Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Survival


Survivor: (n) one who lives through affliction according to WordNet Web. People have different definitions of survivor, but I think it is a person who can persevere through less than stellar circumstances and live to tell about it.

As Destiny's Child played out in the background, I began to think about all I had been through.

I could definitely relate. When I was at my sickest, I stopped putting on my jewelry. Just getting out of bed was an accomplishment! I was just surviving.

Everything was stripped away. No more pretending that everything was OK. No more plastering on the fake smile. My mom knew what a battle I was in, but to the outside world, nothing had changed. Everyday I was faced with the choice of curling up back in bed and drowning in my pain, but I made the choice to keep going. Many people have said that I could quit if I wanted to because I have good reasons, but really I can't. I don't have a choice because God reminds usin Philippians that we have to keep pressing toward that mark. If I quit, that would give the enemy all the ammunition he needs to utterly destroy me. I can't let that happen. As the song says, I've come to far to give up now. I'm too close to victory. Too close to a new beginning. In the grand scheme of things, a few bad days or weeks of pain don't even compare to Jesus' mutilated body and the hours of torture He endured.

Each day I put one foot in front of the other, last night's pain becomes a distant memory. When you make that decision to not let pain dictate how you live your life, God's grace kicks in. Trust me, even when things are hard(and they will be some days), God's immeasurable grace will be there. I like to think of it as my invisible safety net. It's there as a cushion when the day seems too hard or too long.

What's something you've survived?
P.S. Poll ends this Thursday! Get your votes in!

Image Credit: Google

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another One {almost} Gone!

I've started another step in my medical journey. It's time to come off of more Fentanyl. Right now I'm feeling lethargic and basically like a shell of myself. It's all part of the process, though. I've been down this road, so it's somewhat familiar. My body is having to adjust its pain receptors back to normal. For those of you who don't know, your body's normal levels get all of out of whack when on pain meds.


Current Progress

  • To recap an earlier post, I went from 62 mcg of Fentanyl to 50 mcg on 2/16/10


  • Now I'm down to 37 mcg since 3/19/10 YES!

If I can just make it through Monday, I'll be well on my way to knocking another phase out. Don't forget to vote in my poll!

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Memories Rewind: Showtime!


Parents were bustling in the back room getting the kids ready for the show. Hairspray was everywhere, clothes were being changed. Kids beside me nervously darted their eyes as people filled the church pews. I was ready. I had rehearsed my songs many times, so I was just waiting for my teacher to give the "Go" signal.

Many kids forgot their lines, but I was in my element. Probably a little too much. One of the
songs called for posters. Mine said "Do not lie." I didn't believe in silently telling things, so I added my own flavor. "Don't tell lies" I belted out with a swing of my hips and swag of my finger. Lyin' was serious business.

I must confess something, though. I had a little motivation. Daddy said he would give me a shiny quarter if I did a good job.

Even my teacher stifled a laugh in the middle of the performance. I bounded down the steps after the performance, happy it was over. I ran to the back of the church to meet my family. I stuck out my hand, and Daddy was a little confused. "Um, I think you owe me a quarter," I said sweetly. He fished for a quarter and handed it to me. There was no way E was getting it. I had earned that sucker! I'm sure that the audience knew my little extras weren't part of the program, but they seemed to enjoy it.

Did any of you ever add something extra to a performance? Oh wait, maybe I was the only unpredictable one. :)
Image Credit: Arts Powered Schools via Google. Sadly, I couldn't find a picture from that night, so Google came to my rescue. Just imagine a spunky blonde haired little girl in about the second row.
**Please participate in my poll on the right sidebar! Would you be interested in doing a link party for Memories Rewind each week? I'd love to read about everyone's...it could be fun!** (ends April 1, 2010)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Be You


These are just some thoughts that I decided to put on paper. Yes, I said I would post this awhile back, but I wasn't quite satified. It's good to have a reminder to be yourself in this crazy world. I just remembered a song that says the something similar called "Free to Be Me" by Francesca Battistelli. Click the link to watch video. The artist has taken away the option to embed her YouTube video.

Image Credit: Google

Be You

Whether it’s popular or not, be you
When people criticize, be you
When others change, be you
When times are tough, be you

When you’re not feeling well, be you
When you frustrated, be you
When others lead a monotonous life, be you
When living in an unforeseen circumstance, be you

When you’re tired of fighting, be you
When the world is filled with people who are desperate for different, be you
When talking to someone, be you
When living…be you



You can purchase Free to Be Me on iTunes if you wish. I love it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Memories Rewind: A MacGyver Moment

I apologize for not getting this up yesterday. I wasn't feeling well.
Dad's former girlfriend decided to take my brother and I to the mall. I tucked a few dollars into my blue jeans and waited for everyone to finish getting ready.

When we got to the mall, my mind was trying to take it all in. Bath and Body Works to the left, Belk to the right. It was almost sensory overload for a 10 year old, but I was a seasoned shopper. I was just about to dart off to snag a free Chic-Fil-A sample when B said, "Hey, let's go into the Candy Castle!"

I turned around mid walk and headed to the candy mecca. Glass jars with M & Ms, gumballs, and other hard candies lined the pristine white walls. I leaned over the red counter casually scanning the merchandise. Dum Dums, Snickers, and York Peppermint Patties seemed to be in endless supply. Just then, I knew my brother had found something good, something that he couldn't stop staring at. I was nosey, so I excitedly skipped over to see what all of the fuss was about. There were six giant white jawbreakers speckled with blue, pink and yellow dots. It looked like the candy fairy had dropped some extra yumminess in the shop that day, according to my brother.

He didn't hesitate to declare his love for the jawbreaker. "I want one of those jawbreakers", he told the slim Japanese lady in a matter a fact tone. Suddenly, my Reese cups and Snickers looked like measly candy wannabes next to the monstrosity.

When we got home, E couldn't wait to taste his candy. The only problem was it was the size of small child's head. "How is he going to eat that thing?" I wondered to myself, not daring to make my doubts be made known.

Ever the man with a plan, E went outside to get a hammer. "Oh no I thought", Memaw will not want to see thousands of shards of candy in her floor!" I stood back while he placed the jawbreaker on the brick fireplace.

Bang! Nothing happened. He struck again, but only the vibrations of the hammer were heard. This time E leaned his body into it, and the candy was submissive. He was pleased with the shards that broke off, so he promptly popped them into his mouth.

I came away with a new respect for ingenuity that day. What were some of your favorite candies?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letting Go

As I tried out some new motorized wheels (yep, just wheels), I had a little adventure.

I rested my hands on the rims, slowly moving to get the feel for how it worked. With a touch of my hand, I went from cruising to flying in a matter of 5 seconds. I wasn't expecting that at all.

After a few minutes, the representative explained that I needed to push and let go. Push and let go. It was such a foreign concept to me because I'm used to really working my arms when I push.

I constantly had to remind myself to let go! I was working myself to death trying to get it to do what I wanted it to do, but I was actually making things worse. The chair was like a go cart swerving me from side to side as I had a death grip on it. It reminded me of my relationship with God. He wants us to relinquish our control and let Him take care of things. When I finally let the wheels do what they were designed to do, the wheels glided along the pavement with ease. There were some roadblocks along the way though. Speed bumps, sharp corners, and a few cars going to park. There are roadblocks in life as well. Jealously. Illness. Negative comments from friends or family. Roadblocks are inevitable, but we get to choose how we react to them. They affect our lives to the degree that we let them.



What do you need to let go of?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Simplifying Things

There won't be anymore Writer's Alcove posts....for awhile at least. After much consideration, I decided it just wasn't fun anymore. I intended for Writer's Alcove to highlight some of the creative talent here in the blogger world. I am only one person, so I relied on my readers to get involved. I looked at the participation I was getting versus to the time I put into each feature, and it didn't add up.

When something becomes a chore, it's time to reevaluate things. I'm a firm believer in using your energy and time on things that are worthwhile and enjoyable. I'm not saying everything in life is enjoyable because it's not. I want this blog to be a something that my family and friends enjoy reading. I'm thankful for those of you who have decided to follow my journey. Sometimes it's good to get back to the basics, not concerned with numbers but writing for the pure enjoyment of it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Memories Rewind: Swirling in Solitude


The sun was shining through the pecan trees. The breeze was gently blowing as I skipped outside. I needed to find something to do. The round black tire swing in the front yard was calling my name. I gripped the well-worn rope in my hands letting the roughness envelope my hands as I slid back into the tire. That was "the sweet spot". I could swing there for hours and never leave with a blister because I was cradled in.

As the wind swirled my hair all around my face, I got lost in the moment. The tire swayed back and forth, round and round. I leaned back letting the sun hit my face. I could have stayed there for hours basking in the quietness of nature surrounded by stately pecan trees. The trees provided a canopy overhead like no tent could. No zooming cars were around, no pesky little brothers who make it their mission to annoy you at any time or place. It was just me and my thoughts.

It was so freeing to know that I could move sideways, twist around, or do whatever my little mind could think of within reason without getting hurt. As my blonde ponytail swished in the dirt, I decided I'd had enough. I didn't want to get to dirty because who knows what I would come up with next? I might want to play school, and even I knew teachers shouldn't be dirty. :)

What was a favorite spot for you as a child?
Image Credit:Sue Byford Visit this link to see more of her work. Used with permission.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Different Vantage Point

When the days are seemingly never ending, I know God is faithful

When I don't have the strength to move another inch, I know God is faithful

As the world is enveloped in the cold dark night, I know God is faithful

When I don't see a way to do anything productive, I KNOW God is faithful.

Sure, we know these things, but are we really aware of them? Do we stop and thank God for His grace? Let me tell you, sometimes I request God to deliver it by the truck load. Sitting here thinking about the present while setting my sights on the future, God hasn't left me. He's still here. He might be in the form of an elderly woman with a genuine compliment. He might be in the child whose eyes are filled with wonder at the excitement of a new toy. He could be in the form of a teacher.

Do we just aimlessly look for God and jump for joy when we see Him at work, or do we anticipate Him, blocking out the world and all of its chaos to see Him? In all honesty, this is something all of us (myself included) have to constantly work at. Sometimes we have to come up higher. No, not in the literal sense. We have to be willing to leave where were at for another view. Things look a lot different when you look above the problem, not at it.


What's the mountain in your life lately?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Writer's Alcove: LG Photography

Lenay 2

Today we get to learn more about Lenay from LG Photography. She's a military wife who loves to shop. Her son Gavin is the light of her life. She's also started a personal blog called The Life of Lenay. It chronicles the ups and downs of juggling motherhood with a passion for all things creative. Head on over to check out her personalized onesies and more!

1. How did you meet your husband?

I met my husband at W@l-Mart. We both worked there and he persued me and was pretty determined to be my man. It was sweet and so is he!
2. Who was a style icon that you admired as a young girl?

I wasn't really into fashion as a young girl, which is why I think I come up with so many different styles of my own.

3. If you had to put together a complete outfit for less than $100, what stores would you go to? What would the overall look be?

Oooo I love to shop at Rugged We@rhouse, Ross, Tj Maxx, target and drjays.com. The overall look would be prob just be me and my style. When I see it, i know that's what I want.

4. What’s your favorite eye shadow polish for fall/winter?

I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I do like black and grays for winter. This past winter I even wore black nail polish. It was cool!

5. Describe your life in 5-10 words.

Fun, different, adventurous, treasure, beautiful, interesting

6. Name 5 of your favorite fashion items or show us a picture of your favorite outfit.
Hats, earrings, boots. I think that's about it.

7. What is a trip that you’ve always wanted to take?

I would LOVE to go to Italy one day and enjoy it!

8. Any hidden talents?

I can play the Saxophone....

9. What is the hardest thing about military life? The best thing?

Adjusting to being semi-independent while your spouse is deployed and the loneliness... the best thing is meeting new people and moving to new places.

10. What got you interested in photography?

I have been into it since i was about 12, just something i always loved. My newest peak started when my son was born!

11. If you had an opportunity to do a photoshoot anyone, who would you choose? Why?

I think I would choose Jennifer Love Hewitt, because she is so pretty and some people seem to think I look like her, so hopefully it would be like doing a photoshoot of myself. Ha ha... yea right.

12. When designing a logo for yourself what would it look like?

Good one, I need to do that! We will see soon!



Yes.. I added a few extra questions that I thought everyone would find interesting. I'll be sure to post about Lenay's new logo when she designs it! Hope you enjoyed today's post...and maybe even found a new blog to read!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Memories Rewind: A Box Sparkling with Memories

Jewels

My Memaw had all of the family pins and memorabilia put in a frame instead of the box that I mention in the story. I didn't know this when this was written. I haven't gotten a picture of the rings yet. Use your imagination. :)

Everyone had gone outside to play. I went back into the house for something. Not just anything though, I was on a mission. Ms. Sparkly was my name and playing dress up was my game.

I crept into Memaw's room, careful not to make a sound. There was the box of jewels. Old fashioned brooches and necklaces from days gone by. I peered into the box being careful not to touch it because Memaw would know I had been there. She kept the rings in a slender wood box with many drawers. I slowly pulled out a tray to admire them a little closer. If I was going through all that trouble, I was determined to see those babies up close and personal. I spotted an elegant blue topaz ring that I just had to try on. My small fingers paled in comparison to that ring. I put it back, then I began to get anxious. How long have I been in here? I better hurry before someone comes looking for me I told myself.

But.... I just couldn't help it. I pulled out another tray of rings. They were so beautiful. This brilliant pink stone caught my eye. It had several darker pink stones around it. When I put it on, I must have lost all of my common sense because what happened next was no reflection on me. I blame this one on Ms. Sparkly.

The ring was way too big so I was clutching it with my other hand as I hurried outside to show Memaw how pretty I looked. "Memaw, look at my hand!" Her jaw dropped when she saw the ring on my hand outside of its box. "Oh, get that back in my room!" she said in an exasperated tone.

Uh-oh. I was in trouble now. I scurried back into the house, wondering what on earth had possessed me to bring that outside. I guess I would never make it as a detective, huh?

Did you ever play dress up as a kid? What was your favorite character?