Wandering Down a Crooked Road

August 25, 2020

🎶 And the “Mask” goes on, the mask goes on” 🎶

If you have ever heard the song “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher, it is very adaptable to our current Corona virus mandate to wear a mask in public. As a faith community nurse, you have multiple responsibilities related to virus prevention strategies:

  • Are you following CDC and other reputable sources for current information related to COVID-19?

  • Have you signed up with your local health department and other government agencies such as the mayor’s office and the state governor’s task force to receive current updates?

  • Are you faithfully wearing your mask? 

  • Have you educated the faith leaders, staff, and lay leaders of your faith community about the importance of wearing a mask and even more importantly of how to wear the mask correctly?

  • Have you taken steps to assure that all in your faith community who need a mask are provided with one?

  • Are you educating everyone about how to wear a mask properly?

  • Have yo...

May 11, 2020

It is not easy being a nurse.                 

It takes a special sort of person with compassion, intelligence, a broad skillset, and courage. Nurses care for humanity from pre-conception across the lifespan and after death. They welcome newborns into the world, care for trauma and disease, champion wellness campaigns, advocate for the voiceless, become family for those who are alone, and provide education on everything imaginable. Nurses walk alongside people in good times and bad, through pain and sorrow, through joy and fear.

I salute you, wonderful nurse colleagues! I am awed by your dedication and skills. I am honored to work with you, to be associated with you, and to be cared for by you. Your courage and dedication is an inspiration and blessing to all! Thank you and happy nurse’s week to my heroes!

Courage is the apron I wear for daily tasks. It is not clumsy armor plate to don at times of danger but simply...

April 12, 2020

Today is Easter Sunday.

For Christians, the Easter story is full of loss and grief. A time of despair and isolation. Uncertainty and loss of the comfort of everyday life routines. Yet hope remained and the morning brought encouragement and much wonderment and joy. But things had changed. The world would be forever different. A new normal.

Our recent experiences worldwide with the global COVID-19 pandemic mirror the Easter story’s emotions of fear and isolation and yet, hope remains along with human kindness, resiliency and the love of one another.

As spiritual care providers, you carry light and hope to a frightened world. No, you cannot serve as you have in the past. Things are forever changed. You are creating a new normal and that is okay. You work for the creator of the universe who sees past, present, and future in ways we cannot understand. Hold on to your faith and create your new normal sharing the hope of your faith so that the world will be forever different in a better way.

This...

March 12, 2019

Funny how breathing is so automatic that it is taken for granted until suddenly it takes effort. My recent experience with pneumonia has given me a new perspective on the luxury of a deep breath.

Scripture says that God breathed life into the first humans. The breath of God is a common concept related to nature and life, both physical and spiritual. Breathing is as essential to physical life as God is to spiritual life, yet both are so easy to overlook and ignore.

Waking up with a tight chest and shoulder pain was not pleasant. “God, I don’t have time to be sick. You know I have a very full schedule this week.” It makes me smile now at just how self-important I considered myself to be. Me, a tiny speck of dust created into a daughter of the God of the universe, so totally focused on the work tasks before me that I was telling God how things were going to be without a second thought. Obviously, God has a sense of humor in addition to being indulgent and very tolerant. “Just breathe.” was...

February 3, 2019

“Wandering Down a Crooked Road” is the perfect title for my blog. I don’t ever seem to find a straight, well-marked path on my journey through life. I suspect that is probably a blessing-in-disguise as I tend to become bored when everything is perfectly smooth without turns or hills or surprises. Thanks for coming along with me as I continue my adventure. Three years have lapsed since the last post, but I promise to include you much more often in the future. Blessings on your journey. I hope our paths cross often as a journey shared is much more fun!

March 12, 2017

I teach self-care so I know the worth of Sabbath rest and taking time for self-care...unfortunately, I also tend to work long hours and forget to give myself a break. Today was a day of rest. Other than answering emails, I rested in the morning and enjoyed time with family. My Aunt Hope has been house-sitting while Katie and I were out of the country so it was nice to have time to visit.

I have promised myself to slow down someday, but this isn't the day! I spent the afternoon packing for the Caring for the Human Spirit Conference in Chicago. I will be presenting on how faith community nurses, clergy, chaplaincy, and other healthcare providers can work together to provide wholistic care. This is my first spirituality conference since becoming a spiritual director so I am very excited. My friend and colleague Nancy Durbin is attending so we will have time to catch up. I hope to find other FCNs are also attending. We provide intentional care of the spirit so our voices need to be included...

March 11, 2017

We made it home from England about 6 p.m. and restarted the adventure at 4 a.m. the next morning. Katie got to stay at home while Katora Campbell and I headed to Nashville for a Tennessee Nurses Association meeting. Fortunately for us and the other people traveling on I-40 East, Georgia Oliver was driving.

Sharon Adkins, the President of TNA, was our hostess. The presenter was from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). SHe was very helpful in explaining the ins and outs of continuing education for nurses and how to set up a CNE provider unit. I am very excited that Katora and the leadership of Church Health have approved my request to set up the Westberg Institute as a provider unit. It is a lot of paperwork and planning, but as a result, we will better serve faith community nurses with our courses, the Westberg Symposium, and future webinars, and courses by following the ANCC/TNA guidelines for quality, unbiased, evidence-based continuing education.

March 10, 2017

We left the parish nurse conference and Coventry in a cab this time. Katora Campbell and I were not as skilled with wrestling luggage onto the train as Katie was. We arrived at the Ibis Hotel Birmingham Airport. It is actually attached to the airport  so we could walk to the ticket counter. Interestingly enough, the lobby was full of dogs! Not pet dogs; dog show dogs! It was fun to watch the different breeds prance through the lobby.

Went to bed early because our flight was early. Katie and I had a comedy going on for awhile because my cell phone rang at 10 p.m. I was deeply asleep and thought it was the 4 a.m. alarm! I got up, took my shower and got dressed before Katie looked at the clock and informed me that the alarm was six hours in the future...I went back to bed clothes and all.

When 4 a.m. did arrive we marched from one end of the airport all the way to the other to the ticket counter, to our gate, and then the adventure really began. Amsterdam Airport was fogged in. Our flight w...

March 9, 2017

50+ parish nurses and clergy began the morning with words of welcome and a worship service lead by the local Bishop. I presented the Advanced Spiritual Care Module and discovered that I say "y'all" more than I realized. Fortunately, the UK parish nurses seem to enjoy our accents as much as we enjoy hearing theirs. They did decide that Katora's accent was more southern than mine and more "musical." It made my day when one nurse told me that I should do relaxation tapes because she could listen to my voice all day. I had to laugh when her next sentence was "Oh, I don't mean that you put me to sleep when you were talking! I meant that I like the sound of your voice."

Katora Campbell introduced the new booklet on transitional care which has great cartoons drawn by her daughter that add to the comprehensive content. Katie, our ever working assistant, ran to the printers (literally) to pick up Katora's booklets, collected evaluations and passed out our materials, certificates, and flash drive...

March 8, 2017

Coventry is a pleasant place where almost everything is within walking distance of the hotel. Katie and I found a pub where the locals eat lunch and had a wonderful meal with a huge cup of hot tea (Now, why doesn't my hot tea at home taste as good?

We had a short time to visit a few historical sites. Coventry was destroyed from bombing during the World war so a new cathedral stands beside the ruins of the old one.

Katie visited their museum and told me a large number of people were killed in the attacks. During one air raid, an enemy plane crashed. The local people tried to save the crew, but their injuries were severe and they did not survive. Prayer beads were found in the wreckage and are housed in the museum.

To find forgiveness, compassion and God in the midst of the destruction and devastation of war speaks to my heart that there is always hope for a peaceful future for all of us.

The evening found us at the Welcome Center with Helen Wordsworth, Ros Moore and our wonderful colleagues...

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Dr. Sharon T. Hinton

Dr. Sharon T. Hinton is a published writer, expert in Faith Community Nursing, and international speaker with a love for adventure. 

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