Monday, January 30, 2006

A House of Cards

I am feeling like a house of cards today. One strong gust of wind will just blow me over.

I am feeling sorry for myself today, and there is no getting around the fact that this is exactly what it is. I am struggling with friends. Or, rather, my lack of them. Seriously. I looked around at church last night and I thought to myself, "Now if I was seriously struggling right now, who would I go to for help?" And, I could think of no one. Seriously, not one person.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I have "friends" here in Tacoma. But not FRIENDS. You know, the kind where you can count on them to want to hang out with you, even when what you are doing is just that: hanging out. The kind where you know you have plans on weekends because you ALWAYS have plans with them on weekends. Or, if you don't have plans, you are at least in contact with them throughout the week either by phone or email or at church or wherever you see them they are the ones you gravitate to. It is just a given that you'll be with them because you just always are. I feel like the friends I do have here I have to work to make time with them. Friendship is work sometimes, but more of the time it is not. I mean think about those people you would call close friends....does time with them seem like work?

I don't think I am comunicating very clearly here. I recognize that friendships take work. I know that when people get married and have families it takes even more work. I also know that a lot of people do not have the kind of close friendships I am talking about. However, I am not married, and I DO need those kinds of friends. The Bible is clear about what happens when we are alone and isolated. And, even when I am married, I still want to have women to walk beside me. I can't depend on my husband for everything, that isn't fair to him and isn't the right thing anyway.

Yet, as I look at my life I think to myself that if I were to get married today, who would be my bridesmaids? Who would stand beside me as I make the second biggest committment of my life? I can only think of one or two people at this point, and that saddens me. I see that though I am busy, I am busy with people that I am pouring into (which is a good thing, don't get me wrong)....who pours into me in times of my need? Even Billy Graham has a group of men he is accountable to.

I seem to be a lot like my parents. One of them is great at making friends; is gregarious and outgoing and in fact has a ton of friends, but struggles to go deeper with them. The other is scared to death of being rejected and hurt, and so does not make friends at all. I see aspects of both in myself.

And so, I just don't know what to do with myself. Humans have a tendancy to become clique-ish. I see it at my church. There are lots of little friendship groups, but they are already established and with a history and hard to break into. I have none, no group, no one. Would anyone miss me if I were gone? I mean, yes, my small group would miss me, and women I minister to would miss me, but there are plenty of leaders to fill in my spot. What I mean is, would anyone miss ME just for myself. Just because of who I am. I sometimes wonder.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Here is a drawing of what my house will look like after dormers are added to it. Just add a small front porch covering over the front door, and voila, this is what it will look like. Cute, eh?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

MLK Jr. Choir

Here are two pictures of our choir with Church of the Living God choir at our Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day event. I did not sing at this event, but they are still fun pics.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Long time, no post

Yowza, I was just realizing how long it has been since I last posted. Almost two weeks ago. So sorry for the long delay. Things have been hectic, and I have been recovering from the longest lingering cold/flu/virus in the history of the universe.

Being sick seems to be a common theme with me. If I look back at this last year, it doesn't seem that more than a few months goes by without me coming down with something. I am not sure if this is so normal. I mean, it is normal for me, but not for anyone else. That bothers me. I feel like I wash my hands a ton, take vitamins, try to get decent sleep at night, limit my stress level and all of those other things you are supposed to do to stay healthy, but I can't seem to make it last more than a few months. Granted, I am working with kids and in different classrooms all week long, but none of the other four folks who do my job seem to get sick as often as I do. I am not sure what is going on. I have a physical scheduled with my Dr. at the end of the month to make sure all of my blood work etc. is normal and that I am healthy. Maybe I am just more susceptible to getting ill than others.

In some fun news: HOW BOUT THEM HAWKS!!! For you non-sports fans, or people not from the Northwest USA, I am referring to the Seattle Seahawks Football team (American football, not European football/soccer). We are going to the Superbowl! After thirty years of exsistance, and more than 20 years without a playoff victory, not only did the Seahawks win last night for the second playoff win this year....but it means that we are going to the SUPERBOWL! Can you tell I am excited? I have been a big Seahawk fan my whole life, even in the lean years when the games were blacked out on TV because they were not sold out (can I say how much I hate that rule?), I would still follow them. I am not a fair-weather fan, nor a bandwagon jumper. It was so hard last night because we had our monthly outreach service at the Rialto Theater, and the choir was singing, and we needed to be there at 3:00. The game started at 3:30. So, I missed the whole game. I ran into a gal at a break in our rehersal who had been watching and she gave me the update. And, I overheard someone later in the evening giving the score. But, I missed the whole game. At least watching it live. Someone taped the game and a ton of us went back to the church building and watched the second half on the big screen. So, I got to see the whole second half on tape. It was crazy and wild in there just as if none of us knew the outcome of the game already (since it had actually already ended). I am still in a state of disbelief and shock that we are actually playing for the national championship. Crazy!

The home remodel is still full steam ahead. I had a gal come and look at my upstairs this weekend and showed her what I want to do, and she is going to take a couple of weeks and draw up some plans and give me an estimate on the cost to do the work. She is a designer AND contractor. She does the whole thing! She showed me some of the work she has done, and comes recommended by folks here at work. And so, we'll see. Once I know what kind of cost I am looking at, I will proceed with a remodel loan from there. I am hopeful for the amount I'll be able to get. As I have said in previous posts, the house across from me is for sale for a lot more than I owe on my house. They had an open house this weekend and I took a peek. It is larger than mine, but no where nearly as good of shape as mine is in. It is in need of updating pretty significantly. And so, I wonder if the fact that mine is all taken care of and upgraded if that would counter the fact that mine is smaller and make mine worth almost as much as theirs. The real estate agent who was showing the house gave me a peek at the list of houses in my neighborhood for sale and how much they being sold for, and there was not a single one that was for sale for anywhere even close to what I owe. She also told me that my neighborhood was one that was considered "up and coming." Which means that the houses are just starting to significantly increase in value and catch up with the rest of the area. She also told me that the money put into adding a bathroom (which is the major thing I want to do) will get me 120% of my money back at sale. So, if it costs $10,000 to add a bathroom, when I sell the house, I will be able to ask for $12,000 more than I owe. Pretty spiffy. I am not looking to sell, but it is still nice to know, just in case something happens and I DO have to sell right away.

Choir has been going well. We sang four songs last night, and last week was the week we joined with the choir from Church of the Living God, the black choir. Rev. White from their church gave the message that night and I am not kidding when I say that our stage was filled up at the end with people wanting to get saved, recommit, get freed or healed. It was like a mad dash as people just kept streaming up there. It was seriously the start of something new and amazing. Brian talked last night about it being the start of reconciliation in our city between the races. Where we can join and work with other churches in unity to see Jesus name preached and the city saved. The possibilities of what could happen are just endless. Again, if you go to and go to the sermons and listen to Rev. White from two weeks ago (Jan. 15) you will be blessed. He was powerful, and amazing and annointed. Be warned, it is a long sermon, at just over one hour and ten minutes. But, well worth the time to listen to it.

I am also thoroughly enjoying my piano lessons. I have had two so far, and I am already learning to play with both hands. Granted, it is songs like "Good King Wenseslas" and "Jingle Bells" but there is progress. And, gasp!, I actually enjoy practicing! Crazy! I am going to be buying a keyboard next week, because I have been practicing on a roll-up piano. Yes, you read that right, a roll-up piano. Not so great, but it works for now. I can see where I will probably be growing out of it pretty quickly, though.

I start seminary tonight. So, look for posts about that starting soon. We are taking "Apologetics" this week, as the first course. It is going to be a busy week as I have class Monday through Friday from 6-10, and then again on Saturday from 9-5.

Weight Watcher is still going well. I am now down a total of 27 pounds. It is funny because I seem to have hit another level where it must be really noticable. I have had TONS of comments by people lately. My favorite was by a random gentleman as I was walking out of a shop last week: Him, "How're you doin' today, young lady?" Me, "Just fine, thank you." Him, "Well, you sure are LOOKIN' fine!" I just had to smile and say thank you. Someone called me the incredible shrinking woman at church last night. It has been fun to have clothes not fitting again, and to be able to buy in a size 10, which I have not been in since my junior year of college. I got to go wedding dress shopping with Sara on Saturday and to look for bridesmaid dresses and to actually be able to wear some that are "slim fit" and feel like they actually looked good on me.

Well, I think that is all for right now. Have a blessed week.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Well, it is official, my roommate Sara is engaged! It happened on Friday night, and we are all excited. I am in the wedding as the Maid of Honor, which is SUCH an honor for me. I have been in several weddings, but this will be my first Maid of Honor tour of duty. It is looking like the wedding will be the first weekend in June, which should be fun.

With Sara moving out this summer on a more official note, I am going to look even harder into the remodel possibility. In fact, I am going to call an architect this week to come out and take a look and draw me up some plans. Then, the plan after that is to get contractor bids, and then secure a loan. I am pretty excited about the whole possibility, and while it would be a messy process, I think the end result will be worth it.

I have my first piano lesson tomorrow. I am not quite as nervous about this as I was with the singing lessons, but I know that this will probably require a lot more work. Learning to play the piano is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I remember as a girl we had an upright piano at our house for a long time, and I would plunk around on it quite a bit. I would take my violin music and try to hear what it sounded like on the piano. Jason, my piano teacher, thinks I should buy an upright piano, but I am not sure I have the room for it. So, I am going to look into buying a used keyboard instead. I am not sure that it quite sounds or works the same, but it's all I have room for. I have been trying to work out in my head how I could re-arrange the furniture in my living room to accomodate a piano, but unless I got rid of my bookshelf and all the books on it, I don't know how it could be done.

My first class for my Masters is coming up soon. I am taking my first class the week of Jan 23rd through the 28th. It is going to be intense, as I have class Monday through Friday from 6-9:45 and then Saturday from 9-5. They are recommending a laptop, which I don't have, and so I might have to go out and purchase one. I have never had a laptop, and so I am a bit in the dark about where to start, or what to get, but I should probably have one if I am going to be in school again.

I will upload some pictures later today from Christmas, and the Bryan/Sara engagement. But, that's it for today.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Some Other Upcoming Events

2006 is looking more and more like a jam-packed year. In addition to my next UK trip, my Masters Degree, continuing with Weight Watchers, continuing to lead a small group, continuing in the choir and voice lessons, there are a few other changes on the horizon.

I am seriously looking into a remodel of my house. The upstairs is currently a converted attic, and as such, the roof up there is pretty low. There is also no bathroom up there. To do this remodel, I would raise the roof (no sports jokes please), add a bathroom, and make the one room into two. This would make my house a four bedroom, two bath house. I could have more gals come and live with me, which would be great, and it would increase the value of my house significantly. I have a lot of equity in the house. The house directly across the street for me is for sale for almost double what mine appraised for two years ago! Theirs is a little larger than mine, and I am not sure what the inside looks like, but holy schnikees, that's a lot of money! So, I am not sure how to go about doing I secure a remodel loan and then get a designer/architect to draw up plans? Do I have the designer architect draw up plans not knowing how much I have available to spend? I am pretty sure I can get a contractor to do the work, no problem....but the rest, I am working on. This is something I have been praying about since this fall, and the timing of doing it this summer seems right. One of my roommates is getting engaged, and when she moves out this summer, I will move my stuff from upstairs into her room temporarily while the work is done. Then, when the work is done, I'll re-inhabit the upstairs.

So, some of that is my other news. It is looking more and more like I'll probably be in two weddings this summer. My roommate Sara will be getting engaged soon, and my other good friend Chantel probably sometime this winter too. Wow, seems to be the season for my friends. And, last but not least, I am starting to take piano lessons in addition to my voice lessons. I guess I should probably find some time to eat, sleep, and go to work in there too!

Here's hoping you have a blessed 2006!

2006 Here I Come!

Welcome to Erin's blog, 2006! Some pretty big changes in my life since I last updated. Here goes:

I am headed back to England!! In March, I am going back for a trip to YWAM in Harpenden UK to work with their ministry team with a large group from church. I am not sure as of yet what this will involve, but there are going to be five different teams going over, including Brian and Christy, our pastors. Conveniently, the weekend before our visit, a couple of friends I met while there this summer are getting married. So, the plan is to head over before the wedding, stay for the wedding in London, and then go to Harpenden the week after the wedding. It seems all set except for the purchase of the plane ticket and details on where I'll be staying while in London. Harpenden accomodations are all taken care of. I have a few offers for staying while in London, but nothing firm yet. I am super excited to go back, even for just a few days to see all of my beloved ChristChurch family and some more of the country and to work with the YWAM group in Harpenden. Should be fantastic.

The other big news is that I have decided to go back to school. Specifically, I am going to be attending Faith Seminary here in Tacoma to get my Masters in Christian Ministry with an emphasis in counseling. They offer evening classes, online classes, and classes by DVD. They also have a great program where you take one class a quarter, but instead of attending one night a week, you go in the evenings for one full week straight. So, for one intense week you are busy with the class and don't have to go certain nights every week of the quarter. I am excited about this opportunity, and can't wait for spring quarter to begin, which is when I would start.

I will try to update more later.