Red Birds…And Why I Love Them

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My Grandma Mary was one of the sweetest and godliest people I have ever known. She was not loud and vocal. She was a quiet little lady that loved to crochet and knit. My Grandpa Bob was the loud, bold, and boisterous world changer that always had an urgency about him to do the next thing. So much so that he could barely visit you before he was on to the next adventure! And there was my grandmother. Sweetly following him about everywhere he went with her Bible, crochet bag, and her little tidbits of wisdom that stuck to you like glue.

She would say things to me like, “Alicia, you must always learn to bloom where you are planted.” And she lived this as she lived in multiple states following her husband around in the ministry. She would also say, “Honey, don’t live through things twice. If it is going to happen, no need in wasting a lot of time worrying. That way, if it doesn’t happen, you haven’t wasted time worrying.” I know she struggled with worrying so I am sure this message had been preached to herself long before it reached me.

She also loved red birds. Her little kitchen always had them in it. Her curtains, the runner that went across the top of her deep freezer, and figurines of these birds always caught my eye. Grandma went home to be with the Lord years ago, and since then, every time I would see a red bird I would have a warm spot in my heart thinking of my Grandma Mary.

As my children were growing up, they learned that I had a love for these red birds. I would always call their attention to them. “Look kids! There is a red bird!” And so the children would start saying, “Momma!! Come look! There is a red bird!” It has been a sweet connection for us and my love for all birds…but especially red birds!

Not long after I had become paralyzed, I was having a particularly horrible day. Physically I felt awful. Emotionally I felt drained. Spiritually I felt betrayed. I decided that God forgot who I was, where I lived and that He did not care about me. I felt like every prayer I was praying just kind of floated around the room and God was not hearing…or answering them!  I was terribly discouraged.

From my bed, I could look out of one window. Out of that window you could see a dumpster that was located between our house and a neighboring furniture store. I thought how appropriate that dumpster matched my mood!

I prayed again. I said, “God, I feel like you don’t care about me anymore. I feel like you do not hear my prayers. I feel like you forgot where I live and who I am. PLEASE be real to me today!”

I kid you not, within 5 minutes I heard a bird singing. I looked at my window and sitting right on the window sill was a little red bird just singing its heart out! I KNEW God sent that little bird to me. That bird was God’s messenger that said,”Alicia, I not only know who you are and where you live, but I know where your bedroom window is!”

That was exactly what the Great Physician knew my heart needed. I still felt awful physically. I still had a LOT to deal with emotionally. But spiritually, my soul was fine!

That day taught me a lesson and also gave me a new intense love for birds. They truly are God’s messengers that greet me in the dark, early morning hours when I am in a tremendous amount of pain. They sing and remind me to sing my praises…even in the darkness. They catch my ear in waiting times when I am not able to engage in some activity that others are doing.  They remind me to take the alone time to sing out to my Creator and join them in rejoicing as part of His creation. They pull my mind back from the crevices of self-pity reminding me that God cares for the sparrows and how much more He cares for me.

This is my love for birds…and especially the red bird.

When you see my Facebook friends send me pictures of red birds, you know why. They have heard my story and now red birds bring them the same message. When you see a red bird, sing to the Lord and thank Him for sending you His messenger to let you know you are loved by a good God!

*A special thank you to those of you who have given me red bird items. Key chains, pictures, personal note cards, and many other items. These mean SO much to me and are daily reminders in my home of your love for me.

Where Have I Been? Sorry Blog!

I have not written in far too long! I have gotten my laptop out so many times to start some writing (because I LOVE writing) and then put it back up with a not finished piece. What is my deal? It has been an incredible summer and I will just update you along my journey and then we can get back to this blog business.

As many of you know, I love working with Joni and Friends Ministries and we help with the Ohio office. There is an office in Charlotte that I am now closer too in location, but we started working with this ministry when we still lived in Ohio and the team there are now part of our family and the drive is worth every mile to be with them!


We serve in two Family Retreats. A Family Retreat is a week of camp where families with special needs get to come and get loved on. Every single one of them. It is a life changing week and we love every second of it. So in June, we serve out week one. Leadership comes in early (on Friday), STM’s (short term missionaries who volunteer to serve these families) come on Sunday, and all the families come on Monday. It is an amazing week. Did I say that already? So, in June, the kids and I took off and drove to Ohio for 8 days.


We left camp on Friday and literally drove straight to TN making it just in time for my beautiful niece’s wedding. Cool story – she married the son of my youth leaders when I was growing up. Don’t ask them for stories about me okay?  Mariah is my oldest niece and Caleb is a fine man! I am so proud of them both. It was a beautiful outdoor farm wedding.

A couple days after I got home, I headed to Washington DC for advocacy work with United Spinal. It has become a wonderful event to work towards change and also reunite with sweet friends. I was glad to have Jimmy along with me as my “caregiver” because I was exhausted from the week before.


In July, we went back to Ohio for our second Family Retreat week. We came in on Friday, and the kids and I had a cabin in the woods. I got eat up by bed bugs that night and had a pretty bad allergic reaction. I ended up in the ER needing steroids and antibiotics. Because of the bed bug issue at that location, we had to cancel the whole week of Family Retreat. It absolutely broke all of our hearts. We came back home very sad. But, the Lord comforted us and the families involved. I recovered fine from the bed bugs and none came home with us!
At the beginning of August, my Grandma Alladean was in a horrible car wreck that almost killed her. So, I made a couple trips to TN helping stay at the hospital and just trying to be there for her. She has recovered so much, but is still dealing with effects so please continue to pray for her.

We traded our Toyota van in for a new Ford Transit van that was modified with a wheelchair lift for me and a driver’s seat that turns and allows me easier transfers. It also gives my growing children more room to ride! This was a really big deal for me and it deserves it’s own post. However, it took them almost a month to modify our new van so I stayed home most of the month as I had nothing to drive!


September brought a missions trip for my Jimmy and Isaiah. We plan to have all of our children take a missions trip around 13 to help give them a greater vision for others and to enter their teen years with gratitude and a desire to serve others instead of selfishness and making their teen years all about them. Briley has been to Honduras, Caleb spent a week at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago and Isaiah went to Brazil. While they were gone for over a week, the rest of the kids and I headed back to Ohio for a road trip. We spent a couple days with Mark and Stephanie Fowler in Tennessee and helped work on their church. We went to the Joni and Friends Fall Reunion to see friends we missed at week 2. We went back to West Union where Jimmy pastored and we lived for 10 years to stay with our friends Jamin and Joy Boyer who are doing a wonderful job in that ministry now. We spent Sunday afternoon at the Veteran’s home to see our sweet Bob Griffin and his wife and my “other mother” – Sue. I shared my testimony and God’s goodness and the kids and I sang. We enjoyed that so much! We had a wonderful time of fun with the Boyer’s before making our way back home to pick up our world travelers!




As soon as we had gotten home (literally we came home on Friday and in hospital on Saturday) our Audrey had an appendicitis and had to have immediate surgery. We thank the Lord she is recovering well!


Our church had Homecoming October 2, and so we had started a redecorating project in our church fellowship hall that I had headed up and also a remodeling project to make our restrooms in that building 100% handicap accessible. We took it from a 2 stall to a one room restroom. So, when we got back home from our trip, we had a deadline to get finished and so we worked like crazy to get that project finished. We literally hung up the last items Sunday morning before Sunday School on Homecoming Day! I believe everyone enjoyed all the updates and improvements and I know that I am sure thankful for an accessible restroom on the property. Not just for me – but as a practical welcome mat to all with disabilities that they are wanted and welcome at our church!

With Homecoming behind us, Hurricane Matthew was in front of us. I had bought a storage building earlier between some of these events to hold much of my bulky medical supplies. It was a kit that had been delivered on a pallet. It had been sitting in my back yard as I had not had time to hit that project yet. But, with the hurricane coming, I was worried about the wind and rain destroying my lumber so we hit that hard and heavy this week and got it put together. My children all had a part in helping. But Jimmy and the boys really came through and helped me with things I could not reach. Although I kept asking them how to figure out how to put me on the roof so I could shingle! I never could convince them! The girls helped outside too, but they were amazing to keep the house running while I lived outside for 3 days.


So, add in all the kids getting eye, teeth and body check-ups, all of their birthday’s between June and September and daily life and church stuff….I think this should explain why I have slacked on my blog!

I have a couple more things in October and then I am hibernating all winter! Next weekend, I fly solo to Ohio for a Ladies Conference where I speak Friday and Saturday. I am VERY excited about that! Then the very next weekend, I have another Ladies Conference I am speaking at in Caldwell, NJ near New York City. So, we are all going as a family and turn it into a vacation. We are taking the kids to see New York City, Washington DC and Philadelphia. We are looking forward to seeing friends again and making new ones!

When I read how busy it has been, I can only thank God for His strength to accomplish it all.

I have missed writing. I have missed my readers. And I look forward to getting back to writing things that I pray are a help and blessing to you all!

Thank you so much for sharing my crazy journey with me!

 

 

 

 

When You Feel Really Lonely

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Ever been there? Like you have no one in the whole entire world to talk to or who may understand what you are feeling, or the motives of your heart and life? Maybe you have a loved one who you used to tell everything too and they are no longer a part of your life. Maybe you have a spouse who just seems to be on another planet from you right now! Maybe you have children who are moving on in their lives and you feel displaced. Maybe you are the pastor’s wife and give out a lot of counsel but you have no pastor’s wife to go get counsel from. Maybe you are facing a health crisis that no one else understands because they don’t have your health crisis. Maybe….maybe…maybe. I’m sure you can fill in anything I did not mention.

I have been in every single on of these situations!! 

I have read my fair share of how-to books to help me. How to improve your relationships. How to communicate with the man from Mars. How to help your children mature to adulthood and not fall apart. How to deal with every angle of ministry. How to have grace in our sufferings. How to…how to…how to. The books are helpful, but I have never found them to be enough.

Can I get real simple here?

In every one of these situations, when I am at my all-time low, when I literally feel the loneliness oozing out of my stomach, into my throat and pouring out my eyes. When I am in my bathroom or shower (my sanctuary of solitude) and heaving with an absolute broken heart, there is only one thing….just one thing…that brings me comfort.

I told you it was simple. It is Jesus.

When I cry to Him and say, “God, why does it seem you take and take from me? Relationships with family, dreams of that perfect marriage that has no cracks or flaws, children that I adore that I know will grow up and leave someday, people that you want to love and minister too that be can be so hard to understand at times, my health…why?”

I hear Jesus simply say, “I get it. I know what you are feeling. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will never shun you. I will never break your heart. I know your motives. I know your dreams and fears. I know your worries. I won’t falsely accuse you because I am the Truth. I am always here with you and you are not alone.”

I just dwell on that. I may not be able to pick up a phone and share my heart. I may not be able to get anyone on my planet to understand me (I am complicated!). I may not have good health the rest of my life. But I have Jesus and therefore, I am not alone.

Loneliness can feel so awful, but truly, if it drops us straight in the comforting arms of Jesus, it is not a bad thing. Even that, is working in our lives for good.

Maybe you are in a season of loneliness right now. Turn to Jesus. Oh what a friend He is!

Please enjoy one of my favorite songs:

 

Advocacy Made Simple


I am a simple country girl. I love simple things. I love sunshine and rainbows, baby giggles and dimples, pretty flowers and birds singing, crazy kids and cute animals, HGTV and Food Network, chocolate and herbal tea. Just simple pleasures.

When you get in the world of advocacy, it is easy to speak of what we know – our life with a disability!! But, many times, disability advocacy involves a lot of complicated things. Writing or sponsoring bills is complicated. Speaking to our representatives can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Being the only voice many times to make change can be lonely and feel non-rewarding.

Advocating can be personal like telling the manager that the bathroom door is hung wrong or that the handicap parking is being abused. It can be local as we advocate for broken sidewalks to be fixed or bus lifts to be maintenanced. Or it can be national as we work with legislation that deals with decisions that will affect all people with disabilities.

Entering the world of advocacy does not need to be complicated. So, let’s break some things down and let me give you some tips to help get you busy!

How To Get Your Head In the Game:

  • Remember that disability issues, on any level, affect us. When they do affect us negatively, we will not like it and will complain! We have NO right to complain, if we are not willing to be a voice to help make a change.
  • Remember that your voice for change does not only affect you. You are representing a large demographic of people who have disabilities. Have the courage to speak not just for yourself but for others as well.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you do not see immediate results. We are reaping today the results of advocacy 25 years ago. Our voices today may not see the change we want immediately, but it will help shape the future.
  • Our lives have value. We are not asking for special favors. We are asking for equal favors. We are just talking to people – just like us. Even those who hold high offices are just people. We must appeal as a human to another human.

Advocacy Tips:

  • Speak nice.

It is so easy to get frustrated and want results, but rudeness or being harsh will only turn them off to our message. We must say the right thing the right way. Being confident and passionate does not mean being cocky and pushy. Keep the balance.

  • Speak plainly.

Make our requests very simple. We do not have to explain a million reasons. Be clear with what the issue is, and offer a solution. They do not live in our world so do not leave them hanging how to fix it. I was recently in Washington DC and they had a very nice accessible bathroom except the door to the handicap stall was hung where it swung into the stall which prevented me from being able to close the door. I asked for the head of that department, told them how nice there restroom was and how I appreciated the electronic doors (speaking nice), informed them that I was not able to use their restroom because the door was hung wrong and all that needed to be done was for maintenance to hang it the opposite direction. I thanked them and a work order was issued and completed that same day. If I had only called and complained, they may not have even understood what needed to be changed. Give them a solution and not just a problem.

  • Speak their language.

The truth is that unless they have a disability or a very close family member or friend that has a disability, they will not understand our language. When we are trying to convey our message to them, we must get into their world and create scenarios they will understand so that they will understand our world. 

For example, while advocating for a state parenting bill, I looked at their physical features and asked if they would be okay if someone took their children because of their freckles…or black hair…or mustache…or the glasses they wore. Immediately they answer, “NO!!” Now I know I have them. I then explain that people with disabilities can abuse their children, but children should be taken because of abuse – not a disability. They understand that.

In Washington DC, we were working on several issues and I would give them scenarios to help them understand what we were talking about.

For the bill that asks Congress to protect our access to our essential complex rehab components, I asked them what would happen if the DC metro shut down for a day or two. They would look shocked and say it would be awful! They knew right then that their bread and butter would be shut down also. I made a point to continue that logic and that it would greatly affect their work. I shared that this is what happens when we do not have the accessories that are needed to keep our lives going.

For the bill that asks for a separate category for our complex rehab technology to be recognized under Medicare, I asked them to pretend that they were in an accident and lost their leg. Then, I told them that I would take them to the room where 10-year-old boy legs were kept and asked them to pick the one they wanted. They told me that a 10 year old boy leg would not work for them. I stated that was true because it cannot be a one-size-fits all with something so unique and custom to the human body. I went on to explain that is what our complex wheelchairs are to us – custom prosthetics that fit our unique body needs and we need it to be pulled away from a one-size-fits-all umbrella.

For the appeal to protect urological supplies from being included in the competitive bidding process, I would briefly describe that just as my unique chair replaces my legs, my individual catheter needs replace my bladder. I then told them about a catheter that costs $1.75 each and if you pee 4-5 times a day that equals $5,000 a year. I asked if that is what they pay to pee each year? Of course, they are shocked and agreed that is not right.

In the past, I have used their house, their shoes, their cars….anything I can think of that they would be greatly diminished if they lost it as my examples that they can feel right then in the moment. I could say, “imagine if you were paralyzed…” but the truth is, they cannot imagine that. There is no way they will make that connection in their mind unless they have experienced it. So, I have to take something that they do currently feel and understand and take that from them. Now they feel it.

I would talk about the budget and I knew that it came to the bottom dollar, but when your budget decisions cause people to suffer, than are you really working for the people?

Word pictures and thinking of examples to help them feel our fears and frustrations is extremely helpful in getting them to receive our message.

  • Speak something!!

Any advocacy, at any level, is better than none! We are selfish to say nothing. We owe it to one another, and for those who are not able to speak, to advocate. There is ALWAYS something to be done. You can start small, you can start with a friend, you can start with an organization like United Spinal, or you can go solo and pick one issue at a time. But, start somewhere!

I hope this all makes advocacy seem a little less scary and that you will see that advocacy will open doors of opportunity for you, bring changes that will help many others, and helps with healing as it brings value to the path we have been given to travel.

Go get ‘em!

*Please share your advocacy thoughts and ideas in the comments!

Me Before You…Is NOT Disabled Friendly.

The previews are awesome. Finally…another beautiful story of love with a person with a disability! But don’t be fooled! 

Please watch my opinion of this story. It is a strong one that I make no apology for. I will be running videos through this blog, as they are shared with me, to show you the positive side of what it means to all live boldly…with those around us…for a realistic view of our wonderful lives with disabilities.

Check back as I post videos of others like me!

Speak Life: The Power of Words

- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Words are so very powerful. We know that they can hurt, heal, hinder, harass…I really can’t think of any more H words!🙂 The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” sounds good but it is the farthest thing from the truth. 

When I was a kid, I was a tomboy and always, always had cuts and bruises all over me. Bike wrecks, cowboy stunt moves, volleyball dives, thorns and briers from hikes in the woods, scuffles with siblings…something had always left its mark on my body. Do you know that I do not remember the pain of any of those physical scars? I remember the incidents, but I don’t remember the pain. In contrast, I remember hurtful things that people have said over the years and you immediately feel the stab in your heart and you can feel the pain all over again. The pain is especially hurtful if it comes from someone who says they love you.

Words are something that you can never blame on someone else. The phrases, “The devil made me do it,” “I can’t help it, they just made me SOOOO mad!,” “Well, if you hadn’t of started it…,” “It’s my personality. It is just who I am. Deal with it,” are so FULL of baloney. Someone may break your arm by pulling it behind your back, but no one has every invented a way to pull words out of someone’s mouth without permission. We are 100% in total charge of our words. No more excuses about it.

With that being said, our words should have weight. They should have value. They should have meaning. They should be respected.  They should be kind. They should be encouraging. Even if a hard thing has to be said, it should not be done harshly. Our words should speak life to other humans – whether we agree with them or not. I often tell my children, “It is not what you are saying to me. It is how you are saying it. Start over and do it right.” Do they always get it right? No. Do I? No. But I would hope that my pattern is not one of thoughtless, hurtful, selfish and showing a lack of compassion or concern.

If those who know you best, are asked about the pattern of your words, what would they say? Would they say that you are a hypocrite and they do not receive the kind words you always have for others? Would they say that you speak one way and live another? Would they say that you rip up and criticize and destroy everyone around you? Would they say that you tell the truth? Do you make promises you don’t keep? Are your words hateful? Grouchy? Short-fused? Negative?

It is easy in a world where people only see the superficial, to give any appearance I want. This is one reason we all get annoyed with politics. Everything looks so good…until the dirt follows! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any dirt to follow in my life.

Our words will either speak life, or they will speak death.

They can either build up and strengthen your relationships, or they will kill off and destroy your relationships. Our loved ones know it the best – no matter what show we give to others, or excuses we like to embrace.

These past couple weeks, have been a living lesson to the power of words. Words uttered in anger, words uttered in haste, words uttered without any regard to the feelings of those you speak them to…have long-lasting, negative consequences. As the speaker of words, that we alone are responsible for, we do not like the consequences. Yet, consequences ARE out of our control. Once you say it, it is very, very hard to take it back.

I want to speak life. I want to bring smiles. I want to help guide truth with loving words. I want to use my words not as a sword to kill something off a little bit more inside those around me, but as a salve to help soothe and heal. And, if in those moments, I feel that I just will not be able to control my words, I will remember that is a big lie and I need to just put my hand over my mouth or remove myself from the situation.

May God help us all to speak life, and not death, with our words.

Important NoteIf you have someone in your life that is mean with their words, I would recommend that remove yourself from their presence. If they will not stop when you ask them, then go to another location yourself. It is not “spiritual” to have to listen to them yell, accuse or insult you or your children. You do not have to answer or be pulled in. This is VERY hard to do, but it is very important.

Also, I would highly recommend the writings of Leslie Vernick and David Cloud and John Townsend. They have written several books about emotional abuse and boundaries in relationships. I have read, been helped and highly recommend these authors.

 

The Duty of the Stronger

Weak-vs-Strong

In celebration for my husband’s birthday, we told him to pick the movie of his choice that we would watch together as a family. He pulled out an old John Wayne war movie. In this movie, the enemy planes were bombing a children’s hospital. The nurses were holding and calming the children as they all huddled under beds. You could see the fear in the eyes of the adults as they calmly told the children it would be alright. The children found comfort in the strength of those stronger adults.

I started thinking how it is our duty in life, as the adults, to be stronger for our children. When the scary noises happen in the night, it is our job as adults to comfort those little ones. When they are sick, we soothe and tell them they are going to be okay. When the thunder is cracking and the lightening flashing, we calm them by teaching them weather and keeping their minds busy with science and not fear. This is so easy when we think of it in this way – an adult soothing a child.

But there is so much more where the strong should help protect the weak! What about the stronger kid sticking up for the kids that are bullied? What about the speaking up for the woman who is being verbally or emotionally abused? How about the child with special needs that is getting ignored and sidelined? How about someone who is racist and cannot love someone of another color? How about the unborn baby, still helpless in its mother’s womb? What about the disabled who are not strong enough yet to speak up for themselves? What about the elderly who can be killed off so that they will not put a burden on their families? I could go on and on!

You know, in most of these areas, we let the weak win. It is a weak person who would pick on the weaker or different kid in school. It is a weak man who would hurt a woman in any way. It is a weak group who cannot see the value that special needs kids bring to life. It is a weak person who would judge a person by their skin color. It is being weak to not speak up for those who are either too young, or too hurt, or too weak to speak up for themselves. It is weak to trade the life of any human for the “easier” life of the strong.

We have become experts at finding reasons to say nothing. Absolutely nothing.

“I would like to defend that kid, but then the bully might pick on me, or the other kids will think I am stupid for defending the totally not cool kid!”

“I don’t want to say anything, because then he may just make her life more miserable.”

“I would like to go talk to that mom of that kid, but I would not really no what to say. I hope they find a way to be included.”

“Well, I’m not racist, but that person is so vocal about it, I don’t want to rock the boat or make them mad or anything. I have friends of different colors so I feel pretty good about it.”

“I know people that have had abortions. I don’t want to upset them. Maybe they are just little blobs with no feelings and it really is okay. And what about women that have been raped? We need to think about them! They should not have to deal with a child on top of everything else. I have decided this is how I will think about this. It is much more comfortable.”

“The disabled? Well, my goodness, they get all they need from the government. Do you know how expensive it is to put in ramps or accessible restrooms? I am not trying to be mean or anything, but I mean, we can’t redo everything for one person! I am sorry they are missing out. Maybe they should find a hobby they will enjoy.”

Am I being extreme in some of these excuses? Maybe. But you can fill in your own blanks as you think through every single example I gave, and what would your answer be? If you answer anything besides being strong and defending the weak, then you are shirking your duty as a human being.

I cannot state this strong enough.

I cannot, or will not, defend ANY weak, if I cannot or will not defend ALL the weak.

hitler

Who gets to decide the value of strong vs. weak? People like Hitler? He didn’t like Jews…or the disabled. He had them killed! Do we let him decide the value of humans? What about the Muslims? Should we allow them to determine the value of women…or little girls who get married off as children? What about the sex slave trade? Should they choose the value of children? What about the bully? Does he decide the value of who should get picked on or not? What about the medical field? Do they get to pick when you should live or die? Is it okay just because you are still inside a body instead of outside of it? Do they get to decide when the elderly will be more trouble than worth? Do they get to decide because you have broken your neck and they do not think you will have much value in society anymore so they choose not to save your life in trauma? We are okay with some of that, and are appalled by others! Why?! Because we have let others decide and TELL us the value system we are supposed to follow – this sliding scale of value – that picks who the weak are or who the strong are. The evolutionist, Charles Darwin, called it the survival of the fittest. How terrifying is that?!

Are we sure we really want that? I am SO sympathetic to that woman who has been raped and now has a child that will enter the world. But why, of why, would we, as stronger adults, determine that the value of that mother is MORE than the value of that child? I have never been able to understand that. Before you get offended at what I am saying, here me out.

I was not in a rape situation, but when I became paralyzed, the option of treating me taking a priority over the safety of my baby was definitely on the table with my medical doctors. “We need to take this baby at 20 weeks, so we can treat you aggressively so that we can fight off this paralysis as much as possible.” You know what was at stake? Asking my baby to be strong for me. NO way. I would rather be paralyzed the rest of my life, than to risk the health of my little weaker baby. That is my duty. So, I get it. I really do. I get the hard decisions. I get the decisions that will very likely affect the rest of your life. I get not being asked to be put in this position and having to make these decisions. But life…all life…has the same value. Plain and simple. It is all on the same even line. There are no “more valued life” choices. To believe otherwise, is to ultimately put your own life in jeopardy as you wait until someone now views you as the lesser one! 

I am a believer in God. As a believer in God, I know that every single life is important to Him. Anything that evil wants to through our way, He can restore it and make something beautiful out of it. Mostly, I am so thankful because His value system is not ours. He doesn’t pick the strongest or the most fit or the toughest. He actually says that it is in our weakness that He can use us. And it is through that, we are strong. That comforts me.

Because of who I am in Him, I am one of the strong. This gal sitting in a wheelchair has value. I am strong because of all of my million weaknesses. Because I am one of the strong, I have a duty. A duty to take a stand for the weak.

  • Because I am strong, I will defend the bullied. But, I will also reach out to the bully because he is also weak and needs help.
  • Because I am strong, I will speak up against marital abuse. I will help hold the hands of those who are afraid to move alone. But, I will also help those abusers and rescue them from themselves before they destroy their lives.
  • Because I am strong, I will include all children. I will encourage all children. I will love all children. My family will make a point to love and include and invite all children. But, I will also encourage other families to do the same! Get to know, understand, cheer and come alongside those you do not understand. Then you will understand.
  • Because I am a strong person, I will see people as God sees them. Not as a skin color, but inside their souls. But, I will remind those who are looking at all the wrong things to get their focus where it should be.
  • Because I am strong, I will never stop speaking up for those precious little babies inside the womb. I will never forget feeling them kick and only being separated by a few inches of my flesh. They are alive. Inside my body where once again, my strength keeps their weak and growing bodies alive. Those babies will grow up and thank you for being stronger for them…even though you felt so very weak. My son loves me to tell the story how I chose him. But, I will never stop trying to reach out in love to those who are considering an abortion because they feel they have no other options. There are options and because I am the strong one, I should be there to help walk them through this valley.
  • Because I am strong, I will speak up for the disabled. I will help them in daily matters of life, political policy, and unfair treatment. But, I will also speak up to educate, inform and make aware the realities of life so that others can be strong for them also.

This world needs strong people. We need only one reference to decide the value of humanity. For me, the Creator of life has already set that value in place. I will agree with Him.

Because I am weak, God uses me to be strong. Will you let Him use you too?

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