Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I won! I won!

I wanted to let everyone know I won the beautiful fall painting over at Stephanie Brown Design. She had a great giveaway recently and I won this painting:

Stephanie is so talented and I am enjoying her blog so much. I am so inspired by her. Everyone should go over & subscribe & follow her. Well, I know exactly where I am going to display my painting once I receive it. I will post a pic of it then. Thanks again Stephanie!



Monday, November 22, 2010

My first painting project post

Well, I have finally finished some projects that I have been working on and wanted to share one with you. I do not think I'm the best artist, crafter, or decorator, however I am proud of the projects I complete. The first one I would like to share is a painting I started last year, yes I said last year, for my son. I started it and kept putting it down thinking, Oh, this looks terrible I can't hang this up and let anyone see it. Then my bossy sister came over (warning: your probably going to hear a lot about my bossy sister) and said "Why isn't this hanging up on Seth's door?" while she held up the painting. So, I made some final touches on it & then with my mothers help, hung it on Seth's door to his room.

I know it's nothing special, but I sure had fun painting it and he was very surprised when he came home & saw it on his door. I love to make him smile! Oh, and I also love my bossy sister very much! ; )

Love, April

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Working out His Best for Us

In a recent post, I mentioned that I wanted to share with you some of the cards I received while I was in the hospital and rehabilitation center. I have them in a big box and have been looking through them over the past several weeks. I also have a banner that was made for my hospital room wall and a t-shirt from my chorus teacher and class that everyone signed. I have so many other things that people sent or brought me. My family put the banners and signs on the walls and placed the gifts and plants around the room. As the days went by, I received more and more cards, so I decided to put them on the walls also. I wanted to be able to see them and get encouragement. That way I would also be able to see how many people were thinking about me and praying for me.
I remember very little of the first few days in the hospital in Jackson. My parents told me that tons and tons of people came to visit me. I remember some visitors, but unfortunately I do not remember others. I am sure my critical status and the medications had a lot to do with it. I still see people that tell me "I came to see you in the hospital after your wreck, Don't you remember?" Most of the time I have to say that I don't. I'm sorry. That is why I am so glad I kept all of these cards.
I received cards and letters from family members, friends, friends of friends, friends of family members, family members of friends, friends of family members of friends, and I could keep going. I am not joking or playing. I think I received cards from everyone I know and from many people I had never met. I also received prayer grams and cards from local and non-local churches. It was unbelievable how many people cared about me to take the time to send a simple card that would lift up my hopes during that critical time in my life. My heart has been touched so much that tears are rolling down my face as I type these words right now. I cannot think of the words to say that would express how thankful I am for these cards, letters, and especially the prayers. I hope the words "Thank You" would be acceptable. It was obvious the word was getting around about the accident and many prayers were going up to God for my recovery. He was definitely listening!
My parents told me the doctors were only concerned about keeping me alive for the first several days. Once I made it through that very critical time, they began to focus on the spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, the doctors decided it was time for me to move on to a rehabilitation center. So, my parents began looking for the best place for me to be transferred. After much research and many visits, my parents decided for me to transfer to Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MMRC). This was a very, scary time for me. I had not really understood yet that MMRC was not a hospital and they did not do things like a hospital. At MMRC there were only semi-private rooms so I had to stay in a room with someone I had never met and knew nothing about. Remember, I was only sixteen at this time and I wanted my momma by my side twenty-four seven. Also, I was still bed bound with sand bags on both sides of my head.
I would like to end this post by sharing with you one of the cards that helped lift my spirits. It still has the tape on it were I had it taped on the wall over my bed. On the front there is a quote by Roy Lessin "There are many mysteries in life, many things we don't understand: God doesn't always tell us how He's working out His plan. But in His time and in His way He clearly lets us know He's working out His best for us because He loves us so."
WOW! That is so true! I did not have a clue of what He had in store for me. With the prognosis the doctors gave me, things just seemed so bad. I kept praying for things to get better and thinking that it just had to get better. I believe my faith helped me to keep that thought, however I don't know if I could have imagined my life would ever be as great as it is now. Do not ever forget God is in control and no matter how hard or tough times get, He's always working toward the best for us even if we are unable to see it or understand it at that particular time. Until next time, thanks for reading!


Fireflies and Jellybeans: Giveaway!! $50 of Silhouette products!!!!!

Fireflies and Jellybeans: Giveaway!! $50 of Silhouette products!!!!!

Just wanted to let everyone know about this giveaway! It's really neat stuff & would be great to win! Follow the link to find out how!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The "Dreaded" Talk

Hello, Hello!!! Here I am! Slowly, but surely! That's my life statement. It seems to describe me very well. Well, of course, we have been really busy since my last post. It seems like when school starts and Fall begins, there's one thing after another for us to do. I know you can relate if you have kids. Seth is playing football on Saturday mornings, practice on week nights (sometimes 2 nights a week...yea we're a little serious about our football even at 6 years old, haha), and church on Sundays & Wednesday nights. Also, in August I began planning a surprise 40th birthday party for my husband, Jerry. He turned 40 on October 9th and I just had to surprise him with this party. He is a really big prankster and pulls things on everybody all of the time. So, needless to say, it was his turn & we got him good. It was so neat. I chose an 80's theme since his teenage years were during that time. He loves the 80's, especially the music. I'll share more about that on another day. I have also finished some projects that I'm going to share later (yea, I know, I promise I will).
In my last post, I told a little about my time in the hospital before I was transferred to the rehabilitation center. Basically, for two weeks I laid in the bed with sand bags on both sides of my head and waited. I will never forget the day the doctor came in to talk to me while lying there in the bed. He took my right arm and hand and asked me to try to move it. After I tried a few times, I still could not move it at all. He said, Try one more time." I tried so hard to move it again and again. After I stopped grunting and making a horrible face trying so hard to move it, my arm and hand just laid there limp and still. There was not even a twitch of movement in the least in any part of my arm or hand. I remember my parents & family all standing around my bed anxiously watching and waiting for my arm to start moving. I can not imagine how my parents must have felt standing there watching this and wanting so badly to "fix it" or do it for me. I know if there was any possible way they could have or even taken my place, they would have in a second. I realize these things now that I have a child of my own.
My arm & hand never moved on that day and I suppose the doctor decided that was the day he would have the "dreaded" talk with me. Actually, he did most of the talking. This was the first time I remember anyone telling me exactly what happened to me in the car accident. He told me about my injury, explaining how my spinal cord was mashed and how that affected my body. He then began to tell me that was the reason I could not move my arms, hands, legs, & feet, actually my entire body from my shoulders down. He said I was paralyzed from the injury and would never be able to walk or move my arms or hands. He said he was sorry to have to tell me this, but that this is the way it would be for the rest of my life. I laid there and listened to everything he said, along with my family by my side. I just kept thinking to myself, "How can he say these things when he doesn't really know what is going to happen later? God is the only one that knows whether I will walk again or not. He is the only one that knows if I will ever be able to move my arms or hands or not. How can he say this? He doesn't know what he's talking about. Then I remember thinking, I'll show you. God is in control, not you. God is going to help me through this and help me get better. I thought God is not going to leave me lying here like this. He's going to help me get up & get going! Somewhere deep inside me I knew this was not it, things would not be like this for the rest of my life.
When the doctor finished talking, I remember looking at him and saying "Oh yes I will, I will walk again and move my arms and hands again one day." He just looked at me and said he hoped I did. My parents have always said the doctor just didn't know how hardheaded I am. Now, I say my hardheadedness and God's Will make a great team. The whole way through it seems I was just so determined to prove that all of the doctors were wrong about my prognosis. For the most part they were wrong, because God is always in control! I have proved them wrong, but not without God's help. I give all Glory to God!!! This reminds me of my favorite verse "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
I realize that everyone does not believe in miracles, but I sure do. My life is proof that miracles do happen. God loves me so much I have had two miracles in my life. I am referring to my recovery from the accident (Now, I can move both legs, my right arm & hand and I can walk some with minimal assistance!) and my little boy Seth who has touched my life in so many ways. I believe we all receive miracles in our lives, sometimes we just don't open our eyes wide enough to see them.
Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at and reading through my cards & letters I received while I was in the hospital & rehab. Yes, I kept all of them! I have not counted them, but I received several each day during my six month stay. I was so blessed to have some many people praying & caring for me. I thank each & every person who sent me a card during those hard times. I would look forward to the mail being delivered everyday to see who had sent me a card. They were all so encouraging & uplifting. Since I am still going through them, I am planning to tell you about them in some later posts. I am enjoying reading them, however they bring back a lot of memories. I would say it is a "bitter sweet" experience.:)
I hope you are enjoying the posts about my life. I was not sure how I would handle writing about everything that has happened, but I have actually enjoyed it. It's just one way I can show others how great our God is. No matter what, He loves us more than we can ever know or understand. I'll be back later to tell you more about my amazing, miraculous life.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sharing Summertime!

Well, Hello again! Yes, I'm back!!! After oh...4 months, can you believe it. I had a great summer at home with my sweet little boy. I know he's growing up so fast, but he will always be my little boy. He turned six years old this summer & I can't believe it. Time goes by soooo fast. I guess since we can't change that fact, we just need to enjoy our time & make the best of it! God has given me so many blessings and I am so thankful!

I have to share with you some pictures of him this summer. I know, I'm sorry, I have to brag on him just a little.....

It makes me so happy to share these pictures with everyone. Seth is my pride & joy, if you can't already tell. He started first grade this year and we, as a family, are trying to adjust. I'm also sharing some pictures of Seth & my nephew Dylan (He & Seth are the same age.)and my Mom with three of her grandchildren. My Mom is the most awesome & strongest women I know. She is the backbone of our family and I don't know what I would do (& would have done in the past) without her. She deserves a huge award for being the woman she is & has been. I know she will receive many jewels for her crown when she gets to heaven! Momma, I love you very much! (I know she'll read this sometime.)

I just wanted to let everyone know I'm back & I'll be back shortly (I promise!) with the story of my days in rehabilitation while my body is healing from the trauma of the wreck. I can assure you these days were not pleasant!

Love, April

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Bright Light

Okay, I know you were probably thinking I wasn't ever coming back. Well, I have been kind of busy, but I know that is no excuse. All of these wonderful ladies out there in blog land handle so much in their lives. It's just so inspiring to follow their blogs & see how much they accomplish with work, home, children, & hobbies & interests.

I wanted to tell you a little more about my life. I would like to start out by telling you how blessed I am! I have the most wonderful & awesome family that anyone could ever have. I know that I was born into this family for a reason. One of those reasons is the fact that my family is the most loving, caring, dedicated & strongest family I know. God knew I would need them one day. I hope someday I can do for them all they have done for me. Of course, I hope under better circumstances. I am so thankful for each & everyone of them!

I am not completely clear about exactly what happened after the accident occured until the ambulance arrived. I have been told many stories from individuals involved, however I do not believe that I have been told the entire truth. As far as I know after about 5 hours, I was found inside the car which was left in the middle of the road. The area was very rural and there were not many houses around. I was conscious & unconscious the whole time. I guess you could say I was "in & out." I remember several times opening my eyes to a very bright light. It looked like bright, bright sunbeams that kept going and going. I am not exactly sure what this means, but I am sure it means something. I did not see anyone or hear anyone, I just saw the light. This is one of the reasons I believe I was never alone that night. God was right there with me and has not left my side since!

After arriving at the local hospital, I was sent by ambulance to another hospital in Jackson, MS (approximately 2 hours away)that was more advanced in treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI). I am not sure the doctors knew exactly what to do at first. The doctors told my family their main concern was keeping me alive. (If they only knew they couldn't make this decision! Only God could & still can!) Three or four days passed by and I was doing well considering everything that happened. The doctors were performing lots of MRI's & CAT scans, but were not doing much for my broken neck. I was diagnosed with Cervical Scoliosis around the age of 12 and this made it difficult for the doctors to decide exactly where my neck was fractured. The Scoliosis is in my neck in the same area of the SCI. So, I laid in the bed for two weeks with a broken neck waiting for the doctors to "fix" it (yes, I'm a true Southerner). If I had only known that I had 5 more weeks to lay there and wait, I may have thought about giving up at that point. When you go through something like this, you have no idea what to do or what to expect. It just seemed so foreign to us. We trusted the doctors and expected them to know what to do in this situation. I guess we were wrong in that since. We should have put more faith & trust in God and looked to him for the answers, not the human doctors. I do think there are some great & awesome doctors out there. I just need to remember they are only human like me and the ultimate physician and one in charge of everything is the one & only, God himself. Even though my situation turned out the way it did, I truly believe everything went according to God's plan.

Well, I have to take a break now. Going back through all of these memories makes me see just how blessed I am & I hope you can see it too. And this is just the beginning of my story! Thanks for reading. I'll be back soon to tell you more and share some projects with you!

PS. I love comments!

Love, April

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Night my Life Changed

Today, I thought I would start out by telling you about a night that completely changed my life and every one's life I knew at that time. I was a young, 16 year old teenage girl that was living life to the fullest. I was a junior in high school and all I was interested in was having fun. Well, unfortunately, I was having too much fun. I have to say I got caught up in all the "fun." At this point, I have to thank God for his Grace and Mercy, because I was going to need it.
On October 20, 1990, it was my school's homecoming and I had plans with some friends to go to the football game and then the dance. As the day time progressed into night time, our plans began to change. I believe this decision is the beginning of my life making a huge turn in the wrong direction. Throughout the night, I made a lot of bad choices & decisions. I have not, do not, and will not ever blame anyone for how tragically this night ended. What could go wrong? I was having so much fun.
I was in a car accident that night and fractured my neck, also known as a spinal cord injury. I am now considered to be a quadriplegic, meaning paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors gave my family & I these big long words. They also gave me a very poor prognosis regarding my paralysis. As the doctor talked with my parents about my condition, I believe his exact words were "It will take a miracle for her to move anything below her shoulders and she will never walk again." Fortunately, only God knows how things will turn out. Thankfully, my situation turned out differently from what the doctor's said. I was not driving the car when the accident happened, I was simply the passenger. I choose not to talk about this night very often, because it seems so sad to me. In every way possible, I have put it behind me and continue to move forward. Earlier I mentioned that I was thankful for God's Grace and Mercy, most importantly I am thankful for His unconditional love.
I received Jesus Christ as my Lord & Saviour when I was 13 years old, so I know that all of this happened for some reason. God took care of me that night and is still taking care of me everyday. I could have easily died as I laid there in the car for approximately 5 hours after the accident until help came. I know I was not alone, God was there with me the whole time, just as He is with me today.
I have many things that I want to share, but I think this is enough for now. It did take awhile for my life to start turning back in a good direction. A lot of things have helped get my life to where I am now. Yes, I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out if I made different choices on that particular night. With the life I have, I can not begin to imagine that it could have been anything near as great as it is now. It is all because of God's Grace, Mercy, and Unconditional Love.

I have so much more to share. I will post again soon & pick up where I stopped, so please come back.

Love, April

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Starting Somewhere

I am thinking of the phrase "We all have to start somewhere." Well, that is where I am right now. This is my first blog & my first post. So, please everyone be patient with me. I am just starting out and it will probably take me awhile to catch on to the blog etiquette in the blog world. I will go ahead and apologize for anything I do that offends or bothers anyone. I know I will probably do this once or twice during my learning experience. Maybe that experience will not be very long. I welcome any and all suggestions, comments, and opinions that would be helpful.

I want to tell you about my life, my family, my interests and share my experiences and my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. I am really looking forward to my next post so I can begin my story. Also, I am already working on some thrift store "re-dos" (as I call them) that I plan to post soon. Now, I am going to play in blogland for awhile.

Love, April