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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer of Change

Greetings! This summer is the first summer in a LONG time that I will not be working full time at camp. I will be working 4 weekends at Camp Livingston, but it's very different to go up for a weekend and return home. If nothing else, it means that I am rested before I go and am able to return home for a good night's rest after the weekend. Anyway, it is quite different. I even remarked to Batya the other day that it didn't really feel like summer yet (this was June 15)...her response, "Well you aren't at camp," is the truth. Of course, I did enjoy the weekend at Camp Livingston, and I look forward for my trip next week!

Here IS what I am doing this summer: I am working as a chaplain (or student chaplain) at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Working at CCHMC has been such a learning experience. Everyone is so incredibly is a truly amazing place to work. I wouldn't say working in a Children's Hospital is fun, but everyone enjoys working there and you can see that in how dedicated they are. It is truly the best hospital I have ever seen, and the care that patients and their family receive is amazing. I am assigned to the recovery from surgery floor. 99% of my patients are only there between 2-7 days and then they go home. So, although I am not seeing anything really traumatic, I am able to connect with families and learn about their stories and where they are in life.

I spend between 20-25 hours a week at the hospital. The other 15-20 hours is spent in class with a group of 5 of my classmates and a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) director. We discuss our clinical work, spend lots of time discussing our growth as pastoral care providers, and reflect on our time together in group as well. I have learned this summer how to be an active listener, and I find myself spending a lot of time reflecting on what people are saying to me - responding rather than reacting. This has truly been and will continue to be helpful for me in my professional and personal relationships. I look forward to the great work I will do during the rest of the summer and in my congregation in the next year - as well as in the rest of my life!

In August, August 18-29, I am returning to Israel again! I am leading a Birthright trip again with my dear friend Claire. She and I led a trip together last January (2009), so it will be fun to do it all over again! Once again, it will be a group of 24-26 year olds. This time I am leading with Israel Experience - an awesome organization! Should be a lot of fun...especially since it will be warm! And, I am looking forward to seeing some of my friends in Israel that I haven't seen in over a year and a half.

Batya and Carlie are doing great! Carlie is turning into quite a talker and I wonder every day where she gets that from :) I am definitely learning to respect my family so much more now as I am sure I was the same way. However, Carlie is such a beautiful little girl and she is inquisitive, smart, and really likes to do just about everything...very easy going just like her mother! Batya is a life saver. She allows me to explore all of the wonderful areas that I am interested in. Being at home this summer has reminded me how wonderful she is and how great our marriage is. I love her with all of my heart and soul, and I hope she remembers that.

Anyway, that's all for now. We are going to see a 4th of July fireworks show this afternoon with our dear friends Andrea and Sam. They were just married in May in North Carolina...and their wedding was awesome! I hope to write on this blog at least every couple of weeks now. I will be beginning my 4th year in August, and I am hoping it will be a less academically demanding year, so I hope to be able to blog more often. Only time will tell!

Happy 4th!!!

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