Archive for the ‘Medical Life’ Category

Don’t quit your day job….and caffeine

I was alone in the post office.
Which is rare.
The nice lady behind the desk had beautiful gray hair and a quick smile. She took in me and my little one as I handed her the yellow slip that claimed our package.
“Be right back”

We waited a few minutes for her to return. As she did, she asked, “Is it his graduation certificate or his license?”
I was surprised. I was there to pick up my husband’s official D.O. license – the proof that he really is a doctor. The thing we have been working towards for so many, many years.
She obviously had some insight in the medical field.
“His license”, I answered.
“Is he still in residency?” she asked.
“Just finishing his first year”

She then asked me what our plans were when he was finished.
“We hope to return overseas.”
Somehow the conversation turned to paying off debt and she informed me that her husband also graduated from the same medical school as mine. He was now a family physician (the same speciality that my dear husband is going into).

“Because he went into medical school older than most”, she informed me,  “he will be paying off debt until he is 80.”
Then she proceeded to say – “Family practice doctors don’t make nearly as much money as other doctors do….so don’t quit your day job.”

All of the wisdom you could have imparted to me, an up and coming doctor’s wife, all you have to say is don’t quit your day job???

I have been mulling this over in my head for quite a while.
And it baffles me.
Most family physicians make close to a six-figure salary, some much, much more. What was it that was holding them to so much debt? Obviously his medical school loans, but at his income level they should be able to live without his wife working  – at the post office, no less.
A huge house? Two very, very nice cars? College for their kids?

I left the building with a piece of paper that will eventually allow my husband to prescribe narcotics, and practice his trade in almost any country in the world. But all that I was given was the picture of a life where there wouldn’t be enough.

This is so often the picture presented to medical wives (whether you are married to a doctor…or, you are the doctor).
There won’t be enough –

Don’t quit your day job.
There isn’t enough.

But there is.
There is always More-Than-Enough.

I already quit my day job.
Because I trust that More-Than-Enough, Yahweh Yireh, has and does and will provide.

O yes, and the caffiene?
I accidently didn’t order decaf tonight.
So here is a nearly 1 a.m. post for you all 🙂

Enjoying the journey….even without my day job,
~ Melissa


On the last morning she was walking….when in a lonely corner she came upon a little…flower, growing all alone. An old pipe was connected with a water tank. In the pipe was one tiny hole through which came an occasional drop of water. Where the drops fell, one by one, there grew the little flower…

She stopped over the lonely, lovely little golden face, lifted up so hopefully and so bravely to the feeble drip, and cried out softly, “What is your name, little flower, for I never saw one like you before.”

The tiny plant answered at once in a tone as golden as itself “Behold me! My name is Acceptance-with-Joy.”

…[Much-Afraid] said to herself, “He has brought me here when I did not want to come for his own purpose. I, too, will look up to His face and say “Behold me! I am thy little handmaiden, Acceptance-with-Joy.”

~ excerpt from Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard


It is my goal every Friday of this year to post a picture that I have taken and edited. I hope these pictures will give you a small glimpse into my heart and journey.

Marriage: worth fighting for

Marriage is wonderful.
Marriage is hard.

Marriage is….
worth fighting for .

This is a core belief that you must have in order to have a marriage that thrives.

In today’s world of divorce and “dead” marriages (where  the spouses live together in a work relationship, without growing together in friendship and love), the lie that marriage isn’t worth fighting for is all around us.

A few nights ago, my darling and I had a pretty “off” night. We couldn’t seem to connect – he was stressed and distant; I was tired and grumpy.
The next morning he got up to go to work and it ended up snowing almost a foot…and he was “stuck” at work.

Or so I thought.

“I may try to come home. We aren’t okay and I’m not okay with leaving you alone…”

And so he drove the icy streets, parked a half mile away, and trekked through snow up to his knees to come home to me.

Because we are worth fighting for.
Because even the little distances aren’t worth it in the end.

And he won my heart, and we melted into each other with words of apology and a renewed sense of love.

When life pulls you in endless directions apart from each other, this has to be a belief that you hold tightly onto.
Our marriage is worth fighting for.

Even if the fight looks like trekking through snow.
Or having the conversation that hurts.
Or choosing the other person over convenience.

And so you take the hand of the one you love again…
and walk into grace.

And that will be the foundation to every other choice you make.

Can medical marriages thrive?

“You are marrying a doctor? Get ready to be single”

This was the message told to me over and over again when I chose to marry my husband. We got married in the spring and he was to start medical school in the fall.

Very few people gave me any words of real hope.

Somehow, being married to a medical student, or (as now) a resident, there seem to be two primary responses:
1. Jealousy that you have married someone with a “high power” and (possibly) “high paying” job.
2.  Pity because your life will be so lonely, or your marriage so futile.

As I have spent the last 4.5 years (5 in April!) navigating a medical marriage, I can say with resounding belief and hope –

“Medical marriages can thrive”

Without a doubt there are challenges and hurdles, but my husband and I are better friends and have a more solid marriage 6 months into his intern year than we have ever had.

Over the next few weeks I will be exploring how we did more than just survive medical school together, and the lessons we learned along the way.

picture credit (link:

There CAN be beauty in hard places.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” Ps. 27:13

Gratitude & Lies…

I have been pondering this season of thankfulness.

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time to stop and remember what we really ought to be doing the rest of the year around.

Yesterday morning I arose very early because the dear Dr. had to go spend the morning at the hospital and I needed to make sure that our smoked turkey adventure began well. We were hosting 8 people at our house for the Thanksgiving meal and it had to be perfect!

I spent most of the morning starting charcoal, lifting a heavy smoker, and trying desperately to get the temperature inside our smoker to get to 225 in 30 degree weather.
Not. easy.

Sometime around 10 a.m., having been awake for 5 hours, standing in our wreck of a kitchen trying to clean the turkey juices that had spilled into and under the vegetable drawers….
I began to hear lies.

They sounded like this –
“See? This is what it means when people say that if you marry a doctor, you should prepare to be single the rest of your life”
“Here you are, 23 weeks pregnant, in a filthy kitchen, trying desperately to keep this whole day together….and where is your husband?”
“You might as well be a single mom”

And so on and so forth.

I could have wept.
Maybe I almost did.

But then I heard the invitation whispered in my heart.
Sit. Be still.

picture credit

I turned on music that comforts my heart, and remembered how much I have to be thankful for.

I am not single. I am married to a wonderful man who loves the Lord, loves me and works very hard. I have an amazing home that is safe and warm when it is 30 degrees outside.

And I remembered…
Gratitude guards my heart.

Is your heart guarded today against lies?

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival tips (#1)

Over the last few weeks I have been giving you some things that I do while my darling Dr. is away. It’s so important to take care of yourself, and that in turn will take care of your wonderful spouse!

Let’s take a minute and review the last six tips:

Survival Tip #7:
Enjoy the women in your life!

Survival Tip #6:
Chase him.

Survival Tip #5:
Take up a new hobby (or revive an old one)

Survival Tip #4:

Survival Tip #3:
Remember the days of yore

Survival Tip #2:

Today, I am going to tell you my last tip in this series.
This is the most important one, by far.

Survival Tip #1:
Take time to make first things first

When I got married, I found that it was easy to lose sight of the most important person in my life, Jesus Christ.

If you are reading this blog and either don’t know Christ or (more likely) have been incredibly hurt or turned-off by people who profess to follow Him, take heart.

I believe He is the most important person that has every walked the face of the earth. And He has made such an unbelievable, organic and life-altering difference in my life.

I hope to tell you more about it as you keep reading this blog.

For the rest of you who do profess to know Him…know Him.
That, without a doubt is the single most important survival skill for when your loved one is gone…

Stay tuned for yard sale updates soon! 🙂

In the meantime, what other survival tips do you guys have? I would love to hear!

Finding joy in the journey today,
~ Melissa

When he’s gone: my top 7 survival tips (#2)

Over the last few weeks I have been writing about how to fill time in healthy ways while your loved one may be gone for extended periods of time.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about this one:

Survival Tip #2:

We as women often need a place to pour out our hearts. Journals can be so important in that process. When I first got married I stopped journaling as much as I had as a single woman.
That was a mistake.

I needed a safe place to be totally raw as much married as I had single.
Perhaps it would have helped me not to “emotionally throw up” on my husband quite as much in the early years.

So why journal?
These times are precious you and you will want to remember them.
These times are hard and you need a place to be completely honest.

Find a journal that’s beautiful. Pick a pen that you love the way it writes.

Get into a comfy spot, probably with a comforting beverage of choice….and write your heart out.

Enjoy the journey today,
~ Melissa

PS. Here’s Survival Tip #7Survival Tip #6Survival Tip #5, and Survival Tip #4 and Survival Tip #3 if you would like to peruse them!