Tuesday, May 20, 2014


On my way to take the kids to school I saw a plastic bag blowing across street. This bag would turn right, left, go up and down.  It looked as if it was alive with its movements.  As I was at the stop light watching this bag it occurred to me that at times I am like that bag blowing in the wind.  There are times in life that I seem to be going through the motions and feel lifeless at times.  That bag certainly didn’t have life, it was an object.  An object given life like movement by the wind. However, this bag couldn’t determine which direction to go or to even stop, all it could do was go where the wind told it to. How many times in my life do I get stuck in a routine of just doing?  How many times do I let life events determine which direction I should go and how many times do I go through a day on flight mode without much thought.  There are days where I wonder where did the day go and what did I accomplish? 

Life is too short to just go where the wind blows you or to live a life that seems lifeless.  Yesterday we said goodbye to a young man who in his 15yrs decided to make his own path, to take chances, never say I can’t, and most of all made such an impact in so many lives because he wanted to live life to the fullest despite what the world called a handicap.  Chase was a young man full of life not just an imitation of it.  Chase was in a wheel chair, but not confined to it.  During his memorial service so many people shared about his I can do it attitude.  This hit my heart hard.  As I was seeing pictures of him living life to the fullest with the biggest smile on his face something clicked or should I say inspired me. There are so many things in my life that I have put off for a number of reason, but the biggest reason is fear.  Chase seemed to have no fear or if he did he was able to put it aside and make it a catalyst to say he could. 

On the back of the program was a poem that Chase wrote that shared his heart about being in a wheelchair.  He was concerned about how other saw him and shared how it hurt when others saw him different or mistreated because of it.  He wanted to help others so that they didn’t feel left out or different.  He believed in himself and others.  My favorite sentence in his poem was “I am strong and I have pride about being in a wheelchair.”  Here I am struggling with many things that has hindered me for years and some of them for the majority of my life and I have let those thing define me and not me define those things.  I need to be more like Chase and say I take pride in what life has given me and I can do it despite what others tell me. 

As I said earlier fear has been a hindrance in my life. I have fear what others think, what I think about myself, about failure, success, and my physical limitations and so on.  All these things have stopped me from taking a chance.  I don’t want to be like that lifeless bag being tossed to and fro in the wind.  I want to live an “I can” attitude like Chase, make my own path and make more of a difference. 

I had the privilege to meet Chase at a youth camp called Falls Creek.  Every year for about 8yrs I have been to this camp with our youth group from church.  I met Chase last summer at this camp. When I first saw him he was playing around with the other youth bugging them.   He wanted to make sure he was center of attention.  As the day went on he singled out my husband Joe and got a kick out of running over his toes with his wheelchair.  My husband kept on saying stop and finally said you do that one more time I’m tacking you.  Chase of course took this as a personal challenge and ran over his toes right there and Joe tackled him to the ground.  You should have seen Chases’ eyes as Joe kept his promise.  Both of them went down to the ground laughing.  Of course everyone in the room including me couldn’t believe what just happened.  However, this was a beginning of a bond the two of them would have.  As they were on the ground they continue to wrestle a bit and laugh.  After that point they were buds and Chase knew that Joe wasn’t going to be treated any different than anyone else.

Every evening about 6,000 teens would meet for evening services that are full of praise and to hear a message about a loving God.  At the end of the evening services the teens had a chance to come up to the front to learn more about God, to renew their walk or to accept Him as their personal Savior.  The first night Chase at full speed ran down to the front. He did this again the second night and third night. Every evening as we would meet as our individual church in our cabins Chase was excited to share his decision to renew his walk with Christ.  I personally think by the third night it was so much more. I saw this young man change.  When I first met him he a little angry with life and others, but by the third night I saw peace in his heart and saw a smile of true happiness.  I believe he finally understood just how much God loved him.  The rest of the week I saw him reach out to the other students and not just to bug them but to show them love.  I have been to Falls Creek many times but had never witnessed such a heart changed as Chase’s.

Chase was looking forward to going back to Falls Creek this year so he could continue to give back.  I know that my heart and life has been forever changed by knowing Chase.  I will start living in more of a spirit of “I can” and face my fears.  Thank you Chase for caring, loving and living life to its fullest.  I know that your life truly touch so many lives and has made and will continue to make a difference.  In honor of Chase I cannot sit back and not share what I believe he would want everyone to know that that is there is a God who loves you for who you are, who can and will give you strength to do the impossible, who will never leave you or forsake you and to let you know that you are not alone and that there is hope.  I pray that if you do not know God as your personal Savior then seek Him and you will find him.  Know that He loved you so much that he died on the cross for your sins so you can be with him for all time and eternity.  If you have any question regarding this I want you to know I am here to try to answer any of them.  In this life we will have trouble but know that God has overcome the world and can help you face anything that comes your way.  I know that Chase knew this and his life certainly was proof of it.






Friday, May 9, 2014

A New Chapter

Sorry I haven’t written in a while but the last couple of weeks have been a trail of perseverance and faith.  Two weeks ago I had to go to the ER and the following day I had to have minor surgery. The last few days I have been in the ER three times with my youngest daughter for serve pain.  I just started working with a new company and couldn’t be happier for the switch, but with everything going on it has been hard getting my footing.  I know I should be in bed but my mind is racing.  Tonight was my son’s choir award banquet.  As I was watching my son and the other students get there letters and awards memories flooded my mind.  Many years have gone by with my children growing up, so many activities, award banquets, graduations…. I have a daughter that graduated college and is married, another one who graduated high school, is married and expecting our first grandbaby next month. Another daughter who also graduated and is busy working and finding her way. My one and only son J.J. will be a junior next year and Sydney will be in 7th and Sarah will be in 4th. Wow, where does the time go?  They grow up way to fast.  I am so proud of all my children and for the people they are growing up to be.  I have been very blessed as a mother to have the children I do.  They have been through so much in life, but they have prospered through everything that has been thrown their way.

Here I am after being a stay home mom venturing out to make something of myself in the real estate business.  I haven’t had a chance to get going as much as I wanted too, but family has and always will come first.  As I said I am working for a new company “Your Castle Real Estate” and I am excited for this new adventure.  I couldn’t be more grateful to those whohelped get me started at Metroplex Realtors. Today was exciting and a little intimidating.  Today was my first companywide meeting andthere were about 250 other agents there. The last place I worked had just a handful of wonderful people.  As I walked in and set down the excitement grew.  I felt part of a large community all with the same goal which is to help those who want to sell their house and those who want to buy.  Everyone I have met from the president on down have been so nice and helpful.  This company truly cares about their clients and me a as a realtor.  There is still so much I have to learn, but I am glad I am in a company that gives so much support.

I want to be able to make my children proud and to be able to help give them their hearts desires, like going to college, starting their own business, traveling, and help pay for their mission trips. As I look back on my life I can see how far I have come and can see so many things I have overcome.  I shouldn’t be here today and I certainly shouldn’t be able to do the things I can after the accidents.  Even though I live in pain on a daily basis, I can move, I can walk, and I have breath.  I will take the little things as blessings and keep moving forward.

I was talking with a friend a few days ago and she wanted to hear my story.  We set and talk for a couple of hours as I told her all I can. With tears in her eyes she asked me why? I didn’t understand the question, so I asked her what she meant.  She said “why didn’t you give up?” All I could say was “why not keep on living?” I will be honest there were times I wanted to give up, but I couldn’t.  All I could do was keeping on living day by day, moment by moment.  She asked a number of other questions like how did I do it and if I could would I change anything.  The answer to how was simple.  I told her it was because God was there for me every step of the way. As far as the question “if I could change anything would I?” I told her no I wouldn’t change anything, because everything I have been through has made me the person I am today and without everything I have gone through I wouldn’t knowof a God that loves me and have the relationship with Him as I do.  At this point she is crying hard and I shared how God loves her too.  She is a believer but struggles with the idea that she is worth it. We sat there talking for a while and then I prayed with her.  The funny thing is I met her because she was interested in me helping her find a home to buy.

It is funny how God orchestrates encounters like that. I am thankful that I was able to share my heart and life with her.  To have that conversation alone was worth all the heart ache I have been through.  The things we go through in life shape the person we become.  I could have very well given up, became bitter or could have lived a life of regret.  Instead I want to embrace the hurts and the trials I have gone through and continue to go through so I can be a greater testimony of a God that is alive and who loves us so.  In this life we have choices and I choose to live and find joy in life’s heartaches in order to help others in their time of need.

Journey to Motherhood

Twenty three years ago I looked down and held my first child for the first time.  When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a mom.  I would pretend that my cats were my children. Of course they didn’t like the idea much. My mom ran a daycare from the home and had become a second mom to so many children.  You would think after having all these kids come and go from our home that I would change my mind, but no.  I enjoyed practicing changing diapers, feeding and playing with the younger kids. I  Right after high school I married my high school sweet heart.  I thought that this was going to be my happily ever after.  We would get married, have kids and the prefect home, marriage and life. We hadn’t been married long before we wanted children.  Here I was 18yrs old just married for 8months thinking I was ready to have a baby.  I was going to school full time and working full time. My husband was also going to school full time and working part time, but we were young and thought we could do anything because we were in love.  I ended up getting pregnant and I couldn’t have been happier and couldn’t wait to tell my husband at the time.  I pictured our child helping his daddy fixing the car and how I was going to be the prefect mom with the prefect family.  I had no idea what being a mom really meant. 

My husband came home and I told him that I was pregnant. I thought he would be so excited being that he was the one who came to me and said he wanted to start a family.   However, when I told him he didn’t respond the way I thought.  I pictured me telling him that we were going to have a baby and that he would be so happy that he would embrace me and we would celebrate with joy.  That isn’t what happened.  I told him and he was angry.  He pushed me down and said that if I wanted to stay married I would have to have an abortion. It was an abortion or a divorce.  When I heard those words I was heartbroken.  I couldn’t imagine my life without him.  He was everything to me but I knew that I couldn’t get an abortion either.  At that moment my life fell apart and I could barely breathe.  With each beat off my heart it felt as if it was being ripped out.  I cried and begged him and tried to remind him just how much I loved him.  He told me again that it was an abortion or a divorce.  I told him that I couldn’t kill our baby and he said well than that’s it, it’s over.

I had to move back in my parents’ house.  I tried to continue with my life by going to school and working but I became really sick with the pregnancy and had to drop out of school and quit my job.  It was if my life was over.  One night as I was sitting alone in my room the grief had become too much and I planned to take my life.  Just as I went to go through with it I cried to God for help and I felt my baby kick for the first time.  God had sent me an angel in the form of a little baby girl to save my life.  At that moment I had hope again and knew that I had to fight for her, my little Stephanie.  I had a new purpose and that was to be the best mother I could be to her.

The day had come when I would meet my precious little girl.  After a long complicated labor they placed her on my chest.  I was too weak to hold her.  At that moment I felt love like I never had felt before and a fear of not going to be able to be a good mom to her set in.  I was of afraid of making a mistake and I thought how could I give her the life she deserves without a dad in it?

When I finally was able to hold her I looked at her tiny little face, hands and feet.  I’m a mom I thought to myself, I’m a mom.  The more I looked at her and held her in my arms my courage and determination grew.  I didn’t care what I had to do but I was going to give her the best life that I could.  Life hasn’t been easy but I am so grateful that I choose to give her life and to become a mother. 

I have six kids now and with each of them my heart grew.  When I met my husband now and we had Shannon I wasn’t sure if I could love another baby as much as I did Stephanie but when Shannon was born, again my heart grew. I fell in love with that little girl and understood love even more.  With the birth of each of my children my love grew and my mission in life became even clearer.  As a mother I have made many mistakes and have got a lot of things right.  Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is.  Kids don’t come with instruction manuals but I do know that they need to be handled with care.  Even though life has been hard and I wish I could have and could give my children more I am so thankful for being a mom.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Being a mom has made me understand what love is, has taught me to pray with all my heart, has caused me to hurt like I never thought I could, and has given me a reason to enjoy life. 

This Mother’s Day I want to thank my children for giving me the title of “Mom.”  I want you to know that I love each and every one of you with all my heart.  I am proud of each of you and pray for you every day.  I hurt when you hurt, cry when you cry, celebrate when you celebrate, and smile just at the thought of you.   

I love you Stephanie, Shannon, Samantha, J.J., Sydney, and Sarah!

With all my love,

Your Mother, Trish Iiams