Tuesday, December 09, 2014

More Journals and Lip Balms for CHOA

Today, I took a second donation to CHOA - Scottish Rite. In all, I took 238 journals and 60 lip balms! The beige and pink journals in the bottom right of the box came courtesy of Hammerpress Letter Press & Design Studio. They were so kind to send 50 journals.

The lip balms were donated by EcoLips, an organic and natural lip balm company.

 NightOwl Paper Goods located in Birmingham, Alabama donated ten of these cute journals. I love the animals!
 Ex Libris Anonymous donated fifteen of their super cool journals made from old textbooks and books. What a great way to reuse books!
 In Blue Handmade was gracious enough to donate five of their small, handmade leather journals. I got to pick out the stamps for each one, so that was a lot of fun!
 Sitara Collections sent six of their exquisite handmade leather journals made by women in India. These were stunning! They are not lined.

Thistle Farms totally floored me with their response to my email. Penny Hall and Tonya Sneed took time out of their busy schedules to make 90 - yes, 90 journals for this donation. How awesome is that?! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, ladies!

Lastly, my friends Tanya Hudson, Chanel Cobb, and Sarah Parker's MCG Bible Study group sent these journals. I cannot thank everyone enough! It is my hope that the teens at CHOA have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

You might be wondering what my next stop is. The next donation will be going to Greenville Memorial Hospital. I spent several months in the NICU there as premature twin and two major hip surgeries as a teen.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still Fighting

This was written several weeks ago, but everything rings truer with each passing day.

Journey to Myself © Peter Hostermann via freeimages.com

I am still fighting. At this stage in my recovery, it is all about bypassing how I feel and what I see. Since my foot responded so well to the surgery, I don't need physical therapy.

Dr. B said, "There is no need to have someone forcing it into positions when it is already there." That was a shock because I just assumed I would need physical therapy. It was a fantastic yet frightening feeling. Fantastic in the sense that we wouldn't have to do extra traveling, frightening because I had to get used to moving it again.

My foot was fixed, but I have to deal with the mental side. This time there would be no Dustin, no appointments. It seemed like I was being thrown into the water with no life preserve. On the way home, I told Mama, "Well, the only thing I know is to jump right in." I was tearful and emotional because there is no textbook that says do this on week one, week two, and week twelve.

"And they threw the rule book out when I was made," I said.

But, I don't get off easy! I am having to move around, sit up, and put weight on my feet. Yesterday, everything within me was screaming. I didn't sit up yesterday, but I did walk some to stretch out my sore muscles. Being sore is a common thing lately, but I am determined to not go back. My focus is straight ahead and nothing else.

I started out standing up for two minutes, and when that got too easy, I bumped it up to three. I am holding steady at three minutes. I had ambitious plans to do this every day, but that hasn't happened.

Between walking a few steps to the shower and back, that has sufficed. Most people don't understand what it is like for aches to set in after a shower. It seems like such a simple task after all.

As I said in a previous post, I had some cortisone shots put in my left foot at the beginning of the month. They have helped tremendously. 

(When I wrote this, this was my progress) I've sat up for an hour this morning, read part of a memoir, and have plans for a shower this afternoon. That means I will have sat up around two hours!


Throughout the past few days I have wondered, "When did I become such a wuss?" When did I allow the pain to seep into my thoughts? I have a choice. It is time to refocus. I will win this battle. And in the process, my mind changes. I see things clearly and pursue with a relentless tenacity. The greatest battle you will ever face isn't with others; it is with yourself.

So, today I say, "Madison, you are more than this. You are more than what you feel. Victory is already yours. Don't give up."

Comments are disabled for this post. If you want to post something encouraging in a message or on Facebook, that is fine. I am just being honest. Today is one of those days I have to encourage myself. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

Hart County High Gives Back to CHOA

My alma mater, Hart County High School, has gotten in on donating journals to CHOA! After an email to a teacher approval from the principal, the ball was rolling full speed ahead. I was just asking to see if any of the clubs wanted to donate, but some classes actually wanted to help. 

Mrs. Pratt's  freshman STEM class raised $140 in THREE DAYS!!! Do you know what this means?! I can buy five cases of journals in addition to what I already have! This is fantastic and yet another reason my small town is special! 

They made this jar. The whole group met my mom today, which was a surprise. I hated I missed it, but I wasn't feeling well. We had some pictures of the class, but mostly everyone wasn't looking. So, I am not going to post unflattering pictures. No worries, I will get my mom to take more on a different day!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Behind the Scenes

Curtain in front of lighted window © domiwo via freeimages.com

You put one foot in front of the other.
You dutifully do your work behind closed doors.
Pressing on, day after day.

No one sees behind the scenes.
No ones knows what's behind the smile.
You wonder if it's even worth it, should you try at all?

Your mind has drifted, feet are well past the tired stage.
The ache seems to seep from your pores

Can anyone see?

Does anyone care?

Anyone? Anywhere?

All at once behind the scenes, someone peels back the curtain
Daring to get a glimpse inside

Longing to know the person 
Let them know they see

Without so much as a word, only a smile
The room brightens

The weight lifted
Finally! Someone saw behind the scenes
Someone saw the real me

I am finally free

Free from thoughts
Free from fear
No more facade, I choose to be real

Because in front of me is someone willing to bear the burden with me
I slip my arm out from underneath the baggage
Knowing that I don't have to carry it

The light grows dim
That's my signal to go

And I take one last look
There in the corner are the boulders, piled high

I feel light
Strong as the wind

I let go
The pain didn't win

You may not know my story
You may not care

But today, I leave all the baggage behind the scenes
Choosing to embrace me

Branching out, breaking forth
No longer crushed 
Despite what you think

You are loved.