Archive for November, 2009

Cliff Jumping

November 6, 2009

If you read this blog consistently then you’ve seen a few reoccurring quotes that I love. One of the big one’s being “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.  And given that dancing is such a passion of mine, I’ve just kinda grabbed hold of this quote and ran with it. I even have a plaque with that quote on it hung up in my place…..

Last Saturday night, I found a new passion that I’m going to grab hold of and just run with it. That night I proudly sat in the audience and watched as my cousin, Jeanie, received her medal for 2 years being sober. There are only a handful of moments in my life that have truly taken my breath away – and this was one of them. Earlier this year I was humbled to have the honor of watching Jeanie as she told her story of her addictions and her journey to sobriety. But that journey didn’t stop there and it doesn’t stop as of Saturday night. That journey is one she has to make the decision to continue everyday when she wakes up. And for anyone out there reading this who thinks battling an addiction is easy or just simply “you stop doing it”, then I urge you to attend a meeting and listen to someone’s story. It truly is a fight against your demons everyday, but more beautifully it is such a testimony of just trusting in God and giving your battles over to Him.

“When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go.
Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He’ll catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly!”

From hearing Jeanie’s story before I was touched by how much it was truly the grace of God that my cousin is still alive today. But what took my breath away on Saturday was seeing how my cousin had completely let go when she got to edge of that cliff and fully trusted God. Not only had He caught her, He taught her how to fly. Seeing God work His promises right before your eyes is not only beautiful and amazing, it’s just breathtaking! And now Jeanie is being a strong example for other new people who walk into that room on a Saturday night feeling lost, feeling lonely, feeling that they have no other options that it can be okay, that you can beat this demon, that you can get and stay sober.

Henry Miller said, “True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself.” To me this is what being a Christian is about. Submission to dedicate ourselves to something beyond ourselves – to God. And that is one of the underlying principles in the Saturday Night Live group – you can’t do this without God.  And what an example of strength to make that jump fully trusting in God, not knowing how or where you’re going to land – just knowing He will be there beside you. The Anonymous part of the group is true anonymity, so I will not write about anything else that was said that night outside of Jeanie (because I have her permission) to keep the integrity of the group. What I will say, though, is I now understand why you are Jeanie’s family. You are a HUGE part of what got her to 2 years and I look forward to being there for every year after this one. And that also makes you a part of my family. Jeanie – I am so proud of you, your example and strength is an inspiration to me.

God tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us, that He will strengthen and protect us. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna start going cliff jumping!!

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A Month of Thanks

November 1, 2009

A friend of mine had a great idea on facebook that since it’s November, and Thanksgiving, that each day she would post something she was thankful for. I thought it was an excellent idea. Too often we only focus on the bad and not enough on the good. So keep coming back to this one, I’ll update it as I add the daily things I am thankful for!!

Nov 1st – Its November… I’m going to post something I’m thankful for every day this month. Today I’m thankful for a God who loves, stands beside me, supports me and never turns His back on me. Even when I turn my back on Him! ♥

Nov 2nd – today I am thankful for the new medicine Tysabri. May it do it’s job of stopping the progression of MS in all who take it, and no more cases of PML. For alot of MS patients like myself out there, this drug is all we have left until they find a cure. So I’m thankful for it, and the special people who developed it.

Nov 3rd – today I am thankful for my beautiful grandmother, Nanny, who was born this day several years ago. (she would prob not like me to reveal her actual age..) She is a wise woman who was an excellent example of what it means to truly trust in the Lord and be a prayior warrior. I love you Nanny!!

Nov 4th – today I am thankful for those inspiring nicknames my Dad and Super Dave have given me – Wyatt Earp and The Swan. Even on our best days, everyone needs a little inspiration. Thank you for the motivation, thank you for being a part of this journey and thank you for helping me feel beautiful during something so ugly.

Nov 5th – today I am so incredibly thankful for my mother. You are so beautiful inside and out and have the most wondeful heart for God. You give me strength when I have none left. If I can ever be half the woman you are one day, then I’ll be a lucky girl. I love you more than you will ever know Mom.

Nov 6th – today I am thankful for all the men and women who serve in our military – past and present. You keep this country safe and make it possible for me to have the freedoms I have. I am so very grateful for that. And my prayers are with all the soldiers and families at Fort Hood.

Nov 7th – and today I am thankful for my mom’s magical trail mix. Not only is it a great low sodium snack, it serves for a great breakfast when you don’t have time to make anything. One day this trail mix will be available to the masses, but for now I get to enjoy it!!

Nov 8th – and today I am thankful that I still have a gut intuition that works. I was right yesterday when I said something wasn’t right. And with that, I am thankful I have family that is close by that can come running fast when my heart goes kaput. I couldn’t have made it through last night without you Mom & Dad.

Nov 9th – and today I’m thankful for chocolate!! Chocolate always puts a smile on my face. Especially Wyndy’s chocolate cake. Yummo!!!!

Nov 10th – and today I am thankful for time. Time for my heart to heal, time to figure out which way to turn next on this roadmap of life, time to just sit still and listen.

Nov 11th – and today I am thankful for all of our veterans, like my grandfather, who proudly served our country. May their stories never be forgotten, may their sacrifices always be honored. Happy Veterans Day!!

Nov 12th – and today I am thankful for two very important people in my life. My wonderful nephew Dustin – Happy Birthday! I still remember rocking you to sleep as a baby. You have been such a blessing to my life, and I’m so proud of all that you have accomplished & your service to our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I will jump out of a plane anyday with you!! And my beautiful cousin Jeanie. Happy Birthday to you!! You continue to inspire me with your strength & perserverance. I am in awe of what you have overcome and look forward to cliff jumping with you!!
I love you both and am so thankful to have you in my life!!!

Nov 13th – today I am thankful for my heart. Even though medically it’s weak, it’s strong in all the ways that count. I’ve almost made it a year recovering from my heart failure. No man nor science will break this heart. I urge all if you to please take care of your heart. Every minute a woman dies in this country of heart disease, every minute!!! It is THE #1 KILLER in America.

Nov 14th – today I am thankful for college football. You win some, you lose some, but ain’t nothing better than watching your team duke it out. And I am especially thankful for Tennessee football. You guys may not have shown up yesterday to play, but I love ya anyways. Go Big Orange!!!

Nov 15th – today I am thankful for Daron & Tiffany’s wedding anniversary. Daron, you brought the most wonderful woman into our family and gave me a best friend. I couldn’t have made it through 2008 without her. I am so grateful for both of you. Happy Anniversary guys, I love you!

Nov 16th –  today I am thankful for the days I wake up & can walk. Today wasn’t one of them & it makes me realize how much even I take walking for granted. Over 400,000 Americans suffer the debilitating effects of MS. Say a prayer for them today,not all have access to the support system or resources like I do. I’m thankful …for days I can walk,for the fighting spirit on days I can’t & the people that love me regardless.

Nov 17th – today I am thankful for Trader Joe’s. You have the most wondeful alternatives for people who are on different or restrictive diets. I heart Trader Joes!!

Nov 18th – today I am thankful for all the doors that are opening for me. This just keeps getting better and better. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me yet, but I’m enjoying the ride as we find out. As I said before, the best is yet to come.

Nov 19th – today I am thankful for my Dad. Not only are you my hero, you have always been my #1 cheerleader (next to Mom). You believe in me when I don’t believe in myself, you motivate me when I hit brick walls and you give me sledgehammers to make my own doors when the world slams them in my face. Not only am …I proud of eveything you are and have done in this world, I know DaddyFrank is proud of the son, father, doctor and now DaddyFrank you have become. I am honored to have you as my father. I only hope I can fill your big shoes one day!! I love you Dad!!

Nov 20th –  today I am thankful for college mascots. Uga, you did a lot for the University of Georgia and the SEC. As the only college mascot to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, you brought much attention and respect to our conference. RIP and my condolences to all the Georgia fans.

Nov 21st – today I am thankful for my bike.And for my brother introducing me to the love of cycling.You have given me a wonderful outlet to let go and get away from the world for a little while, when I’m on my bike. Not to mention a way for me to prove all the doctors wrong,I will ride the MS Bike Tour aga…in.Taking her today over to Terry’s to get some work done, don’t know why my cateye isn’t working.

Nov 22nd – today I am thankful for good soup on a cold, chilly day. Just makes you feel all warm and cozy. And yes, you can have really good, low sodium soup. My version is ever better than the original in most cases.

Nov 23rd – today I am thankful for my ex-husband. Happy Birthday Waleed. While our marriage didn’t work,you taught me more about myself than anyone has. It’s because of you that I am a better woman, a stronger Christian, & if God grants me the chance again -will be a better wife one day. I wish… you all the happiness & joys that I am finding in my life again. Shukria, mayra dost!!

Nov 24th – today I am thankful for my smile! It sure hasn’t left my face all day long and I love days like these. As I said earlier, the best is yet to come… and things just keep getting better. And I have to give a special shout-out thanks to my DaddyFrank who is smiling on me in Heaven. I wouldn’t have this smile without you! You were the best orthadontist to ever grace this earth!

Nov 25th – and today I am thankful for second chances. God has granted me two big ones and I am eternally grateful. I am lucky to be alive. For whatever reason the Big Man just wasn’t ready for me. So I’m going to make the most of my second chance with everything in me, grabbing hold and not letting go. If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance, make something worthwhile of it. God didn’t let you down, so don’t let Him down.

Nov 26th – and today I am thankful I don’t have to eat any turkey!!! I love non-traditional Thanksgiving dinners. Lobster – here I come!!!! 🙂 But I hope everyone else enjoys their turkey and has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 26th – and today I am truly thankful I’m alive. My doctor told me I wasn’t supposed to make it to the end of this year, and my heart is getting stronger. So thank you God for keeping me here, there is so much I have left to do in this world. And thank yo…u to my family and friends who have supported me over the last year. I am blessed.

Nov 27th – and today I am thankful for the beauty, peace and serenity of the North Georgia mountains. There truly is a place in this world where you can leave all your worries behind in the city, and my parents just happen to own it!!!

Nov 28th – today I am thankful for the true friends in my life who stick with me thru thick and thin, good or bad, happy or sad times. Those that have loved me no matter what. I am so fortunate for the great friends I have in my life. Thank you for being there, for making me laugh and definitely for making my life fun and interesting!!

Nov 29th – today I am thankful for families who open their hearts & lives up to adoption. Every child deserves a family. I am thankful Carrie made it to Africa safely & got to see Mykah & Jackson yesterday. Please pray the adoption process is a speedy one & for safe travels home. Chris & Carrie, I can’t wait to m…eet the new additions to your family.

Nov 30th – and today I am thankful for my dear friend Drew Bates, his company Unique Publications and his incredible project Redneck Ninjas. You continue to inspire me with your creativity and determination. I …am so thankful you kicked that 18-wheelers butt and am honored to be a part of your life. I look forward to this adventure and being a part of the journey with you as Redneck Ninjas goes worldwide!!! Everybody needs a little ninja!!!