Thursday, February 23, 2017

Looking Back at the Last Four Years of Independence...

Dear Readers,

 It is with mixed emotions that I finally come to terms with moving out of my apartment next week.. That's right folks! After about four years of living independently, I will be moving back in with my parents until they figure out where they plan on retiring. It is  not a  decision  I  (or should  I say we) came to easily, but the  financial  burden was  getting to  a bit  much. For  those living in Virginia, you  understand exactly where I am coming from.

Still, living  independently is something that I would encourage  everyone  with a disability to  embark upon.  Not only does it  teach people what they are  truly capable of, but give parents the benefit of knowing what it feels like to  let go  without the  fear of ultimate failure. In other words, they are still around to teach   them when necessary while  giving  their children the freedom to make mistakes...

Let's take a look back at my journey. When we first moved to Virginia in 2008, I found it difficult to make friends. My family and I spent several months settling in and trying to find a church we felt comfortable with. After looking at several prospects, we finally decided on a church whose main goal was teaching straight from the Bible, verse by verse. It was there that I met Sadie and we developed a friendship. Beginning December 4, 2011, we discussed our dreams of living independently and toyed with the idea of becoming roommates. Like myself, Sadie was determined to spread her wings and fly! Looking back, I  feel as if this was God's plan, giving us the opportunity to prove our capabilities to our parents. My parents weren't exactly comfortable with the idea of me living by myself, so this was a logical compromise. That  way, they knew someone would be there in in the evenings (as well as at night) in case of emergencies.

In January 2012, we finally signed a one-year lease for a two bedroom apartment;its location was close enough to my parents that they could come help when needed. Little by  little we begin to make that apartment our home, adding sparks of color (and accent walls!) Along the way I learned important lessons about cooperation and compromise.  At first, I spent a majority of my time working on this  blog; never giving up hope that I would find a job. Occasionally, we would have friends from church over for movie nights and to celebrate birthday parties. We both thrived until unforeseen difficulties caused my roommate to have to move out. This left me reeling, wondering how all of this fell into God's plan. But you know what they say- When God closes a door, he opens a window. It was  around that time (or earlier)  that I was hired to write blogs on website accessibility. My parents were still unsure about my ability to live on my own but figured since I was financially stable, I should at least finish the lease.

I continued to work for the remainder of the lease, but  felt the apartment  was a little too big for  one person. For a while, I  wasn't sure whether a one bedroom apartment would open up and I have to move back in one my parents; sometime during Christmas break I was notified that one had  became available- an early Christmas present. So on February 19, 2013, I began  transferring my  belongings from one apartment to the next with the help of some friends from church. Although I had lived independently before, it was an exhilarating feeling knowing I was completely on my own. I was responsible for paying the bills as well as making the place my very own. In other words, I was now a part of the typical workforce, getting up early in order to telework several  hours a day.. In the process, I dealt  with my share of personal assistant problems; this reiterated the value of advocacy on a daily basis and making sure my voice is heard.


All in all it has been amazing five years; during which I've gained the self-confidence of knowing what I am truly capable of. It's been a roller coaster of emotions but that's just a part of life;as my college pastor used to say, "Exp|ct the unexpected." While moving back sometimes feels like a step backwards for me, I have to believe God has something bigger in store for my future- and this was just a glimpse into what is humanly possible..I haven't given up  hope that I will settle down permanently- with a full-time job and a place of my own (maybe even  a boyfriend!) It just isn't my time yet..


Until then, I will have fond memories to look  back on and am forever  grateful for the experience. I just need to to where my primary focus should be- trusting God  to provide for the future like he always has. Maybe this time back home will rejuvenate my faith..

( This will be my last post from the apartment; all other posts will be from my parent's place! Internet will be disconnected sometime tomorrow.. Chuckle)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

I'm Not Ashamed: Official Movie Trailer (2016)


Welcome Back Everyone~
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch "I'm Not Ashamed." This movie chronicled the life of Rachel Scott. Most people remember her for her faithful declaration of Jesus on April 20, 1999 during the Columbine High School massacre; what they don’t realize is the journey it took to get there. On the outside, she was a typical teenager who struggled to be a part of the “in” crowd at school while dealing with feelings of insecurity. Her parents felt they had no other choice but to send Rachel to her aunt’s for the summer; during which time, she had a spiritual breakthrough.
Back at home, Rachel feels conflicted. She tries to stay connected to her old friends while staying true to her newfound faith- it doesn’t work.
Still, the movie came to mind during a recent sermon from church. It centered on our eternal inheritance; In Luke 10:25, an expert tries to trip up Jesus by questioning his teachings. He asked, “…What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Instead of answering him out right, he turns the question back at him saying, ‘What is written in the Law?”’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ In other words, Jesus wonders about the expert’s interpretation and understanding of the Law. At first, he answers almost verbatim to that of the first commandment (as written in Mark 12: 12); In verse 27, the lawyer answers, “… Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”   The conversation continues with Jesus replying as follows, “You have answered correctly… Do this and you will live.”
The expert attempts to justify himself by inquiring further as to who exactly is his neighbor. This is where the parable of The Good Samaritan comes into play. What's  my point in using this as an example? Loving others isn’t always easy; many times we find ourselves outside our comfort zones. For Rachel, this meant putting her faith on  display several times on and before that fateful day in April. One instance  of love iin  action  is one she befriends Nathan,  a  homeless teenager  on  the streets and invites  him to  youth group.  Not  only  does  he  get a place  to stay,, but realizes  the importance of having only faith.
The next  sermon  focused on the  two  distinct perspectives Christians can  have  towards their  relationship  with Jesus-doing things  for Him versus Getting To Know Him  Intimately.  While  God appreciates  our showing  love towards  the community, he puts  greater value  on  our  personal relationship with  Him.  Why? For starters, it  gives  new meaning to our actions; we  understand and begin to see  things from God's perspective  rather than  our own. Don't get me wrong,  God values what  we do as long as it  is for the right reasons.  Take a look  at God's response  for supporting  evidence in Luke 10:41- 42
In short, I would highly recommend renting I'm Not Ashamed.  Although  the content is highly  thematic and suspenseful  (because of its Subject matter  and  PG rating). It is very inspirational and moving.
I have  included  the theatrical trailer below as  well as the  lyrics to Plumb''s Need You  Now (How  Many  Times)




Need  You Now (How Many Times)
by Plumb



Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
'Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this?"
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now

Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this?"
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now

Though I walk,
Though I Walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, Please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this?"
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now

Friday, January 6, 2017

Funny Friday Clip: Do Not Let Children Use Alexa without Parental Supervision!

Welcome Back Readers~

Watching Fox Five DC news yesterday, I came across a funny story about the precautions of using Alexa to purchase items online, As I've written in previous posts about Alexa, the device has the capabilities of accessing music, reading books and purchasing stuff online simply by voice. That is, of course if the technology has access through your linked accounts. One Dallas family learned this lesson the hard way when packages started arriving that they had ordered. Turns out, Alexa had been listening to closely to the daughter when she asked for cookies and a dollhouse- her wish was granted. The family then donated the dollhouse to charity.

Too bad she was not aware that you could deactivate voice purchasing or use a pin to confirm the purchase.

For more information on this story, please go to:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Encouragement:Superheroes really do exist.. Make-A-Wish has done it again, granting a five-year-old's wish to become a superhero and save the day

Welcome Back Readers~

Many of you may remember the inspirational story of Batkid; Miles Scott's wish to become a superhero after finishing his last chemotherapy in the hopes of curing his leukemia in 2013. To accomplish this task, the Make-A-Wish foundation enlisted the help of the entire city of San Francisco. Well, Make-A-Wish has done it again. This time granting the wish of five-year-old Kaheem who is also diagnosed with leukemia to become a superhero. Kaheem (a.k.a. Super Kaheem) lives in Maryland, but was given many tasks in order to save DC today, including freeing the DC mascots, so they were able to attend  tonight's game.

For more on this inspirational story, please go to:

http://www.ibtimes.com/kaheem-saves-dc-photos-make-wish-superhero-visits-capitol-helps-santa-captures-hearts-2461766

http://www.fox5dc.com/about-us/season-of-wishes/223926688-story

Please consider giving to the Make-A-Wish foundation at:

http://wish.org/#sm.001w7pysilx1epy10fk11ozirt4vg

Monday, December 12, 2016

An Old Christmas Favorite, "Help is on The Way" (from The Preacher's Wife)

Welcome Back Readers~

I can't remember if I ever posted this music video from Witney Houston or not. At any rate, it's a classic..In the film "The Preacher's Wife", she plays the wife of a discouraged preacher whose church is on the verge of closure. It is then that he makes a desperate plea for help and Dudley appears.This song is a subtle reminder that  God  is always working in the background- whether or not we see him. May this song serve as  an encouragement  as we enter this  season  of hope.



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Abilities Expo Experience

Welcome Back Readers~

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to the 2016 Abilities Expo. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this event, it highlights different technologies and resources meant to enhance and/or increase independence in the lives of people with disabilities.For instance, have you ever wondered what it would feel like to "run"? I certainly have..  Well, with the help of Ainsley's Angels, I have the opportunity to take part in marathon in which I wouldn't otherwise be able to. You see, the organization has volunteers in  Virginia as well as other parts of the country who will act as the feet of  those are unable to walk; therefore giving them an experience they will always remember- the ability to run with the breeze in your hair and the vibration of the ground beneath your feet.

For more information on this organization, please go to:

http://www.ainsleysangels.org/

Looking forward to "running" sometime soon

Friday, December 2, 2016

Reflections for the upcoming season; Debbie's update





Merry Christmas.

Even as I dictate this, I can't believe it's that time of year already. For those of you that have followed this blog over the year, you probably understand what I mean..  Since losing my job almost 2 years ago, posts on this blog have been pretty sparse. Partly because I've been spending my time mailing out resumes  to appropriate contacts as well as dealing with  Social Security in  the interim. That's a whole  other story within itself. But I digress

The fact is I haven't been quite myself since.  True, the job help me out financially but even more than that it gave me a reason every morning-  a new sense of purpose. You see, I've always felt a calling when it comes to advocating for the disabled; I just wasn't quite sure how that criteria will fit into the job description;  that is until I started writing blogs on web accessibility- things sort of fell into place after that. I loved my job, people  appreciated me. More than that, having  financial independence gave me a new sense of freedom; I was able to support myself and continue living the apartment.  In hindsight, this began a negative pattern of self-reliance. I almost  forgot who had provided the job in the first place and how to be grateful in the first place

Hence, I can't help feeling that's why I am where I am right now. Not as a punishment, mind you but allowing me the time to get my bearings and learn a deeper dependence on God then ever before. Still, that doesn't mean I am not disappointed that I have to move back in with my parents in February. I will certainly miss my place.

I've heard it said that Christmas comes when we need it the most. That's certainly true this  Christmas. I need  God to renew to me the joy of my salvation.

With that, I leave this  question to you my readers: What present would you give your heart this Christmas?

Mine would be a new sense of faith and hope for the future
(Yes I know the verse Jeremiah 29:11- that God already provided for that but it's another thing to fully leave on that promise day in and day out, I'm only human!)



Related Posts with Thumbnails