Friday, February 25, 2011

A Sad Day

I have been a private duty nurse for a little over 5 years, caring for a 20-something patient who became disabled at the age of 9 months after having meningitis (due to privacy laws I can't give too much identifying information).

Private duty nursing is unique in that it's usually long-term, and the care is done in the patient's home. I love private duty nursing as I only had one patient to care for, so was able to really get to know her (and her family) and take my time in caring for her. A private duty nurse can become part of the family, and I feel like I became part of the family after being there several times a week over 5 years.

When I first started working with my patient, I was very intimidated by her medical problems and the procedures I did every day. She was unable to communicate verbally, but I learned to read her mood by her facial expressions--she let me know when she was not happy with me! Over weeks of working with her I became more comfortable with her needs and the procedures I did. I also got to know her family and enjoyed talking with them.

Over the years she was periodically sick, but usually recovered fairly quickly with medication and the care of her nurses and her mom. Several weeks ago she became sick again. I visited her on a Sunday morning and although she was sick, she was glad to see me. I got an order from the doctor and thought that when I went back on Monday (my regular day to work) she would be recovering.

I was unpleasantly surprised Monday morning when I got there and it was obvious she had quicly become VERY sick. Her mom called the ambulance within minutes of my arrival and assessment. I went to see her in the hospital after she'd been there for several days...she opened her eyes and gave me a smile when I talked to her. We thought she was on her way to recovery, but after several days she was transferred to another hospital, as she just was not getting well.

I was very sad when I got the call from one of her other nurses early this morning, to say that she had died during the night.

While I know she is in heaven, healthy and whole, I am still sad for myself and the other nurses, who will really miss her. And of course I am so sad for her parents and siblings, who will also miss her!

She and her family taught me many lessons, few of them related to nursing. I'm still sorting through all of those thoughts and will write about them later.

Meanwhile, please say a prayer for her family...I pray that they will feel God's love and comfort and peace during this difficult time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Reviews: "Beautiful Feet" and "Treasured"

Treasured; A 30-Day Devotional Journey
Beautiful Feet; A 30-Day Devotional Journey
by Deb Burma

The small size of Treasured; A 30-Day Devotional Journey and Beautiful Feet; A 30-Day Devotional Journey is misleading. Author Deb Burma makes every word count; each short devotion is packed with thought, encouragement, and inspiration. The format of the books means I can stick one in my purse or work bag and quickly read a devotion any time I have a few minutes—although I will also want to take time to really meditate on the messages later.

The theme of Treasured is that God values each of us beyond what we can imagine. Burma reminds us that God sees us as precious and priceless; He sought us and claims us to be His own. During our faith lives we are being transformed in Christ as coal is transformed into a diamond.

Throughout Treasured Burma compares our lives to diamonds; she relates the formation of a diamond (requiring time, pressure, and heat) to the transformation of our lives. The qualities of a diamond (cut, color, carat, and clarity) describe how Christ takes us from rough and uncut to a gem who carries out His mission.

Other devotions include A Girl’s Best Friend, A New Setting, and Precious in His Sight.

Liberal references to Bible verses enhance the message, as do Burma’s personal stories. The devotions always point readers to God and His Word and each one ends with a prayer.

Beautiful Feet; A 30-Day Devotional Journey
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)

In Beautiful FeetBurma encourages us to spend time every day taking a closer look at our feet, and the feet of those around us. She reminds us that Christ walks beside us, and urges us to learn (and follow) what the Lord is calling our feet to do.

Through devotions including A Map for Your Path, Calloused, and Make Tracks! you’ll be prompted to look inside yourself and your circumstances and apply God’s Word to your life, and to spread it to others.

Just as in Treasured, Beautiful Feet, includes Bible verses, observations and personal questions for reflection that make the devotions perfect for a busy day as well as those days when you have a longer period of time for deeper study.


Treasured and Beautiful Feet are carried at Crackers to Caviar in Columbus, NE; (402) 564-4768 and The Abbey Christian Store in Norfolk, NE; (402) 379-0712, or can be ordered from Concordia Publishing House; or call 1-800-325-3040.
Do you need an idea for your next woman’s retreat? Burma has created complete retreat kits on CD-ROM for both Treasured and Beautiful Feet. The CD-ROMs contain very detailed planning guides, handouts for participants and Power Point presentations. Everything you need to plan and host a retreat is included!

Deb Burma lives in Columbus, NE, with her husband, Pastor Cory Burma and children Chris, Courtney, and Cameron. Read more about Deb in the next issue of the Nebraska Family Times.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paper Delivery

Tracy and I delivered papers in Norfolk and Columbus today. It was a beautiful day to be out and about and fun to show Tracy where the NFT is delivered. I'm going to the Women's Leadership Institute School for Writers in Seward in May (check it out at, and Tracy and Lori will be delivering papers that week.

It was a busy day but very satisfying to get all the deliveries made. I pray that the articles in the paper will bless readers!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Actions of One

The Actions of One
By Tracy Buzynski

In lieu of the recent shootings that have taken place in Omaha and Arizona I find myself thinking about what utter chaos and devastation one person can cause. When you first heard the news of these two horrible events how did you feel? I found myself feeling shocked, then horrified as I watched the live coverage that lasted for days. Although I didn’t know any of them personally, I shed more than a couple of tears as the commentators talked about the lives of the victims. The young aide, who was engaged just starting his life. The man who died shielding his wife, but saving her. The judge, the grandma and the nine year old child…we as human beings can relate to all of them. Hearing the story of their lives make it relevant to our own. Nineteen people were injured that day all by the actions of one.

What are we to do now? I am sure that many prayers have been said for all the victims and their families from all over the world, which is a wonderful thing. James 5:16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

But do you find yourself living in fear? At first I was hesitant about telling my middle-school age child about the shootings. Every mom wants to protect her child from the evil that is in this world. Can’t our kids just be kids? But that is not the world in which we live. Media is everywhere - television, radio, internet and of course they also discuss these events in school. So take some time to have an age-appropriate discussion with your children. Ask them what they are feeling, and pass along any information that you feel is right. Look up passages in the Bible together. See what God says about His protection. The enemy wants us to live in fear and uncertainty, and to do nothing but feel helpless in a helpless situation.

So if we are feeling helpless, what can the actions of one do to make a difference? We know prayer is powerful. If one prays for the nineteen and their families, just how many is that prayer reaching? Only God knows.

Genesis 2:18 says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” If one were to show kindness to those who are alone, how could it change our world? What we do, how we think and how we act matters. Not only to ourselves, but to others. Why not show kindness to everyone and teach our kids to do the same? The new kid at school, the loner… If we think about it, we all know someone who could use some kindness. Let prayer and kindness be your actions of one.

Tracy Buzynski is the owner of Encourage Me Kids, Making a Difference One Kid at a Time. Check out her website at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Editor's Letter

BRRRR! I’m looking outside at snow and I’m glad I am inside right now. Thankfully we haven’t had as severe a winter as last year, but winter is definitely hitting our part of Nebraska.

Our year is off to a great start!

Cody had a great first semester at college! It was nice to have him home for a few weeks for Christmas vacation. He’s excited to start his second semester, and looking forward to a trip to China in May. Morgan also had a great first semester and is also looking forward to the second semester and continuing to work on the yearbook and school newspaper. Soon she and Tim will be up during the night when the cows start calving (I have not “learned” how to do night checks).

We’re celebrating the birth of a new niece/cousin, Leighton Lynn Edwards. I got to meet Leighton when she was just a few days old. A new baby is truly a miracle! To think that just a few days before I met her, she was in her mother’s womb, totally dependent on Becky…and immediately upon being born her body had to change so she could eat and breathe on her own…Mom and dad were visiting Leighton (and her big sister Logan and their mom and dad) when I was there and it was nice to see them, too.

In the Editor’s Letter last month I told you how I would use the Bible verses of Philippians 4:6-9 as my guide for the year. The verse is on the bulletin board in my office above my desk, so I see it every day as I work. The verse is printed in the paper again this month so you can cut it out if you missed the opportunity to do so last month.

I hope you enjoy several new features in the Nebraska Family Times.

Share the fun events in your family by taking out a Happy Ad! See sample Happy Ads, and information about taking out your own Happy Ad, in this issue of the paper.

I have always been awed by how I can use the wise words of the Bible, written thousands of years ago, to guide my life today. I’ve been studying United States history and I’ve been amazed at how the words of the Founding Fathers also apply to our lives, and issues in our country, today. To that end I’ll be choosing several Wise Words then and Now and printing them every month. I think you’ll enjoy what the Founding Fathers had to say—the more I learn about United States history the more I want to learn!

Recent events led me to publish the Focus on Youth section, with information about cyberbullying and youth violence. By learning about these issues, you can make a difference. Please share the articles with friends, parents, teachers, and anyone else you think could learn from them.

What would YOU like to see covered in the Nebraska Family Times? I’m continually trying to improve the paper so that it “inspires, encourages, and motivates you in your Christian walk.” Please share your ideas with me at, by mail at Nebraska Family Times, 42887 G. G. Road, Genoa, NE, 68640. You can also call and talk to me personally at (402) 993-2467.

God bless you and your family this February! Keep warm!