The Broken and the Beautiful

In 1983, when my mom found out she was pregnant, the decision to keep the baby or not was not an easy one. A close relative was the first to suggest she abort and move on with her life, and my mom’s boyfriend said he’d go along with whatever she decided. She was 19. She was pro-choice. She was unwed. She was a college student working at a fast food restaurant… and she was a woman with a strong heart. She decided to keep the baby. My mom and dad got married, and I was born that October. They had no idea before my birth that I had any disability, and due to the rarity of the defect, the doctors had no idea what they were dealing with. I had “stork bites” (blood vessels close to the surface) on my face, and those combined with the disfigurement of my arms caused the doctors to give my young parents the grim diagnosis: I was blind, mentally challenged, I would never walk or be independent, the list went on. We’re not sure what all they said, because my mom says she just sort of tuned out at a certain point. Understandable. Continue reading

Smiling at the Future

This is a big year for us. Like, probably the biggest year of my life. This year I become a published author. This year I become mother of two. This year I have a daughter. This year my speaking career hit the next level. I feel like this year, I grew up. Got a job. Even cut my hair, ha!

This year a lot of hard work is starting to pay off. This year, God made His plans for me more clear. And while these last few years have not been easy — probably the most difficult in my life — God’s been so gracious to me. All the positives His presence brings make the hardest times livable. Continue reading

How Could Jesus Possibly Understand?

How many times have I heard it: “Jesus knows your pain.” “He felt everything you feel.” “He understands.”

And how many times have I fought to keep from rolling  my eyes. I struggled to button my own pants until I was 10. I have a fear of stairs crop up frequently from breaking an arm seven times as a kid. There are lots of people grossed out by the appendages I have to eat with. Seriously? Jesus can relate… seriously?

I accepted that Jesus endured all kinds of pain I’d never have to experience, but in all honestly, I felt He’d never come close to knowing my personal brand of heartache. That someone would have the nerve to imply it almost angered me. Continue reading

What If Your Dreams Come True?

I saw this silly little picture on Facebook today, and the quote from Tangled (which I’ve seen a hundred times) really spoke to me. Click it to open larger in a new window.

As many of my readers know, I’ve been working on a book. I have an agent, and for the last several months we have been working on revising chapters in response to publishers’ feedback, and now I have a contract offer on the table, and possibly another coming. I feel like Rapunzel, sitting in my boat, about to watch my dream come true. I wonder if it’s going to be all I’d hoped it would be.  Continue reading