Sunday, October 31, 2004

Wonder woman for Halloween

Good evening everyone and again, Happy Halloween! I hope you all had a great night filled with lots of candy, fun, and memories. Mine was spent in a way that would make most people feel very sorry for me but before you do..hear me out. I decided to take a little break this weekend from mostly everything. I took very few calls *only special ones* and limited my activities to alone ones. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to hang out with my friends, enjoy Halloween, and mostly be around the person I love the most but I am in a "boot camp" so to speak right now. I am being changed gradually from the inside out. I needed some time to be alone this weekend and it just happened to fall on Halloween.

I have mentioned a few times in the last couple of posts that I am pretty homesick. That feeling has only grown over the last few days. I tried to sort it out with a friend this afternoon and really ended up feeling worse so I figure this is something for me to ride out alone. The friend had only nice words to say and truly understood where I was coming from but I learned quickly that noone can take away what I am feeling but only the soil of Indiana can truly heal the pain right now.

Everyone knows that I don't particulary like LIVING in Indiana. I enjoy the fall and how it's beautiful colors make me feel. I enjoy holidays with my family and the smell of fireplaces burning in the winter. I enjoy the crisp crunch of snow underneath my shoes but overall, those things only amount to a tiny bit of happiness for me. I overall feel happier with the salty smell of the ocean, the feel of sand between my toes, the amazing feeling of running on the beach, the ability to eat any type of food on any given night, and mostly the feeling of being independent and strong.

Tonight brings me a little bit of healing by just being alone. I would like to take this time to thank all of you for being a friend to me and loving me through one of the hardest years of my life. Some of you have only been around for the hardest year of my life and for that, be grateful. I am better this year than I have ever been. I am a person that I can be proud of. I am going to take my self to the beach now and have a little walk/run to send some endorphins soaring through my brain in preparation for a work week.

Have a great one everyone and again, Happy Halloween. This year, I dressed up as a super hero...I required no costume for this, I am ONE on my OWN! Best wishes for your week! ~Shalom~

Happy Halloween

Hey everyone. Just wanted to say Happy Halloween and hope it was a fun, safe one for you. I have to get back to watching "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" Love you all and ~Shalom~

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Ode to Indiana

I am really missing home right now so I thought I would post some lyrics for my sweet home! Here is "Mayberry" by Rascal Flatts to remind me of home!

Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now, it’s one more day for progress
And we can’t slow down ‘cause more is less
It’s all an endless process
I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry
Coke Where everything is black and white (nana nana nananananana)
Picking on a six string
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
Bye, bye

Sometimes I can hear this old earth shouting
Through the trees as the wind blows
That’s when I climb up here on this mountain
To look through God’s window
Now I can’t fly
But I got two feet that get me high up here
Above the noise and city streets
My worries disappear

(Repeat Chorus)
Sometimes I dream I’m driving down an old dirt road
Not even listed on a map
I pass a dad and son carrying a fishing pole
But I always wake up every time I try to turn back

(Repeat Chorus)

Bye, bye

This song makes me think of Good old Mitchell, Indiana! Just wanted to tell everyone how much I miss home right now! ~Shalom~ and GET ER DONE!


Hello everyone. I am sorry it’s been a while since I have written. I have been so busy lately. My blog is an extreme source of relaxation and reflection for me and I have seriously missed it this week. This week has worn me out. I have so much going on and seriously have no energy to do anything. I promised myself that this weekend would be a recuperation time. I decided to screen my phone calls very carefully, not plan anything, and exercise a lot! I have to take care of myself and to be honest; I haven’t been doing a great job of that lately.

My obedience to God in some areas is skyrocketing while in other areas it is imperative that I start to buckle down. Have you noticed that when you get a handle on something that was really hard for you, you lose your footing in another area? That has been me this week. I have been giving God my control issue this week and in turn have relapsed in my food intake and lust area. I think that there are times when you have to just stop and stay by yourself until you get it together. That is exactly my plan for the weekend.

Today was the start of my weekend and I began by weighing in this morning and not to my surprise having gained 4 lbs. I haven’t been being obedient in my eating habits and due to the rain last week I didn’t go running every night and I should have exercised indoors but instead, I snacked and got heavier. I am very disappointed in myself; however, I have learned that if you stay in that zone, you keep losing ground. After a breakfast of a Granny Smith Apple, I went to the beach and ran/walked 2 miles. It felt so good and my endorphins started moving and I had a better mood going on.

Last night I had a terrible evening where I realized how much I have lost this year. I was struggling with the fact of losing a lot of friends, my relationship, and a lot of strongholds that made me feel very comfortable. I am happy about these things as well but it’s hard to realize them all at once and experience grief/happiness at the same time. It is a bittersweet feeling.

Anyway, this morning at the beach I walked around for a while just taking pictures of how beautiful Corona Del Mar is. I took black and white photos of all of the things I found to be beautiful. After my “picture walk” I went and ran/walked 2 miles and burned some serious calories and sent some endorphins to my brain in order to get out of the funk I was sitting in. After a great run, it was great to de-funk myself further by going to the mall and shopping. I ended up purchasing a pair of jeans, a new pair of chonies, a pair of jogging pants, and a new pair of running shoes (Nike Shox). What a great day at the mall and man did it make me feel better?! I might not feel better when I realize what I have to live on ($ wise) for the next 2 weeks but oh well.

I have had a tough couple of weeks and God is really changing who I am. That is a very uncomfortable place to be but obviously makes me very happy also. I really want to be all that God wants me to be but it’s so hard doing all of the things he asks me to do. I am going to be very alone through this time as God is trying to get me by myself in order to really take care of my issues. There are friendships to be left, relationships to change, and mostly time to be alone. I am learning what it is like to be with me because that is the time when I see myself thoroughly and am able to sort through what’s going wrong.

My newest growth experience to share with all of you is TIME. Time is something we are all limited on and we all have the same amount. Time is not a respecter of people, places, or events. Time moves the same for everyone. This is an ideal time to talk about time because this week is daylight savings time. Indiana folks, you don’t observe this little intricacy of life but we Cali people do. This time around we gain an hour on the west coast. To me, that is crucial as time has been so limited lately. That isn’t what I wanted to speak about but it is a good transition.

Time is something I have had to learn a lot about this week, in different ways. First of all I have had to learn how to spend TIME alone. This has been through watching my favorite TV programs, reading books, taking walks, going to the beach, laying around, shopping, cleaning, organizing, thinking, etc… I have never honestly liked being alone. Even when I was alone as a kid, I would talk to myself like I was someone else. I would put on radio broadcasts or do shows in my room pretending that there were others out there. I have always hated to be alone until now. I am slowly learning the merit of alone time. My favorite friend Joel always tells me the great things about being alone and until now, I have never really been able to appreciate his thoughts. I am getting to where I am my favorite person to hang out with. Almost (see bolded name)

I am also learning how to set boundaries with my TIME. My time is very limited and valuable. I am learning how to not waste it but use it very wisely and not let others take it away when I am not willing to give it. This has come to places where I had to say NO although it was very hard, had to stand up for my needs, and had to let the phone ring.

I have also been learning to give others an adequate amount of TIME for things. We all know that I am very involved in my friend’s lives and try to stay in touch and spend time with them. Well, lately I have taken the approach of giving others their own time and not overcrowding. I also have started allowing others to pursue me because I am giving entirely too much of myself in many relationships. This has been very beneficial and I am seeing who cares and who just wants things from me.

Another aspect of TIME I have been learning about is how crucial time with the Lord is. I mean, I can do a lot of things with my 24 hours in a day but they are all so fruitless if I don’t get time with Jesus. I work a lot in a day, 13-16 hours, so this can be hard but it’s imperative right now that I learn HIS character and the way HE wants me to do things. I have learned that obedience is so rewarding if you will just rest in HIM.

This past week I learned a lot about loving others. I truly LOVE for the first time in my life and it’s the hardest thing I have ever set myself to do. There is so much to lose. I feel so out of control in this situation. I feel like all I can do is feel these things and do what God says and hope for the best. I know this is what God wants me to get to and it’s invigorating and quite scary. I know he wants me to blindly trust him with my heart this time and I am terrified. I am so scared of walking away broken like so many times before. I have no guarantee of my love ever being returned or even respected yet I still love with all that I am.
This time in my life is really scary and lonely. I am supposed to be alone and I am supposed to be letting go and I am doing it. I am trusting HIM for my every breath, need, desire, heartache, etc… I am deeply in need of HIS strong arms to carry me through a very rough time. I am longing for more of God and less of me. Well, I have blabbed enough for the day. Have a great weekend all and God bless you! ~Shalom~

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A restful Sunday

Hey everyone. I hope you are all doing great this fine Sunday. It's about 10:30 here in So. Cal and I have to say I have spent the day doing rather relaxing things. Yesterday morning I woke up with a sore back. I have no idea what happened but I feel like I might have a pinched nerve right under my right shoulder blade in my back. It's pretty painful and has continued on into today. I decided to not go to church but to stay in bed this morning and relax. For lunch I headed out with Heather and Josh for some seafood at wonderful Red Lobster.

After a great lunch with them, I went and did our two week grocery shopping run. Our house was getting pretty bare. I love when you do well at the store and save a lot of money. I am quite the grocery shopper. I have a knack for saving money and eating like a KING :) Pun completely intended. ;) I think that is a part of my job that I do just wonderful at.

Tonight finds me in the office upstairs blogging away with Christopher sleeping soundly in the next room. He is really excited about Halloween and dressing up really scary and making his nanny nervous. He has chosen to be a Zombie Clown for Halloween and so, um, yeah, SCARED. I don't know if everyone that reads this knows but I am terrified of clowns. Chris didn't know this when he chose his costume so I can't blame him and maybe it will help desensitize me to this fear. Who knows?!

I am looking forward to this week in a strange way. I have nothing to really look forward to but my attitude is changing so much that I don't mind thinking in terms of what is going to be new and fresh for the week. I am always looking forward to my next growing and changing opportunity. I am happy to say that my favorite friend will be back in So. Cal and I am looking forward to that although that doesn't mean I will see or talk to him. I am trying to be well...spacious right now! (I don't need to explain that for those of you who know I am talking symbolically)

Tomorrow is usually a busy day as Monday is a great day to receive about a million things to do on the agenda and get moving on loans. Also, Christopher has Karate tomorrow afternoon and while he is there, I am going to the library to pick his new book to read. He finished "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowery and really liked it. He has a horrible time with reading so I am just hoping for a successful school year overall in the reading department.

So onto growth, I am learning so much lately that it's hard to type it all out in a blog. This week's experience was learning to take time for myself and God. It was also learning self control versus controlling the universe. I am going pretty deep into this so if you aren't a psych person, buckle're in for a ride.

Ok, so I believe there is a distinct difference between being able to control yourself and being a control freak. I am classically defined as a "Control Freak" and I wear that name tag with my head hung in shame. It's been very hard for me to "fess" up to this terrible name but I am starting to be out of my denial and fighting the behavior. I try to control anything and everything I can get my hands on. I should note here that it is a classic response from a person who comes from an abusive background because you try to find control where it's available. I am not justifying this behavior nor backing it at all but simply trying to explain the root of this mess.

In saying this, I am in no way self controlled. Because I am not able to control my self, I try to control my surroundings including people. This isn't good or healthy. I am working on controlling my self and letting everything else go right now. I have decided today to type out the things I can control and then a list of the things (off the top of my head) that I can't control. This is a great exercise in reality.

Things I can control:

My exercise habits
What I eat
How I treat others
How much time I spend with God
How hard I work at my jobs
How I love others
How I myself choose to behave
Forgiving others who have hurt me

Things I cannot control:

My metabolism
How others treat me
What God does with my life
If someone falls in love with me
How much attention I receive from others
How others love me
How others choose to behave
Other's spiritual lives
Time and how fast it goes
Age and how fast it comes
Parenting Christopher
Saving Jaylie
How my family handles money
Getting others to forgive me
Getting others to feel badly for things they have done

The list continues on things I can't control so I am starting to lay things down one at a time and just walk away from them knowing they are not mine to hold on to. I hope this blog has helped someone today but please stay tuned as God is only moving further and further and deeper and deeper into me. I hope someday I am 1/4 the woman he is working on! :) I have potential...says the Lord ;) ~Shalom~

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Sweet rewards

Happy Saturday everyone. I hope you all are having a great weekend and doing something that relaxes you and brings you much happiness. I am having a good weekend so far. Today I took Jaylie out for a movie and we saw the movie with Hilary Duff called "Raise your Voice." Now Hilary Duff isn't my favorite actress or even in my generation but I went for Jaylie and to be honest, (hangs head in shame) I liked the movie! I also ended up staying home tonight and ordering in some grilled salmon and just chilling. I am going for a run after I blog although my back is injured in some way and I am not sure how far I am going to get.

Today's title is "sweet rewards" because my obedience (that has been severely difficult) is paying off. I know that often times being obedient to the Lord is really hard and you don't see the payoff immediately. I am not saying that everything that you are obedient in even has an earthly payoff but my obedience was sincerely rewarded this week. I was asked (sorta) by God this week to give Him my time. I am a person who genuinely gives to other people or needs from other people until it kills me or them. This week God asked me to give Him my all and let Him be all I need. I know that I should be doing this on a normal basis but this is very new for the selfish person that I am.

I really try to put myself out there in order to make sure NO one forgets me. I am everything to everybody and the funniest, the loudest, the most generous, the best listener, the most entertaining, and the list goes on. I am wearing myself out. I am not doing this to bless anyone else but me. I am doing it so I don't have to be alone. There is a lot that is scary about finding yourself BY YOURSELF!! I am also doing this in my jobs. I am going above and beyond the call of duty in order to be the best worker so everyone will love me and make me feel needed. None of this is healthy so God has asked me/told me to STOP!

Now I should note that I have no problem with giving your 100% to everything you put your hands to do but seriously consider your motive. My motives have been poor for a long time towards a lot of tasks and people. I am learning one person at a time how to love. I love someone very much for the first time in my life. I am learning what that means, what it demands, and what I need to change about myself to do it efficiently. I am a person that requires much of myself. I long every day to be a better person and I know deep down that I am not giving my all by giving ALL OF ME! It is not healthy for me nor is it beneficial to others. I have to have something for myself in order to benefit anyone else.

In saying that, I have been very obedient in one area for about 4 days now. I have seen God's hand move in this situation already and really am clinging to his promises. I have no idea how this will pan out and what will come of it but I know what God said and what He says is always for my best. I know what's mentally healthy and I am trying to pursue that greatly at this time.

I really need everyone's prayers right now as this is a hard time for me physically. I had a few "set backs" recently in my health that made it very hard for me to exercise and thus lose weight. While these set backs were happening I slipped into my old ways of putting food first and having a severely unhealthy relationship with it. I continued to exercise even when it was rough but unfortunately with the calorie intake I have only maintained. I am standing still at 230 lbs now and I am sick of it. I want to get more weight off. I did happen to get into a size 18 now and I am really happy about that but I need my good eating habits back. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow for the house so I just need prayers for knowledge and wisdom on what to buy in order to support my eating differences.

I find myself doing a lot of snacking late at night. I feel like I am starving because I am eating less healthy foods which leave you unsatisfied. I am hoping to incorporate more fruits and vegetables this week which leave me full at night and getting to bed earlier which will keep me out of the fridge. Also I really need to make time this week for my runs in order to burn more than I take in. Please just pray as this is one of my huge goals. I am going home in December and would like to be down to at least 220 by that time. My family and I are getting pictures taken and I would like to be more proud of them although I have to tell you..I am one cute girl these days. I am very proud of my weight loss and very proud of who I am. I just have to keep it up until I am at a healthy weight!

Thanks everyone for stopping in and for your prayers! Have a beautiful weekend and keep on checking in for more Erica-extreme Makeover! HA HA ~Shalom~

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

dreams, big and small

Hi everyone! I am sure if you are located out in So. Cal you are thinking to yourself how awful this weather is. I love it! Rain is amazing for my sleep patterns. I woke up this morning and went upstairs to make breakfast and I almost slept over my waffles because rain just relaxes me. If you had any idea how much I need to relax you would be happy to hear that. I am in a place where I need a few days off to just lay in my bed, read a book, organize and file, and take a walk. If the rain doesn't stop through the weekend I might just do the bed and book gig!

Today's title is about dreams. When I am talking about dreams I don't mean the kind that happen in the deepest of sleep. I am talking about the inner passions and desires of your heart. I have a whole lot of dreams and right now I am working on redefining those dreams and learning what is behind them. One of my hugest dreams is obviously to become a marriage/family therapist and help people like myself who have been terribly hurt in their family of origin. This dream has many steps to it and one of them (Bachelors) I have already achieved. The next step on that path is to get into a grad school and start working on my Masters program. I have always felt rushed to get that completed until now. I am really happy in my current jobs (happy in the sense of challenged and paid decently) so I am thinking maybe I am not in such a hurry to get done.

That is not saying I don't want to apply soon, it just means that I might take some time to get it completed instead of taking the fast track and killing myself to get it done plus work two jobs and attempt to have a social life. Right now I am feeling spread thin and that is alarming to me being that I am not even in my masters program yet. I know God will direct me and lead me but it's nerve racking to say the very least.

Another huge dream of mine is to be emotionally healthy. That is something I have been working on for the last year. Now some of you probably view me as pretty healthy already but those of you who REALLY know me are aware of the complex problems in my emotional health. I am working from the ground up on this problem by delving into things I have not dealt with yet from childhood as well as dealing with how they interact with my life daily. I really need to get healthy emotionally not only for my future career but also for my quality of life.

There is no point of getting up each day, working for a living, coming home, hanging out, and being miserable. I have no desire to keep blaming myself for other's issues, putting too much on myself, disclosing more than I should, and running my problems around in a circle. I am ready to be free of these unhealthy behaviors and this is something that is top priority right now in my life.

Another dream that constantly runs through my head is to be financially secure. I am working on that now by obviously paying off bills and working about 16 hours daily. I make decent money and don't have any money going out in rent or food so that helps. I am possibly going to purchase a new car in order to bring my fica score up a little so that eventually I can purchase a house out here. I have a lot of financial goals that work in correspondence with this and I am a little concerned with how that will all pan out with grad school.

An overall dream of mine that is completely in God's control is my LOVE life. I use the term love just like in yesterday's entry. I use it to mean a sacrificial, happy, mutual, totally amazing love. I have a deep seated desire to love and be loved. I have no idea what will happen with that but I am trusting God that he hears the cry of my heart.

Well, I have talked about dreams today in order to encourage you all to dream. I am dreaming now of being around someone I love very much and longing to understand their heart and moreso be available to understand their differences and be a good LOVER! I mean that in the cleanest way ;)

Well, the next few days could be hard on me as I am being obedient to God but completely having a uncomfortable time at it. Please be praying that my dreams can come true. I will be praying the same for you! ~Shalom~

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Rain, Pain, and Sacrificial Love

Good evening everyone. I do hope this Tuesday finds you doing well and staying dry. For those of you in my "neck of the woods," it has been pretty wet around here. I like the rain other than that small detail of having curly Jewish hair and having to straighten it after each outdoor activity. Today's title says a lot about where I am at. Rain just happens to be what is going on outside right now in beautiful So. Cal. Pain is the state of mind I am living in and Sacrificial love is my newest learning experience.

Have you ever really loved someone? When I use the word love in this entry, I want to operationally define it as a verb phrase. I don't want it to be an emotion like "I love that car" or "I love sports" or even "I love my dog." All of these things suppose that love is something that makes you feel good inside or serves a purpose for you. I am talking about deep down LOVE. I found out this week that I love someone for the first time in my life. In a very generic sense I love a lot of people. I love my mom, dad, sisters, friends, extended family, co-workers, etc...but when I speak of this new love today, I speak of something so much greater and so much harder.

I am not speaking of a froofy (completely made up word) romantic love either. I mean, in a sense this love can turn into any kind of love you desire it to be but it's a true love. I could easily have romantic feelings for this person (and maybe I already do) but I learned today that to truly love someone, you are willing to stand back and be uncomfortable in order to make them happy. The love that I have in my heart is new and fresh and exciting and quite honestly, difficult. This person is the hardest person for me to love in the world because we love so differently.

In the past for me to love someone meant that I tried to control them, gave them sound advice, guided them through hardship, and ideally did "nice" things for them. All of these things in the past were for me to gain something. If I was nice to someone, it was so that they thought I was really nice. If I gave advice to someone it was imperative that they find me brillant when I was done. Not this person! I love this person with no stipulations. I love them with the knowledge of who they are and never wanting one single thing to change. I have longed for a love that deep in my life and now I am praying that God will allow love to come back to me in this way now that I actually practice it.

I am not saying by any means that I have put this person first or even second on my priority list. They are well down the list, however, they sit at their spot completely safe and sturdy because I am happy with them there. I also am not saying that this person is perfect because honestly, by no means do I feel that way. They do a lot of things that I believe to be "wrong" or aggravate me greatly. The difference is I don't love what they do, I love their potential. I am just completely and utterly in love! (I mean that in the least stupid way)

I am really going through a crazy upheaval now days and seriously am considering a lot of changes in my life. I would appreciate prayers all around for big decisions to be made and new ideas to be pondered. I also need prayers for whatever God is doing in tearing me into pieces and exposing the guts to me! I am really tired from this experience as well as the first month at my new jobs. I need prayers for every day that I pursue excellence and God's best for me

Tonight I went and looked at Acura RSX's. I am considering trading the Cavie in for a new car. I had no intention upon doing this until May when the cavie is paid off and some other things are taken care of but I am considering doing this in the next 10 days. Please keep me in prayer for wisdom as I am really interested in this car and would love to drive it home next week! I have a lot of facets to consider in this decision.

Please also keep me in prayer as I plan my trip home in December and have to come up with a great deal of money in order to make the trip plausible. The plane ticket is purchased so Thank God and Dad for that! I need prayers for the rental car, Christmas gifts for family, money to operate on while there, money to pay bills while missing one week of work, and money when I get back to get into full swing possibly on a new car loan!

Well as much as these are exciting times, they are also very stressful. I need to keep focusing on my health and well-being. Sorry if I haven't been a great communicator lately. Trying to stay healthy and focused. Have a beautiful day and ~Shalom~

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The start of a new week, let's see...

Happy Sunday to you! Today is a dreary day in southern California. I know that sounds like a paradox but it has been raining here and it's yucky outside. I know that doesn't sound like good news but I love rain. I love that everything gets cleaned off, smells fresh, and I sleep like a baby. Also, my Indiana homsickness goes away a little when the rain comes. I have a busy, fun weekend. I ended up going shopping yesterday and spending a little extra fun money at Lane Bryant for some new cute outfits. I love to dress nice and look good and that's something I could afford this week. I take much pride in my ability to dress nice and that's something I really like.

I went out last night with Josh to Black Angus (instead of Red Lobster) and had some amazing food and good drinks and great fellowship. I ended up also going to B.J's for dessert and seeing my favorite boy in the world. Things were fun and I got to see two of my favorite friends. This morning I headed to church at Rock Harbor which was awesome as usual. I am really liking it there and find myself really motivated to go to church. I owe a lot of that to my friend Hannah also because she is accountability for me to go.

This morning in church the service is still about John 3:16 and breaking it down to further understand it. This morning we did the word "Believes" and we talked about what it means to believe in Jesus. Within the sermon, Mike Erre talked about the woman who came and poured expensive perfume on Jesus' feet. I am sure you all remember this story. He was saying how in the Jewish custom, it was not appropriate for this woman to be at this dinner party much less doing the things she was doing in adoration of Jesus. Mike Erre said something like "She broke all the rules just to be close to HIM." I loved that sentence. I decided this morning that I am going to break all of the "rules" to be close to Jesus.

I find that the reason I get distance between me and the Lord is other people and the way I am perceived by them. If I am breaking all of the societal norms to be close to Jesus, so be it. If I am putting my spiritual and mental health before others needs and desires be it. I have found that it truly is inspiring to think about breaking all of the rules or norms just to be close to Jesus. I know it is an amazing payoff and I am so excited about God changing me through being ME!

The divorce search is getting more and more intense as I look into how it has shaped my vision of God and my vision of other humans. I immediately view people to have an angle or a motive in what they are doing. Now, I know this is primarily true but there are people who truly love me with everything they are and never try to gain something from me. I am happy that those people are there for real and I am going to try to understand them and believe that they are out there. I have faith that God has something amazing for me through that transformation.

I am going to keep this blog posted on all of the ins and outs of this divorce search. I am sure that a lot of healing will come from this and more so maturity spiritually and emotionally.

Christopher gets back tonight from camp/his mom's and I am excited to see him. My week is beginning and should be not only hectic but emotionally trying. I am very excited because tomorrow I have a dental appointment (not the exciting part) and then get to see someone very special to me. Tuesday I am back to Richmond and in full swing. Please pray that I start to be able to manage my time better and get to know what's going on in my life at a gentler pace. I love you all dearly and I am praying for you. Please do the same if you think about it. ~Shalom~

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Toughing it out!

Happy weekend everyone! I hope that today finds you all having a beautiful, restful weekend. I am having an interesting one to say the least. Last night I ordered my plane ticket to come home to Indiana. I couldn’t be happier. I love the idea of being where everyone knows me and enjoys me somewhat. I am getting very homesick although I know that I’ll be over that after just a little Indiana visit. I am getting excited now that the ticket is bought and all is in the works. While I am home I am getting a bunch of pictures taken with my family (mom and dad family) which will be really fun and I promise to post them on the web-site as soon as everything is back. I am glad to be getting some photos done since we haven’t had family pictures in like YEARS. I was probably 9-11 the last time I was in a family-type photo.

Things have been interesting this week and as always I am trying to roll with the punches. I am currently looking for someone who is able to take me to the airport (LAX) on December 23rd. I am nervous, as there are no takers currently. I would like to leave out of Santa Ana but the tickets are so much cheaper out of LAX. Well anyway, I am pretty excited because Josh and I are going out to dinner tonight at Red Lobster. Red Lobster happens to be one of my favorite restaurants and Josh happens to be one of my favorite people. Ideally a great night is ahead.

Last night after we worked our brains to their capacity, Josh and I went down to Tustin to eat at Fazoli’s. Now I know that you are realizing that Josh and I always eat together. Well, that’s our bonding experience. That is how we best relate to one another. God is so good to give me friends who have passions like I do. We had a great time eating our favorite fast-food Italian and hanging out. We ended up scoring a free giant cookie and the world was a better place.

Today has been a hard day for me. I have realized so much about myself in the last year that it has slowly started to take a toll on me. I don’t know how else to explain it but to say it’s painful. I am getting in situations where I want to be my old self because that comes naturally and I end up not being able to do it because it hurts me to do it then it hurts me not to do it. Honestly, I am just in a lot of pain emotionally and physically right now. If any of you have tried to overhaul your being and change things about you that you know are harmful, you completely understand what I mean. For example, let’s say you are an avid nail biter. (This is a very minor example) Let’s say that you have bitten your nails for 20 years and today you decide to change that habit. You would slowly try to establish a habit of letting the nails grow or cutting them with clippers to stop chewing them. Upon starting this it would be annoying to not bite them but slowly it would drive you insane and you would want to bite them all the time and instead of biting them you start pulling your hair out (literally). This is painful to you physically but it fills the hole of the bad habit of biting the nails. Essentially you have replaced a bad habit with another bad habit. Before you actually get rid of the habit, there are several of these painful phases that you must go through. Eventually you don’t bite your nails you don’t even want to but the battle on the way was rough. That is where I am at today. I know what is best for me but I also know what my first instinct is. Since I am not doing my first instinct, I am annoyed, bothered, in pain, desperate, and longing for more. Eventually I know that the RIGHT thing will feel better but for now, it stinks!

Work is going well. I just finished up one of the most stressful weeks at Richmond that I have ever had. I ended up staying late most nights just to get things caught up for when Christopher is back in my hands. He got back on Friday from Camp and is with his mom for the weekend. I miss his little face but I know that by Wednesday I will be worn out again. He is a lot of work but very rewarding. Things don’t seem to be going very well for my boss at home so please pray for him if you get the chance. Also, please pray for a campaign that we are doing here at Richmond in order to cultivate more business. It should be very successful but that is what we need prayers for.

The quest to understand what divorce has done to me is getting more and more intense. I obviously have mentioned my extreme selfishness in the past. I feel very strongly that it is good to think about you and overall take care of yourself. I don’t encourage thinking about yourself so much that you forget that others matter, however. I am one of those people that thinks about others and loves others very much but thinks about how that makes me look therefore making it a selfish matter again. I am really working on the selfishness that was created out of my distorted childhood. I am not saying that either of my parents is selfish at all (although I am not saying they aren’t), but rather looking at how the divorce shaped who I became and what I thought of the world around me. I am so completely terrified of 2 things, first of all being hurt and secondly, being alone. These both stem from the childhood because my childhood was created out of a load of hurt. There was hurt that my dad wasn’t around, that new step-dad was angry and mean most of the time, that my mom’s unhappiness NEVER went away, and that I longed to be wanted and felt the opposite. I again am not saying that I wasn’t loved. I was very loved and I know today that BOTH of my parents love me and support me greatly. Today is not the situation that I am trying to correct. Today is a by-product of a very hard childhood. I sometimes wish I could go back with the mind I have now. I would be alert to abuse; neglect, carelessness, and selfishness and I would fight it with all I had in my mind. I can’t do that though. I can’t even go back one day much less about 20 years.
Anyway I am getting a little overwhelmed with all of the changes that have come about but I would really like you all to pray for me as this is a hard time for me. Thank you so much and have a great weekend! ~Shalom~

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Growing and Changing

Does anyone remember when you heard something from someone and you didn't expect it from them but it was so profound that you wondered if it was God himself?! Today I was talking to someone about my current situation and how frustrated I feel with it. They were very understanding but also just calmly stated, "Erica, maybe this is God's way of getting you to give up control!?" I was astonished. I didn't even know that this person realized I had a control issue. Now to some of you, that may be funny. I mean, I know my control issue is OUT of control. Many of my close friends would say that and I wouldn't be shocked. This person wasn't a friend of mine at all. This person was the least likley to say anything to me about self-improvment and there it was. Plain as the nose on my face!
God IS clearly using everything I am going through to break my stupid spirit of control. I have always liked to be in control of things and know exactly what is going on and be somewhat the leader of the pack. This mirrors in not only my romantic life but also in my friendships, jobs, family, and went onto my humor and how I insist and demand to be the center of attention. I am learning so much about myself and there is nothing that makes you sick like learning about yourself. I have a million opportunities a day to become the woman God has for me to be. Actually 525,600 minutes a year to choose right. Now you may ask youself, "Erica, why on Earth did you calculate how many minutes are in a year?" Well I didn't. There was this song in high school and it said it. I cheated...plainly.
Anyway, in saying that, I have a bunch of opportunities to make right decisions. I can choose to realize there are other people in the world or I can continue in my one woman show. I know that a lot of you have been waiting for me to see this for about 24 years. Especially those of you who are my family. I am finally realizing how unimportant I am in the grand scheme of things. I literally used to think that everything someone did affected me or had something to do with me. This comes back to never developing maturity. This also comes to how hard this week has been for me.
It's really hard for me to feel disappointment or left out. This comes from being a very self-centered person. I love people with all of my heart and try very hard to put them in a place of importance but seriously, I never ever consider someone else before myself. For example, if a friend cancelled plans with me because they were tired, I would immediately start to think the following thoughts:
--They are tired of me
--They don't like me
--They are lying and hanging out with someone else
--They can't tell me what they really think
--Our relationship is falling apart
--They probably are hiding something
You can see how this thought process would destroy a person. Well, I never even think rationally enough to say to myself/them:
--Man, She must be really tired to cancel plans to go out, I'll pray for rest
--Hey, *Susie* no problem, just let me know when we can reschedule
--Great, now I can read that book I have been wanting to read
I need to get healthy enough to where everything ISN'T about me! I know logically that everything can't be about me but somehow when the rubber hits the road, it always is. I am going through a time of missing people, homesickness, and losing friendships and inside, I really do think it's all about me. I am trying to logically remind myself that homsickness is something I chose for myself, missing people is bound to happen and it isn't always a bad thing, and losing some friendships that aren't particulary healthy is ok. I also need to realize that my greatest times are alone so I should enjoy them and bask in them.
That being said, I am going over to my friends house tonight for dinner and I am so excited because it's a friendship that is so worth everything I have. I have learned multitudes from this friend and look forward to time with them. I need to be reminded that it isn't always about me so I can enjoy my time and not think about how I am being viewed, whether other's miss me, or whether I'll ever find a romantic partner like this person has. I know my thoughts and so does God. I want to change and God knows that. I am going to be praying that I can become the friend you all need me to be.
Have a beautiful night everyone and thanks for sticking with me through this deep mess of thoughts and emotions. You are all wonderful! ~Shalom~

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Welcome Home!

Hello everyone. Tonight I am in an odd mood. I am going through so much right now. I am in a state of broken-ness. I don’t know how to explain this because it’s a good/bad thing. God is truly getting underneath my skin and ripping me apart. This is exactly what I need, but man it hurts. I am dealing with a lot of doubt, confusion, hurt, disappointment, and anger. My friend told me that I was going to be in a lot of pain due to my decision to be a different person and I had no idea how painful it would really be. He was so right. I also have to admit that he was right in saying I would start to enjoy the pain. I am starting to enjoy it and it scares me. Part of me is afraid if I start to get comfortable with the pain that is increasing that God will pile on more to build more character. What am I saying? Of course He will!!!!

I am really lost because life is seriously a battle between flesh and spirit. My flesh wants to do what I want and throw fits, lie, manipulate, have inappropriate relationships, cheat, spend all of my money on shoes, and the list goes on. My spirit longs for more of the Lord, seeks to fulfill my dreams that line up with God’s will, and love someone with all that I have. My desires are torn between the world and the Kingdom too. I long to be married and have a family of my own but the flesh comes in and wishes for that right now instead of in God’s perfect timing. I am lonely and broken and hurting and in need. God has to fill these needs right now, as I know I am in no shape to have them filled elsewhere.

I am not healthy enough yet to be able to even choose a person to spend my free time with, much less choose a person to marry. I am letting God take this aspect of my life and turn it around for him. A lot of you that read this blog are married. You probably hardly remember being alone and uncertain about your romantic future but I can assure you, it sucks! I used to know exactly whom I would spend my life with, what we would do, where we would live, and how in love we would be. That’s because I controlled every aspect of my life. I was miserable!!! Now that God has control there is a lot to be said for uncertainty. I love that God is fashioning the man he has for me (if any) and forming him into the man he needs to be while I am being fashioned into the woman I need to be. I have a few desires to fulfill before he gets here in a romantic way. I don’t know if God will let me get those finished or not but I am resting in the fact that they are my focus right now.

I first of all really want to get to goal weight. I have been struggling the past 2 weeks since I had bronchitis and a little car mishap last week. I haven’t lost any weight in 3 weeks and I am frustrated. I am broken because I am working so hard yet getting nowhere. This is something that takes a lot of my energy and me and I am frustrated by it daily.

I also really want to be healthier emotionally/mentally before I get into a relationship again. I have sooo many issues to deal with that I haven’t even scratched the surface. I literally deal with my emotional health daily yet I always feel like I am nowhere further than I was the day before. My friend who has been with me on this journey for the last year says I have matured a great deal and he sees a lot of growth in me but I know me best and I still have to live in this filthy vessel that does close to nothing right!

Right now, I am on track to getting my spiritual life in order. I am seeking God’s face on a lot of issues and can see him working in them very clearly. I only wish I could understand what he is doing. I know that down the road I will look around and say “Oh, that was it Lord, thanks” but right now it feels so hard and broken is the word I keep coming to.

I want so much and see so little happening. I want to be better. I want to find HIM! I want to be happy! I want to be a therapist. I want to live for today and stop worrying about tomorrow. I want to be free of these heartaches that my past have caused. I want to stop being broken and be repaired.
I could really use some prayer right now and to be quite honest, a friend or two. I am lonely, hurt, BROKEN! I made the title of today’s blog “Welcome Home” because there is this song by Shaun Groves (A Christian artist) that really describes my battle right now and what is going on. I have included the lyrics on this blog in order to share my heart with you. Enjoy and ~Shalom~

Welcome Home
Shaun Groves
Take, me, make me
All You want me to be
That's all I'm asking, all I'm asking
Welcome to this heart of mine
I've buried under prideful vines
Grown to hide the mess I've made
Inside of me
Come decorate, Lord
Open up the creaking door
And walk upon the dusty floor
Scrape away the guilty stains
Until no sin or shame remain
Spread Your love upon the walls
And occupy the empty halls
Until the man I am has faded
No more doors are barricaded
Come inside this heart of mine
It's not my own
Make it home
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own
Welcome home
Take a seat, pull up a chair
Forgive me for the disrepair
And the souvenirs from floor to ceiling
Gathered on my search for meaning
Every closet's filled with clutter
Messes yet to be discovered
I'm overwhelmed, I understand
I can't make this place all that You can
repeat chorus
I took the space that You placed in me
Redecorated in shades of greed
And I made sure every door stayed locked
Every window blocked, and still You knocked
repeat chorus
Take me, make me
All You want me to be
That's all I'm asking, all I'm asking

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Divorce continued...

Hey everyone. I just got back from my walk at Balboa and man is God teaching me so much and how many of you know..that's painful?! Tonight I experienced what some would call disappointment. Now normal people can take disappointment and move on. I realized tonight that I don't know how to take disappointment. I have no idea how to have life work any way but FOR me. If something happens and it doesn't fit into my schema of what I wanted or desired, than I get angry, hurt, mad, sad, disgruntled, and completely forget all of the things I know to be truth.
This is exactly how a child reacts to disappointment. This is one of the things I was hoping to find when praying about divorce and what it did to me. This is a direct result of never learning how to act like an adult. Again, this quest isn't to pinpoint my parents and say how awful they did but rather to find the things that are broken due to a not so perfect childhood. I am looking to truly heal and learn and grow out of this experience, not just play the blame game.
I should interject here that my parents did the best they could as 18 and 19 year old people getting married when barely knowing each other. It was a mistake and one I gladly forgive them for and love them both dearly. That being said, it did a number on my development. I am basically a healthy person (physically) as far as development goes but maturity wise, I stink. Now the sad part is I am still more mature than most people I Know, but either way, I am nowhere near the mark of 24 years of maturity. I have no idea how to NOT be in control of a situation and I certainly can't have anything not go my way.
You may be asking yourself, "Erica, why is this?" Well, I will try to explain it to you and quite honestly, to myself. I think that in my life so much has gone wrong that I just want some level of control over it all. I have learned in my short life that there is no hope of me ever attaining complete control over another human being and if I do, it destroys that other human being. I also found that deep down, I don't even want control over them, I just don't want them to hurt me.
Tonight my feelings were hurt. I felt disappointent, resentment, anger, doubt, and confusion. Those are all valid feelings that I truly felt and those are all ok to feel except when I start acting on them. Normally I would have chosen the family "guilt trip" and tried to make the person who disappointed me feel badly about their actions. Tonight I did something different. I heard God's voice in my ear whispering in his booming whisper (anyone know this one?) "Erica, this is your stuff!" It truly is. I am not disappointed for a valid reason. I have feelings and they are true, but this person doesn't deserve a guilt trip just because they didn't do exactly as "Little miss can't be wrong" wanted. I know this sounds harsh to talk about myself this way but this is me healing. I have to be self-actualized in order to heal. I believe in the psychology that I am going to administer to other people in my career and boy is it/God healing me!
In finishing up this blog, I am no longer disappointed but rather grateful. I know God had a hand in teaching me this valuable lesson tonight that he is going to be teaching me over and over, day after day, minute after minute, action after action. The person that is on the other end of this disappointment is literally the first person I have ever loved correctly. That being said, I want to love them in a way that only God can administer. I want to give them my whole healthy heart, not the crap that lurks there to be healed. I want to tell that person tonight, as they might read this (doubtful but they might), I love you so much and I would do anything to make sure I am loving you right. Welcome to my mess but thanks to God and your patience, it will get better.
Have a great night all and please let me know if you are learning anything here. I am trying to really authentically place my heart out and learn and grow with you. ~Shalom~ to all :)

Homesick, a little

Hello everyone. Today I come to you in the midst of planning my trip home to Indiana. Some of you that read this blog often, are from Indiana and haven't seen me in awhile. I haven't been home since last December so I am pretty ready to see the rolling hills and Wal-marts as far as the eye can see. I am also really missing my friends as that is the hardest part of living so far away. I don't get to hang out with my friends and see their lives up close. I love California so much and can't even begin to fathom moving back to Indiana but I need my fix.

Today I was thinking about how much I love living out here yet something in me longs to travel as well. It's just really deep inside of me to get a suitcase together and get on a plane. I use all of my extra fun money on travelling. That would explain the cruise to Baja that Joel and I are taking next year. I am in the midst of planning that as well. I will include more details as they become available.

I really love being settled somewhere and having roots but not having to stay where those roots are all the time. I have some roots that are still in Indiana but most of them have been transplanted so to speak to So. Cal. I just really love it out here and am dying to buy a home out here so I KNOW it's permanent.

A friend of mine from Indiana told me last night that he is moving out here. I was so excited and couldn't believe it. I am really happy to maybe getting a little bit of home on my side of the U.S. I don't think the decision is clearly made yet but either way it makes me happy. Tonight is night # 2 of Erica relaxing time. I intend to go downstairs and watch Gilmore girls while laying on my rumpkis. I also will be cleaning up my room since they are coming to clean the carpet tomorrow. I am going to go running in Balboa and talk to a friend and then Atlas Shrugged my way to sleep.

Today's lesson was so clear it almost hit me square in the face. I am learning today to pace myself. Everyone, no matter how experienced they are, makes mistakes. I need to pace myself more and more each day to take on the tasks that are ahead of me. There is no way I can learn everything in a day so learning one thing is a huge achievement. I appreciate the fact that people who are wise in my eyes make mistakes every day so I can see that I am not so bad.

My quest to be like God is shaping up only because I stop and pray every hour or so and think about being like him. Let's be honest, I can't even exist without Him. Please pray for me to continue to strive for this goal though because it's so important to everything I stand for. A friend of mine is sick today. If you could lift her up in prayer, her name is Leslie. Also, Carrie Ritchison (dear friend from Indiana) has a grandpa who is sick right now as well and is dealing with some grief of her own. Please pray for her this week as it's a rough one. We all know how grief comes back to rear it's ugly head.

Still praying about healing over parent's divorce and longing for God to show me all that has arisen out of this. Pray because healing can be painful. I am feeling much better for those of you who are wondering. No limp left and wounds are healing successfully. No infection and less than horrible anger! ha ha

Have a beautiful week everyone, thanks for coming and ~shalom~

Monday, October 11, 2004


Tonight I went running down in my dream land of Balboa Pennisula. I go there when I long to be alone and learn something and be with God. I went down tonight and spent some much needed time in prayer and ended up finishing prayer in the piano room of my house. As I prayed, I realized that I need so much healing. I have so much baggage from years and years of hurt and pain and disaster. I started tonight by asking God to take things piece by piece. I am praying over each thing until I feel released and powerful against it. I know that a lot of things in my life have created the monster that I am today. Ask Adolfo, he would understand the monster I am speaking of. Most of you know that I was engaged about 8 months ago. I had to leave my relationship in order to free Adolfo and myself to grow up and mature and stop hurting. I have been hurting and in pain since but also free from a lot of pain also. I love Adolfo very much still but long for his happiness and fulfillment and that just doesn't include the terrible girl I am right now.

In saying that, I realized the first thing I need to pray for healing over is my mom and dad's divorce. I have so much stuff I am carrying around just due to being a divorced kid. I love my mom and dad very much and can truly forgive their decison and some of the selfishness that I feel was exhibited, however, I have not fully healed from the damage it created. I warn all of you that no matter how old children are (1 and 1/2 years here) they do feel the damage of a divorce and do know the difference between having an intact family and a destroyed family.

I won't go into all of the damage that this "decision" created but I will say that I need prayer until I go into the next healing phase. I am going to be praying over the wounds every day until God heals me. I know that God is a healing God and there is nothing he can't do. I don't want to re-do all of this pain by being a bitter girl who takes this pain into her marriage. I am not getting married anytime soon (as I have not met my husband yet) but I truly should be in training all the time to be the woman I need to be either way. Single or taken, I need to be healed and complete and pleasing the Lord every second.

Please join with me in prayer over the pain that divorce caused not only me and my family but every family in the world who has been through it. I truly acknoweledge those couples who have made marriage work even when it's hard. Props to you! Your children will never forget it. Have a great night all and I hope this blog didn't bum anyone out but may have caused you to start praying about your own pain. ~Shalom to the highest degree~

Life = knowing who you are and what you want!

I am on day # 1 of relaxing. Christopher left for camp this morning after minimal drama. I hope he has so much fun because Lord knows his nanny will. I have spent today doing the things that I wanted to do. First of all, I worked 8 and 1/2 hours at Richmond. That is what I wanted to do for numerous reasons. I like being caught up and getting projects knocked out and also making good money! I am barely limping anymore so work is easier with all the running back and forth from office to office, chair to fax, and chair to copier. I am so grateful for a working leg.

I left work at about 5:30 and came home and busted out some car cleaning. My car was literally the most disgusting place to be. I had a flat tire last week and that forced me to clean out my "trunk of denial" and left all of that crap in the back seat. When I say trunk of denial, I say that because I had a lot of stuff in there that I didn't want to deal with emotionally. After cleaning the car out tonight I feel so much better and know that I will love driving tomorrow.

After cleaning out the car and organizing that mess, I watched my very favorite WB tv. show, 7th Heaven. I love that show because it's so based upon real life issues and the focus on the family. It's just the only clean and moral thing on anymore. While watching 7th Heaven, I cooked up some quesadillas and ate some french toast pop-tarts. Those are comforting foods and I enjoyed my hour of no cell phone and just me!

Now that 7th Heaven is over, my plan is to straighten up my room, go running (on my much better leg), talk to a friend, and read Atlas Shrugged until my eyes are heavy. My life seems a bit boring but I assure you there is no greater feeling for me than boredom right now. I needed a break and God knew that! God bless Astrocamp!

My title today says Life = knowing who you are and what you want. I wanted to make that the title because that is something I learned today. I am trying to learn new things each day and today was sincerely a day of a lot of learning. This morning I talked with a close friend of mine who is really struggling in her marriage. She is one of the most amazing women of God I have ever met and I am just so grateful to be able to hear her heart and her plan of attack when the Devil is tackling her marriage. I am getting the opportunity to witness firsthand my ministry in life. I am distinctly called to be a marriage/family therapist and I like hearing how the family dynamic works and trying to learn the ins and outs. I thought today how happy I will be to take my first family of clients and focus on their healing. It just felt good to know that God trusts me with that task!

I also learned today that it's completely ok to be full of desire. I am a girl who has a lot of desires. I am not speaking of desire as a sexual term or even a material term but an overall piece of vocabulary spanning multitudes of subjects from romance to food. I think desire can come across complex ideas like emotional health and more concrete ideas like having a house on balboa pennisula. In saying that, desire is something I have lingered on in thought today because I am having a week of erica-land. I know that it sounds selfish to say that but I am completely ok with being a selfish person these days. That is not saying that others don't matter to me but this week, they just can't!

I wanted to take this week and focus on one desire each day that I truly have for myself. Today's desire is going to be of a deep nature just simply because it's # 1 on my list right now. I am really being drawn to a deeper commitment to Christ and the abundant life that He brings. In saying that, I am desiring after God like I never have. I desire to leave a legacy of his love and show others his compassion through my work, play, love, laughter, passions, career, romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships etc... I long to live for him completely and fully and my true desire is to hear "enter in Good and faithful servant!" Seriously I am longing for Heaven right now and longing for his comforting arms. My true desire lies in the drastic pull toward holiness. I know this sounds cliche but it's the first time in my life I have ever wanted to be holy and upright. I have pretended a lot but now I know that my desire is to please Him with everything I am and stand back and allow HIS name to be glorified instead of my own.

I am going to end today's post with a prayer as this is truly a week to pray about desires and some of the other things going on in me:

Father, you alone know my heart and my desires. You know that I long after you and your character in my life. God let me be like you and show the world your awesome love for us. Allow your sweet spirit to create in me the heart and passion that you would like me to have. Take care of Christopher this week Lord and renew us both. Take my week and allow me to glorify you through my words, deeds, and behavior. Allow your life to be reflected in the man I love, the friends I carry, and the work I do. I love you Lord and give my all to you. In your holy name. Amen!

Shalom all and have a beautiful week!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

A fire inside

Hey everyone. How was your Sunday? Mine was enlightening and at the same time mundane. I went to church this morning after a hard Saturday and I really wanted to give my all in worship and just focus on God's greatness as I spent a Sunday in the greatest church on earth! It is amazing to be a Christian and know God's greatness and feel his distinct pull in your life. This being said, Church was awesome. Mike Erre, the Pastor at Rock Harbor has been doing a series on John 3:16 and he is taking 7 weeks to pick the verse apart and put it in perspective. I think a lot of times we read that verse and almost skip over the true meaning and this series is helping me to see that. Today we dealt with the phrase "Whoever believes in Him." It was so cool to think about the fact that God is not picky about how we come to him. He cares that we come and we don't have to be clean beforehand. That is a load off of my mind since I come bearing scars, filth, lies, deceit, SIN, and more where that came from. Let's be honest, I am NOT a good person. I have come to the realization that it is ok that I am not though because WHO IS? Only God himself!

After a great morning at church I headed down to my favorite place to eat nowdays, Koo Koo Roo's. I love this place because there is healthy cuisine at a fast food price. I wouldn't say it's cheap but for what you get, it's not bad. I had sliced turkey and Yams. It was so great and I went to work for the afternoon at Richmond to try to get some things caught up. I didn't get a whole lot done but knocked out a few projects. I then had to go up to Corona (a city in California, not the beer) and pick up Christopher. He spends the weekends with his mom up in Temecula so we have a half way point where we meet. He was really rowdy tonight and it took me a lot to get him all packed up for Astrocamp. Pray for safety for him because he is going all week and you just never know with an 11 year old boy.

I have some definite goals this week that need to be accomplished. First of all, my car is filthy. I would like to dedicate a little bit of time to getting that all sorted out this week since Chris is not here and he won't be cluttering it up with his karate gee, matchbox cars, and action figures. I know, I am such a mom! :) This week I would also like to gain control of my room. It has been out of control for some time just due to the whole bronchitis/hit by a car fiasco. I would also like to put a lot of time into my spiritual life. I have been lacking on time with the Lord and that's of great importance right now. I would also like to have some ME time. I need some time where I just focus on me. I need to focus on things that relax me and make me happy. First of all 7th Heaven tomorrow night! ha ha. Mac and Cheese makes me happy too. I am easily pleased.
Onto my lesson for the day; Today I have learned a great deal as with most days in my life. When you accept a challenge, don't complain when it is one. I have defintely accepted a challenge when taking a job to be a nanny for an 11 year old ADHD little boy. He is precious and I love Chris so much, but man he is hard to control at times. He was without pills today and it was so hard to figure out how to calm him down. He is so intelligent in things of the world though and he knows when he is creating a ticking erica-bomb. He calmly said tonight,when my head looked as if it might explode, "Erica, now you know what those pills do for me!" He is so cute but man, you could just die from exhaustion when this happens. I am ready today to step up to the challenge and allow God to control my thoughts and actions toward Chris. I love him very much and I know I am a piece of God that he is getting to see each day. This week as I have a break from him I am going to use it to intercede on his behalf. Little Chris has so much potential and I just hope that I can help him become that man that God wants him to be. (GOD HELP ME)
I have also learned today that my best friend outside of Jesus Christ himself, is me! I love myself and I care about my well-being and few others really do. It's amazing to see that and know that it's depressing but also very comforting. That means the two people who love me (me and God) aren't going anywhere. How comforting is that. Isn't it funny how we look at being alone as a curse when really it is the ultimate gift. I am going to take time this week to really enjoy my alone time. God help me to enjoy the things in me that I like. I need to know the good and bad in me.
Thanks for stopping in today everyone and for sharing my most intimate thoughts with me. I enjoy knowing that all of you are keeping me accountable to these thoughts and feelings. P.S. If you are reading the blog, drop me an email and let me know you are. I know it's beneficial to me but I would like to know who all is keeping posted on it. Have a great new week everyone and make it count! ~Shalom~

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Anger is an interesting thing

Hi everyone! I went to the rodeo tonight. I am not kidding guys. I spent the evening at the rodeo. I was strangely attracted to the cowboys. There is nothing like chaps, wranglers, spurs, and large belt buckles. I missed Indiana so bad tonight spending time at the rodeo. I got made fun of (of course) from Joel because it was my first rodeo and I am "white bread" as he said it and from Indiana and I should have been to one at a prior time. Oh well, I don't care. I experienced it tonight and I like new experiences.

Things here are less than perfect but God is still on the throne and I know that he is doing something great in my life. I just have to be patient and see what that is. Until then I am frustrated and angry at about a ton of things right now. I have never been so angry with things in my life. I am concerned about this but feel that anger is a valid feeling and I should feel lucky that I feel something at all. I am grateful for God keeping me from the dangers that have been lurking.

I am trying to keep up with learning something every single day but honestly today, I am coming up short. I am sorry to let you all down but I am working on not being angry right now. Have a great night and I encourage you to see a Rodeo if you get the chance. ~Shalom~

Friday, October 08, 2004

Getting better by the day!

Happy Friday everyone. The weekend is here and Hallelujah to that! I am so grateful for the weekend after the crappy week I have had. I have actually been pretty blessed this week and shouldn't refer to it as crappy. Both Christopher and I are banged up and we could have had it so much worse. God is good for sure! I am getting much better from my "run over by car" mishap. I am healing slowly but surely and limping less every day. I have the privelage of living in a house with a lot of steps so I kind of have to suck it up and deal or I don't eat, leave, or anything else for that matter. Luckily I have my own bathroom downstairs so that's a plus!

When getting hit by the car, I must have left the petty cash pouch from work in the cart and someone took it because it's missing. I basically lost about $43.00 and that doesn't make me very happy. Gary is very understanding about the whole mess but I feel horrible about it. Things at work are going ok and I am trying to play catch up from a few horrible weeks. I had a week of bronchitis and now this week! Enough said there!

Christopher leaves on Monday for Astrocamp so I am sure he is getting excited. We are in a very crucial time since they want his book report in, have astrocamp, and working on a billion things at Richmond. Overall I am looking forward to a vacation in December when I get to see all of my Indy peeps!

Today I watched a friend of mine struggle with something quite difficult. She is a married woman and she is dealing with an issue in her husband's spirituality/maturity level and I was watching with awe as she handled the situation so godly and efficiently. There is nothing harder than trying to speak in tones of love to a man who you know so well yet need to get a point across. I wanted to let her know in here (you know who you are!) that I admire your courageous, godly motivation to be all that God intends for you to be.

I learned quite a bit today about myself. I think the major lesson is that I am terribly scared of everyone. I am terrified that everyone will find fault with me so God has made it where I have to fail but not due to myself ...circumstances. I think this is a great experience for me and is teaching me multitudes. I just want to thank everyone for their prayers. I appreciate them and I love you all so much. Have a great weekend and learn something about you! I am going to the rodeo this weekend. Please pray I don't get run over by a bull :) ha ha ~Shalom~

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

When you grocery shop, wear a helmet

Hello everyone. I am sorry to report that today I was actually hit by a car. I was grabbing some things at Albertson's (grocery store here) and I was walking to my car with my cart when a lady in a Toyota Sequoia actually backed up using her accelerator and plowed me down. I have road rash all over the right side of my body and the left side is sore from being hit by a vehicle. I have no idea when this happens to someone but today, it did to me! I am pretty banged up and sore but truly feel that God spared my life. I was about to be crushed by an SUV but I had enough sense to hit the car so she knew she had hit something and when I did she used her brakes just in time to not crush the left side of my body. I am happy to report there is nothing broken and just damage to the right side really. I am walking kinda crazy but other than that, life is fine.

Today's lesson is, wear a helmet when grocery shopping...just kidding. Actually I really did learn something today and that is know who your friends are. The people who are your friends will respond to a crisis with gentleness and patience and help you understand the feelings you are going through. Real friends will call you and make sure you are ok. Real friends will be encouraging and help you find the lesson in a bad day. In saying that, I have to tell you that I have very FEW good friends. That is a sad truth to come to but also a revealing truth. I am standing firm on God's revealing nature and he will do anything to show you truth and increase your knowledge. I am happy to report that God is continuing to reveal things to me and I am learning so much. Thank you for tuning in today and this chair is exceedingly uncomfortable so I am going to go lay down and read Atlas Shrugged. Have a great Thursday all and thanks for stopping in. ~Shalom~

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

When a day gets blown! What do you learn?

Hello everyone. This tuesday has been interesting to say the VERY least. Today was a horrible no good very bad day! I am still praising God through it but it was just miserable. First of all, my last night was absolutely wonderful. I should note that! I love being able to do something I love more than anything all the way through the night. That being said, my alarm didn't wake me up this morning and I was late getting Christopher to school. I had to wait the morning away for the Handyman to come and fix my closet door. That went rather well and I was able to handle that without a hitch. Then the pieces started crumbling. Christopher hurt his nose very badly today and we spent much of our afternoon at the hospital. It was pretty ugly and now I am trying to catch up on sleep while battling literally the biggest headache I have had in months. That is a reader's digest version of the hassle of today. It was ugly!

Today I wanted to write about what I learned through a really rough day and this is what I came up with. The joy of having something you really want could be coupled with a terrible day afterward and it really doesn't take the joy out of what first had your heart. I still am finding Joy in the incredible knowledge of God showing me things I never knew. I am happy to report that although I am severely challenged in my life right now, I have never been happier. I am learning something new every single day about the Lord and others and loving with everything that is within in. How amazing is that? I have learned that truly there is nothing like obeying the Lord. NOTHING.

Thanks for stopping in today and I apologize for my brevity. I have a terrible headache and really need to get to bed. Have a great Wednesday everyone and tune in for more learning in the days to follow. ~Shalom~

Monday, October 04, 2004

Drastic changes ahead for me

Happy Monday everyone and thanks for stopping in. My blog is going to get considerably more serious as the days progress just due to the nature of my life these days. I am feeling much better for those of you who are praying. I am about 85% capacity now and can run again so I am happy about that. I got some new running shoes this past week so I am stoked to run in them. I went last night and ran around balboa and it felt so good to get out and feel better again.

While I was running, I realized some things about me right now. I am just now starting to have a serious spiritual relationship. I became a Christian when I was 17 years old and made a commitment to Christ. Just after that, I really had no idea how to live it and never started living it until about a year ago. Granted, I still haven't lived it well and I have made some of the worst and best decisions of my life in this last year of time. That being said, I am literally broken right now for the way I have hurt God and others in the past. I am really disgusted by myself and feel horrible about a lot of decisions I have made in my life.

I know that God is forgiving and loving and never leaves me and certainly doesn't hate me for the way I have acted but it's hard to wake up one day and realize how disgusting of a person you were! I like the word WERE though and I intend to keep it that way. I know that God is recreating me and I am excited to see what kind of Erica I can be with him on my team. I have no idea if you are reading this right now and you might feel just like I do. You might hate some of the things you have done in life but my advice to you is....let go of things and stop being mad at yourself. If you realize your filth, you are farther along that most of the people that I know, seriously! I am happy today that I want to please my Lord and I am doing everything in my power to complete that.

To my blogging public today I extend a heartfelt apology. To all of you that I have hurt in some way (and that's probably ALL of you) I am terribly sorry for being a depraved person. I know that I fall short of the glory of God and most of my own expectations as well. I am not a good daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, etc...but I am working on it and one day I will be. Thanks for being in my life and I am just so sorry if I have ever injured you.

Today I decided to write about healing. Healing is a huge word for me and the world looks at it and thinks of some kind of crusade where a televangelist throws his coat on you and you fall down and are suddenly no longer suffering from chronic pain in your left shoulder. That isn't the healing I am speaking of today. I honestly think that the "televangelist healing" happens more often than true healing in the life of a believer. I am carrying around all kinds of scars and pains from the past and I have not let God heal a lot of them. Today I am learning that I need to let the ultimate healer...heal me! I need to let God take my childhood, teenage life, and now adulthood and turn it around for HIM! I am starting to give God one thing at a time and asking him to make me well in that area.

I have decided to be truly authentic is to share ones struggles. Today I am giving God my need for male attention. I am giving it to him for the millionth time. I am a person that is constantly in need of attention period, but even more so MALE attention. I am ashamed of this and embarassed by it. I will do almost anything to make a man pay attention to me. I could go into the psychological things that have made me into this girl or I can just say it's unhealthy. It truly is. Today I am asking God to heal that and take me to a place where I can have strong healthy relationships with women and mostly with myself. Tonight I am going to stay home and read and then go running by myself and try to stay away from people who are feeding only my desire to be needed and wanted. I need to start finding my contentment in the Lord and in myself. I need to stop wanting so much and allowing so little out of people for them to be a huge part of my life.

I really need everyone to pray for me for a few things. First of all that God continues to tear me apart and put me back together. I know that this is going to be a very painful experience and I am prepared for that. My dearest friend said to me "Erica, learn to love pain" and I think he was right. I am going to have to embrace it because it's going to be my home for a while. Also, please pray that I find the right female mentor to help me spiritually. I have talked to someone about being that mentor and she is currently praying about it and considering it and I am looking forward to whoever God puts in my life because I am ready to learn.

News in the other areas of my life is that work is going ok. Please pray for Christopher as he is spending all next week at Astrocamp and should have a great time doing that. Also, he is testing for his yellow belt in Karate on Saturday November 6 and we are so excited for him advancing in Karate. I am buying my ticket either this week or next week for my trip home to Indiana in December. I don't honestly know how I feel about going home. I feel torn about it. I want to go home because I miss Indiana and all the things I know and people who will love me no matter how disgusting I am. Also, I am scared about going home because my life is pretty rotten there. I live differently and I really need to stand my ground this time.

Richmond Home Loan is teaching me a lot and I really love learning things there. I am learning a lot from my boss about rebuilding my credit from some stupid decisions and I am hoping to get my financial life figured out by good counselors in finance. Life other than all of this is going well. I am learning more every day to love someone with all of my heart and invest in them. Planning the cruise to Mexico and loving every step of that. Finding ways to get to know and love myself more and learning to love my Savior most of all. Thanks so much for stopping in and taking the time to read this long blog today! Have a beautiful week people and ~Shalom~

Sunday, October 03, 2004

75% Healthy

Happy Saturday everyone. I hope this blog finds you all doing great and having better health than myself. I can't complain because I feel a lot better than before. I woke up today and just had a better hold on things. I have had a runny nose all day but that is the extent of my discomfort. I did have a terrible cough and sore throat and that has left, Thank God! I love when you start feeling better but it's funny how you want to do a lot with your day and you just don't have the energy.

Today was grocery shopping day and as sick as it is, I love it. I find it a personal challenge to be able to take $120.00 and get through 2 weeks of eating. I work as a live in nanny and buying the groceries is one of my responsibilities and it's one I really enjoy. I love clipping coupons, organizing a menu, and seeing it to completion at the check out stand. I also love preparing meals and organizing a kitchen. Who knew I was so domestic? I think that is the word Joel used the other day, DOMESTIC?! He then said something evil about babies...plural...and I almost died! He has a great sense of humor that Joel.

I find it so fulfilling to clean up the kitchen after a meal and see it look great, do laundry, and do "motherly" things. I don't know if everyone knows this but I have been struggling for some time with the idea of someday being a mother. I kinda always thought I wasn't "cut out" for it. I thought I wasn't particulary prepared for it. I didn't feel like I had those "maternal instincts" we all hear about and it worried me, as most things do. I have come to the knowledge in the last three months that I COULD do this mom gig and I might actually be good at it! I am still waiting on the Lord for that final decision but it's more comforting to think about now.

So, I really wanted to write every time I blog about something I am learning about myself and today I am going to write about WORRY. I know that is a word that a lot of women struggle with. Now, that is not saying that ALL women worry but I think we do it a lot more than men do. I think that we naturally are nurturers and that leads us to worry about others, about things getting done, and mostly about our futures. I am trying to look things in the face and realize that there are some things I just can't control and they aren't worth my worry. This parallels spiritually with trust in the Lord and his divine touch in my life. I hope this leads you all to think.

Have a great day everyone and ~Shalom~