Thursday, January 26, 2012

Screaming doesn't seem like enough!

So last night I was sitting with my Iphone playing my games (which I love) such as Words with Friends and my new favorite, Scramble with Friends when I noticed something and had to capture a screen shot. Here it is...

If you look at the bottom of the picture you will see an ad on the screen that says "Track Your Boyfriend Now Using His Cell Phone GPS."

Are you serious? Are we really encouraging women (or men for that matter) to use their boyfriend's cell phone GPS to find out where they are. Unless he has been missing for over 48 hours and you expect foul play, this should not be something that is encouraged. I am not even sure where to begin this rant. Should I start with the obvious violation of privacy or should I go straight for the whole conversation about "if you don't trust him, perhaps don't date him?" It's perplexing even for me, an avid ranter.

There is a verse in the Bible that comes to my head when I think about this ridiculous picture and it is...

Matthew 7:6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; Do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they will trample them under their feet and then turn and tear you to pieces.

No offense boys, but any of you ladies out there know a dog or perhaps a pig. That is the man you would be tracking on that GPS so do yourself a favor and do not give him what is sacred or throw him your pearls. If you are confused at this verse, let me break it down for ya!

Pearls are a thing of value...something that is sacred is that which is set apart to be holy. Perhaps the man that you have to track on his GPS is not the man who should be holding things of value or things that are meant to be God's, like your heart.

Now, if this verse part does not affect you...Let me just say...if you are a woman who is tracking someone on GPS to make sure he is where he says he is...You look stupid. I hate to see a bright woman appear stupid. Walk away for your own integrity. We all see you as pathetic when you have to check text messages, drive around to find him and apparently now, TRACK HIM ON GPS.


Consider it ranted upon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Multiple Choice

Does everyone remember any Math class they had at all? I remember that although I have always been decent at Math, I really preferred when they would give our tests in a multiple choice format. You would have a problem in front of you and yes, you might have had to work it out on your own but there was something at the end of that problem waiting ....a set of answers...and in that set of answers, there was always the right one. Well, unless your teacher was a monster and did those NONE OF THE ABOVE ones and to that teacher, I do not have anything nice to say!

Now, you might be wondering where I am going with this since most of you reading this haven't been in a math class in quite some time. This post isn't about math in the least. It is about making decisions in life and choosing the right answer. I have found lately that I really do not know the right answers in my life. I have realized as well that it would be nice to have four choices from which to choose so that I could narrow down to the right choice. I have been thinking about making right choices and good judgments and I have come down to this...I have a system and it usually works for me. In saying that, I believe that every person has to come to their own system of making right choices and when something works, stick with it.

Now, before you get worried, I am not going to just toss out there the old saying "pray about it" because as an adult who makes decisions daily, it is not always easy to just pray and come up with a good answer. Although, I should note that is my first step of making good decisions because there is no replacement for the Holy Spirit in your life that is your guide. For those of you out there who do not practice Christianity, that doesn't mean you don't need help making healthy and good decisions so I thought I would throw out my strategy and let you dig through it for a bit.

Here is generally how I make decisions and USUALLY (emphasis very important) they turn out to be the right decision for myself, my family, and align well with my faith (the most important component of me!)

Step # 1:

Ask God what he thinks!

Now, as I mentioned above a few faith is incredibly important to me and guides much of my life. I believe that God's hand is in so many of the great things I now have and have done and when I was making some

really raunchy bad decisions.

Many of you reading this will say "Erica, how do you ask God about something and more importantly, how do you know what He says back to you?" Well...I can answer that fairly simply with a question back to you. Do you ever hear a voice in your head when you are doing something and there is a twinge in your spirit that says "This doesn't feel right." That, my friend is the Holy Spirit. Your gut is more important than any decision making tool I can give you or advise you to use. God planted that in us for a reason. It is to help us to make good decisions. Trust that gut.

Step #2:

Look at your priorities.

It is easier to make decisions in any situation if you know what your priorities are in life. For example, if you need to make a decision if you should take a job or is a great method to figure that out. Make a quick list of your top 3 priorities. In my case that is...

1. My relationship with God
2. My relationship with Anthony
3. My health (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, financial)

Now, look at the job opportunity and make sure this does not get in the way of these priorities, especially looking at the top two if it't walk away from this opportunity. I know that sometimes the answer does not seem that easy because you may need a new job or something but at the end of everything, you will find that it just isn't the right choice.

Step # 3:

This is the third and final step of making good decisions...MAKE ONE. The worst thing that I see people do is wait to make a decision until a decision is made for them. A good example is the idea that there is a really great vehicle for sale for your family at the nearby car lot. You pass it every day going to work. Your car is getting old and isn't really safe for the kids. You know that the car is in your price range because you have already figured out the financing and even made sure it fit in your family budget but you decide to wait a few weeks to make the decision. While you are waiting, another family has signed paperwork and drove your car off the lot. Sometimes things happen to us while we are waiting to make choices. I'm not saying to be impulsive but to prayerfully consider, weigh it out, and TAKE A STEP. No decision equals a decision that you have no choice in at all.

I hope you all make great choices today

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Act like you are wise!

So this morning, I was reading the bible in my quiet time and this is the verse that stuck out at me and I started to rant in my own mind. This was said by Jesus in Matthew 11:18-19. Let me give you a little context here first. Jesus is talking to a crowd of people about John the Baptist. He is explaining to the crowd that they are doubting John even though he was good at keeping the "rules" however they look at Jesus who followed almost none of the "rules" like not befriending tax collectors and sinners and trust him. He is trying to speak on behalf of John. The next verse made me almost get goosebumps. It says "But wisdom is proved by her actions." For years, through this blog I have been on a search for wisdom. I have read Proverbs more times than I can count for it is a WISDOM book written by Solomon who was seen as WISE. I have gotten faith based therapy and even tried to continue my Christian education. Wisdom seems to be my greatest goal sometimes. I have always dreamed that one day when my time on Earth is done...I would be called wise. I always try to give myself the clearest definition when looking into a topic so here...

Wisdom: (N) The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment, the quality of being wise.
The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

So having said this, my rant begins here. It is not enough in life to just have experience. Let me give you an example.

(Names have been changed to protect the unwise)

Two girls, Elizabeth and Janet were friends for years. They met in Junior High and started developing a close friendship. Elizabeth would stay all night at Janet's house for days on end. Every social event, they were together thick as thieves. They were in Junior High so many things happened to cause drama like Janet telling things to others that Elizabeth had told her in the strictest of confidence. Elizabeth telling lies to Janet to make her like her more and things like this that young girls do.

Fast forward to high school when Elizabeth and Janet start seeing boys on a regular basis and although Janet was always raised a Christian, Elizabeth became one in high school. This was a huge movement for Elizabeth and her behaviors started to change radically. She started to treat people better, not tell her lies anymore, and even started to change her friend group to include those that shared her faith. This, of course, included Janet because Janet had been raised in the faith.

Janet continued to do things that were not friendly nor kind to Elizabeth including asking her to lie for her while she did things against her parent's wishes and God's. Elizabeth felt wrong about this but with her teenage self-esteem could not bring herself to stand up for God, Janet's parents, or even herself. The relationship was slowly becoming very difficult for Elizabeth. She decided it was in her best interest to distance herself from Janet. Words were said, hostilities arose, and the relationship was tense at the very least.

For years, the two girls didn't really hang out and they went their separate ways, Elizabeth going to college and Janet going into the workforce. In their college years, they seem to make peace and came back together to be friends again. Elizabeth was looking forward to she and Janet making peace and starting to be adult friends where things would not be so dramatic. Guess what???!!! Janet had not changed. She still used Elizabeth and justified her wrong doing and even told everyone else everything Elizabeth said. Also, when Elizabeth confided her sins in Janet for accountability, Janet would bring them back in arguments so that she could shame Elizabeth about her sin life.

Finally....Elizabeth got wise. She had the experience of being burned and hurt by Janet. She even had the Knowledge about who Janet was and how she would always be...but it took a longer time for her to gain the good judgment to say enough is enough. Elizabeth asked Janet to no longer contact her. She gave her forgiveness and prayed for Janet that everything would be great in her life and gave her a word of blessing and decided that from that day would be okay to not have Janet as a friend. Janet wasn't a great friend and that was wisdom.

Does anyone read this and think of yourself? I'll give you a hint about his story...Elizabeth starts with an E for a reason...I was that girl that was hurt over and over by a friend and eventually gained wisdom. I believe that that piece of wisdom has aided in my life by helping me detect those people who are unsafe before they have a chance to injure me. I have some ranting to do about people who never gain wisdom.

The girl who continually gets cheated on by her boyfriend but never have gained experience to know that man is a cheater. You have gained knowledge about his gain some good judgment and MOVE ON. In your action, there lies the wisdom.

The person who always picks friends who are takers. Yes, it is okay to give to others but if these friends use you up...perhaps we should use our experience and knowledge to make good judgments and choose people who are better to us.

The Christian who continually goes down the same road of temptation and thinks that it will have a different outcome today. Use the experience and knowledge of the past to have the good judgment to choose differently today.

Am I reaching anyone out there somewhere today you can use your experience and your knowledge to gain some wisdom and act differently.

As Jesus said...

"But Wisdom is proved right by her ACTIONS" -- emphasis mine :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

D is for Divorce and Devastation

So today, I was reading a Facebook post about the Today Show saying the phrase "Healthy Divorce" and how sad everyone was about the use of that phrase. I think that is a really sad phrase as well so I am making it the subject of my current rant. I need to say a couple of things before I rant...

I do not in any way condone infidelity or abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone (married or not) that is mistreating you, I condone taking an exit and working towards a resolution. Sometimes this may mean reconciliation and sometimes this may mean legal separation, and others it may mean a divorce is necessary. This post not about those situations.

I decided before I ranted to get educated. Since Anthony and I live in the state of Indiana now, I went ahead and pulled up the laws on divorce in Indiana. This is what I found...

Dissolution of marriage shall be decreed upon a finding by a court of one (1) of the following grounds and no other ground:

No Fault:
(1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

(1) The conviction of either of the parties, subsequent to the marriage, of a felony. (2) Impotence, existing at the time of the marriage. (3) Incurable insanity of either party for a period of at least two (2) years. (Indiana Code - Title 31 - Article 15 - Chapters: 2-3) (

So from what I am reading here, you can get divorced for ANY reason. Yes, it says something fancy like NO OTHER GROUNDS but let's be honest...can't we all say that we have an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage? Let me talk about marriage for a minute. I am a Marriage Family Therapist Intern, therefore....I guess I am sort of an expert (rolls eyes)

I am married and have been for almost 3.5 years. In that time, we have had a lot of heartbreak, pain, and even quite a few arguments. We are in no way perfect at doing this thing. We love each other with everything we have, however, I can see where we would have an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage if we were not diligent about caring for it and nurturing it. We have lost a child, a job, had to move out of our first home due to finances, and even moved 2,000 miles away from where we started so to say we just haven't had challenges yet would be completely bogus. We have had challenges and some of those landed us in the fetal position crying our eyes out and praying for God to save us from ourselves. AND HE DID.

Now, let me talk about divorce. In case you aren't aware of how Webster feels about it...

Divorce: The action or an instance of LEGALLY dissolving a marriage. (emphasis mine)

The thing I think that is really important to note here is that this definition leads us to the premise that divorce is a verb. If you are not English inclined, a verb is a part of speech that signifies an action. That means, we divorce....we did not get a divorce. I think that makes an even bigger point that it is a choice and a thing we indeed DO! I am not saying that there are not situations where people are served divorce papers and they did not want that for themselves but that is not the situation I am speaking of.

Another important note to the definition is that the dissolution of the marriage is LEGAL. That means isn't so. The Bible has this to say about divorce:

In Malachi 2:16, it states that God HATES divorce.

In Matthew 19:3-9 we actually get a glimpse of Jesus' thoughts on Divorce. It says this...

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

I know that some of you that are reading this have been through a divorce and probably have a million reasons that it was necessary and probably some of you even line up with the verses above. I understand that and have NO judgement. I am more concerned with people's thoughts and feelings on marriage and divorce as a whole. I am more concerned with the decision to marry than with the decision to divorce.

As a therapist, I like to address the beginning of any problem because that is where we can do work and make changes that create less problems in the future. I can assure you that God's grace is sufficient for you no matter what your marital status or marital past is. But, I think it is necessary to begin having a new idea on marriage and divorce when we become Christians and want to be Christ-followers. It is important to look at marriage realistically and not ideally.

I say a lot with clients as well as with friends that marriage is difficult when it is easy and I mean that. If we go in thinking that marriage is going to be a breeze because this person completes me or whatever such nonsense we see on movies...we are making a grave error. I completely feel that if that is how we go into a marriage this is the picture we create for our future...

If we go in with our minds right knowing that it will be a challenge. There will be hard times. There will be times we don't feel warm and fuzzy. There will be times that we want to walk out but we will do everything we can to keep it alive and well...we stand a higher chance of our lives having peace and happiness. If you do not feel like you can stand with this person through these things...please don't get married. Save yourself the pain, your partner the pain and most importantly any future or current children the severe devastation that is divorce... can disagree with me and we'll be friends, that is the kind of relationships I exist in. I can handle your differing opinion.

Thanks for reading...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jesus for President!

Most of you have probably seen the Youtube video of a young man from Washington State who does spoken word on the subject of Christianity. It is powerful to watch and think about. We all, as believers have had our moments of being completely hypocritical and this gave words to some of the thoughts that have been going through my mind lately. I have been having problems with my fellow brothers and sisters more since about 2008 and some of the political ugliness that I have seen spew out of people who call themselves Christ Followers. I have seen this mostly on social networking sites like twitter and facebook because they are "safe" forums to not have to stand up for what you believe in a Christ-like manner. It is easy to forward some racial or politically ugly picture and not be the source of it than to stand up and be counted and stand in your Christ-given freedom to not be a part of the world.

Now, I am not endorsing one political party or another and will not be sharing my own political beliefs on this post, however, I know that a relationship with Christ should lead you to yield some good fruit instead of mud slinging, name calling, racial slurring, and just plain ugliness. I have seen pictures depicting our nation's leader in situations that seemed to me to qualify as Course Joking. I have heard disputes where one group of people are calling another group of people idiots or something even more ugly just because they differ in their views on medical benefits.

I guess my question to all of you that are doing this this worth it? Is it worth destroying your witness and smudging Christ's name for your political agenda or for your friends in your "party" to get a laugh at your president's or presidential candidates expense. I realize the leaders (both present and previous) have made mistakes and led our country astray at times. I also know that the decisions made in the White House, Congress, etc... haven't always been "Christ-centric" but there is much to be learned from Matthew in the scenes of Jesus' conviction and eventual turn over into the Roman Government's hands. How did he conduct himself?

I don't remember him making a comment like "Well, it's probably because there is a Roman in government that I am going to be put to death!" or even "These people are idiots, they are not worth my time" nor did I see him having his friends come together to hold signs asking to vote that person out of office but they were still respectful of those that were put in governmental positions. Does this mean we have to roll over and accept things happening in our country that do not line up with scripture. NOT AT ALL.

My argument is that the godly do not heckle, joke, and sit around posting facebook pictures that are derogatory and downright cruel. They get up, pray for their country and its leaders and see the president as the neighbor that Jesus was talking about when he said LOVE THY NEIGHBOR as THYSELF. They also make positive changes by writing letters, campaigning in a upright and integrity filled way and stop being the ugly that this country believes we are in the Christian faith.

My hope is that those of you who wish to act this way politically...would stop putting Jesus' name on it. Just a note, that guy you are heckling and joking his creation made in HIS image. The same woman that you are joking about due to her upbringing or beliefs is the woman that Jesus went to the cross for and died for. We all need to become a little more aware of our words and the kind of message they depict for those that do not know the Jesus of the Bible who was full of compassion, conviction, dignity, integrity, and LOVE.

I am in no way arguing that Christians should have no part in politics. We definitely need to take our place in government so that we are being heard and noticed in the governmental departments of our country...however....we also need to do it with the right guide, the HOLY SPIRIT. I can stand firm in knowing that the HOLY SPIRIT did not lead you to forward that post about how democrats are like toddlers or how republicans are just trying to get richer. Let's be what we say we are...just a note.

Here is the video I referenced earlier...

I started to think about how we are asked to conduct ourselves according to scripture and inquired of a dear friend to give me some idea what Jesus asks of us and these are his thoughts....

In Romans 12 Paul gives a few tips meaningful to this conversation. Verses 15-16 really hit home: "If others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Live in harmony with with each other. Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all."

One verse that has really stood out to me lately on this subject is John 9:1-34, focus on v24. Here the Jewish leaders cornered a man who was healed on the sabbath, which didn't fit their idea of what spirituality looked like. In trying to get the man to confess that Jesus was evil (and therefore his view on right and wrong were jacked up) they say "Give glory to God! We know this man is a sinner." This gets overlooked easily but is very important. The use of spirituality and guilt is sickening. They are basically saying "If you want God to be happy with you, you'll agree with us on this." Sound familiar? People on both sides of the aisle say the same type of thing. Some using spirituality, "If yer a dad-gum Jesus follower yu'll hate what I hate." Others using morality and generalizations, "Unless you hate kids and want them to have no schools and insurance you'll vote like I do. Other using intellect, "If you want to be enlightened like me and not a myth believing idiot, you'll have the same views as me."

This was so well written I did not want to take it into my own hands! My friend Nick wrote it and it is so true...this behavior just doesn't line up.

I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer!

Thanks for reading today's rant!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I have a Dream...

Today, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, I have decided to write my own, 2012 I have a Dream Speech. I hope you all are encouraged to dream for bigger and better things in the new year.

I am happy to join with you, my blogging community today to celebrate a great man who 4 score and 9 years ago, gave a speech to call for racial equality and to end discrimination. Although that speech did not reverse all racism and discrimination, it certainly created a snowball effect that has changed the course of our country's history as well as my own personal history. It was rooted in the idea that we have an "American Dream." Although we still face difficulties in this nation, I am still dreaming and thought I would share some of my dreams with you in my own personal, "I have a Dream Speech!"

I have a dream that one day there will be no one following Anthony and I around a store asking if they can help us over and over.

I have a dream that one day people won't tell me how "okay" they are with my marriage and think they are being kind.

I have a dream that one day the world will truly be "diabetic friendly."

I have a dream that one day people will realize that even with diabetic advances, we do not get to live a "normal" life. (Try taking 5 shots a day or living with a pump attached to you and see if you feel normal.

I have a dream that one day all people will think before getting married, that it is a lifelong commitment and is to be taken seriously.

I have a dream that one day we will require more than just reproductive organs to become a "parent."

I have a dream that one day Jesus will not be mocked by his own people. (Some unbelievers have more respect than believers)

I have a dream that one day my worth as a woman will be centered around my character and actions, and not on my measurements or my ability to bear children.

I have a dream that one day my ears will not have to hear any people, especially those of color, using racial slurs.

I have a dream that one day people will acknowledge miscarriage as a loss and not say insensitive things like "You can always try again" or "It must have been meant to be."

I have a dream that one day people will stop smoking cigarettes around children, as it is not their choice to take cancer into their little bodies.

I have a dream that one day cancer will no longer be a threat at all

I have a dream that one day child abuse and neglect will hold much harsher punishment.

I have a dream that one day therapy will be people's first step to solving problems and looking for help rather than their last ditch resort.

I have a dream that one day every child will know that they are smart and capable, even if their strengths are not in the academic realm

I have a dream that one day it will become difficult for people to break their promises.

I have a dream that one day wives will speak highly of their husbands more frequently and not disparage them in front of others. (Here is an idea, marry someone that you respect)

I have a dream that one day I will change the world in some small way.

Happy Birthday MLK! Thank you for how you changed my life personally for the wonderful!

--Erica L. (King) Lewis :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


So Anthony and I have recently become really into a television show on Netflix that only has 13 episodes. Yep, you guessed from the picture above, Prison Wives. The premise of the show is that each episode focuses on one family who has one spouse in the penitentiary. Generally it is a man in jail, therefore the show is called Prison WIVES. Each episode gets more ridiculous than the last in that there is a woman (usually) who is pining away for a man they started to write to as a pen-pal while he was incarcerated and "fell in love" with him. I won't say that there are not exceptions like the woman was married to a man before she found out he was a hit man for the mob and she stayed married to him despite his life sentence without the possibility of parole. Most of them, however, are women who got involved after the sentence was passed down and to be honest, most of these stories have been murder charges which is really troubling.

This show has me thinking about what we allow in our lives. Each of us allows a certain level of care and behavior showed toward us. We all have the choice to say "Enough is enough" but it seems to me that some of us, don't have the strength. I have pretty much always been someone who does not tolerate abuse or mistreatment. I can thank my mama for that as she ingrained in me that it was not my job to take other's abuse or tolerate mistreatment from anyone, although mostly she meant males.

As I watch this show, I get sad because I know women who do not date inmates or have conjugal visits, yet they still are living in prison with the men they love. They are prisoners to his emotions, moods, and deciding whether he is serious about them. I have a few things to say about this (as usual).

  • Only you can decide how you want to be treated. If you don't want to wait for someone to make up their mind, move on.
  • People are usually exactly who they are. If the person you are seeing is being rude or disrespectful...they are being honest. Believe THEM!
  • Marriage is incredibly hard even when you feel the same about each other, get along, and have mutual respect. Why add difficulty to it by being with someone who is half there, rude, disrespectful, combative and stupid!
The other thing that kept coming to my mind while I watched these women sleeping outside of the prison in their cars, moving their children after a few months in a place because their incarcerated husband has been transferred to a new prison, and sending all of their money to their prisoner husband was.....IDOL MUCH??

Having something that comes before your God is always a bad idea but these men also come before their children, their health, and their other family members. I mean, I could preach all day on why it would not be best to hook up with a man in prison with a life sentence but I am using that as an example to encourage women not to sign on to a life sentence with someone who does not treat you fairly and if you are putting them before really important things in your life already....perhaps you have already been infected.

There is more than one way to be incarcerated in life. You can commit a crime and be put away in a physical prison with bars, a publicly seen toilet, and very few rights or you can sign on to be "in love" or marry someone who is absolutely horrible for you and has no regard to your personal well-fare. Both seem to be a horrible place to be if you ask me. Please love you enough to ask the person you are with for life to love you back. If he (or she) doesn' it a dodged bullet as you RUN, not walk away!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the man Anthony is. He takes such pride in his work and always works as if he is working for you. Thank you for his art talent, his ability to be great at customer service, his smile, his laughter, and his sweet non-judgmental spirit. He is precious and I know that you knit him together in his mother's womb. He is fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. Thank you for that Lord.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for my ability to help little ones when they struggle in school. It is such a rewarding job. Thank you for their families who trust me with their little ones and appreciate my hard work. Mostly Jesus, thank you for the results of hard work...little ones feeling more confident in their academic abilities.

My biggest fears.

We all have fears. Some of us are afraid of heights, some of spiders and snakes, some of perverted clowns (wait, that just me?) and some of us of our own bodies. My biggest fear that has been plaguing me for a while is my battle with Diabetes. First of all;

Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Also, some fears are completely irrational (probably goes back to my clown fear) and some are completely rational like not walking out to your car at night after midnight alone as a woman. My fear of my disease killing me is pretty rational. Granted it was really more rational before when I was in denial that I even had this crappy disease but today, I accept it. I accept that I am Type I diabetic and I accept that with that, comes complications if I don't take proper care of myself. I accept that being overweight is not good for my diabetes and being in denial did not serve me at all. I also accept that when I don't take care of my diabetes, I end up being depressed as well. Now, onto the fear part.

Lately, I have been losing sleep. I have been having nightmares, etc... about my diabetes and what is going to take from me. I have had a lot of fears about my kidneys not working and causing it for me to never be a mom. Instead of becoming depressed and giving up this time though, I went to the word. You won't believe what I was given in my daily devotional today:

Here are the verses that were in my devotional today:

Psalm 91: 1-16

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD; He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with this wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation."

I know that was a lot of scripture but there was so much to be said in those verses especially to the fears I have been going through. I was so calmed as I realized, this isn't my battle to fight. I can do as I need to do and give Jesus my struggle with diabetes and he is going to be beat deadly disease! Does that mean I will be cured of diabetes? I don't know....but even if I am not I know that with God's help, I will defeat it and it won't take me down or steal from me. It is time I showed my disease who my God is! They need introduced.

God was speaking to me about fear today and I hope it has helped you in some way!

Monday, January 09, 2012

January 9, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for my grandpa who I got to spend 19 years with and who taught me how to pick a great man. He was kind, considerate, and supported me throughout my childhood. I love you Lord for knowing how much I needed him.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


Side-tracked: Cause (someone) to be distracted from an immediate or important issue.

We are only 8 days into the new year and I am already writing about being side-tracked. How sad is that? I think the fact that I am writing about it though is a good sign because at least I am aware it is happening. I made some resolutions in the blog in late December preparing for 2012 and I was very adamant that this year, I would get my life on track spiritually and healthfully. I believe that you can't be truly healthy without a healthy spirit and you can't be spiritually healthy without a focus on your physical body. I am not claiming that to be biblical truth but I know they have gone together in my life in the past.

I find that when I am obeying God and living in the Word, my care of my body follows suit. I tend to eat better, exercise, and not put so much garbage into my body. I also do better to be at Dr's appointments and take better care of my diabetes. As a matter of fact, the definition of health is as follows:

Health: the state of being free from illness or injury.

I think that this being true we can take this definition and apply it to all areas of our lives; mental health, spiritual health, and physical health...even relational health. In the same portion of scripture in 1 Peter 2:11-25 it talks about spiritual health in "Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors..." and later in the verses it says "By his wounds, you are healed." There is spiritual health verses as well as physical health verses in this block of verses. I don't think that is coincidence. God has spoken pretty clearly to my spirit that to be connected with GOD goes hand in hand with being connected with SELF.

All of that to say this, I am feeling side-tracked. Lately I have not been doing a great job at taking my meds, exercising, eating right, or even getting enough sleep. It is imperative that I start to look at my maintenance of physical health as an area of obedience to God. Another verse that pops into my mind is this one...

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repent." Luke 5:27-32

Jesus' words illustrate his point using physical health as an example of spiritual health. He incorporates the two and my spirit seems to as well. I don't feel as connected to Jesus if I have been unkind to my body. This is how I am feeling these last couple of days. I have been avoiding some pain in my body for fear of what the Dr. might say, not doing the greatest at choosing healthful foods and certainly not sleeping as much as my body needs to recover from a day.

The verse that stuck out to me today while researching this was:

Romans 12:1

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

Upon reading this verse, my heart breaks as all I want in my life is to worship God with every facet of my being. I want to worship him through my behavior, attitudes, relationships, and body. This verse clearly illustrated for me why this feels so tied into my spirituality....because it is. So many times I have compartmentalized God into his "spiritual" box and gone on with life but as he has matured me, I am no longer able to do that. I am only able to allow him into every dusty corner of my life including those that I believe have NOTHING to do with spiritual matters. I am glad I got side-tracked as I never would have been searching for His thoughts on this today. Again, a verse God gave me in my search for His voice today;

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

My body has always been an issue. It was an issue in childhood as it was being hurt by others and I grew to not value it due to them not valuing it. It was an issue in teenage years as everyone around me (it seemed) was throwing their bodies around for others to use and I started to abuse food to get away from that idea. In early adulthood, I was the one who was abusing it while I tried to figure out my twisted relationship with my body and food. As I learned I was diabetic and tried to figure out what that meant for the Holy Spirit's temple, my denial began the destruction of my body little by little. I think if I stop seeing it as "mine" and start seeing it as the Lord's, I may treat it a bit better.

Here is to hoping that writing about being Side-tracked gets me back on the right track!

January 8, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for reminding me this morning that 16 years ago you so radically saved my soul. I am thankful for your love and your presence in my life. I thank you for the friend who encouraged me to attend church and introduced me to you. Father, I am so happy to call you LORD! Thank you for First Assembly where my first steps to being a follower were cemented!

Coming Home

Today I had one of those moments of exact memory. Anthony and I decided to go to First Assembly of God for church this morning. It was like coming home for me. Sixteen years ago, on January 19th, I became a Christian and decided to follow Jesus. That decision happened at First Assembly of God. It is honestly the most life changing day of my life and it was nice to be back in the place where I made that decision.

Anthony and I have been on a journey since we moved here to find our church home. We have visited a few places but overall I knew that I would be going back to visit my first church HOME! Today was a pleasant experience and I got to see so many people I know and love. I am incredibly blessed to be able to go home and have it feel like home. Let's see where God takes us next.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The truth, the whole truth....

So tonight, I was talking with some girl-friends and we were talking about how difficult it is to be an honest person anymore. It seems like nobody really wants to hear the truth. I am the opposite. I like when the people in my life can be honest. I like when I can hear from a friend "Erica, you hurt my feelings" and make right on that problem. I was glad when I was dating when a guy would say outright to me, "I am not looking to get married, just have fun together." This made my decision making process so much easier. I could judge it against what my desires were and move on if appropriate.

I appreciated when I can trust what someone says to me. I know that most of my friends are incredibly honest people with truthful spirits. They are constantly in a position to make others feel safe and be trustworthy people. I appreciate that about the people I associate with. I like that they are so truthful it hurts sometimes and more importantly, truthful with themselves about how they really feel.

I have been getting to know some new people and it has disturbing to me that the girls I hang out with are very truthful and some men in their lives can't really handle that truth. They are both uninterested in being with this man, yet he creates fictions that make him feel better. Here are a few notes for you guys out there who just don't get it....

She's just not that into you if.....

1. She says she is just not into you.

2. She says you are like family or like a brother to her.

3. She appears to be physically repulsed when you make semi-sexual or blatantly sexual comments.

4. She describes the kind of man she is interested in and you don't fit even one of those descriptions.

5. She doesn't respond in any way but grossed out when you talk about your "abilities" in a romantic setting.

There are so many more but these seemed to be at the forefront of my mind tonight. It is important to be honest with others but it is just as important to take someone's honesty and see it as kindness and accept it.


January 7, 2012

Dear Jesus,

We know that every good and perfect gift comes from you. I thank you for modern technology that helps me keep in touch with those I love who are not near me. I appreciate all that I am able to do because of this technology and I don't have to miss people so badly. Thank you for that!

Friday, January 06, 2012

January 6, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for Starbucks. I know that you brought Anthony to this place for a reason and it has been made clear so many times. Thank you for the relaxation it provides and a place to get together with friends. We are so blessed to be associated with such a great and integrity filled company. Thank you Lord for that.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

January 5, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you that your word continually shows me areas that I need to clean up. Thank you for sending your word to Earth to help guide us on this walk with you. We appreciate your love for us and that you didn't just save us and walk away. I appreciate all that you show me through your precious word!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

January 4, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you so much for the little ones that I get to tutor every single day and their parents. It is so rewarding to help out these sweet little kids and to be appreciated by them and their parents is priceless. Thank you for fulfilling my heart each day with this!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

January 3, 2012

Dear Jesus,

I am so thankful to you today that you give my husband and I time to be together and enjoy life together. We love to play games, watch movies, explore new places, and overall...we enjoy being together. I see so many Lord who don't enjoy their marriage and I love being married to this beautiful man you have created. Thank you for our time together.

Monday, January 02, 2012

January 2, 2012

Dear Jesus,

Thank you so much for my fantastic husband. He is everything that I wanted and everything I had no idea that I needed. He is so compassionate, understanding, sweet, kind, genuine, loving, godly, and makes me so happy. Thank you that you knew me so well that you created the perfect match. He is my favorite gift after salvation!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 1, 2012 Thankfulness


I thank you so deeply for my nephew Shawn today. He is truly a miracle! Every single child that gets to come here to Earth and be with us for a time is a miracle but Lord, I never imagined to have my nephew Shawn and that is worthy of your praise. Shawn is sweet, adorable, and lots of fun to be around and a true blessing to his Aunt Erica & Uncle Anthony. He brings joy to me when I am at a loss for how to go forward and reminds me why my dreams are worth realizing. You created him so fearfully and wonderfully and I thank you for allowing me every single moment I get with him.


My blog has been a friend to me for so many years. I started back in 2005, fresh out of a long relationship and after graduating with my Bachelor's Degree. I had no idea that 7 years later I would still be writing and would have my Master's Degree, a fantastic husband, 6 nieces and nephews, and be living back in Southern Indiana. God has certainly taken me on a journey these last 7 years. When I go back in the archives of this blog and read in 2005, 2006, etc... I realize that God has really guided my steps, grown me up, and changed me through the introspection of this blog. I am resolving to write much more in 2012 and get back to where I once was, reflecting on each day and all that God had me to learn. This blog has always been for me, but I have seen it really help others, change people's minds, and even deepen relationships in my life. I find it a place where I can be me. I don't mean the socially acceptable me that says the right things so to not ruffle feathers but the me that says it exactly how it is in my view. I do not claim to know it all or even have a handle on everything in MY life but I know that this blog has helped me realize growth and look back at the things God has done when I had questions before.

2012 for me has a major theme; living for Jesus. I have been a Christian for 17 years on January 19th. My life was radically changed and the process began but there is so much left to do. I want to worship him more, praise him more, be more thankful than I have ever been. I want to deepen my marriage, deepen my family relationships, be a better steward of all that He has given me. I want to find a place where I can give back to the world and show Jesus' love through acts of service and servant-hood. I want to give him my strongholds and trust that each thing he brings or does not bring into my life, is for His glory. I want to cherish each moment that I have with those I love and realize that I am here but for one purpose...TO BRING HIM GLORY!

Today my thoughts started about what we all think about in the New Year, newness. We all really like a do-over. We like a fresh start. We enjoy a Monday morning with our diet and thinking..."yeah the weekend was a bust, but it's Monday and I can do better." We all love opening that brand new planner and thinking, "This year, every appointment is going in here and I will manage my time better." We love taking the tags off of our new clothes and hanging them crisply in the closet and getting rid of things with holes and stains and seeing brightness and newness in our lives. We all like new!

In the Bible, there is a verse that brings me back to why we all like new. It is the way our lives were meant to be.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.

Our relationship with the Lord is the major place that we need to be NEW. It is so imperative as I walk through my resolutions and my major plans for the new year, that I remember that the OLD HAS GONE. That means, all of my plans to get healthy...gone. All of my failures in life, gone. All of my attempts at being organized, Gone. All of my nastiness and sin, Gone. All of my crappy wife days where I am irritable, grumpy and sensitive, GONE! The only way to be truly successful in life is to realize that we all "sin and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 NIV) and that it is now NEW and that the old has gone! This doesn't mean we just stop sinning...nope...if you look the verse in Romans, sin is in the present tense. We don't stop sinning, we just stop having to be a slave to it.

This year, I am going to make my way through this year by staying in the now with my Lord. So many times, I have done something wrong and that has led me to distance myself from Him instead of run screaming back to the throne. I will remind myself that the OLD HAS GONE and that means, I can come to His arms and seek forgiveness and find out how to make it new. This year I have decided to take on a different approach to my thankfulness journal. I have kept a thankfulness journal in the past where as each day ends and I lay down to sleep, I jot down something that I am thankful to God for. It always started new and fresh and I was devoted to not just being thankful but praising God at the end of my day in response to that blessing. Through the year, my thankfulness waned and I would quickly jot down something like "I am thankful to God today for food to eat" and quickly go to bed. This year I am taking a different approach to really develop a spirit of Thanksgiving. My favorite verses about being thankful are these:

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28 &29)

Just in case this isn't are some definitions to illustrate what our Thankfulness should really look like towards God. I know mine has never been to this level. This year, it is going to get there.

Reverence: Regard or treat with DEEP respect (emphasis mine)

Awe: A feeling of reverential (see above) respect mixed with fear or wonder.

I mean really? I definitely did not feel fear or wonder or deep respect as I quickly jotted down what I was thankful for to meet my daily quota and get to sleep or even worse, read the next chapter of Wicked. It is time to slow it down so here is the new year's plan. I am going to be using our modern technology to be more thankful and more mindful of God's greatness. I am going to be taking a picture each day with my camera or phone that reflects something I am deeply respectful to God for, something I am in fear or wonder over Him allowing in my life. There are so many of those things that I go day by day without noticing or vaguely noticing. I am ready to start my year by having Reverence and Awe toward my Lord.

Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name

Happy 2012 to you and May you truly be thankful this year,