December 19, 2013

Staying Positive in the Midst of a Storm

Throughout my life, I've had people ask me how I am able to remain positive when I have to deal with the things I do. Positive is the only way I know to be. (That isn't to say I don't have moments of discouragement, I do, but not often). You might say I've had many obstacles thrown my way, not only me; but my parents as well. But we've never seen the obstacles and challenges as burdens or bad things. We knew we would make it through them because we are just that way; positive & strong people.

What challenges am I talking about?

-Premature birth with low survival rate.
-Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy
-3 major surgeries
-Intense physical therapy
-Social challenges, etc. etc.

I am sure I could make the above list a whole lot longer but that isn't the point of this post. The point is through all "storms" I've been through how am I able to remain positive and upbeat even on what seems my worst days?

It's because first and foremost I know that JESUS is on my side and HE is going to see me through no matter how difficult life gets. I have always known this even before I was saved and I have always believed it and held fast to His comfort. I owe my knowing Jesus to my Grandparents, and I am thankful they instilled the belief of Him in me. I know I can lean on Him no matter what. <3

Secondly, my family has never discouraged me from anything in life. They have always been there cheering me on through the hard times. Times when I didn't want to do therapy or didn't understand certain things growing up especially when it came to friends during my teenage years. Even when they didn't understand or hated to see me hurt they always showed me they loved me and encouraged me to just do my best and be myself. They strived to make my childhood and adolescence normal. I've never felt different or out of place around my family and I am thankful for that.

This year threw me quite the curve ball. For a little while that smack in the face hurt. But as time has gone on I have picked the ball up and threw it back and said "I'm moving forward." I refuse to let it get me down and I have come out a stronger and better person. All because I chose to see the light through the dark. Because Jesus has given me Strength, and because I have a family that refuses to give up on me.

If there is someone out there struggling in a storm of life, I hope this helps you and encourages you! Be Blessed!

Ps. 37:5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass."

December 13, 2013

Bruno ~ Always My Baby

This past Saturday December 7, 2013 I lost my beloved Bruno. He was given to me 3 1/2 years ago by a dear friend after I lost my first dog Tana. At first I wasn't sure about him, but I quickly found that he was a very mellow and sweet natured dog. He loved to snuggle. He had a very cheerful personality. I'll miss that. He was very protective of me. He would stay underneath my wheelchair when we were around a bunch of people, and he would also do this while I showered. When he was nervous he would get in my lap for comfort.
He'll always be my Little Gentleman!

November 26, 2013

Family Time

If you are wondering what I have been up to lately, the title says it all. I have been spending time with my family; immediate and extended.

October 22 - I spent the evening with Mom, Emily and Kaylee for Kaylee's 6th birthday. We went to Build-A-Bear in Hamilton Place Mall. She had so much fun and I am glad I was able to be a part of her big day and first experience at Build a Bear. :) I loved watching her face light up. She is such a joy to be around and is so full of life. I'm proud to be her Aunt.

October 26 - I went to my cousin's Halloween/Birthday party. I had a blast. I was able to see one of my favorite people. Darlene. She was my caretaker through elementary school. I am so glad that we have been able to reconnect and spend time with one another again. I love being around her and laughing about nothing at all until our bellies hurt! :)

This month (November).. I have spent a lot of time with Emily since she has been out of work after foot surgery. I actually spent a night away from my house and stayed with her for one night and two days. Amazing, I know! LOL! We had a good time as we always do and I enjoyed our talks and getting to help Kaylee with homework after school. She is so smart and loves school just like me. :)

I have also had the blessing of being able to spend more time with some of my extended family on my Mom's side. I am so thankful that we have started making time for each other and don't just see each other in passing or at funerals anymore. We just have good wholesome fun and I enjoy it. I can't wait to make more memories!

November 10, 2013

Food, Food, and more Food... Picture Post

Emily's Goulash

Chili Cheese Fries - Arby's Curly Fries <3

What I call "Mexican in a Bowl"
Chips & Salsa/Burrito with White Cheese

Waffles & Chocolate Milk

Frito Pie

Taquitos, Corn on the cob, Tots

Candy Corn a Peanuts *Fall Fav*

Cajun Turkey & Bacon w/Cheese

White Macadamia Nut Cookies


Oatmeal, Toast, and Bacon

Meatloaf, Taters, and Mac & Cheese

First pan of Cornbread

First meatloaf

Fried Bologna, Eggs, Biscuits

All of this was made by me, except the goulash!

Be Thankful Always

For the past couple of years on Facebook during the month of November you see a new status posted each day about something someone is thankful for. I participated in this last year. This year, I did not. Why? Because, I am thankful all the time. Not just for a month out of the year. I don't need to update my status everyday to reflect this. If you know me, you know I am thankful and I certainly know it. While I am not saying I dislike reading such statuses (I do enjoy them); we should focus on our thankfulness everyday. We should appreciate people and things in our lives and let that be known everyday. After all, life is too short not too!

October 9, 2013

Meatloaf and Cornbread

Since purchasing my toaster oven I am constantly trying to think of things I can cook. I absolutely love it! While out shopping with my friend Amber last weekend for groceries; I mentioned that I would like to buy a loaf pan. I found one for only .94! [Thank you Walmart]. I bought that as well as a baking pan so I would be able to make brownies in the near future as well. (I have a bottle of Shake 'N Pour).

I was very excited about this shopping trip because I was buying what I needed to make my very first pan of homemade meatloaf and also a pan of cornbread all in my trusty toaster oven. How excited I was!

Amber spent the evening with me to ensure everything went A. OK as I embarked on this little venture. Everything turned out just fine and I am glad she was here to share this experience with me. :)

September 12, 2013

Miss Independent

You know the old cliche' saying, "You never know how strong you are, until strong is the only choice you have."? I have found that to be true over the last several months. I have learned just how strong I am and also how independent I never knew I was. It's funny how you realize such things. These last 5 1/2 months have been a new journey for me. A journey on which I did not expect to travel, but I am glad I am on. I have learned so much about myself as a person and what I am able to do despite the daily obstacles I face.

I have learned that I can clean my house all on my own with the exception of sweeping, in which case I just vacuum the linoleum. I learned how to adapt mopping the floor as previously post and even made that easier this last month thanks to a dear friend.

My biggest challenge in all this has been cooking. I knew that my microwave would fast become my best friend in my kitchen. I have learned that many things can be cooked this way and they do not taste bad at all. They are actually pretty good! I have been able to make some very well rounded meals this way. Sometimes though, there are certain things you'd just like to taste a little better. I've been wanting a toaster oven for quite some time and finally, this month I found one at Wal-Mart for $20. This has opened up a whole new world for me! I can make crispier corn dogs, bake cookies, grilled cheese, etc.

I am excited to see where else I go on this journey, especially in the area of cooking. Who knew that spending $20 would boost my confidence and independence?! :)

Thank you to all of my friends and family for the unconditional love and support!


August 14, 2013

Scrubbie from Now You're Covered

I received one of these wonderful Scrubbies this week compliments of my dear friend Sharmon who owns Now You're Covered. I used it for the first time this morning. All you do is wet the scrubbie apply your favorite facial scrub and gently scrub your face. My face has felt soft and smooth all day. It is now 1:16 in the morning here, and it still feels just as soft. I also noticed my face did not feel near as oily as it normally does. [I have oily skin].

If you would like to purchase one of these you may do so at the link listed within this post. She also makes an awesome array of hats - custom made to order. Check out her business. She'll crochet you something awesome!

To see more of her items find you can also link up with her on Facebook. Just type in Now You're Covered in the search box and you'll find it. :)

Happy shopping!!

July 22, 2013

Waterproof Your Phone

For most of us in today's world our cell phone is a life line. This is especially true for those who use wheelchairs and/or are disabled. It is imperative that we have our phones near us at all times just in case we were to fall or have another kind of emergency and need to get in touch with someone. My phone is with me 99% of the time. The only place I have not been able to have it right with me is while in the shower. Who wants to get their phone wet right? I usually lay it in my wheelchair, but if I were to fall chances are I would not be able to reach it and call someone.

While browsing Facebook a few days ago I noticed a post by Verizon Wireless. It said something to the effect of "Protect your phone from the sand and waves." It had a picture of a phone in a sandwich baggy. I thought about it for a few minutes, wondering if it really worked. I thought, if it will protect your phone from waves surely it could withstand  a few sprinkles from the shower. I decided to give it a whirl and to my surprise it works! If your phone is touch screen (most are today) you are still able to use the phone through the baggy. Therefore, you could make a call should you need to!

Now I have the safety and comfort of knowing that my phone can literally be with me at all times. Thank you Verizon for this great idea.

July 12, 2013

Living & Learning

Life is all about living and learning. That is just what I have been doing over the last few months and the main reason my blog has been rather quiet. I have learned how to be my own friend and enjoy myself. This is not easy to do when you are a very social person. I know what it feels like to do something for yourself because you want to. I love it!

A couple days ago, I was sitting here and knew the floor needed mopping. Mopping is one of those things I have always said would be hard for me to do. I've always said it would be pointless for me to even try. Well, I decided to give it a go. I DID IT!

Here's how:

Sat the mop bucket in front of the sink.
Put water in the bucket with the spray nozzle.
Added Mr. Clean

I used a Mr. Clean sponge mop. It worked great. I am so proud of myself for this accomplishment. :)

July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

It has been 4 months since I have written anything. I haven't had anything spark my interest in the last four months.

However, today I did. I was introduced to the television show Push Girls by my dear friend Amanda when it first aired last year. I kept up with it almost to the end of the first season and then lost track. Thank goodness for re-airings before the next season premiere and DVR! I have spent my holiday watching this show. It is even more inspiring to me today than it was when it first aired. I am at a different place in my life now and can relate to a few of the girls on a different level. I know I can face whatever comes my way.

If you are wondering what Push Girls is, it is a reality TV show that comes on Sundance at 10:00 pm on Monday nights. It is about a group of five women who are in wheelchairs due to being paralyzed. They face challenges in their lives head on with no fear and I admire that. Having been in a wheelchair all my life for a different reason, I think it would be awesome to spend time with these wonderful ladies. If it were ever to happen, I think we could all learn a lot from each other.

I know for my regular readers this is not a normal post, but I wanted to share it anyway in hopes to pump up the blog again!

Happy Birthday America!

March 19, 2013

The Confident Woman: Be Courageous 3-18-13

Day 14: Be Courageous

As Christian women we should strive to be courageous through our faith. When I first starting using YouVersion, I was a bit uneasy about sharing Bible verses on my Facebook page. Even more so, I was not sure about sharing this devotional through my personal blog. It took courage to do that.

I can look back over the last fourteen days and say I am glad I built up the courage to share these online. I hope someone reading them was encouraged or even gained a renewed sense of confidence.

To those who followed this with me, thank you!

The Confident Woman: Quiet Inner Confidence 3-17-13

Day 13: Quiet Inner Confidence
Isaiah 32:17

I believe quiet inner confidence is much like our conscience. If we let our inner confidence shine through, the obstacles do not seem so trying to overcome. When we listen to our conscience we make better decisions.

I personally believe both are ways God lets us know He is with us. I know throughout my life I've known He was with me through times of uncertainty. What a great feeling to have that quiet confidence!

How have you been able to recognize it in your life?

Cerebral Palsy Family Network

Along with keeping this blog, I also write for Cerebral Palsy Family Network. There I have written about what life has been like living with Cerebral Palsy. I have written about challenges I have faced and triumphs along the way. Each time my blogs are published there I post the link here as well. In case you have not had time to read them all, I wanted to post the link to all I have written for them.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have writing them. Also, please feel free to leave me feedback. I like knowing what others think or even if it helped you in some way!

March 16, 2013

The Confident Woman: Prayer of Consecration

Day 12: Prayer of Consecration
Isaiah 6:8

In my walk with God and as a Christian, this is one of my biggest struggles. I have been saved since I was 11 years old. I believe. I have faith. I pray. However, I am still not sure I've given all of me to Him. I have friends who are able to stand up and say they have done this, and that all they do is for Him. I admire them for this. 

I have tried to be like this over the years in my walk with God. When I do this, however, I do not feel like me and I'm left with an uneasy feeling. 

Is it just me?

March 15, 2013

The Confident Woman: Boldness or Pride

Day 11: Boldness or Pride
Proverbs 8:12-13

I know many people who are bold and not afraid to tell you what they think about things. I personally have never thought of this as someone being prideful, but I guess sometimes it can be taken that way.

I'm in between. To certain people I am not afraid to say what I think or feel. But, a lot of times I my thoughts and feelings to myself when I should voice them.

The Confident Woman: In Due Season 3-14-13

Day 10: In Due Season
Galations 6:9

We are human. We tend to live fast paced lifestyles. Often when we pray we expect an answer right then most of the time. God doesn't work that way. He works in His time and always has the best answer for whatever the situation may be, even though it may not be what we wanted.

By waiting on His time we learn patience, which sometimes is not easy. Hence the saying "Patience is a virtue." When we are patient life tends to flow a bit more smoothly. Things begin to fall into place as He would have them to.

The Confident Woman: Your Heart Desires 3-13-13

Day 9: Your Heart Desires
Psalm 37:4-6

While I have never had a problem reaching goals I have set, I have had a problem with thinking I needed the approval of someone else before doing something. When you live like this it can hinder you from doing a lot you want to do because you are always worried about what someone else is going to say or think.

I am slowly learning to overcome this and take charge of my life. I am also much happier and certainly less stressed!

March 13, 2013

The Confident Woman: Our Vindicator 3-12-13

Day 8: Our Vindicator
Job 19: 25-27

Over the last several years I have learned I try to seek vindication for my actions through others. I allow their opinion on what has been done or is about to be done sway me on way or the other. I am very much a people pleaser. However, I am quickly learning this usually gets me no where. Instead, I need to learn that God is my vindicator in all things. He redeemed me from my sin the day he hung on the cross and rose three days later!

The Confident Woman: Get a Life 3-11-13

Day 7: Get a Life
Numbers 14:8-9

In order to learn in life and experience different things we must be willing to take chances. If we are not willing to take chances even if we make a mistake we will never learn. Also, how are we living life if we never do anything? If we spend our time wishing we were doing this or that or wondering what such and such may be like then we are never going to move forward. Life is about chances, that is how we gain experience. Don't sit on the sidelines pretending to happily cheer everyone else along when in reality you wish do be doing the same thing. Embrace opportunities to do things, doing so will help boost your confidence. :)

The Confident Woman: Venture off the Path 3-10-13

Day 6: Venture off the Path
1 Corinthians 12:27

I'm sure there have been many times in life where you wanted to do things differently than everyone else. You wanted to take the road less traveled so-to-speak. I know many people who are like this. Do not be afraid to "venture off the path". It is okay to live outside the norm. How else do you expect to develop your individuality? ;)

I believe this can also be done in the way you choose to practice your faith, whatever that may be. Some people go to church every time to doors are open. Some listen to only Christian genre's of music, or only watch related TV programming. While all of these things are fine, that is not how I chose to personally practice my faith. I read devotional's and write out my thoughts and feelings about them just as I am doing here. I also write prayers in a notebook several times a week.

Do you venture off the path, or follow the norm?

March 9, 2013

The Confident Woman: What's the Difference?

Day 5: What's the Difference?
Proverbs 4:7

We all know men are from Mars women are from Venus. I've heard the saying as long as I can remember. We simply operate differently. It's difficult for us to understand sometimes. While we may never solve this age old puzzle; we can pray God will help us to have wisdom and understanding of one another.

The Confident Woman: It's Not About Age

Day 4: It's Not About Age
1 Timothy 4:12

"Confident people don't think about how old they are; they think about what they can accomplish with the time they have left." - Joyce Meyer

"Age is just a number." We've all heard this many times in our lives, but it really is true. If God could use Moses at 80, he can use you or I just as well whether we are 10 or 100! Age does not matter to God, why does it matter so much to us? Because that is how society works and because the older we get, the more we enter the "I'm too old." mindset. We are never too old to do what God wants us to do. We should keep this in mind instead of "I'm too old." When we are in that state of mind we lose confidence.

This reminds me of a story I saw on Facebook a while ago about and an elderly woman who returned to college to get the degree she had always dreamed of. Very shortly after receiving her degree she passed away. So you see, we are never to old to achieve our dreams no matter what they may be. As long as you believe, anything is possible!

March 7, 2013

The Confident Woman: Consider Your Life

Day 3: Consider Your Life
Proverbs 31:16

"Think before you act." This is one of those phrases I have heard more times I can count. It is one of those things in life I have a difficult time with. I have found more often than not, when I do not do this it comes back to bite me; when if I would have thought things through, the outcome might have been better.

Even though I like to analyze most everything, I still do things on impulse at times without thinking about the outcome. This has improved some over the last several years I am glad to say!

If we keep Proverbs 31:16 in our minds more often we will continue to improve on the "Think before you act." phrase in our lives which will in turn give us abundant blessings!

March 6, 2013

The Confident Woman: When You Feel Afraid

"Fear does not mean you are a coward. It only means that you need to be willing to feel the fear and do what you need to do anyway." ~Joyce Meyer

Day 2: When You Feel Afraid
Ezra 3:3-4

There have been many times in my life. It is human nature to do so. One that has particularly always stood out to me is the fear I would have when it came time for me to have surgery. I can remember being afraid of the OR. I did not even like going past it during a regular visit. I was also afraid of waking up during surgery. But, I always stepped out on faith and trusted that everything would be okay. I was a brave little soldier. I can vividly remember facing my fear and pressing forward when I went in for my last hip surgery. I sat in the window seat before time to go back and I prayed that everything would be okay and I would not wake up during surgery. I called my Granny and told her I had prayed and I loved her. When it was time for me to go back for surgery my Dad carried me back to the OR as we were walking there I continued to pray. At 9 years old I stepped out on faith and believed with everything I had. Now 20 years later I am still kickin' and my hip is still in place.'

I think society plays a role in the way women let fear take over in life sometimes, because we are seen as the weaker sex. But, we need to stand strong in our faith and just face our fear, whatever it may be. When we face our fears head on it makes us stronger and more confident, and most of all builds our faith!

March 5, 2013

The Confident Woman: Believe in Your Value

This morning, I opened YouVersion and started a 5 day devotional titled The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. I have always loved listening to her and would certainly enjoy reading her books. This was a great start and also gets me into the Word! I want to share with you over the next five days my personal thoughts and feelings about the devotional for that day. I hope you enjoy reading!

Day 1: Believe in Your Value
Isa. 43:4-5

Often as women we struggle with self worth and self esteem because we do not fit in as society says we should. We are not size zero, we cannot perform on the job well enough because we are female, etc. I know many who struggle with trying to lose weight or do not have a lot of self confidence in general. It is very painful to see people be like this day in and day out.

My friend, there is someone who has always believed in everyone of us, male or female; God! He loves us no matter what. We do not have to be a perfect model size, the CEO of a company, or Doctor so & so. He chose to accept and love us as imperfect as we are. To Him we have value and worth; and ALWAYS will!

So, next time you start feeling down on yourself, remember you are worth everything to Him!

February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

Every year for Valentine's Day Michael and I usually have spaghetti for dinner. This year we didn't. He didn't bring home a teddy bear, flowers, or a box of chocolates. Now, you are probably thinking "Well, that's just horrible!" No, my friends it isn't. I didn't want those things. I just wanted him to spend time with me and that's just what he did. He curled up in our recliner with me and watched a movie. I do not need those things to know that he loves and appreciates me. Yes, I enjoy gifts from him; but I enjoy the time we spend together more. Not the amount of money he spends on me.

For years I have heard people talk about how Valentine's Day is so overrated. I use to think they were crazy. However, as I have gotten older I have come to understand what they mean and I agree. You should know that someone loves you all year round by the way they treat  you and what they do for you monetary or not. Sure, it is nice to receive gifts, but one shouldn't need big balloons, bears and candy to truly know someone loves them.

As a matter of fact, we have a Valentine who paid the ultimate price for us. Jesus gave his life so we could live. There were no chocolates, flowers, or bears given to Him. He was beaten, spat upon, and mocked so that we who believe may have Eternal life with Him!

I'll leave you with that food for thought. ;)

February 10, 2013

Girls Day

Thursday morning Emily text asking if I would like to join her and Kaylee for lunch and spend the day with them while she waited to get her hair done. I, of course, said yes and got ready. I took them to lunch at Olive Garden. It had been a while since we had all ate there. It was much enjoyed and definitely hit the spot! After lunch we still had quite a bit of time to waste, so we ventured to DG and Big Lots and just browsed around for a while. After leaving there, we decided we would go on to the mall. On the way there we were listening to Emily's iPod and LFO - Summer Girls came on. We started busting out laughing as the song brought back memories of our teenage years. When we arrived at the mall we decided we would sit there for a few more minutes and just jam to the old stuff. It was a ton of fun. We certainly had a good laugh over it! Kaylee must have thought we were crazy at some point. I don't think she knew what to do with us bee-bopping in the car looking silly! Ha!

Once we went in the mall we got us a snack and chilled for a few minutes. Then we looked around in the shoes stores because I had been wanting a new pair of tennis shoes. I found some and decided to hold off and make sure they were what I wanted. After Em's hair appointment it was time for Michael to be getting off work so he met us at the mall and bought Kaylee and I new tennis shoes. He took us to Applebee's for dinner and then we all crashed when we got home.

It was a great day! I love it when she and I are able to get together and just be absolutely silly like we used to be. It's lots of fun and brings back good memories! My life would certainly be dull without my sister and Miss Kaylee! :)

My new tennis shoes:

January 11, 2013

God's Got This

This year I decided I would put my Kindle Fire to use and read a lot more. One of the things I chose to read was the Bible through the popular YouVersion app. I have found that I LOVE this app!

I searched for devotionals so I would have daily reading to do and I came across She Reads Truth. The devotional I am reading through this plan is titled Fresh Start. It reminds us that we can always have a fresh start with our Lord through his forgiveness, grace, and mercy for us.

I got started on this devotional a few days late, but I read every morning. Today's reading was one one verse, Exodus 14:14.

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still." Ex. 14:14

This verse really spoke to me as I began to realize I need to do just this. I try too often to fight my own battles when in reality HE already has them fought and won for me no matter how big or how small. I have always struggled with worrying over anything and everything I can. This particular verse clearly shows me that I have no need to worry. God has it all under control. After all, He is in control!