Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birthdays past vs. Birthday now

My youngest and most vivid birthday memory is of course when I turned ten.  That was the year, I had a birthday, my grandma died, and I was diagnosed with diabetes all within a month.  I have no idea what I got as a gift, but I guess you could say Diabetes?  That makes me laugh.  I have said it before and will say it again, diabetes is a blessing.  God has definitely blessed me and grown me spiritually because of this disease.  At the age of ten I could not use the word disease.  I thought it was like a stigma of defeat, when in actuality, it is a tool refining me each and everyday.  Diabetes in my life is both appreciated and despised.

When I turned 16, I had a surprise party.  A few friends, a radio, some food in my back yard it is was a great time!  When I turned 18, I took my new age out for a spin.  I bought a scratch-off lottery ticket and registered to vote! When I turned 21, I had my first drink.  A whole half of a hurricane and I spent the rest of the night contemplating telling my crush that I liked him.  When I turned 22, my friend made me a button, that said kiss me it is my birthday!  I accepted kisses on the cheek all night, because I was not quite wild enough to let strange weirdos kiss my lips!  We laughed had fun, and it was for the most part harmless.  When I turned 25, I was newly engaged, and moving to Houston.  I was was about to make an incredible and wonderful change.  When I turned 30, I was pregnant with my daughter.  This is the only birthday I can remember actually crying over, those darn hormones!

I am narrowing in on my 35th birthday.  Wednesday is the big day!  What is on my mind you may ask?  I will tell you, underwear.  Yep, it is true.  I hate my underwear.  I never feel really fat until I look at my underwear.  I may have days when I feel chubby, but not over the top fat.  I just don't feel that way too often.  That is except when I look at my underwear.  I am not saying that I am not chubby, because I could stand to loose about 20 pounds and I would be the size I was when I got married.  That size was only about 15 pounds heavier than when I graduated high school, so rationalizing like this makes it feel not that far!  Well, that is until I look at my underwear!  I guess after you have a baby, you just need more fabric to cover the junk in your trunk.  I don't know but at age 35, I find underwear to be disturbing. 

At age 35, I am however, looking forward to celebrating all week.  I plan to spend time with friends, laugh, and maybe sing a little karaoke.  I am a little sad to be singing with out my original karaoke friends, Ellen, Cawy, and Liz.  After all, I am pretty sure when we were suppose to be studying, we were actually singing karaoke every Wednesday night.  Those were the days when my worries were light and my underwear smaller!

This is my BIRTHDAY edition mindset, now let me hear yours!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Submissive wife, something I don't do well

Submission, that word makes me cringe.  The first time I visited the church I now attend, I remember a woman gave the prayer before the offering.  She said, " Lord, please help us women to be submissive to our husbands."  Needless to say, I was like, "WHAT?  Get me out of here!"  However, the Pastor was really good and preached straight from the Bible, so I decided I could look past the crazy notion of submitting to my husband! 

The Websters definition of submission is as follows:
  • the act of being humble or compliant
  • the act of submitting to the authority or control of another
As I read the definition I laughed out loud.  Really, they might as well have said the definition was the exact opposite of Miranda! 

My husband and I had a disagreement this week, and it was on my heart that I should remember, based on the word of God, I am suppose to submit to my husband.  I went looking for advice.  I found myself having this conversation with my mother in law.  It went something like this," Will you do me a favor and take off your mother in law hat and put on your friend hat, because I need some advice." She is really good about playing multiple roles in my life: Mother-in-law, friend, boss, and grandmother to my child. " What do you do when you and my father in law just can't agree on something?"  Her response was," Eventually some one has to give in."  Her answer when my husband called to ask her advice, "Sometimes you just aren't going to be happy with everything!"  You gotta love that lady!

My husband is a wonderful man.  He works very hard so that my daughter and I can live the life that we do.  He works more than 12 hours a day, and he only has two real and regular complaints.  First, he is tired.  Second, he does not like stupid people.  When people ask why I married him, the answer is easy, he made me, and still makes me laugh.  We laugh all the time.  We have fun and genuinely enjoy each other, that is when we are not disagreeing on something.  This is where it gets tricky.  My husband and I see things in two different directions but the same destination.  Men always have trouble with directions!  (Laughing hysterically......ok fine sometimes I can't follow directions either!)

I would like to believe that the last time my husband was right about anything was when he decided to marry me; at that point he gave up his rights for me!  After all, in our wedding service, my brother the pastor, gave him some excellent advice," Happy wife, happy life, trust me I know my sister!"  My husband said I do, but He did not say I will do it your way Miranda.  Although my ears MAY have interpreted it as, "I do, I do always want to do things your way Miranda; now here have some chocolate!"  This is a great example of how I get into trouble, selective hearing!

I just can't seem to get this submissive thing down.  Just when I think I am allowing him to be heard, I am really not.  I have made up my mind and concocted a new way to sway his thinking.  The truth is, just as my mother-in-law said, some one eventually has to give in.  For the purposes of this weeks disagreement, I will not say I gave in completely, but I did change my tone.  The change in tone lead to a new understanding of each persons point of view, and a reminder we are on the same team.  Now I am left with my new definition of submission: change your tone and sell harder!

 This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spiritual Giants

I started a new Bible study this passed week.  It is called Faithful, Abundant, and True.  It is part of the Deeper Still serious lead by Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and Priscilla Shirer.  The first two weeks are about Faithfulness, followed by two weeks of Abundance, and then two weeks of True.  I began my "digging deeper still" into the Faithfulness section.  I also read Chapter 4 of Deuteronomy for my Sunday school class.  This all lead to a reoccurring theme for my week.  This is what I heard:

Deuteronomy Chapter 4 told me and repeated several times through out the chapter. 
  • DO NOT forget the Covenant that God made with you.  
  • Obey God and all will go well with you.
Hebrews Chapter 2:1
             "For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it."

In my head, I am thinking ok, God has repeated these things many times, it must be REALLY important.  How am I doing on these fronts?  I think I am good, until we get to the OBEY part of just about anything.  Obediance is one of many things that is not my strong suit.  I don't want to be like the rest of the sheep.  Why can't I be purple instead of white?  I prefer things my way.  The thing about my way, when it is demanded, it is seldom ever right.  My intentions are usually honorable, but then there is always a better alternative.  A good example is when my husband THINKS his alternative is right.  I then dig in my heals and say, "Oh yeah!"  The result always ends up the same, a little give and take, and the matter gets resolved.  It is the initial, "Oh yeah," that always gets me in trouble!

As far as faithfulness, I have always considered myself to be faithful.  However, recently I have seen faithfulness that is beyond my level of comprehension.  I have previously mentioned the White family in my blog.  This week, their 13 year daughter Krysta passed away and is now in heaven walking with Jesus.  They have continued to be a wonderful example of their faithfulness in the midst of their loss.  They had a celebration for Krysta, where by request, no one wore black.  The family sat up front, tears in their eyes and heartbroken, but at the same time peaceful.  I know that there are many hard days ahead of them, but I believe their obediance and faithfullness will continue to be a blessing. 

I thought that this type of faithfulness could only be found in a spiritual giant, like Abraham, Paul, or John.  However, this week, I recognized that there are spiritual giants living among us.  I know another family who lost a child, and they continue to have health issues within their family, yet to see them you would never know.  They have smiles on their faces, and love in their hearts. I have two friends raising special needs children and yet again, smiles and love all around.  Faith like this is only found in those who are seeking the word of God, and trusting in His promises.  It makes me reflect on my own worries, prayer requests, and complaints.  Are my requests silly or insignificant?  As a matter of fact while discussing this with one of the friends mentioned above she said, "God wants to hear all our requests big and small."   I took that with me and I thought what a beautiful heart, modeled after God's word.  God is indeed Mighty and fully capable to handle all requests!

I think I am always looking for something big to happen, like a burning bush or a vivid dream.  The truth is God's movements aren't always big.  They can be a tug at your heart, a gut feeling to move, but they also can be the example you set when you are just living everyday life.  You could be someone's spiritual giant, because God is using you for that specific situation.  My take away from my verses and the examples shown to me this week, is this: Remember God's promises, Obey His word, and live it out faithfully because you never know when you are going to be used by God.

This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!

On a side note, I am still on birthday count down.  It is now almost a week away.   I am excited!!!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Flawed but Forgiven

As I approach my birthday, I love that at this stage in life I am flawed but forgiven.

I am the first to point out my flaws.  I will start with a memory.  In college, my roommate once said to me, "Miranda I think God put me in your life to thaw your cold cold heart!"  I still find this comical today, while others may cringe and say,"Ouch."  I always just considered myself as being matter of fact or not taking things too personal.  It is a flaw that continues to haunt me.  There are times that my words and actions leave me thinking," What is the big deal?"  While time and time again I am shown that my words and actions are in fact inconsiderate when they should be more personal.  Unfortunately, this flaw is chronic, just when I think I have beat it, it rears its ugly head.  However, sometimes not taking things to personally comes in handy, when you live across the street from your in-laws!  :)

I have food issues.  I can't help it.  I swear that chocolate calls my name.  We actually are past first base, chocolate can call me anything, honey, baby, sweet-cakes, and lets face it, I will answer.  I will not only answer on the first ring, but I will whisper sweet nothings into the delicious bites of a Reeses peanut butter cup or homemade chocolate chip cookie.  Chocolate has been known to pay me a bootie call, at 9:00 at night, I just have to have a bite, and then it stays on my bootie for the next six months!  I will say a close second is my love of Goldfish crackers.  I can eat the whole bag, which is why I buy the big box gallon size! 

While I feel pretty comfortable in my skin, it is still a goofy skin.  I think most times I feel like a kid trapped in this life that I can't believe is flying by in front of my eyes.  I wonder what kind of example I am setting for my daughter.  I open my mouth sometimes and am like, opps, did I just say that out loud?  Then my four year old repeats me and tells grandma," That is freakin ridiculous," while it is funny, it is really not so funny because what four year old should say that? Y'know "freakin" is not really that attractive when anyone says it.  I look at my little girl, and see some of my expressions and think," Oh dear, she is going to be a goof ball like me."  Then I pray and ask God to please just give her a filter, because her daddy doesn't have one and Lord help us if we have two of them talking that way! (Yelling) BIBLE.... BIBLE!  This is our code word in Sunday school when my husband has crossed the line and needs to just stop talking!  Truly she has no chance with us as parents, she is bound to be opinionated and not afraid to talk about it.

In all my flaws and insecurities, I am forgiven.  I love that I can accept that God forgives me no matter what my flaws maybe.  He forgives me because he chooses, not because I deserve it.  I love the grace in forgiveness, and the wholeness found in the unconditional love of my heavenly Father, who loves me sin marred, stained and flawed!

This is my mindset now let me hear yours!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The best time of my life so far....

My birthday is rapidly approaching.  I am am hitting what I am considering a "BIG ONE."  I will be turning 35, and while it is still  almost three weeks away, I am getting anxious for it.  It seems like it means more to me this year.  I am not only turning 35 but I will have had diabetes 25 years.  For some strange reason I find this to be some weird honor!  It is like on the inside, I am yelling TAKE THAT, diabetes.  So I begin now with the preface that it is going to be my birthday and I am going to talk about it and celebrate it for approximately 9 days.  To define the days a little further, that is pre-birthday weekend, birthday (Wednesday Feb. 1st), and post-birthday weekend!  Yes, I am an attention hound!

As I said, I have had diabetes almost 25 years.  I am going to celebrate!  Yep, while it is a bit unorthodox, I plan on having cake!  I have blogged a few times about having diabetes and having struggles with it.  It is not always easy, sometimes it is downright frustrating, but I am going to BE THANKFUL for it.  I shall thank it with cake and then several units of insulin!  It will be a sweet celebration to the unsweetened diabetes life.

As for turning 35, I am of the frame of mind today, that this may be the best part of my life, so far.  I loved my twenties, and I had some good times, but there is something great about right now.  The mid-thirties may be the best time for a woman.  I am passed the age where friendships change every couple of weeks.  I have learned a thing or two about the people I want to surround me, and don't worry about rumors and gossip.  Although, I am sure there is gossip.  After all, some one must have noticed that I sent my kid to school with her pants on backwards today!  Yes, true story.  My 4 year old dressed herself, and this morning, I did not notice that her back pockets were up front when I zipped up her jacket this morning.  It was after school, after lunch, when grandma said, "Baby girl, do you have your pants on backwards?"  I laughed and also felt like a terrible mom.  Even with mishaps like this, I still feel pretty good in my skin.  Maybe, it is because unlike my teens and twenties, I realize I am not invincible and that I am not always right.

Here are a couple of reasons why I believe this may be the best part of life so far. 
  • God.  It goes without saying that since I re-focused my life on God, things have been good.  That is not to say without trial, but I am comforted through out each stage.  Good or bad there is a underlying sense of peace and comfort when I am where I should be, and prayer is my confidant.  It took until my thirties to truly understand and truly listen to the word of God, and it's revelations have been life changing. 
  • My husband.  He is my best friend, biggest cheerleader, and source of all my frustration!  After almost ten years of marriage you would think, I would not trip over his boots EVERY day, but EVERY night, I am like,"OUCH, Why do you put your boots there?"  To which he responds,"They have been there every night since we got married!"  The sweet sound of those frustrations fills my heart knowing that if I can trip over his boots EVERY night for 10 years, I can continue to for about 50 more.  Because, let's face it, moving the boots now would take all the fun out of the game!
  • My daughter.  There is no greater joy.
  • My family: The sacrifices made for me, the advice they share with me, and their unconditional love.
  • A shout out to the dicey chicks I play Bunco with!  My husband pointed out that I have an amazing group of friends.  He commented on the laughter and genuine joy he could hear when he came home before our Bunco game was over.  He also said, that the girls should give me great material for a hilarious blog.  I am just not sure that everyone will laugh as much as we did and the random yelling of words like," Shampoo," and " Boobs."  I look forward to Bunco night because, the women I share this time with are God-seeking, talented, funny, and real.  Some of them I know better than others, but I believe God put them each in my life for a purpose.  I don't know what it is, but I know whatever it is, God has blessed me!
 While it is early to be celebrating my birthday, I feel like I have a lot to celebrate.  Turning 35 seems like a big deal, and in true Miranda fashion I am going to DRAMA it up, play it out, and ATTENTION hog it until it just can't be anymore!

This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions, a year in review, and other nonsense

Here it is 2012.

Let me start with, I do not believe in New Years Resolutions.  I think it is ridiculous to say that I am going to start a diet that I have no intentions of keeping.  A New Year Resolution in my mind is like the first disappointment of the new year.  Why oh why would I want to start my year with a new year resolution/ disappointment?  I don't and will not!   I will say that I am more likely to set a goal.  My goal generally has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH WEIGHT LOSS.  This is not to say that I am not in need of shedding a pound or ten, but frankly, I am not really ready to commit to that, so why try to fool myself.

The past two years, I have simply said, that I want to be in service to God some where that I have not previously served.  My first attempt at meeting this goal found me as an assistant teacher in the Kindergarten vacation Bible school class.  On my second day, a kid broke his arm!  That was a clear sign to me that Kinder vacation Bible school, NOT my calling.  The second year that I made this my goal, I did not attempt VBS.  Instead, I opted to participate in a Feed My Starving Children event.  It was awesome.  However, that was not much service, seeing how I showed up and did like two hours worth of work, bought a t shirt and went home.  My previous thought for service for 2011 was that I should mentor a young person.  Unfortunately, I allowed myself to be talked out of it.  I had gone so far as to make an appointment with the director of the program that mentors young girls just released from prison.  I canceled the appointment.  I thought to myself, " I won't have the time."  However, if I spent more considerate prayer time, God might have made time for HIS WILL.  I regret is not praying more about it, so that I was clear on HIS will and not my own.

While this year, I want to, again, be in service some where I have not served before.  I have no idea what that will be.  I love the idea of leading a ladies Bible study.  Of course, I can already think of great reasons not too.  The first reason that stops me is my own insecurity that I don't have enough Bible knowledge.  I also wonder where I would find time, and who would want to do a study with me.  When I say find time, it is not that I do not have time, it is more about the priorities for time in my life.  I have a four year old, and while setting a good example is important, I struggle with the extent of "extra curricular" things I should commit to outside of the home.  I want her and my husband to have me when they need me.  To use Proverbs 31, the chapter of the Bible that sends cringes of inadequacy down my spine, I need to be a good and noble wife for my husband and child.  The verses of seasons comes to mind, there is a season for everything, but what season am I in?  I am sure if I spend some time in prayer, my answers will come, be that in a clear resounding way, or in the silence that tends to accompany the very difficult waiting on God.  Either way, the scriptures say," For I know the plans I have for you....." I guess I will just wait and see what God has for me in 2012.

I am certain of the things that I would not like to repeat in 2012.  This list is an easy one to start.  We will start with the most recent.  I hope that we will not repeat my 4 year old telling her Sunday school teacher that she wants a BB gun to shoot cats for Christmas.  Thanks to her daddy for telling her she REALLY needed a BB gun from Santa.  (Obviously, he loves that movie, A Christmas Story.)  I do not want to repeat the pipe that broke in our home, because we are still fixing various related things. I do not want to repeat the ticket I got on the way to church, however, this requires slowing down.  If I am honest, I may repeat this one!  I don't want to repeat another bad Aggie football season.  When you lead the whole game and loose in the fourth quarter, well, it just plain hurts!  Most importantly, I DO NOT want to repeat an Obama Presidency! :)

Happy New Years Friends!  May the God of peace fill your hearts and may His love fill your homes!

This is my mindset, now tell me yours!