Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sweet Monkey Frozen Yogurt

My mom and I took a trip to Sweet Monkey, a delicious frozen yogurt place in Gainesville.  It was nice because my mom doesn't have too many days off.


This was their cute logo on the back wall. They had a few couches and chairs that beckoned us to relax and stay awhile. 


This was the self-serve stations that housed flavors like tiramisu, eggnog, peanut butter, red velvet cake, and espresso. 


Fruit toppings abounded! I can't wait to go back in a few months to try the mango or peach yogurt with some fruit!


They had lots of candy options to top off the yogurt, but I preferred the salty nuts like pecans and cashews.  The best part is Sweet Mokney is coming to Athens and Augusta soon! At least I'll have something to make my routine doctor appointments a little more enjoyable!



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cozy Christmas

My Christmas was wonderful.  While the presents were nice, I loved spending time with my family the most.  I've spent my days lounging around reading books on my new Kindle Fire.  If any of you have any good book suggestions, please let me know.  I love a good book!  I also helped put together my first Christmas drama for my church with some very talented friends of mine.  It was quite an undertaking, but so worth it.


Our family tree this year



Me and Mason hanging out on Christmas Eve

My break is coming to a close, but I have so enjoyed not having any homework or assignments!  I have several blog posts planned, I just haven't felt well. I love to write, though, so I am making myself do a blog post. :)




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

True Success

Even though I'm not graduating from college just yet, people are asking, "What are you planning on doing?"  "You need to go get a master's now so you won't loose the rhythm you're in now..."  The short answer is get a job.  Just because I have a few limitations doesn't mean I can't be a productive member of society.  It just takes me a little longer to do some things.


Success for me is not measured in dollars and cents or degrees.  To me, success is waking up every morning with a sense of purpose.  I'm here on this earth for so much more than to just do a job.  I'm supposed to spread God's love wherever I go, which is why I can be content not pursuing a master's degree right now.  If I'm so busy filling my schedule with lots of "stuff", I may miss an opportunity to spread God's love to someone in the workplace.  In short, my life isn't about doing something just because someone else thinks it's a good idea.  I'm more committed to God than I've ever been.  Yes, I will continue to write.  That's part of the talent God has blessed me with, and I'm determined not to waste it!

 I'm looking into some online options for master's degree, but I'm in no hurry to do anything.  I want to be doing what God wants me to do where He wants me to do it.  I've been spending a lot of time praying and listening to His voice, because I know I am nothing without Him.  

I just wanted to write this post to let everyone know they don't have to be pressured by people.  Let God direct you.  He has never let me down yet, even when I was confused and doubting the dream I had in my heart.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Best Birthday Gift Ever!

My mom gave me the most awesome gift for my 22nd birthday a few weeks ago: A 30 minute massage!  I had never had a massage, but I know how much it helped my mom when her back was hurting.  As it got closer to my appointment with Kayla from Absolute Muscular Care in my hometown, I became more and more excited because I'd I had almost forgotten what it was like to live without neck pain! My neck had been hurting for months with no relief. I couldn't even sleep good at night because of it. After visiting Kayla, I have noticed a TREMENDOUS difference!  I have slept better ever since my visit! 

I didn't have the typical massage, though. I had something called the CranioSacral massage that is designed to help migranes, fibromyalgia, and even childhood disorders like cerebral palsy! Click this link to learn more about it. I couldn't believe there was a massage designed just for me! 
Anyway, I just had to share this with everyone.  Kayla didn't not ask me to write a review.  I just believe in sharing good stuff!  If you live in my hometown, I highly recommend her!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Hart







Sunrise on the Battery is a story by Beth Webb Hart.  The main characters are Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville, a couple who started with nothing and trying to work their way up through the elite Charleston society.  In the midst of all of this, she found herself wishing she could go to church with her three daughters and husband.  She struggles to find a balance to it all, though.  This story is a captivating tale of the Scoville family as they all try to live a perfect life.  For Mary Lynn, that means trading in her small-town roots for high-class tea parties.  For Jackson, it means making sure his daughters had ever have every opportunity that he never had growing up . 

I really liked this story because it was relatable.  Families get so caught up in doing lots of stuff that they often miss what's truly important in life. I thought Hart did a great job developing Jackson's character.  His disgust about anything relating to God  reminds me people in my life.  The sweet innocence of the youngest daughter was refreshing in this story because it provided a nice balance to his teenage issues that Catherine faced.  I loved all the flashback she included to  about small-town life   before moving to Charleston because they added more depth to the characters and story as a whole.   I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a new book to read!  It's raw  and real.  The message still lingers in my mind even though I'm done with it .


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Finals are over and I'm off for a month!  I've learned a lot this semester.  In my creative writing class, my final project was the beginning of a novel.  I turned in 33 pages, and I'm quite proud of myself because this is the longest work on one subject that I've ever done!  I plan to continue working on it.  One thing people may not realize is it takes a lot of time and patience to to tell a story in right way.In other words, not rushing from point to point, but really taking your time to develop the characters and setting.

I've been sick. Instead of focusing on the negative, I want to write a list of things that I can do now that I couldn't do a year ago.

  1.  I helped my mom decorate the Christmas tree this year
  2.  I was able to attend college classes from 8 to 2 on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays
  3.  I started helping on my church's publication team, which meets weekly
  4.  As of Saturday, I am now able to transfer myself for my wheelchair to the recliner with no help 
  5. I can pick up my baby cousin without hurting my back
  6.  I can put on my stretchy pants on with no help (Blue jeans still require help, but I will master that eventually)
  7. I can pop a wheelie in my wheelchair
  8. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator
  9. I designed a logo using Adobe Illustrator
  10.  I'm able to sit up more, which is why so many things on this list are possible
  11. As an extra special surprise, I'm coming back to church on Wednesday nights starting TONIGHT!  I have not been able to go church on Wednesday nights in several years because of my pain.  All praise goes to God for His neverending grace!!
I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not where I was!  I wanted to write these things down so I won't forget how far I've come.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I've been doing

Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We got the awesome opportunity to serve people in our community.  Below is just some of the desserts that people made!



Later on that week. I went to visit my Memaw. I cuddled my little nephew, who is now six months old.  He is learning so much!



I've also been designing some things for my adobe illustrator class Here are two of the projects I've been working on.  A logo for the outreach ministry of our church and something fun that I may use as a desktop background. I'm also working on a poster, but it's not done.



I'll be done with this semester next Tuesday. I can't wait! 





Friday, November 18, 2011

Sniffles and Helping Others

So, I've been sick the past few days.  I hardly ever get sick and can count on one hand how many times I've had to go to the doctor this year for sickness.  I was having chills all day yesterday and some other not so fun stuff, so I made a trip to the doctor.  He automatically wanted to test me for strep, since it's apparently been going around.  After gagging me with that cotton swab, the test came back negative.  Thankfully, I was able to finish my take home test on time. I've started on some meds, so I should be better by next week.  Now is not the time to be sick!



It's a good thing, too because I have a lot to do.  Between working on things for my church, I am finishing up my last few assignments before finals.  I will also be helping my church serve a free Thanksgiving lunch on Thanksgiving day to the community.  Local firefighters, elderly people, and even friends of mine will be coming.  This is a huge undertaking, but everything is going along smoothly.  I can't wait to see the smiles on people's faces as they get some good food in their stomachs and surrounded by laughter and good conversation.  I have always enjoyed helping other people and that is something I hope to pass on to my nephew Mason when he's older.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Knit with Love

The weather is turning chilly, but that's no excuse for not being fashionable!  My aunt is selling the scarves she has made. 


How great would this look over your favorite sweater or new winter coat?





She doesn't have an Etsy page, but email her at gwenshiflet@hartcom.net if interested!  (Hint: to all you locals who live near me!)  Make sure to put Scarves as the subject line so she will know. She will be making more, so I will be adding pictures.  These would make excellent Christmas gifts and don't forget birthdays! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Little Victories

My blond headed little cousin, Keller, came walking into my room on Friday like he always does.  Pointing to my laptop, I knew he wanted to watch Giggle Bellies.  Giggle Bellies is a fun, educational DVD of many songs for kids.  It's also on YouTube.  I play some for him, and he LOVES them!  His favorites are "Wheels on the Bus" and Old MacDonald Had a Farm.  They have the cutest characters and music!

There he was, by my bed.  The only problem was there was no one there to lift him up.  I haven't lifted a child at all since my back surgery almost four years ago.  I couldn't let him just stand there, so I lifted him.  I couldn't quite get him up high enough.  Setting him back on the ground, I tried again.  Still not quite good enough.  I knew I could do if I tried hard enough.  So, I took a deep breath while leaning just a little bit over my bed.   I'm thankful for my long arms during times like these. :) 

Next, something unexpected happened.  Keller started helping me!  He tried to put his feet on the rail of my bed.  That gave me just the push I needed to get him on my bed.  Finally, he was on the bed and ready for Giggle Bellies (or so I thought).  

He kept trying to climb over me.  I couldn't figure out what he wanted beside me.  Finally, my mom came in my room and said, "He's wanting to lay beside you like he's done before."  So, THAT'S what he wanted!  Laying his little head on my pillow, I hit play on the video.  You would have thought he was in heaven!  I was too!   I was so proud of myself for being able to lift him without hurting him or myself!  Sometimes I forget to share the little victories I have on here.  I am making an effort to get better about that, starting today!




Friday, November 11, 2011

Content but not Satisfied

Lots of things have been happening this week!  I am ahead on all of my classwork, which is wonderful!  The big news is that I applied for an internship and looking ahead at other opportunities.  It's unreal how quickly time passes!  I remember when I was very concerned because I still had lots of classes in red, which means I still had to take them.  In time, everything has worked out, though.  I'm just trying to enjoy the time I have left at college.


One thing I have learned is that you are always entering and leaving phases in life.  I left high school and entered college.  Just when things become familiar, they change.  I guess that's good thing, though because that means I'm constantly growing as a person.  In my opinion, there is nothing worse than someone who has become stagnant.  In other words, they have become satisfied with where they're at.  This is completely different than content, mind you.  Yes, I know most dictionaries will say they technically mean the same thing, but I'm talking about the heart of the matter.  I'm not talking about a surface level happiness or satisfaction.  Satisfied people feel as if they have no where else to go in life.  No more goals to reach.  They are fine to just be.  Content people are fulfilled, trusting that everything will work out, even in the midst of chaotic circumstances.   Content people still have dreams.  Satisfied people have quit dreaming. That's the way I see it anyway.  

I always want to expand my horizons and dream big no matter what limits society or others try to put on me.  Have you become satisfied?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Still Going Strong

Well, another week has come and gone.  If you're a fan of my facebook page, you will know that I have been extremely busy with school.  I'm so glad it's the weekend because I haven't felt the best.  Even this morning, I could have easily stayed home from school because I was feeling nauseous.  I went on anyway because I know that each hour I'm there means I'm one step closer to graduating. I also know I can't learn anything at home. 

I'm still recuperating from the costume party because I was up pretty much ALL day, including school for several hours. But, I'm moving along.  I can't stay down long.  I guess I'm just writing to get this out.  I have been kind of down. 

After spending time in  prayer and worship tonight in my room, I feel a lot better.  I didn't even have any music. It was just me telling Jesus how much I love Him and how thankful I am He has never deserted me even when I am snappy and tired.  There's nothing like the presence of Jesus.  He is my rock.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Fall Costume Party

I went to a costume party with my mom last night at our church.  It was a great time of food, fun, and fellowship with some awesome people.  I laughed so much that my stomach hurt!  I needed that.



I went dressed as a Japanese geisha using a dress that my mom's boss got in Japan or some other country.  I can't remember now.  I layered it over black pants and dyed my hair black (with hair dye that washes out).  Even some of my closest friends and family didn't recognize me!  I laughed and laughed. 


I was in the presence of an awesome egg and smiley face.  They are doing their best Thriller Remix.



My mom was laughing at them. :D


My aunt and uncle were bacon and egg



.Miss Ruby was a diva!  She had no problem posing for the camera.  There were many other costumes, but I can't post them all.  It was fun being someone totally different for a night, especially with the black hair, but I'm ready to get my brown hair back.  I just have to wash it a few times!  The most surprising thing of the night is that I won the overall best costume.  I was shocked!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wrapped in His Arms

Most children look to their daddies to be their helpers: to fix everything for them when they're too little to do it themselves. "My toy is broken, daddy. Can you fix it for me?" a child says with pleading eyes.

My story is a little different. I had a broken heart that couldn't be easily fixed with tape or new batteries. I would have given anything for a dad who wanted to spend time with me when I was little. I used to be so sad when a movie would show a little girl climbing up in her daddy's lap because that was something I never experienced.

I never felt safe around my daddy growing up. He was tall and had a booming voice that made me jump when he entered the room. I couldn't just go up to him and say, "Daddy, I need a hug," because he was often too busy doing his own thing. After a while, I just quit waiting for him to play with me because the sting of rejection was too much for my little heart to take.

When I came to Gateway Believers Fellowship, I was just a young girl still trying to get used to my parents’ divorce. I remember hearing sermons about the Father's love. It was unlike anything I'd ever heard of before. Apostle David would explain that God loves each one of us unconditionally. I desperately wanted to believe that, but I had been so disappointed many times before in my life, and I needed help believing even that. Thank God that Holy Ghost is my helper! As I learned to pray in tongues for my own growth and edification, my Helper showed up to fix my broken heart.
After being able to grasp that God really wanted a relationship with me, scars and all, I began to let Holy Ghost heal my heart little by little. It started with praying in tongues and meditating on the words of the songs each time we worshipped in church.  I would find myself humming the words during the week when I was alone. Holy Ghost would take those words and help me see how they applied to ME personally.

It wasn’t always easy, but over time, Holy Ghost helped me see that it didn't matter if my daddy ever told me that he loved me or not. God’s love became real to me, and I knew that HE cared for me. Through surgeries, falls, and awards ceremonies at school, Holy Ghost has helped me get through it all, letting me know and experience His love. He was there to help me let down the walls that I put up to keep others out, and through that I began to experience God’s love through those around me as well. I have found that I don’t have to do anything to impress God; I don’t have to be perfect. He just loves me for me. How awesome is that?!
You may think that you are too broken, too messed up, or too shameful for God to ever love you. That's not the case, my friend. Once I let Holy Ghost help me experience God’s love, my life has never been the same. As I fully submitted to God, trusting Him to be the father I never had, He has given me an unspeakable peace concerning my daddy. God’s Holy Spirit has helped mend that void in my life, and He can do the same for you.

I dare you to believe Holy Ghost to be your Helper. He is all that you need! See what happens!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making my Mark: Never Too Late

Some say you can't make your mark when your older

You've waited too late to do anything worthwhile 
Why even try?
The world is moving at a rapid pace, people will give you the cold shoulder


Don't listen to them
Turn away from their shouts of doubt
You can make a difference
One word is all it takes


Give it a try
An act of kindness
A word of encouragement to let someone know you care
Is enough to pull them from the pit of despair


It's never too late to make a change
Even if you're old and gray
Just make a choice to get beyond your comfort zone
Great things can happen when you venture into the unknown!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Page by Page

I've been busy working on my novel for my creative writing class.  I have thirteen pages as of right now. I've committed to having at least thirty pages done by December. One thing I have learned is that it sure is tough writing from the perspective of mother, especially since I'm not one. Tears threatened to spill over onto the keyboard this morning as I finished up the fourth chapter.  So, I'm taking a break for a few days and look at it again with fresh eyes.

I have so much that I want to say that I'm afraid it's going to end up being well over thirty pages, but I guess that's why they call it an ongoing project .I plan on continuing even after this course is done because the characters and situation mean something to me. I don't want to just tell a story. I want to tell it well. What's your favorite kind of novel? Is it suspense? A thriller? A romance?  Tell me in the comments!

 P.S. If you are not a fan of my Facebook page, click the Like  button on my left sidebar. I want to make it to 100 before the end of the year!  Come on and make your mark with me!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Skylie


I had a tiny visitor on Tuesday.  A seven pound visitor named Skylie to be exact.  She's my neighbor who was born at 25 weeks weighing a mere 1 lb, 2 oz at birth.

After a few months in the NICU, she's doing well at home on oxygen thanks to the prayers of many people who continue to pray for her and her family who have been through other very trying struggles.

She was right at home in my arm, gradually dozing off to dream land.  With each flutter of her eyelashes and movement of her tiny hands, I was reminded again at what a miracle life is.  I guess good things really do come in small packages!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alone and Frustrated

As I was going into class on Friday, I noticed someone leaning against the wall. Getting closer to the door, he briefly glanced up in the midst of his frustration.  I wanted to speak to him, but I had to get to class.  I couldn't help but wonder what made him get off by himself in a corner.


I looked back and noticed he had resumed the same position as before, leaning into the wall with his head in his hands.  I wondered how many other people had passed him by without a second thought?  His face still lingers in my mind today, void of all hope.  That's not a good place to be, my friends.

How many of us have been in that same situation?  Feeling miserable about life and the world in general.  How many have rushed by someone in need, not bothering to care?  I know the power of words.  They have the power to heal.  Even a smile can make a world of difference for someone.

I don't know if that guy has a relationship with God.  I don't even know if he has anyone in his life to encourage him and tell him things will get better, even if it doesn't seem that way right now.  I'm so thankful that I'm surrounded by people who love me enough to encourage me on the hard days and not turn a blind eye.

Find someone to encourage today.  I guarantee you'll find someone if you take the time.


P.S. I would like to get to 100 facebook fans before the end of the year.  Just click the like button on my left sidebar!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Busy as a Bee

Hey, everyone.  I wanted to offer an explanation as to why I haven't blogged.  I have been SWAMPED with school work and other things that require my time and energy. One of those things is the beginning of a novel for my creative writing class.  It's coming along page by page. I've also been in a significant amount of pain these past few weeks, but I'm trudging along.

I'm having some issues with my wheelchair cushion, so be in agreement with me that the problem will be resolved quickly.

Hope everyone is having a good week!  Tomorrow is Friday! :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Missing my Granddaddy

I'm sitting in the computer lab thinking about my granddaddy.  It's been two months since he died, and I still miss him.


Today I'm thinking about him as I prepare to take a quiz in history.  He always loved watching shows about how things were made.  "What are you learning about now, Madison?" he'd ask enthusiastically as he leaned up in his chair to hear me better.  We'd talk a lot about what I was learning.  I loved those times because he'd get the biggest grin on his face.


I  think about him at night, missing his random phone calls to ask me about my day.


I think about him when Mason comes over, knowing he would be laughing at how big he's gotten.


I can still hear him saying, "How's my sweet granddaughter doing today?" in a gruffly voice.


Every night as I wash my face before bed, I remember all the times he used to hold the wash cloth under the sink for a few extra seconds, making sure it was good and warm for me.  I always hold the wash cloth to my face a few extra seconds now, thinking of my granddaddy.


Even though I can't share these things with him today, I know he's in a much better place.  He may be doing a jig up in Heaven right now. :)



Friday, September 23, 2011

Significance of September 23

Today I woke up and got ready for school.  I sat in Bible class talking about things that we would have gotten to experience with Jesus if we were alive during his lifetime.  I didn't really think much of today until I wrote the date on my paper.  September 23, 2011.

That date probably doesn't mean anything to you, but it was the day of my second surgery, which was exactly  seven years ago.  I still remember that day vividly.  I was fourteen years old.  My new doctor informed me that if we didn't take the hardware in my hips out, one fall could cause me to need a hip replacement.  I had no idea that every fall that I had taken since the hardware had been in my body could have been a disaster.

My family woke up when it was still pitch dark outside.  Today was the day my hip was going to get straightened (again), and I wouldn't have to worry about airport scanners going off.  Now, you have to understand that I had never been to an airport, but I always try to find the humor in things.

I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and made myself presentable.  From the moment I woke up, September 23 was not a normal day.  I even left the house in my soft blue pajama pants and my hair in a ponytail.

"Well, I get to go to sleep for a few hours, so I guess getting up at around 4 o' clock in the morning isn't so bad." I joked with my mom.

When we got to the hospital, we got checked in and get me prepped and ready for surgery.  Family was bustling around trying to contain their nerves.  My doctor came in to go over everything, and chat a little. He was an old man with a kind and gentle face never failing to put me at ease with a gentle pat on my arm.

It was almost time.  I watched the clock tick away the minutes on the wall.  The minutes seemed to creep by so slow, so I passed the time by talking with my brother.  Tick, tock.  Tick, tock.  The rhythm of the clock on the wall almost lulled me to sleep.  Then, I remembered September 23 was a different kind of day as nurses shuffled in and out of my little corner.

One of the last things I remember was being wheeled to the operating room.  The hallway was long, and no one was around.  I was just focusing on staying calm and remembering that I wasn't alone.

Just then, Dr. Griffin, peeked his out of the OR.  "Are you ready to do this?" he asked with a smile.

"Yep," I replied.  If you were there, you would have thought I was having a casual conversation with my grandpa, not my surgeon.  

I had developed quite a relationship with Dr. Griffin over the past six years.  I was a nervous eleven year old with a knee popped out of place.  I was answering all of his questions, when suddenly, he popped it back in.  "Ow!" I yelped, half from pain and half from suprise. That's when I knew that Dr. Griffin was different.  He had a gentleness about him that most doctors lack.

So, when he asked me if I was ready, I responded without hesitation because I knew him.  I trusted him.

"Well, let's get you fixed then!" he replied confidently.

The operating table was cold and hard.  "Get her a warm blanket," Dr Griffin said to one of the nurses.   I felt like a child being tucked into sleep.  For the next several hours, I drifted off to sleepy land.  

September 23, 2004 was indeed a different day.  






Thursday, September 22, 2011

Breaking the Silence

These past weeks have been rough emotionally.  I usually don't write about this kind of stuff here, but I thought it may help someone. Let me just say this before I go any farther. People have this idea that admitting they have hard days is a sign of weakness. That is a sign you are human!   

I have just been in a slump where my personal writing is concerned. Satan comes to all of us telling us lies, and he has been talking to me a lot lately. For instance, he has been telling me that I don't have anything of value to say. This blog doesn't matter. You know how it is. He bombards your mind with lies so you will be quiet.

Needless to say, it has affected me. I'm guilty of  letting Satan slip in and silence me. I've found myself feeling down about things, but that is changing now.  When I realized what had happened, I immediately opened up a post and started to write. Instead of being quiet, I'm going to continue writing.  I'm going to continue sharing what God does for me. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In the Quiet Time

This is a poem I wrote during my church's seeking time.  It's a time we set aside to pray and seek God with other believers.   


In the quiet time, I sit alone;
The familiar whirring of the computer is all I hear.
I am alone with my thoughts, or so it seems.
I feel a tugging in my heart; He is calling me.

In the quiet time, God speaks.
I am able to listen, soaking in His awesome presence
I am only one person, yet the Alpha and Omega talks with me.

 In the quiet time, I am reassured.
He gives me a clearer vision of the path I’m on.
As I see more, I’m overcome with peace.
Jehovah Jireh is all I need.

In the quiet time, I realize even more it’s not about me.
There are people wandering in darkness, unable to see.
God nudges me to pray for them.
I say, “Lord, let Your light shine through the shadows that hide their destiny.”
I stand in awe of The Great I Am because He continually uses me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Name that Photo Contest!

It's been a few days since I've posted.  I've been super busy with papers and projects for school!  I have a test in History tomorrow, but I couldn't resist sharing a cute photo my mom took of my nephew today.  He is 4 months old today!  He is the happiest baby and I'm so glad I get the chance to love on him!



This photo is just begging for a caption, don't you think?  So c'mon! Give it your best shot!  I will pick a winner and they will get a book from me. :) 

Friday, September 09, 2011

Making my Mark: Voice Among Chaos

Awhile back, someone came to my blog searching for poems about making their mark. I thought that was a fantastic idea, so here is my first one. I may make this a series.  Who knows? :)

When I was a girl, I struggled to know what my place was in this big world
I got more questions than answers; my head felt as if it would twirl
What could I do, what could I say 
That would leave a mark on the world to stay?

As I got older, I found my way
It was full of twists and turns and even a few stumbles
The good thing was I had found my voice
I didn't even mumble!

I didn't shout nor did I scream
I just did what came naturally
I looked for ways to help those in need
My oh my, how their faces beamed!

So whether you are young or old
Don't tuck this poem away in an old dusty drawer
Let it touch you to the very core
Get our your pen or use your voice.  It doesn't matter just be bold!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Thanks for Visiting!

Since I have had some new visitors in the past few weeks, I wanted to take this time to welcome them.  I'm so glad you decided to stop by my little corner on the Internet!  Feel free to look through some of my old posts.  In case you don't know, you can subscribe to my post by typing in your email address into the subscribe box on my right sidebar.  This ensures you never miss a post! :)

I also have a FacebOok page this blog.  Click here to visit my page.  I will share things about my day, upcoming blog posts, and ask questions.  Basically, it's a community for all who love Making my Mark.  I would love to see you over there as well!

Hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day weekend!  I caught up on some much needed sleep and went to Olive Garden with my mama.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Best Day of Your Life

Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did I’m going to celebrate!

Today, I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far:
the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger.

I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God’s seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds.

Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.

Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I’ll make someone smile. I’ll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don’t even know.

Today, I’ll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I’ll tell a child how special he is, and I’ll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for them and how much they mean to me.


Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don’t have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I’ll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in God and his Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.

Tonight, before I go to bed, I’ll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures.


As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank Him for the best day of my life.And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be…..the best day of my life!

~Author Unkown

I found this awhile back because it echoes the thoughts of my heart so perfectly, it seems like I could have written it myself. I never want to forget that this life is a gift! 

Saturday, September 03, 2011

If They Only Knew

Note: I actually wrote this months ago, but debated about posting it.  I hope it helps someone else.

Tears streamed down her face as she thought of what just happened.

In trying to be a good friend, she got burned. Her heart was breaking because there was nothing left to do. Her help wasn't wanted, so she was no longer going to be there.

Matthew 5:38-40 says, "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well."

In other words, you are supposed to turn the other cheek and forgive them. I don't know about you, but that is hard for me because I have to be willing to be hurt again.

It hurts to be misunderstood. It is a pain of knowing that the person that needs help is within arm's reach yet you can't get to them. They are blinded by voices of doubt and fear. Unfortunately, I can only be pulled so much. As hard as it will be, I have to let this person go their own way. I've walked my walk, and now they have to walk theirs. I will still be praying for this person, but they have made a choice. I'm not someone who will overstep my bounds.

In my haze of confusion, I know that God is still God. Just like the father waiting on the prodigal son, I'll be here waiting when they are ready. Relationships are hard and require comprise, patience, and understanding. If they could only see things from my perspective, it would be different.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Celebration

I haven't officially announced that I'm writing for my church's weekly publication called The Celebration, so I wanted to take time to do that. We have a team that puts together The Celebration for our church and whomever else may want one.  What you may be interested in is The Celebration blog.


The Celebration blog features things that the team members have written, including myself.  It's a good place to stop by for encouragement, challenge your thinking, and a laugh or two.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bridging the Gap

Pre-mature birth. Cerebral Palsy. Surgeries. Therapy. Wheelchair.

If I can help just one person by sharing with them how I’ve overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in my life, it will be worth it all. If I can offer just one word of encouragement to a parent of a special needs child, the pain I’ve endured is still worth it all. My earthly father has never accepted me as I am, but showing others how much my Heavenly Father genuinely loves me makes it worth it all.

You know, a lot of Christians wait until they’ve gotten things all figured out before they start trying to reach out to others. I may be young, but I have learned that we all face hard times on this journey called life, and it’s how we react to them that makes all the difference. I decided that I wasn’t going to wait until my healing totally manifested or things seem to be easier for me before I try to help bridge the gap for others. True, I have felt like an outsider more times than I’d care to admit. However, through much prayer and earnestly seeking to know God on a more intimate level, I have achieved a level of breakthrough in many areas. I have learned how to have a hope that never fades under any circumstances, and I have learned that it’s very important to share that hope with others.

Think about Queen Esther in the Old Testament. Here she was, an orphaned Jewish girl who found favor with the King. She didn’t do anything to deserve that favor; God took her circumstances and orchestrated it all so that she would be in position to bridge the gap for others. When she was promoted to the palace, she could have sat idly by in luxury with her servants and forgotten about her people, but she didn’t. When the hour of need arose, she recognized that it was God who placed her there in order to help her people, not just to live a life of ease for herself. She knew the risks of her actions; she knew she might die along with the rest, but she stepped out boldly and spoke up anyway. It took great courage, but God used Esther’s voice to bring deliverance for others.

With Biblical examples like Esther in mind, I began looking for ways to help other people break through difficult circumstances in their lives. A few years ago, I started writing a blog and, through that, have been able to give hope to hundreds of people a day just by releasing the words God has put inside of me. I don’t write only for people with disabilities; I write to share my experiences about learning how to trust God. Even though my life isn’t being threatened for proclaiming God’s goodness and truth, I have come to realize that if I don’t release what God has given me, my gift will die. Trust me, I had to die to myself quite a bit when I started openly sharing about my life. There were nights that I would cry because it hurt my flesh to have to relive many of the pains and hurts that I have faced. But as I obeyed God, people responded in positive ways. Knowing that I was helping others has given me the courage and strength to keep on.

Like Esther, when we surrender our plans and desires, great things can happen because God is able to accomplish what He wants done. By putting God’s wishes above our own desires, we can give hope to the hurting, which is more valuable than gold or fame or position. When we use the gifts God has given us to share our own breakthroughs, our own sense of purpose is strengthened.

What can you do to bridge the gap for others?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Cutest Little Baby Face

I haven't updated everyone on my nephew, so I plan to fix that today.  Mason is 3 months old and getting bigger everyday! He is such a joy to be around.  I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures that my mom has taken over the past few months.


I don't know what he was thinking about after his bath, but he sure looked cute!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jesus: The Awesome Example

The more I look at life, the more I stand in awe of God. People always say to me, "You have such a gift with writing!" I'm humbled each and every time I hear it because I know I'm nothing without God. He is the reason I'm alive. Don't believe me? Read this post. Without him, I wouldn't have the breath of life. I'm so grateful for the mercy He gives me each day.  I have done absolutely nothing to deserve Him and His awesome presence and guidance. I am made worthy through His blood.

The fact that Jesus died for me...and all of humanity still leaves me speechless sometimes. I don't know about you, but I don't know many people who would die for complete strangers. Let's face it, even if they would, they wouldn't choose to be crucified and beaten beyond comprehension.

His life inspires me each day. Jesus only lived for 30 years here on Earth, yet He performed notable miracles and touched more people during one sermon than any of us would ever touch in a lifetime. He lived with such passion! Where are the passionate people today? Why are most people content to just get by? In other words, why do most people settle for a job they like instead of one they love? In my opinion, you only have one life to live, so live it to the fullest! Go out on the edge of your comfort zone and see what you find. Do something different. Live differently. Love differently.  

As I write this, I'm talking to myself, too. I'm human just like everyone else. Sometimes I let little things bother me. I get tired. Sometimes I forget to reach for things that seem unreachable, not even aware that I've let other people dictate how I feel, what I should do(or not do), etc. I said all that to say that I can't live differently or love others like Christ loved them on my own. I have to have His help.

I just wanted to write this as a reminder of the awesome example that we have. Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:13 reminds me "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. " In Him I can do all things, not because I'm able in this pile of human flesh, but because of His grace that He so freely gives.


So, what is holding you back from being an example?  Draw on His grace!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunshiny Semester

I've just finished my first class of the new semester.  7:00 sure did come early this morning after a three month break!  The sun was shining as my mom and I left for school this morning. It's a new day filled with possibilities. I'm excited to start learning new things.  I'm still a junior, although I previously said I would be a senior.  It's just because I can't sit long enough at school to have 17 or 18 hours worth of credit each semester, but I am getting it done.


*I know sunshiny isn't an actual word, but it reminded me of that song "I Can See Clearly Now" and the lyrics that say, "It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!"

Just wanted to check in with everyone. Hope you're having an awesome Monday!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A little more about me

After doing my poll a few weeks ago, I realized that a lot of you probably don't understand a lot about cerebral palsy. While some people are paralyzed and unable to communicate that is not the case with me. I'm not paralyzed. I can walk some with the help of my walker.

I've had several people come up to me in the doctor's office and ask if I had an accident. I did not have a car accident. I started having back pains at he end of my sophomore year in high school. What started out as a back ache quickly turned into something more.

After several months of trying to find a doctor that would accept my new insurance, x-rays revealed that I had a stress fracture in my lower back. The formal diagnosis was  spondylolysis. The doctors tried to treat it with two different types of braces with no improvement.  The diagnosis was then changed to spondylolisthesis. After an MRI showed that the stress fracture had gotten worse,  the doctor said surgery was my only option.

In the summer of 2007, I had back surgery. Much to everyone's suprise, my doctor discovered that my vertebrate in my back were actually broken when they were doing my operation. No wonder I was in so much pain!

After the surgery, I was feeling much better. Physical therapy was going great. About three months later, I got an infection in my hip. This is the major reason why I'm still in a wheelchair.

Anyway, I hope this clears things up for some of you. If you have any questions, just feel free to ask.  

Friday, August 05, 2011

Don't Wait

An old man once said, "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who will make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living." ~Not sure of the author

In light of my grandfather's passing, I've been reflecting on a lot of things. I will try to sum up my thoughts. 

We shouldn't wait until someone dies to start treating others with respect.  Don't wait until tomorrow to do something kind for someone. Don't wait until tomorrow to become a better you.  Don't wait until tomorrow to focus on someone other than yourself.  Don't wait until it's too late to try fix everything you wish you would have done differently. 

I guess that is something that has been playing over and over in my mind like a tape on repeat.  Start living your life today.  You can't change the past, but you CAN change your future.

My mom has said before that everyday is an opportunity, and that is so true.  Whether we say good things or bad, treat others with respect or not, love people unconditionally or not is up to us.  We have the power to choose what we do and what kind of mark we leave behind.

When you die, will your mark be worth copying?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Death is not the End

My Granddaddy passed away yesterday.  He is not in pain anymore, thank goodness.  I got to talk to him about a week before he quit responding, so that was some precious time that I'm so thankful for.  Death isn't the worst thing.  The worst thing is not knowing where someone will spend eternity.  I know he's in heaven, and that makes all the difference in the world. 

I won't be on much this week as we prepare for the funeral and support my grandmother.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Granddaddy


My Granddaddy is dying of cancer.  Instead of focusing on the negative, I want to remember the good things.

Here are a few things that come to mind when I think of my Granddaddy:

History channel lover.

Joke teller.

Loves the outside.

Loves Reba MacIntyre. :)

He's spoiled by Memaw's home cooking.

Loves his grandkids and great grandkids.  Seriously, he is always telling people about us, and always wants to know what's going on in our lives. Some people aren't fortunate enough to have people that care about them, so I'm very thankful for that.

Has had the opportunity to travel the world with my Memaw.  They always brought each grandkid something back, and those things are very special to me.

This is just something I needed to do.  Writing is very therapeutic for me, so it helps to be able to release my emotions. I also want Mason to know Granddaddy and the only thing he will have is stories and pictures. Even though I'm not doing Memories Rewind weekly right now, I may write some about my family when the mood strikes. 

I've visited with my Granddaddy a lot these past few weeks, and I'm so grateful for the time I have with him. I'm also glad that I've been able to go visit my grandparents more this past year because my health is better than it was a few years ago. 

Hug your loved your loved ones a little tighter today and always find ways to make memories.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What my Handwriting says about Me

I found a handwriting analysis quiz awhile back, so I had to take it. :)

Here are the directions: On a piece of unlined paper, write the following paragraph using at least two lines:


'Well!' thought Alice to herself, 'after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!' (Which was very likely true.)

Alice's adventures in wonderland
Lewis Carroll


Here's a picture of my handwriting:

Now for the fun part!


1. Your letters slope,

Straight up and down - indicates that you are a person with a strong need for contact.

2. The letters in your words are,

Partially connected - indicates that you are a shy, idealistic person who does not find it easy to have relationships.

3. The spaces between your words are,

Narrow - indicates that you are a talkative person, maybe even a busybody!

4. How close together are your lines of writing?

Apart far enough that letters do not touch - indicates that you enjoy social interactions and are talkative.

5. What color ink did you choose?

Blue black - indicates that you are rational and conservative. You adhere to conventions and traditions.

6. How large was your capital I in the sample?

Larger than the other capital letters - indicates that you are a person with a high opinion of yourself, or who wants others to think that you do.


7. What do your t bars look like?

Cross the 't' more or less in the middle - indicates that you are not very original but quite responsible.

8. Your writing slopes,

Downward - indicates that you are steadfast, purposeful, and possibly aloof.


9. Which takes the most space vertically in a line of your writing?

The middle zone letters - indicates that you are a materialist, and prone to exaggeration.


10. How much pressure does your writing show?

Firm and even - indicates that you are a person of strong but rigid will, obstinate but powerful.


This was interesting. Some of it was right on, while others were definitely not. What does your handwriting say about you?
P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway here! It ends on July 29th.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Win Flyers from Uprinting.com!

Hey, my fabulous readers! Apryl from Uprinting.com contacted me offering to sponsor a giveaway for everyone. The prize up for grabs is 250 nightclub flyers!


Even though they are called nightclub flyers, they would be great for birthday parties, charity events, book promotions, etc. The possibilities are endless! Since I love eye catching designs, I couldn't say no.

Here are the specifics:

You can chose from two sizes: 4.25" x 5.5", 4" x 6"

14pt Cardstock Gloss, Front Only Printing

If you you want a little more control over your design, you can download nightclub flyer templates and business flyer templates, which will work with a variety of design programs like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

3 Business Days Turnaround, *Free Shipping

Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only.

This giveway will be open until July 29, 2011. You MUST leave your email address so Apryl can contact the winner.



Disclaimer: Required as per FTC Ruling

This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive night club flyers for hosting. For more information about flyers, please visit UPrinting.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quick Post

I'm still here. They've called in Hospice for my Granddaddy, so I've been spending extra time with him. I have a fun post planned for this week and some other things, but I have to get them done first. :) Bear with me.

If I could leave you with anything today, I would say treasure your loved ones. Don't wait until tomorrow to say I love you.

P.S. You have one day to vote in my poll! Take a few seconds to tell me what posts you'd want to see on Making my Mark in the future!