Monday, December 27, 2010

A simple act exemplifies the true meaning of Christmas

So I realize this article didn't come out during the Christmas season; but it provides another example of how the littlest of sacrifices can change everything. This article, especially strikes a chord with me because I know there may come a time when my parents are unable to help with my daily care and personal assistant supervision. When that time comes, I hope I am surrounded by not only family and friends, but people like Rudy!
Please take a minute to read this article, it may change your life...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

End-of-the-year Christmas letter

Dearest friends and readers;

Well, it's that time of year again. It's hard to believe that in just a matter of days, it will be Christmas. Not too soon after that, it will be the beginning of a new year. That being said, imagine my surprise when I began shuffling through my posts and realized I began this blog over four years ago. Four years! Who would have thought? I would like to thank those people who have not only encouraged me to write my thoughts here, but have remained faithful readers in the process of my journey. Although I have never met most of you, I hope you realize that you have given me as much as I have given you ... With every post, I shared a part of myself with you in the hope of giving you the motivation to live your life in spite of what difficulties may come to pass.

Below is my Christmas letter which gives a summary of the year's events. For my new followers, I figured this would be a great place to begin the journey:

It's hard to believe it has been about two years since we first arrived to Virginia. It's been quite the adjustment for all of us, getting into the swing of things with dad's new one hour commute to and from Washington, DC to deal with, as well as my adjustment to new personal assistant rules and regulations. But this year brought many surprises as well.

In February, we got a little taste of our "home" in Michigan with the record setting snow storms in Virginia. On the first, we got twenty-four inches of snow only to receive another eight inches two days later. Something good came of it though as dad was unable to go into work and had to work from home. In the end, this provided some quality time for our family. April approached quickly and I welcomed it with a bit of apprehension; after all, I was turning the big 30! But after a visit from one of my best friends, Ron, I was reminded we're all young at heart. We spent her visit doing some of the usual girl stuff, such as going to the movies and shopping... Boy, did we ever! May May was a chilly month which brought several red letter birthdays. My brother Tim turned 31 and Rebekah (the smallest niece and my God daughter) turned two. They grow up too fast! Unfortunately, we were unable to celebrate with everyone at the Japanese steakhouse because my other niece, Elizabeth was sick.

On the 7th of June, I had an appointment with Dr. Scott Edwards at Georgetown Univ. Hospital to discuss my options in an effort to release the tension in my arm and increase my mobility; at this point, I had tried just about everything and had my doubts. The month also brought Elizabeth's 5th birthday and we had a big party with all her friends and family. July brought back memories as the three of us; mom, dad and and I traveled back to Michigan to spend some time together. We rented our "old" cottage on little Glen Lake; I spent the majority of time reading as dad enjoyed discovering about his ancestors on ancestry .com. In August, I underwent surgery on my left arm; it was a success, helping me to gain 40° of passive range; I wear a brace at night and was rewarded (by my parents) with a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring, now that my hand lays flat.

My recovery process was a slow one, as we had a real difficult time arranging therapy. With God's guidance, and a lot of waiting, we settled on the Fairfax Hospital to begin therapy. In early November, I finally achieved my ultimate goal of driving my wheelchair again by a joystick! It has been over five years since I lost my ability to drive using my hand.

During November, I also decided it was time for a change - I decided to become a blonde! Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to last; as I eventually had to go back to my natural color.

All in all, it's been a wonderful year; full of God's peace and understanding. I can't wait to see what unfolds for the next chapter of my life!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hope in the form of CS Lewis's classic book voyage of the Dawn Treader brought to life

Hey Guys~

So I was pleasantly surprised when I went to see CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader yesterday. I'm not usually into action, adventure movies, but I was taken aback by how their producers stayed true to the theme of the book. For those of you unfamiliar with CS Lewis and his work, he used this fictional land of Narnia and its main character of Aslan to be a metaphor for Jesus and the eternal life that we all can have if only we believe. In the first movie, Aslan lays down his life for another character in place of him. In that way, Aslan pays the ultimate price for them so they might live. By the end of the first movie, Aslan come back to life and their is peace among the land.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader continues the story with the youngest of the children, Edward and Lucy along with their cousin Augusta, returning to Narnia in order to fight the green mist which had been accepting human sacrifices. The three go on a journey to find the source of the mist and rescue the people. Along the way, there faith in Narnia (for Christians, Narnia is an analogy for the "unseen" world or heaven) is tested. They are tempted based on their individual vulnerabilities; for Lucy, it is an undeniable urge to find her value in her beauty, for Edward, it was in his need to feel important (otherwise to be King) and finally Augusta just wanted to be rich and powerful.

In the end, Aslan protected them each according to his will-by coming to Lucy and reminding her of how special she was, by providing a voice of reason when all logical judgment seemed lost and making the best out of a bad situation. (For we know, all things work together for the good of those who love Him-Romans 8: 28)

Well, I hope I didn't give away too much in the movie. But it's really good one, especially for those looking for a little bit of hope this season.

Here's one of my favorite quotes from the movie: ""It is my hope that by knowing me in this world, you may know me better in the next,"-Azlan, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. May the same be said of us, and our relationship with Jesus Christ
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas is in full swing now; "20/20" featuring the 7 wonders of the world

Massillon Okay,

My apologies for the tardiness of this post! I can hardly believe we have two weeks until Christmas arrives. This holiday season keeps me especially busy with Christmas shopping to do, letters to mail and presents to be wrapped. Not to mention, I have to think about training another night personal assistants. Here's hoping this one doesn't have trouble cooking, I'm getting tired of the microwavable meals. That being said, I may limit myself to two posts per week until things settle down. I find myself having little to say anyway.

I was watching TV last night and came across an interesting episode of "20/20". Now, I'm not a news critic, but this one highlighted The Seven Wonders of the World. What's so special about that, you may ask? Well, these seven wonders are not famous structures or landmarks, but people with unique talents. For example, meet a 10-year-old who sings like an angel, despite the tragedy of losing her mother to cancer, or women who see themselves as "mermaids" because of their unique ability to hold their breath for long periods of time underwater.

But today I would like to focus the story of Rohan Murphy. Born without legs as well as several other birth defects, he continues to defy the odds when it comes to reaching for the stars. It wasn't always easy, though.

"I really just didn't want to accept being disabled [growing up]," says Murphy.

At first, he admits to lashing out at people who asked about his disability. That is, until fellow coach and friend Ron Croteau stepped in asking him to be a sports team manager.
In time, Murphy realized that he was able to do more push-ups without his prosthetic legs. That's when he began wrestling.

What follows is an amazing story. For more information, you can see the video on Just click on 20/20 for Friday's episode

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Rolloff Family: a Final Goodbye

Welcome back~

Okay, so tonight concluded the final season of Little People, Big World. It has lasted six seasons and I've seen most of them. I've grown up with them really. I remember when I first saw a rerun of the pilot episode; I was a struggling teenager learning to accept my disability and live my life. Their family reminded me that anything was possible even if you have a disability; it might just take going about the goal little differently.

I will admit the final season had me going a few times-wondering whether they were going to sell the farm or whether the boys were in fact going to move out. Even though Matt was hard at times, I feel that his heart was at the right place. But at some point, you have to let your children go and make their own decisions without worrying about a time table.

I will miss the family, especially Zach. Even though we have never met, I feel like we are kindred spirits when it comes to waiting for the special person.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another year is coming to a close.


It's hard to believe it's that time of year again; it seems like only yesterday we moved to Virginia. And yet, so much has happened since then.. I've become an Avon consultant, had surgery, and learned to drive my wheelchair again. And yet, I still feel something is missing. I guess that is why I love Christmas: it serves as a constant reminder that even in the darkest of times.. There is always hope. Christmas will always come

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another YouTube video

Hey Guys,

I hope everyone enjoys (or enjoyed as the case stands since this post is late) their Thanksgiving. It was great being able to spend him with family. My mom cooked all of the family favorites, including Turkey and green being casserole. She's even gone as far as to start putting up Christmas. There's a saying that "Christmas comes when you need it the most." I am beginning to believe that. This season remind us that there's always hope in the midst of joy AND sorrow. know why, but the above YouTube clip categorizes this season of my life right now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Entertainment: Ice Castles Revisited

So it appears I'm slightly behind again with my posts. Since it's Friday, I thought I would do something a little bit entertainment related. Recently the DVD world released a updated version of a romantic classic entitled Ice Castles. For those unfamiliar, this story followers the journey of up-and-coming skating star, Lexi Winston. In the beginning, Lexi gives up everything in an effort to pursue her dream professionally, but her faith is tested when accident leaves her blind. In the original version, released in 1978, was written by Donald Wrye (screenplay), Gary L. Baim (screenplay ) as well as several others; it included such stars as Lynn-Holly Johnson, Robby Benson and Colleen Dewhurst . More information can be found on the original movie release here:

On the other hand, I feel the updated version doesn't do it justice. Although it starts the newest face in skating, Taylor Firth, I think it forgets the main point of overcoming what obstacles may come in life. I was surprised to learn however that Firth is a outspoken Christian and she credits God for her talent. Something most people don't do these days. You can find out more about her faith in the article:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Encouragement: Rollcall

Hey Guys,
I realize it's been a while since I've updated my Roll Call-a list of disabled websites of all different perspectives. That being said, I came across this website and it provides an extensive list to help you get started. I will eventually integrate some of them into my list. Watch for updates!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The beginning of another week..

Well friends~

It's the beginning of another week and while I should be refreshed-I feel like I'm just hanging on. The strange thing is, I had a wonderful weekend with my family. On Saturday my mom decided to take some time out for her self and get a manicure and pedicure while dad and I ran a few errands. Now I'm not much for shopping especially when it comes to buying tire gauges to check our wheel pressure for the Van, etc.. But I did manage to make the best of it by asking to go to go out to lunch and the paper store, I can't think of its name right now. I needed to get computer paper as well as I happened to come across some cool Christmas cards and stationery for the upcoming year.

It's been a busy couple of months lately and I'm excited to share my accomplishments with everyone; although, many may already know about. The road to drive my wheelchair r has certainly been a long and difficult journey, altogether, we calculated it's been at least nine years since I've been able to drive myself. So, yes it's a big accomplishment! But still, why do I find it so hard to be happy? I mean, I'm so grateful to God that this finally happened, but I don't know. It's like I've changed somehow.

As humans, we have a tendency to try and fill such voids of sadness with material things. (mine is shopping,) But it never works. The impact of shopping is only temporary and only serves as an band aid. The only real cure for these feelings of inadequacy and loneliness is a closer walk with Jesus Christ. This involves being honest with oneself and admitting your true feelings. That's the part I have trouble with some times because I have a habit of dismissing them until it's too late.

Anyway, it's been a lot like that lately for me. For that reason, I was surprised when I went to church and I got emotional. The worship team at my church followed a new arraignment to a classic hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul". I have included the YouTube link here:

Friday, November 12, 2010

How you look, according to God

Welcome back~

I think this video says it all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Dentist

Hey Guys~

As I will be (or have been already since I'm writing this post a little later) to the dentist, I thought my readers might appreciate this website link. This website clearly explains why children with CP have a hard time at the dentist since they have a tendency to move around in an effort to try and relax their muscles.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Being Thankful

Dear Readers,

This week has been an easy one for me; yet, I have trouble being thankful. Here I am, coming off the greatest accomplishment of my life in a couple of years and I don't feel anything. ( For those that are new readers, my latest accomplishment is being able to drive my wheelchair). Believe me, I am blessed and I know it-logically. But I'm just not feeling it. It's frustrating, because I see my friends having a lot more struggles and difficulties. But they're dealing with it with grace and peace.
Why can't I be like that? What's holding me back? That's the question I keep asking myself.

Friday, November 5, 2010

D Day

Welcome back~

I reached another milestone today-I am driving my wheelchair again! Not without a few adjustments of course. The doul is back doing its job, keeping my arm in line with the joystick. The joystick was repositioned on the inside of my armrest so that I don't have to stretch out so far. Everyone is ecstatic though, with the progress I've made thus far. But it feels good.. I still need some practice with my right turns though: it seems like going out is much easier than going in with my arms these days

Pics to follow soon

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Real Monday Post

Since my last post was that of a personal nature, I don't really think it qualifies for my disability entry for the day. But this certainly does. I first became aware of the story because I happened to be watching Dr. Phil today. It involves the father of a 12-year-old girl getting arrested for defending her against bullies. Granted, a father should go through the appropriate channels (like the school, authorities) but from what I understand he didn't get results.. For more information, I have included the article below.

On the one hand, I applaud the father for defending his daughter. But he took it way too far and even he acknowledges that.


Personal reflection: two steps forward, one step back

Dear Readers & Friends:

It's been approximately three months since my surgery: since then, I have seen positive outcomes of my left arm. (an increase my range as well as beginning to to using my joystick) Lately, though, I can't help but feel my progress is slowing. Not only do I have what feels like electric pulses going through my arm on a daily basis, but it has become increasingly difficult for me to wear my night splint at night. But still, I persevere. Doctors told me to expect that eventually my arm would want to return to their original position, I can only assume that's what's my muscles are trying to accomplish. I know I probably have nothing to worry about since I'm going to therapy and doing practically everything I'm told and more..

I've come so far and I don't want to think about going back. It's just hard feeling things you haven't been accustomed to and not knowing what they mean. Either way, I will bring it up with the OT when I see her on Wednesday.

Until then please keep me in your prayers.


PS. I'm sorry if I worried any of my readers by writing this, but I just needed to get my feelings off my chest. Acknowledge them and I hoped that I would feel better
It's just weird, when you know your arm didn't feel like this at the beginning

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Wisdom of the Christian Youth

Welcome back~

In preparing for today's post, I came across the blog of a 16-year-old girl named Maddie. Her writings really speak of her commitment to Jesus as well as sharing her testimony with others. Her story reminded me of the verse in 1st Timothy 4: 12. It states, " Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

You can follow her journey of growth here:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Encouragement: A Different Way Of Looking at Therapy

So as most of you know, I have been going to occupational therapy two times a week over the last couple of months . I have documented my progress in my previous posts. But today, I would like you to join me as I look at my therapy in a different way. I've often heard PT and OT referred to as the "lemonade factory"-a place they turn "lemons" (a negative situation) into "lemonade" (something positive). This can be something as simple as a change of perspective to receiving a positive outcome in therapy.

I have been reminded of this several times throughout my own experience in OT. Not only that, but in one of my favorite episodes of Highway to Heaven entitled "A Fresh Batch Of Lemonade" starring Ken Olandt and Bart Conner along with others. In this episode, baseball hopeful (Ken) dreams are dashed when he is paralyzed in a car accident. As a result, he has trouble adjusting to his new life as a disabled person. But his friends show that there is life beyond his disability. I have included two of my favorite clips below. The first being, the people should never use their disability as a crutch for not achieving their dreams.

the second one is one that I also refer to in the previous posts about making yourself a promise and keeping it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Music and CP aren't supposed to mix, but don't tell Chris Hendrick or my friend that.


So I'm caught up with my blog post and I was searching through my website list and came across this article. It's quite interesting, really, because most people don't equate music and CP going well together because of the usual speech impairments that go along with the disability. But don't tell guitarist Chris Hendrick that.

Take a look

Or for that matter, don't tell my friend Lauren that who is a speech pathologist as well as a music minor back in college

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Encouragement:10 Min. Interview with Joni Eareckson Tada regarding Her New Book on Suffering

Welcome back,

My apologies for not posting this link sooner. If you follow Joni Eareckson Tada, you may have heard about her recent experience of Breast Cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and is doing well. In response to the experience, she wrote yet another book on suffering. You can read her 10 min. interview on the book here:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Karen Kingsbury Live Webcast to Spread the Word about Autism


I have been meaning to write a blog post about this for a while ago. There has been much buzz about Karen Kingsbury's latest book "Unlocked" and it's focus on autism. So much so, that she has created a webcast providing new insight into the disorder and giving it a face behind the name, by sharing personal stories of those who have autism. I have included the part one below. The rest can be found by searching the name of "Karen Kingsbury" in YouTube.

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Update on therapy

Hey Guys~

It just occurred to me that I haven't updated you on my therapy adventures in the last several weeks. I am slowly making progress, gaining several degrees in my arm by stretching with the help of dry heat.. I have continued to use my original purple splint during the day to mainain my wrist extension. Here is a picture of what it looks like:

In terms of nightwear, I adorn a specially molded brace out of plastic that keeps my arm stretched out. his is supposed to allow the muscles to get used to being pullled out and stretched, that eventually they will stay that way. With this kind of daily wear, the muscles are less likely to fight against the brace and learn to be that way. It is a slow and gradual process, but I have already seen an increase in the amount of degrees my arm can be stretched out without pain. Keep in mind, this is the second time my brace has been refitted to the new position.

As I have reported in earlier posts, the night brace causes occasional discomfort waking me up
with muscle cramps in my arm. This is because it tightens and releases.

Many of you may be asking yourselves, "What Is The Deal with The Ring? To answer the obvious question, no I'm not engaged. The ring was a present from my parents, in anticipation of all the hard work I was going to have to go through with the surgery. It also provides a constant reminder to me of why I did the surgery

1) to make myself more approachable to both men and women. I realize people often looked at and didn't know what to think. Can she talk? Is she mentally there? This way, my appearance is a little more less threatening and welcoming. They know they can shake my hand now.
2) to remind me that there may in fact be, a man out there waiting for me.
3) to remind me of God and his promises for my future. Whatever may come. Also, to remind me how far I have come in my life.

Here is another pic

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

True for My Reflections: Expectations of the 20th Century Woman


So I've covered this subject many times before, for some reason though, the subject has been on my heart this week. Like most of my friends, I continue to struggle finding my place in this world. After all, I am thirty years old. I should be settled by now, right? Independent, working and let's not forget, married. These are the typical expectations of every young woman in today's society.

It's sad but true. These expectations send the wrong message to young women who are still trying to find themselves; they can also lead single women to question the way that they experience life. I'll be honest when I say I feel totally inept as I see my friends (those that are married or about to be) experiencing the trials and tribulations of real-life. What can I say to them? Nothing. My words won't do it justice. Because I haven't experienced it myself... At least that's what society puts in our heads.

And sometimes, we as 20 century women, believe it! This is just one of the storylines that Karen Kingsbury focuses on in her Above the Line series.

There's no denying the frustration that comes with watching your friends and family achieve their goals so easily. But don't forget, it's not as important that you experience life, only that you hold yourself to God's standards, remembering that he is controlling your comings and goings. In his timing, if it be His will, you may meet your future husband. Some may not, but that doesn't mean you are not worthy. It just means that you are prepared to do God's work as a single woman. After all, the Bible does not say "All women should wed", it says instead that "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (I Corinthians 7:8-9)

Friday, October 8, 2010

"After the Fall" premieres on Hallmark Movie Channel


So I was flipping through the channels this week and came across a interesting original movie the will premiere on Saturday. Unfortunately, though, the movie is only available to those people that receive the Hallmark Movie Channel. I am going the movie will premiere on the Hallmark Channel itself soon because it looks like a great movie. "After The Fall" tells the harrowing story of a show jumper's struggle to get back into the ring after a tragic accident that caused her paralysis.

See the following website for more information:


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Encouragement: Karen Kingsbury's new book,"Unlocked"

Hey Guys,

So as many of you know, I am a big fan of Karen Kingsbury. She has a way of shedding light on the everyday struggles of Christian people trying to make a difference in today's society. She tackles the tough issues, like balancing faith in the work place, following your passion but knowing when to stand up for yourself as well as those around you etc. Her writings are entertaining, yet they really make you think. Her newest book "Unlocked" is no different; it features a topic near and dear to my heart, disability (more specifically autism). The following YouTube video gives you a sneak peak at the storyline, the music by the way is provided by Karen's son and will be available on a CD entitled "Songs that inspire Karen Kingsbury" on November 22. This book looks like there will be a good one!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Transportation Woes

Welcome Back~

Living in Virginia, I have encountered some small problems regarding public transportation and accessibility. Not only is it a hard to find door to door service, but I am limited by the bus routes and city limits. Several months ago, I was talking to a friend regarding bus trainers where she lives. These are individuals who travel with you, teaching you the in and outs of the bus system. I found the idea quite compelling and so I did some research. Here is another article regarding bus trainers.. I don't know how easy they are to find or whether they're available in all areas.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Encouragement : Another song of the day

Dear Friends,

Over the past few weeks, I have learned a lot about perseverance and what a true commitment to God really looks like. Recently, my church did a sermon that caused me to re-examine the direction my life was going: the sermon was entitled "Recalculating" using the metaphor of a GPS as its focus. The main question, if memory serves, was something as follows: What will people remember about you 10 years after your death? That question really sinks to the bottom of the issue, who are you living for and does it in fact show in the markings of your daily life?

My dad has more notes written on the sermon, but that's all I could remember from memory. Still, it really makes someone wonder.. If I am truly the Christian I say I am, am I truly using the gifts to give God the glory in my life?

I'll be honest, it's hard to answer yes to that question all the time . But remember God is controlling all the events of the day and he prepared works for his faithful to do. That being said, I was reminded of an old gospel song by Steve Green "He who began a good work in you" based on scriptures (Philippians 1:6) and I thought I would pass this along.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Motivational Speaking: Another Career Option for Me!


Over the last couple weeks, my struggle in search for therapy has come to an end; in reality, it's more like two weeks since I'm writing this post early October. It took us going to another hospital, but the work has now begun. I'm now adjusting to a night splint which stretches my arm out in a extended position. I wear that brace primarily at night, although occasionally spasms wake me up from a sound sleep, so you can imagine I don't sleep well. Most recently, I have been told to start wearing my wrist brace as often as possible to prepare myself for using my joystick. My dad is going to replace the doul in my tray like I had in college so my arm will get used to being in that position again. So we're on our way, I guess.. But I can't help but wonder. Why can't I just stay positive like the rest of my family?

Anyway, I've always considered motivational speaking a second career alternative for me. If writing doesn't work out, then is. I want to inspire others to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their dreams. That being said, I've had this link for a while and it fits in perfectly with this idea. This kid's story is amazing!
Please check it out

Friday, September 24, 2010

America's Got Talent winner, Michael Grimm

In the midst of all this chaos, I just realized I forgot to announce the winner of America's Got Talent. I'll have to admit I was a little surprised by the outcome myself. But I can't help but think his background story had something to do with it. Either way, both Jackie E. and him are sure to get contracts. Still, I'm happy that he was able to finally propose to his girlfriend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hello everyone,

My apologies for not keeping this website up to date on my surgery or up-to-date in general. It's been a very frustrating past few weeks as I have encountered some more health issues in this journey called life. Wheelchair users can probably understand my situation, sitting up in a chair for eight hours a day trying to get done and the problems that that may cause. Not to mention, the difficulty we are having trying to get me in for therapy one month AFTER my surgery! The hospital I normally would go to put me on a waiting list and we are still waiting. We are still looking into other hospital alternatives.

Meanwhile, I have seen increased use of the sites sides of my fingers: I am functioning well, but can't wait to get my arm feeling normal again with exercises and movement through therapy. Honestly, I don't know why it's taking this long to get me in anywhere. Oh well.. I know I should be grateful for this time, and I will probably be complaining after therapy begins.. But I just can't wait to see the full impact of the surgery.

Anyway, here is an encouraging article that I found a while back. It shows the kindness of strangers who believed that people with disabilities have the right to live a normal life, outside that of a nursing home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Karen Kingsbury's "Life-Changing Fiction" gets a makeover!

Welcome back~

Well, friends.. Like Dandelion Dust opens nationwide this Thursday. Based on the Karen Kingsbury's best-selling novel, this movie tells the story of one family's search for redemption and the dilemma of right and wrong. Which one will conquer all? For more information regarding the movie itself, it's rating or the book, please go to one of the following webpages:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday: Song of the Day


It's the weekend and I can't really think of anything to say to you guys. My healing is going well, but I am on the waiting list for therapy because the hospital has a lot of patients. That being said, I am left to my own devices when my parents using some of the old exercises until they call us. I have seen a lot of progress with me getting increasing use of my fingers back. But not like I used to- and my thumb is still numb. That being said, I thought these two songs were perfect to summarize the last few weeks of my journey.

The first song is Never Give up On Me by Josh Bates

The Second Song (I'm not sure if I posted this one already or not) is While I'm Waiting by John Walke

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Encouragement::Tennis proves once again its heart over dominance with wheelchair bound champion Esther

Hey Guys,
I found this article yesterday via Top AOL articles; I think it fits the category of "encouragement" will, don't you?

Please take a look...

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Battle Wages On..

Hey Guys,

As I'm sure all of you know, this weekend marked the ninth anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers in New York City. For many of us, this tragedy is an outward symbol of the ongoing struggle in this world. Every day, the news is plagued by some type of death and destruction, political imbalance or neighborhood tragedy. At first glance, these subjects may have nothing in common; but they only could mean one thing. In the midst of all this chaos, it is obvious that people are searching... for answers, for purpose, and for God.

A closer look at Ephesians 6 not only acknowledges the physical tensions going on today, but focuses our attention on the spiritual battle going on in the human soul. According to the King James version, it reads as follows: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. "

These are scary words for anyone, including Christians. That is, until we remember the assurance of God in our lives. It comes in remembering the solid foundation of God's promises for all who believe in him as well as living in the assurance of His Presence in Our Lives (Psalms 99:1). Too often, we get caught up in the things of this world and forget God's Power; after all, he is in control and protects His Children. Like Psalms 55: 22 lovingly reminds us to, we should "cast our cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall".
At some point, we all feel under attack- beaten down by our circumstances, persecuted for our beliefs, or simply disliked because we are different. In all of this, we have a choice to make. We can either let our struggles define us as a person or we can rise above them in order to find the lesson. Who knows we might even find God in the midst of it all!

I certainly felt this way this week...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Getting Back to the Basics

Dear Friends,

This video seems like an appropriate way to summarize my journey towards recovery. A week after my surgery, the splint came off as well as the stitches. A first, my pain was managed by a doctor's prescription of oxycodone and Valium for the spasms. Thankfully, though, I didn't have to take that for long because of the way it upset my stomach and such. I have a long way to go for sure with upcoming therapy and splinting to regain the use of my fingers and hand. But God has seen me this far, I have no reason to believe that he won't see it through its completion. Please forgive my sparse postings as I go through this difficult transition time in my life



Monday, August 23, 2010

Operation pictures



As you can see by the pictures above, the surgery was successful in straightening my left arm to about a 90° angle. Now what that means in terms of function and ability we don't know yet. We won't really know until we see the full results after taking off the cast in September.

I still have a long way to go on this road towards recovery and independence. In all my surgeries, it's never been this difficult- with the pain, nausea and doubt. But God has seen me through it all, just as he has many times before. I have such wonderful family and friends that have stayed committed to me throughout the process with flowers, prayers and care.

With my upcoming months of therapy, I am still quite unsure about the process. But I am trying to remind myself who's ULTIMATELY in control. It's a hard thing, believe me

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Encouragement: Connor Doren Revisited

Two days to go until my surgery.. There's nothing left to say but it's in the Lord 's hands. I just need to believe in his mercy and his plan for my life.

As I am coping with the upcoming surgery, I am speechless and nervous. That being said, I thought this clip appropriate.On Tuesday's wild-card version of America's Got Talent, I was pleasantly surprised when Howie Mandel brought back one of my favorites, Connor Doren. I had previously featured Connor in one of my blog post because of his unique talent of indoor kite flying. He is back, and his recent kite flying edition to the music of "Raise Me Up" has won him a place in the semi finals.

As for Friday's post, I'm not sure whether I'm going to be up and around writing. So in case I don't see you, we'll catch up Monday!

Pray for me and God bless you,


Monday, August 16, 2010

Letters to God

The movie "Letters to God" served as one of the many interesting distractions I've experienced this last weekend. Inspired by Tyler Doherty's lifelong battle with a brain tumor, this movie shows how one boy's has the power to change lives. In the clip above, Tanner Maguire (who plays Tyler) writes letters to God in an effort to make sense of the cancer and its impact on his family. He sees God as his personal penpal, someone with whom he can share his deepest feelings without fear of rejection. His letter serve as prayers not only for himself, but others in the community.

So how do you go about mailing letters to God? That's the question for mail carrier, Brady (played by Jeffrey S. Johnson). At first, Brady thinks about just passing them off to the local clergy and letting them handle it. But after talking to a pastor, he has a change of heart.

"You know, it seems to me that God put these letters into your hands for a reason; so maybe you should hold on to them!" The preacher says, continuing by asking Brady if he could pray for him.

In the end, Brady develops a strong connection with the Doherty family as they starts to discover the true meaning of faith and positivity in life no matter what the obstacles.

I'll be honest in saying the concept wears on you after a while. Just as the concept of writing letters to God does. After all, God can't write us back- at least not in the conventional sense. That's what makes praying so difficult. You have to believe that your prayers are being heard and then wait. Sometimes, the answers may come in the form of family and friends, technological as well as surgical advances, etc. Other times, though, the answers may not be as clear.

With my surgery coming up on Friday, I seem to be caught in the middle of my life. My future, my past, belief and doubt, certainty and uncertainty. From the very beginning, I wasn't keen on surgery and I can't help wondering whether I'm doing the right thing. I wonder if it's just because I'm afraid of what the future holds for me not just because of the surgery or everything involved with that, but because it could change my life. I've only known one way of life, using my left hand for practically everything. But retraining my brain, that's a whole different task. Not only that but I'm not as young as I used to be. I can be a little stubborn too. That being said, I can't help wondering what I gotten myself into.

On the other hand, my parents are positive I'm doing the right thing. That's what baffles me the most, they've got the peace I've been praying for. Shouldn't it be the other way around, I'm the one having the surgery? I'm the one whose life is going to be changed one way or another, with therapy, splints, etc. I've had surgeries before, so I don't know why this one scares me the most.

My apologies if this post took a negative turn, but that and more has laid on my heart lately.

But then again, my life isn't my own anymore.

It's God's, to do as He pleases.

God, I hope you were listening.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Guest post- Looking Back: Debbie and the Dragon

Debbie and the Dragon

[August 2010 This is a guest article by Debbie’s father; I am honored to be an invited contributor to Debbie’s blog and quite proud to be her dad.]

My daughter Debbie is an amazing young woman who has accomplished much. She continues to impress me with her strength of character and perseverance, rooted in her deep personal faith. She holds a BA degree and is now in the final stages of completing her first manuscript of a planned trilogy of novels on the growing faith of a young woman and her (disabled) boy friend. (Oops, hope I did not reveal too much of the plot!) She maintains an online blog with about 400 posts - all with the sole purpose of encouraging others by sharing her life experiences. This is quite an accomplishment for a 30-year old young woman with cerebral palsy (CP); her quadriplegia prevents her from using her body, and she cannot use her hands to type on a keyboard.

The Amazing Dragon

But this is where the friendly dragon enters the story. Beginning at the age of two, Debbie attended a United Cerebral Palsy school in Baltimore, MD and then a special education school until entering a mainstreamed elementary school in 1985. It was in 1988 that I first met this amazing dragon! At that time, Debbie was eight years old and I attended a Disability Expo in Baltimore; I watched in amazement as a lawyer with CP demonstrated a prototype voice dictation system called “Dragon” running on an early “souped up” personal computer. It was amazing to see a quadriplegic man dictating through a computer, and it gave me great hope for Debbie. The entire system was beyond our budget, but I knew the day would come when this technology could help Debbie. I dreamed of the day when she could begin using voice recognition to do schoolwork. In the meanwhile Debbie excelled in school and my wife and I were her dictation system – writing down the math and written assignments as she progressed in school. I continued to watch the literature, read every review of speech recognition software in the PC magazines, and tracked the company called Dragon Systems – looking forward to the day when its dictation software would become practical for Debbie. As Debbie studied in school, the pioneers of the emerging technology of speech recognition continued to work to make the technology available to the public.

In 1993 we moved to Michigan and Debbie entered a new Middle school; everyone around Debbie continued to take her dictation. It was in this period that the Intel Pentium chip was introduced and the “Dragon Dictate” speech recognition product and a powerful laptop computer was within our grasp! In October 1996, eight years after I first dreamed of Debbie being able to dictate to a computer, we traveled to Traverse City Michigan, to purchase a copy from the closest dealer and receive instructions. Debbie received an hour of personal training – we were off and running. She began dictating her homework alone right away - writing and even her math! Even more, she was able to control her PC and use more applications that were previously hidden from her. Dragon Dictate opened an entirely new world of exciting independence to her! I even hooked up some light controls and a room fan that she could turn on and off by voice command. This Dragon was bringing a world of encouragement. But there was more to come.

Debbie and her Faithful and Tireless Dragon

Debbie graduated from Saline High School in 1999, a member of the National Honor Society. In 2003 she graduated from Washtenaw Community College with honors, earning an Associates Degree. She proceeded on to Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI and used Dragon Dictate in the David Dormitory on her desktop computer to conduct research on the Web, write papers, and send e-mail and instant message with her friends. In those years, she was helped by a small “Army of Angels”- the battalion of wonderful and Godly young women from Concordia that drove her wheelchair to class, copied their notes for her, fed her in the dorm, turned the pages in her books, and much more. She graduated in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in communications and a minor in English. All of this was performed with the same copy of Dragon Dictate she purchased ten years earlier! Through the years we had diligently tried the newer, continuous-voice software versions (Dragon Naturally Speaking) but none could compete with the performance of her good old Dragon Dictate. But by 2008, as new Microsoft operating systems were introduced, we started having operating system conflicts, and we knew we could not live with Windows 98 forever. We kept trying new versions of Naturally Speaking and finally, in 2008 we got version Naturally Speaking 9.2 to work as well as the old Dragon! We were now ready for new operating systems!

The Dragon at Debbie’s House

Today, Debbie’s life revolves around this tireless technology pioneered by Dragon Systems. Debbie is at her desk from morning to bedtime, saying “Wake-up” and “Go to sleep” between endless conversations with the Dragon that is her faithful companion to open the Internet to her. She keeps up her blog, “Rollin into the Future”, which has now become an accumulation of hundreds of articles on disability-related subjects, including reviews of current news articles and TV programs on disabled people, and her inspirational commentary on the role of faith in living joyfully though physically disabled. She uses Skype to phone her friends, including a weekly Bible Study with her Concordia friends in the states and on the mission field, all controlled by the dragon. For a person that cannot use her hands, the faithful Dragon is a wonderful blessing – a technology that came at just the right time in life for a person like Debbie.
Debbie is just one of many disabled people who quietly, daily, rely on this companion – the Dragon. It transformed Debbie’s life and opened to her the ability to be an encouragement to others who are disabled and to tell them about her faith. As her father, I thank God for the technology that has opened the world to Debbie’s intellect – but more than being thankful for an inanimate technology, I am thankful for the pioneering technologists who made this wonderful Dragon possible!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Encouragement: Inspiration and its Origins


It's hard to believe I've written 389 post during the last four years. It's funny because I first began this project in the hopes of being a springboard towards employment and it's become so much more than that to me. Isn't that how God chooses to work miracles in our lives, though? This shows us that we are able to do more by His Power than that of our own will.

This topic has been the discussion of many religious dramas and television shows. Inspiration - what is it and where does it come from? Personally, I believe that no other show explains it better than Touched By an Angel in episode 100 entitled "Psalm 151". In the episode, the angels try to help uncover and grant the wishes of 10-year-old Petey who is dying of cystic fibrosis. One of them being that his mother (played by Wynonna) complete writing a song signifying that she would be able to provide for herself after his death.

I've provided the "inspiration" clip below. I found it on YouTube, thanks to a user Miss Wings. In short, Monica (the Angel of truth) tells Audrey that "God puts into your spirit things that couldn't come from your own mind."

In the end, Audrey completes the song and performs it for her son. The song "Testify To Love" was originally written by Avalon, but fits the storyline perfectly. We should look at everything in life as a opportunity to be "a witness in the silences when words are not enough". In that way, we are pointing others to Jesus.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lessons from Dallas

1 Peter 3: 15- " But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.."

Powerful words, right?

Imagine the impact these words would have if we actually acted on them

Last weekend, I had a chance to experience this impact in action as my parents and I traveled back to Ohio for the first Medina Baptist Church High School Bible class reunion. Stepping into the sanctuary, it was as if no time had passed between the group and you could feel the love of God in the room. They had gathered together to reminisce as well as show their appreciation for the one man whom God placed in their lives to share with them the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Dallas.. What can I say about a man I've only met once in my life? I can't say enough! Not only is he the humblest person I I've met in my life, but he gives God the credit for everything.I'm so grateful that he served as such a role model for my parents. Now I understand where the conviction for their faith stems from... I can only hope that kind of conviction stays intact throughout the decades.

I don't know about you but sometimes it's hard to give any answer in regards to our faith. Especially if it's something we've grown up believing all our lives. It's personal and uncomfortable when someone doubts who you are and what you believe at your very core. But it makes you think.

Just such an experience happened to me at the reunion. A fellow attendee noticed me sitting by myself as a group was taking a final picture. He must have seen me growing a little bored (I have a tendency to do that at reunions, I don't know why) and sat down to talk to me. I was prepared for the usual small talk (how are you? What are you doing these days?, That kind of thing)

"Do you feel like you have a personal relationship with Jesus? " Tom asked

In the midst of spewing verse after verse, I was taken aback. He was confident and unassuming when it came to matters of the heart. This has been the first time someone had asked me to give a testament to my faith and I couldn't do it (not to my satisfactory at least!) How could someone question my intentions when I was attending a Christian function?

After my conversation with Tom, I was a bit shaken and doubting my commitment to God. When you are confronted and forced to face the reality of your humanness, it can scare you to death. But that's when you have to remind yourself you're not in this alone. There comes a point where you have to ask God to carry you because you can't climb the stairs of life and perfection any further.

This is where God's commitment to us comes into play. Not only did he show his ultimate commitment and love for us by giving his life on the cross, but in reality he's the one that's holding onto us

Friday, August 6, 2010

Encouragement: Natalie Grant 's newest single "Human"


So I'm quite proud of myself. Not only did I possibly learn how to embed some videos into my website, but I'm not at quite far behind. Yesterday, because of thunderstorms I was unable to post my entry for the day. Anyway, I have been anxiously anticipating Natalie Grant's new song "human" to hit stores. I think the lyrics do better than I ever could in encouraging people to live everyday as if it were their last into make a difference wherever possible because you never know who you may end up influencing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

60 Minutes Segment

Welcome back~

The last couple weeks have brought crazy weather for Virginia, but we've been luckier than most people. So you can imagine my surprise when we had gorgeous weather this weekend. So gorgeous my father and I decided to take advantage of it and attend an annual summer festivity.

The Fair.
I don't know about you, but it's always been a staple for our family growing up. Granted, I wasn't able to enjoy the rides; Still, I laughed with glee watching as my mom struggled to win some kind of roller-ball game just so that I could receive an enormous stuffed animal. Sometimes, even, vendors would even see me in my wheelchair and give me one for free. Those were some good times!

Since moving here, we hadn't had any luck finding one. So you can imagine my surprise when dad came down with the brochure for the county fair. Coming into it, both of us didn't know what to expect, considering our previous experiences.

But this one was different.

The world's smallest fair, I like to call it.

It was located on the top of a small hill. There were about 25 - 30 vendors with hot dogs, hamburger, corn dogs and nachos. It also included several rides for the kids, as well as camel and horse rides.

You heard me right! Camel rides.

Long story short, this fair made me nostalgic for my youth. But hey, at least I got my funnel cake.

Anyway, that was my weekend. Now, on to today's post. I came across a television segment on 60 minutes featuring the topic of savants. More specifically, musical savants. It highlighted the talents of Derek Paravicina. Today, Derek is a 31-year-old gifted musician who travels the world reminding audiences that no disability is too great and you should never limit yourself.

According to 60 minutes, Derek was born three months premature and weighed only a pound and a half. This left him with a number of developmental delays as well as blindness. But nothing could have prepared his parents for the surprises ahead as he developed a fascination with his toy keyboard.

"My daughter suddenly sent to me one day'he's just playing one of the hymns we heard in church this morning" said Nic Paravicina

He was three at at the time.

In an effort to cultivate his skills, his parents arranged a interview with piano teacher Adam Ockerford. The interview didn't go quite as planned, however, because he bumped into the teacher in the middle of a lesson. Despite Derek's lack of technique, Adam sensed there was something special in the way he played "Don't Cry for Me Argentina". But how was he supposed to teach someone who could neither see the piano in front of him or hold even the simplest of conversations.

And so the journey began.

In the beginning, he couldn't understand why this man wanted to take control of his keyboard. When in reality, Adam just wanted them to repeat the scales or notes. Eventually, something changed.

"I think suddenly it clicked that he could have a conversation in sound. Suddenly, he just blossomed," said Ockelford

Finally, Derek began feeling connected with that outside world. Within three years of daily lessons, he was even asked to perform in front of an audience. It was there that Adam finally saw Derek's love for performing for the first time.

"When you are on a big stage, the applause hits you like a wave.. He was trembling with excitement and elation that people were reacting to him and his playing," he said. Even more remarkable is his ability to take a song, any song and change it to any style from ragtime to jazz. Or any key, for that matter.

As well as doing concerts and making CDs, Derek still loves connecting with people on a personal level. His recent experiences have brought him to nursing homes playing the piano for the elderly.

"He's like a musical jukebox," Adam says

As for his father who continues to be amazed by his son's accomplishments, he says "They say good comes out of bad and that's certainly true in Derek's case: without even knowing it, he's done more good than probably most of us will ever do!"

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Citation for TV program: 60 minutes. CBS Channel 9 WUSA, August 1, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Breakthrough with Tony Robbins


So another reality show hit the airwaves this week. Unlike most, the show doesn't provide its contestants with luxury suites or lavish prizes. Hosted by Tony Robbins, it is designed to give people the breakthroughs they need to overcome whatever challenges they may face in the future.

In the pilot, Robbins tries to assist the Alioto family and seeing a life beyond the confines of his wheelchair. From the very beginning, the couple thought their wedding would be the start of their happily ever after together. Instead, it turned into a nightmare when on the eve of their big day Frank dove into the swimming pool breaking his neck.

"When I see pictures of Frank and I, it doesn't even look like Frank and I. We don't even know them anymore," says Kirsten.

The process begins with the two traveling to Fiji in order to meet with Tony. Re-creating their story is only the first step to seeing their whole situation in a totally different light. Like on their wedding day, they took a leap of faith and the unfortunate happened, he wants them to take another leap of faith to take back their lives. In order to do that, they must first confront the real issues and find a new source of inner strength that lays a new foundation for their relationship. He may not be able to do the same things used to, but he can still support her as a husband

"Being able to provide Kirsten with an emotional shoulder to lean on was very powerful. It was very important for me to understand that I can still be there for her and provide her with strength," said Frank.

They must see themselves and their situation in a entirely different light. For Frank, he must look beyond the confines of his wheelchair and redefine what is possible. In other words, there are no limits except the ones he puts on himself. for his life, Kirsten must see Frank "free" again, doing something they never thought was possible. In an effort to illustrate this point, Tony asks the couple to skydive.

"What is the most terrifying moment of my life went to the most powerful. It was the freest I've since being told I was paralyzed," Frank says.

Kirsten agrees.

"It was a moment I'll never forget. He didn't feel that he had no legs,"

As part of the next step, Tony gives them both separate tasks to do over the next week. For Kirsten, this involves going to a spa and focusing on herself for once. On the other hand, Frank travels to Oceanside California for his next challenge, participating in a popular quadriplegic sport called "Murder Ball" (dodgeball in wheelchairs). By doing this, Tony hopes Frank will exceed his own expectations of what he can do and see what is possible as an individual. At the end up practicing for a week, Frank actually plays in a game with his family and friends watching.

On a personal note, although I may agree with the majority of this post and Tony's methods. There is one ingredient he seems to be missing. Jesus Christ. Unintended or intended, he relies on the "power" or "strength" of the human spirit to cause a breakthrough. In reality, it doesn't work like that. One must rely on God for a lasting and permanent change.
-- -- --
Citation for TV program: "Alioto " Breakthroughs with Tony Robbins . NBC Channel 4 WRC July 27, 2010.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Encouragement: For Such A Time As This

Now, all I have is now
To be faithful
To be holy
And to shine
Lighting up the darkness
Right now, I really have no choice
But to voice the truth to the nations
A generation looking for God

For such a time as this
I was placed upon the earth
To hear the voice of God
And do His will
Whatever it is
For such a time as this
For now and all the days He gives
I am here, I am here
And I am His
For such a time as this
You - Do you ever wonder why
Seems like the grass is always greener
Under everybody else's sky
But right here, right here for this time and place
You can live a mirror of His mercy
A forgiven image of grace
Repeat Chorus
Can't change what's happened till now
But we can change what will be
By living in holiness
That the world will see Jesus
Repeat Chorus
For some reason, the lyrics to Wayne Watson's "For Such A Time As This" came to mind this morning when I was thinking about what to write for the blog. As a society, it's hard to look around and not be disappointed with the direction America has taken.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a proud American and I will always be one. But there are some things that this country was once founded on that seem to be forgotten in the midst of becoming a "greater" America. As a result, our foundation and integrity is in question.
So where does this leave us?
I don't know about you, but it leaves me feeling inadequate sometimes. After all, I'm just one voice in the midst of a crowd. Why do this if no one chooses to listen?

But then, I'm reminded of the Touched By an Angel episode where I first heard the song. In the episode, the angels try to enlist the help of a senator and an effort to acknowledge the existence of slavery in the Sudan. While Sen. Cooper (played by Lindsay Crouse) is preoccupied with more "pressing" issues, her son takes an interest in the photos they gave the senator as proof. So much so, that he takes the photos to show and tell at his school. That in turn, causes an avalanche of support from his class raising money in an effort to "buy back" the people in the photos. Thomas takes particular interest in one child named Sam who reminds him in a strange way of his brother whom he never got to meet.
"I had a brother once. I never really knew him, but I miss him and I don't know this kid, but it's hard to explain, but I miss him too ! Tomas says to his class during show and tell.
In the end, the senator did go to the Sudan to see it for herself and "buy" back Sam.

What am I getting at? In truth, this post turned out to be quite the opposite of its original purpose. To remind you that on any given day, you have the unique opportunity to make a difference. But now I'm not quite sure if that even makes any sense to me!
-- --

Citation for TV program: "For Such A Time As This " Touched By an Angel. Hallmark Channel 240 HALL14 July 2010. Original air date: 9/26/1999

Monday, July 26, 2010

Disability carnival #67- Proud Voices

Welcome back~

So, it's been kind of hard for me to find my voice this week. I often find myself at a loss for words in regards to what is happening in the world today. In my family even. What could I say to heal the wounds or dry the tears of those around me? For that matter, how do I know it would make any difference?

That being said, I can only conclude that this is lack of sleep talking. Over the last couple days, I haven't really slept much. I guess You could say I have a lot on my mind with everything going on.

I'm passing this link on in the hope it will provide some direction to your day and you can learn something from it even if I don't want to comment on it. One post certainly struck me in the midst of my dark and dismal day. (Metaphorically)

In This Post, I was reminded where my true strength and confidence comes from.

But the other blog entries for the Carnival were good too!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Brave New World


So it's about that time again. It's Friday and I have to say I'm a little disappointed with how my week has gone. I had intended to spend the week writing on my book because my personal assistant is on vacation. But things have been the same since I arrived back from vacation. Creatively, that is. Still, I'm writing on here; that counts for something right?

Anyway, I was thinking about how much moving to Virginia changed my life. On the one hand, I was a success in Michigan. I had everything going for me there, my own apartment, a job, a great group of friends as well as living independently. But most of all, I was comfortable. In Virginia, the story is drastically different. I have struggled to assert my independence where I barely know anyone. It's been hard, but it caused me to grow in ways I never imagined.

A recent syndicated episode of Boy Meets World reminded me to be grateful of that. The episode was part of a two-part finale where Topanga and Cory struggle with their decision to move to New York after she is offered a internship. As always, Mr. Feeney is there to offer advice. I distinctly remember posting their dialogue in a previous post and now I can't find it. Maybe I need some fresh eyes of readers to look for with me. I will be very grateful because I have been looking for the post ever since the the episode re-aired today. It's really bugging me. Please help me find it.

In short, their dialogue consisted of Topanga being compared to that of the plant. She's comfortable where she is and always succeeded here at home. Because she knows nothing different.

Or if you can't find on my blog, please tell me where I can find it. Because I've searched everywhere.

I don't know if my explanation of the episode does it justice, but hey at least I tried

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Encouragement: A Helping Hand

Hey Guys,
This video clip was one of AOL's top articles for today. It features a young man with a rare disorder that caused his hands to not form properly finally getting a helping hand with the use of a new prosthetic. Take a look. It's amazing what technology can do these days.

Monday, July 19, 2010

True Beauty Finale


So I'm into reality shows as much as the next guy. True Beauty is no exception. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it takes physically beautiful people and puts them in everyday situations to see whether they will help people. The goal: to search for signs of inner beauty. The transformations these contestants go through our amazing, slow, as in life. In the end, there are told the premise of the show and see how wrong or right they reacted when they thought no one was watching them. Then, the gave a final plea as to why they should be named "the face" of Vegas.
Their pleas were quite moving and showed they each learned something from the experience.
But really?
Do we really need a television show telling us what we are doing right in life. That's what a conscience is for...
That's What Faith Is for!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Reflections: Then And Now

Welcome back ~

Accessibility and jobs are high on the list of people with disabilities today. Rightly so. We have a long way to go when it comes the high standards set forth by the United States of America. But really, look at how far we've come in such a short time. It was not too long ago that we had to wait for specific buses to get us from place to place. Now virtually all forms of transportation are handicapped accessible, allowing us to not be "segregated" as a group. (I use the term loosely, mind you.) From the start, it hasn't been easy getting what we needed to become independent and self-sufficient citizens. But it should make us grateful for what we have knowing what we had to go through to get it.

I was reminded of this fact when I watched yet another syndicated episode of Highway to Heaven. The episode was entitled "Squeaky Wheel" and deals with a disabled veteran's struggle to work. After several weeks of being late to job (because the lift broke on the bus and they had to send for another), Wayne Secrest gets fired. The sparks a whole new journey for the couple when they cross paths with Mark and Jonathan. As part of their assignment, they get Wayne involved with their disability awareness group for the advancement of the handicapped. For example, he goes to the reopening of an old business to protest the lack of the handicapped access. As a result, the owner of the company is impressed and offers him a job in public relations.

In the end, Wayne is given the Man of the Year Award and says some inspirational remarks. In part, he says, "There is no question that throughout our lives we are continually learning new lessons. We have to in order to grow as human beings. That's why we have to go out and teach, never stop teaching making each other aware of of the special needs and problems of handicapped people. How else can we learn unless we know? Give us a chance to get to work and we'll do the job, give us a chance to be part of the world and we'll make it a better world."

Another quote that hit me was this , "I learned that your manhood isn't measured by your legs, it's not your ability to stand tall and face a fight.. your manhood- your humanness is in the mind, it's in the heart, it's in the soul!"
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Citation for TV program: "The Squeaky Wheel " Highway to Heaven. Gospel Music Channel 224 GMC, 22nd June 2010. Original air date: June 16, 1989

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Encouragement: Driven To Succeed


So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Partly due to today's events and the path my life is on right now. What's the meaning of success? I mean, really? Is it money? Power? Fame? Influence? Or is it simply living your own dream and doing something to make a difference in this world.

That's my definition of success and many people would agree with me. But don't take my word for it. On a recent syndicated episode of Dr. Phil called " Driven To Succeed" he explores what it takes to succeed in today's world. Among the guests was Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans saints. At a time where New Orleans was trying to rebuild itself after a natural disaster, Payton and his team served as a source of hope to the community. Another guest points out questions her granddaughter's involvement in sports. He says this is where a lot of balance comes into play.

"A lot of it is driven by her [the granddaughter]," Payton says.

A problem surfaces when it comes a parent's dream for their child to succeed in something . When that happens, the children sometimes feel forced into accomplishing the parents' dream instead of their own.

But it was the story of Brett's story that really intrigued me most of all. He was born with the rare condition that caused his arms do not form properly. But has that stopped him from living his life? No way. Growing up, he participated on basketball and football teams. His long-term goal being that he wants to play college football.

"I'm driven to succeed because I don't like people looking down on me. I know what it feels like to have people look down on me when I was younger," he says.

Does he view his disability as a excuse?

"I was born this way so I never knew any different. So I always just jumped in," says Brett.

Food for thought.

-- --
Citation for TV program: "Driven To Succeed "Fox 5 Channel 5 WTTG 13 July 2010 (original air date:9/16/2002)

Monday, July 12, 2010

This seems appropriate..

Dear readers,

I'm home. After two weeks of not blogging, it's nice to be back and have a place to voice my thoughts. These past couple of weeks have been filled with thought-provoking memories and adventures; some of which are personal and some which I will share in the coming weeks. For now though, I thought this website was appropriate. It provides travel tips and information for people with disabilities

Until Next Time,


Friday, July 2, 2010

An Athlete's Journey

Hey all~

So I'm thinking about taking a break from blogging over the next few weeks. This summer is just beginning I'm already bogged down with things that need to be accomplished. It's about time I learn to enjoy things again, like reading books or spending time with family. I have come to the realization that I've put too much pressure on myself. With the surgery coming up, I want to use my time wisely..

That being said, I may be back writing sometime next week. Until then, I thought it was appreciate this article. It's yet another example that anything is possible if you work hard enough. Http://

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Encouragement: The Lighter Side of CP


So it's come to my attention that I've been way too serious on my blog lately. Yes, having a disability can be difficult; it's how you deal with those difficulties that shows what you're made of. Check out Zach Anner to see what I mean..

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Adventures of Living Independently

Welcome Back ,

I've often highlighted the positives of living independently on this blog.. Not only because it teaches you to be grateful for your abilities, but because it teaches one to be resourceful. This is especially helpful when adapting your surroundings (i.e. home, work) because not all places are disability friendly.

Besides that, there are other incentives to living on your own as well. It can develop character and perseverance in no other way situations can.

But don't take my word for it. Join Jennifer as she encounters the "Adventures Of Living Independently"

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hey Folks ~
So, it's Friday again and I'm gearing up for my two-week adventure with my family. We will be renting a cabin and reminiscing about the good old times. Maybe seeing a few friends along the way! For that reason, I am feeling quite nostalgic today.
I was sorting through e-mails of disability alerts when I was reminded of my early days at the Del Ray Center. This center provided information and schooling for those with disabilities and their parents. It was there that I found my voice and developed my social skills. My favorite game was when all my friends would pretend to be asleep until someone would say the magic words.. "wake up"
Sounds silly, I know; but looking back that request sort of prepared me for what I am doing today- using my words to reach others through the computer all with the power of my voice!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

America's got talent auditions feature a range of disabilities

Hey Guys,

Summer is here and America's Got Talent is back on NBC. As always, the show features a variety of acts ranging from singing to acrobatics. People who audition come from all walks of life. This year, there have been a number of acts that have inspired audiences to look beyond their situation and see their talent. For example, there was one music group of Haitians hoped to pursue their passion while providing financial support in a effort to rebuild their city after the earthquake in Haiti.

In another case, a teenager with epilepsy uses his love for indoor kite flying. The momentum from his movement causes the kite to take flight.

My Absolute favorite were sisters Ali and Christina, who along with their two other siblings have cystic fibrosis

I hope you enjoy these clips as much as I did.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, June 18, 2010

Unbeaten Documentary


A fellow reader passed along this link that chronicles the lives of 31 wheelchair athletes that have used their disabilities as a way to accomplish their dreams. Take a look! The first link is a short summary of the documentary while the YouTube video actually gives you a preview..

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Camp Fire

Welcome back~

I know. It's been a while since I last posted here, even though I'm writing belated posts now. These last two weeks have given me time to think and relax. Granted, I'm no better off than I was before I left. But at least, I'm enjoying my summer. I even have gotten into the habit of reading again, I'm hoping when I read it will assist me as a sort of therapy by restoring my confidence in God and jumpstarting my writing personally. In a strange way, Karen Kingsbury's books have that affect on me; it is after all "life- changing fiction" as publicized.

Anyway, I haven't forgotten about finishing my book review of I am potential. It's just that things have gotten busy and I don't feel like sitting listening to a audio book. Also, I have difficulty figuring out where I left off and what I want to add to the book review posts. That's the problem with book reviews, they're totally subjective based on one person's point of view.

Still, I thought I would post something anyway for "Encouragement day". I may not be feeling the best in terms of my faith and the upcoming events in my life. But God will never leave me or forsake me. That's what I was reminded of in a Joni Eareckson Tada devotional that I saved for just such an occasion. I thought I would share with you here. Keep in mind, though, that this is only a paraphrase of what is written on the June 3, 2010 devotional in her new book, More Precious Than Silver.

In the devotional, she begins by telling us about one of her favorite pastimes, camping. Like most of us, she enjoys waking up to the smells of bacon and eggs. They are cooked by her husband, of course over a fire ignited by wood and kindle. But if we don't watch it careful enough, the fire can go out. Still, Joni watches in amazement as Ken "nurtures it with dry grass and leaves until it's roaring once again.  It seems that no matter how small the spark or how dim the flicker, Ken can bring a fire back to life"

It's the same way with our faith...

She reminds us that even in our bleakest of moments, hope and faith can be revived by simply being obedient to God and his will for our lives. She says, "Sometimes the spark may be small, but if there is the tiniest ember, the slightest hint of obedience in our Christian life, it's not too late to be revived."

After all for those that are Christians, they are a new creation -set apart for God's unique purpose. We have been given all we need to lead a happy and fulfilling life by shedding light and knowledge to what's really important in this life. But most importantly, we have been a new heart, one that is focused on a heavenly goal.

In the end, Joni's advice to readers is as follows:

"How about you? Do you feel the ashes smoldering, even if faintly? Do you sense life within, even if feeble? Nurture it. Gently fan the spark - follow through on the nudge to obey, spend a little time in prayer, revive yourself in God's .  Don't neglect the grace, the heart, and the new nature God has given you.  Poke around and get the fire of the Spirit going in your life."

That's about it. In case you were wondering, the main verse for this devotional was 2 Timothy 1:6

Monday, June 14, 2010



According to Webster dictionary, expecting something refers to the heightened "state of anticipation" for things yet to occur. These are the typically high standards we impose on ourselves and our daily way of life in America today. But is having expectations for something good for us in the long run?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Mostly because of my upcoming surgery. Granted, I haven't scheduled anything to date, but I think it's my last option. I've gone through Botox, extensive therapy, seen a lot of specialist and the answers always are the same; surgery. Doctors keep telling me, "it's going to get worse if you don't do anything about it" or "the surgery will be help you in the long run." But why is it so hard to believe them?

Have I simply lost faith in God's Power to work miracles? Or am I setting myself up for failure? Being realistic? What?

As you can see, I'm definitely struggling. By writing this article, I have helped to bring some clarity to the whole situation. But I'm still confused. I had all of these opinions about expectations, but they all went out the window when sat down to write this

Thanks for reading anyway,


Friday, June 11, 2010

Disability or not?

Hey guys,

Like most bloggers, I often wonder whether I'm focusing on the right things when I'm writing in this blog . Over the years, I've done my best to focus on the positive aspects this life has to offer.

It's difficult though. Not to get bogged down with a disability and lose focus. Here are the thoughts from the "Differently Abled" Blog whose author had returned, seeing a new perspective in life.

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