Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Little Things Can Cause Big Problems

I've been having some physical issues lately. After being in pain and the swelling in my feet not going away, I went to the doctor last Thursday to discover that I had blood bruises underneath my foot and lots of fluid from the weights that I use to physical therapy with at home. The doctor said every time I did them(which was once a week like I was told to do), the weight was slipping below my ankle and essentially bursting blood vessels and cutting off my circulation. The medicine they prescribed is getting rid of the fluid, but I am very weak and experiencing some tingling. Lots of rest is what the doctor ordered, so I'm being a good patient even though I have a million things to do.

I also had fluid building up in my stomach and didn't realize it. I thought I had just gained a few pounds, but after I started taking the medicine to get rid of the fluid and swelling in my feet, my stomach started shrinking! I am sharing this with everyone because it is so important not to ignore things going on with your body.  I'm so glad I was able to be seen quickly by my doctor and get the problem under control.

In addition, I have been plugging along on my school assignments and the April issue of Athena Magazine for Girls. Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Good Stuff

Even though I have been busy with schoolwork, some good things have been happening.

In late February, Deborah, my very first baby sitter came to visit me from Kentucky. They used to live in my hometown but they moved for work purposes. It's great when we can catch up with them.  

Last week I went to visit my little nephew, my brother was not home to carry me into the trailer, so my mom carried me.  I walked holding onto her into the bedroom.  Even though wasn't the easiest thing. I was determined to see my little nephew. At the end of our visit,  I was able to ease myself down from the wheelchair to the floor with my mom's help. That's the first timt I've been able to do that without serious back pain in years!  We did this so she wouldn't have to carry me a second time. I could just slide into her arms. 

I'm not where I want to be in terms of progress just yet, but I'm not where I was even a few months ago! Woo hoo!  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Second Magazine Article Done

After a few technical issues, my second magazine article is now live on Athena Magazine for Girls website!  Click this link to read it. (The website no longer exists, so the link has been removed).

I can't tell you how great it was to talk with Lauren Ricks about her mission trips in various countries. Although we are thousands of miles apart, we are united in our desire to change the world around us. Read the article to find out some of the best and worst parts of her adventures so far!  No matter how old you are, you will definitely come away feeling so incredibly grateful for the life you have.  I know I did.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Don't Let Your Dream Die

For years, people tried to talk me out of becoming a writer. There was a particular instance in middle school that I will never forget. My teacher had given me an assignment to pick the career I wanted and to present a Powerpoint presentation in front the of class. As she was walking around the classroom, she said, "What did you choose, Madison?" I distinctly remember telling her "Journalism." My Powerpoint had a very colorful cover slide with a picture of a quill.

 "Oh, you will want to pick something else," she said. Hurt, I continued to listen because she was my teacher, someone who I trusted to lead and guide me. "You won't ever make any money being a writer," she said and walked off. She never knew how much those words impacted me. Subtly, my mind shifted to other careers. "Let me look up the salary for a nurse," I said to myself, knowing the health care field was always promising. Seeing the numbers on the screen settled it. I would be a nurse, even if every fiber in my thirteen-year-old body went against it!

I continued on in high school taking health occupations classes and even doing clinicals. My heart wasn't in it, though. Away from prying eyes and judgmental attitudes, I would write at home. English was my favorite class. I would spend hours writing stories. I had tasted the joy of creating something of my very own, and no one could take that away from me. My mom knew my heart. She didn't pressure me to do anything, but I know that she prayed for me and she listened. I'm so thankful I had someone to believe in me and my dream!

Countless friends and teachers in high school said I needed to be a teacher, because I am good at explaining things to people. I smiled and said, "That's not the career for me."  I said this to each person who suggested it. I got tired of hearing it, to be honest with you. Inside I screamed, "Can anyone see that I want to be a writer?" I didn't know it at the time, but I was taking a stand for what I believed in and not letting other voices talk me out of what God called me to do.

In the midst of my battle with my heart and my head, my mom told my brother and me, "Do whatever you love to do. Don't let anyone pressure you to do otherwise."

When it came time to register for college classes, I was automatically drawn to the communication major because of the writing aspect. Somewhere along the way, I decided that my mom was right. Even if I never made an enormous salary from writing, I was going to do it because I LOVED it. Seriously, I have a page full of ideas on my computer of things to write about. I have dreams about characters and stories. No amount of money can compare to true fulfillment! 

And now? I’m entering my senior year in college, working on many projects for Gateway publications and writing about current events for my internship with Athena Magazine for Girls. What if I had listened to my middle school teacher? I would be miserable! I want to encourage each of you to not let your dream die!  

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sneak Peek

My church recently launched its new monthly magazine! We've been doing weekly publications for a long time, but we now have a fantastic team that helps with the articles and design.

My article is on page 6!

I will post my article, Don't Let Your Dream Die" here tomorrow!