Mamma says its important to make a good first impression so here I go, my name is Justine Elizabeth, I am fourteen a high school freshmen, and I happen to have a disability that prevents me from being able to walk unaided. This does not make me stupid, slow, or anything other than unable to walk without assistance.
My disability stems from a birth defect Mamma thought maybe I had Spina Biffida when I was younger but the doctors said no, I was simply born with a spine not fully developed. I could not walk aided or unaided until I was seven, and even now it's my upper body doing the work while I either lean on Crutches or a walker.
According to Mom when I was little I refused to be confined to a chair so I would scoot myself out, and just crawl around, I have seen some home videos and I thought the way I moved around reminded me of a seal out of water (LOL). You have to be able to laugh at your self or you might just spend far to much time crying.
When I was in preschool and Kindergarten the kids would act fascinated by my wheelchair so I would just scoot out of it, plop myself on the floor and let them explore much to the dismay of my teacher. My kindergarten teacher called my mom once and told her she wasn't comfortable with me doing this, and my Mom told her I was comfortable with my differences so why couldn't she be. My teacher never called her again.
Kids weren't always understanding though as I grew older I learned some kids were just plain cruel, making fun of me because of my disability, but I refused to let me feel anything less than confident, I would not let them win by getting to me.
I am about half way through my freshmen year now, and despite a rocky start, so far I like high school. At first kids thought they would be able to intimidate me and push me around because of my disability but I quickly showed them I was having none of that, and teachers learned that just because my legs didn't work right didn't mean my brain didn't so they shouldn't make any judgments on what I could or could not learn.
Mama always said I would not allow anyone to make me disabled, that I was proving to the world that just because you have a disability it doesn't make you disabled, it may sound silly, but it's true you don't have to allow a disability to disable you that's why I refused to be confined to anything and I refuse to let myself be disabled by the attitude of others.
I may have special needs but that certainly doesn't mean anyone has the right to judge me, my kindergarten teacher learned that when she called Mom because I insisted on scooting out of my wheelchair so I could share it, and people have been learning that ever since.
I hear the comments, the rude remarks the assumptions by some and yes sometimes it hurts, sometimes I find myself coming home crying, but I refuse to let my life be led by self pity, and just because I can't do everything, doesn't mean there aren’t things I can do.
I can certainly learn. And Others can learn from me.
Aren't we suppose to learn from each other?
More importantly aren't we suppose to learn from the example of Christ. Yes I am a Christian, born again, washed in the blood, for almost a year, and yes I am still growing in my faith, but I know the only place I am going to find perfection is in God the Father and God the Son.
Jesus was tempted but he never sinned.
He's the only person in history who never sinned. Sins been around since Adam and Eve, when they took from the tree of knowledge they took our sinless ness away, that's why Christ came to take on the sins of our world.
If Christ could do that I can certainly go through life without being angry and bitter because my legs do not work right.
So many have it so much worse than I, so who am I to spend my time throwing an endless pity party. That's just not me.
It's me Justine Elizabeth again, remember the fourteen year old with the disability, of course you remember right? I keep writing and I am sure your attention span is not that short LOL.
As I have said before I am a high school freshmen and I actually love school, despite the fact that some teenagers are worse than kids, and think they have the right to make fun of me. They quickly learn that I do not take anything off of anybody, I demand and deserve respect, and I deserve to be treated equally.
Another thing about me is that I am a Christian, some kids make fun of that too, but the truth is not giving my heart to the Lord would have been the stupid decision, when I die I want to enter the gates of Heaven, not the recesses of Hell.
I also happen to love to read, the more books the better. Lurlene Mcdaniel and Joni Eackerson Tada are my favorite authors, and I have read many of their books.
Well hello again everyone it's me Justine Elizabeth, a little spunky, more than a little determined, and counting down the days until Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. I can't wait until the celebration, and for the first time I will be singing a solo, wow! I just hope my voice does not go out, I think that would be so embarrassing.
School is going well, no changes since yesterday, same thing just a different day as Mom sometimes says. Sometimes I long for a change but at other times I am grateful for a routine, but I digress, besides they say life's only as fun as you let it be.
In about a week and a half Christmas break starts and I am more than excited about that. I just can't believe this year has gone by so fast, in a few short months I will be putting my freshmen year behind me and starting my sophomore year.
Well I am going to make this short, but sweet lol, I will leave on that note
It's me again Justine Elizabeth
Fourteen year old freshmen who happens to have a disability, but don't let that fool you for a moment that does not slow me down. I certainly do not lead a dull boring life in fact quite the opposite. Between school and church and extracurricular activities I keep quite busy. I may not be running the Boston Marathon in the near future, but I am living a life better than many expected for me.
I am doing well in school, and I love Church, I also love to read and write, hence the reason I write these words, and because others need to look beyond the obvious and see who I really am. I am not defined by my disability, nor does my disability define me.
Well I guess I shouldn't make this very long, I have a ton of homework to do, and so I will end this here, time to quit procrastinating lol.
Hello again, it's Justine Elizabeth, I know duh huh? LOL. I am sure you are all going to get tired of hearing from me soon but here I am yapping away, or in this case writing away LOL. As you can see one thing I am is not shy!
School went well this week, but I am glad that it's the weekend, and next Friday I start Christmas Break, I can't wait, I am hoping that I get what I asked for, but I know it's not about the gifts, but about the birth of the Savior, still I really need a new computer! I will be grateful for anything though because I know some people do not get anything at Christmas time. That's why I take some of the money I earn and buy gifts for Toys for Tots, Mamma has taught me that since I was very young.
I am grateful for what I have, grateful that the Lord has blessed me so much, and grateful for a Mother who understands me fully. She has never let my disability slow me down, and in fact she refuses to pity me which I am thankful for, because one thing I do not want is pity.
Well God Bless Everyone and Merry Christmas!
Hello again, sorry I could not write yesterday, but we had church and learning about the Lord was a real blessing. In fact the fact that I can do all I can, except walk without aide, I may only be fourteen and a freshmen in high school, but I certainly can know a blessing when I see one.
School went well today, in fact I am sitting here in my last period, Study Hall until three then school is out. I am writing here though, because my homework is done, we have a light load this week because this is the last week before winter break, winter break starts Friday, and I am grateful for that. I am really looking forward to Christmas, and New Years, we have an a New Years celebration at our church and this is the first year I am old enough to go, it's fourteen and over and this year I am fourteen yeah!
I started reading some good books lately, one is about the Holocaust, that's a horrible part of World history, but unfortunately it is a part, and it's not only Jews that were murdered in the Holocaust, but anyone who was less than perfect in the eyes of Hitler, that included Christians, and those with disabilities, and all this guy did makes me angry at how people can be so cruel.
We might go watch I Am David over break, the new movie about the Holocaust, it's based on a book that came out in the 60's, I still need to read the book.
Well I better go, fifteen minutes before the end bell rings.
Hello again, school went well, other than some stupid boy trying to trip me, I wonder when they will ever realize that they are in high school not in Elementary school anymore, but I guess some people just don't grow up quick enough. Maybe I freak them out because of my disability, but that's there problem it's certainly not mine, and they will learn quickly that I don't take things off of anyone.
I guess Christmas is now officially in the air at my house, because when I came home, Mom had the tree out and all the decorations out, the tree was up and decorated, and it looked really good. She's now in the attic looking for the Nativity scene, well I write these words.
I am happy because in three more days winter break starts, and so does my second semester of my freshmen year of high school. Mom says I am starting to make her feel old LOL. She's not even forty though, and she's certainly not old.
Well I better go now, Mom is going to want my help.
Justine Elizabeth here writing again...
I know I keep repeating myself, and I am sure when I am done I will have my name in everyone's brains. I also hope I will let them see my determination, determination to rise beyond my disabilities.
The other day at school some kid thought they were going to tare my down by calling me names then trying to trip me by kicking my crutches, of course i was upset by it, we are in high school after all, and this was worst behavior than I saw from most preschoolers, but I would not cry in front of this bully. This girl who thought she could terrorize everyone. I hate when people act like that, but as Mamma says, it just shows their insecurities.
Anyways I am on vacation for now. Christmas break, yes, two weeks of sleeping in and relaxing, at least when I don't have therapy. Other than bullies, I am doing well in school, but I can use the break. Tomorrow I have church, and I look forward to that, I have to get up early, but I don't mind not for church.
Well my eyes are getting droopy, and soon I am going to fall asleep on this keyboard LOL. I better go.
I pray everyone had a good Christmas, I know I did, a truly blessed Christmas, not only because of the things I got, but also because of the family I had with me. Neither of my parents were fighting in Iraq, and I am grateful for what they are doing, but I know they must be missed, and I know sadly some of the soldiers will not be coming home.
For me Christmas was good this year, and I got a lot of what I asked for. Guess I was a good girl this year LOL. Mom and Dad got me a new computer, a laptop even, so now I can take my computer to school and make it easier on my teachers and on my self. I also got some Bible software, and a new teen Study Bible and a prayer journal. My parents are wanting to help me grow in faith and for that I am thankful.
We did not only get this year though, Mom and I got some toys for the less fortunate kids and gave them to toys for tots and we also donate food so they could have a meal. We know that every child should have a chance to have a good Christmas whether rich or poor.
Dad read the account of the birth of Christ to us on Christmas eve, and on Christmas day we went to services at the local Methodist church and then came home to have a wonderful Christmas dinner, all in all Christmas was great for us this year.