Welcome to my blog!

So the truth is that trying to survive in our world as a woman is hard enough at times but toss in some Christianity and you got yourself quite a challenge. My name is Miranda and welcome to my blog. I recently married the love of my life and went from the single life to the newly married adventure. I'm sure my upcoming writings will dive into this new and exciting stage of my life. Sometimes life is quite funny, sometimes it's downright entertaining, and sometimes it can get a little bit more serious. I love God and want to live a life that pleases him but that sometimes is easier said than done. :) So join me as I walk through the trials, struggles and joys of life when the only thing that works is a little chocolate and a lot of faith.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Road Trips, GPS and Life...

When you go on a road trip there are things that you discover are essential, things that you absolutely cannot go without, things that must be done, let me explain...See one of my friends and I decided to take last weekend off and head out of state, well out of country really, to Toronto, Canada (ok not that far out of the country :o).I love road trips but before we could go there were several things we needed to do to be ready.

First of all we needed to check the weather,well let's see north of Buffalo we figured on cold and snow. Based on the anticipated weather conditions we had to pack accordingly, you know boots, sweaters, gloves, scarves, jeans etc. Next we needed to book our hotel, we needed to know where we were going when we got there. And of course we needed to make sure we didn't starve or die of dehydration on the road so we stocked up on the snacks and water. Once we had fuel for the body and mind we needed fuel for Al (my car) to get us to where we were going.

So far so good. Leaving home knowing that an adventure waits always gives me an adrenaline rush. Once on the road we need to make sure that we always have close access to the 3 most important pit stops; Timmy H's, a bathroom and a Wally World. All 3 are essential for a woman's survival (listed in random order of course). Here is where the beauty of GPS comes into the mix. Definitely the greatest invention since the microwave, Gips (my GPS), confidently maps out the way. Turn by turn he will direct you, step by step he will get you to where you are heading. Even when we get busy gabbing, he doesn't miss a beat, just redirects us so we get back on track. Gotta love Gips! The journey is half the fun. Good music, great conversation, games and snacks of course. Always need to keep up the energy no matter what.

Arriving at our destination we spent the weekend doing all sorts of fun things. We visited Chinatown and Koreatown and had lunch at a little Korean hole in the wall restaurant, but the food was excellent. We enjoyed driving around exploring and thanks to Gips, didn't get too lost. Hung out at the hotel reading magazines, watching TV and chilling poolside. We visited the West Indian section and ate some Trinidadian doubles and aloo pies! Yumm! We got to tour Casa Loma which was a pretty cool castle set on a hill overlooking Toronto. Good times.

Oh the trip was not without its moments of frustration though, like getting sick and needing to make emergency stops for 'supplies' at Walmart, slipping in the hotel tub and twisting my ankle, cranking the thermostat to 85 to make the room livable. Not to mention the desperation of seeking out a bathroom in downtown Toronto where parking is virtually non existent, driving for 45 minutes to find an Arby's only to discover it was not there anymore and leaving Toronto only to drive into a blizzard once we hit New York State. All the things that make road trips the most memorable.

Needless to say, we had a blast. Looking back I could see how much going on a road trip reminds me of this journey as a Christian. We need to be ready for what is ahead, to dress for it by putting on the full armor of God. Food for the road reminds me of how we need to live by the Word of God. Not once in a while but all the time, we need to be feeding on the Word because it gives us life and the strength to continue on. The GPS reminds me of the Holy Spirit, leading us and guiding us step by step through this life even when we get busy and don't listen and get off the path, He is always working to get us back on track. Amazing! Knowing where you are headed? Very important! And all those little frustrations that happen along the way are like unexpected trials and tribulations that we have to deal with. It helps to know God, His Word and a lot of times having godly friends who help you through them is a must. We come through those times wiser and stronger. Then we have great moments like seeing the Castle and taking in the most breathtaking view of the city, when we experience joy, peace and fulfillment.

Life is an adventure, an amazing journey with God, friends and faith. Live it out loud! Go on a road trip. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day - To love or to hate? That is the question

I never thought that I would actually consider hating Valentine's Day. When I was a little younger, I was probably the number one fan. I loved matchmaking and even collected stories of how people met and fell in love.

I mean who wouldn't be encouraged to love the day when the great couples of our time and imagination have gone before us.I am a romantic at heart and my favorite fairy tale has always been Cinderalla. Oh when the Prince comes and rescues her from a life of servitude and drudgery and accepts her for who she is, not what she has, well that would make any girl a believer in dreams coming true and her Prince rescuing her some day.

Then there are great ancient accounts of a love like Boaz and Ruth, a story of redemption, or of Isaac and Rebekah, a story of destiny or a story of restoration like David and Bathsheba. How could I not be inspired by the hand of God knitting lives together as part of His plan?

Of course there are those that inspire me from this time like Will Smith and his wife Jada who despite the glam of Hollywood have stayed together. But even closer to my heart are the people that touch my life every day like my friends the O's, who are in their 70s, married for almost 50 years and are still in love and my mom who even though my dad has been gone for 17 years now, still blushes when you mention his name.

Like I said, I never considered hating Valentine's Day, the day to celebrate love... until recently when I started to resent all that inspiration because all it did was remind me that I didn't have it. I didn't have that great love that left me breathless or caused young girls to see me and dream about the day they would experience it. I began to question whether I would ever have it. I watched all my friends get married and felt more and more alone and even worse, forgotten by God. On Valentine's Day in more recent years, those feelings tended to fester. I was and am on occasion tempted to hate the day and all that it stands for because I am alone and the only person that gives me a Valentine is my mom. Lol! Someone loves me! Being bitter and hating the day would definitely be the easier thing to do but "bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." What good is bitterness to me or my health? Who needs it?

Instead I choose to say this "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." and "taste and see that the Lord is good." The truth is I would rather be single than stuck in a miserable relationship or worse a miserable marriage like so many people I know. I want my Prince you know? That one person in whom I could see a reflection of God's amazing love for me.

So I guess for one more year at least I can say Happy Valentine's Day! and mean it. :) Much love to you reader.

Monday, February 1, 2010

To Save a Life

Matthew West wrote a song and the lyrics go like this;
"I don't wanna go through the motions,
I don't wanna go one more day,
without Your all consuming,
passion inside of me;
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
what if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

I think those words are so powerful. The last couple weeks we took some of the teens to see the movie To Save a Life. Great movie, totally check it out if you can. Now playing in Wellsville, NY. It was a movie that made me think. In it this young man kills himself because he felt he had no hope. If someone had paid attention to him, would it have made a difference? Well his life changes the life of the movie's main character who stops thinking about only himself and decides to make a difference.
It made me think about how I treat the people around me. Is there a life that I could be making a difference in but I'm so caught up in my own little world that I fail to see it? I want to see people from God's perspective. You know Jesus looked at the people and had great compassion on them. I am ashamed to say, I don't always have that kind of compassion. Actually I can get irritated and irrational really quickly. (You know you are in that boat too.) But if I saw people through the all consuming passion of Christ, would it change my life? Would it change someone else' life? I don't know for sure but I think it would. I get tired of the same old routine all the time, don't you? At the end of my life I don't want to wonder whether I gave it my all or not. We can go through this life and have all the success, money, fame, talent etc. but if we don't pour into people what good is any of it? Live life...make a difference.


Miranda Tom