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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Bright Side

I’m a little discouraged. Okay, more than a little bit. I feel so helpless today. I have sciatica nerve pain and a twisted pelvis. I can’t sit, stand, or even lie down without discomfort. Walking is hard since my legs and feet are numb. I’m trying to be optimistic, but, day six of constant pain, makes it difficult.

My to-do list is buried underneath my pile of work and, in all honesty, I just want to be able to do it all. I love working and accomplishing my goals, but my mind is absorbed with this debilitating pain.

I hate complaining and whining, and having so many limitations. Today, I feel so small and fragile. But then as the tears spill from my eyes, I remember that God counts and understands them all.

The enemy may knock me down, but my God can turn this heartache into a blessing. When I humble my heart and look to Him, great things can happen. His work is the greatest of all, and I’m so blessed that He chose me.

My strength often falters, but there is something greater inside of me. Regardless of my battle, or the intensity of the storm, God always gives me a spark of hope, and everything that I need to keep going. During these painful moments, He doesn’t leave me alone. He is always by my side.

One day this will only be a memory. I’ll look back with a thankful heart at how God delivered me from the enemy’s hand, and the beautiful gift this trial obtained.

For now, God gives me a glimpse of our battles, and reminds me of the amazing victories.
·         He spared me from the entanglement of the Amniotic Bands and blessed me with life.
·         He gave me enough courage and strength to always find my own way to do things.
·         He helped me to overcome my scars and accept it all.
·         He bestowed me the beautiful gift of words and blesses me to share it with others.
·         He provided me enough faith to believe in Him, and be saved.  
·         And so many more.
When I start thinking about all that we’ve been through together, my spirit is renewed. The devil no longer has any power over me. My adversary may cause my body lots of pain and suffering, but he cannot touch what is inside me. And when I look to God, we can defeat the enemy, every single time.
I started this blog with tears and ended with a smile. Perspective is everything!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Through the Fire

It is never easy to go through trials and tribulations. Regardless of the reason or benefit, it is still difficult to walk right through the middle of the fire. I always want to give up, before I even get started, and quit with every step. My mind has no trouble contemplating failure, it is the success that is so hard for me to believe and focus on.

This week God has blessed me to walk through the fire. I can’t even explain how difficult it is for me to take that first step toward the unknown.

An unexplained turmoil wars inside of me. My sleep becomes troubled and my appetite disappears. My heart has a jolt of panic, every once in awhile, to remind me that it is not so sure about my new adventure. Thoughts, both good and bad, fight for the time to dwell in my mind. And when it seems that I will be swallowed up by it all, God steps in.

He eases my mind with His presence, and reassures me of His strength.

Take no thought for what you will say. The words are inside of you. This is your testimony and comes from your heart. You’re doing better than what you think.

When the time arrives, all of my fear is calmed by His peace. During the interview, I’m in the moment and nothing else matters. God makes me bold and gives me the strength and confidence to do His work. He doesn’t leave us in the midst of the fire, but rather envelops us in His arms of safety.

We don’t have to do great things for God. We just have to be obedient and step forward with faith, and allow Him to work through us. He even gives me the faith I need to move for Him.

This week He blessed me to have a feature story with our local news, interview with the leading magazine in the world for health, disability, and human potential, and be on the local radio—all within three days. God has opened so many doors for me and blessed me to know wonderful people who are willing to help me make a difference.

He has also blessed me to know and work with a world organization. I am the new spokesperson for The Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia Kentucky. They are having a Dr. Seuss Read across America event March 9, 2013 and a coloring contest for three different age groups. Kids will be coloring Zippy for a chance to win an autographed copy of Zippy's Big Difference. The Reading Foundation also asked if Zippy could make an appearance. It humbles me and touches me immensely that my character was invited to the biggest literacy celebration in my area. (Little Zippy gets to attend the same party as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Scooby Doo, Bert and Ernie, and the Dr. Seuss characters.)

I was thinking last night about how I used to visit with God on my deck and cry. I knew He had a great, big job for me to do and I was so scared. I’m very thankful God made me go all the way. Regardless of how I cried and begged to Him, He made me endure the trial until it was finished. The greatest blessings come through heartache.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 KJV

Good things happen outside of our comfort zone, in the midst of the fire. I hope you will continue to follow me and my journey. God is a wonderful Paymaster!

Emily Stroud from WBIR channel 10 and I after my interview.
DysNet (The online Dysmelia community for limb differences) posted a wonderful article about me on their website.'s_book_if_your_child_has_a_visible_difference

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Curve Balls

Last night I made a to-do list, and worked on my mindset to be productive today. I’m trying to be more schedule-oriented since my chores constantly expand. Once I get comfortable with my life, something changes and makes me reevaluate it all.

My career is moving with leaps and bounds. I’m so amazed and thankful for all of the new opportunities God has given me. He has opened doors for me that I never considered, and made ways for me in places that appeared hopeless. He has blessed me tremendously with what I like to call once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and yet they unsettle me.

Every day is filled with challenges and unknown circumstances. My fear is ever present in unknown situations. While it may turn out to be a wonderful experience, the first initial step out of my comfort zone is terrifying.

Yes, I want to advance my career. I don’t intend for my life to be filled with a huge list of regrets. Nor do I want to lie down on my God, and stop doing His work. Balance is what I need. And that comes from God.

God is always in control. Regardless of how unsettled I feel, God is steady and strong. If I were always in control, then I wouldn’t need God. I would forget to pray, read my Bible, and listen for His instructions. I would take pride in completing each task and never look up with a thankful heart. As it is, I know where my help comes from. I experience the terror in my heart with each new challenge, and realize the exact moment when God steps in and speaks peace to my soul.

The enemy loves to overwhelm me and torture my thoughts. When I’m overwhelmed each task, big or small, is too much for me to handle. My mind races and is unable to focus on the task at hand. And when I’m struggling physically, it all seems harder.  

Last week, I was in the bed for a few days. The pain was overpowering. I felt so defeated and worthless. Regardless of how strong and positive I try to be, those attacks leave me shaken, and remind me of the fragility of life.

God has given me the beautiful gift of life, and I don’t want to take a moment of it for granted. I desire to walk with my Lord, and continue on the path He has given me. It’s not all going to be sunshine and gentle breezes. Storms and heartaches will accompany us all at times.

We may not always understand our situation. For me lying there in pain was a horrible feeling. Now I can see that God was blessing me to pray and getting me ready for the next step. My tears were not void, they had a purpose.

I hope to never appear ungrateful for the wonderful opportunities and good things God gives me. Each step on my journey is important—the fear, heartache, uncertainty, faith and joy. It all teaches me how to live for God and do His work.

I’m so thankful that during my darkest hour, He blesses me with a spark of hope. Pictures of children holding my books, with smiles and love, certainly brighten my life and give me the strength to keep getting up—regardless of how many times I get knocked down. Each one touches my heart greatly.

To say I’m thankful doesn’t seem like enough. God has given me so much. I owe it all to Him. I’ve learned we can’t out give God. He is a wonderful paymaster!

He is kissing Zippy. So precious.
Just when I think it couldn’t possibly get any better—it does.

My books “Underneath the Scars” and “Zippy and the Stripes of Courage” have been nominated for the 2013 CSPA Book of the Year Award, in their category. Please take a moment and vote for them at (only if you feel like voting for me). I truly appreciate your kindness and support! Regardless if I win or lose, it was a GREAT honor to be nominated.

Have a wonderful day and DREAM BIG!

P.S. ShadeTree Publishing has other books nominated in different categories, if you be so kind and vote for them as well.

Author shares message through Zippy the zebra