Monday, October 27, 2014

Behind the Scenes

Curtain in front of lighted window © domiwo via

You put one foot in front of the other.
You dutifully do your work behind closed doors.
Pressing on, day after day.

No one sees behind the scenes.
No ones knows what's behind the smile.
You wonder if it's even worth it, should you try at all?

Your mind has drifted, feet are well past the tired stage.
The ache seems to seep from your pores

Can anyone see?

Does anyone care?

Anyone? Anywhere?

All at once behind the scenes, someone peels back the curtain
Daring to get a glimpse inside

Longing to know the person 
Let them know they see

Without so much as a word, only a smile
The room brightens

The weight lifted
Finally! Someone saw behind the scenes
Someone saw the real me

I am finally free

Free from thoughts
Free from fear
No more facade, I choose to be real

Because in front of me is someone willing to bear the burden with me
I slip my arm out from underneath the baggage
Knowing that I don't have to carry it

The light grows dim
That's my signal to go

And I take one last look
There in the corner are the boulders, piled high

I feel light
Strong as the wind

I let go
The pain didn't win

You may not know my story
You may not care

But today, I leave all the baggage behind the scenes
Choosing to embrace me

Branching out, breaking forth
No longer crushed 
Despite what you think

You are loved.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Climb

mount mitchell

My mom has already written about our trip to the mountains on her blog, but I wanted to add my perspective of going up to Mount Mitchell.

Going up the paved road wasn't all that hard - for me. My mom pushed and we took breaks as the path got steeper. A kind lady offered to help us a little further up, and we accepted.

We made it to the top and took in the beautiful scenery. I wheeled around to look at the various signs that told which mountains were on which sides. Then, it was time to go.

Mama said, "Okay, don't panic." Looking down at the path, I did panic at first. My arms were getting sore from being so tense from having them at my side and pressing into my wheelchair cushion.

Mama said, "You are going to have to chill out." She was right. I had to stay calm. 

She was pushing, and I tried to do just that. I was wearing sunglasses, so I couldn't see the path that well. I blocked out almost everyone coming up. A few people stopped and said, "I hope you have power brakes on that thing!"

Mama's response was: "She does. Me." We kept going.

The ride was surprisingly smooth. I began to relax a little. The woman who helped us on the way up was helping us on the way down.

When we got to a more curvier part, Mama told me, "I want you to put the brakes on a little. Not so much that it scrubs, but just a little as a precaution." I did as she asked.

So neither of them got tired, mom and the other lady switched sides. A little time passed and mom asked the other lady, "Is your arm sore?"

"I'm good," she said. "I'm not really doing that much."

I didn't say anything, but I knew enough to know that if she wasn't doing much, Mama was.

At two points during our descent, I felt the wheelchair start to pick up speed. It veered ever so slightly from the steady path we were on. Earlier, when Mama had asked me to put the brakes on, she also wanted my hands lightly on the wheels. So, I felt the pull. The other lady helping was oblivious.

"You've just got to trust me," Mama said. Truer words had never been spoken. I knew if she stopped pulling back on the wheelchair, I would go tumbling down that path and would likely take out a few bodies on the way down.

Mama was guiding that wheelchair. Since my ride was so smooth, I knew she was pulling back HARD.

"Watch out for those rocks," the lady said. I saw those tiny pebbles wedged in the pathway.

Mama said, "I'm not worried about the rocks. I am more concerned about the sand." Sand?! I thought to myself. No one said anything about sand! I didn't even see any sand!

As I thought about this adventure,  it reminded me of my Heavenly Father. Many times we can't see what is in front of us. And if we do get a glimpse, we panic. All the while, He is bearing the load, making our journey easy and light. 

Psalms 55:22 says, "Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall."

I don't know what you are going through today, but trust Him. Sit back and enjoy the journey. Don't be so uptight. God's got you! He is guiding you through the twists and turns of life with expert ease and grace. I didn't know how much my mom had done on the trip down the mountain until the end. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Writing for The Celebration Blog

Some of you may not know, but I write once a month for The Celebration blog. It is an extension of my church's website. My latest article is up on the blog today. 

Here's a snippet: "Thursday night, something happened. I prayed for someone and was sincere about it. Did you know that it is possible to pray for someone or something and not actually mean it? We’ve all done it if we are being honest."
Be sure to check out "Matters of the Heart."

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Giving Back to CHOA

giving back to CHOA

Today after a doctor's appointment with Dr. Brosky, I dropped off a donation of journals and lip balms to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta(commonly known as CHOA) - Scottish Rite campus. As of right now, there were 97 journals and 100 lip balms donated!

Lauren, the hospital volunteer in the picture, said, "Thank you! This is such a kind and generous gift. The little kids always get stuff, but we rarely get things for the teenagers." 

She also said, "Journals are such a nice gift!" She was elated over the lip balms, too!

Thank you to all who gave! We have made a difference!

It all started on June 25, 2014. I was getting ready for my foot surgery, and I decided to do something good for others instead of focusing on my pain. 

Here's what I posted to my personal friends on Facebook and friends of my blog's Facebook page: 

"Okay, since I feel better when I am doing something, I've decided to tackle something that has been on my bucket list for at least four years. Longtime readers will know that for my 21st birthday, I wrote a blog post called "21 Wishes." Oneof those things was to give back to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta(CHOA), a hospital I have been a patient at a various times in my life. During one of those hospital stays, I won a journal playing bingo. 

Ever since then, it has been my goal to give back to kids who are considered adolescents because they are often forgot about when it comes to donations. I chose journals because I want to provide them with the materials to spark their creativity and expand their horizons beyond the hospital walls. Dreams start as thoughts in our heads, then go to words on a page, and eventually become reality. 

I am going to buy the first case, which will contain 24 journals in various colors, suitable for young men and women. If anyone else would like to buy a case and give to something bigger than yourself, please let me know. I am only one person, but together we can ALL make a difference in the lives of these children. A case is $24. (If purchased separately they are $1, not including tax). If you still want to help, but can't contribute that much, let me know. You can mail a check for any amount and I will buy the journals for you and add them to the box. This is not about me. I have already arranged to meet a volunteer at CHOA when I bring the donations."

I emailed eleven companies, only two donated. One donated without me asking. Sally, of Heavenly Homemade, gave of her time to make her all-natural lip balms in various flavors that kids would like. Two friends also gave. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So, blogging friends, if YOU want to help make a difference, just click the contact link and send me an email. Any color or design is acceptable, just no composition notebooks. Most people have been giving 4x6, 5x7, or 5x8 journals. You can buy hard cover, soft cover, leather, etc. I will gladly give you my home address in a message so you can ship them to me. I plan on making a second trip in November. Writing friends, feel free to share this on your blog or website as well.