Season Of Waiting

After last week’s post about my themes for this year, I found out that I am in a season of waiting. When I look at the long list of things that I am waiting for, it feels like the list is endless. For example, I am waiting for an important delivery, waiting on my state Vocational Rehabilitation Services to get me what I need, and waiting for answers to my prayers.

Because I wasn’t sure what to do while I am in this season of waiting, I begin to get worried and anxious. As a result, God lead me to YouTube, where I found a sermon by Sadie Robertson called “Don’t waste the waiting.” I usually do not watch Robertson; but this time, however, I watching her and connecting with it. In the video, Robertson talked about praising God while waiting for God to answer prayers. I connected with her sermon because I was praising God while waiting for an outcome of a meeting that I really needed. I’m excited to say that God answered my prayer that day.

Meanwhile, as I am praying and praising God in this season of waiting, I am also listening for his voice. The Lord has continued to tell me that I need to let go of all the hurtful past that I have held onto for so long. For me letting go is one of the hardest things to do. I often find myself crying at night before bedtime because of anxiety. I know that letting go of this hurtful past can help me find more joy and peace and lessen my anxiety.

I have often felt lost with what I am supposed to do with my life. To help give myself some direction, I have created a box of goals. My goals are simple: Mail out a few things, get my passport, and continue to work on my business plan. If I continue developing my business plan, I will soon be able to graduate from my state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, which I have been affiliated with since 2006.

Have you ever been in a season of waiting? What did you do during this time? Tell me in the comments below.

2020: More Courage, Self-control, and Joy

In 2019, I worked on movement, patience, and positivity. While I was growing in those lessons God pointed out some other very important characteristics that I need to work on. Now in 2020 I’ve decided to bring these issues to light, examine them, and grow in them. My three pillars this year are: Courage, Self-Control, and Joy.

My first pillar is courage. For those of you who don’t know I often lack confidence which is a byproduct of being controlled by anxiety. I often worry about doing or saying the wrong thing and what other’s think of me. As a result, I have missed out on a lot of great opportunities. This year I have decided to build up my self-confidence which I believe starts with showing action by having courage to do things. For example, I have a phobia of going to the doctor because of previous bad experiences. When I was seventeen, for instance, I went to the Emergency Room with severe stomach and back pain. Initially, even thought I was a virgin, the doctor still believed that I was pregnant. After the pregnancy test came back negative, the doctor discovered the cause of my pain was from a kidney infection. Nevertheless, the doctor said, “I still think you’re a slut!” As a result, I have not trusted doctor very much since then.  Therefore, it’s time for me to muster some courage and make a doctor’s appointment.  In fact, the Bible commands us, “…Be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1:9).

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Bring on 2020…

A post shared by Amanda Gene (@amandagenen) on

My second pillar is self-control. Self-control is one of the fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:23). For those of you who don’t know I have quite a temper. Last year, for example, my temper got the better of me when I threw my Iphone 8 on the floor and smashed the screen. This mistake will cost me $400 plus dollars to fix. Therefore, God showed me that I need to improve my self-control.   He relived to me, in his word, “A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28).  I am eager to learn to grow in this very important fruit of the spirit.

My last pillar is Joy. But my joy often gets robed because I tend to focus on my problems rather than their solutions. For example, last year I fell into a depression when my hard drive crashed, and I thought that all my work was lost. Then I found a spark of Joy! God gave me a potential solution when a friend offered to try and recover my data.  It is in the process of trying to be recovered as of this writing. God has shown me the recipe for Joyful living, in his word: “Always be Joyful. Keep on praying. No matter, what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  I feel that if I find both earthly and spiritual joy, I will feel happier and more relaxed.

I pray that you guys will see me grow in these things, and that you will be able to benefit from me sharing my journey with you. What are some of your goals this year? Tell me down in the comments below.

 

2019: More Movement, Patience and Positivity-December Edition

As I sit here reflecting on December and 2019 as a whole, I come to realize that it hasn’t been that bad of a year.

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From a Facebook post. 

 

My first pillar in my life’s theme this year was movement, and in the month of December, I learned that movement played a big part of my future. I have learned that I have a great group of friends, family and others that want to see me have success. A lot of prayers have been answered. I had two big needs on my heart and God answered them. The Bible says in Philippians 4:16, “Don’t worry about anything: Instead, pray about everything; Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done.”*

Another thing that I have learned is to let go of a private matter from my hurtful past. With the help of a friend, I was able to work through one of the biggest issues that had caused me grief for many years. Now because I have been able to work through this issue, I can work on having a healthier and more positive outlook on life. The Bible also says in Philippians 3:13, “…But I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

My second pillar in my life’s theme this year was patience. I have asked God to help me with this problem. I often want answers to my prayers quickly, and God has shown me that I must be patient and wait when it comes to getting answers to my requests.  The funny thing is God used a Facebook post to get my attention when I asked, “Why am I so inpatient?” The Facebook post said that Patience has to be learned. In the past month God has given me a crash course in patience. I am okay with the fact that I am still growing this fruit of the spirit. I am starting to see that I am getting patient.

My third pillar in my life’s theme this year was positivity. I have learned two important aspects of positivity this year. The first is enjoy your journey. My grandpa reminded me of this one day while I was impatiently waiting on outcome from a meeting. He said, “No matter what other people say, remember it’s your own unique journey and you should enjoy it.”  The second lesson is I have to do my part to help God do his part. This includes staying positive and not procrastinating. I had to learn that no matter what I am facing in life it is better to stay positive and enjoy the outcome then to be negative and enjoy nothing at all. It gives me hope knowing that God already has a plan for my future. It says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For the plans I have for you.” Says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I hope that you all have met all of your goals in 2019. I felt like I’ve achieved a lot this year. Tell me what your best achievement was in the comments below. See you in 2020 with an exciting new life theme. 😊

 

 

 

 

*All Bible verses have been taken from the Holy Bible TruthQuest New Living Translation-Inductive Student Bible

 

Interview with Matt Harris (Guest Post #20) And a GIVEAWAY!

Matt is a good friend of mine. He writes amazing poetry. Be sure to enter the giveaway and follow Matt on social media. 🙂

Let’s start with the basics…

  1. What is your name? My name is Matt Harris, and I’m a fifty-nine-year-old poet—and author of Seeing Through Blindness. I live just outside of Baltimore, MD. Before we begin, I would like first to say hello to your readers and to thank you, Amanda, for giving me this opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my work.

 

  1. What is your college major/Minor? I am currently enrolled as an English Major, with a specialization in Creative Writing, at the University of Baltimore. Several years ago, my marriage broke up; and a year later, I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome (US). US is a genetic disease that robs a person of both eyesight and hearing. At that time, as a former drug and alcohol abuser, who had been sober for 20 years, I feared that I might fall back into that lifestyle again, because I so desperately wanted to numb the pain from my marital breakup and Usher Syndrome diagnosis. The words Go buy a six-pack, one won’t hurt kept echoing through my mind. But I knew that was a lie. I knew from my past substance abuse that this old saying applied to me: one drink was too many and ten were not enough. So, I pushed those lies aside and decided to lean on my faith in Jesus. He has kept me sober and has given me the strength and comfort that I needed to cope with the pain. And shortly thereafter, I enrolled in the University of Baltimore at age 55, with a 99% vision loss and a 60% hearing loss. If everything goes as expected, I will be graduating in the spring of 2020. I plan to write a memoir based on this experience. I hope it will make a nice bookend to my poetic memoir, Seeing Through Blindness, which tells about my experiences with blindness and drugs as a teenager and young adult.

Let’s talk about writing/YouTube/Blogs…

  1. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging and or YouTube channel? My mother, who passed away last year, was a great inspiration for me. She grew up in Baltimore with 6 brothers and a sister. And although they lived in poverty, my mom chose to work hard and fight her way out of her circumstances. What inspired me initially about blogging, however, was that I wanted to try to get out information about my book—and to share its message of hope. I also wanted to blog about other poets’, or writers’, work as well. I think it’s important for writers to support one another, as you do, Amanda. But my blog turned into a rather eclectic assortment of topics—everything from an article about a blind man from Scripture named Bartimaeus to a friend whose rock band once opened for Led Zeppelin in Baltimore. But since starting college, I have largely neglected my blog because my studies have taken top priority. I hope to focus more on blogging after I graduate. As for YouTube, other than a few poetry recitations, I haven’t utilized my channel to its fullest potential. But after having watched some of your YouTube videos, Amanda, you have inspired me to take another look at how I could use my channel to help people and, at the same time, support other writers and promote my own work.
  2. Besides writing or making YouTube videos, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love to read. I’m a HUGE Stephan King fan, currently reading Doctor Sleep. I also love reading Scripture. In addition to reading, I like walking, going to the beach, attending plays, poetry readings, going to the movies, engaging in good conversations, and eating at restaurants. During football season, I love listening to Baltimore Ravens’ games. The team was named after one of my favorite poems: “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe.
  3. What is the title of your blog or YouTube channel? My blog, along with information about my book, can be found at my website: seeingthroughblindness.com.
  4. Have you ever written a book? If so tell me about it? My latest book, as I mentioned earlier, is called Seeing Through Blindness. It tells about my battles with visual impairment, drugs, and God during my teenage years and young adult life. It speaks not only to the issues of people with disabilities but also to issues concerning addiction and marginalization in society. Since I’m a poet, I wrote the book as a narrative poem in a free-verse style. I like this style because it allowed me to use a ton of imagery to tell my story by showing it. The poetic structure also enabled me to say what needed to be said in 100 pages—instead of probably 300 pages if I had written it in prose. A show called This Is Baltimore, Too produced a documentary about my book, which aired on a local cable television channel. Here’s a link to the show if any of your readers would like to take a look at it. This Is Baltimore, Too — Seeing Through Blindness with Matt Harris
  5. Where can people buy your books?

My book is available on Amazon—in both paperback and Kindle versions.

Matt
Photo of Matt Harris.

Let’s get to know more about you and your disability…

  1. Name a bad habit that you have? I have a tendency to rock back and forth sometimes when I’m standing up. I developed this habit when my oldest daughter was a baby. Sometimes the only way for her to fall asleep was for me to stand up and rock back and forth with her in my arms.
  2. Name your best quality? I’m a good listener.
  3. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? I would love to interview John Milton, the British poet who wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost. Milton was blind when he wrote this masterpiece in the 1600s. I would ask him how he, as a blind person, wrote and edited this voluminous piece using only seventeenth-century technology.
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years? I would hope to have published my next memoir and several more books of poetry by then. I would also hope to be traveling the country to recite my poetry at various venues.
  5. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? As I mentioned earlier, I have a genetic disease called Usher Syndrome (US), which causes both blindness and deafness. At age 21, I was first diagnosed with a genetic eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). RP causes severe visual impairment and can lead to total blindness. At the time of my RP diagnosis, I was declared legally blind and could still hear perfectly. By age 45, I started to experience hearing loss. About 10 years later, after my hearing further deteriorated, and since RP and US are genetically related, I was tested for US, and the results came back positive.
  6. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? Having a dual sensory loss can be challenging. It often feels like I’m in a foreign country trying to decipher language and the lay of the land. It sometimes feels as if I’m fading away. But, fortunately, the technologies available today help me maneuver through some of the foreign territory that I face each day. Also, as I mentioned earlier, my faith in Jesus helps to anchor me in peace while I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this new world in which I find myself.
  7. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? I feel that my condition is very misunderstood and that people have a lot of misconceptions about it. For example, there is a misconception that blind people have bionic hearing. This myth trips me up at times when people think that about me, not realizing that I actually have a profound hearing loss. This misconception can create misunderstandings when people speak to me and then misinterpret my lack of response as rudeness. I try to dispel these misconceptions whenever I can. On the other hand, some people, even though they still might think that we have superior hearing, still insist on speaking loudly to us. Although this irritates many blind people, it actually helps me with my hearing loss. All in all, however, I do believe that for the most part people in general mean well. I think that the people I meet in my everyday travels just simply do not know how to respond to me because they haven’t been around people in my situation. These are just a few of the many obstacles I face each day. I’ll save the rest for my future memoir.
  8. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? I would say to try and develop a good sense of humor about visual impairment and smile a lot and try to put people at ease. Also, if you are losing your sight gradually, I think it’s very important to be aware of–and grieve–the emotional and psychological trauma that can occur in each stage of sight loss. These continual losses over a course of a lifetime can be harmful if not dealt with properly.
  9. Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

I mostly hang out on Facebook. Here’s a link to my Home Page: Matt’s Facebook page

Let’s talk about the holidays…

  1. What holidays do you celebrate during the winter season?

I celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.

  1. What is one of your favorite memories of the holiday? I liked when my daughters opened their presents on Christmas Day when they were little. They would get so excited. I also enjoyed the warmth and the scent of seasoned oak logs that crackled in our wood stove that we always burned on Christmas Day. These were very fond memories.
  2. Best gift you ever received?

The Gift of Eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord!

  1. What does the holidays mean to you?

In recent years, the holidays have become a time of reflection for me. But, of course, they also represent a time of giving. And with that thought in mind, I would like to conclude by giving a free copy of my book, Seeing Through Blindness, to the first five readers who comment on your blog using a quotation from your article. (Unfortunately, I can only send copies in the United States.) Just PM the location to Amanda to where you would like me to send the book.* Thanks again, Amanda, for inviting me to your blog. Happy Holidays!

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*Amanda’s email is: Amanda@amandagene.com

If you would like to be interviewed on my blog please email me at: Amanda@amandagene.com

Interview with Charli (Guest interview #19)

Charli and I met on Twitter, and we are now good friends. Be sure to check her out on social media.  🙂

  1. What is your name? Charli Dee, but everyone just calls me Charli!
  2. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging and or YouTube channel? My family!  My blog is all about sharing my experiences to inspire others. Those who are familiar with my blog might notice that I mention my family quite often in my posts, and the reason for that is my experiences with them are often my inspiration!
  3. Besides writing or making YouTube videos, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love spending time with family! We love watching movies and tv shows together! It’s always so much fun! Some activities are just more fun when you are doing them with others! I also love reading. It’s one of my go to activities when I want alone time. It’s so relaxing to me.

4. Name a bad habit that you have? I can be pretty stubborn, and tend to learn things the hard way!

5. Name your best quality? I’d like to think I’m caring and compassionate. I tend to let others be the judge of this though.

6. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? Oh this is a tricky one! I’ve been asked this before, and my answer always changes because there are a number of people I would like to meet! If I had to pick one though, it would probably be Mariah Carey. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was a little girl, so it would be great to meet her!

7. What is the title of your blog or YouTube channel? The name of my Blog is Life With Charli.

8. When and why did you start your blog or YouTube channel? I started my blog in March of 2019. I’ve always loved writing, and had been considering starting a blog for a long time before I finally set one up. I just never had the time. I finally made time in 2019! I wanted to use my love of writing to help inspire others, and that is the focus of my blog!

9. Where do you see yourself in five years? I would like to think that, over the next five years, my blog will have really grown into a very successful one. I hope to have a number of collaborations under my belt by then with other bloggers and companies. So far my blog has been getting a lot of great feedback, so I’m very excited to keep the momentum going and seeing what the future holds.

10. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? I have a genetic disorder called Turner Syndrome. It is  when a girl is born with one of her X chromosomes fully or partially missing (boys generally have an X and a Y chromosome, while girls generally have two X chromosomes. I’m sure most people know this already though). The condition can lead to a lot of different complications, including learning disability.

11. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? The type of learning disability I have affects my processing speed. I usually take a long time to complete tasks that would take others just a few minutes. I often need help from others, or for others to understand that I might take a while to finish whatever assignments are asked of me.

12. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? People usually believe that I don’t have a disability at all, because my disability is invisible. It’s not very easy to tell that I’m a person with a disability when first meeting me. However, after getting to know me, the signs are there. Since people usually assume that I don’t have a disability, proving that I do in order to get the help I sometimes need is often very difficult.

13. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? I have had so much doubt placed on my disability status that sometimes I start to have doubts myself. However, in the end, I know myself and my limitations enough to recognize that my struggles are very real. To those who also have invisible disabilities, I would say your disability is valid. Your struggles are valid. Don’t doubt yourself, and advocate for yourself until someone listens.

14. Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links) I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bloglovin. Feel free to reach out to me on all or some of these platforms and say hello! Links to my social media pages are below:

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/charlidee_1

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/charlidee1/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlidee_1/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/charlidee1/

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@charlidee8

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated by Charli Dee who runs the blog Life with Charli. Thank you Charli for nominating me for this award.

Like all the other awards I have won there are rules that must be followed:

  1. Write a post about your nomination and display the logo on your site. Thank the person who nominated you in the post and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write seven facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.

 

Here are seven facts about me.

  1. I was named after my grandfather.
  2. My favorite color was red when I was little.
  3. My favorite color is now blue.
  4. I currently own an Iphone 8 plus
  5. I am able to use my computer thanks for a piece to technology called ZoomText
  6. My first pet was a Boston Terrier named Noodles
  7. I currently have a Pit Bull Terrier named Duke

 

Here are my 15 blogger nominees:

1.Glen

2.Matt Harris

3.Molly Burke

4.Chelsey Zumpano

5.Disabled Disney

6.David

7.Maxwell Ivey

8.Live Accessible

9.Husky Roo and Mama Too!

10.Bold Blind Beauty

11.Rebecca Writes

12.GoWithKel

13.Unwanted Life

14.Brain on Wheels

15.Mind Body and Soul Solutions

2019: More Movement, Patience and Positivity-November Edition

This was a post I didn’t want to write. It’s actually been really emotionally painful.  Everything was going fine until the morning of November 16th. I woke up, I was going to do work on my computer, plugged in my external hard drive and it wasn’t working. I tried getting my files on my grandpa’s computer; the same thing happened. I called my friend in a panic; she told me to get an extra cord and maybe it was that. On Sunday I went to Best Buy and the tech checked my hard drive. He said it was the cord. I ordered a new cord off of Amazon, and I waited almost a week for it to come in. Thursday night I said a prayer and plugged it in. Nothing changed. The following week my grandpa took me to a computer shop to see if it could be fixed. Sadly, the hard drive died without warning. I lost all my files. Now I am trying to get my blog and everything else I had back in order. I only had a few backups on some things, but not everything.

Then the day before Thanksgiving, I woke up very early in the morning. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I suddenly got very angry over my situation. Without thinking I threw my phone on the floor. I cracked the screen.  I have to pay for the damage and it is going to be expensive.

I know that this all isn’t the greatest news in the world, however there are some movement, patience and positivity in all this.

When it comes to movement, I know that I have a slight chance of getting my files back. I plan of sending my drive to a friend to see if he can fix it. In the mean time I am going to work with my editor on the things she does have while I am working on new exciting content.  The writing and disability community has been amazing. People have reminded me to keep positive and to keep going. I know that I can get my phone fixed. It may take some time to get an appointment, but I can get it repaired. I have definitely learned not to let anger get a hold of me.

When it comes to patience, I am learning to give myself time to get caught up on the work I can. It’s going to take some time and this is okay. Any movement and progress is better than nothing.

Lastly, I had to learn to stay positive in all this. I can’t let this setback hold me back. I have a great support team and I’ll make it through.

How was your month? What are your goals for December? Tell me in the comments below.