Before I begin with lists and facts and other random anecdotes, I believe sharing my purpose, found in Christ, is intrinsically linked to who I am and what I do. Jesus is why I am who I am, and why I do what I do, and in fact, is why I am still here.
Without Jesus, I would’ve committed suicide long ago, and there would be no “About Mandy” page and no blog on which to find it.
You can search out the heart of my purpose amongst my tattoos. One of them quotes Matthew 22:34-40, in which Jesus sums up the entire Bible: love God with all you are and love others as yourself. Another tattoo reads, “The aim of our charge is LOVE that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith,” which is from 1 Timothy 1:5. Another quotes Isaiah 6:8, in which the prophet says, “Here I am Lord, send me.”
The Lord is sending me (through this blog and other means) to love others by showing them the surpassing love of God towards me through sharing my own story, unflattering parts and all. As Paul said about himself, I will boast in only two things: my own flaws and weaknesses, and the cross of Christ. One says I am in desperate need of a savior, the other says Who that savior is.
I also believe sharing how I’ve suffered and the way in which God has enabled me to endure it, will be one of the greatest testimonies of all. I’m bipolar (rapid cycling, type II) and Campbell, my husband, has cancer (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia). I pray by sharing our struggles with you, you’ll find the real miracle is not that we are still alive, but that we are more than simply surviving.
…I will now attempt to do the impossible: provide the cliff notes version of who I am and what I do. (Lord, help me.)
I’m a wife of nearly seventeen years who, at the age of nineteen, married Campbell, my best friend, who was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) in 2015. A mother to four wonderful kids, aged six to thirteen, I’m also a Christian, bipolar, a mercurial creative, an introvert, author, musician, songwriter, poet, and painter.
In regards to my personality…
I’m an introvert with oftentimes severe social anxiety, I’m wildly creative, prone to deep depression, idiosyncratic, a terrible speller, awkward or unintentionally charming depending on the day, occasional insomniac, klutzy, a slob, whimsical, contemplative, passionate, mercurial, I can’t cook to save my life, I’m equal parts geek and nerd, a dreamer, namer of inanimate objects, unintentional killer of all green things, lover of books, music, abstract paintings, poetry, tattoos, solitude, wild outdoor places, quiet, odd numbers, camping, hiking, authenticity, art infused with raw passion and vulnerability without the need for perfection, scripture, apologetics, statistics, astrophysics, classical studies, mythology, logic, psychology, and philosophy.
I’m also a bit of a pyro.
My favorite book of the Bible is the Gospel According to John, with Psalms and Romans being a close second and third, my favorite author is C. S. Lewis, my favorite apologist is Ravi Zacharais, my favorite number is thirteen because I feel it gets a bad rap, and my favorite color is ultramarine blue, which is also Campbell’s favorite color. (What are the chances we would love the exact same shade of blue? The statistics on that are mind-boggling.)
As far as what I do…
I’m a writer of novels, short stories, lyrics, and poetry (which, in my case, is more akin to spoken word than anything else). You can find links and information about what I’m currently writing and follow my journey toward publication as it (hopefully) unfolds here.
(***UPDATE—I am now officially a published author! You can read about the crazy circumstances surrounding that particular journey by clicking here.)
I’m a classically trained musician (viola) who has a degree in classical music composition because I wanted to be a soundtrack composer since I was seven, but now I write songs, and sing and play electric guitar as a solo artist, which is, frankly, terrifying. I’d much rather “hide” within a band or perform as an instrumentalist only. Speaking of which, I’ve been in several bands in the past (and in fact, Campbell and I met in a band). Just last week I was going to start recording an EP, but then the Coronavirus hit. You can listen to the music of my most recent band, Emissaries, for free on Soundcloud here. And you can read more about my music journey here.
I’m a painter and sketch now and then, and used to do colored pencils back in high school. But though I’ve sold some pieces in the past, creating artwork these days is more a therapeutic hobby for me than anything else. You can check out some of my work here.
I also play soccer in an adult league and used to be good at it. Now I do it for fun. (Side note: I also used to play rugby in college at Baylor University with my identical twin, Maggs, before a bad concussion while playing LSU ended that particular venture…but that’s another story.)
That’s pretty much it. I hope this was less painful for you to read than it was for me to write. Blessings, friend! And may the Lord protect you, both financially and health-wise, during this unprecedented time. Stay well.