Monday, October 31, 2005

Pouring yourself out

This was a ministry weekend. Really, honestly, it has been a ministry month or so. I don't think I posted about it when it happened, but about two weeks after I got back from London this summer, Brian and Christy snagged about eight of us gals from chuch one Tues. night to pray for us all. I guess they had been on vacation in Florida and Brian had a dream about us....and their whole vacation, they could not get us out of their heads. How crazy is that? That our pastor and his wife would be thinking about me while of vacation in Florida?

At any rate, one of the things that came up with us all is that we are not living like we are in our callings. Not that we don't believe it will happen some day, but that we are to start living like we are doing our very calling today. A great example would be Gideon. When the Lord appeared to him, he was called "mighty warrior." Not, "someday you'll be a mighty warrior." Instead, he was told you are this very thing RIGHT NOW! It rocked me to think of all the ways I am still living like my calling is way out there and that I am just marking time until it happens instead of owning it RIGHT NOW. I have always wanted to be a "teacher" in the Biblical sense of the word. Not necessarily in the classroom, but up in front of women teaching them freedom and restoration and practical living skills etc. And, during this prayer time, the Lord said to me: "Erin, you are not just a teacher, you are a PRINCIPAL." It rocked me. If I am called to be a teacher and a pastor's wife, how can I today be living my life like a pastor's wife would?

How it has changed me is that literally every person who walks through the doors of our church is meaningful to me. And, I find myself asking myself how I can serve them. Hurting people are no longer someone else's concern, they are MY concern. People who need prayer are not some other team's, they are MINE. Literally, I have been going, going, going in ministry the last month and a half or so. Who can I meet with? How can I give my time away? Who needs prayer? Who needs a ride to church? You need help with the harvest party? Sign me up to help. And, what I have found, is that I am more invigorated, more energized, and more alive than ever. When I have quit making excuses for all the ways I can't do it, or I am not good enough, or I don't have the time, or blah, blah, blah....I see that I CAN do it. And the Lord has met me there each and every time.

It is so easy to have an inward focus. "I don't want to pray after church....I want to go hang out with friends." "I don't want to meet with my small group, that's the night 'Gilmore Girls' is on." " I don't want to help at the harvest party for the kids, there's another fun party to go to for adults." "I don't want to live with someone new to freedom, I like being able to come home and not have to work." and on and on. But, the Lord has called us to have an OUTWARD focus. My life is not my own, it was bought at a price, and when I count the cost of being poured out as an offering to God, I discount all that the Lord poured out of Himself for me.

On a more silly note, I lost half a pound at WW this week. Pretty good considering I had Italian four times (ate out twice, leftovers twice), two glasses of wine, and stir fry this week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Been thinking about

London a lot lately. I just had to write some more about this because I just feel so strongly about that city. I had a long conversation with my friend Michelle yesterday and I was telling her of my vacation plans to visit in February and she just pops out with "or, you could just move there for six months." Now, this is from someone who has NO IDEA what has happened the last few weeks with what Brian said to me at church (see previous post). And, I am just thinking to myself more and more...."how can I get myself back there long-term?" The more I talk and think about it, the more the fear of moving there abates. I would have a lot of practical things to work out, how to sell my car that I have owned for barely a year. What to do with my things that I'd have to store. Would I sell my house or rent it? If I sold it, it would answer what to do about my car....just pay it off. A lot of questions about something that is not even happeneng. But, when I think of answering those questions, I just get excited rather than filled with terror as I did before. Thank you Jesus!

Ruth's Song

I had a great time at dinner last night with James and Thomas before they headed back to London. Really, I just love them both.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the Lord as my husband. And in particular about how the story of Ruth really is a symbolic picture of our relationship with the Lord. This song has been stirring in my heart for a while. So here it is:

Ruth's Song
by Me
All rights reserved

I will go whever you go
I will be where you are.
Your people will be mine
No matter how near or how far.
I will take my place beside you
You are all I am
Let nothing separate us
or ever be apart again

I am the bride
It's only you for me
I am the bride
You have redeemed
I am the bride
Robed in white
I am the bride
Pursued by your light
I am the bride

Come quickly my redeemer
Do not delay
I need you more than yesterday
So at your feet I will lay
Spread your arms to cover me
And hold me when I fall
Be nothing more than my everything
And nothing less than my all

Monday, October 24, 2005


I forgot to add that I lost 2.2 more pounds this week, for a grand total of 15! I am three pounds from college graduation weight (I think) and inching closer to high school graduation weight. I have also had some people who didn't know I was dieting start to comment.

I also think I should only permanently wear red. I wore a red shirt to church last night and probably had more compliments than I ever have in an outfit!

"In your anger, do not sin"

Oh, what a lesson this weekend on anger. To make a long story short, I felt forgotten about by a friend this weekend. And, it made me angry. On my way to meet with this friend, I was praying and asking the Lord: "why am I so angry." And I realized that when my feelings are hurt, I react in anger. It is a defense mechanism that I have. And, though the Bible clearly states that "In my anger, do not sin" it doesn't say that anger itself is not sin. In fact, it is a secondary arises from something else. Feelings being hurt, feeling mis-understood, having an injustice done to you, etc. And so, I was realizing that while the anger itself is not necessarily sin, is always a clear indication that there is something else emotionally going on. And, it almost always causes me to sin. This weekend, my anger was clearly a result of hurt feelings, and led me to think things I shouldn't about my friend. Not the Lord's heart for me. Plus, the whole thing was a mis-communication plain and simple. And, when I saw him, I felt even worse for all the ways I had cursed him in my mind. Lord, forgive me for the ways I have allowed anger to lead me into sin.

Had a great time on Friday night with James and Thomas from London. They brought a video from a lot of the kids we met while there this summer and it just made me yearn to go back. Just seeing James and Thomas themselves was enough to send me right back to London in my head. The group from the summer also sent along a card and I just melted. I am determined to go back there this February and see every one again. I sent a bunch of cards back with James and Thomas to the group back in London, and I wrote for all to see that I was planning a trip in February. I think writing it down makes me want to work even more hard to make it happen.

I just love James and Thomas. They are both such men after the Lord's heart. So teachable, so humble, and just amazing. I could write volumes about how much I adore them both. Maybe I can get a picture up of us. I am headed out to dinner with them again tonight.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I'm in LOVE

with my small group. Ha, ha, gotcha! I met with them last night to pray through some stuff and I just love them! They are all so young, but wise in the things of the Lord. It is funny, I was listening to one gal talk and I remember thinking, "how does an 18-year-old get so wise in the Lord? Forgive me, Lord, for underestimating her." And, I would say the same thing about all of the gals that were there in my group last night. I was just blown away!

In some fun other news, two guys from London that we met when we were out there in August are in town this week! We are planning on having a "reunion" of sorts with the four of us from Newsong who went out, and the two of them, Thomas and James. They are both such near and dear to my heart. I mean, I just practically burst with it when think about seeing them. I think I should be getting a CD with more pictures from my trip when we have dinner from Nathan and Cailyn, and so I'll put them up on the blog when I get a chance.

It gets me thinking, I really should get a digital camera. I mean, what am I waiting for? It really is the way to go as you can do SO much with the pictures!


Monday, October 17, 2005

The Best Laid Plans....

Well, all my plans for a fun weekend down in P-town never materialized. I ended up coming down with a cold. I probably would have been OK to go, had I not had to work Sat. morning. I got home from teaching my class and just crashed. I mean, I don't think I moved from the couch for a good five hours. Most of that time spent dozing off and on, petting Licorice, my kitty, and watching TV. I did get some things taken care of....small kitchen cart that needed to be put together finally got done, went grocery shopping, did a ton of laundry (missed laundry day last week so I had two week's worth), and "swiffered" the hardwood floors.

Sunday didn't start off much better...out on the couch. However, the day did improve as I got a call from my co-worker, Sally, who had just dug up some Calla Lillies and Crocosmia bulbs and wanted to know if I wanted them. I did, and so I ended up working out in the yard for about an hour planting bulbs. Mistake. By the time I got back inside, I was so wiped out that I crashed again. I ended up missing church last night, but got to bed early. I think I did too much this weekend though, as I am still feeling poorly today. Yet, here I am at work. Que cera!

Had a good weigh-in on Sat. And, as expected, was down some more lbs. I am nearing the 15 pound mark for total weight. I was talking to my friend Tiffani this weekend about it, as she was being so encouraging. And, I realized, how much people withold from each other. I mean, don't get me wrong, people around me are supportive, but it is just nice to hear some REAL encouragement and someone who is REALLY excited for me. Someone who isn't just giving me platitudes, but really and truly is excited for me. And, I think, no, I KNOW I do the same thing. We get so complacent in our encouragement of one another, or when we do encourage, it ends up being lip service. And so, I was convicted too, of how insincere I can be in my blessings of others. I need to say more than just "good job" or "way to go." I need to be specific and direct in what I say to others.

I have also had some more breakthrough in fear. I had my pastor say to me a few weeks ago randomly as I was talking to someone up front: "Do we have plans for you!! And, you can't say 'NO.'" I got home and told my roomie Sara about it and we were speculating what those "plans" are. All of a sudden she sits up and says "He's going to have you go to London for the school!" (Our church and our partner churches in London in conjunction with the YWAM headquarters are setting up a school for people to come and learn about freedom). At the thought of having to up and move and sell everything and leave, I started to freak out. Literally. At the prospect of having to give up my nice, comforatable, quiet little world, I freaked out. I was pretty surprised by my reaction. I mean, hasn't this been the exact thing that I have been praying and secretly desiring to happen: to fully move into my calling as a lifestyle, and not just a week here or a week there? However, the reality of it hit me pretty hard: I like being comfortable and safe. But, the truth is, didn't Jesus ask his disciples (and others) to sell and/or give up everything to follow Him? Isn't that exactly what I might be being asked to do? Give up everything to follow Him? On paper it has always seemed like it would be a no-brainer. But, when reality hit, I was faced with my fears smack in the nose: I am terrified.

Now, the truth of the matter is that I have no idea what Brian meant by those words. It very well could be something much less drastic than moving to London. And, so I think in the Lord's grace, I am able to work through the fear associated with change and such a grand scale, that when it comes time for Brian to share what the heck he meant by that, I'll be ready to say without hesitation, "here I am, send me." I think I would have gotten there anyway, but it is kind of nice to have started to work through some of those fears in a real way ahead of time. Don't get me wrong, the thought of leaving everything still terrifies me, but at least I know that the fear is there. And, it cannot stay.

Fear is such an interesting lie, because it really can creep into just about any area of life. I have even been realizing how afraid of being in a relationship I am. And, what I am afraid of is someone knowing me so intimately, that they see all of my warts. My fear of failure runs so deep, that I don't even want people to know the depths of my sin. I would rather hide when I struggle. I would rather already know what I struggle with, rather than having someone point out to me where I am sinning. But, I know that in a relationship, you cannot hide, and things that were inside of you (both good and bad) have no choice but to surface. And, that terrifies me as well.

Jesus, today I need you to come and break me of this fear. I confess that I am afraid of failing and afraid of giving up my comforts and following You. That is sin, and I see it as such. Please forgive me for my fear. And in the name of Jesus all fear in my life, be gone! Fear is a lie, because Jesus' perfect love drives out fear, and fear has to do with punishment, and you are not a God who punishes but has good things. And so, I chose today to believe those truths and stand firm on the Word of God as the only source of truth. Amen

Friday, October 14, 2005


Ok, you are probably wondering what the heck is an NSV. It is a Non Scale Victory. And, I have had one this week (hopefully in addition to a Scale Victory). Here it is: I bought a pair of jeans one size smaller than I normally wear. Yes, people, I am a size smaller. Or, at least in the jeans I am wearing.

Plans this weekend are to head down to Oregon and listen to Rita Springer sing. Seems to have been a theme lately....heading far and wide to hear people sing. Should be fun, though. I get to hang with some gals I haven't hung with in a while. That's always a treat. I also have to work tomorrow morning, which is a bummer, but will be nice when payday comes around.

Monday, October 10, 2005

what a week!

Yikes, what a busy, busy week I have had. It started last weekend and just carried over into this one.

Most of the busy-ness stemmed from the fact that one of my roommates, Beth, moved out. We had a going away party for her and then my mom and I painted the room (see previous post about hideous shade of red). Then, I took last Monday off to do some desperately needed yard work. That night had a 30th b-day bash for my friend Alison (welcome to the 30s, Al-bal). Worked Tues., but had dinner with friend Kelly, then went to Stadium soccer game. Wed. night went up to Bothell for a David Crowder Band/Shane and Shane concert. WELL worth the hour-plus drive up there, but VERY tired on Thurs. Thurs night church. Saturday, finished painting the room, and worked out in the yard some more (come on Activity Points!). Sunday, touch up painting and church again.

See, that's just one big long list of stuff I did, nothing meaningful there, even though I have had some pretty meaninful conversations that I would like to add in. I would like to be better about updating more often.

On a good note, at the end of the week last week, I got my annual review and found out I am getting a raise. The only bad thing is that I got a note on the review about my use of sick leave this year so far. In my defense, I have missed SIX days due to weird illnesses....strep throat (TWICE), and a staph infection. That is over half of my sick leave right there. So, I put a note in as well about the unusual circumstances of my sick leave, mentioned that I had brought Dr.'s notes, and that I looked forward to building my sick leave balance back up. My boss seemed pretty pleased that I had "stood up" for myself. I understand that he has to make note of stuff that happens, and so I get why he put that in there. But, I didn't want it to seem like I just was taking sick leave for no reason. I have been genuinely sick this year.

Anyway, 1.5 pounds down this week. My TOM is about to start, so I fully expect to be even more down next week. In fact, we are nearing college graduation weight PEOPLE!!! Never thought I would see that number again, much less any lower. It's all good. I am also starting to get used to eating less. I say that because I don't feel ravenously hungry like I was the first five weeks on the program. I am still hungry, but for example yesterday I when I was having a snack and calculating points, I still had five of them left!! I just didn't need to use them like I had before. Anyway, all good stuff. Because my TOM was/is coming, I was craving chocolate all last week. And, I realized how before, I would have used that as an excuse. But then, I told myself, if it isn't TOM, it's halloween, or a birthday, or thanksgiving, or christmas, or a dinner out....etc. etc. etc. I realized that there is NEVER going to be a week where I won't have some reason to eat poorly. And so, I just have to moderate a plan for those things!

Love you all!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Down, down, down

That is the direction the scale is heading! I have realized the last few weeks have basically turned my blog into an online promotion for Weight Watchers, and that is all I have been talking about. But, let me just say, two more off this week! I am now down to a weight where I am now supposed to start eating lower points worth of food than I did before. While that is exciting, it is also a lot harder than it seems. I mean, it's only two points worth of food (between 100-140 calories), but what that means is a smaller snack or eliminating a snack during the day. And, that is the hard part. I was looking online at Basal Metabolic Rate (the amount of calories your body uses just keeping you alive, not counting ANY activity) and the difference between what I weighed before and what I want to weigh is only a couple hundred calories!! Wow, no wonder I never lost weight before. Do you know how easy it is to add just a couple hundred extra calories a day? I mean, we're talking just a scoop of ice cream might do it!

Anyway, enough with the weight stuff. I had another busy weekend. I have a new roommate moving in next week, and with a ten days between the old one moving out and the new one moving in, I took advantage of the situation to paint the room. It had been a hideous shade of red. I mean, the color wasn't hideous, but was such a specific color. How many people do you know who would have bedding that wouldn't clash with a red bedroom?? Now, it is a nice neutral shade I would call a khaki color. Thank you to mom for helping with that one.

It rained all day on Sunday, but I got a little yard work in. My poor yard has been sorely neglected all summer. I do this every year. I get the gardening bug about mid February and work so hard, and by June I am burned out. Which is probably a good thing because from the end of June on, it is really a bad time to plant or move anything around. So, for the months of July-Sept. I basically do nothing more than set the sprinkler out. But, Fall is a great time to transplant and put in new plants. So, I took yesterday off and worked like a mad man out in the yard for three hours. It was a PERFECT day to be outside. Mid-sixties, big puffy white clouds but otherwise clear. I think it might have rained for about fifteen minutes in the evening. I think the yard will look pretty good next spring....just in time for me to get the gardening bug again.

Life has been good. I am having more breakthrough in areas where I see that I have wanted to give up after a "failure." Remember how I said I was interested in a guy? Well, I was thinking and realizing how the last time I was interested in someone not interested in me just how much of a tailspin it sent me into...."oh, there's something wrong with me...oh, what did I do wrong?...oh, I am NEVER getting married....oh, the Lord hates me....oh, I am being punished for something I did...oh, I hate the Lord...oh,...." You see where I am going with this. And, I was realizing on Sunday, as I was debating whether I wanted to go to church or not (again, that give-up mentality), I realized what I was doing! Literally, right in the middle of the mental conversation I thought "what am I doing? Church has never been about seeing Mr. so-and-so. It is about getting fed spiritually and re-charged." And so I went. And I am so glad that I did. Brian's message was about my exact struggle! Seriously. It was like he took a page from "Erin's Nemesis Issue, Volume 1-1,000" and preached on it. If you have a chance, go to the NewSong website (I have a link on the right) and download the message from the past Sunday. Amazing!