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A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 16:23-24

Is your mouth a blessing or a curse? Does it help or hinder you? Is your mouth still doing the things that it was meant to do?

I have used my mouth to read to children, so that they can become confident in all that they do.

I have used my mouth to yell Starboard! so that I do not destroy a $10,000 boat, that I am sailing.

I have used my mouth to talk to politicians about the inequities that people with disabilities are up against.

And I have used my mouth, with words of Scripture, to give comfort and encouragement to others, when my own words are not sufficient enough.

My mouth has been taught to save other’s lives but it neglected to try and save mine. I have used my mouth as a tool to try and take my life and four days later, I have used it to swallow my pride, and reached out to others and up to God, so that I may live my second chance at life, more abundantly.

Keeping all of this in mind, I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years, and I have lost the use of both legs and both arms. I have lost the ability to express myself manually and have adapted to expressing myself orally. I have lost the ability to dance with joy, to clap my hands with excitement, to hug someone affectionately, to throw things when frustrated, wave my arms in distress and hold my head in my hands when I cry.

I am no expert, nor have studied an artist whose name I cannot pronounce. I did not take classes from an artist who was full of angst at the world order and I did not watch a fuzzy haired man on television. I just connect my heart, my mind and my emotions and push them down the length of a paintbrush to create something to share with others.

With the addition of this new ability, I still continue to convey love, lift people up, impact others positively, bear each other’s burdens, seek joy and excitement in ordinary things, push forward with my advocacy and defend those who can not speak for themselves, build leaders out of the children and maintain my course and prevent expensive collisions. These things I can do and I do them very well!

I hope that my art acts as a catalyst to help you to become encouraged by my testimony, transcend the trifling problems, refreshen your consciousness and become more connected to the world around you.

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