Thursday, July 29, 2010

Letting my Wall Down

Most people put their real names at the end of their blog post without a second thought. It hasn't been so easy for me. I created this blog when I was sixteen, but I took a long leave of absence when my health declined.

I didn't think I could write about the pain I was feeling because I didn't fully comprehend everything myself. No one wants to read horribly depressing posts, so I didn't write. I also didn't want a reminder of those years because they are forever etched in my memory. Reading my thoughts and feelings would almost be too much.

Since I was young, I was also naive and cautious. I knew that people could take advantage of me if I put too much information on my blog. Being a blogger is all about finding that balance. How much should I keep to myself and how much should I share? I created the user name writing4612 so that I could write without worry of stalkers.

I'm older now and more mature. After much prayer and weighing the pros and cons, I've decided to share my name. Well, my first name. I don't have to hide behind a name that leaves people wondering who I am. I am me. I will still be the same person, you'll just know my name. Strangely, I'm OK with that.

My name is Madison. It's so freeing to type that. As I've said before, a name is personal. When something/someone has a name, you can't pretend they don't exist. From now on, every comment I leave will have my real name. I know it will take some getting used to since I have used writing4612 for so long. During these four years, I've been through many ups and downs, but it's time that I shed that user name.

I've shared some things about myself today. Now, it's your turn! Share one thing about yourself in the comments.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Memories Rewind: Sitting on top of the World

Granny and Papa had something that could hold our attention for hours. It was a golden tan color and we could erase all the evidence by wiping off our clothes. What was it that we darted for the second we jumped out of the car? The sand pile in the back yard.

The best part about this sand pile was that we could sit on top of it. We thought we were kings and queens of our castle when we perched atop our sand pyramid. That's all good if you have no brothers and sisters.

Me and Eli figured out early on that it was much better if we shared the sand pile. Eli thought it was hilarious to cover me in sand while in whimpered in protest. I pelted him with sand grenades in return.

"Come inside, Eli and Madison!" Granny interrupted our thoughts with her distinctive call. We had other plans. We didn't budge. We laughed as we threw sand at each other. I was a sight to see because I had on a crisp white shirt.

By this time, Granny was getting irritated. "If y'all don't come in right now, Papa will spank you when he gets home."

We reluctantly came in, but Granny had worked herself into a frenzy trying to wrangle two mischievous twins.

Where did you love to play at?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Only in my Dreams

Mama and I were lured into this shop by the tantalizing smells. Bottles lined the glass front counter. Tangerine, Roasted Pecan, and Cotton Candy were begging to be opened.

Mama lifted each one to smell it. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a red headed lady. She looked nice enough, but she was a sales woman after all.

"Can I help you find something?" she said in her perky voice.

"You just have to try the Tangerine perfume!" she said before Mama could respond. This lady reminded me of someone who had had too much caffeine that morning. I bit my tongue and kept walking.

"Oh, Oh! Feel how good this feels on your face!" she said as she slathered an egg wash on my mom's face. "If we want it we will buy it. Please don't do that again" she said as she looked the sales lady in the eye.

I went back to smell the roasted pecan. The smell was intoxicating, but I didn't know if I wanted to smell like roasted pecans day after day. Out of nowhere the red headed lady was poking another scent in my face. "I came over here to get away from you! I want to smell this in peace, please. " I thought to myself.

Mama had found another little corner of heaven. Chocolates of all shapes and sizes were nestled in their own little corner. They had a platter to taste test first, and Mama indulged. I caught up with Mama and was surprised to see what she laid on the counter. Two bath fizzes, one pink and one yellow. Then, she picked out three kinds of chocolate. "Where's your bath wash?" the woman called out from across the store?"


"I'm getting the Tangerine," Mama replied in a calm tone. I, on the other hand, was getting irritated. Didn't this woman understand that we would pick out what we wanted on our own? I wanted to tell her she needed to sniff some of that body wash in the hopes that it would bring her back to reality, but I knew she was too far gone. She was pretty on the outside but hollow on the inside.

This was a dream I had a few weeks ago; I just had to share it. (This didn't actually happen.) That's pretty crazy huh?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweet Summertime


Summer time is like no other. While people still have to work, there is a relaxed atmosphere. Everyone savors those cool breezes that come at dusk.

Kids dream up games and spend almost every waking moment playing as the sun envelops them with its warmth. Laughter is more crisp. Gardens abound with fresh vegetables.

Gone are the days of monotonous school work. Calenders are quickly filled up with family barbecues, birthdays, and lake time.

Summer is measured in laughs instead of seconds on a clock. Sometimes I wish I could bottle up that carefree feeling and reopen it when things become hard.

Living rooms are turned into imaginary forts complete with a table and chairs.

In the South, we fall asleep to the chirp of crickets and birds. The lake offers fun in the sun while cooling off. Kids beg parents to bring out the water slides and sprinklers. I don't know about you but a slip-n-slide is a must in the South. Adults compete against the kids to see who can go the farthest. Some end up with bruises and scrapes, while others have bruised egos.

What are some things you love about summer?
P.S. Welcome to all my new followers! If you have any questions, please ask!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Letter's Journey

Years have passed since she's spoken to him. She's older now and wants to make amends with people. Since landing her dream job as a lawyer, she's had time to think about things. Dominque Smithson figures there's no time like the present to start anew, but she starts doubting herself as she sits down to write. "How do I talk about everything that's happened in three years?!" Her head ached at the thought of it.

Dominique writes a letter in the hopes that it will ease the tension. Smoothing the paper, she continues to let the words flow from her soul. After a few minutes, she realizes she's only scratched the surface of what she wants to say.

Writing can be therapeutic, and it can also be torture. As Dominique seals the envelope, she hopes he will read it. She hopes he will see past his hurt and pain. In a moment of resolve, she sticks the letter in the mail, sending it on its journey.

Though distance isn't great, their perception of each other couldn't be further from the truth. Try as she might, there was a wide chasm in between them that only love and respect could fill. The days of demanding things and doing nothing in return had to become a distant memory if their relationship was to be repaired. Not one to give up, Dominique sends cards not knowing if they would find a home in tomorrow's trash.

Some days words flow like a beautiful musical arrangement, while other times the words are stuck like frozen water in a faucet. No matter what though, words bridge gaps. Words are more than mere blips on a page. Words heal. Words empower. Words enrich. As you know, words can damage. We can only hope that the reader isn't blinded by their own perceptions and "weeds" in their life. (Read this post to find out what I'm referring to).

Despite our misconceptions of God, He never gave up on us. He kept giving us mercy, encouraging us when we fall, and loving us when we deserved anything but that. Dominique let out a sigh of relief as she climbed into the covers. "It's not much, but it's a start she reminded herself."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Voice


I voted today. I wasn't planning to post, but I've changed my mind. Each one of us has a voice, and if we don't voice our opinions, that voice will eventually be silenced. It will be drowned out by what the media says and what others say. [I masked my face because when I vote, my skin color or gender doesn't matter. I'm a person with a voice wanting to be heard in a sea of people.]
You have to know what you believe. If you know what you believe, no one else can come in and sway you. Find your voice.

Each time you speak up, it gets easier. You become more confident in yourself. I left the poll with a smile on my face because regardless of the outcome, I was heard. This quote sums up things perfectly, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." -Edward Everett Hale

We may not have a law degree that permits us to participate in Senate hearings, but each of us has the right to vote. Don't let today's elections end as just another day. Make up your mind that you are going to make a difference. What difference am I speaking of, you ask? I'm talking about a difference for your community, your children, but most of all a difference for yourself.
Use your voice.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's in a Name?

I don't know about you, but names are important. When I'm scrolling through numerous blogs on a sidebar, I pick the ones that look interesting. Some just scream, "Read me!" Does that happen to any of you? I also click on the other blogs too. This is an equal opportunity blog. :)


I thought I would share with you some unique and funny blog names. Names reveal a lot about people's personalities, don't you think? As I was laughing at some of these, I couldn't help but click on that title to find out more about the authors behind them. Sure enough, they were as bold, fun, (fill in the blank) as their blog names!

Some people prefer to use their last name as a jumping off point for their blogs, which is perfectly fine. There are no rules when it comes to blogging...just be yourself. What I have found with these blogs is you can never judge a blog by it's blog title. When you read a blog you might normally pass over, you might be surprised to find you have a lot in common with the writer.

A name is personal. It may have been chosen to reflect a passion or a hobby.

A name is individual. Even if someone has the same [blog] name as you, no one can tell your story like you can.

What are some interesting names you've come across?

*If you can't see the names, click on the picture to make it bigger, then use Zoom. I thought I had made the font bigger.*

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reflections in the Mirror


As I looked into my smudged mirror, it hit me. When the mirror is smudged, we don't see our true reflection.

Those smudges distort reality. There is no way to see who you really are when the lens that you are looking through is dirty. Yes, this is an analogy, but we have all been there. Only when you make the choice to clean the glass will you see the true you.

God wiped our "mirror" clean when he died on the cross for us. His precious blood covered any and all sins of humanity. As women we sometimes fall into the trap of self loathing. In other words, seeing your reflection in the mirror causes utter disgust. We have to realize when we let our reflection rule our lives, we can't be all that God has called us to be. How can we hate ourselves when God took away all of our excuses? That is essentially saying that God's sacrifice wasn't good enough. Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (NIV). God loves us just the way we are, so why do we have such a hard time loving ourselves? (We should strive daily for our reflection to become more like God, though)

If we could ever get this concept embedded in our hearts, we would be changed. The problem is we let the media's agenda play over in our minds. Each time we see a stick thin model with tan skin and large breasts, we file that away in our memory bank as motivation for change. Don't misunderstand me. I'm all for writing your vision down or having an inspiration, just don't let that motivation turn into self-deprecation.

Have you looked in the mirror lately?
Image Credit: My very talented friend Jordan Moreau. Check out her awesome work at Jordan Moureau Photography!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Memories Rewind: Cade's Cove


We piled into the car and headed for the mountains. Cade's Cove and all of its adventures awaited us.

The car bounded along on the gravel trail. Deer wandered all around, unafraid of the visitors. We were so excited, so we got out to walk around. Old fashioned churches with wooden pews dotted the landscape. I was intrigued by these buildings because I was transported to a simpler time and place. Back then, people made an effort to become a community. People did more things together.

Very curious, we continued walking. We came upon an old building with a working water wheel. I loved this! Papa went ahead of us, carefully explaining how the corn was ground into flour. I could picture a woman laboring over that grinder just to get a little bit of flour. That was hard work.

I had had enough of the walking for awhile, so we got back on the trail. I spotted several people fumbling for their cameras out of my eye. "Look, Papa! I wonder what those people are doing?"

Then, I saw it, there were a few black bears and their cubs very close to us. I couldn't believe that some people would risk their lives for a photo! I was perfectly content to sit in our air conditioned cars and comfy seats, thank you very much.

Thanks to the zoom on Granny's camcorder, we were able to see the bear. That was enough of an adventure for me.

Any interesting stories to tell about a family trip you took?
If you want more information about Cade's Cove, click here. We did the Auto Tour. (Image Credit: the Microsoft Clip Art collection on my computer)

Monday, July 12, 2010

In Ten Years


I was recently tagged by Kylee from Life is a Canvas.

I'm supposed to tell you where I see myself in 10 years. In 10 years, I'll be 30. Wow, that feels weird to type that! I see myself in a career that I love. What may surprise some of you is that I see myself out of the wheelchair by this time. I wasn't always in one, and I know with God's help I can get to that place again. I don't have the ability to predict the future(and I wouldn't want it), but I do know that the choices that we make today affect our lives tomorrow.

I have goals and dreams, but I never want to be so set in my plans that God can't do what He wants to do in my life. If I don't get my book published by then, so be it. I haven't even written it yet. ;) Why? I guess I'm dealing with life right now. With me, I can't plan anything too far in advance.

The rules say I'm supposed to tag ten other people.

Gwen from Handbag Obessed




Trina from XOXO, Trina

Saucy from Saucy's Sprinkles

Shelley from I'm still Standing

Jesse from Dismantled Words


Louise from Adori Graphics

Friday, July 09, 2010

Breaking Free


This picture shows my very last Fentanyl patch.

I'm writing this post with the end goal in mind. I'm have been completely off the Fentanyl (and Dilaudid) since June 14, 2010. There have been people that seriously doubted whether or not this could be done. Heck, I'm not going to say this has been a leisurely walk in the park. I've cried, I've wondered when this would end. But, one thing never changed. Once we came off a dose month by month, I refused to go back. People reassured me saying it was OK, but I couldn't do it. I had to move forward with or without some people behind me. My mom has seen me at the best times and the worst. My physical therapist has been there sometimes voicing his opinion and other times silently supporting me in my quest to be me again.

My church family has also been there for me. A hug or a word of encouragement has meant more than they will ever know. Even the praise and worship that leaps from the keyboard into the heart of the people has been wonderful.

I said all this to say I couldn't have done this by myself. When I started this journey, I called it a tale of triumph in the midst of the world's system, and that still holds true. I said it by faith excited for what was come.

It's bittersweet, though. I am leaving this phase of the journey with a mixture of emotions. While I'm free from medication, there are many others at the clinic that will not get to say the same. My heart is heavy for them, but I hope I've inspired their parents to keep hope in spite of it all. I hope that the nurses there are more committed to helping even more kids. Sometimes helping doesn't consist of getting them off medication but figuring out the best plan of care. I want them to know that the work they do is important. Thank you Bobby for having the best attitude whether in phone or in person. You are 100% committed to the kids there. Dr. V., thank you for working with me these past few years. I appreciate you being willing to listen to my concerns, no matter how trivial they sounded. Thank you for always looking for the next best thing that might help me.

To all of the kids and parents that are still patients at the clinic, hang in there. While you may not be able to change your situation, you can change your attitude. Be committed to the doctor's orders. Be kinder than necessary to the staff. Be patient. It may not happen when you want it to happen, but trust me, someone is working behind the scenes to help your child.

So, it's time to turn the page. A new phase of my journey has begun!


I've included some posts that sum up things:



Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pressing On

I'm going through a major adjustment period. Since this blog is meant to chronicle my life, every post will not be funny or thought provoking. This blog will be real, though.

Some days I don't have the strength to write. It's been a trying time these past few weeks, but God hasn't fell off the throne. I'm just having to dig my heels in one more time. When I feel like I can't take another step, I'm hit in the face with reality. How can I stop when God didn't stop? He hung on that cross. He accomplished what he sat out to do. I'm only on this earth for a brief time, and I plan to fulfill my purpose. God never promised life would be easy, but He did promise His grace would always be sufficient. It is in my moments of weakness that I find strength in what He has already done.

So, I'm taking a few days off. I do have a post scheduled for Friday, though.

EDIT: Blogger is having some issues with the comments. I can see them, but the number of comments isn't right. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

6/8/10- Sorry, everyone! My post posted early, but I fixed it. Check back tomorrow!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Tell me what you Want

I have a question. I've been thinking about creating a F@cebook page for this blog, but I don't want to do it if only a few are interested. Why? It takes time and effort to maintain another page.

Do you think it would be worthwhile? Weigh in by participating in my poll!





Blonde Duck, I got your comment, but I'm not sure why it didn't post.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence


Today is July 4th. Most people have a cookout then go back to their mundane lives. I see things from a different perspective, so I thought I would share my thoughts.

My new wheelchair gives me independence. For 5 years, I tolerated a chair that was mediocre at best and certainly not made to sit in for long periods of time. With independence comes responsibility.

When the papers were signed and the ink was drying, the chair was mine. I could do with it what I wished. Opportunities to move around my house with ease awaited me, but I had to push the button first. Likewise, the Declaration of Independence was signed 234 years ago, but its words shouldn't be taken lightly. The freedom and liberty that Jefferson spoke of came with a price. Most of us want to say, "It's the soldiers responsibility to protect us!" You are only partially right. As Americans, we have a responsibility to preserve our culture. Do we want to be remembered for our iPhOnes and fast paced life? Do we want others to say that we have money, but yet our country is one of the unhappiest?
The moment we cheapen freedom to a picture of a flag with fireworks, we're in trouble. Our founding fathers paved the way for our nation to be one that fosters creativity and growth, but it's up to us to keep it that way.

We get the choice each day as to what kind of mark we leave on this world. Preserving our independence starts with me; it starts with you.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Out with the Old, in with the New


My new chair is on the left. I just wanted to show the difference.

This post has been anticipated for a long time. My new wheelchair arrived in one piece on Wednesday! I was so excited.

I woke up with butterflies in my stomach because the day that I had only dreamed about was finally a reality.

There it was. I could see it. I could touch it. Everyone can celebrate when you can see something with your own eyes, but many lose faith when things don't go the way you think they should. I'm living proof that good things come to those who wait. I had praised God for meeting my needs MONTHS before we even knew if the e-motion wheels would be approved.

You see, these wheels are something special. They are so special that only a handful get approved each year. I made up my mind awhile back that it was OK if I didn't get the e-motion wheels. The main thing I needed was a better seat-anything else was just a bonus. I'm so excited for a seat that's specifically designed to be sat in.

So, are you scoffing at this post? Are you saying, "That could never happen to me?" Refocus. Whatever you need, thank God for it now. You have to have His praise continually on your lips. God can do abundantly more than we can ask or think...if we just believe. God has already paid the price for our needs, sins, sicknesses, etc. He's waiting on us to get our mind out of the way.

I turn another page in this book called life. I'm having to get adjusted to this new chair, but it's worth it!