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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Movie Mania

My life has been so busy in the last few months with meetings, surgeries, family, friends, working, studying, reading, speaking, dancing etc. it seems that I practically live by my planner. Can anyone else relate to that? I mean if it's not written down it doesn't get done usually. It has gotten to the place where I actually need to schedule free time if I am going to have any. (When did I become all grown up with planners and stuff?) Lol!

So I've been staying with my friend for the last month and she kept saying that she wanted to watch the Lord of the Rings series...all of them...one right after the next. Well I knew that delirium from the surgery must have finally set in because the thought of that was simply insane. I tried to convince her to watch them 3 nights in a row but it must have been a long time dream of hers or something. So I decided that last Monday (being President's Day) and seeing as I was off and we were buried under a foot of snow I thought why not? That's the first mistake people...thinking! Well in some cases anyways :)

So after lunch we began a 9 and 1/2 hour movie watching experience that ended at 12:30 am on Tuesday morning. Of course the usual lunch, dinner and potty breaks were included. It was relaxing and fun but there was a point of some definite tension when my friend (whose idea this was to begin with) fell asleep! That's right ASLEEP! for at least an hour, during the second movie. I couldn't believe it! Needless to say I was a little perturbed but it was all good in the end.

Listen, if you can find people who are willing to do something crazy like that, go for it because now I can say, "Lord of the Rings? Oh yeah, once I watched all 3 of them in a row." You pick your own series and just do it to have done it!

Of course if any of you have ever seen the movies you understand that there are deep spiritual truths that are brought out and I would be remiss not to share a couple of the ones that really spoke to me.

The corruption of the human spirit brought about by the ring in the movie is such a remarkable analogy of sin. The way that it causes decay in our lives, a rotting from the inside out, if it goes unchecked and how we constantly desire to do things even though we know in our hearts they are not good for us. We can't help it. It is our sin nature. But Praise God for His Son who made a bridge from that depraved life to one that is redeemed and everlasting. It is only by the grace of God I am what I am, who I am, where I am and who I will become. He made a way.

Secondly, the movie was a constant example of sacrifice. Giving up home and family to accomplish a task entrusted to them, risking their lives at every turn in defense of truth, freedom and what was right, putting aside their own well being in favor of looking out for each other's best interest. Time and time again we saw this in the movie and it made me think of God's sacrifice for us in sending His Son, amazing! It made me also think of men and women in our armed forces defending a country full of people they would never know but laying their lives down to keep them safe. It made me think about the sacrifices I was making in my own life to make a difference, to put others first, to change lives.

I am a movie fan, I won't deny it, but the coolest thing is how God can speak to us and change us through the things we love. There is rarely a movie I watch that doesn't speak to me in some way. (Of course, some things speak more profoundly than others - depending on the movie :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is the Price of Beauty Too High?

The things that women go through to look good, better, well at least somewhat presentable are extensive. I mean we find it necessary to count every calorie (how much calories can this double fudge sundae possibly have anyways?). We have hair stylists and not just hair cutters (then proceed to complain for the next 6 weeks that we can't get it to look nearly as good as our hair person), and then just when we are finally getting the hang of it, we go back to get it trimmed and start the vicious cycle all over again. Let's not even count the cuts and scrapes and how many times we have almost bled to death shaving our legs. As a single woman, I'll be honest, those puppies don't see the shaving set nearly as much especially in winter and especially not having any one in particular to touch them. Lol! That may have been TMI! Sorry folks! :) Moving right along...then there is all the plucking...oh excuse me, tweezing, waxing, manicures, pedicures, heel treatments, eye treatments, nose hair trimmings, conditioning, hair coloring, exercising, make up, makeovers and the list goes on and on.

Why do we do it? Self-esteem? To attract that special guy? To look your best for work? To just feel great about yourself? Or maybe it's because if the barn needs painting it should be painted? For various reasons it is what we do, I myself having been a partaker and an advocate of these various forms of torture...oops...I mean beautification rituals. But do I ever do anything normally? Puh...lease! If I did where would I get material for my blog? :)

So last night being the night before church, I decide to spruce up a bit. Since I am temporarily staying with my friend, I didn't bring all my supplies for the facial hair removal process, so after ripping some unwanted hairs off my face with wax coated strips (fun!) and recovering from the shock again, (it must be akin to child birth you know, going through all that pain and then holding your perfect little one...women say they forget the pain...i.e. until baby number 2 comes along and then it's like "oh yeah, this hurts, I remember now"), same thing practically, ripping unwanted hairs out, almost exactly the same...well they have to be pretty close anyways.

So I ask my friend for some tweezers and she gets them for me and about 30 seconds later, I accidentally knock them into the sink and as I frantically grab for them I watch them slip down the drain. Silly tweezers! So I'm thinking oh joy, now I have to replace tweezers and even worse my eyebrows are suffering the ramifications of it all. As you might imagine telling my friend about the incident was not easy because she needed those tweezers out of her pipe. So we break out the tool kit in order to dismantle the pipes beneath the sink and retrieve the rogue tweezers only we are greeted with a smell that made you want to give back your lunch. A mouse had gotten into the tool kit and decided to relieve himself. So soon we had a sink full of tools soaking in a soapy sanitizing bath and had to go out to the garage to find other instruments to take apart the sink.

It took a while to take apart the pipes. It seemed almost hopeless for a while but then it gave way. Unfortunately it also gave way to the most disgusting smell (even worse than the mouse pee) coming up from the pipes. After almost gagging yet again, the tweezers were recovered, safe and sound and it looked like things would soon return to normal except that removing the pipe, broke the seal so once it was back together it was like the fountain of youth with water gushing. Towels were brought in. This was not a good situation.

Now with a quite pungent odor and water gushing every where as soon as the pipe was turned on, you would think well at least the worst of it was behind us...you would have been wrong! Next thing the part attached directly to the opening of the sink broke off. Haha! I am not even trying to be funny or exaggerating at all. So fixing the sink right then turned out to be a NO! Time to call in a professional. After cleaning up the sink, drying up everything, we proceeded to wash all the tools, twice, and dry them. Yeah! This is every single girl's dream for Saturday nights. Well that's what I will comfort myself with in years to come anyways.

With the tools finally washed and drying we sit down to relax...but oh remember that pungent odor I told you about from the pipes earlier? It decided to make itself at home in the whole house. So back to the bathroom armed with vinegar and everything got cleaned again. Smell still coming...finally, cluing in to the fact that the pipe was still exposed, we proceeded to wrap up the opening and voila! no more stinky smell.

After all that I stood staring into the mirror and I picked up the tweezers and grabbed a hold of that single strand of hair just under my right eyebrow that had been bugging me for days and yanked it out and put away the tweezers. Not even joking! Now friends I know there is a deeply spiritual message here, maybe about vanity, maybe about helping each other or maybe about patience...but unfortunately I have no idea this time and was way too tired to figure it out so please forgive me.

But I will tell you this though, I am not sure I will ever use a pair of tweezers again. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

A God Production

There is something simply amazing about how God works things out sometimes. The last few weeks, aside from being a blur, have been an incredible reminder that there is something far greater at work in our lives than mere chance and 'que sera sera'. I have learned so much about the power of obedience, sacrifice and love that I can't wait to share that with you. The only problem I am having is where do I begin...

Here's the thing though, not all of this is my story to share so I can't fully disclose all the details but I'm sure you will get the hang of things.

It all started a few years ago when I had one of the most crushing experiences of my adult life. I was at a place where I felt betrayed, devastated, broken-hearted and hopeless. I wondered if I would ever find a place to belong again or if God would ever use me again. (If I could give some advice here,please allow me to, be careful what you say and do in regards to others. The tongue does have the power of life and death. I have seen people have their hopes and dreams crushed, their hearts torn apart and their trust shattered because of the actions and words of others. Try not to have any of those casualties on your resume).

Feeling utterly alone I searched for a new place to worship and to hopefully get a fresh start. I found it. In the process of being on this island with just me and God, I found that I was never as desperate for a Savior as I was then. It was just the 2 of us for a while. Then He began to fill my life up again with new friends, new ministries...I was fortunate. You see for years I had struggled with being single because all my friends were married and had started their own families and so I prayed and prayed for a friend who was single who I could just enjoy life with (that may have been a little selfish, but in this life we need people to walk through it with). Then there she was. Over months and the couple years we've known each other, Lori and I became great friends. It is a rare blessing in this life to find a friend who really loves you for the good and the bad, who is just as close as family and who you know made your life so much better. I feel privileged. Don't get me wrong we have good disagreements like families do as well :) Lol! If she would only admit that I am right all the time, it would be fine!

Now I could tell you that Lori feels pretty much the same way and that she considers me the sister she never had...but that's for her to tell.

My biological sister Kimmy has been on dialysis for several years now due to both her kidneys failing. I mean I could tell you how she has been at death's door several times, how doctors were amazed that she is even alive, that she has prayed throughout and believed that God would help her through it all...but that's really for her story to tell.

About a year and a half ago my friend surprised me when she told me she was contemplating giving a kidney to my sister. If I could put into words all the emotions that raced through me simultaneously at that moment...I'd be the most talented writer alive. I was speechless (rare for me). So, not just talking about it she began testing to be a donor last summer.

I could tell you about the countless tests that potential organ donors must go through, the countless trips to the hospital, the follow ups, the emotional roller coaster, the risks, the rewards...but I won't right now...what I will say is that I have a tremendous level of respect for all of them that I never had before. They are miracles from God.

There are so many more things I want to tell you; how Lori was a perfect match for my sister, that my sister was overwhelmed when she was finally told, that it was a gift born out of love, that surgery was scheduled for January 26th, that the hospital had one of the best kidney transplant centers in our country, that both surgeons had 100% success in their surgeries, that Lori's surgeon turned out to be a Christian who lifted his patients up in prayer, that just about everyone we knew were covering them in prayer, that my sister's new kidney started working almost instantaneously (something that rarely happens), that Lori's nurse was amazed by how good she looked 2 days after surgery, that they both came home and are healing well, that my sister had her first taste of banana, orange, tomato soup and chocolate ice cream in 4 1/2 years, that Lori played a major part in something that is simply miraculous, that people who know them were blown away by God's amazing grace and that for both of them life would never be the same...I could tell you that but it's really their story to tell. :) Isn't it?

As for me? I just had a front seat to a God production. Here is what I know to be true, God is faithful, God works all things out for the good of those who love Him, there will be tough things that we go through in this life, God never promised us an easy road, but what prayer and faith can do is beyond words, and He is with us through it all. How many God productions go on around us every day?

Now if God can give my sister a kidney...I wait in expectation for what He does next. :)


Miranda Tom