Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This is why I have big muscles

There is absolutely nothing worse than getting bad news from home when you’re helplessly far away. About 16 years ago my dad was diagnosed with kidney failure. When I was younger I spent countless hours at Massachusetts General Hospital visiting my dad for some reason or another… maybe he had an infection from dialysis… maybe he got sick from his medication… or because he developed some freak disease. I never really cared why my dad was there, I just remember hating the feeling that my hero had to trade his cape for a hospital gown, and my dad’s a hero, a real one (I’ll save that for another post).

I remember the menu at the hospital food court… I was a regular
I remember seeing my dad hooked up to a whole bunch of machines and tubes
I remember walking into a room and seeing a shell of the man who raised me
I even remember leaving a room thinking I may never see my dad again.

After 6 years of hospital visits, dialysis, and deadly infections my dad finally got a kidney transplant. The scars of his 6 years ordeal will never go away and the fight will always continue to some degree because there is always the chance your body rejects the new kidney, or the same process that shut down your old kidney shuts down your new one. But that’s a bridge you cross when you have too. I’m sure my dad would agree it’s a fair trade for getting to see his HANDSOME son and his BEAUTIFUL daughters grow up.

The 10 years since my dad’s transplant have truly been blessed. During that time my dad has come to know the Lord, we have grown really close as a family, and God has providing for us in every way. I can honestly say that I have the privilege of living in Godly home. God has really showed his faithfulness and commitment to my family during these years. I could literally tell you story after story of God’s power working mightily through us and for us. As a family we know without a doubt that He is faithful and He is good.

From the news I’ve received from home it looks like my family may have to cross some bridges and I must admit the thought that some of those memories may become my reality again makes me sad. I don’t know how things are going turn out, but I am sure of a few things. I’m sure that God has used the last 16 years of health, sickness, blessing, and hardship to strengthen me. I am sure that my “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint ME, because God has poured out his love into MY heart by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given ME.” This is where my strength comes from; this is why I have big muscles. I know that that God will use all things to show his glory in my life. The promise is never that everything will always be great, the promise is that no matter what happens I will have HIM and HE is enough. HE is enough… and I’m sure of it.

Love, Life, Christ,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now What?

I graduated on Saturday and it easily may have been one of the best days of my life. I can barely put into words how it felt to be the first “Arango” to graduate from college. I can only hope that getting married feels this good… I’m not kidding. I didn’t walk across the stage to receive my diploma… I floated across on cloud nine, while holding my video camera, of course.

But as soon as the elated, ecstatic feelings of my graduation wore off…
As soon as I read all the wall posts that said CONGRATULATIONS…
As soon as I opened and read the last card…
And once I finally took off my cap and gown…

My immediate thought was and still is, “What now?”

What in the world am I going to do now?
Where am I going to work?
Did that degree really prepare me for a real job?
What did I get a degree in again?
Why did a major in that?
Where am I going to live?
How am I going to pay the rent?
My parents are really happy about this graduation… are they going to kick me out?
After 5 years of college why am I still so confused?
Why do I still feel so inadequate?

The past couple of days I have to come to grips with this Scripture…
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
Proverbs 16:9

As of right now I have no job.
Sallie Mae is about to be on my back in 6 months.
I’m still not ready to be a “grown up”.
I still want to live this adventure called “college”.

In my heart I have so many plans, and so many dreams. So many ways I thought I would be different by now and so many things I thought I would have accomplished.

I thought I would be married… or engaged… or at least dating.
I thought I would have some clarity on where my life is headed.
I thought my bank account would look a little better.
I thought I wouldn’t be worrying or stressed about any of this.
I thought that the plans in my heart were God’s plans too…

But I’m learning that’s not how it always works.
I’m learning that the Lord determines my steps.
He knows my future.
He knows my tomorrow.
He knows when the gas in my car is going to run out.
He knows whom I should marry.
He knows what grad school I should go to and what job I should take.
I think we would all agree that God knows these things… but here’s the kicker. Not only does He know… but He leads, He guides, He directs, HE DETERMINES OUR STEPS. 
If I have only learned one thing while in college it’s this… Life is unpredictable. Sometimes in good ways. Sometimes in bitter ways. Life is a bitter-sweet surprise. But the God that I’ve grown to love over the past five years is sovereign over all the things we think are unpredictable. Although they are unpredictable to us, they are never unpredictable to Him, our Guide.

I leave you with a quote…

“We must allow God to do what He wants to do. And if you are thinking you know the will of God for your life and you are anxious to do that, you are probably in for a rude awakening because nobody knows the will of God for his entire life… Sooner or later, God’s guidance, which brings us out of darkness into light, will also bring us out of light into darkness. It is part of the way of the cross.”
                                                                                                                         Elisabeth Elliot//J.I. Packer

You and I may be in the same boat right now. God has led me into the darkness, but I rest assured that He will guide me through and out.

More to come.

Got That Degree!

Got That Degree Baby!!! from This is the Thing on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dad on DECK!

DAD DOING HIS THING. from This is the Thing on Vimeo.

I started videotaping too late... he was going in for about ten minutes...
I went to New Zealand it was awesome... see for yourself

New Zealand with Riis from This is the Thing on Vimeo.

They Just Keep Coming...

Hot Commodity... from This is the Thing on Vimeo.


Random Videos...

The random-ness continues people.
Don't judge us... unless you be judged.

Contra-Baby from This is the Thing on Vimeo.

Random Videos.

We here at This Is The Thing decided to empty out our archives of random videos... thus declaring today random video day on This Is The Thing.


Drop It Like It's Hot... from This is the Thing on Vimeo.