the right edition and was therefore not allowed to be used. The authors even added 140 pages to my edition. What? Slavery in the 1800′s has changed so much in the past 20 years that a third of the book was added? Well I’ll be. I had no idea history was so different. Makes me wonder what all I don’t know.

Now there is the matter of me going back to school for nursing. Some of the schools won’t accept my science classes because they say I took them too long ago. Seriously? Biology has changed so much that I need to retake it? Cells don’t divide the same way anymore? Meiosis and Mitosis are thing of the late 1980′s?

I know the picture above looks like a lozenge or a filled in lifesaver candy, but I’m pretty sure a blood cell is still a blood cell.

Well I just can’t wait. Tell me all about how chromosomes and ribosomes and nucleus’ have changed.

Or could you just want me to write another check?

I’ll let you know after I take the classes. You should probably hold your breath.

History is apparently not what we thought it was.

Even so, I shall look with joy to the future.

On Patience and Mustard Seeds

What is freeing you?

In these trying times, it’s easy to recall the ties that bind. Politics, guns, money, war, jobs, resolutions, health and family obligations. If you let them, that is, if you so choose, each one will choke the life right out of you.

In an effort to be intentionally peaceful, I think of not who I want to be, but who God is asking me to be. He allows me to make a choice and to immediately live out an answer, by simply doing the next right thing.

It frees me to realize that I don’t have to worry as much about my attitude toward others, as I do about my disposition before God. Sometimes I get those backwards.

I’m free in knowing that when I stand in the light of God’s love, my attitude toward others will follow. But, if I choose to focus on others before God, I stop short of all He calls me to be. I forfeit the good gifts He so freely gives.

Patience is a good gift He gives. Lately I’ve seen patience as small as a mustard seed, pay off in the form of a forest.

Patience and mustard seeds and godly disposition free me and they’ll do the same for you.

If you so choose.

Banana Love

I spent my last day in clinicals climbing in and out of isolation gowns. MRSA, C. diFF and HIV patients required that I wear a clean, full gown, gloves and a mask in each patient room. If we forgot an item, we had to take everything off, go get the item and then start the process all over again.

The MRSA and C. diff patients cannot have visitors. MRSA is a very serious antibiotic resistant staph germ and C. diff is a bacteria that causes severe intestinal problems, both of which are highly contagious.

So we were it for them today. It’s easy to get depressed when your only contact is with a masked woman who looks like a walking banana. I tried to be ever- so- kind with my eyes.

Then I came home and read Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter’s timely prayer request for her husband. He has MRSA and is in the fight of his life. He cannot have visitors and his only contact is with the medical staff.

It gave me pause and made me realize we’d all do well to remember that every patient is someone’s son-in-law, someone’s mother, daughter, someone’s little boy, baby girl, mother-in-law, father, aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent.

We just might be the only love they see.

Here is Anne Graham Lotz prayer request:

Please Pray for Danny LotzBilly Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, has been a good friend to the Christian Writers Guild, having spoken twice at our annual conference and being a real encouragement to me personally.

Her husband has suffered from Type 1 diabetes for years. Today she says:

We’re in the fight of our lives.

Dan has a MRSA staph–the very worst and most contagious kind. They just did an ultrasound of his arm, and his stent is leaking. They will have to repeat surgery they did last Thursday. None of this is good. And our entire family–especially me–is now at risk.

He is on isolation, so no visitors to perk him up. The head of nutrition for the hospital just came in, put on her gown and gloves, then held his hand and prayed a very powerful prayer for his healing! The little nursing assistant who bathed him and pricked his finger for his blood sugar came in, put on her gown and gloves, then held his hand while I read this morning’s Daily Light–which, as usual, is exactly God’s Word to us. So God is here. But we need urgent prayer.

Please pray:
that he can overcome the infection. And if not, that God will take him quickly and painlessly.
that God will comfort his heart and give him peace. He is afraid.
that God’s presence will fill this room for all who enter.
that no one, including me, will get this infection.
This poem was one Mother (Ruth Bell Graham) wrote in the flyleaf of my Bible when I was a girl. Amazing how the words have come back to my mind:

Trusting Him when dark doubts assail us
Trusting Him when our strength is small
Trusting Him when to simply trust Him
is the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him then through tears or sunshine
All our cares upon Him cast.
Till the storms of life are over
And the trusting days are past.

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