Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: December 12

Hi ya'll! It's super late for me to be starting this blog post (It's 8:43pm on Tuesday), so we'll see how much I write tonight, but it is Tuesday, so I feel compelled to write - ha! It's December 12, which means Christmas is in FULL GEAR!! I just got home from having dinner at my brother and sister-in-law, Stanton and Aubrey's house. The whole family (minus a brother and a niece) were there. I love these gatherings!! I love the Christmas season. It's full of joy.

This past week has been good! No falls - yay. There was some confidence building too - always good! It's not perfect, but, I'm blessed. I'm thankful that the Lord allows me to see how blessed I truly am.

Yesterday, I did something I haven't done in years. Seriously, I think the last time I did it I was a teen and I certainly haven't done it since I've had issues walking. I bowled. I was terrifically horrible at it, but I did it! And the best part - I didn't fall!! I was slow walking up and back, but I didn't fall!!! My department at work had our Christmas party yesterday at this place called the Main Event where there was bowling. So, I bowled and it was awesome. I didn't even care that I lost miserably!!! That "56" score in the picture below is me. Oh well! It was still fun! After I bowled, I played Skee Ball and arcade games and I threw basketballs. I was fiercely competitive in playing air hockey. I had fun. I did steer away from Laser Tag and the Ropes Course, but baby steps, right?! I built up a sweat.

I've seen subtle improvements in my walking, but I'm still praying for a miracle. God can do anything. He makes the blind see and the deaf hear. He makes the lame leap. (Yes, my favorite Christmas song is, "Mary Did You Know?" and yes, those words come from it!) So, yes, I pray for a miracle. Some may laugh at that, but that's fine. I know that God can do anything. And even if He wants me to remain how I am today, I'll be OK. I do know one thing: He hasn't gotten me this far along to just abandon me. There's always a lesson to be learned in everything that happens in life. We all have our "stuff" to deal with. I'm learning (and this will probably be a life long lesson!) that I can't just let life pass me by. If I don't seize the moment, it'll be gone. So, while there will still be days when I just want to lay in bed, I need to seize opportunities to live life to the fullest despite any limitations I have. I'm preaching to myself as I write these words. I'll need to come back and read them when life seems completely overwhelming. I'm fearful of a great deal of things. If you know me well, you know this. But what is there to fear, but fear itself? I know the CREATOR OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE. Why do I fear?! Because I'm human and sinful, that's why. But God is greater than any fear. I must step out on faith (both literally and figuratively).

I hope each and everyone of you is having a wonderful Christmas season. Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with me. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for praying for me. There have been so many times that I don't know what to pray for. I feel like a broken record. It's in those times that I am so thankful for people "standing in the gap" for me and praying for me. I hope that in some small way, I can show the world God's love as you have shown it to me.

I know that God's timing is perfect, so I wait. I know in all things that God's Got This!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: December 5

Perseverance and Patience.
Calmness and Courage.
Four things I long for; four things I fail at daily!
But it’s OK, because God’s growing me in these areas.

Last Thursday, November 30, I had my appointment with Dr. Tolleson (my neurologist) and he programmed a new frequency in my deep brain stimulation device. Now it’s a game of waiting and testing – perseverance and patience!! I told a co-worker, it was fun at first – this testing different levels of electricity, but now I just want it to work!

The appointment went well. I had to laugh to myself though when the nurse wanted to take my blood pressure. It’s always so high because I stress about getting to appointments on time and I just have a lot of adrenaline running through me. You’d think that after all the doctor visits I’ve been to, I wouldn’t get anxious or worried, but that’s just not the case. Anyway, I told her, “It’s going to be high.” So she decided to wait on taking it and did other things first. It worked!! When she did take it, it was 112 over 58. See, I knew if I had a few minutes just to calm down, it would affect my blood pressure! ;) CALMNESS!

Dr. Tolleson wanted to see me walk. I don’t like this part. For those that see me every day and those that know me really well, you know that I don’t like people watching me walk. I get very self-conscience about it. I know, I know. The whole purpose of me seeing a neurologist in the first place is because I can't walk right. He can’t help me if he can’t see me walk, but it still doesn’t make walking for him (or anyone else) any easier! So I walked for him. He observed that I walk on the outside of my feet. As I was walking, I ran into (not literally!), my old neurologist, Dr. LeForce. Talk about a little awkward. Dr. LeForce is awesome. I loved him as a neurologist, but since my DBS neurologist (Dr. Tolleson) moved to Knoxville and both of them joined the same practice, I had to choose who I’d see. I chose Dr. Tolleson because he can adjust all my settings. Dr. LeForce was great about that though as he was when we “ran into” each other on Thursday. He asked how I was doing and said I looked great (I think all doctor’s are trained to say that, right?!). Then Dr. Tolleson exclaimed, “Oh, right! I totally forgot that you sent her to us in Nashville!” After we talked with Dr. LeForce a little longer, Dr. Tolleson wanted me to walk again for him one more time. As I began, he said, “Now, walk normally.” I burst out laughing and gave him a little eye roll as I turned toward him and exclaimed, “Seriously?!” He started laughing himself when he realized what he had said and exclaimed, “Well, you know what I mean!” A little laughter does the soul good! I told Dr. Tolleson that I feel more comfortable when I walk where I know there’s something to grab ahold of then I do in wide open spaces. I’m extremely stubborn though and won’t use any assistive devices (outside of the DBS) like a walker or cane. He smirked at that, but didn’t tell me I should use them. He said (as he previously had said) that the toe surgery I had definitely set me back. I knew that, but I’m hopeful that it will help in the future.

What I love so much about Dr. Tolleson is that he and I want the same thing: perfection. I know that perfection is unattainable on this earth, but I still want as close as possible to it as I can get. He wants the same thing. We are both type A. He was asking me how walking had been and I said it was OK. He finished my sentence when I said, it’s OK, but I want and he chimed in, “perfection”. When will I ever be satisfied with just OK? Probably never!

Dr. Tolleson was a little surprised that I hadn’t tried Frequency D. I left the frequency as he had set it the last time I saw him which was Frequency B. I admitted that there was a part of me that was afraid to change it. I knew on Frequency B that I could at least get around with minimal to no falls, even if it wasn’t really the way I want to or need to walk. My fear was that if I turned to Frequency D and it didn’t work that when I turned it back to B I’d have to wait at least another two weeks for my body to adjust to it again and there was really only one month between my appointments. So, basically, fear got the best of me in that situation. I did fall twice within a month, but that’s a better record than I’ve had before.

Dr. T. checked all my “leads” to make sure everything was working perfectly. I joked with him that by the time we found the frequency that works for me it would be time to change the battery in the DBS device (it usually has to be changed every 5 years give-or-take as that is its lifespan). He smiled and I said, “that’s usually my luck – I’m just warning you!” At one point while he was programming, he said to let him know if I felt any shocks. I thought he was joking at first, but then he asked if I was seeing any bright lights. I said I wasn’t and wanted to know why he asked me. He said he was right by my optic nerve. Those sorts of things snap me back to reality that yes, indeed he is playing with my brain. He tried one frequency that made my chest feel tight. I think it was just because that’s where the battery for the device is located, but it freaked me out a little. He backed off of that frequency. I asked if anything he did could make me hallucinate. I quickly said, “I’m not hallucinating right now, I just want to know if that's a possibility.” He reassured me that nothing he did could cause hallucinations – whew!

During the appointment, Dr. Tolleson asked if I’d ever had Botox. My answer was yes. The very first neurologist I ever went to told me I had cerebral palsy and said he could fix me right up with Botox. He was astonished that I had no improvement every time I came back to him. He would inject it into different muscles, but nothing ever happened. After months of this, he finally had me get a blood test which revealed I had an antibody towards Botox. It wasn’t until years later when I went to the Mayo Clinic that doctors there told me that he probably caused me to build up an antibody to the Botox by injecting me so much with it. They tried a different strand of Botox, but got the same results: NOTHING. For some reason, Botox doesn’t work for me. Oh well.

I told Dr. Tolleson that when I’m nervous, anxious or excited my dystonia symptoms get worse. He confirmed that that will happen. UGH. If I’m relaxed, I walk so much better.

Dr. Tolleson programmed a new frequency: A and by the time I left, I was already seeing some improvement. As I started to walk down the hall to check-out, Dr. Tolleson asked how it felt and I said that I was just about to tell him that I could see some difference. He smiled and said “fingers crossed”. I’m cautiously optimistic. He says it’ll take at least two weeks to see any real improvement.

So, I patiently persevere while calmly having courage. Wait, who am I kidding? I'm nowhere near that – yet! I’m thankful that I have a God who loves me is spite of my whining and complaining - in spite of me being the opposite of calm or courageous. So I wait and pray and have hope that there WILL be much improvement.

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” Job 42:2 NIV

God’s Got This!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: November 28

This last week was such a fun week! The whole family (which includes, my mom and dad, myself, my three brothers, 2 sister-in-laws and 2 nieces) was together for Thanksgiving and it was absolutely beautiful.

Now that it's aired (and if you're Facebook friends with me, you saw me post about it), I can finally reveal that Mom and I were part of the studio audience at a taping of "Pickler & Ben" in Nashville. The taping occurred back on November 7 and our episode aired (at least here locally) on Wednesday, November 22 at 3pm. The most amazing thing happened too. Normally, I wouldn't have gotten to see it since I'm at work, but since it was the day before Thanksgiving, work let out at 2pm, so I had time to prepare for watching it. We had a "viewing party" at my parent's house consisting of myself, my mom, my brother, Steven, and my dad (who came home early from work just to watch it). Mom stole the show! Back on November 4 (a Saturday), I was laying in bed perusing Facebook. I follow one of the local news stations on Facebook and saw that they had posted that the country group "Little Big Town" was going to be on an episode of "Pickler & Ben" and there were still tickets available if people wanted them. I LOVE "Little Big Town", so I clicked on the story and signed up for tickets. At first, I was put on a waiting list, but a little while later I got an e-mail saying that I could claim tickets, so I did! I called my mom and asked what she was doing on Tuesday and miracle of miracles that was the ONLY day that week that she didn't have anything going on. I asked if she'd like to go and she said yes, so we took a day trip to Nashville. When we got to the studios and through security, we were all asked to write our name on a blank piece of paper, which we did. We met some really nice people from all over the US. When it was time to go into the studio, all I could do was praise Jesus. What I saw was a Christmas Wonderland. The reason I was praising Jesus was because my mom LOVES anything Christmas. In fact, love may be too subtle of a word to use. ;) I had no idea it was going to be a Christmas themed episode, but I knew right then and there that Mom would love it. When we walked in, Mom spoke up and said that it was kind of difficult for me to go up and down stairs. There were bleacher like seats with no railings. The production assistant said that was no problem and seated us in the FRONT ROW!!! As they were preparing us for what would happen during the show, they let us know that Kellie and Ben would be playing a white elephant game with the audience and our name could be chosen. If were chosen, we would go unwrap a gift and then sit in a special area. At this, I was very excited, but also terrified that my name would be picked. The reason being, I'd have to walk over to where the gifts were without tripping or slipping or falling and I didn't think I could do that. I was so excited just to be there that my dystonia symptoms were already showing, so to have to walk not only in front of the audience and Kellie and Ben, but also the TV audience, scared me. I needn't have worried - after all, God's Got This! The plan was that if my name was called, Mom would go up as me. Well, my name wasn't called, but Mom's was!!!!!!!! To make a long story short, Mom got her 15 minutes of fame and completely hammed it up in front of the cameras. Who knew that she had such talent?! She could have her own show! She stole one present (a TV), but then that got stolen from her, so she picked another: $1,000! But, that got stolen from her, so she picked another: $500 and that's what she ended up with. THIS TRIP WAS "FREE" (except for gas in the car and lunch). A free trip turned into an amazing day. Mom said it was one of the most fun days. We both walked away with "Little Big Town's" new CD, a month free of their new wine club called 4 Cellars and an American Girl doll (which works out perfectly because I have two nieces - each will get one!). It was a FANTASTIC day and watching it all over again this past Wednesday was so much fun!!

Thursday was Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for. I can get bogged down in the weeds with all sorts of things, but in the end, I have to admit that I am SO BLESSED in many, many ways. I had an absolutely fantastic time with my family on Thanksgiving, even though I lost my voice. Turns out, that was the beginning of a cold, but I can't complain because I wasn't the only one with a cold. It seems like every female in the family got one and the guys came out winning because they didn't get one! I got to play a lot with my nieces. I always wanted a sister growing up, but now that I have nieces, I think I got the better end of the deal! Gosh, I love those girls with all my heart!!

I did fall (unfortunately). I was at home and trying to hurry and tripped over an area rug. I landed on both knees. One knee came out fine, the other was bloodied. The skin on that knee (the left) is so paper thin that no matter what I do, if I land on it, it bleeds. I was mad at myself for rushing and not paying attention. I was also mad that my streak of no falls ended and right before I see the doctor. I think my body knows when it's almost time to go back to the doctor because that's when I fall! Oh well, it wasn't a bad fall and it wasn't in front of people, so I'm thankful!

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and is getting in the Christmas spirit! I took yesterday off of work to decorate my house for Christmas. Now, I can bask in it all.

May God bless each and every single one of you. May you have a great week and always remember...


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: November 21

Happy Eve of Thanksgiving Eve, ya'll! Haha. I hope everyone has a very blessed and very thankful Thanksgiving holiday.

This past week has been pretty good. I didn't fall - yay! Sometimes it's the "simple" things in life that I am most thankful for! I didn't have the best walking day yesterday, but I didn't fall and I didn't by any means have the worst day walking, so score one for me!!

I'm trying desperately to pay attention to exactly how I walk and what motions I go through (or don't go through) so that when I meet with the neurologist again, I can tell him exactly what's going on. For instance: I notice that I can not turn on a dime. If I'm walking out of the office and I hear the door open behind me, signaling someone else is coming out of the building, I can't turn around to see who it is without some trouble. I lose my balance and my concentration and my foot curls in. I know that I don't bend my (left) knee when walking unless I'm super comfortable that I'll be able to lay my foot flat on the floor and that anything below my knee won't spasm. I am extremely, extremely rigid when walking. It doesn't come natural. BUT - I'm still doing it WITHOUT a cane or walker. It would probably be way easier to use the assistive devices, but I haven't come this far to give in now. ;) I thank the good Lord above that He keeps me safe. I didn't change anything electricity wise in my device this week.

I got a haircut this past Friday by my favorite stylist at the haircut place, Clare. It's not a huge difference, but as Clare stated we "staved off the mullet for another 6 weeks or so!" That we did!! Hopefully by Christmas it'll be in that sweet spot - not too "you just got a haircut" new, but also not too "split-ends are everywhere" old.

This is right after I got it cut. so it's not styled or anything, but it gives you an idea:

Sunday, ya'll. Sunday fed my soul. God spoke volumes to me through my Sunday school discussions as well as the message in church (and it wasn't even my Dad preaching!!). In Sunday School we are going through Paul's journeys in the books of I and II Corinthians. During Sunday's lesson we studied II Corinthians 12. This is the chapter where Paul talks about his "thorn in my flesh" (verse 7). We discussed that we all thought it was so cool that the Bible does not reveal what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was. What's cool about that is that anyone who reads II Corinthians can apply it to themselves. Whatever their "thorn in the flesh" is doesn't matter because WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING to deal with in life. My brother, Stanton, had even more of a spin on it that I really, really like: Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was so inconsequential that no one thought to put it down (as to what it was) in words in the Bible. Whatever it was, he declared it and then it was brought up no more. The people Paul preached to didn't even see his "thorn in the flesh" anymore once they really knew who Paul was. I was blessed beyond measure with that Sunday school lesson and discussion. Then, the message that Pastor Travis gave during church was another huge blessing from the Lord. It was titled: "False Steps: Burying Your Talent" and was on the "Parable of the Talents" (Matthew 25:14-30). Again, I was given a gift by the Lord. Something Pastor Travis said in his message struck me to my core and it got me thinking. I had all these plans and thoughts for my life. I wanted to be married with 5 kids before I turned 30. I wanted to move to Hollywood and be a script writer. I wanted so much and then at the age of 25 I started tripping and stumbling and for the next 10 years I was put on a journey I never wanted to be on in the first place. I'm 37 now and am not married. I don't 5 kids. I never moved to Hollywood. BUT - that doesn't mean God forsook me or that I haven't had a beautiful life thus far. It's meant that God has used me in ways I may never know to hopefully help someone else along their journey. It's meant that I've become braver. It's meant that I was able to pay off $20,000 in student debt in two years. It's meant that I was able to buy a house at 24 years old. Those are only a few things. But, Pastor Travis' sermon really struck a nerve in me. I shouldn't "bury my talent". Though I'm side-lined by issues with my walking, I'm not dead! I can still get married, I can still have children (whether biological or adoptive because after all I am getting up in age). I can still move to Hollywood (although now I don't want to). HOWEVER, maybe God's pleading with me to use the talents I have right where I'm at. In fact, it's not a "maybe", He does want me to use my talents right where I'm at in life. Maybe He's allowing my "thorn in the flesh" so that someone else can be helped. Or maybe to mold me into who He wants me to be. God uses people right where they are, in whatever circumstance they are in. The sermon was an eye-opener to me: don't waste time or talent in life. Do everything with gusto and joy, because after all, GOD'S GOT THIS!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: November 14

On more than one occasion this past week, by more than one person, I've been told that I'm stubborn. Ha! As if I didn't already know that. ;) I like to think that I'm more tenacious then stubborn though. It has a better ring to it! Don't get me wrong, I probably cower more than I roar, shrink back in fear, more than I charge ahead with confidence, but every once in awhile good 'ole stubborn tenacity takes ahold and I make it. I'm not brave, courageous, or fearless, but God grants me the tenacity to get by.

I'm thankful to report that I've had no falls this past week. Walking's been good some days and not so good other days, but by God's grace, I've made it! I saw this sign in a store a couple of months ago and I love it. I have to daily (sometimes hourly) remind myself of this.

Last month I saw this on Facebook. While I'm not necessarily going through major bad times, it reminded me that sometimes I have to be brought low before the Lord can use me. I have to be humbled.

I've been humbled and helped this past week. At work, I had a meeting "in the other building". We have two buildings that connect to each other via a walkway, but they are actually two separate buildings, so I had a meeting in the building where I don't have a cube and desk. At the very end of that meeting, the fire alarms went off and everyone had to evacuate. My meeting was on the second floor which meant I had to walk down a flight of stairs. I absolutely LOVE my co-workers. They spring into action and become protective of me in these situations. In this particular situation, I was with Debbie and Leslie. Debbie walked in front of me down the stairs and once I was down the stairs, Leslie gave me her arm to hold so I could walk faster. We made it safely. On Sunday, I was struggling a little getting in to church. One of my friends saw me from where she was inside and came to my rescue (thank you, Carrie!). I could have made it, but God knew I needed just a little more help that day. It's not always easy for me to acknowledge I can't do something without someone else's help. Being humbled isn't glamorous. But it's instances like this, that I'll never forget. I am so blessed by the people God's put in my life.

I absolutely love this quote my Martin Luther:

I've debated on whether to change frequencies or not in my deep brain stimulation device. As of this moment, I'm sticking with what I've been on. I see the neurologist on November 30, so that's not too far away and I haven't fallen.

I certainly have bad days when I'm grouchy, moody, tearful, jealous, and the list could go on, but I also know I'm being refined, molded, crafted and created into the woman God wants me to be. I am growing in my faith in Jesus. He's allowing me to see this. I'm growing in maturity. I'm growing in confidence in who I am in God's eyes. The world judges harshly (and I know this because I judge as well), but the only One whose judgment I need to worry about is Jesus. As I've said before, I want my life to reflect the Lord. The grace He's given me is unimaginable. I fall (both literally and spiritually) so many times and yet He's always there to pick me up, dust me off and steer me in the right direction.

How cool is this?! When I got on Facebook today it reminded me that on this day in 2010 I posted this: "My Dad's sermons get more and more meaningful to me the older I get...'Life is difficult, God is merciful, Heaven is sure'." How appropriate that was back in 2010 and how appropriate it is to me still today in 2017!

God's Got This!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tune-In-Tuesday: November 7

NOVEMBER 7 - How in the world is it already NOVEMBER 7?! In a couple short weeks it'll be Thanksgiving and then Christmas!!

I had a fantastic day today. I can't say much about it, but Mom and I took a daytrip to Nashville to attend a taping of a talk show and it was fabulous!! I also realized that this was the FIRST time in a very long time that we took the trip for something other than a doctor's appointment. Although at first, it did remind of those trips. We left Knoxville super early (6:15am our time, 5:15am Nashville time). It was POURING rain. Like, people were pulled over on the side of the road waiting it out, pouring down rain, but we made it safely to Nashville and back. It was so, so, so very good to be going for something fun and not another doctor's appointment. Although, I must say when we did/do have to go for doctor's appointments, Mom makes it super fun. We usually do something exciting after the appointment - go to lunch, go to a show, go shopping - something like that. But today was purely fun. :) I'm sure if you're friends with me on Facebook or in real life (ha!), you'll be hearing about our fun day soon, but for now, we have to keep it under wraps.

As much fun as today was, I realized ever so much that the more excited I get (whether that's good or bad excitement), the worse my symptoms get. Also, the more I sit, the worse they get. If I delay a dosage of medication (I still take the same amount, but I'm pretty rigid in what hour of the day I take it, so if that's delayed an hour or two), that effects it. Plus, the weather wasn't helping any. BUT, I didn't fall. In fact, I didn't fall all week. So that's a win! But, it's also a little discouraging when I don't have the best walking day because then I realize that I'm not quite "there" yet. I still have issues. But, maybe that's to keep me humble? I mean, I'm still not using a walker or cane (which I probably should use on some occasions, but I'm just stubborn enough not to). I get around. So, that's a win!

Maybe it was the trip to Nashville, but I've had it in my mind all week (ha - today is only Tuesday, but since last week is what I mean) that it was this coming Thursday that I see my neurologist again. Then it bummed me out when I realized, I don't see him until November 30. But, at least I have it to look forward to. That appointment will be when we "start from scratch" with the settings in my deep brain stimulation device. He'll wipe out all the ones he has previously set, and create new settings. I border on being really, really excited about this and really, really cautious about it. In real life (and not the one I can sometimes hide behind in a blog), I tend to be more of a pessimist than an optimist. This has gotten better through the years, but it's still my tendency to think "the sky is falling" rather than see the glass half full. I'm working on being more optimistic. My mom has taught me to always look forward to something. If I'm feeling depressed about something, look forward to the next exciting/fun thing that's planned and if nothing's planned - plan something!! Back to the reset of the settings in my device - I'm truly astounded at how many things we have left to test. The neurosurgeon mapped so many brain waves (I'm not even sure that's the technical/medical term for it, but hopefully you get my drift) that there are still many, many settings the neurologist can program into my device and I can test. The brain is beautiful and complex.

While my mood may change from being excited one minute about the future to worry the next, I do have an underlying joy that never goes away. Happiness is built on happenstance, but joy comes from the Lord. God's Got This!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tune-In-Tuesday: October 31

So here it is, 9:00pm and I’m just starting this post. But, it’s still Tuesday, so I’m still writing a post. Happy Halloween and/or Happy Reformation day! It’s been a long but good one for me. I started it at 4:45am and who knows when I’ll finish. :) I hope your day has been just as good!

I must admit that after being in a great mood after my last post, Satan swept in with a mighty force. I was in a “funk” a lot of the week. I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I am still very excited about new possibilities regarding my walking, but for whatever reason I let fear and doubt and Satan himself crowd my thoughts.

I had no falls this week, except for tonight, but it wasn’t a usual fall. I got caught up in a leash and balloon string and just went down. My mom’s trunk at “trunk or treat” was “Howl-laween” and all about dogs including an appearance by the one and only Eddie – my brother and sister-in-law’s long haired Chihuahua. I got caught up in his leash, as well as some balloon strings, tripped and fell. It’s OK though. I’m alright. I half expected Eddie to have a bald spot at the end of the night from ALL of the people petting him. Seriously, almost everyone that came through our line, petted him. He was a gem though. He didn't bark or make a peep the entire night and he let everyone pet him for as long as they wanted to.

I’ve had an absolute blast this past weekend and tonight. Having nieces is seriously the best thing in life. I’ve had so much fun seeing the world through their eyes. We went to so many fall festivals and fun events this past weekend. I feel incredibly blessed to be their aunt. It’s kind of cool that they don’t ever see any disability in me, I’m just “Aunt Stephanie”. To see the world through a child’s eyes is absolutely magical.

From the beginning of the week to the end of the week, I had a complete turn-around in my mood and way of thinking. I started it letting Satan run wild, but ended it with Jesus taking control of the reigns again. As my dad said, I’ve made great strides and things are a whole lot better than they were. I’m not using a walker or cane (although some people think I should at times). I have just enough of a stubborn streak in me to forge ahead even when I do fall or have bad walking days. If it doesn’t get any better than this, well, we all have our “thing” in life to deal with. This is one of my “things”. I still beg God to heal me. I still have hope that new settings and frequencies will help me. It’s all about hope.

This past week was one of growth. One of those moments came when I walked into a doctor's office. There were two construction workers outside of the building. I could sense that they were watching me walk. I usually cower at these incidents. But that day, for some reason, I decided to look them right in the eye and smile and tell them "thank you" for holding the door open for me. I swallowed my pride and didn't cower - that's growth, right?! I'm so thankful that God allows me to see growth in myself.

I want everything in my life to point to Jesus. The older I get, the more important that gets. I want to be who God wants me to be. I want His light to shine through my life. That doesn’t happen overnight, but I do hope I’m making great strides. I’m human, like everyone else. I make mistakes, get frustrated, depressed, impatient, but in the end, my life is nothing if it doesn’t give glory to God. Even with all the missteps (haha, see what I did there?!) in my life, I’m thankful that I have a forgiving and grace-filled Father.

Even with a skinned knee tonight, I sit here typing this post and can’t help but give thanks to Jesus for all the many, many, many blessings in my life. God’s Got This!!