Friday, December 31, 2010

Walk With Me Through 2010...

Here we are again: another year has passed and a new one is beginning. 2010 has certainly been a memorable year! I think I would sum it up by saying that 2010 has been life changing. It's crazy to me how much life has changed since this time last year. All of the changes have been good and amazing things, and I praise God for His unending blessings!

In January, I was able to celebrate my sweet friend Lindsey's birthday with a fun 1920s-themed murder mystery party! A group of our friends got dressed up and got into character; it was such a fun way to celebrate her birthday. I was still pondering the book we had read in our Bible study group- Crazy Love. I was challenged to take an inventory of my heart and examine whether or not I was truly living my life for Him. My sinful heart has made that process slow, but God has graciously walked with me and has continued chipping away things in my life that would prevent me from truly understanding the depth of His love and living in a way that reflects that understanding.

I had a really fun 25th Birthday in February. From skipping the Super Bowl to hang out with Laura to sushi and a flat tire with my brother, and from a yummy cake and balloon from Lindsey to a 20s birthday serenade at On the Border, it was definitely a blessed birthday! It's funny to read old blog posts of how I felt like 25 was going to be a good year and how excited I was to see what the Lord had in store for me :) I had my last ophthalmology appointment and was completely cleared of my swollen optic nerves (praise God!), and we received 12.5 inches of snow!

March was busy! With a singles outing to a hockey game, the Phantom of the Opera, Pine Cove Work Crew, the Josh Turner concert, the Baylor Bears basketball teams in the Sweet 16, and the start of Nica team meetings, there was plenty to focus on. March is also when the Lord asked me to continue simplifying and remove TV from my life. That was hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made. I don't miss it at all, and it has freed up so much extra time to spend with Him.

Mike and I had our first date in April. It wasn't public on my blog until July (it was just a first date, after all haha)...but this was the beginning of life change #1. Little did I know what the next 8 months would entail :) I also celebrated my 1 year anniversary at work in April. I have blogged a lot in the past few months of how that initial honeymoon stage of having a job has worn off and how some days are a struggle to find joy in my work. But the Lord was (and has been) patiently teaching me many things- mainly that it's not about me (shocker, I know), and that His purposes are higher and better than anything I am facing.

I started recognizing and praying against some of those seeds of discontent in May. I am so thankful for the blessing of having a job- a good job with a great boss- so I persevere and wait on God's timing and pray that I don't miss opportunities to be a part of the kingdom work He is accomplishing now and in this place. It seems that every time I start struggling with something, the Lord provides a sweet blessing in the midst of it. In May, that blessing was a fun mini-vacation to California with Laura. I was able to tack on some PTO days to an existing work conference and use my Southwest rewards to fly Laura out to meet me. We had such a great time, and I was so thankful for the girl time with a sweet friend!

Life change #2 came in June with my trip to Nicaragua. I have blogged a ton in the months following that trip...the Lord answered so many prayers and broke my heart in so many ways while I was in Nicaragua, and He has continued whispering to my heart since then. It was impossible for me to walk away unchanged, and I am so grateful to Jesus for the opportunity to go. I was so blessed by the people I met and the chance I had to see what God is accomplishing there. I am praying about whether the Lord will allow me to go back in 2011; whether He does or not, Nica will always be on my heart, and I pray I never forget the sweet time with the Lord I had during and since that trip.

In July, I had the opportunity to trust the Lord with finances, as I received my medical bills from my ER visit after Nicaragua. No bueno :( It was overwhelming and discouraging at first, but the Lord has been faithful to provide (as He always is) and I am finally almost at the end of my payments. Oh, and Mike and I became blog-official in July haha.

We had our 20s annual Lake Day in August, and I did a little bit of traveling and catching up with sweet friends. Laura and I took a road trip down to San Antonio to visit our friend Nicki! She lives in Virginia, so we don't get to see her as often as we'd like to, so it was nice to spend some time with her. I had a work trip to Atlanta and was randomly able to catch up with my sweet friend Shannon. She was my hall director while I was a Community Leader at Baylor; she was such a sweet blessing to me during college, and I was excited to re-connect with her!

September is when I realized Sasha was insane (ok, maybe I knew it before but I actually admitted it in September), so I started focusing on training her better. We still have a long way to go, but she has made so much progress in the last couple of months. I also put my cooking skills to the test and successfully made chicken enchiladas for Mike! I just feel like that single accomplishment is worth mentioning because my cooking skills are really bad leave a lot to be desired :) I should probably work on that in 2011...

Things were really crazy and stressful at work in October. The Lord was definitely teaching me to depend on and find my rest with Him. And yet there were so many things (as always) to be thankful for! We were able to rejoice with Jon and Sami over the arrival of Evangeline Claire- she is such a precious baby girl, and I am excited to watch her grow! Mike and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary, and he got the opportunity to go home to San Antonio with me to spend some time with my parents.

I was in study mode for most of November. However, in the midst of the studying, I was able to enjoy a quick trip down to Waco to see a Baylor football game with some college friends. God graciously allowed me to pass my second CPCU exam, and I was happy to have that behind me, especially before the holidays.

December is for sure a memorable month this year! :) Sweet Laura celebrated her 25th birthday, our church hosted the Ross King concert...and Mike and I got engaged on 12-11-10 :) I think back over the last year and am absolutely amazed at all the Lord has done. I praise God for the work He has done in my heart and continues to do on my journey toward His heart. I praise God for the incredible blessing of sweet friends, family, and an incredible husband-to-be. I am really looking forward to all of the new changes ahead and can't wait to marry Mike and walk through life with him. I praise God for His constant provision and faithfulness to me throughout the year, and I look forward to all He has for me us in 2011!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's Your Favorite Christmas Song?

One of my favorite things about Christmas is Christmas music! I love Christmas carols/songs/hymns and I play it all constantly throughout December- in the car, at home, at work...I really make use of my Christmas Pandora station!

I love fun songs like...
Santa Baby
The Twelve Days of Christmas
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Christmas Don't be Late (Chipmunks!)
Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas. :)

And you can't forget the classics...

Silent Night
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
What Child is This
The First Notel
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

So what is my favorite? Hands down- Oh Holy Night

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

What is your favorite Christmas song? :)


Monday, December 20, 2010

A Global Christmas

I have for sure had an unforgettable Christmas this year! And I praise God for His abundant blessings. I am engaged to marry the man I love and whom the Lord has prepared for me to serve alongside, I have amazing parents and a brother who love me and are sharing in this new excitement with me, I have like-minded friends who challenge me as we try to pursue the heart of God together...the list goes on. And while this is certainly a Christmas I will not forget, and I know the Lord provides good gifts to His children to enjoy, I want to be sure that I don't lose focus on the bigger story. There are so many things the Lord is accomplishing this Christmas, so many things outside of my own little bubble of exciting news. I just wanted to highlight a few that are close to my heart...

Gospel for Asia
If you remember Christmas last year, the Lord began speaking to my heart about a number of different things. In particular, I was really challenged to rethink Christmas, to rethink how my time and money were spent around the holidays. I made the decision to continue that conviction, as did my my sweet friend Laura. This year I received this precious gift:

How adorable are these sweet faces?!?! As part of my Christmas gift, kids in Asia received the following:

  • 2 pairs of chickens
  • 2 VBS scholarships
  • 3 Bibles
  • 3 Blankets

This gift was made through Gospel for Asia, which is the ministry through which I sponsor my little boy Yusuf. This just makes my heart happy! I will take these smiles for Christmas over anything else any day :) 

Christmas Hope India
My friend Clint is currently traveling around India using his talent to photograph the Christmas parties sponsored by Neighbor Hope Ministries. They are dedicated to training, encouraging, and mobilizing Christians to love their neighbors by sharing the gospel, praying for them, and caring for their needs. My church- Woodcreek- was actually started by a Christmas party. One couple decided to reach out to their neighbors and share the gospel by inviting them to a Christmas party...and this same idea has grown into a ministry in India. How cool (and simple) is that? Last year they had 32,000 Christmas parties across India. This year the goal is 50,000 Christmas parties! Think about it...even if only 1 person came to Christ at each party...I love this! And what a challenge...

Pray for India. Pray for the Christmas parties. Pray for the power of the gospel to be proclaimed. Pray for Clint as he documents the Lord's work. You can follow Clint's travels here! :)

The Refuge Project
I have mentioned this more than once already, but it's worth mentioning again :) They are inching closer to their goal but are still in need of funds to purchase and fix up the house they need to provide a safe place for the sweet little ones they rescue from abuse and human trafficking.

There are SO many needs across the world and even next door. Let us give all glory and praise to the Father of abundant blessings, but may we not forget the need for the gospel of those around us. Let us enjoy our time with friends and family, but may we remember the reason we celebrate the coming of our King!

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." 
~ Isaiah 9:6


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Proposal :)

So yeah. I'm getting married.  I'm getting married. Haha- I'm getting married!! :) Alright...enough exclamation points and girliness. Now to the good stuff...just a forewarning, this might be a long story. It was a fairly elaborate proposal and I want to have good memories of it :)

How did it happen?
Mike had asked if he could take me out for a fun Christmas date on Saturday. Our schedules are pretty crazy this month, so it was really the best time for us to celebrate Christmas together. He said he was planning a surprise and the only thing I knew was that we had reservations someplace. So he picked me up (looking pretty sharp in his dinner jacket!) and we headed to Highland Park Village for dinner. He took me to a really nice seafood restaurant called Cafe Pacific. We enjoyed a delicious and romantic dinner, and I felt absolutely blessed that I was spending Christmas with Mike this year.

We then drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, which is something I love but had not yet had a chance to do this year. We ended up at a gazebo in a little park area, a place he had taken me when we first started dating. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and it really couldn't have been a more romantic setting. He told me that he lied- there was more to my Christmas present than just dinner. He had taped a letter he had written to me under the bench in the gazebo. He writes letters to his family for Christmas, so I was really excited that I was getting one. He read me the sweetest letter (that boy can write!), and I remember thinking- "I am so in love with him...I wonder if he has any idea!" :) Little did I know what was in store for the rest of the evening and that Mike's sweet sister Lindsay was hiding in the bushes to snap these photos!

Isn't it beautiful and romantic?

A little blurry, but really sweet...

By this time I was shivering because it was so cold outside. I was upset that I couldn't stop shivering because I didn't want the moment to end. But we had planned to go to our 20s Christmas party after our fun date, so we decided to head out to join our friends. Mike said he needed to stop by the church to pick something up to take over to the party, so he asked if I wanted him to drop me off first or just go with him. Afterward, I asked him what he would have done if I had said I wanted him to drop me off at the party first, but he said there was no way I would have said that. He was a little nervous though when we got to the church and he thought I was going to wait in the car. He played it off really well, saying he didn't know how long it would take him to find "it" so I should just come in with him. I was still clueless :)

We walked into the church and we headed toward the Creekside room (which is where we have our 20s Gathering on Sunday mornings and where we met). Before we turned the corner, he stopped me and said that he lied again- there was still another part of my Christmas present. At this point I heard music playing and could see the glow of candles from around the corner. When we walked around to enter Creekside, this is what I saw:

Entering Creekside...


I said yes, ladies...he's taken ;)

I told you it was elaborate! :) Ok...just a few more pictures before the best part...

It kind of felt like a dream...

It certainly looked like a dream...

But a very, very GOOD dream :)

Mike walked me down to the chair and had me sit, and then he walked back to the other end of the aisle. He told me that it was about a year ago that he was standing there, and I was about where he had me sitting. It was just a normal Sunday morning Gathering, and he looked over and saw me. One of the things Mike has told me before was that he noticed I was always the one listening in a group, hardly ever the one talking. He had seen this several times before, but that Sunday, at that moment, he decided he needed to pursue me or someone else was going to and he would miss his opportunity. (Are you sighing yet?)

He then walked over to me and told me how wonderful the last 8 months have been (at this point he was on his knees). He told me he loved me and asked if I would marry him :) Of course, I said YES! And I was finally able to tell him how much I loved him! He had told me fairly early in our dating that he had never told anyone that he loved them and that he was only going to say that to one person. I was more than ok with that because I wanted to do the same. But knowing how I already felt, it was such a joy to hear him say it and to then say it back!

Asking me to marry him...


Oh, but it didn't stop there...nope. He then told me that he wanted to love me the way Christ loves the church and to show that he wanted to serve me, he wanted to wash my feet. (Are you crying yet? haha) It was such a sweet moment, and I was so incredibly humbled.

Washing my feet...

Probably laughing at the fact that I was wearing the most ridiculous my defense, I was wearing boots and I wasn't supposed to take them off at any point during our date. Haha- oh well...

The whole time he was talking and proposing, I could hear clicking in the background, so I knew there was someone in the room taking pictures. I just didn't know who until afterward, and I was just so happy that I was going to have pictures of everything! I also then learned that his brother Bryan had set up cameras around the room, so we will also have a video memory of the proposal. What an incredible blessing- I cannot wait to see it!

We of course got on the phone to call our parents. They were all waiting on pins and needles to hear from us; Mike had talked with both sets of parents before the proposal. My parents have known for 2 weeks and were able to keep the secret so well! :) They did not tell my brother Mike's plan, so it was fun to tell him and have him hear about it for the first time. He was so incredibly excited- it was really sweet and cute!

We are beyond excited about our engagement and upcoming marriage! The last few days have been overwhelming, but without a doubt exciting and joy-filled. I am really looking forward to the coming months as we prepare for the wedding and our new life together!

Were you surprised?
Completely! He did such a great job of keeping everything a secret...I never suspected he would propose this weekend. Hoped maybe, but never suspected ;) When we were at the gazebo, the thought crossed my mind, but when he didn't propose, I immediately pushed it out of my mind. I remember telling myself how silly I was for even thinking it...of course it was too soon. Calm down, Erin. Don't jump ahead of yourself...hehe ;)

I have known for awhile that I was going to marry was just a matter of waiting on the Lord's timing and for Mike to ask! I knew that I loved him, and I had already settled in my heart a few weeks ago that if he asked me to marry him I would say yes. So saying yes was never a question, it was just a matter of timing. I guess it's true what they say..."when you know, you know!" But even more than that...I have been praying about this since I was 16. I've prayed for Mike, even before I knew him. It might sound cheesy, but it's just another way the Lord has been good to me. He has been gracious to guide every step of my dating life, calling me to be fairly conservative in my dating choices and providing extra measures of patience and trust in order to be obedient. In the moment Mike proposed, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of God's faithfulness as He was revealing to me why He had me wait. And he is absolutely worth it!

Did You Cry?
I am not much of a crier to begin with, and to be honest, I was WAY too excited to cry. So tears streaming down my face? Not so much. But goofy grin from ear to ear? Probably. Haha! I did cry though when he was washing my feet- that moment was incredibly sweet and humbling, and I think at that point it was all hitting me. 

How did he Manage to Pull it Off?
Because he's awesome! :) He knows I am a planner, so he wanted to put as much planning into this as he could. He worked really hard to have all of the details in place, and I believe the Lord was gracious to provide the perfect engagement for us. The ideas and planning were his, but he did have some help from family and friends on implementation. With Lindsay taking photos, Bryan getting video, and our sweet friend Becca decorating, we were so blessed to have people who wanted to be a part of making this special for us. I am so thankful for everyone who was a part of the process!

Becca, the decorating extraordinaire!

Sweet youth girls who helped decorate

So...What about the Bling?
I absolutely LOVE it! Mike did such a great job picking it out. He had it custom made, which makes it that much more special, and the design fits me perfectly! It's so elegant and absolutely beautiful. I might be biased, but this is my story, so it's ok :) It sparkles a whole lot, and it's really fun to wear. Someone asked me if I have just been staring at it non-stop and the answer is: yes. Haha! There's just something about the silent message that a ring portrays of "I am taken..." I kinda like it ;)

When is the The Big Day?
No one likes this answer, but sorry- we don't know yet! We're going to try and make it through the holidays and just enjoy this sweet time of excitement before we dive into planning anything. I can tell you it will be sometime in 2011 :)

Hehe :)


Monday, December 13, 2010

We're Engaged!! :)

The word is out and I am all but shouting it from the rooftops- WE'RE ENGAGED! :) The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind, but I have to say it has been SO fun! I do believe that Buddy said it best...

I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!! 

Haha. Sorry- can't help it :) I am doing my best to enjoy every moment of the excitement and have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and congrats from friends and family. My heart is filled with joy, and I cannot express in words the abundant goodness and love of our Savior. Praise God for his unending blessings! 

I have pictures- lots and lots of pictures- thanks to Mike's sweet sister who documented everything on camera. As soon as things slow down a bit, I promise to post the story (it's a good one!) and some more pictures :)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Fun :)

My mom sent this video to me, and I thought it was so cute! For most of my life, my mom has taught little pre-schoolers, and I have always been amazed at what truths little ones can walk away with. This video is just a sweet offering to the Lord and a peek into the imagination of a child...enjoy!

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 18:2-5


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Roof for the Refuge

A few weeks ago, I asked for prayers for Nica. One of the prayers I mentioned was for the Refuge Project, a ministry run by One by One. This project is meant to rescue children from abuse and sex trafficking. This harsh reality was something that really impacted me while I was in Managua. It's one of those things that you hear about in passing (maybe), but something that not many people talk about. If something that terrible really happens, it happens someplace else. Out of sight, out of mind. It's a difficult thing to think about, and it's not an everyday reality for those of us in our comfortable little suburbs. But when you meet the precious little ones that have been forced into the trade...hold their hands, hear their stories...your life is never the same.

"The problem of child prostitution is a global problem with an estimated 1.2 million children trafficked each year. That equates to 2.3 children being trafficked every second. Child prostitutes service between 2 and 25 clients per day equaling 830 to 9,150 clients per year. Nicaragua is affected heavily by this global sex-trade. 60% of the human trafficking victims from the Western Hemisphere are exported from Nicaragua. In Managua alone there are at least 11 brothels that offer the services of children. These brothels keep the children locked away during the day so they are unable to escape. Unfortunately, the brothels aren’t the only ones offering sexual services of children in Nicaragua." (from the Refuge Project website)

My heart broke when I was faced with this reality on my trip to Nicaragua. But I was so blessed by the people I met while I was there, and I praise God for faithful servants who are in the trenches every day fighting on behalf of these children. You and I may not have the opportunity to physically rescue these little ones on a day to day basis, but there is something we can do to help. We can definitely be in prayer for these ministries and the children they seek to rescue. But we can also support these ministries financially. One by One has the opportunity to purchase a house that is adjacent to their offices, which they plan to use to house the children they rescue. They are currently raising money to purchase that house, but they still need to raise $20,000 by the end of January in order to make that possible.

Roof For The Refuge from One by One on Vimeo.

Would you consider supporting this ministry and helping them raise the money they need to buy the house?

You can give directly to the Refuge Project, or if you are still looking for some Christmas gifts, you can purchase some really cute jewelry from one of the One by One staff members who makes the jewelry as a way to support herself and her family. She has decided to give 10% of the profit from each item to benefit the Refuge Project, and for one of the kinds of earrings she sells (pictured above), she gives 100% of the profit to Refuge. You can see the rest of her gallery here on Facebook. If you find anything you like, let me know by Saturday, December 11th so that our missionaries can bring them back on their trip home to the States. Prices and reference numbers are listed below each picture on the site.

Worship is More Than a Song

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see music pastor and Christian recording artist Ross King in concert. He was invited to our church to do a special Christmas concert and share some of the songs on his new CD- The Christmas Stories. I had never heard of him until I started dating Mike, but I really enjoy his music! And I have been challenged by his music. He has written some great songs that have honest and powerful lyrics. I really enjoyed his concert, and I think you should check out his CD :)

I have been thinking about something Ross said in his concert last night. It's actually not a new thought (I have been challenged by this thought by others in recent months), but I haven't blogged about it yet. Ross talked about how we have somehow come to view the word "worship" as synonymous with "music." When you ask someone how the worship was, people will almost always frame their response in musical terms. I have been guilty of it. When did we let that happen?? There's nothing wrong with using music as a tool to worship our God. It's personally one of my favorite ways to bring an offering of worship before my God.

But worship is SO much more than music. It's SO much more than a song. I should be living a life of worship- in how I do my work, how I spend my money, how I interact with and love the people around me, how I spend my time, where I focus my energy and attention, how I spend my time in prayer and reading the Scripture...

I think this might be one of my favorite songs by Ross King- you may have heard it as it is one of his more popular songs and plays on the radio. You can listen to it here and I included the lyrics below. It's not on his Christmas album, but he sang it last night and I pray that the Lord helps me remember that He alone is worthy of all worship, honor, and praise. I pray that the Lord exposes the idols in my life and continues to mold me into a servant that boldly proclaims the hope of salvation to those around me. And I pray that He will provide the grace and humility I desperately need to truly live a life of worship to the glory of my King...

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols.
Chuck the pews and all the decorations too
Until the congregation's few then have revival.
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
until you're broken for your sins you can't be social.
Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store
and know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes you can sing all you want to
you can sing all you want to
And don't get me wrong, worship is more than a song

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper.
Beg Him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister.
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open.
Then read the word and put to test the things you've heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken.

Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes you can sing all you want to
you can sing all you want to
And don't get me wrong, worship is more than a song

Anything I put before my God is an idol.
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol.
Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol.
Anything that I give all my love is an idol.
We must not worship something that's not even worth it.
Clear the stage and make some space for the one who deserves it.

Cause I can sing all I want to
Yes I can sing all I want to
I can sing all I want to
And still get it wrong, worship is more than a song

And you can sing all you want to
Yes you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
But don't get me wrong, worship is more than a song

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Fa La La La Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I am so thankful that the week is wrapping up and that the weekend is almost here! I have realized in the last few months that I have really come to cherish my weekends. I tend to wake up in a better mood on Fridays, just knowing the weekend is coming :)

Can I just say that I am SO excited that December is here! I think that (aside from the cold weather) this is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas and all of the decorations, music, lights, and activities that come with it. I definitely feel like the things that I enjoy about this time of year are a sweet blessing from the Lord. I am so thankful for the time with friends and family and for the opportunity to enjoy the holiday festivities.

As much as I love the holiday festivities, I don't want all of the glitter and rush of the holidays to distract me from bringing honor and glory to our King. I was reading through Isaiah this morning, and this passage just makes me excited to celebrate the birth of our Savior:

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious."
~ Isaiah 11:1-10 ~

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Laura!!

Today is Laura's birthday!

Isn't she cute?!? :)

I am so thankful for this sweet friend, and I can never express in words how much she really means to me. But today I am going to try :)

Plano Balloon Festival

Laura and I have been friends since our Baylor days, and we have been through a lot together. It still makes me laugh to think that we became friends over car rides to fun the Lord is! :)

Baylor Homecoming

From our late summer nights talking about the randomness of life to moving to Dallas and starting our lives as "real adults," Laura has been with me every step of the way.
Rangers Game!
When we both moved to Dallas, we started the "Erin and Laura Go" adventures :) Such sweet memories! We have been many places- toured several Dallas landmarks, been to a couple of fun concerts, and have even done a little bit of real traveling.
ICE! at the Gaylord Texan
I have loved every adventure we've been on, and I definitely look forward to many more adventures with the lovely Laura!
Brad Paisley concert
While we have had our fun adventures and we have some sweet memories from those adventures, the best time spent with Laura is when we just hang out. We can just have dinner, take the puppies for a walk, watch a movie, or just sit and talk about everything or nothing :)
Our trip to California
The Lord has been good to provide a like-minded friend in Laura. She is absolutely beautiful inside and out! She is patient and kind, gentle and compassionate.
Josh Turner concert!
She loves the Lord and she is such an example of faith and love. I am always humbled by Laura's wisdom and how she strives to serve Christ in everything she does.
Addison 4th of July Celebration
She is the picture of a servant and patiently loves on the people around her every opportunity she gets. I have so much to learn from this gracious friend, and I hope that I have been able to encourage her as much as she has encouraged me.
San Antonio Riverwalk
Laura is the friend that I can tell anything to and she still loves me- despite my ridiculousness :) I can laugh and cry with her, air my frustrations and ask for advice. I can say stupid things and she always- very lovingly- puts me in my place.
State Fair of Texas
 She is the friend who tells you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear, but does it in the sweetest way possible.
After I wowed the crowd with my fox trot skills ;) lol

I know that I can count on her for anything and everything- she is always there to listen, to encourage, to pray, and to love.

Trip to Waco

 I am really looking forward to celebrating with her tonight, and I thank the Lord for her sweet friendship over the years.

At the zoo

The Lord has been so good to provide a friend in Laura, and I really hope that she has an amazing day!
Baylor Game

Laura, I don't tell you enough how truly grateful I am for you, but I want you to know that you are the bestest friend a girl could ask for :) Happy Birthday Sweet Friend!!