|Posted by Mandy Young on September 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM||comments (1)|
You might remember a couple of months ago I wrote about the Bellas (my Bible Study/prayer group) and I running in the Color Run 5k. We had a blast! And a couple months back my sister, dad, 2 Bellas and I ran did the Electric Run 5k which wasn't such a great experience but I'll tell you more about that in a bit. Actually maybe I need to tell you about that first!
My sister and our friend Morgane have made it their mission for 2013 to run at least one 5k a month. So a couple of months ago they were talking about the Electric Run. This 5k is a night race and basically the only light that you have guiding you is the glow sticks that you are wearing! Now there are little stops along the way with glow in the dark stations for you to take pictures at but along the trail it's just the lights that you're wearing (we didn't know this yet but thinking there would be some kind of lights through the path). I'm thinking wow that sounds like fun, I'm in too! And I'm not really sure how we roped Dad into doing it with us but he was a good sport and did. Plus our friend Blair (a fellow Bella) was all in for the fun too! So we get to the race and it's a dark and rainy GA night. The run was at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (which is where the Color Run was so we are thinking we had already done this course so we kind of know what we are doing). And this right here is where we should have stopped assuming things. The course was actually a different route and where we thought the 1/4 mile of gravel that we struggled in before was bad this time it was over a mile. Luckily I had my crutches but I had to hike it over a mile while my sister carried my wheelchair through the rocky terrain. Oh and this is also where the arm of the wheel chair feel off and I told my sister to keep going I got it but when I bent down to pick it up and since it was pitch black dark out I tripped some girl with my crutch!!! Yep that happened. So we are about half way in and the rain is getting heavier and heavier but this is where we got to run on the actual track at the Speedway which was kind of cool. I had my phone out taking pictures as we trotted along. Coming off the track you head down the breezeways where the cars would come in for a race. So we are running along in the dark and all of the sudden my front wheels hit and get stuck a rain gutter and sends me flying through the air on to the pavement, the chair flips over and Alex is dumped on top. Not expecting the fall I tried to catch myself while holding on to my crutches and phone. And this is when I thought I broke my wrist!! It hurt so bad but all of these people started grabbing me trying to get me back up and make sure that I was okay and that's when I realized I had just shattered my phone (the second shattered screen in like 2 months). Alex and I tried to get ourselves back together and once we were okay I told her to just start running again and reassured her I was fine. So we are back on track running and in 100 feet it happened all over again!!! Seriously you can't make this stuff up! And this time I REALLY thought I had broken my wrist. Once we were gathered back up again I didn't want to be in the chair anymore so I walked part of the way but my wrist was hurting so bad I got back in the chair and we just walked the rest of the way. At the end of the race we all made a pact, we were happy that we did it and had the experience but we will NEVER do another night race again! And don't worry my wrist wasn't broken I couldn't really move it that night but the next day it was all good!
So I told you that whole story just to tell you Alex, Morgane, Lauren (another Bella) and I ran/rolled in another 5k this past weekend! Yaaaaaay us!! This race was a local one called the Fuzz Run! This was the second time I had been in a chair since being dumped out. The first was my family trip to Chicago and honestly I was a nervous wreck the entire time. But this was my first race since the Electric Run so I was a little nervous! And there were SOOO many people there so when Alex was trying to weave in and out of the herd of people I would freak out a little inside. I think we were both a little nervous. She doesn't want me to get dumped out (she felt so guilty for what happened at the Electric Run) and I for sure don't want to get thrown out; so finally Alex said you know what we are just going to walk this one. So we stayed back with our two friends that we went with and just chatted and strolled along and it was lovely! Plus after the race we found some other Bellas that happened to be there too! And congrats to Bella Casey for coming in 3rd place in her age divison!! Whoop Whoop, that's our girl!!!
Now I can't say that we will stroll along at the next one. Our competitive nature is going to kick in at some point and we'll be back running in no time. And even though I could have just said you know what after getting dumped out of my chair and thinking that I broke a body part I could have said nah 5K's aren't for me yall just go ahead, I didn't. I faced the fear and got back in the chair. When you fall you can't simply give up because of the fear of falling again, you gotta get up and try try again. You may become a little bruised and battered along the way. But I look at those as war wounds and everyone one of them has a story of how they have made me a stronger person. I Iike to wear them proudly.
|Posted by Mandy Young on September 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
Last weekend I got the opportunity to speak at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Garden City (Savannah), GA. The pastor's wife and a group of ladies from their church saw me speak at the Beautiful Life Conference this summer. The next week they contacted me to see if I would come and share with their church which I got to do last Friday. It was great!
And I just have to share with you about one of the ministries that this church provides. After I was finished sharing my testimony I was presented with a prayer quilt that the ladies of the church made. It was so pretty! Basically the idea behind these prayer quilts is simple. As each knot is tied, a silent prayer is offered for someone in special need, who then receives the finished quilt. Cards with information about the recipients are available so that people can continue to remember them in their prayers. This type of quilt is a "lap" quilt, laced with heavy thread. These laces, or threads, are tied with a square knot by members of the quilting group and congregation. The quilts are a gift of love and prayer. They are a statement to the church's belief in prayer and their faith in God and in His power to comfort, strengthen, and healing.
When someone is sick, hurting, healing, and in the need for prayer these quilts are a wonderful comfort. It's like they are all the prayers are wrapped around you. And do you know what's awesome; these quilts are free! All you have to do is visit the churches website (http://www.wbcgc.org/Ministries/PrayerQuilts/tabid/100/Default.aspx) and fill out a form and a quilt will be sent to them! I just love this!! Feel free to visit their website and get more information.
I just loved this idea and wanted to share it with all of y'all! And if you're in the Savannah area go and visit the wonderful people of Woodlawn Baptist Church!
|Posted by Mandy Young on August 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM||comments (4)|
I wasn't planning on writing a blog about this but honestly ever since I watched the VMA's last night I can't get the image out of my head. I think you all know what I'm talking about and unless you haven't turned on the TV or internet in the last 24 hours I'm sure you've seen Miley Cyrus' performance by now. Honestly I haven't watched MTV since well...high school. And since NSYNC was performing I HAD to watch!!
Like I said I was only planning on watching the Justin Timberlake/NSYNC part but when I saw Facebook and Twitter blowing up with Miley status' I knew I had to watch it. I seriously sat here with my mouth wide open. You see when I was 28 year old woman watching Hannah Montana and I owned up to it. I'm still not ashamed of it. I have been begging for wholesome tv and Hannah Montana seemed to be the closest thing that I could get to a T.G.I.F. Friday night family sitcom. I had such high hopes for Miley to be a positive role model; someone who grew into their fame and who wouldn't turn into one of those child stars that we all have the "what went wrong" water cooler conversations about. Boy was I wrong!
So as I'm sitting here with my mouth open and my heart is just breaking. THIS is what our young girls have as a role model? THIS is what teenagers think is okay? Miley THIS is the kind of person that you want to be known for? These are the type of people that we are making famous? And all I kept thinking was we have to pray for her. We have to pray for this generation. I mean I'm sure this is how every generation feels about the up and coming generation but I mean REALLY?!?! REALLY?!?!?
The sad part is we are giving Miley what she wanted. We are all talking about it today. What's the saying, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Well to me there is; because even though I'd like to buy my niece some Hannah Montana DVDs because I'm sure TV is just going to get worse and worse but after that display last night I will NEVER buy anything Miley. No DVD's', no cd's, no songs....nothing. But you know what I will give her? Prayer. There is a sign that I have on my desk that says "Have you prayed about it as much as you've talked about it" and that hit so hard to my heart. Every time the situation gets brought up or even hear her name instead of joining in the conversation I need to just stop and pray for her. We need to pray for her and other artists out there. The devil is all over this industry (well really everywhere) and we need to being praying for these people. I wish they would open their eyes and see the amazing effects that they could have on this world. Stars have this amazing platform that they could use but most of them are out for their own. They only want what's going to benefit them most. It seriously breaks my heart.
This is why I love the Cameron family so much! Using their celebrity for good and working for the Lord. But they are the ones who get torn apart by the media. Going from child stars to amazing adults while staying in the industry. They stand behind their morals/values and won't change them because the world changes. " Do not conform to the pattern of this world" Romans 12:2 This is also why I love the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty so much. A wonderful wholesome show, a good family and they even finish every episode with a prayer. This is what we need more of! We need to give the ratings to shows like this! It's kind of like in the Field of Dreams "If you build it, they will come". Well what ever we watch is what they are going to make.
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" Matthew 18:20 I hope that you will pray with me for Miley, for Justin Beiber (that's a whole other soap box that I could get on that breaks my heart), for their parents, for the entertainment industry, and us. Pray that we can turn away from the "guilty pleasures" that we tend to turn to so that they will stop making it. We can change this. Maybe not individually but together we can make a difference.
|Posted by Mandy Young on August 16, 2013 at 1:00 AM||comments (2)|
|Posted by Mandy Young on July 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM||comments (0)|
This past weeked was great!! I had the opportunity to give my testimony this weekend. Saturday I traveled to Macon,GA and spoke at an awesome new church called Overcoming Fellowship Church. They are such a great church with great people! Even said that they are going to bring me back, which I hope that they do because I just loved them! And I will for sure go back if they fix some more of that yummy fried chicken. Yummy food is my love language, haha! If you're ever in the Macon area you should go and visit my new friends!
Then Sunday mom and I packed up the car and headed to Taccoa, GA to speak at one of the Go Tell Ministries 25th anniversary camps! I have gotten to speak for Go Tell's 4G conference a little over a year ago so I was so excited when they asked me to come and share my life with another set of campers! This group was 250 middle to high school aged girls. Sometimes I get nervous speaking to teenagers. Just because I feel like they are going to be bored or not understand the medicial part of my testimony; but my goodness I had so many girls come up to me to talk, hug, take pictures with and even wanting autographs. The autograph thing cracks me up because I'm a no body. But I love to hear how much they actually did listen and how it's impacted them! It puts joy in my heart and a smile on my face!
My next speaking engagement will be a week from Saturday at Turner Field before the Braves game!!! HUGE deal and so excited!! I can't wait!! And don't worry if you aren't going to be able to be there I will for sure be facebooking, tweeting and write a blog about it!! So stay tuned!!
|Posted by Mandy Young on June 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM||comments (2)|
Over the years I have been to a lot of women's conferences; so a couple of weeks ago when a friend called and asked if I would come and help with their upcoming men's event (Wildfire) I jumped at the chance. I wanted to see how a men's event worked. Plus it didn't hurt that Willie and Jase Robertson and Tim Tebow were going to be there!
Wildfire started Friday night with Willie Robertson and Joe White on the main stage! I will have say that it took me a little bit longer than the rest of the world to jump on the Duck Dynasty train. I'm not a woodsy girl at all and even though I have friends that hunt I'm just not a fan of it. So I kept thinking "Why would I want to watch a show about guys who make duck calls and hunt?" But once I finally watched it I totally got it! So I was pretty excited to get to hear Willie speak. Getting to hear stories of their family and how they became what they are today was awesome! Then Joe White moved the crowd with drama of building the cross of Jesus. If you've never seen Joe you should! Plus through out the weekend in between sessions Michael O'Brien lead the men in worship! I love his soulful voice!
Saturday morning started with worship and work shops. The main sessions were Tim Tebow and Rick Rigsby. I'm not going to lie Tim Tebow has to be one of the nicest guys EVER! I swear it was like he was more excited to meet me than I was to meet him. But I promise he wasn't! I honestly believe that he and I are supposed to be friends! No not married, but just friends. He just seems like the most awesome God loving man. I just wanna hang out with him. And I'm sure if he would have hung out with me longer than the 5 seconds that we got he would have wanted to hang out with me to. So if anyone out there knows him help me set up a play date haha! But really I loved listening to his stories as well. Then Coach Rick Rigsby got up and was preachin'!! I was looooving it!
After lunch on the main stage was Jase Robertson and TD Jakes. Jase was an awesome surprise! I mean I knew that he was going to be there but the boy was preachin'! It was awesome! Those Duck Dynasty guys....they are the real deal! So I will continue to watch the show and give it ratings!! Plus it's awesome to see a Christian family on tv and trying to make TV better! I think I have a special place in my heart for them because they are like Candace. Using their celebrity for good and using it to share the Lord with the world instead of making it about themselves! So I urge you to continue to watch their show too because if we continue to give shows like that ratings they will continue to make more like it! Then TD Jakes took the stage to close out our weekend. All I have to say is...oh my word! He was awesome! The men in the audience were shouting and cheering! That was the thing about the whole event. This was 10,000 men who were passionate about God. When they would sing together my heart would just melt. And when they would get all excited; shouting a cheering over what a speaker would say I would just get chills! It was amazing.
This weekend gave me hope their there are still awesome Christian men out there! I so enjoyed my weekend with Wildfire. If you are a guy or if you know a guy they need to go to this conference. And luckily Wildfire is going to start traveling in 2014! They will be traveling to 10 cities so you make sure to find out when they are coming to a city near you!! http://wildfireweekend.com/
|Posted by Mandy Young on June 17, 2013 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
It's taken me a few weeks to write this blog but I think it's just taken a few weeks to actually sink in that it actually happened! So a couple of months ago I got an email from a friend of mine , Angela Thomas (www.angelathomas.com). Angela is a very well known Bible teacher; just walk in to your local Christian book store and you'll find her books and Bible studies. It's such an honor to able to call her a friend! I met Angela at an E Women conference a couple of years ago while on the road with Candace. But back to my story...I got an email from Angela about her conference A Beautiful Life. And that's when she asked me if I would share a little of my story at the conference. A smile appeared on my face bigger than I have ever had before; I was giddy with excitement!
For weeks I prepared. The hardest part was cutting my 45 min speech down to 10 mins!! But I did it! As the day approached I started getting nervous which I see as a good thing! I don't get nervous speaking to thousands of people, the number doesn't bother me. The more the merrier! My fear is about losing my words. But it's my life how could I forget my life? Well the devil does an amazing job at telling me I know nothing about ME! And that's what the fear is before I speak...it's the devil trying to talk me out of what God has asked me to do. Luckily I know that so I refuse to listen to him and I just pray and pray through it. I get more nervous when I'm not nervous because then I feel like the devil isn't trying to fight for me. I want him to fight for me because that means I'm doing what God wants me to do!
The weekend finally came! May 31st my parents and I drove to Greensboro, NC to Westover Church. The conference started Friday night with Angela welcoming everybody for coming and then Charles Billingsley leading us in worship! But my favorite part of the whole weekend happened at the next break. I walked over to my merch table to take a picture and someone grabbed my shoulder and said "You don't think I'd miss this do you?" I turn around to see my sister and niece! She had driven 6 hours by herself with her 1 year old to surprise me and be apart of the weekend! I just started crying! It meant so much to me that she be there and be apart of the weekend! After wiping away my tears we jammed out with Nicole C Mullins! Guys if y'all can ever go to one of her concerts GO it's a fun time!
Saturday morning we started bright and early with praise and worship with Charles and his band and a teaching about being the sunshine from Angela. She then introduced me to the 2,500 women who were attending! My video started and I just started praying for His words to come through me! As the video finished, I walked up on stage and the lights came up and all of the sudden everyone stood up and started clapping. I got a standing ovation before I ever said a word and yes the tears started coming again! I gathered my composer and shared my story! It was wonderful!! After another break we came back and sang with Charles, and another speaker Lisa shared her story and then Angela wrapped up the conference.
The whole weekend was just awesome! It was such a blessing to me! It only helped me realize this is what God has asked me to do. He has given me a story to share and that's what I'm supposed to do and I do whatever it is that He asks me to do. Thank you Angela for letting me be apart of your weekend! I maybe the sunshine to you, but you're the sunshine to me!
|Posted by Mandy Young on June 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
For years my Dad has been wanting to go to Chicago. He is from IL and I believe that state still has his heart. Well Dad's birthday is in April and Mom wanted to do something big since you know he saved her life and all by giving her a kidney. So we decided to buy plane and baseball tickets to see the Cubs play at Wrigley! But the other surprise was that we invited his siblings to come with us! Jenny (his sister) wasn't able to come but his three brothers were all in! We gave him his gift back in April but he finally got to cash it in this past weekend!
Our weekend started Friday morning with an early flight to Midway! Once we landed the three of us headed to the orange line (which is one of the trains to get you around town). We found our stop and then walked 2 or 3 blocks to our hotel. We stayed at the Congress Plaza which according to the reviews is supposed to be haunted but that didn't bother me I got the Lord on my side! The hotel wasn't ready for us to check in yet so we got our luggage held at the front desk and ventured out to The Exchequer Pub for lunch. And this is where I tried my first deep dish pizza. And I'm not gonna lie....it was super yummy!! Then it was back to the hotel to check in and to get settled in. Mom wanted to rest a while so Dad and I ventured out and took a walk around the city! Chicago is a beautiful! That night the three of us, two of my uncles and one of my aunts went to the Navy Pier. We had dinner at Harry Caray's Tavern. Then the boys and I rode the ferris wheel! It was chilly outside but the view was amazing!
Saturday morning Dad, Spike, Terri and I walked around some more of the city and had breakfast. Then it was game time! Mom, Dad, Spike, Terri and I loaded up on the red line to meet the rest of the family (my uncles Rick and Rod, my aunt Anne and my cousin Niki) at Wrigley! Now I'm an Atlanta Brave at heart but I tell ya being in Chicago with the Cubbies made my heart start to drift toward the windy city! But after they started getting beat so bad I realized how many times my dad's heart was broken by the team he loves so much! I just can't go through that; haha!! So the Cubs will stay my second favorite team! The Cubs got beat by the Pirates but we got to sing "Take me out to the ballgame" with a famous Cubbie!
After the game we met up with another one of my cousins (plus a cousin to be) and the whole group went to dinner (back to Exchequer Pub). A great night with family! Talking about an upcoming wedding and just catching up on life. And then Sunday was just spent at the airport; but I did get my first Chicago dog there! Another yummy goodness.
Chicago is a beautiful city and I'm so glad that we got to go!
|Posted by Mandy Young on April 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM||comments (1)|
It will be 23 years this July 4th that I decided I would do anything and everything that a two legged person would do, it might have to be tweaked from time to time but I was still going to do it. Over the years I've taken gymnastics, played softball, swam, and pretty much anything else that I've wanted to do. So I think I've kept that promise to myself.
But then this past January my sister and one of our best friends had signed up for The Color Run. Soon my all of my Bella's (my bible study girls) were signed up to run too. The Bella's and I have an on going text message and through this text was all of this excitement about everyone running in this 5k together. But inside my heart was breaking...I was the only one NOT signed up. Now normally I tell people that I'm glad God made me one legged just so I don't HAVE to run. I have a wonderful excuse. Although in this case it was taking me back to when I was 9 years old and realizing I would never be able to run, jump or skip every again. I had these thoughts of walking it but 3.2 miles is a long way to walk on crutches. Plus I didn't want to hold anyone back.
I finally spoke up through this on going exciting text and told my girls that I was sad. The next thing I know my sister had sent a text just between us telling me that she wants to push me in a wheelchair and I need to sign up! I told her no! Alex has been running 5k's lately and the last thing I wanted to do was hold her back from her latest time. She then said "Mandy you travel around telling everyone how you said you would do anything and everything that a two legged person would do; it might have to be tweaked from time to time but you were still going to do it. Let ME be your tweak." That hit....that hit hard! She was right. I had to set my pride aside and do this.
Luckily one of the Bella's mothers is a physical therapist and was able to help me find a place to borrow a wheelchair from. Whom I'm now ordering a wheelchair through! Alex and I trained a couple of times to get ready for the run. Even though sometimes I questioned if we were going to be able to pull this off.
Finally April 6th arrived!!! There were 15 of us on team "Lovin Life" ! For the Color Run everyone dresses in white (or at least a white T-shirt). While you run/walk/ride through the 5k there are color stations where the color team throws different colored powder on you! By the finish line you are a colorful work of art!! We all kind of ran/walked/rode at our own pace and just decided that we will all just meet back at the finish line. Alex and I kept a great pace the whole time. We jogged, talked and giggled our way along (even though she had already given me instructions that she doesn't/can't talk when she runs). As we got closer and closer to the finish line Alex started crying. Which is saying A LOT because the girl doesn't cry. But she started saying that this is something she didn't think that we would ever do together and it just meant so much to her. But I had to change the subject or I was going to start crying too! And as Alex wiped the tears from her eyes we crossed the finish line! Our group slowly but surely started coming together where we became a beautiful rainbow of colors!! It was a wonderful day with my girls!!
Plus one of the best parts is who the fundraiser was for! Children's Health Care of Atlanta. Which is where I spent almost 3 months when my leg was amputated but also MANY other times in my life! So I was so happy to be apart of raising money for them!
I'm so glad that I over came my stubbornness and my sister didn't let me just say no. And couple of us have already signed up for our next race!! Electric Run here we come!!!
|Posted by Mandy Young on January 30, 2013 at 11:35 PM||comments (2)|
Two years ago I got invited to be apart of a small group bible study. I've written about my Bella girls on here before but this time I wanted to share an answered prayer praise with you! This group of girls have become such a blessing into my life. Some girls I've known others I didn't until we started our group. But oh my word, how we have bounded over the past couple of years!
Casey was the founder of our this small group; the link that brought us all together. We after week we would dig more into our study but we always started off with prayer requests (which we have now decided to do at the end because we get off on different topics and it's 2 hours later and we haven't even started our study, I'm sure other study groups know what I'm talking about hehe). During these prayer requests we have each and everyone poured out our hearts desire. I really don't think there is one person apart of our group that hasn't shed a tear at some point or another during prayer requests. And week after week Casey's prayers were always the same....I want a baby.
Casey and her husband Matt had been trying to get pregnant for years. Trying to over come health obstacles, the stress of work, and just the desire to be a mother Casey was about at her wits end. Our hearts would break and our prayers were over flowing for her, Matt and their situation. She knows that God is faithful but it's all about His timing, but sometimes waiting for what your heart truly longs for is the hardest.
One day God laid it on Casey and Matt's heart that maybe they should look into the adoption along with all the other avenues they were utilizing. They started spreading the word by mouth and brochures. And then one day their brochure got into the hands of an angel who picked Matt and Casey to be the parents of the blessing growing inside of her. They traveled back and forth to TN during the pregnancy and to check on their soon to be little girl!
On January 17th (a month before her due date) Ella Grace couldn't hold her excitement any longer to meet her parents and entered the world! Weighing in at only 4 pound 10 ounces this little miracle was healthy and strong and didn't even have to visit the NICU. And after all i's were dotted and the t's were crossed sweet Ella Grace got to make her journey home to GA.
Last Saturday Alex and I got to take Matt and Casey lunch and got to finally meet Ella Grace!!! Our eyes filled with tears as we gazed upon this little miracle and listening to the stories that her parents told of her birth. Plus listening to Casey talk about how she had always wanted to be the one pregnant but now that she has been through this she wouldn't have it any other way. And this is really when my eyes filled up because that was a specific prayer I had been praying for her; asking God if that was His will for them to please lay it on her heart and boom! I am so overjoyed for this little family!
This is when I'm reminded of my life verse again; Jeremiah 29:11. God has AMAZING plans for us. They aren't to harm us, but to prosper us....to give us a hope and a future! We have to trust in God's plan and His timing, no matter how badly we want it. He knows what's best for us. We might think we know but honestly we don't! But I hope next time you're going through a hard time (even if you're in the middle of that storm right now) remember to never give up on God and pouring your desires out to Him; just like Casey did. He truly does care, He wants what's best for you and if there is a way He will make it happen!
I am so excited to watch this little miracle grow we have all been praying for Matt and Casey's baby for 2 years (who's only 2 weeks old) grow. I'm blessed to have been apart of such an answered prayer!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."