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Monday, October 31, 2016

Getting Back Into the Routine

It is so hard to get back into swing of things. Due to my surgery, I’ve not exercised in three weeks and I’ve not been getting up early. Needless to say, I’m dragging this morning. I would love to go back to bed and sleep for the additional two hours before I have to get ready for work. If I did that, however, I wouldn’t have time to exercise before I go to work or write this blog. And both of those things are important to me. 

If I take the first few hours of my day for me, then the rest of my day just goes better. I love the way exercising makes me feel. When I start my day feeling accomplished, strong, and calm then I'm happier and in a better mood all day. 

While I believe God can heal our bodies, I also believe that He wants us to do the best that we can to take care of ourselves. When I take the time to eat healthy, drink enough water, start my day with Shakeology, exercise, and prayer, then I feel so much better. The opposite is true for when I eat unhealthy food, skip my workouts, and forget to pray. On those days, I feel just feel bad, and the feeling usually stays with me all day.

In order to have more good days, I try to develop better habits and make them part of my daily routine. When I do the same things over and over, then they become a habit and are a part of my routine. Then, I don’t forget to do them. 

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and in 21 days we can also destroy our good habits. Before my surgery, I was doing so well, and now I feel as if I am starting over. Even though I enjoyed sleeping in and getting some extra sleep, I am also so grateful for the health to start working out again.

Instead of beating myself up, I am looking at this as the first day to my new journey. Would you like to start with me? We can do this together. 
Because I needed the reminder. 

Have a wonderful day!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Reacting with Love

How different would our lives be if we reacted to every situation with love? So often I react with judgement, anger, or fear, when I should react with love. We are all fighting some type of battle and usually the battle is within ourselves. If I’m being hateful, it is usually because of my own problems. 

I noticed this yesterday, when I snapped at my husband. It made me take a step back and examine the situation. I was feeling bad so I took my frustration out on him. The realization forced me to take a deep breathe and asked myself what was actually wrong. Turns out that it had absolutely nothing to do with him. In my mind, I had been worrying about something and the worry had caused me to respond with fear instead of love. 

My goal is to notice when this happens to me and stop it. The world is filled with hate and negativity and I don’t want to contribute to the problem. 

Jesus gave us the ultimate example of how to respond with love when they came to arrest Him. When Peter cut the solider’s ear off, Jesus commanded Peter to stop. Then, with compassion and love, He healed the solider’s ear. Even though He knew that they were going to crucify Him. He died for the ones who beat Him, just as He died for us. What an amazing love. It humbles me to realize that God placed that same type of love inside of me, when He saved my soul. 

As we begin this new week, my desire is to focus more on love and how God can use me to  serve others. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Enjoying the Day

What a wonderful day! God always knows what I need, and today is was a hike through the beautiful mountains of Tennessee with some of my favorite people. Walking and talking with my sister is the best medicine in the world. We talked and laughed and enjoyed just being outside, surrounded by nature.  

I love these types of days. They represent victory for me. Years ago, when I found myself struggling to walk, I fought so hard to get better for my kids because I wanted to run with them, be able to hike again, and just have fun. So every time that I am blessed to experience one of these beautiful days my heart is always grateful. 

Isn’t it funny how God can use someone so small to teach us things? My beautiful niece Aubrey has learned how to clap. When we reached the top of our hike, she clapped. Anytime something excites her she claps. It is so precious. And it reminds me to celebrate the victories—big and small.

Today I am going to finish this blog with pictures. And share my beautiful day with you. 
Aubrey says this hiking thing is no big deal. She can do it with her eyes closed. 

That view though.

Giving her love before we had to go. She was asleep. 

Taking a break. 

Resting for a minute. 

So precious! That smile always brightens my day. 

Love them both so much.

God bless, 


Friday, October 28, 2016

The Mindset Shift

For days, I’ve been fighting a negative mindset. Even though I’ve tried constantly to change it, I just couldn’t seem to get to where I needed to be. I couldn’t see beyond my heartaches to truly find the joy. And it made me so mad at myself. 

Suddenly, I was the little girl who shoved her hands in her pockets again. I found myself looking for the stares that were once such a painful part of my life, and feeling so insecure. My hand feels awkward and it makes me feel uncomfortable because I still haven’t figured out how to control it. 

I went to bed last night feeling defeated. Before I fell asleep, I asked God to help me.This morning I woke up with a whole new perspective and mindset. 

Going through the surgery and seeing my hand pieced together by stitches was traumatic for me. Even though I knew it was going to happen and I had peace about it all, still the process was hard. Then, I’ve had phantom pain for days in the part of my hand that was removed. It was a constant reminder to me that part of my hand was gone—and I chose to lose it. It made me feel guilty. I didn’t realize it, but the constant pain for days, and the shock of seeing my hand had made me feel like a victim again.

No one understands how I feel. 

When that thought entered my mind it jolted me. Right away I recognized it as an old thought, and it helped me to break my negative thought pattern. This morning I was able to see my situation differently. I am a survivor. I survived the trauma, and I will overcome the challenges. Once my mindset changed, I was able to overcome the negative feelings and truly feel the gratitude in my heart. I lost part of my hand, but I gained a thumb. 

The devil will put our blessings in the same category as our heartaches, if we are not careful. He will make us focus on what we have lost, instead of what we have gained. And if he can create enough fear, he can talk us into hating our blessings. 

Now I know that I have to love myself through this process. I have to replace the fear with love and be kind to myself. I love that God made a way for me, when it appeared that there was no way. He loves me and I know that He will help me every step of the way. 

Sometimes I think that God puts us into situations to help us grow and learn the power of empathy. By experiencing this situation and overcoming it, I will be able to use the knowledge that I have learned to help others. My God is so wonderful. He can take my challenges and heartaches and use them to help others. I love that He never gives up on me. Even when I have my face down into the ditch, He is there with me. He encourages me, loves me, strengthens me, and always gives me a glimmer of hope. 

Today I got an x-ray of my hand. I thought you might like to see a before and after. The views are a little different, but you can still since the incredible difference. 



I'm sorry if I have been confusing or constantly repeating myself. This is a process, and I'm trying to be as vulnerable as possible and allow you to walk through this journey with me. 

God bless, 



Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Struggle is Real

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, nor face my day. Every thing is still a struggle. While the pain in my hand is better, the compensation for my left hand is causing additional pain on the right side of my body. I had a massage yesterday that was so painful. The amount of knots in my muscles was shocking.  

I spent most of my morning talking to God. The enemy wants to silence me. Usually when I feel this way I don’t write, nor post on my blog or Facebook. I give myself time to figure it all out before I share it. But this time, I feel as if God wants me to share the journey—while I am in the midst of the trial. I hate this because my emotions are all over the place. I feel like I am on a roller coaster ride—with constant ups and downs. 

But isn’t that life? We all experience moments that take our breath away. We have all experienced fear, pain, uncertainty, and feeling of being completely overwhelmed. No one is perfect or exempt from these feelings. And we are not alone. 

It doesn’t mean, however, that we should embrace the negative feelings either and continue to listen to the devil. He wants us to quit, get mad at God, and ultimately turn away from Him. What we need to do, however, is spend more time with God and figure out how we can help ourselves.  

In an effort to figure it out, I decided to break down the overwhelming feeling. 
  1. What is causing you to feel overwhelmed?
  2. What can you do, right now, to help? 

My first step was taking action. I made myself get up and just start doing things. When I started looking at everything that “I felt” needed to be completed today my list was long. But as I started to break it down, I realized that most of the tasks were simple. Checking things off of my to-do list helped me so much, because I could see progress. After days of lying in bed and resting, my mind was missing the feeling of accomplishment.  

I also miss exercising terribly. It is my pain reliever as well as a mood booster. I need some normalcy in my life. So I am ready to get back into the swing of things. Who would like to join me for a free 2 week trial? Beachbody on Demand has tons of free workouts that you can stream to your computer or smart phone. The FREE group starts on October 31, 2016. Message me or Emily on Facebook or send an email to for more details. 

Together we will support, encourage, and motivate each other! This will also give you an idea of what an accountability partner is and how the challenge groups work.  Please don’t think you have to be in a certain place in your life to start. We will all have different challenges, and we will help each other figure out how to overcome them. 

When I focus on others and how I can help them, then my problems and pain are not nearly as overwhelming. 



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Focusing On Today

Today I found myself worrying about my hand. The whole recovery process seems a little overwhelming. I don’t have all the answers, know the next step, or even what this process will be like. I feel so helpless when I try to make my thumb move a certain way and it doesn’t. Even my finger, which I used all the time before, is struggling. 

When we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, we usually tell God that we can’t do it. In our mind, we are never smart enough, strong enough, brave enough, etc. This type of thinking usually leads to feeling overwhelmed, and we accept defeat before we ever put forth an effort. 

Since we don’t always have experience in a particular situation, we automatically believe that we can’t do it. We don’t realize that God will give us what we need, when we need it— to not only fight the battle, but to win it as well. 

If we were not ready for the battle, then God would not have allowed it to come before us. I had to read that statement a few times to let the message sink in. 

God knows what we can handle. He knows the exact amount of pressure to put on us to make us grow, and prosper in our life. We have to be willing to do new, scary, exciting things in our life in order to get the change that we desire. Because we are either growing or dying. We don’t just get to settle into a place of comfort. Being comfortable doesn’t serve us. 

When I focus on today, and sometimes even the minute or hour, it’s not as overwhelming. We don’t always have to have everything figured out to take the first step. God will help us figure it out as we go. Sometimes when I go into unfamiliar territory, I want to back up on Him. But when I can just breathe deeply and take the step before me, He will always guide me along the way.   

So as the enemy comes at me with all of my fears, I just find a quiet place to pray. With my head bowed in prayer is where I trade my problems for solutions, my fear for peace, and my weaknesses for God’s strength. Anytime that I seek Him, I always find Him waiting for me. And when I can shift my focus to gratitude, then I don’t have fear or feel overwhelmed. I can’t be worried about this thumb when my heart is so grateful for it. 

Many blessings, 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Recovery Process and a Glimpse of My Hand

God amazes me! He can take something small, and bless it to be exactly enough. That’s how I feel about my left hand. My whole life, I’ve only been able to use the one finger on my left hand, but He has blessed my abilities to exceed my disabilities on any given day. And now He has blessed me with more. Now, I have a thumb.

Today, I can move my thumb outward as well as inward, and spread my hand. This morning I couldn’t move it at all, so I removed the bandage myself. Yeah, I know it’s not Friday, but I won’t tell my doctor if you won’t tell. :) I just had to see if I could move my thumb at all. After a few minutes of concentration, determination, and prayer it moved—and my heart was overjoyed once again. Now the muscle is so sore. It has reached exhaustion on several occasions today, but I continue to move it. Why? Because I can. With the pain of moving it comes the joy of seeing and feeling it move. 

I can’t even express the gratitude in my heart. God gives me enough of everything that I need. During my darkest moments, He always gives me a spark of hope. And He will do the same for you. 

As I was driving home from work today— I declared myself healed this morning and decided to get back to work—I thought about how there is more than one way to do things. For the last few weeks, I have pushed my boundaries and discovered so many new ways to do every day things. When we really try and explore our creative side, we will amaze ourselves. I tried to never use the words “I can’t” during my healing process, but instead I focused on discovering new ways. So often we poison our mind with our words and limiting beliefs. I have learned through out my life, when determination meets with faith, however, anything is possible. 

Here is a before and after of my hand. For anyone who wants the medical terminology, my doctor did a release of complex syndactalized thumb and index hypoplastic digits with full thickness skin graft on me. 

In other words, he reconstructed my hand and gave me a thumb. :)



Monday, October 24, 2016

Operation Get a Thumb: Successful

Today, the bandages came off and my doctor was extremely happy with the results. The skin graft looks great—both on my hand and my arm. Over 20 stitches were removed from my hand and arm. I was counting them as they come out, but the last few were painful so I turned my head. 

My doctor was very upset when he realized that I had to go through the recovery without pain medication, but with my history of allergies, we decided not to try any different medicine. And now the therapy of learning to use my hand again without anything for pain. It’s so very sore. While the overall swelling is good, it is still uncomfortable. I can’t really explain the feeling. It’s definitely odd. My thumb almost feels heavy—kind of foreign to me. I can move it inward to squeeze a little, but right now I can’t move it outward at all. My doctor was not concerned. He thinks I am tough and will be able to figure it out in no time. He did wrap it again. Where the skin graft was placed it is still bloody. It will take a while for it to heal. I have to wear the new bandage until Friday. And I have to keep gauze pads between my thumb and hand for a while because it wants to move back into the original position.

It will take some time for me to learn how to use my hand. My finger is stiff as well as my wrist. But he encouraged me to move my hand as much as I can and to do whatever I can tolerate. 

My emotions are kind of all over the place. It was a shock to see my hand. My mind is still trying to process it all. My heart, however, continues to whisper praise and gratitude to my Lord. He is opening a whole new world to me and I’m so grateful for the gift. I will work this hand until I can’t take the pain anymore and then I will do it some more. And He will guide me every step of the way. 

Thank you my dear sweet family and friends for praying for me and going through this journey with me. I will post more pictures in a few days when this bandage comes off. It looks really bad right now. 

Much love, 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Showing Up

Last week I made the decision to follow my heart and blog every day. For the first few days it was easy. Today, however, has been a struggle. I didn’t sleep well last night, due to pain. So I didn’t get up as early as I had planned this morning. Then we left for church, stayed at my parent’s house all day, and then went back to church tonight—so I’ve not had time all day. Now, I’m in pain. My ribs on my right side are out of alignment, because I’ve had to do everything with my right hand since the surgery on my left hand, I have a horrible headache, and my right arm is numb.

In all reality, I don’t feel like blogging. I have tons of excuses for skipping it today. But I’ve learned that if I want to make a difference in this world and help others, then I have to show up every day. Not just on the days when I feel like it. 

My dreams matter, and I refuse to let anything stand in my way. It’s not easy. But, then again, most of the things in my life are hard. That's what makes the blessings so rewarding.  One of these days, I will remember the night when I stood in my kitchen, with an ice pack around my neck, wiping tears from eyes, blogging because I told God that I would do it and my dreams matter to me. 

Have a wonderful night!


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blessings in the Trials

In every situation, I believe that we have the opportunity to learn and grow. This surgery has been a very rewarding situation for me. Through the pain, God has blessed me to grow and gain  a new understanding.

The one thing that got me through the painful moments was love and prayers. I could feel them surrounding me. And my God was right there. He held me through the fear of the reactions to the medicine and through the painful moments. One night, I felt Him lift me into His arms and He held me while I slept. His presence was always with me. He understood every tear, and when my strength faltered His strength surrounded me. 

Every time I needed something, it was there. Cards, texts, messages, flowers, hugs, kisses, and my favorite foods. God knew, before the surgery was even scheduled, that it would be hard for me and He had a plan. 

The one thing I have learned is the need to show love and kindness more to those who are hurting and suffering. It means more than we realize. A kind word, phone call, flowers, texts, etc, could be just what someone else needs to brighten their day.

And to stay focused on the reward. It’s not always easy. Sometimes we go through hard times, but it’s during the midst of the storm that we realize just how much Jesus loves us. He suffered the worst pain imaginable for us. At any time, He could have ended His suffering, but He chose to endure the pain for us. And we should be grateful that God would bless us with the opportunity to grow into a stronger vessel for Him.

I don’t enjoy the painful moments. In fact, I usually beg God to help me end the pain. I have learned, however, to appreciate them. It is through the overcoming of the trials that I am able to obtain the reward. Because that is where I find a deeper level of faith, wisdom, patience, knowledge, love, gratitude, and understanding. 

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Having a Relationship With God

When I first started my journey with the Lord, I had so many questions. I wanted to understand the scriptures, learn how to pray, and learn to follow my Lord. 

My heart wanted a connection with God, but my mind wanted to interfere. I soon learned that if I wanted a relationship with God, I had to spend more time with Him. Sounds easy enough, but it was hard for me. 

Whenever I had a question that needed an answer from my Lord, I went to everyone but Him. I talked to my family about it, talked to my friends, and then tried to solve it on my own. While it is sometimes good to discuss our problems, the scriptures, and thoughts with others, if we want real understanding and true peace, we need to learn to have good conversations with God.

I remember going to my daddy once with a question about a scripture and my problem. He said, “I can tell you my understanding and give you advice, but God might want you to know something different.” Sure enough, he explained his understanding to me and it didn’t satisfy me. It took me going to the Lord and seeking His understanding for me and my situation to become satisfied. 

The Lord is only one who understands it all. He knows what is behind us, in front of us, and the true challenges of our life. He also knows the plans He has for our life. If we want to reach our full potential and live peacefully, then we need to go to Him first.

I feel my best, when I have my coffee with God. You can read more about that hereThen, I listen. He doesn't always answer me immediately. Sometimes it is years later in various ways. He also speaks to me through preaching, teaching, and studying His word. When I truly show up, seeking Him, I find that He is always waiting for me. I love our moments. After talking to Him, I always feel better.

I encourage you to develop your own relationship with God.

Have a beautiful day!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

My New Adventure

Have you ever heard the same Bible verse several times in one day? Or looked up to see the same number on the clock for weeks at a time? I believe God sometimes tells us the same thing over and over to get our attention. Today, I saw and heard the same Bible verse three times. By the third time, I stopped and said, “Ok,  God. I will be brave and I will do it.”

Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 Guess what? I don’t have it all figured out. In my mind, I question this new adventure. I feel like a child, kicking and screaming, and begging Him to reconsider. But in my heart, I am delighted because I know that God will use this to help me grow.

Friends, I am going to be really vulnerable and share more of my life: the things I learn, things I love, and things that challenge me. Ånd the real challenge, for me, will be to do it consistently—as in every single day. 

So you have my permission to call me out on it if  I skip a day. I hope that you will take me by the hand and share this journey with me.

Also I’d  love for you to join me on Snapchat. I’m completely jumping out of  my comfort zone.

Many blessings, 


Monday, October 3, 2016

Why You Need a Plan B

Do you ever have something planned out perfectly, but then something happens to throw it off balance? This happened to me yesterday. For several weeks now, I have been preparing to have surgery on my hand. I had the schedule figured out, so that I would have someone with me every day to help take care of me. I have been trying to figure out how to do more things with my left hand, since I had planned on having surgery on my right (dominate) hand first. But then, everything changed.

My dad (who is also my pastor) announced a revival at our church on the same week that I had planned to have surgery. It would be so hard on me to get ready for church every day using only my left hand. Staying home, however, is not an option for me either. 

At first, I felt overwhelmed and confused. But after a few prayers and tears, I realized that God will work it out for me. He always does. I just have to trust Him. He has an appropriate time for everything that He does. So I will just have to be patient and wait on Him. After all, He knows my heart and what is best for me. 

Sometimes we get so discouraged when things don’t go our way that we just want to give up. Giving up, however, is not an option for me. If plan A doesn’t pan out, then I just need to trust that God has another way and start cultivating plan B. And if plan B doesn’t turn out well, then there are more letters in the alphabet for me to try. Years ago, when things didn’t go as planned, I got mad at God and usually ended up in the bed. I would sulk for days, and have a real big pity party. Now I refer to one of my favorite verses Romans 8:28 (And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.) and I know that it will all benefit me. 

Perhaps having surgery on my left hand first would make it easier for me. I would get to see what the process is like before doing my right hand. Anyway, I am going my appointment in faith. Somehow, in some way, God will make a way for me. I trust Him to take care of me. And if I doubt that at all, I need just remember how He parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel. Compared to that, my little schedule conflict is a piece of cake. 

I will update with the date and time, as soon as I know. Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. It means so much!

Have a wonderful day!


Author shares message through Zippy the zebra