Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I have moved!!! After a long dry spell of no blogging I am coming back into the blogging world... SO if you desire to join me come see me here :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

God Moments

Hey there! So glad you stopped by. If you found me because of She Seeks welcome!

It's the little moments that God gives this Princess that sustain her. I have to tell you that the last week I was needing a God moment. Circumstances and different things that happened sucked the very joy and life out of me. Maybe you can relate? I felt like I was at the bottom of myself. When Sunday rolled around I could hardly pull myself out of bed. Things around me were overwhelming and quite honestly I was doubting my ability to hear from God. That lead to a pattern of doubt about who I am to Him. I was drowning in a sea of doubt.

I don't think it was just a coincidence that yesterday God gave me a tangible way to feel His love for me. I was sitting in church listening to the sermon very aware of myself. You know those moments where you are completely self conscious and your own actions which then become the object of your attention? It usually happens because you feel uncomfortable. Well yesterday this guy sat down next to me and I became very self aware. Let me explain.

The self awareness began not because of the reality that I am single (which would be the normal reason) but because of what God put on my heart. About half way through the sermon it was as if God was like you need to ask this guy to lunch. SAY WHAT?? That was my response. This Princess is old fashioned. I do NOT ask boys places. Boys that I know well even. It takes a long time and a large foundation of trust for me to even think about initiating something like that. And here God was tapping on my shoulder asking me to ask this boy next to me to lunch??? It was clear that he was around my age and that put the pressure up even more. Like I said I had been having a week of doubting if I can hear God and when I think I hear from Him am I hearing correctly. So naturally my mind went after it as soon as that thought popped into my head. Things like, "Uh God, I don't know Him." or "What on earth would we talk about over lunch???" This argument with myself went on for the rest of service. I leaned down to grab my coat when he grabbed my arm and said "I want to pray for you before you leave. So don't go anywhere."

I could not believe it. He wanted to pray for me? I knew in that moment that God was up to something. (no this was not a match made in heaven for all you ladies with an over active romantic mind) This boy wrapped me in an embrace and began speaking words of life over me. Divine words of revelation. He was praying for things that he could have never known about. He knew nothing about me. We were complete strangers and yet he lifted up some of my fears and talked openly about things that God had placed on my heart. It was a God Moment.

God's faithfulness showed up again. He wanted to remind me that He was never far away. God pays attention to the struggles and little details of my life and knew I needed more than anything to hear from Him. In that prayer and embrace I was covered by my Prince. Restored emotionally and spiritually.

And then I was able to be obedient and ask this kind boy out to lunch. We talked for three hours about the things God is up to in our life. We challenged each other, laughed and got excited about the Kingdom of God. My God moment went from a moment to an afternoon that filled me more than I had been in weeks.

I would love to hear about the moments that God has shown up and loved on you! You are a treasure to Him and this girl is convinced His fingerprints are on everything. So tell me about it :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Weighs Me Down

"...let us strip of every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race the God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

This verse hit me upside the head the other afternoon as the bell chimed on my phone. This email flitted into my inbox with a God sized intension. "What weights are pulling you down, Erin?" the still small voice whispered into the chambers of my heart. Ouch. Moments like that are when my eyes get wide and I look to the heavens with an expression of "really God?" WHY??? Couldn't we leave that box alone for now? NOPE is the resounding answer. Oh sweet Jesus, I love that you poke and prod at the issues of my heart. Really, really I do. It truly is love even though sometimes I am convinced a bikini wax would be less painful (This princess has NO intension of testing that one out by the way.) Anyways...

Shortly after this email so lovingly fell into my lap, the reminders of things that have been laid on my heart came to the surface. I realized I have loaded myself with ankle weights, arm weights and have been busy trying to push a semi across the road. (If you don't know me I am a fire ball but I have NO muscle.) Needless to say this poor girl is really weighed down. Weighed down by what? Quite honestly the if ands and buts of life. The "God, if ______ happened what would I do about______?" Or the "Oh and God I need ______". Or the classic one "But God I am not ready to try/do _______."

Why is it that I am so intent about figuring out the future and have so much trouble keeping today in perspective? Why does this girl think that jogging pushing a semi is going to help the plans that God has set before me? How much am I missing out on today if I am concerned about what is going to happen next week, next month or next year? (I'd like to blame it on the OCD first born child issues, but in reality I think there is something more). Sometimes I think this girl needs to throw her Vera Bradley planner (which I love by the way) out the window and take it day by day. If I were to lean into my Prince would He not guide me in the waltz we call life? Would it not be the most beautiful dance every choreographed?

Here is my theory, or maybe open confession. You can label it what you want, but I think the "OCD first born loves to plan" chick in me is really code for CONTROL FREAK. Maybe I shouldn't admit that out loud. That might be me setting myself up for a life time of singleness because let's face it ladies no man wants a control freak girlfriend. But let's be real for a split second. What girl likes to be out of control? Not me. I don't like when the winds are a blowin' around me and my hair is getting messed up, my skirt is in my face and I can't see a foot in front of me. I don't like when I can't predict someone's response to me, what their thoughts are or where I am going in the future. I enjoy people's approval. I love filling my day timer with to-do's and appointments and I love even more when I think I understand what God is up to. (Ha can I get a say what?) Like I know what He is doing?

So now that you know that this Princess is really a giant control freak that would like everything to go seamlessly and always know what is going on, let me tell you that my life doesn't work like that at all. Most days I don't get to follow a schedule. Most days God throws a curve ball at me and let me be honest, He really has been doing that lately (see relationship vortex post). I would like to dig my heals in and set up camp in a safe little environment where I know what is what and who lives where. Reality is God says no way. "Through off the weight of control freak my darling and run into the unknown, a race that I have made just for you." I love that He has a race for each of us to run that was charted out just for us.

Today I am starting with letting my calendar be. I will not be obsessed with what I think should have happened but rather be open to what His plans are. I am going to rest in His presence and accept the reality that I don't know what He is up to in any area of my life. Today I rest in that I am valuable simply because I am His. He chose me. He loves me and I am whole. When life spirals I white knuckle those truths and step one foot in front of the other in the race He has called me, just me, to run.

My Relationship Vortex: Beam me up Scottie

The relationship vortex is where I am living these days. The funny thing is I am not in a relationship with the opposite sex. Every other time I have visited this at times consuming place I have been in a relationship. Maybe you know this place and have been sucked in? You know it's where you are completely consumed by the opposite sex wondering why, how, what, who and when. Generally this is all pertaining to a particular individual. But this time I am alone. ALONE. I look around and there is no companion. No rainbows and butterflies. No skipping to the eternal love soundtrack. There is a part of me that wants to yell "beam me up Scottie" I am done living here. But unfortunately for me I get to examine this vortex instead. God wants me to stay here so this vortex feels more like a sad saga most days. (hear violins playing sullen music).

Let me explain. I am trying to uncover the good, bad and ugly of my relationships. Each of us construct what a relationship with the opposite sex looks like from a young age. It usually looks like something between a cross of a disney princess fairy tale and our parents marriage at about ten. But then life happens and well, we don't stay in that place. Relationships around us fall apart. We experience dating on our own. Some of our expectations change. We change. This is my problem. I experienced dating on my own and it looked more like a fun mirror chamber where I look at the relationship and it is fat on the top skinny on the bottom but then the next mirror is the opposite. Yikes.

There is a part of me that is grieving that I have to walk into essentially premarital sessions alone with nothing but me and my bible. Why did I have to experience the distortion I did? What weird person does premarital stuff alone? (Okay so Jesus is there). But it is not something I anticipated doing. Sometimes I am a cry baby. That part of me is screaming "BEAM ME UP!!!" Part of me is ecstatic because I have like hourly ah ha moments and it can be overwhelming. With that I am curious. God is not letting me sit stagnant with this one.

God, does NOT want me to stay there. He says "Erin, let me show you what relationship really looks like." In order to get there though I have to go through the field and pull out the weeds. I look around and say "AHHHHHHH I have so many weeds in this place!" My reaction is "God you are the God of the universe, you could just drop me in a new garden where there aren't so many weeds." Ha! That isn't going to happen. So the last couple weeks He has been the master gardener. I think it started with being able to recognize the problem of holding on to the shards of that past relationship. I straddled the fence for a while thinking that I could white knuckle it and create change. Ha! (That relationship is/was beyond help of any kind) Anything I am in control of without God never ever goes well. Then He brought in some people that would challenge my perceptions. It begins with girl friends who constantly remind me of Him and then transitions to my mentors/counselors and then ends with a boy.

Gasp!! Yes, I said it. With a BOY. This boy is an interesting boy. (well, he is a man-you know what I mean). This boy is interesting because he challenges all prior understanding of men. Especially christian men. Is he perfect? Far from it. Does he try to appear to be? Nope. Is he growing? Yes. Can he talk about his feelings towards things that have happened in his life? Yup. Is he willing to admit when he doesn't know something? Uh huh. Does he love God? Oh yes. But what intrigues me the most is the way he encourages me. He is not encouraging me in a worldly way, but instead in a Godly way. Sometimes I know that the words or scripture he gives me is God breathed. He reminds me of my intrinsic value. Odd, usually with a man I am experiencing the opposite. Believe me I have been waving my white flag yelling "God don't let a boy challenge my heart." Beam me up Scottie.

So not only is God working on me, He is rooting out some of my big issues. I am letting a guy into my life but in a different way. As a friend. As a person who gets to see the not so great parts of me but has to win my trust like everyone else. Will he disappoint me someday. Yes, he is human. Not superman. Could he walk away? Yes, he could. But that right there is an indication of my growth. I used to worship men and look to them to solve all my problems. Those days are over. I am not looking back to the place of worshiping them. And I also could cling to him to solve all my problems and tell him all the reasons why he needs me or should stay. This time I say: NO WAY. But I also don't treat him with contempt for his past mistakes and issues. That isn't fair. Ladies, we need to be able to realize that the men in our lives struggle just like we do. They have pasts, fears, insecurities, lies and ego's to fight. Good gracious. Can we be gentle and loving as Christ calls us and care for our brothers in Christ without condemning for their mistakes? Believe me, this has been a hard one. But God is working on me. He is not going to let me escape this one.

So life in the vortex looks something like Matthew 13:24-30 24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

Walk with me for a second. Yes this is about when Christ returns. But for me it has a little different meaning at this point of my life. A great friend of mine texted me and told me that this is where they feel I am at. Remember the weeds? Well this is why it speaks to my heart. The enemy came into my heart and planted weeds to infest the pieces of my heart and distort my perceptions of relationship. God is bringing in the harvest now. Sorting out the weeds from the wheat and getting ready to burn the lies I carry about past relationships to the ground. Sweet huh??? Yes, this is where my heart is. It is being sorted right now. Harvested.

The best part is I get to do it with amazing women like you :) So for now I will resist the urge to say "Beam me up." Cause who knows, maybe one day it will help you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Royal Tantrums

I am a stubborn child. This past week I have put on my tiara, stuck my nose in the air and stomped around the castle. High heals and skirts assist the drama of the tantrum. At least that is what I imagine in my royal position as His daughter. Thanks be to Him that He has patience that is unlimited because I was nothing shy of a cross between a teenager with an attitude, and a two year old.

I am sure you are wondering, why the tantrum? Or attitude? {well, I blush at the thought} I am mad. I am mad because I am tired of waiting. Waiting for what? Well, several things honestly. But I am tired of the rooting, disecting all the ugly stuff. I want the next phase and quite honestly I wouldn't mind if Prince Charming rode in on a white horse and took me off into the sunset. I know, all this about a boy? You through a royal fit over a man??? Uh, ya. I'm sure my single ladies can relate. I am over the reality that a boy won't solve my problems, but when God showed me that I look for my IDENTITY and IDOLIZE them I threw myself on my bed and kicked and screamed because this princess was in DENIAL. Yup. I said, "nope you have it wrong God".

Flash forward a day or two when I was still sulking and I saw it. I saw it in me. OH yes, my Daddy was right. That is when the teenage glare factor began. I was mad, mad, mad. I sat there and ignored Him. I said fine, be right and know everything, but I am not changing. Hahaha... that lasted ummm like a day. Why is he so gentle? Why is he so good at knowing just what my heart needs? I know, I don't even have to answer that question. But my Daddy sat this girl down and said, "Sweet daughter, I am jealous of these boys you look to, but most of all I am sad. You were not created to serve them."

How can a girl be mad at her Daddy who loves her? He wants me because He loves me. He promises to fill me and give me so much more than a man. I am tired of chasing the lie that a boy has the key to happiness, or fullness or whatever it is depending on the day. It is a lie. Instead I want to be intensional about dating my Prince of Peace and sweet King. He is what I really want.

Over and over in the bible God warns "You shall have no other Gods before me." Exodus 20:3. This is one that He drives home. I think so often we forget that an idol doesn't have to come in the form of something wooden or a statue. There are people that we put before Him, material position, jobs, ministry, appearances and keeping the law. In the New Testament God says "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves a son or daughter more then me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:37. I truly believe that God desires His relationship to be number one NO MATTER WHAT. And that our other relationships and ambitions can creep up and take His place.

My issue right now is well, boys. I like them. I would like one to like me. But, I have to be patient. I can't order that to happen. And God's timing is so perfect. But it is important that I learn now to keep my heart in check and that I don't let any relationship sit in the place of my King.

So this princess is going to keep her heart in His this week and be intensional. How? I will let you know :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall is Here- What season are you in?

Seasons. Can I tell you I am loving the transition into fall? I think I am in love with each of the seasons for totally different reasons. I can honestly say when each one comes it is my favorite at the moment. I know, I am indecisive. But there is something so special about each one I just can't chose. It's like asking this Princess to chose which pair of shoes are her favorite {the polka dot rain boots for April showers, the summer sassy wedges, the fun patten leather flats that match my fall coat, or the boots I live in when it snows}. Naturally the answer is "Duh, I love them all!!! I wear them at different times." Anyways, I love it when I wake up to a cloudy day when fall creeps in and suddenly I can waltz to my closet and pick out a sweater and a scarf. {I may or may not have too much fun getting dressed in the morning-which is new for a former invisible girl--another story}. This is what welcomed me on the first day of fall yesterday. Not only were my senses awakened to the smell of homemade chicken noodles soup and banana chocolate chip cookies, there was a sudden crispness to the air that reminded me of the changing season.

This year for some reason the seasons are hitting more then the normal five senses. You see, most of the time this Princess gets sucked into fall by the feel of the crisp air on her skin, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, the sight of colors of the Colorado aspen's changing to their golden color, the taste of warm homemade apple cider and the sound of the pitter patter of rain drops on the windows. But this year there was a new sense of change with the transitioning of the seasons. God opened my eyes to the seasons of my own life. {Get ready for some ramblings of something that helped me understand my life}

It came about like so many of my God revelations when I was talking to one of my girlfriends. I was chatting with her about the excitement of fall and the question "what season do you think you are in right now?" just popped out. When you spend a lot of time with me you get to know that I am just prone to asking those kinds of questions. She asked me to clarify and I responded with "Well, are you in a summer, fall, winter or spring? And why?" She paused and thought for a moment and then asked me to answer the question first. Normally this Princess is on top of it and has an answer ready, but I could not put my finger on what season God has me in.

You might be about as confused as my dear friend right now. So let me get real with you for a moment and let you get inside my head. I am thinking about the seasons of life. I get these pictures of each one. Maybe because I walked through probably each season emotionally and spiritually this past year I am a little to aquatinted to the changes that occur when you are walking in the season's of the King. I know I know, still vague and convoluted. I'm sure you are thinking "get to the point". Picture this:

Fall- Your life is getting ready to be stripped bare of things as you know it. Relationships are dying. Jobs are changing or so on. I have found that fall for me is usually filled with a sense of loss or pain. There is usually this anticipation of great grief or mourning. Think of this- when autumn arrives things begin to die. While it is a beautiful process it also is a hard one. The life that was once there is now gone. Things have changed and in order for them to be well again they must die. A lot of times this is how I feel at the cross road of something or when I am saying good-bye to someone I imagined loving forever. It is hard because you still remember summer. It is usually a slow process. It also at times means an increased amount of awareness of what needs to change in order for God to move.

Winter- There is a sense of death. This is a place of true mourning. A lot of times you can not see the growth preparing to break through the ice covered ground. And yet there is a great covering of peace if you connect with the King. Much like a cold winter's night you feel the chill and emptiness inside. You cannot see how spring will come. You are deep within the place of grief. But the beauty is much like snow, soft, white and pure the destruction and death during fall is covered and lost. There is a silence but a stillness that is comforting. It at times feels long and the pain can be deep.

Spring- The growth bursts forth. You can see evidence of new life and growth in Him. There is a returning sense of life and change. The labors and pain of the long winter is easing. Things around you are warmer and brighter. It is a time of discovery and exploration. Curiosity and deep sense of awareness of the new things that God is doing in your life is evident. There is a sense of order and purpose in Christ. You really feel like the old has gone and the new is here.

Summer- Thanksgiving, joy and fruit for your labor is evident. There is a peace and wholeness in Him. The world is bright. Things are growing and much has happened since the cycle began. The evidence of winter is far gone, yet it is a memory. There is a life and a fullness around everything. Summer is often when you are standing in the understanding of God's purpose for the seasons. You see the productivity of the pain and can see the redemption and His hand in it all.

Okay- now that I have put you to sleep with my season's madness... or random download that God gave me on a whim, I wonder what season you are in? Where are you in God's cycle of life? I know, it is only fair if I tell you where I am.

Maybe it will make you feel better when I can say it is different for different parts of my life. Overall I am in a summer. I went through a long laborious winter. God felt absent, I felt empty. I could not see past the frost on my windows. There was nothing warm but a blanket to burrow my thoughts and opinions in. I was very hopeless and really believed spring would never come. I cried out for the warmth of my King. I knew He was there but could not feel Him. I could not see what He was up to. There was no labels to the things planted in me and no sight of birds chirping and buds on the trees. This is how I would describe the season I was in about six months ago when depression ravaged and took over my life. As I worked hard to plant the things that God put on my heart. Rested, and in some ways hibernated for the winter I came out into Spring.

I began to see the growth. I felt free from the chilling ice that had deadened my world. Things began to emerge and look new. Life changed. Flowers bloomed. Relationships bloomed. I could see God providing things I never felt would come. Opportunities opened up. But most importantly healing happened. I could see the healing. The fingerprints of His work. His glory. Things started to make sense. I could look at myself and understand my feelings. I didn't have the deep longing to stay in my bed and wish I never had to get out. I emerged excited about the day. That surprised me. I reclaimed a childlike curiosity about what life might bring. I appreciated the people around me and reclaimed God given joy.

So now I am in my summer. Sipping on the cool lemonade that my Prince made me {that looks and tastes more like His word} as I commune with Him as the sun slips down past the horizon. I feel whole. Complete and really just content. But then if you get into some of the ministry things I am working on I feel like I am in a winter. A winter of waiting. The cool snow is blanketed over the ministry and I have to wait for the earth to warm and the flowers to burst forth. Relationship wise I feel like I am in Spring {when I talk relationships this girl is talking about her girls and her mentors}. I am getting to know new friends, learning about their lives and opening up to them. It is exciting and amazing to see God bless me with that. I feel overwhelmed. As for men, dormant and completely in winter. But happy about the winter. Or maybe it's fall there because I am grieving some of the disfunction I have lived {another post down the road}.

Anyways... What's your season??? Where do you feel like God has you??? I think there is beauty and excitement to each one. It means progress and more intimacy with Him.

Welcome to the random thoughts in this Princess' head. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ennie, Meenie, Minie Moe....

Crossroads... Ever been there? You sit there singing the childhood tune "ennie meenie minee moe..." praying you chose the right one. There seems to be no right or wrong choice and you just wish God would hurry up and figure out how to text so He could inform you on your direct line which choice to make. I am sitting in the middle of a fork in the road trying to chose the right one.

This week has been somewhat of an emotionally roller coaster. I am not at one fork, but several. I can tell my Prince is beckoning me into a season of depending upon Him more then ever before. These choices are just the beginning. The other issues is some of them are timing issues. As I try to discern timing for the different decisions, I feel like I am spinning around in circles until I am dizzy and can't tell one from another. I want to run ahead of myself and jump into the season that is four steps ahead of me.

The major fork is the job fork {is it bad that I am picturing a fork stuck into a resume?}. A fork that most people come to multiple times in there life usually. In the past it has not been so crucial for me to find a job, but this time around I need to find a job. Money is dwindling and as I check my bank account the panic begins to well up in me. My parents came to me and informed me that it was time for this Princess to move toward financial independence. {I did my best to buck up and accept the adult responsibility that I knew was coming} The irony is I knew it was coming. God has been preparing me for it through conversations with different people in my life. {imagine that??} Now I cannot say that I entirely disagree with them. I can't depend on them forever and honestly do not want to. I think there is a time and a place for a child to leave their parents. This happens to be my moment. Looking for a job as a "soon to be graduate" is challenging. I don't quite have that piece of paper to prove I did something for four {almost five} years. Not to mention I look in the mirror and I can't picture what I see myself doing. So I wait, for God to slap me with divine revelation. And yet somehow I don't foresee it looking like that. {dang it}

The other issue is this Princess is antsy. You know when you need/want something so badly that you are anxious to make the next step? But then you look and there isn't even a choice yet?? Yup, that is where I am at. I am in a place where I do not even have a job opportunity so I do not even have a choice. So I am trying to be patient and wait. I am trying to be patient and pray. Both things that I think are important, but the pressure of having it figured out is getting to me. And then God spoke to me. Not it an audible booming voice, but through His Words. The shot straight to my heart like an arrow straight from Him.

Isaiah 43:1-2 says "But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you."

The redemption of my life is something I can see clearly. Just looking at that shows me His love. I adore that He calls me His. He whispers "Erin, you are mine." Eeek {must be the single girl in me-butterflies}. But the next part is what really gets me. "When I pass through the waters" He promises that they will NOT overflow me. Right now I feel pretty in over my head. I feel like the flood waters have rushed in and I am swimming, struggling towards the surface. But He says He will be with me. Ah!! My Prince carrying me through the flood {more like coming in with a life boat}and walking me through the fire. So tonight I am resting in the peace that He is there leading me through what's to come. My Prince will not let me drown.

So as I wait to play ennie, mennie, minie moe, I will anticipate that He will lead me down the right fork {resume included}...