Beauty in brokenness.



When I was 18, which is 10 pretty long year ago now, I remember our senior pastor doing a teaching series that will forever remain seared into my mind.

This one phrase I will always remember.

‘When you look into the eyes of an anointed person, you see brokenness’.

I remember being 18. Hearing those words. Contemplating them.

I really wanted to work for God, and be used by God more, and see His power overflow in my life. I really longed for an anointing.

But brokenness? Not so much.

I remember going forwards for prayer at that service because something had gripped me… But I still didn’t really get it. Not really. I didn’t want to go through any trial. Not real trial. I didn’t want to go through any pain. Not real pain. And I wanted to be used by God… But changed by God? Broken by God?…

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Some days you just need junk food.




Over the past few weeks it’s been a bit of a crazy time. There’s been good times and bad times but one thing you can always rely on to make you happy – good food. I mean, when life is rubbish a good hearty meal hits the spot. Don’t you agree?  And this evening as we settle down to watch Downton Abbey we have build-a-burgers, crisps and malteser cake. What can go wrong? Nothing, right! Exactly. Well that’s my extremely profound blog post over for this evening and i’ll leave you with some of my favourite food related images this evening.


That’s gonna hurt in the morning



So yesterday I made the brave, probably stupid but definitely healthy decision… to join the gym!!

Now as most of you know I’m not really a gym kinda person but now that I have the car I really need to keep active.

The only saving grace is that my best friend has also joined the gym. So yesterday as we gave it all we could muster on the treadmill it was reassuring to look over and see Peta was also a little red and tired! But I actually feel just that little bit healthier today so for now I’m gonna keep going with the gym and I’ll let you know how it goes… As long as it doesn’t kill me first!!! 😉 Haha

Then this morning we went for our usual jaunt to Dores for breakfast. But instead of French toast, bacon and maple syrup. I had…. Poached egg on toast! Are you impressed?! And it was pretty tasty too! We also had a chocolate scone for later. But hey, trying to be healthy doesn’t have to be all boring. Everything in moderation right?!

Being a Paediatric Nurse: I Wish I Knew How To Tell You…



Found this blog post and thought it was worth posting. I love my job but sometimes it’s difficult to describe how my day was. So here’s a little insight as to what it may have been like.


I wish that when asked how my day was, I knew how to give a truthful answer. I wish I could really express what a shift is like, and know I would be understood.

If I really answered truthfully, I might start off with how many times I saw a child smile. I might tell you about the tears I wiped. I could tell stories about the kids I made laugh. I could tell you about the kids I made cry.

I might tell you about the parents I consoled, reassured, encouraged.

I might tell you about the family that thanked me, and the family that pushed me away.

I might tell you how many times I grew frustrated. Or how many times I felt annoyed. I might tell you about how many times I thought my headache couldn’t get any worse.

I might tell you how I taught a new nurse, and how I learned from an old colleague.

Maybe I would tell you about the stickers I stuck, the pages I coloured, and the teddy bears I tucked into bed.

I could tell you about the call bells that rang; the IV pumps that beeped; the monitors that alarmed.

I could tell you all about the blood product reactions, the worrisome fluid balances, or the child who was fine, and then suddenly, wasn’t.

I could tell you how many gloves I put on, basins I emptied, and faces I wiped.

I could tell you about the tricks I use to sneak in an assessment on a three-year-old; the games we play so they will take their meds; and how in order to auscultate a five-year-old’s chest, I have to pretend I’m listening for monsters.

If I were to tell you what my day was like, I might tell you that my hands will always feel sticky from hand sanitizer, and no matter how much I wash, “that smell” won’t seem to go away.

I could tell you how funny it is to hear a two-year-old say “stethoscope,” and how heart breaking it is to hear a child whisper, “I just want to go home.”

I might tell you that today I heard a child’s first word. Or saw his first steps. Or watched a premie finish her first whole bottle. I might tell you about the father who fed her, who took this small victory as a sign of hope.

I might tell you how the bravest person I know is an eight-year-old. Or the happiest person I know is a two-year-old with a medical history as old as she is.

I might tell you about a moment of joy, shared with a family, a patient, a colleague.

I might tell you how many times I felt my heart break.

I can tell you about the steps I walked; the hands I held; the songs I sang to put them to sleep.

If I could really talk about how my day was, I might tell you about the decisions I made. The priorities I set. Or about my “nurse’s intuition” that told me when I should start being concerned.

I could tell you about the orders I questioned. The orders I should have questioned. The split second decision I made. The carefully calculated words I chose.

I could tell you how I fought for my patient. I could tell you how my patient fought me.

I could talk about how I taught a parent to be the nurse to their child that they never wanted to have to be.

I could tell you how that parent taught me about hope.

I could tell you about the moments of panic. The moments of empowered confidence. How smoothly our team functioned. How resourceful we can be.

I’d want to tell you about the breaths we gave; the lives we saved; the lives we couldn’t save.

I might share with you those moments when I just didn’t know what to say. Or the times I realized there was nothing I could say.

I could tell you how often we see a child and family suffering and think that maybe enough is enough. I could tell you about all the times we think that everything will never be enough.  I would struggle to tell you how hard it is to say goodbye; I’d have a harder time telling you how sometimes saying goodbye can be a relief.

I might tell you how many times I thought, “This isn’t easy.”

I could tell you about the times I feared that when I decide to have children, that they might not be healthy. I could tell you about how every time I have that thought, I wonder how my husband and I would cope – would we be like the families I meet here every day? How would we make it through?

I could tell you how hard it is to be a paediatric nurse. I could tell you how rewarding it is. I could tell you how I know I probably won’t spend my career at the bedside, but how much I know I’ll miss the bedside when I finally walk away.

I could talk about these things, if I thought I might be understood. Instead, I’ll say, “It was good,” with a smile; “I’m tired,” with a yawn.

At the end of the day, being a nurse is one of the hardest things I’ve ever chosen to do. It challenges me. It inspires me. It exhausts me. It empowers me.  I love it.

So it may sound cliché, but when I’m tired and worn, I try to remember these things. And I try to gather the strength and bravery of that eight-year-old, and the happiness of that two-year-old; and maybe next time, when someone asks, “How was your day?” – I’ll smile, and yawn, and say, “It was… Indescribable.”

by Jaqueline Hanley (RN)


When in Rome…






As our time in Rome is coming to an end I thought it was probably time for a blog post.
It has been so much fun. There’s just so many things to do, to see, to experience. Everywhere you look there’s something beautiful. Roman architecture is something even I can appreciate its greatness! We’ve been to the Trevi fountain, the colosseum, the Vatican, Sistine chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Castle St. angelo and probably many others I’ve forgotten about. There’s just so many!
And the food has been wonderful. So good that I have hardly any photos as I’ve been too excited to eat it to wait for a photo.
The heat however has not been my friend… Scottish girls as pale as me are not meant for 40 degree heat with 50% humidity. It’s just not going to happen.
Here are a few photos for you to have a look at of my time here.








My dislike of coffee and beer





We made it to Prague!! With only one slightly damaged suitcase and everything else in tact! I think that’s pretty good going don’t you?

So we arrived at our hotel on Sunday evening explored for a little while then went out for some local food. It’s always interesting ordering from a Czech menu when you’re a fussy eater who doesn’t know any Czech. But I successfully ordered a very delicious chicken breast stuffed with cheese, ham and lettuce with chips. Score!

Included in our hotel is a continental breakfast so each morning we stock up on food before we spend the day exploring the sights of Prague. Only sad part is apparently they only drink fruit tea over here so a trip to the local shop was necessary to purchase some wonderful tea!

Turns out people in Prague drink coffee or beer. Beer is even cheaper than juice. Only thing is… I don’t like beer. Or coffee for that matter…

We bought a ticket for the hop on – hop off bus tour which proved to be a great way to see the local sites whilst also providing a means of transport. Not bad for £20 too!! Or 600 Czech crowns which sounds way more expensive.

Each evening we’ve tried different local pubs/ restaurants and every meal so far has been delicious. I’ve tried some weird and wonderful things but mostly all good 🙂

Today we went for a cocktail in an ice bar which was hilarious but freezing. The cold was a welcome relief for my Scottish skin.

I’m sure there’s plenty more things which I’ve left out but I’ll leave you with a few pictures from my time so far. Enjoy! I’m off to get ready to go out for dinner 🙂






Holiday travelling has begun!



So this morning is the start of the exciting journey to Prague. I’m currently on the train to Aberdeen to meet my two fellow travellers so we can head down to Edinburgh later on. Then tomorrow morning we fly to Prague, yay!!

Now my journey so far has been extremely uneventful. For those of you who have traveled with me before will know how much of an irregular occurrence this is. I managed to buy a new railcard and collect my tickets with no mishaps and am currently sitting listening to my cheesy/ holiday playlist. Wonderful!

Now this is just the beginning so who knows what could happen. But so far so good!!