27 August 2011

Every Day a Memory

This week has been AMAZING- my last week with my twin sister for 9 months. I’m going to miss her like crazy but am anxiously anticipating what God is going to do in her life; I know she’ll become even MORE beautiful & radiant from the inside out. Please remember her in your prayers as she follows God’s leading to the Himalayas; I’m so excited for her but know it’s going to be hard; however, God is substantial.
Recent years have tested my relationships- especially that of my twin sister; there were many days I felt like giving up; however God showed me to change myself & the rest would follow; once again He was right! “Be the change you wish to see in the world!” My last moments with my sister will be forever engraved in my mind- the spark between us is beginning to reappear!! NOTHING will ever tear us apart; Change is a choice.

On Wednesday night our youth group went to the Randolph fair; I was SO excited!! What is more fun than a group of teens roaming the world?! It was so awesome to be on our own; my youth group is crazy & I love it!! The demolition derby was AWESOME- my fave were the trucks- so much power in those pieces of crap! Lol The sound of car crashes echoed throughout the whole fair- I loved being in on the action- action helps bring out the best in me; I get a little crazy! ;) Life is full of adventure everywhere I go- it’s beautiful!!
          Yesterday we went to Applebee’s for lunch with my grandparents & cousins on dad’s side- it was SO good; oh how I love TASTING food & socializing!! God has blessed me with the greatest family EVER; each & every one of them mean the world to me!! Justin, my crazy/awesome cousin wanted to take us on a plane ride- can I say EXCITING?!! This made my day!! For dinner we went to Danny Boy’s with my grandparents & aunt on my mom’s side- Oh how I <3 them!! Dinner was nothing less than amazing- PEOPLE bring out the best in me as I’m a very social person- I love people & action! Well, after dinner we headed down to the airport to go for an airplane ride in Justin’s 4-seater. I was BEYOND pumped unlike the hesitant rest of my family. We each got our own set of headphones to talk into- it was pure awesomeness; I felt like I was in an action movie!! Justin is the best pilot ever- we are too much alike as he’s also not one to avoid chances & risks; he took us on “roller coaster rides” in the air- I loved feeling my stomach drop (we had barf bags just in case). I asked if we could flip the airplane & do tricks, but he said the engine would get ruined if we flipped it; he instead turned it as far sideways as possible- AWESOMENESS!! A young pilot who’s also your cousin, an airport to yourself, the open sky, crazy cousins looking for fun= insanity & FUN! Cousins don’t get ANY better than those God has placed into my life!!

"This can't be good!"
Our Daring Crippled Pilot

          I love reading inspirational books- my latest discovery is I Dare You; Embrace Life with Passion by Joyce Meyer- it inspires me to live with JOY & so much more; read for yourself if you’re interested because it is SO inspiring; I LOVE to learn & discover new perspectives. You can NEVER know too much about God- I want to spend my whole life discovering Him & His creations!! God has put a passion in my heart; one that’s AVAILABLE to ALL!! I didn’t do anything but accept this gift & follow Him; I truly am nothing – my GOD is EVERYTHING!! This is humbling yet beautiful- I don’t have to be anyone other than myself & who GOD created me to be- ONE OF A KIND!!!

21 August 2011


http://media.shepherdsland.com/_sermon_download.asp?ID=11235. I hope that you click on this link & listen to this message; I believe it is God speaking- it inspired me in majestic ways! My family has gone through quite a journey- there were times I thought our relationships were beyond fixing & HOPE was nonexistent. God has used our journey to strengthen us as well as others- This is BEAUTY! I believe that being open & vulnerable is a beautiful thing; it’s also very painful & humbling! I’ll admit it- I WOULD like to take credit for things to make ME look better- Pride is a thing I struggle with; vulnerability & honesty produce humility in me.
                God, how you work in mysterious & secret ways- you’re freaking amazing! ;) From as far back as I can remember Christianity was based on works. In school, at reunions, etc., I was told I was going to hell because I wore pants. I was also told that if I didn’t have a covering on my head when I died I would go to hell. Legalistic rules like these affected me deeply- I was NEVER good enough in my own mind, no matter how hard I tried. Since the church/school was so focused on the outward, I rarely felt accepted; I doubted why I should believe in a god like this- if God was really love, why wasn’t it showing through His people? I hated all of the rules and regulations – the rigidity- I didn’t want the intentions of my heart to be defined or determined by others. I distanced myself from God because of this distorted view; if God was controlling & dictating, I didn’t want to give Him everything.   I’ve learned through this that God truly is the only Judge & that we are called to love people in whatever state they’re in, even if we don’t believe as they do. Also, control is NOT the answer to “get what you want”. Ultimately, God could choose to control our every move, but He knows what is best - control & dictatorship is NOT the answer as it draws others away. I’ve also learned that the Bible was written as guidelines, not RULES we HAVE to complete to be a Christian. Christianity is not based on works as we are nothing on our own but instead are everything in Christ. God knows that we are imperfect & He does not expect us to be elsewise; nor does He expect us to obey every single “rule”. Christianity is allowing God to love us, forgive us, use us, teach us, etc. There’s nothing WE can do to make God love us more or less. As my dad said, “The ONLY way to get into heaven is to accept God’s FREE love- there’s nothing WE can say or do to get into heaven; ANYONE can receive this uncomprehend able love.
                Growing up I had a much distorted view of God. I accepted Him into my life but never truly accepted His free love – I believed I had to earn His love. I perceived from those around me that if I was a “good” person, God would love me. Also, my view of success was being the BEST. I was always taught to do my best in everything I did – to bring glory to God. My father praised me of my talents in sports; I longed for his acceptance and love but felt it was only received when I was “successful”. In other words, I tried to earn his love & acceptance in everything I did; I felt like when I excelled, then I was acceptable. I also thought that if I was a “good Christian girl”, I would be rewarded in Heaven. Have you ever tried to obey EVERY single “rule” or commandment in the Bible? I’ve learned that it’s impossible & God knows that. This is why He died for us; He knew we were imperfect & didn’t expect us to be elsewise.
                Growing up, I felt watched the majority of the time- with my dad being deacon & so high up in the church I felt pressure to be "perfect" since it seemed as if we were always being watched; people looked up to my dad & I felt they expected his family to follow the rules 24/7. I didn’t want to be responsible for “ruining his reputation”; all my life I was known as the "good girl"- I hated this!!! To me it seemed so boring; where was the adventure & risk?! Well, I was a perfectionist to begin with, so I took this to the extreme. I tried to be perfect at everything- to never upset people, to have my life "together" & figured out, to never make mistakes or say the wrong thing, etc. This was exhausting & ultimately impossible- I was miserable during this time! I realize, now, that I had my life all planned out; hmmm...... that was NOT God's plan since no one knows His plan except for Him! I was trying to lead my own life & only went to God when things went wrong or to pray for what I thought I needed instead of His will for me!
                I went to Costa Rica on a mission's trip before my surgery- I waited about a month to have my surgery prior to just finding out. This trip completely opened my eyes to new things- these people were so poor. I loved ministering to these people- to an extent they were "just like me". During this time we had to give our testimonies- I was so embarrassed because I thought I "didn't have a testimony" & prayed to God ever since I was small that God would USE me & give me a testimony; that He would use me & make my story "worthwhile" of sharing. Never did I expect what He had in store for me, yet I wouldn't trade it for the world! Honestly, I didn't even know what my "story" even was- I was a "good Christian girl" whose life was rosy red; I hadn't been through anything! I was blind to what God was already doing in my life. To me, life was so "black or white" that if I mentioned anything "bad", my life was "bad". "Good" & "bad" could NEVER co-exist in my world! I grew spiritually tremendously while in Costa Rica; I witnessed spiritual warfare while here.
                These are some of the struggles I faced early on in life- struggles of finding what I believed for myself apart from others. I realize, through life experiences that this is a broken world in which we live in; hurting people hurt people. No one, as hard as it is to admit, is perfect. I believe everyone has been hurt as it’s a part of life. People may or may not intend to harm, but it is our duty to forgive others for wrongdoing. I don’t believe that forgiving is forgetting; I still have memories that haunt my mind however I choose not to stay stuck in the past. I also believe that everything happens for a reason; I wouldn’t change a thing as God is in control & is sitting on the throne. I’ve also learned that through our weaknesses God can show His strength. I’ve learned to love people even more because of their imperfections & mistakes, just as He does for me. God has showed me that my wounds are not something to be ashamed of & there’s nothing wrong with them. As Dr. Steve Stephens & Pam Vredevelt say in The Wounded Woman, “Yet without wounds, my faith remains untested. And without moving forward, my faith will be unrewarded.” As my dad says in his sermon, I am DEFINITELY a free spirit; what is there to be afraid of when Heaven is the eternal reward?! I’m not afraid of dying- in fact I anticipate it; for me death is a celebration – beauty amidst darkness. NO, I’m NOT holding back in this life- I only have ONE chance on this earth & the rest of eternity is spent in Heaven. I know this because I have accepted God’s FREE love- JESUS’ DEATH! I will NEVER do anything to deserve Heaven- it’s a GIFT! I have learned SO MUCH from my incredible family; they’ve taught me so much! Life is once again beautiful!!

20 August 2011

Summer: Where Have You Gone?!

Summer is almost over! In exactly a week & 2 days I’m back to college; I’m super excited yet nervous- I’ve got a long road ahead of me but the greater picture is what keeps me going; I think of all the people I get to help & serve – to brighten people’s days, bring hope & FUN. The beauty of this is irreplaceable! Every time I doubt my calling as a nurse, God somehow manages to bring someone into my life to confirm to me that I’m on the right path.
. In order to qualify for the bachelor nursing program I have to complete my four major sciences; I’m taking two this semester & hopefully two next semester. My goal is to send my application into the program in time for the soonest acceptance which is next Fall. I don’t know if this is realistically possible, but I’m going to try!
I’ve been getting so excited for the future; working at the hospital helps to keep me motivated! I see all of the nurses with the fun & playful scrubs on- I can’t wait to buy my own! I absolutely love scrubs- I think they can be CUTE; there are so many styles, colors, patterns- they even have ZEBRA!! Now it’s official! Heehee. The stethoscopes are also fun- I want a bright one!! I’m getting so excited!! I think of doing for others what others have done for me in the hospital; I long to bring LIFE to this place. Oh, & I get to pay people back for poking me so often- REVENGE! j/k. When I think of children I think of our future; also how Jesus extravagantly loved the little children.
Yesterday while volunteering I looked at old yearbooks- OMG- NOT a good idea; I laughed so hard! It was so much fun!! I love looking at pictures of when I was younger- I was so cute! ;) heehee I also got out my senior yearbook- that was quite interesting to read my will & also my characteristics.
No, my life is not totally spent at ACH, although it seems like it!! This summer has been insane- each moment has been taken advantage of!! I am amazed at how much yet how little time there is in a day!
I’m about to lose my twin sister for nine months in exactly a week; I’m sad yet excited for what God has in store for her life. She means the world to me & it would be selfish of me to prohibit her from becoming who God wants her to be! I’ve discovered by looking at our senior yearbook that ironically we do have a vast amount of similarities; I always tried to say we were COMPLETE opposites!! I’m jealous that she gets to go to overseas to a foreign country & to experience new things. I want to go bungee jumping & see Mount Everest! I LOVE heights & jumping off things; one thing we do NOT have in common! Lol Oh, I’m going to miss her! This is my last week with her; why did it have to come so fast?!

15 August 2011

The past, present & future = BEAUTIFUL

My first semester of college is over!! God, I give you all the credit; without You this wouldn’t have been possible! I’ve been SO BUSY lately & LOVE it! This weekend was a good break, however!!
This weekend my family went camping down south in the woods- there’s NO better place to “de-stress”! The first thing I had to do when we got there was ride 4-wheeler! To me, the whole fun is 4-wheeling through the woods! The 4-wheeler at the campground was shift & I had NO idea how to drive a shift! That wasn’t going to stop me, however!! My heart was content flying through the woods; oh how I love the outdoors! I wanted to ride all of the trails, but one required going over a steep hill; this 4-wheeler was old, to put it frankly, so I was a little hesitant. Well, the 4-wheeler rolled down the hill & I had a slight accident- it was still fun, though! Later I went through the trails & some dogs chased after me; they were right beside my legs since this 4wheeler isn’t the fastest- it was quite an experience! I LOVE 4-wheeling!!! I also fished for a whole 5 minutes- it’s just NOT my thing! I liked putting the bait on & taking the fish off the hook, but the standing around drove me nuts!! All in all it was an exciting weekend & an amazing vacation; amazing to relax in nature!
This morning I had my LAST back appointment with Dr. S- I never have to see this “old man again”! heehee j/k. I can’t believe it’s already been three years since my surgery- it seems like just yesterday! I had my last x-ray (I wish I had pictures!) & was shocked- it still amazes me that THAT’S how my spine looks. I never realized I have rods in my neck- they start at about the top of my neck & go ¾ down my back. It looks amazing because my spine is now FUSED- it’s “as solid as a rock”!! God, once again I stand in awe of your power! I’m a “normal” girl again!! There’s NOTHING better than being in God’s will!!
This week I got my recovery photo book delivered to my house- I am in love with the beauty of this life! The writing in this book, however is TINY; these writings are posted on my two segment pages.
In all honesty I am forever grateful to my beyond amazing doctors at Akron Children’s. Scoliosis is now a segment of my life- my journey. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me; With God’s help I’m aiming to apply for nursing school in a year; it’s going to be hard, but with God life is an adventure!! I still can’t believe I am saying those words- hospitals used to be “hell” to me & the least of my considerations! I don’t know where I will be tomorrow or even in ten years- it’s up to God. I have many dreams & hopes for the future!
                                  Trust in God!!

03 August 2011

Rose ceremony

Surprise, surprise!
Oh how I love volunteering! Today was an exciting day, despite the weather! I went straight from college to ACH; I love the drive there!! One downfall was I had to change out of my “cute clothes” into my volunteering uniform- I LOVED my outfit & didn’t want to change!! I feel so at home in this place- no matter where I am. I got to run errands with my buddies again- I miss them!! I LOVE the volunteers here! I also LOVE the Adolescent staff- I’ve gotten to know them REALLY well from all of my hospital stays. I got to go to lunch with them- so much fun!
After lunch I ran the Locust desk; I like that desk since there are runners to talk to! Then later I went to the Atrium desk & ran that. A little girl needed someone to watch her for a couple minutes, so I offered to let her come back and sit with me- she was SO cute!!! Oh, & today was the first birthday of quintuplets stabilized after birth here at ACH. They had a big party for the five babies!
Anyway, I’ve gotten asked some crazy questions; some people I want to punch!! Lol I have to pray to God to give me patience & to also not take the rude words to heart. A group of 10 or more 18+ year old boys came in & wanted to know where the ER was, so I directed them. When they came back, one boy gave me a gorgeous pink rose; he got a HUGE smile on his face & said something cheesy like, “I know it’s dreary outside so here’s a rose to brighten up your day” & some other things I can’t remember- I was too shocked! His friends started laughing when I gave him a weird look- I was like, “Oh, thanks” but was in shock & curiosity. That made my day- I laughed so hard! I’ve never gotten hit on before while volunteering; that was a new experience! Oh how I love this place- I love the unexpectedness & randomness of every moment! Life, how I love you!!

01 August 2011


Oh how life is so beautiful & full of adventure! This weekend 10 of my girlfriends & I went to a cabin down South in the middle of nowhere. There’s absolutely nothing like the outdoors to make me feel more at home! Saturday night we headed down, about 1 ½ hr. away, & had a blast road tripping! I offered to get gas since I honestly didn’t mind; well, the gas pump “exploded” on me- all over my Under Armour clothes!! I was so mad- I reeked like gas! I had a blast the whole time, though!
Saturday night we stayed up all night watching movies- it was SO much fun! This morning we slept in- a cabin full of 11 girls is CRAZY!! I wanted so badly to go 4-wheeling, so 4 of us hopped on the 4wheeler & took off. I was in absolute heaven- my heart was content! The outdoors can always brighten my day- 4wheeling in the woods is one of my favorite things to do & I haven’t done it for SO LONG! My heart is happy! Four girls squished onto one 4-wheeler flying on the road & through the woods- complete & utter excitement! I couldn’t help but to stand in awe of the absolute beauty & mysteriousness my God has created- it’s so gorgeous outside! Nature fills my heart! Well, while 4-wheeling we discovered a huge mud pit- someone had gotten stuck in the deep mud & left a huge “pit”. We couldn’t resist but to jump in! We went back up to the cabin & changed, then went mudding & mud wrestling. OMG- I had a BLAST!! Not a single inch of skin could be seen, but was covered in mud. It was in our mouths, hair, noses, and hair- literally everywhere! We had a mud fight- I’d call it a “mud fling”! lol Then we took the 4wheeler through the mud & got sprayed- I asked to do it over & over again! Oh, it was so much fun!!
The fun came trying to get clean! Lol The hose water was FREEZING- our bodies were clear numb after rinsing off. I’m guessing we each had at least 10-15 lbs. of mud on us- it was absolutely caked on each one of us! We all took turns rinsing off, helping each other & “fought for” the shower. My skin felt amazing afterwards- mud actually takes off the “old skin”- I felt so fresh! Free facials!! This weekend was filled with chaos- I LOVED it!! All girls, the woods to ourselves, 4-wheelers & pick-up trucks: what more do you need?! Oh how I love riding on the back of pick-up trucks down a hill! It was SO GOOD to get OUT! My heart needed this- I needed a break from “life”. God, thank you for the beauty that exists everywhere I go! I can’t wait for hunting season! Look out nature; I’m BACK!!