Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Not So Lovely Reflection

Love is a four letter that we want to define on our own terms instead of God's. If someone is doing something that makes me happy, I say that I love them. But, do I really love them when they criticize something that I say? My human reaction is usually a resounding NO! Since God says we should love through any situation, it's up to me to figure out exactly what it is that is in me stopping me from loving them in the moment that they hurt me.

Recently, I had some conflict with my brother. I was so mad at him for criticizing the way I had spoken to someone! It was like he was holding up a mirror, showing me a part of myself that I didn't want to see. Once I got past the fact that I didn't like his harsh tone, I realized his words were filled with truth. I do need to look at the way I respond to people, but until that moment, I was in the dark about it. I had my image reflected in that mirror, and it was not exactly pretty! In fact, I probably looked like an old woman that snubs her nose at people for no good reason! I don't know about you, but that is not how I want to come across to people!

Now that I've shared a "not so glorious" moment of mine, think about this: If someone speaks the truth in love to you, what would those words show you? What does that reflection in your mirror look like? As you go through this week, I challenge you to think about what you are reflecting to others. Love takes work, but with a little patience and self-examination, we can get there!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guest Post: Laying Your Life Down

Today we have a guest poster. Some of you may read her blog Dance, Dance, Dance. It is none other than my mom. You all get to hear things from my perspective, but I thought I would let her share some of her thoughts today.

I know what your thinking I would lay my life down for my brother, mother, boyfriend, girlfriend and the list could go on and on. As much as we could comprehend that phrase we would. The year was 1989, and I gave birth to twins. They were three months early so this is where another part of my journey begins of me laying down my life. I had no idea at the time of their birth what would transpire over the next twenty one years. All I knew was that ever since I was a little girl I wanted children. I wanted the best life that I could give them. Since they were premature there was all kinds of complications. My son came home on a ventilator and heart monitor. My daughter had a mild case of cerebral palsy. The doctors told me all kinds of facts about premature children. I was determined for them to have the best life possible.

Let's go forward twenty one years. My son drives and is expecting his first child in May. My daughter is in her third year of college. She has been in a wheelchair for the past few years, which has been a tough road for both of us. I commute her back and forth to college. Laying down means your life what it says, you lay down your life everyday for someone else. At times it has not been easy, but that didn't mean I gave up on my son or daughter. That just means I died to what I wanted even more.

It says in the Bible to live is to die. In doing this I have learned how to love on a whole different level. All the fruits of the Spirit have went to a whole new level in my life. When I talk about fruits of the Spirit I am talking about patience, love, my time and the list goes on. How much patience would you have if you didn't see any results six months or even a year? I have been in this place. I'm stretched everyday, and which is a good thing because it means I can keep on growing.

God sent his son to lay down his life for us. How much more should we lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters in Christ. I challenge you this week to examine yourself to see how you are laying your lives down.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Written with Hope

This is an open letter to my Mama. I have some things I just need to say. Sometimes, I can't say things that I want to say without tears streaming down my face, so I'm going to express my thoughts through words today.

Dear Mama,

I want you to know that I haven't given up on walking again. I know at times progress is slow, but I'm doing it one step at a time.

Some days are long. When my hips ache at school, and most people would pick up the phone to go home, I stay. I don't stay to prove anything to anyone. I stay because there is something deep inside of me that motivates me to keep going.

Sometimes, I want to cry when I realize I can't do the simple physical therapy exercises at home. A few years ago they were a normal routine. Your gentle reminder that "You'll get there, Madison" means more than you'll ever know.

You didn't give up on me when I was was fighting for my life in the NICU.

You didn't give up on me when I took longer than most people to recover from surgeries.

You didn't give up on me when I was bedridden with an infection and had to rely on you for even the simplest things.

I know that when I am able to walk again, you will be there supporting me just like you always have.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Memories Rewind: Baby Keepsakes

This is the weekly Memories Rewind post on Thursday instead of Wednesday. Since I haven't been feeling my best and had lots of school work, this is the first chance I've gotten to post anything.

The other day, my mom and I were going through a chest filled with our baby things. She pulled out a shirt that she kept from when we were preemies. She said the shirt had to be handmade by someone because the stores didn't have any clothes small enough to fit us. It was so hard to imagine myself that little, but my mom was taken back to that time instantly with each thing she pulled out of the chest.

"Eli would pull his oxygen tubes out of his nose" she said with a laugh.

Tucked in a box with our baby scrapbook was a tiny white diaper that Mama kept as a reminder of just how little we were. Average size diapers seem so huge in comparison to the teeny tiny preemie ones!

It seems like such a long time ago, but in fact it's just the opposite. Life passes by so quickly, if we blink, we will miss something.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warm Welcome to New Followers

I clicked on my blog to check for any new comments before bed last night, and to my surprise, I have 51 followers now! Wow, over fifty people are interested in what I have to say. Thanks for all of your comments over this past week. I read all of them, and I enjoy getting to see things from your perspective.

Since some of you are new here, I want to make sure you are aware of all the ways you can keep up with this blog. Look on my left sidebar. There is a box that is linked to my Facebook page that I created for this blog. Click the "like" button to stay up-to-date with all things related to Making my Mark!

I just wanted to welcome all of the new people. Click through my followers list. You might even find some new blogs to read!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Looking into the Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall

I think I look like a big round ball

I feel so alone

It's almost like I'm in a twilight zone

Stupid, stupid mirror how I wish you would fall!

This is a limerick that my mom and I came up with today as we were talking about body image. How many times in have we looked in the mirror and hated our reflection? Sometimes what we see in the mirror and the reality of things is so much different. I compared it to one of those fun house mirrors that distorts the true image. That image may make your face look huge, when you actually look just fine.

"Mama, if you asked me what you look like, I would tell you that you look fine," I told her. So many times we all get caught up in a tangled web of what we think is the truth. I think it's a mental thing, too. I know people who have lost weight but still see themselves as that heavy person. No matter how many compliments they get or new outfits they buy, they can't seem to shake that picture they have in their head. Sometimes, if we just step away from the mirror and get a fresh perspective, we will realize we were wrong the whole time!

Have you ever hated your mirror?

Don't forget to continue voting for me in the cerebral palsy blog contest! I've written a post about it if you want to read it. Click this link to vote!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Moving at a Snail's Pace

I haven't forgotten about Memories Rewind this week, I promise. I have been unusually tired these past few days, so I just came home and crashed when I got home from school today.

Maybe I will post it this weekend instead of on Wednesday. How does that sound?

It's kind of frustrating when you have things you want to do, but your body has other plans. Just say a prayer that my energy returns soon.

P.S. Here's your daily reminder to nominate me for the top cerebral palsy blog of the year. Go here to vote. I now know that you can vote multiple times a day, so feel free to do that. This is easily done by just typing in the website again and re-entering my blog's URL, which is Thank you to everyone who has taken time to vote!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just as I Am

I went to see my adorable baby cousin this weekend. After I got home, I realized something. As I was holding him, he was mesmerized with me. He watched my every move, and every once in a while, he would flash me one of those priceless little grins. He didn't do any back flips or hug me.

I love him because he is Keller. He doesn't have to do anything to earn my love. He already has it. This reminded me of my relationship with God. I can come to Him, fully aware of my flaws and shortcomings, and He still loves me.

If we would just realize the depth of God's love for us, we would be a totally different person. Our world would be full of more trusting people. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I say this because you wouldn't see people trying to be someone they're not. They would be okay just being themselves.

As I was holding my baby cousin, I looked at his little face. At one point, he was struggling to keep his eyes open. He was relaxed enough to sleep, but he didn't want to miss a minute of what was going on around him. God holds each one of us in His hand, but how many of us trust Him enough to relax in His arms? I'll admit that I don't always trust Him. Sometimes, I have an overwhelming desire to know what is going on in my life just so I'm in control of something.
Have you ever had that feeling?

Then, I'm reminded that I was never in control to begin with when my stubborness jerks me back to reality. I wake up from my haze of confusion and realize He was holding me the whole time.

P.S. Don't forget to vote for me today! Go here to nominate me. You can do this once a day. I want to say a big thank you to those that have already voted! I really appreciate it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Need Your Help!

While browsing the internet, I came across a site that allows you to nominate the top cerebral palsy blogs. Nominations for 2011 have already begun.

Click here (link removed) to nominate my blog if you want to. All you have to do is enter my URL and hit submit. Your nominations are a big part of the score. It may be a long shot, but it's worth a try. I hope my blog presents a new face of cerebral palsy. I hope people see bright features instead of kids off playing by themselves. I hope people see it is possible to be happy in the midst of life's storms. I hope parents of special needs children all across the globe are inspired.

You may be asking yourself what should they be inspired for? They're lives have been turned upside down. You are right. Life can change in an instant, but I hope they are inspired to keep dreaming big dreams for their child.

I'll leave you with this quote:

“The only place dreams are impossible is in your own mind.” – Emalie

You can also click the Facebook icon at the bottom of this post to share it with your friends. Thanks in advance for your help!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mood Boosters

I'm alive, but I'm not back to normal just yet. I've been feeling pretty yucky these last few days, but at least I have time to rest.

I thought it would be fun to make a list of things that instantly put me in a good mood:


Sunshine peeking through the clouds

Peanut M&M's

Reba McEntire's show on Lifetime If you've never seen this, you should. It's hilarious!

Making progress at physical therapy

Hearing someone say they enjoy what I write

A hug from a little child

Seeing my baby cousin smile

Getting a good grade on an assignment that I spent a lot of time on

Talking with my grandparents

What are some things that can put you in a good mood?

P.S. I've made a Facebook page for my blog. Go to the left sidebar and click "like" so that you'll always be in the know on things related to the blog. There will be new posts, quotes, and it's a place for all of you who love this blog to be in one place.

Monday, March 07, 2011

He's Always There

My mom had to park on a hill in order for us to get the handicap parking place. We were getting ready to leave. For someone who can walk this wouldn't be a big deal, but for someone in a wheelchair, things can be a bit tricky.

"You know we're on a little bit of hill," my mom cautioned as I put the brakes on my wheelchair so it would be steady when I got ready to get up to get in the car.

"Yeah, which is stupid," I responded. All of a sudden, a man says, "I've got it." I looked behind me to see a man in a black sweater and stocking cap holding my wheelchair as I got up. "Don't worry, I'll hold it."

I was very surprised because no one was in the parking lot when we left the building and people don't exactly rush to help people in wheelchairs. I got into the car and the man said, "You ladies have a blessed day now."

After we left, I couldn't get the man out of my mind. The more I thought about it, the more my heart smiled at the thought of what he had done. He didn't have to. It was a cold and windy day, so he could have just kept on going past us without a second thought...but he didn't.

This reminded me of the way God is. In the midst of your frustration and you think you're all alone, God is there. He's saying, "Don't worry, I'll hold this. Let me help you."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Under the Weather

I've been feeling a little under the weather the past few days. I think these last few projects and tests have caught up with me. Let's just say my bed has been my friend today. A scratchy throat, runny nose, and just general yuckiness is nothing a little rest and a good movie can't fix.

Hopefully by the weekend I'll be as good as new. I have lots of good posts swirling around in my head, but they won't write themselves. :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Spring Break Fever-Party of One

Well, I'm in the middle of another week. I'm one test, one presentation, and one speech away from Spring Break! Woo hoo! I won't know what to do with all of my free time. :) You all know that's not true. I'll probably write some blog posts, read a few books, and just enjoy getting out of the routine of homework and tests for a little while. It seems like I've been swimming in history dates, lots of facts about the World Wars, etc. This class is actually enjoyable because the teacher really loves teaching it.

I have some exciting things planned for this blog, so stick around. What has everyone been up to lately?