Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Year of Blessings

This past year, God called me into leadership at BSF. I had the privilege of leading a discussion group of young women as we studied the Life of Moses. I had such a wonderful group of women- so sweet, so committed, so passionate for God's Word!

I also had the privilege of studying alongside the other leaders in the group. While I missed being in a group of my own, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed studying the Word with this amazing group of leaders. To serve with such faithful followers of was so encouraging and challenging to me. I will enjoy our summer break, but look forward to September when we are back together to study John.

On our last night of leader's meeting, the guys showed up in hawaiin shirts! Not quite the BSF- approved attire, but they sure looked awesome! Here is a picture of our men:

And here is a shot of our lovely ladies:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Muscles, and Hammers, and Drills...Oh My!

Yesterday, Laura and I decided to take an excursion to IKEA. If you have never been to this store, you are seriously missing out on one of the finer things in life. It is row after row after row of home decoration wonder. And really, when you has to be an excursion. You can't just get in and get out. You have to make a trip of it. So Laura and I did just that. Sadly, we did not take any pictures at IKEA...we were too focused. LOL.

Laura got a new coffee table, and I got some fun shelves and picture frames for my dining room. We decided to try our hand at assembly. So we pulled out the tools...hammers, screwdrivers, anchors, measuring tapes, levels, and power drills. If we do say so ourselves...we are quite the handy women ;)

Who needs a boy when you have a power drill of your own? Haha- jk ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Official!

A couple of weeks ago I told you about my insurance licensing exam. God was so good to help me pass the exam the first time! Today, I received my actual license in the mail. So I am official! The state has said, "BE IT KNOWN, the above named, having fulfilled all requirements for licensure under the laws of the State of Texas, is authorized to engage in the business of insurance in the State of Texas as a General Lines Agent, qualified for Property and Casualty." Look out insurance world: I am licensed and ready to make my mark on the industry ;)

Every day is an adventure, and I am learning so much. He has blessed me in so many ways! And He has gone beyond that...He has fulfilled the desires of my heart by allowing me to take on meeting planning tasks at work! I cannot even tell you how in awe I am of how He would do that for me. Meeting planning isn't typically a part of an insurance brokerage. And I just happened to be hired on at the right time to take on that responsibility for one of our clients. God's timing is perfect, and He has so many good things for His children!

As I look back over the last month or so, I see all that God has done and I am so overwhelmed. I am amazed to see where I was and now where He has brought me in such a short time. I can honestly say that a few months ago, I would have never guessed that I would be blogging about a Texas insurance license- lol. But as I do, I am so thankful for everything He has provided. It's funny how God directs our ways for His purposes....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In Awe of His Majesty

This past Monday, I had a meeting in San Antonio. It worked out in my favor to take a flight a couple of days early and spend some time at home. The timing was perfect, because I was able to spend Mother's Day with my precious mom! We had a wonderful weekend together, shopping, talking, and generally just hanging out. I love my mom and enjoy every moment I have to spend with her. I still call her every day to tell her about what is going on in my life and to catch up on what is going on at home. But nothing compares to a mom hug :) I was so grateful that God worked out the details for me to spend a couple of days at home before my meeting.

On my flight to San Antonio, the plane was relatively empty, and I actually had a row all to myself. This might sound very strange, but I am going to say it anyway: whenever I am on a plane, I somehow feel closer to God. Haha- no, it's not because I am several thousand feet in the air, and in some people's view closer to heaven and thus God. What I mean is that I feel at peace. And I feel in awe of my awesome God. When I look out of the window of an airplane, and I am looking down at the clouds, I can't help but be filled with wonder and gratitude. Wonder at the majesty and beauty of God, gratitude for the relationship I have with such an awesome God. Does anyone else feel that way? I feel it when I am in the mountains; I feel it when I am standing at the edge of the ocean or when I watch a sunrise in the still and quiet of the morning. When you have the opportunity to get away from the craziness of life, away from the cities and the cars and the people and the noise...and it's just you in the middle of God's beauty and creation, God is faithful to envelop you with his presence.

A few weeks ago, I was in the woods of east Texas at a women's retreat. I got up early to watch the sunrise and spend time with God by the lake. And a few days ago, I was on a plane, just staring out of a window. But I love those times I get to spend with God. I am a city girl, through and through, but I envy people who live away from the noise. Away from the distractions that vie for our attention and draw us away from that peace and silence. It's so much easier to hear the gentle whisper of the Savior when you are truly able to "be still and know that He is God." (paraphrase of Psalm 46:10) I realized I don't spend enough time "away," and I want to change that. With that said, I want to leave you with this psalm of David:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

~ Psalm 19 ~

Friday, May 8, 2009

Home Sweet Home

At last! I have finished most of my unpacking, and most things are in their place. It's still a work in progress, but the bulk is done for now and the rest will just be finishing touches for another time. So here it is: my new place!
Living Room
With one of my favorite features- the fireplace! My windows overlook the golf course, which is fun. Sasha definitely enjoys watching the golfers.

Tons of cabinet and counter space, which is so nice.

My Room
The largest room I have had ever in my life...and I don't have to share with Sasha's kennel anymore! Haha.

Ummm...and check out the massive closet! Oh, and then there's my bathroom (middle) and the guest bathroom (right)- I know you are fascinated at this point- lol.
Unfinished Dining Room
Design Dilemma #1: There are 2 massive blank walls (can't really tell in this picture) that I am struggling to know what to do with. The large space is nice, but I don't know what to do with all that blank wall...any thoughts?
Sasha's Room/Office/Scrapbook&Craft Room/Guest Bedroom
Design Dilemma #2: This is a multi-functional room (as indicated by the title- lol). This will probably be the last thing I tackle and probably won't be the prettiest room, but I am determined to make it functional :)
Oh yeah! How could I forget where Peabody lives? (Peabody is the name of my car...long story). This is another favorite feature.
Come visit are welcome anytime! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Step Into My Cube...

I have so much to be grateful for! God has provided an amazing job with a wonderful company, in the midst of a nationwide recession. I am amazed every day at what He has provided and where He has brought me. I am excited to see what He has for me in the months ahead! It's still a learning perfectionist nature is frustrated I am not an expert in insurance already. LOL. I know it will take time, but I can't help but want to do well. I feel an extra obligation to succeed in this job...because it was a gift, one that I do not want to waste. I sat in my office today and couldn't help but reflect back on the last few months: about the journey, and about all that my God had worked out on my behalf. I am so grateful for my job, and am enjoying what I am learning about the insurance business.

On a more random note, I have to say that I am really enjoying my workspace. After working for a year without my own space, any space is a welcome change. You could say I have my own office...but reality says I have my own cube. Haha. Yes, I have joined the ranks of those who experience cube life. Luckily, I am on the good end of cube life...I have a large corner cube that is quiet and located in a great place in the office. Take a moment and step into my cube...

Welcome to my cube!
(Yes, I have my diploma hanging in my cube. I worked hard for that thing and am not ashamed to display it proudly! Cube or no cube...haha)

I would like to eventually get a bookcase to put in my cube, but I figured I should wait until I have more things to put in the bookcase :)

And my cube would not be complete without these Office items:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oh Facebook....How You Make Me Laugh

Ok. I have to confess that I am still a frequent Facebook user. I fought it for the longest time in college, and was actually able to hold out until my senior year at Baylor. After graduation I had planned to cancel my account, but it was such a good way for me to keep in contact with friends over the summer. And then my job required it (strange, I know...I worked with students, so Facebook at work was normal). I don't work with students anymore, so now what is my excuse? I just don't have one except for the fact that I just like it. Haha. It's a fun way to see what my friends are up to...yes, I have been sucked into the world of knowing everything about my friends' lives, not because I talk to them on a regular basis but because I Facebook Stalk them. It's a sickness, I know. But millions suffer from it, so don't judge.
One of the craziest things on Facebook is the varying quizzes you can take. From "What Disney character are you?" to "What is your ideal job?" the list is endless. The only quiz I can remember taking was the "Which Office character are you?" quiz. (In case you are curious, I am a mixture of Pam and Ryan). Anyway, other than that one, I usually just ignore them. But this morning I came across one I hadn't seen yet: "Which engagement ring style fits your personality?" I couldn't help but laugh...and then I was curious. I gave in to the temptation and decided to take the quiz....just to see. Just for fun. And here are the results:

One of a Kind

You a quite the individual! Good for you! You value tradition, but welcome change. You are intelligent, witty, sensitive, and have a diverse set of friends. You are as comfortable discussing politics as you are baking cookies. You have strong morals and principals and are respected by others. You have a purpose and it will be realized.

LOL. I liked this result! Not so sure about talking politics...but I could just replace that with some other intellectual subject- perhaps theology- haha. I laugh, but I actually do enjoy discussing it...And I have to say that this is the style of ring that I tend to like. Not that I look at engagement rings, you know, but if I But for the sake of argument (and the fact that this post is ridiculous enough as it is), isn't it pretty?

It does make me wonder what it is about girls that makes us drawn to sparkly things like engagement rings. Why the heck do we even look at these suckers...especially when there is not a likelihood of receiving one in the near future? While on one hand, I have to admit that I enjoy being a girl and yes, imagining what kind of ring I might someday have. But on the other hand, I can't help but think how ridiculous and silly I am for doing that. Because in reality, I would be happy with a string around my finger if it came from Mr. Erin's heart. And in reality, I am not ready to be engaged right now anyway, let's be serious. It's not God's timing right now, and I am enjoying being single.

But in the meantime, it was still fun to take the silly Facebook quiz ;) It is fun and girly to think about, but I am reminded of God's word:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

(Yes, I just spiritualized a blog post about I can't help it; the Lord brought the verse to mind...)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Moving In and Getting Settled

This past weekend, I moved into my new apartment! I had such amazing help- my parents came into town to lend a hand, and my brother and his friends lent their muscles and servant's hearts to help get me moved in. Everything went so smoothly- God held off the rain, it didn't take as long as we had expected, and I even got the comment that I "really didn't have that much stuff." Haha. That's definitely a first. Maybe they were just trying to be nice...

I wish I was writing a post to show you my new place....but alas, I am not. Sigh. This whole unpacking business is for the birds, and frankly, too much like work! But I am working away just as quickly as I can and promise to post pics once everything is in its place :)

When I was in the process of finding a new apartment, I had promised Sasha that I would buy her a new bed for our new place. And as promised (as though my dog knows the difference), I bought her one. However, she didn't seem to know what it was, and didn't seem very interested in it. I was really disappointed, because I had all these fun thoughts of her lounging by the fireplace on her nice new bed. Haha. Even when I tried to lure her onto the bed, she didn't seem to take to it. But today, after several days of ignoring it, she finally made herself comfortable!

On a random note, my dog fights me every time it's time to go into her kennel whenever I leave. I usually have to lure her in with a treat, mostly to just save me time and from running around my apartment chasing her in my work clothes. Yet lately, she has been going into her kennel on her own, when I am not leaving, but just hanging out in the apartment. I was busy unpacking today and walked into the room to find this:

How is this in any way normal??? Lol! Oh Sasha...gotta love her.

My sweet friend Laura came over last night to help me with some unpacking. Actually, it was more like I walked back and forth moving things here and there, and she was sweet enough to follow me and keep me company. I was super excited, because she had brought me housewarming presents! Check out the fun gifts she gave me:

Laura said that I needed serving dishes for all of the fun parties I am going to have in my new apartment! I LOVE my new 3-tier serving dish!

She also brought me these fun little glass serving cups. We talked about putting fun desserts in them, and I decided to make Jell-O...LOL. I had a craving, don't judge. And Laura- yes, I did wash these before I used them :) Thanks for my fun (and thoughtful) gifts! Tonya came over today to see my new apartment, and it was a good time catching up with her.

I am so grateful for this weekend, and am really enjoying the rain outside! Whenever we have huge thunderstorms like we are having now, it reminds me of how awesome our God is! How cool is He to put on such a wonderful display of power and strength. I spent some time today watching the light show, resting in the awesome presence of my God. And the rain always make me feel peaceful. One of my most favorite things is to fall asleep to the I am off to do just that. Good night everyone!