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.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wonderful World of Photography!

So a few months ago my BFF and I decided to start a photography business. We did a wedding for a friend and it turned out so well that we decided to run with the crazy idea. Well starting a business takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Between the insanity of our regular jobs, families, church activities and social networking we managed to somehow put the pieces in place. Slow start but believing that God will bless the work.

So yesterday we had our first job involving children. Let me just say I have a new level of respect for children's church workers, day care employees, kindergarten teachers and parents of more than one child everywhere. Lol! I will tell you this, between the moving of furniture, entertaining children, posing children, setting up equipment, dragging children, forcing children to smile, getting the lighting just right, chasing children, making children stop crying, getting 2 cameras ready for action, feeding children, making children laugh, hauling in props, holding children still, making children look in certain directions, laying on the ground to get great angles, fixing children's clothes, threatening children, standing on exercise equipment for a different perspective, fixing children's clothes, bribing children, moving the party outside, bringing out toys to distract children, preventing children from trampling tiny rat dog, tearing everything down, calming children down, loving children and packing up...we were exhausted!!!! :)

Not kidding when I say it was an eye opening experience. We agreed that weddings are a lot less challenging. But since we now have 3 more photo shoots scheduled with families and lots and lots of children (and no weddings) I think God must be trying to teach us something. Haha!

What fascinated me were the different personalities that these kids had, even though they were from the same family line, each one was unique.

The oldest boy was very obedient, he did whatever we asked him to, no attitude, he was adorable. You could tell that he'd been down this road before and knew how to handle it. The other kids were younger.

The next one in line was a little energy ball. He no sooner hit the ground than he was off running. Finding a monster truck he was focused on playing, but then he saw a ball and he was off again. Posing him for pics was challenging because we literally had a 2 second window that he would sit still for and then he was gone.

The third down the line was almost a little over 1 and he had trouble focusing on us. We needed all sorts of things to grab his attention. We held up a mirror so he could see his reflection, we broke out Elmo and even had grandma doing her thing to keep him interested. But soon enough he would get hungry and need his bottle because the other things just didn't seem to satisfy him like his real food.

Our final little one was a mere 3 month all bundle of chubby cheeks and wide eyes. He didn't protest much (quite frankly he pretty much just laid there the whole time) but he just seemed to soak up everything that was going on around him. The cameras, the flashes, the lights, the people he just was trying to take it all in at once. His eyes and little hands just kept moving. Like I said, so fascinating!

The dad was awesome to watch as well. He had such patience, one of the kids would race off and he would go and get them and bring them back to the place where they needed to be. It seemed like they would just keep doing that but their father always went after them and would tell them again what they needed to do.

I love how God will show us things when our hearts are ready and willing to listen. I realized that these kids all represented phases of the Christian walk.

The oldest was like a more seasoned Christian. One who understands that obedience leads to blessing, one who has been through a lot and so knows about God's faithfulness and that this is another step in the journey.

The second child reminds me of the Christian who gets so excited about things and get really involved and pour themselves in it but then something else comes along that appears more exciting and so they are ready to jump into that. They are so busy going from one thing to the next that they barely sit still long enough to experience all that God may have for them.

The third child reminds of the Christian who can get caught up in the 'show'. That person loves the hype, they follow the conferences, get excited with the music and dance, they go from event to event looking for the next high but in the end the only thing that could truly satisfy them is time spent in the Word. Something that is sustaining and rich.

The last one is like the brand new Christian, starting out they are fun to watch as they discover the world around them, getting to know the different promises of God and seeing Him at work. It is almost overwhelming in a good way. They don't know where to look because they are surrounded by a new life.

But probably the most awesome part of the afternoon (besides it being over and me being able to find food and take a nap :) was watching dad. He made me think of our Abba Father whose mercies are new every day. Over and over again we may make poor decisions, we walk away from God, we choose our ways instead of His, we get involved in things we shouldn't and over and over God comes after us, bringing us back to the place where we were, giving us chance after chance to accept His grace and walk in His ways because He knows what's best for us and He has a plan. Wow! Kinda gives fresh revelation to His compassions never failing doesn't it? I am so grateful because I have been that kid running off more times than I can count, 'but for the grace of God...'

Hey friends, do me a favor and share something neat that God has shown you. I would love to hear. Till next time :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not Always Easy

It's funny how we can make plans and dream dreams and in a split second life can change. I've been noticing it more and more recently as even the things that I have been hoping for and praying for seem to crumble around me without ever coming to life. I think these ideas are from God and then they don't go the way I thought they would, I find myself questioning whether I had heard from God to begin with. I've come to realize that things happen and we don't always understand why but these times become defining moments in our lives as to how we move forward.

I have a friend who is like a dad to me who was one of the most vibrant people I ever met. He loved God and taught me about living - real living - not canned Christianity but really living out loud. Unfortunately a stroke 2 years ago and bad medical decisions completely changed his life and his family's. Before he had his stroke he was telling me about dreams that he had been dreaming and praying about and things that he felt God was calling him to do. He was so excited at the time but barely a week later his life was turned upside down leaving behind loved ones with a lot of questions and desperately clinging to the goodness and omnipotence of a God who knows the end from the beginning. Not what was expected at all. So were those dreams and visions he had from God? Is God going to miraculously fulfill them in his life? Do we listen to the report of doctors and nurses who say that his loved ones should just let him go or do we believe the report of the God that heals?

This young man that I met a year ago was a great guy, says he knew the Lord but was not really walking with Him at the time. But there was amazing potential there. During the last year I didn't have much contact with him but recently ran into him again and was surprised to find that he was not the same person I had known a year ago. The potential that had been there now seemed to be lost, buried behind a wall of lies and deception. I had made a commitment to pray for this guy when I could see the potential for God to do great things in him. Now that the view is not so clear, do I still pray for him? Do I still pray for his return to the Lord when I don't even care to see him again? Do I still cry out for something that seems impossible' to the God of the impossible?

What about the fact that I had big dreams of doing something great, of changing my situation and circumstances. Dreams that I felt for sure God had planted in my heart and I was growing more excited about by the minute. Then one day factors changed and all of a sudden the change that I was longing for suddenly became invisible amidst a cloud of doubt and a broken heart. What happens when I can't see the 'vision' anymore? Were those ideas and thoughts from God? If they were why are they now changing? Do I resign myself to 'perish'? or do I trust that God already knew this change was going to take place and He still has a plan for my life that will give me a future and a hope when all I see is a dead end?

As much as I hate it, life on this fallen planet is not always easy. Decisions and choices that we face every day are hard. Trusting God with it sometimes, at least for myself, comes in as the runner up because my human nature thinks if I can control the situation I can correctly predict my destiny. Here's the problem with that though -

(1) God's ways are not our ways. His thoughts higher than ours.
(2) He is the God who calls things that are not as though they were.
(3) He says He will never leave us or forsake us.
(4) He is the One who gave up His only Son for me to have eternal life. He knows sacrifice and pain.

Makes me stop and repent for ever doubting Him. Yet He knows that I do and I will and He still loves me and continues to draw me to Him. Things don't always turn out the way we expect it but we have the choice to trust God or ourselves. I don't know about you, but my track record hasn't been too great so I'm going to go with God no matter what because in this life, I will need as much help as I could get.


Miranda Tom