Hello? Are you there God?

It’s me, Erica.

So, calling it quits? Guess not. Why? Well… Here we go.

Basically, I have a lot on my plate. I found myself trying to decide to a journal today or do I write a post today? And, I kept choosing journaling. I didn’t have the heart for this, I didn’t have the energy for this. I wasn’t feeling inspired to write an entire blog post. So I prayed, and prayed and prayed. And I *thought* God was telling me to put this on the back burner for a while. That was a lie. The king of lies, deceived me.

For more than a couple months, I’ve been looking for someone to disciple. I’ve been called to disciple someone. I want to be someone’s Paul. I want someone to be my Timothy. A couple funny things about this. One, I have someone to disciple in my own home. My husband. -That’s an entirely different post. So stay tuned.- Two, lately, I’ve had an outpouring of questions: “Why did you quit your blog?” “You have such a talent. Why would you quit?” “You can reach so many people.” So let’s answer those real quick. I quit because I didn’t have time. I have a 9 month old who is crawling and getting into everything. And I would prefer if he didn’t remember his mom behind a computer screen constantly. I have such talent? No, thank you, but no. God has talent and He’s using me. Everything I say is from God. Reaching so many people? Not necessarily. I have this small corner of the internet. I have friends and such. But I never want people to feel like I’m preaching. Because I’m not.

So, now that’s been discussed…

I was laying in bed last night, praying. Slowly drifting off. Trying to stay awake to finish my prayers. And, like I said, I’ve been asking to find someone to disciple. And suddenly, this surge of ideas for the blog came up. I’m not kidding when I say have like a long list of topics to write about. It was just like God was telling me He has a plan for me, and here are some ways to execute that.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and right before my birthday was when I announced I was taking a break. Well, then my dad purchased me a website domain. So just another sign from God.

So why are we really here? I wanted to explain and also talk about hearing God verses hearing Satan. I was in this really awesome ladies night in at church and the speaker was talking about this. She said,  if what you’re hearing is taking you away from God, it’s Satan. Drawing you nearer to Him is God. What a powerful statement. But what about when it gets complicated. Like with my break. I thought I was drawing nearer to God because I was journaling. And I have. But I feel like instagram/facebook is never enough space to truly say what I learned about the scripture.

What are you putting off that God is calling you to? Is He calling you to go to Africa and spread His word? Is He calling you to invite that cashier to our church? Is He calling you to finally tell your friend who doesn’t really believe, all the wonderful things you get to experience? Or maybe, you’re the person needing to accept Jesus. Maybe you have been sticking your toes in the water to see if it’s for you. Maybe, just maybe, you need to stop testing the waters and jump in. If you’re a non-believer- What if all of us “crazy christians” are right? What if you’re the one who is wrong? Are you comfortable with spending your eternity in agony? Are you comfortable with spending the rest of your days not searching for someone? Are you comfortable?

You follow me!

Hello everyone!

While things are still hectic, I’m going to stop pretending that I’m going to schedule these posts. Running a blog while trying to journal every day and taking care of an adorable and curious 6 month old is like trying to juggle eggs while balancing on a tight rope. But, I will be traveling to Kansas City soon to help out my in laws and hopefully will have some down time to really focus on the blog!

John 21:22

When you’re in a crowd of people and someone laughs, do you turn around to see if they’re laughing at you? Have you tried to change yourself to someone else’s mold?

Why? Peter asks Jesus what about him? And Jesus replies “If it’s my will that he stay,s what is that to you? You follow me!” [paraphrased]

Too often, as women, we find ourselves comparing and competing and not measuring up. Why do we do that? You compare yourself to Sally over there. And try to be just like Sally. Dress like her, talk like her, laugh like her, do everything like her. But, then, you see Lacy over in the other corner. And then you try to be like her. And go through the whole process again. God created you differently for a reason. He gives us each different gifts. Some people can sing like no one else while others can teach. If we were all the same, there would be no point. We all have different gifts and different traits because he made us all individually. So why would you waste the beauty that God developed you to be. He worked so incredibly hard on each one of us.

I have said before about how I never really fit in. I never really was like everyone else. I’ve always been unique and weird and loud. I was never a cool kid. So the comparison game hits me hard. All the time. When there are inside jokes, or things said but not explained, I get self conscious immediately. I always think “Oh, great. They are talking about me. I said something stupid. They are totally laughing at me.” In reality they could be laughing at the fact that their shoe has poop on it. I mean, seriously. It most likely has NOTHING to do with me. But, I have been so bullied, its like my first reaction. Always.

But Jesus wasn’t just talking to Peter. He’s talking to me. He’s talking to you. “So what of it? Why does that matter? You follow me! You focus on me! You want to be like ME. NOT HER. Stay in your own lane!”

Lets try and stay in our own LANE. Lets follow Jesus. Lets seek him fully. Lets focus on him.

Dear Lord, hear our prayers. Hear our needs. Help us to focus on you. To seek you only and stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. Let us wholeheartedly be yours. Empty us of this world and our own insecurities and fill us with you. Make us a vessel for your love and kindness and light. Be with everyone who happens upon this, and help it speak to them. Let them hear whatever they need from you. Let this stretch to whomever is seeking you and needing you. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

Heavy sigh.

Hello!

Well, as if my last post didn’t describe my life at the moment, even more has happened.

So, my 6 month old son is not sleeping through the night. So I am tired literally all the time. So when I do have time, I spend it in my bible. But, I have planned out time to try and post twice a week. So, if you are reading, pray for intention and diligence in my blogs.

Quick update on life: Most of you know, because you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on instagram, my brother was in a wreck this past weekend. He was with his roommate and girlfriend heading home. Within a mile of home, they were hit by an oncoming car turning at the intersection they were crossing. Going 40 mph. My brother, did not have his seat belt on. He always wears his seatbelt. This was the one time he did not. He could have been sitting in the middle, and went right through the windshield. Luckily, he was sitting behind the driver, his roommate, and ate the back of the seat instead. He has 20 facial stitches, a broken nose, a fractured upper jaw, and his two front teeth were ripped out by the root. He suffered from a concussion. And is currently experiencing short term memory loss. His girlfriend broke her pelvis and possibly broke or fractured her right foot. His roommate, who was driving, fractured a few ribs and had a laceration on his knee which needed 9 stitches. He is also struggling breathing. So it has been a long week to say the least. Please keep them all in prayers. Over all, things could have been so much worse for all three of them, and we are extremely thankful this is all it was.

So, to say the least, I have been overwhelmed with life. Its like I’ve been in the middle of the ocean and the waves just keep coming. Have you ever been swimming in the ocean and been hit by a huge wave? And just when you make your way up to the top, another one comes? That’s been my life. Just when I think I’m catching a second wind, something else happens. I get the energy to clean the house and do laundry. Then right in the middle of it, my son cries, or needs to be held or needs to be changed. Then it’s nap time. I plan to get caught up in nap time, but I think, “I should really nap too. I’m so tired.” I’m the queen of procrastination. It pretty much always wins. So even when I do put him down, fully intending on getting caught up, I watch an episode of grey’s instead. Or fixer upper, or one of my many other shows I am addicted to. And the result of that, is things get piled up, and I become overwhelmed because there is too much to handle.

There’s literally just too much. I have about 40 different things going on that need to be taken care of yesterday. So I just sit and become overwhelmed. I hate that. I hate that I am so easily overwhelmed. I’m naturally lazy. Very lazy. Very messy. Very, very messy. I hate cleaning. I hate laundry. I hate dishes. And then we end up living in this pit. I feel so terribly bad for my son. I try to use him as a motivation, but I end up just moving into another room and ignoring the issue.

I do this with my faith sometimes. I ignore the fact that I need to talk to the Lord, and that I need to ask for forgiveness and that I need to just let Him hold me. I put Him on the back burner. Until Sunday comes. And then wave after wave, His love covers me. And I just think stop coming to Him on Sundays. Stop coming to Him when you NEED something. Go to Him when you have everything to be thankful for. Go to Him when you need NOTHING. Go to Him when you are sitting there by yourself.

Thank you for bible journaling. Otherwise, I would have no desire to jump into His word. Journaling makes me EXCITED to get into the word. Find something He’s never shown me. Read a story for the 100th time and hear something completely new. I love journaling. I love it so much. But even the devil tries to attack that.

The devil is ALWAYS going to attack you when you become closer to the Lord. He is always going to attack you when you start climbing higher. When you start really getting to know God, the devil will attack. He wants God’s army to be smaller. Because he knows he’s already lost the fight. He wants to drag you down. He wants to kill every bit of light in your life.

Don’t let him. Don’t let him get to you. Shake him off and dive DEEPER. Dive into the Lord. Dive into the wonderful presence of God. Stop procrastinating your faith. Stop trying to ignore the simple fact that you NEED JESUS. We are not meant to do this alone. We are not meant to walk through this life by ourselves. We are not ABLE to do anything without God’s grace. We can’t. We are wired to LOVE Him, to FOLLOW Him, to grab His hand and be LED.

Let Him lead you.

Dear Lord, help all of us with our procrastination, with our doubt, with our feeling of being overwhelmed. Instead, empty us of us, and fill us with you. Fill us with your overwhelming love and grace and kindness. Let the only reason for being overwhelmed be because of you. Let us come to you when we need nothing. Let us come to you to be grateful. Let us come to you every day, every hour. Help me be intentional with this blog. Help me make time to reach those you need me to reach. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

Wowza.

Well, I waited and waited for someone to tell me what they needed me to hear.

Literally no responses. So, okie dokie.

It’s only been four days. But I guess I’m just gonna do what I’ve been doing!

So the last few days, the last couple weeks really, have been hectic but really good! I’ve been able to spend more time with my family, friends and keep my head on straight.

I started a prayer box for my church! God really laid that on my heart last week. I felt like we were lacking some true prayer warriors. So I contacted the preachers wife, and talked to her about my ideas and she had been thinking about something similar! Last sunday after I introduced it, I got an overwhelming response! Just means that we truly needed it. I’m so happy I can help provide that. And so many ladies want to join me in praying for everyone! So excited for this new project!

I have been journaling still. Falling deeper into that. Truly loving it. I’m remembering verses better, there’s an overwhelming community out there! So I have tried to eliminate any and all drama and negativity in my life! I don’t have my personal instagram any more. I think I told y’all about that last week. So now, I just have my blog instagram. And the only people I follow are other christian women! Mostly other bible journalers. But only christian ladies who post positive and Godly things. I can tell you I’m not stressing about how I look or how I dress or how I eat or any of the other worldly things. The only thing I strive for now, is how to have a better relationship with Christ. I want to dive in deep. I want to learn more, read more, and be more like Christ.

I also downloaded a new app that everyone kept talking about. Its called First5. Its an amazing daily devotional app! They have hit it on spot every day for the last week! Which is when I started it. So they were probably still hitting it head on before that.

But alas, I felt like I needed to check in with you. I felt like it had been longer than 4 days since I last posted. But, it really wasn’t. So here are a couple of entries I’ve done since I last shared any of my journals!

I hope y’all have a stellar week. And if anything comes to mind on what you need from me, you can always contact me. But if not, I will just keep doing me. 🙂

Proverbs 13

Hey look! I did a post on the right day!!!

So once again, didn’t journal in Proverbs. I had my weekly meeting with the woman who is discipling me, Jenn. And today we went through John 8. And since then, this has just been echoing in my head.

John 8:32

Um. Sorry. This doesn’t just speak to me. It yells at me! Its inspires me. It encourages me. The truth will set you free! Can you believe that? FREE. I am a free spirit. I think anyone who knows me will agree with that. Always have been. Probably always will be. I just enjoy the feeling of freedom!

And if you’ve ever been set free of anything, you know this feeling. So just imagine being set free in general. Being set free in your life. Not having to think of anyone else. Just you. And God. And the relationship you have with Him. You don’t have to worry about the things of this world. Money, status, popularity. You are FREE of THIS WORLD. That sounds amazing. And just thinking about it, I get a big grin on my face. Because being free is all I’ve ever wanted.

And I have it.

In. Christ.

Email me if you have questions on how to be set free. Or share your wonderful feeling of being free!

Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for sending your son to set me free. I will take my freedom to glorify you. And I pray that everyone else takes their freedom and glorifies you. In whatever it may be, I hope they use it to your pleasure. I want to make you happy. I want to please you. I serve you. And help everyone else to take the leap to serve you. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

Proverbs 10/11/12

So I find myself choosing between blogging and sleep. So sorry for choosing sleep the last couple days! It’s hard to stay on top of such a big commitment with a 5 month old, and the rest of life! Wow! Not to mention, I’m the worlds WORST at time management. Anyone who knows me can agree with that!

I look at this like my job. So when I get backed up, I find myself getting disappointed. So please forgive me while I try to juggle this commitment with all my others.

So Proverbs 10-12 is pretty much saying the same things. Which for someone like me who has a low reading comprehension starts to get confusing. And my journaling bible is a different translation than I’m used to. Which I knew early on would cause certain problems. So I find myself reading my NIV version, and journaling in my ESV version.

– Just so you know, I’m currently typing with one hand because Lucas is clingy today. So excuse any typos I don’t catch. And I’m also getting constantly interrupted. Life as a mother and a wife. –

But basically, what I got out of these three chapters, is to follow in the way of the righteous and to not lie. Don’t be prideful, slanderous or rude. But love instruction, love and discipline. Which is pretty much the last few chapters previously. So when it starts repeating itself, I need to slow down and really listen to what God is telling me. I reflect. And think. Sometimes I just journal after reading. I will right down prayers and thoughts to get it all out. And that’s what I did with these three chapters. I journaled prayers. And instead of journaling these chapters, I prayed to the Lord to speak through His word, and speak to me. And two words came to mind: love and truth. So, I went to my index, closed my eyes, and pointed on the page.

The verse that came for love was Romans 13:10. I read it. Loved it. And then read the whole paragraph. Love is a funny thing. I have love for my son. And I have love for my husband. I have love for those in family and those close to me. But do I have love for the stranger in front of me at walmart? Do I have love for the stranger next to me at the stop light? In today’s world, it’s hard to love strangers. It’s hard to think of others. And it’s even harder to think of others as your brother and sister in Christ. What if as a whole, we started loving everyone. We started loving others as God intended us to love them? What if we found the good and the light in those strangers? I bet love would come next. Because we are all made in His image. So look for Jesus in that stranger behind you. Look for Jesus in everyone and every thing around you. I bet you’ll start looking at them lovingly. And soon, you will start loving your neighbor.

And it’s funny. After writing that, I looked up the verse for truth: 1 Peter 1:22. I promise I didn’t look at it before writing what I wrote above. For a sincere brotherly love. I bet there are people reading this who think I wrote the above paragraph to link these two. And I can promise you, I didn’t. This was eyes closed, pointing to a page, writing the verses down and looking them up separately. God wanted me to tell you this. I don’t know who needs to hear this. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe, just maybe, someone else did too.

God is an all knowing God. He knows what needs to be said. And I’m just lucky enough for him to have convicted me to start this. Although, it’s not going in the direction I thought it would when I started, I know this is where He is leading me. This is what He wants to be said. And my faith is growing stronger by doing this. So even if no one else gets anything else from this, I am. And that’s what I was searching for anyway.

Dear Lord, thank you. Thank you for convicting me to this blog. Thank you for leading me to art worship. Thank you for speaking through me and to me. Thank you for letting me learn something new each time I post. Thank you for giving me the time and energy to continue in your word. Today, I’m not asking for anything. I’m just thanking you. You are holy. And I am thankful. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

Proverbs 8/9

Hello!

So for yesterday’s chapter 8, verse 35 was amazing. If you’ve ever been to life church, you know they say that after service. Or at least, the ones I’ve been to do. So I had a lot of fun with this one. I got some new pens, and learned some new tricks. So now I won’t dry out my pens. I will try to do a process video some time this week. But I’m not promising anything because I’m already falling behind on just what I’m doing!

Finds life. Man, isn’t that the truth. I have never been happier than when I’m avidly seeking Jesus. These last couple months have been amazing for me. Trying to learn his word and his will. It’s been great! And in just the week that I’ve started journaling, the community I’ve found is just wonderful!!! I love everything about my life right now. And it’s because I’ve been trying to find Jesus!

And on chapter 9 nothing jumped out at me to journal! So instead, I went to a verse that spoke to me a couple days ago on my bible app and journaled that!

I saw that taz + belly did a world embellishment, and LOVED the idea! So I put my own spit on it, and did it here! And loved this verse. That’s all I want to do is be a light to everyone around me. I just want to make people laugh and feel good about themselves! So this spoke to me personally. Because we ARE the light of the world. And it cannot be hidden. It should NOT be hidden! Remember the church nursery rhyme? “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” Yes. Even as a 24 year old, you gotta let it shine!

And you can see, I’m still trying to perfect my brush strokes and get it to come out less “liney.”

Proverb a Day! [6/7]

I swear I will get caught up eventually! It’s been tough!

But super exciting news, I have an instagram for solemnly sisters! I will post my journaling pages and inspirational quotes and such! Give me a follow!

And I’m hoping to have some exciting news coming up soon! I got to connect with my good friend, Amber today! It was so thoroughly wonderful to see her and catch up. I love that girl. And I also got to meet with my friend, Jenn, who is discipling me! That’s always such a good conversation!

So, back to the proverb a day! Well, 6 was good. And 7 was good. But there wasn’t a verse in 7 that I felt the need to journal. So I may come back to that. As of now, I have 6.

I realize that you can’t really read what’s written. But its just verse 23 from chapter 6. This is not how it looked in my head. But, on my permission pages [which I will post soon when I get caught up and on a schedule] perfection is on my ‘this bible is not’ list. So I’m trying to be okay with it. It’s between me and God. I’m not trying to be pinterest-worthy.

I have always been poor at time management. My entire life. So, hopefully I can turn over a new leaf!

Dear Lord, I pray that all that are reading can take your commandments and keep them as a lamp and lead their path. Keep them from straying. Keep me from straying. Keep me on my path that you have lead me to. Thank you for bringing great friends into my life. And thank you for blessing me with people who are interested in the same things I am to create a wonderful community. Thank you for the blessings you’ve provided me and all those reading. I am thankful. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

Proverb a Day! [4/5]

Hello! I’m just gonna add these two together! And unfortunately I’m not gonna talk about them very much because it’s bed time. And we have had a long day! I will come back to these for sure though because they were awesome!

Proverbs 4 was a really awesome passage. More along the lines of the past 3 chapters of staying away from evil. And I love the passage I chose, but to be honest, I’m not that happy with the page I did. It didn’t turn out the way it did in my heart. So I will probably go back and either cover it completely, or try to add some doodles to spice it up a little.

Proverbs 5 was a good reminder. I always enjoy reading where the ten commandments are explained a little more. It was about adultery and why you should stay away. It’s always nice to reread that. I as a married woman, not that I’m ever tempted, enjoy things that pertain to my life directly. I can’t imagine ever even wanting to cheat on my husband. But, it’s a rule I enjoy hearing. If that makes any sense at all. I chopped off the first part of this verse because it’s slightly inappropriate for this specific setting. [Talks about breasts] and that’s just a little more personal than I prefer to be! But the latter part of the verse is gold.

Sorry today is short and just pure journaling. I’m so tired. And am burning the candle at both ends lately. Finally my husband has his day off tomorrow, so I will be able to get caught up on the necessary household stuff and hopefully get some real quiet time. 
Dear Lord, be with the people that are reading this blog, and bless them and their heart. Listen to their needs and make your will done through them. Remind them of the important things and let go of what’s not important. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

Proverb a Day [3]

Salutations my friends! It’s been a busy couple days! So this was actually written yesterday. Sorry for the late post! But I will double post tomorrow!

One of my good friends came to church this morning. And man was it a good sermon. You know how sometimes when you invite a friend to church you want them to like it so much, the only thing you can focus on is how they are liking the sermon and how they are taking it? Not today. I didn’t have time to focus on how my friend was feeling because it was really hitting home in my own heart. I enjoyed the speaker’s testimony of his life and how you just need to follow what God is telling you. And to not be prideful and think you can do it on your own. Because too many times have I tried to take my own wheel and do it on my own. That’s just not how it works. You have to have God lead and guide you. Or else you won’t get anywhere.

Proverbs 3 had a lot that spoke to me. Of course there is the common favorite verse 5. Which leads right back to the sermon today. But because that verse is so strong on it’s own, people tend to forget to keep reading. Like verses 6-8 really hit home with me today too. Acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. Similar to my blog yesterday. Then, don’t be wise in your own eyes and turn from evil. Don’t think you’ve got it all on your own. And turn away from evil. I tend to forget that last part. I think I can be around evil and not partake in it. Which, was mentioned again today in the sermon. [Guys, the sermon was really stinking good.] And then in verse 8, it will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Maybe it’s just me, but that makes me feel calm and relaxed. It’s comforting to hear.

Proverbs 3:14-15 was what I chose to do my journaling over. I thought it would be a lot of fun. I think some people get this confused with a woman. I don’t believe it’s talking about women at all. I think it’s referring to the wisdom and understanding. And that makes a lot of sense.

Verses 25-27 I think are really important in this day and age. With all that’s going on in the world, and I won’t get in to politics because this isn’t the place for it, but I think these verses are crucial to remember. Do not be afraid of sudden terror…the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Do not withhold good to those who it’s owed when you can provide the good. Any normal church official would immediately turn verse 27 into tithing. And I encourage you to tithe. We tithe what we can, and when we can. We are working on discipline to do it even when we can’t and to work up to the 10% God asks of us. But truly, even if it’s not tithing, giving to the needy or poor would work as well! There’s just something so gratifying about giving to others without expecting anything at all in return.

Well that’s all I have for this chapter. I just really felt like God was truly speaking to me. And those are the best days of all. I hope you all had a blessed day.

Dear Lord, lead those that read this entry to seek and gain your knowledge and to use it for good and keep them thirsting and hungry for you and for your word. Remind us that we can’t do this alone, we need you. Every part of us needs you and all that you do for us. Help us to recognize that, and to crave that. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.