Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:16 PM | No comments

4 Outta 7

Well, I jumped into the 7 songs in 7 days challenge with good intentions. As a fellow songwriter said, life got in the way. So, I got 4 songs written. Still, that it 4 more than I would have had I not taken on 7 in 7 this year. I'm ok with that.

Here is song #4.

Psalm 56

In God whose word I praise
In the Lord whose word I praise
I shall trust
I shall trust
I shall not be afraid

Show me grace my God
For I am trampled
Lift me up my God
I'm weak and cannot stand
When I am afraid 
I will trust in You
There's nothing man can do

In God whose word I praise
In the Lord whose word I praise
I shall trust
I shall trust
I shall not be afraid

They stir up strife 
and hide in the shadows
Try to steal my life away
Their thoughts against me
But you are for me
So I will not be afraid

In God whose word I praise
In the Lord whose word I praise
I shall trust
I shall trust
I shall not be afraid

You count my tears
So when my enemies are near
I will look to you
You deliver my soul
And have not let me fall
So I will call on

In God whose word I praise
In the Lord whose word I praise
I shall trust
I shall trust
I shall not be afraid


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 12:59 PM | 1 comment

India

Finished and uploaded 2 songs in one day. Heck yes! This song is a reflection on my time in India last December. I hope you enjoy it. And while you are here, check out As Our Own, a ministry very dear to my heart.


India
You painted my skin with the colors of earth
flowers and feathers and swirls
The colors will fade but the mark that you've made
on my life
will forever remain
India
India
India
You've stained my heart
Your streets are filled with the colors of life
As bright as the light of the day
But your allies are marked by the weight of the darkness
So I pray for the one I love
India
India
India
You've captured my heart
The other side of the world
is just a heartbeat away
Take a deep breath
we breathe the same grace
India
I pray that soon your daughters will dance
in the joy of freedom
I pray that soon your sons will walk
in the victory of light
India
India
India
Posted by Erin Posted on 12:37 PM | No comments

Faith Maker

Ok, it is day 6 of 7 in 7 and I just finished song #2. It's called Faith Maker. I have been learning so much about taking steps of faith. It's terrifying and everything in me fights against it. I think a lot about Peter stepping out of the boat. I think that Jesus didn't let Peter walk on water because Peter had enough faith. I think He called Peter out of the boat to teach him about faith and to provide an opportunity to breath more faith into Peter. Out came this song about walking on water and trusting the Faith Maker.

 Faith Maker by ErinWoodsMusic


Everything in me says
It’s impossible
Everyone around says
I’m a fool if I try
Everything I’ve ever known
Points to failure
And I sure comfortable
Right where I am

I’m gonna take just one nervous step onto the waters
Just one timid step onto the seas
I can barely keep my eyes open
For the sting of the wind on my face
I can barely keep balance
For the strength of the waves

But I’m gonna fix my gaze on the one who says it can be done
I’m gonna fix my gaze on the face of the one who calms the storms
I’m gonna fix my gaze on Jesus Christ.
The water walker the faith maker

Truth be told I thought
It would get easier
Once I stepped out of the boat
The seas would be still
But the storm is raging on all around me
And gravity and logic fights to bring me down

I’m gonna take just one nervous step onto the waters
Just one timid step onto the seas
I can barely keep my eyes open
For the sting of the wind on my face
I can barely keep balance
For the strength of the waves

But I’m gonna fix my gaze on the one who says it can be done
I’m gonna fix my gaze on the face of the one who calms the storms
I’m gonna fix my gaze on Jesus Christ.
The water walker the faith maker

When I turn my eyes to the storm
When I start measure the distance to the shore
The waves will swallow me and my little faith
But I will cry out
His arm is not too short to save

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:15 PM | No comments

It's Baaaack

That's right, 7 in 7 is back. It started on Thursday and ends Wednesday. I've joined over 300 songrwriters from all over the world (literally) in taking the challenge to write 7 songs in 7 days. The rules are simple. Start and finish a new song for each of the 7 days. No revamping old unfinished songs. Start with a blank page.

As I sat down to write on Thursday, I was having the hardest time getting past a single verse or a single chorus or even a single line. I would write a couple of starting points down and then nothing else would come. That rough start coupled with the fact that I was at a retreat (an awesome, butt-kicking one) all weekend has brought me here. It is officially day four and I have only 1 finished song. But, it is one. It is one that I would not have written this week if not for 7 in 7. So, enjoy. It's a one day written recorded song, not perfect, but it has such potential...

 Hurricane by ErinWoodsMusic


Baby  I should warn you
I’m a hurricane
Got not sense to look out for who might be in my way
Just blowing through town taking down the lights
Darling you should hide out for a day or two
Move out of the path of the storm headed straight for you
You might be brave but darling I’m not safe.
And the wind and the rain follow the calm
It’s hard to tell what damage is done
by the hurricane

Could be only leaves and limbs
Tossed about by crazy winds
Maybe a little broken glass
Or could family and friends
Broken hearts harder to mend
And I’m sorry
I’m sorry
but I’m a hurricane
So you should have seen it coming

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 3:19 PM | 6 comments

Chosen Series: Part 4

I have procrastinated, for more reasons than I know to explain. But the short answer is this: As I stepped into the waters of writing a study of the condition of the feminine heart and the truth of scripture, I found myself severely lacking. And even that is my own perception. The truth is, even this procrastination has stemmed from my struggle of wanting to be worthy of being chosen. I have let fear cripple me, hold me in chains, keep me from moving forward. I fear that no one will approve what I say. I fear that no one will confirm that I am a writer, that I am not wasting my time. I have led myself to a mountain of expectations that I cannot possibly climb. I expect myself to be able to speak only the truth of scripture as I look at Peter's life. I expect to move past assumptions and questions and tell you only what is true and accurate and flawless. But, I am not a scholar. I have a thousand times more questions than answers. And so, I have hidden from this series, from you because I have been afraid that I would not be able to maintain a standard worthy of being chosen.

Now, I will write about Peter, about how I see myself in him. I will not dissect the original language. I may offer more questions than answers. But, this is how we learn. Questions. If we do not ask, we will not discover.



Through the Gospels, Peter is called a few different things: Simon Bar Jonah, Simon Peter, Peter-the rock, Satan. The last one seems a bit harsh, doesn't it? So many names, one might get confused as to their true identity. Peter must have wondered who he was. "Am I silly ridiculous Simon, son of a silly little dove(I learned a while back that Jonah means silly little dove) ?" "Am I a rock, worthy of the church being built on?" "Am I working for the enemy of my Teacher?"

When Jesus first meets Simon Bar Jonah, he renames him. Before Simon speaks a word, he is given a new name and a destiny. He says to Simon, "You are Simon, the son of John. But you will be called Cephas-which translates Peter".

What strikes me most in this exchange is the timing. Jesus did not wait for Peter to obey. In fact, Jesus had not even extended the invitation (or command) to follow him. So, then, is this how it works? Before we even begin to walk with Jesus, we are given our new name?  I think so. But, it's also important to recognize that Jesus wasn't giving Simon Peter this new name based on who SP was but rather on who he would become.

Let's sit with that for a while. In Christ, we have been given a new identity and destiny. And I would venture to say that most of us are not yet walking in our new name. But, it was not given to us based on who we are today. It is who we will become. It is who our Maker created us to be.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Questions for today:
1. What are the names you have been called by over the years?
2. Have you been given a glimpse of your new name? Care to share?

I would love for us to answer these questions in the comment section. If you feel like you need to, you can always comment anonymously.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:22 AM | 1 comment

A Season of Change

This has been a summer of changes for me. The biggest and best of which has been the decision to join Bayou City Fellowship.  Aside from the brief hiatus in college, I have attended the same church since birth. It is a phenomenal church. I learned to worship there. I learned scripture. I learned to love the nations. And most importantly, I began my relationship with Christ. Most of my story has taken place at that church. But, as with every story, there comes a time when, in order for the character to continue growing, something must change. For me, in this season, that has been my place of worship.

I had known for some time that the Lord was calling me out from where I had been, but I was lost as to where it was I should go. And, now,within a week, I had two roads before me. One, a job in another city. It was a job that seemed a perfect fit, the one I'd been hoping for since graduating from Texas A&M. And the other road: join a team of people who were stepping into the journey of planting a church in Spring Branch. What followed was a couple of weeks of interviews, prayers, and waiting. Both roads were filled with promise and both were filled with challenges. I couldn't have even told you which of the two roads I preferred. However, when I was told the job would be going to someone else, I did not experience the sting that usually accompanies the closing of a door. Instead, I found that I was thrilled to know that I would be linking arms with a church full of individuals and families that from day one would seek to love God and love our city well. A church called Bayou City Fellowship.

BCF has been an indescribable blessing. Over the last few years, my faith had taken a bit of a beating. I had come to a place where I was not convinced of the Lord's goodness, and I was questioning if He was really worth my obedience. For several months before joining BCF, my prayer had been, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24). And through this new community, The Lord has been answering that prayer. I have witnessed the Lord's faithfulness through Bayou City Fellowship and I can confidently say that the Lord has been doing just what I asked, helping my unbelief. As I have stepped into this new family, I have begun to see the Lord's faithfulness a little more clearly. In preparing for our launch on September 11th, we have, more than anything else, spent time on our knees asking the Lord to move. And I have seen those prayers answered. As we have prayed for healing, provision, vision, and opportunity, the Lord has answered. I invite you to come hear for yourself the stories of how He has healed, provided, given new eyes, and opened doors. I am blessed and honored to be a part of this church and I cannot wait to see what the Lord will continue to do in me, in Spring Branch, and in the world through Bayou City Fellowship. For His glory, for His Kingdom!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:39 AM | 1 comment

On the Market


213 Pershing
College Station, TX 77840
(Identified by the City of College Station Community Enhancement Division as one of the 2010 “Outstanding Residences” in the city’s historic district.)

PRICE: $397,750
 3 bedrooms; 2 baths
1,760 sq ft; 0.25 Acres


Property Details
Lot Size:            0.25 Acres
Lot Size:            10,875 sq ft
House Size:        1,760 sq ft
Year Built:          original construction in1947
Style:                 Traditional
Stories:              1
Garage:              1 attached w/double drive
Property Type:   Single Family Home
Neighborhood:  Oakwood Historical Dist.
Schools:             College Station Schools















Property Features
·     Well maintained lot with medium and large trees; walking distance to A&M campus and Kyle Field
·     Utilities: city sewer, city water, overhead utilities
·     Modern kitchen w/custom cabinets; slide out shelves in lower cabinets and pantry; (will leave all appliances: refrigerator, washer, dryer dishwasher, stove/oven, microwave, freezer)
·     Garbage disposal
·     Living room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room with laundry/utility room inside.
·     Side deck w/privacy lattice
·     Central heat and air conditioning
·     Wood floors under carpet
·     Tile floors in kitchen and baths (marble surrounds in tub/showers)
·     Ceiling fans throughout
·     Plantation shutters in formal areas
·     Modern (anodized) windows throughout
·     Gas water heater; gas heating unit
·     30 yr. composition roof
·     New 10’ x 12’ storage building in back
·     Sprinkler system
·     Garage door opener
·     Large enclosed attic storage room
·     Double driveway with brick feature in front



Tax History:  Appraised: $245,950;  Assessment: $194,592;  Taxes: $4,365 w/o exemptions



Viewing by Appointment Only

Contact:   Joe Woods   Phone: 281.556.8866   Cell:  281.467.2625   

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 6:00 PM | No comments

Daddy-O


Here in the United States, we are experiencing "The Fatherless Crisis".  Approximately 25 million children are growing up in the US without a father. These children are more likely to join gangs, abuse drugs, have teen pregnancies, and commit suicide. 

I am one of the blessed who can be counted among those who do not fall into the statistics above. I am sure there are "technically" many reasons why I haven't fallen victim to such things as gang violence, teen pregnancy, or suicide. I am sure that researchers could look at my DNA, my education, my geographical location and any number of things that would point to this. But, I know one thing is for certain. I have a dad who loves me. 

My dad has worked hard to provide for us. We went to good schools. We got to do extra-curricular activities. We even were given cars which is above and beyond what a good father should do. He did it because he wanted to. He coached my softball team for 4 years. He came to my plays and my basketball games. He played basketball with me in the driveway. He let me sit in his lap and drive around the neighborhood. He made my friends feel welcome (even if it meant i felt embarrassed)...all my friends loved my dad. My dad made sure we had food, good food. He made sure the bills were paid. He was at all our birthday parties. He took us to Disney World and every summer to Red River, NM. He would rent a jeep and drive us to the top of the mountain and do donuts in the open space. He would race go-carts with us. He would take the fish off of my line when I caught one. He taught me how to round the bill of my ball cap. He made sure my brother and I could go to college. 

Now, my brother and I are grown. We are out of the house and paying our own bills. College is long over and adult decisions have replaced the hours of softball practice, backyard basketball, and sleepovers. Instead of wrestling with dad in the living room, we are now wrestling with the choices before us as adults. But I am the adult that I am because my dad broke the cycle. Without having a good father to pave the road for him, he turned around and became a good father. And so, now I can say with confidence that my future kids will have a good father because I have seen and know what to look for in a good man. 




Thanks Dad, for providing, for disciplining, and mostly, for being present in our lives. This year, to honor you, I have made a donation to The Mentoring Project. The Mentoring Project is an advocacy and training organization that serves as a liaison between faith communities and matching agencies to provide mentors for fatherless youth. Through dynamic church trainings, national mentor recruitment, and the creation of sustainable mentoring communities, The Mentoring Project seeks to rewrite the story of the fatherless generation. Perhaps because of the mentors who step into the lives of these children, there will be many more boys who grow up to be men who stop the cycle in their own families. Men who stay. Men who work hard. Men who love their children.


Thanks for loving us, Dad,


Love,
Erin


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 1:15 PM | No comments

The Honor of Guest Posting

My sweet friend, Carrie, asked me to share one of my songs and the writing process with her readers. It is such an honor and joy to be invited to share my heart. Check out the post and then check out all the amazing things God is doing in and through her family. You will love her. I mean, how could you not love this family. Just click this awesome picture to head over to the post.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:02 PM | No comments

The Love of a Mother (a letter)

Mom,

There is so much you have done for which I should be saying thank you. You cheered me on. You cried with me over hurt feelings. You listened. You said yes. You said no. You sat with me when I was sick. You taught me the value of mental health days. You supported me when I chose to speak against the “powers that be”. You grounded me. You made me read before I could watch tv. You made me RSVP and write thank you notes. You prayed for me and with me. I could go on and on, but I really want to focus on one thing for now.

4 years ago on this very blog, I alluded to a story of a time I felt forgotten. I also made sure to remind you then and again now, that that moment was years ago and I am not scarred for life from it. And I will tell you why. It is because you didn’t forget about me. You did come for me. And you felt so bad about me having to wait and wonder. So, yes, I felt forgotten for a bit but I was not forgotten. I was not abandoned.

Let me share with you a couple of other memories. First there was the time I asked to go down the street to play with Shannon and Shelby. I was probably about 8 years old. I walked down there but no one was home, so I turned around and headed home. I was in our yard when the grandson or nephew or some boy that was staying across the street came over and asked if I wanted to play. I did. So, I went to Wendy’s house to play. I was shocked when I got home and found myself in trouble. You gave me a spanking for not being where I said I was going. In my 8 year old mind, it wasn’t a big deal. I was just across the street. But you were so upset. And then I was upset because no 8 year old wants to be spanked.

And then junior high... We were at a speech competition at St Agnes. Seth and I, along with 4 others, decided to walk across the street to Pizza Hut. We did tell the adults (really), but they apparently didn’t listen because you came to pick us up and we weren’t at the school. Again, trouble. And again, now as a 12 year old, I thought you were being ridiculous. I know that I argued and screamed about how it was unfair and stupid and I was TWELVE YEARS OLD not a baby.

But mom, as an adult, I know you were upset because you love us. You were upset because you can’t imagine anything happening to your babies. All the “call me when you get there’s” and all the “be home at some absurd hour to the teenage mind’s” and all the “no hiding in the clothes rack’s” were about the love of a mother and father.

I was blessed to have parents, to have a mom who was terrified when she couldn’t find me. The Lord set Seth and I in a family that loved…loves us. A mother that would do anything to keep us safe. A mother who saw her children growing in the Lord and as a result pursued Him even harder. A mother who I see still growing leaps and bounds in Truth.

But there are children all over the world who are not loved. There are girls in India who are abandoned…sold by their families. There are daughters that are beaten. There are motherless children going to sleep in the streets. Their parents aren’t worried if they will come home safely. Moms aren’t checking in to make sure their little girls got to their friend’s house.

Those little girls in India don’t have what I have in you. But, this Mother’s Day I am giving to As Our Own in your honor so that children in India might know what it is to have a family that loves them. As Our Own is rescuing these girls from abuse, abandonedment, and a life of enslavement. These girls, according to the circumstaces they were born into, should have been wandering the streets. These girls should have been sold at six years old in order to bring in more revenue. But instead, they are singing and dancing. They are in school. They are growing up with sisters. They are loved. And perhapes as a result, the mothers that work in the red light district might see their daughters fall in love with Jesus and they themselves begin to grow leaps in bounds in Truth.

Thank you for not leaving me in the carpool line, alone and feeling forgotten. Thank you for loving me.

Love,
Erin


Want to say thank you to your mom in a special way this year? Here's how:


STEP 1:: Give to our Thanks, Mom! campaign to honor your mom on Mother’s Day, May 8.

STEP 2:: In the donation comments box, tell us what you appreciate most about your mom.

STEP 3:: Download a certificate for your mom that explains the gift you’ve made in her name.

About As Our Own

The extreme poverty in India places girls at great risk for exploitation, enslavement, and neglect. Girls are regularly abused and degraded, forced into lives of bonded labor, either in organized begging or the sex trade.

These girls will face a dark, horrific future—unless someone intervenes.

God has opened the door for As Our Own to rescue girls before they are exploited, giving us the privilege to care for each one as our own—for life. We are building strong communities through our Lighthouse church network and training strong leaders and pastors at our Hope College, all to break these cycles for girls in future generations.

Your gifts make a lasting difference for these girls. Thank you!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 2:26 PM | 2 comments

Chosen Series: An Interview

Before we move to Peter (It’s coming I promise! My goal is next week.) I wanted to introduce you to my friend, Debra. I have talked about wanting to have some other women join this conversation and have been praying about who all to ask. I just wasn’t sure who would want to do this or who would catch the vision. Then I went to Captivated Together this month. We talked about shame. (Yay!). When the lovely ladies on the CT team shared their own struggles at the end of the night, it was clear as could be, I needed to ask Debra to let me interview her for the Choose Me series. So here we have it. The first Choose Me interview. Meet Debra.
(I took this from your FB. :) Hope that's ok.)


E: Tell us a little about yourself.

D: Hello. My name is Debra. Is this already feeling awkward?
Formally speaking, I could be known as a children’s event planner, but I am more commonly called Mom. I married my high school sweetheart whom I call E. Fourteen years later and we now travel with an entourage we affectionately call Parker Party of Six. I definitely have a love for sarcastic words, but to know me is to know that I am completely serious about Jesus and striving to love like he loves.
(Debra is also part of the Captivated Together team and writes a blog)

E: So, have you and do you still struggle with wanting to be chosen?

D: I have struggled with a desire to be chosen. Some days I still do.

E: At what point in your story do you think this desire to be chosen was most obviously affecting your actions?

D: In junior high I tried to become someone I was not. Literally.
I made up a fake life to friends who did not go to my school. For one summer I tried my hand at cussing, kissing, and pretended I owned a set of pom poms. I currently hear my 10 year old son’s Haitian voice saying, “That’s a big fat lie, mom.” I traded lies to feel chosen.

E: Where do you think this desire stems from?

D: Being adopted, or being abused as a child, or watching my family go through financial struggle, all could be, and probably are, factors of my desire to be chosen. I think for most of my young life I simply felt lonely.

E: What would you say to your old self?

D: I would hug that girl and look into her eyes and tell her I am sorry she is hurting. I would tell her how Jesus loves her. I would beg her to find her worth in Him. I would show her stories in His Word, and beg her to look for His love in her everyday.

E: Have you seen this play out in your daughter or girls your work with? How?

D: I have watched many girls struggle through this loud desire to be chosen. I have seen girls forsake themselves, using all manners of pain, for the attempt to be chosen by someone. Thankfully, I have also had the opportunity to look into their eyes and say what I would have said to myself. It is now more intimate as my own daughter is coming of age.

E: What are you doing to steer their desire to be chosen to Christ?

D: I believe that God has blessed me, as a woman, with a keen awareness of my desire for Christ. It is a thirst I seek to quench daily. It is the desire to be chosen. This desire set me on a journey to find the One who could fill my empty place. I struggle every morning to get out of bed early to read the Word. It is reading the truth that daily reminds me, no matter what my circumstances may be, I am chosen.
I try to live my life with enough transparency that girls see they are not alone. I also know that I cannot fill their desire to be chosen. I share my story as a tool to point them to Jesus. It is ministry. I try to love like Jesus when I get up, when I go to sleep, when we laugh, when we meet for coffee, when I tuck her to sleep, and even when I cry.

E: Is there anything else you would say to our readers?

D: Whether you are in a high place or a low place, run to Jesus. Fall asleep talking to Him. In the morning, run to Him again.


There you have it girls. I hope you are encouraged by Debra’s transparency. I know I have been blessed by her in just the short time I have known her (and known who she was before I could actually say I knew her). Take some time today to run to Jesus, just as Debra advised. Let Him speak over you. You are His. He chose you.


Happy Journey!
Erin

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:58 AM | 1 comment

Chosen Series: An Apology

Sweet patient blog-family, I owe you an apology. I know I have stalled far too long in writing the next part of the Choose Me series. I am still excited about it, actually maybe more so than I was before. But I want to share with you what has halted me in my writing.

First of all, the sheer magnitude of taking on human nature and examining it under the scrutiny of Truth. I am not an expert. I am not a scholar. I am a woman. A little girl in still so many ways. To look at scripture and try to first interpret it correctly and then teach it to others is a big deal and can only be done in The Spirit. I have stalled because I do not want to speak falsely.

Secondly, I am learning to be a writer. I love writing and I have wanted to write this for a long time, but there is so much to it. The structure can be very tricky. Transistions and such. I want to communicate clearly. And that can be challenging.

And mostly, since beginning this series, it has become extremely clear that this "Choose me" cry is still rooted deeply in me. I knew that it was still lingering, but I've discovered that "lingering" is the completely wrong word. Lingering implies that it is mostly gone and just the scent or the reminder of it remains. Um, no. Festering might be a more appropriate word. It sits quietly sometimes but it is not dormant at all. So, I have been struggling with how I can possibly write about something when it still very much has it's claws in my heart. I have learned an ocean's worth about my heart's cry and God's kind Truth about His love for me, but an ocean is only a drop in the universe of that Truth.

So, I will, very shortly, post about Peter and his doubts. And as I continue this series, please know that I don't have it figured out. That this is a conversation, the purpose of which is to cause our thoughts and our hearts to turn to the Holy Spirit in desperation for understanding that only He can give. That said, I hope you will continue on this road with me. Journeys through the heart are always more enjoyable with company.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Friday, March 11, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 2:03 PM | 2 comments

Chosen Series: Part 3

"Pick ME. Choose ME. Love ME."-The cry of my heart. It was though I veiwed every relationship as a contest. All of a sudden I was noticing myself striving to get ahead of everyone else, even in my own thinking. I was living in a constant state of comparison. "I'm better than them." "She's prettier. I need to work harder at being pretty." But, I'm funnier and nicer(apparently not in my thought life) so that counts for something." "Surely humour and kindness is worth more points that pretty."
Yall, these are seriously the thoughts I would catch running a muck in my head. It was disgusting! How long had this been going on?! I began to look at friendships. I had a ton of friends over the years. Friends that came to me often for advice or when they needed to talk to someone they could trust. But I had never felt that I'd had a best friend. I went out of my way to be there for everyone who needed me, but no one ever really knew me. I was so busy trying to prove I was worth being considered a best friend that I didn't let my friends know that I NEEDED a friend. I saw the pattern through so many aspects: at home I wanted to be the favorite. I wouldn't have said that of course but I wanted the love and accolades that I thought I deserved and clearly that was more than my brother. In youth I wanted to be a leader so I couldn't be real about my faults or my questions. If I wasn't sure who I was, no one would follow me.

Now, don't get me wrong. My family is amazing. And my time in youth group was incredible. And my friends were fabulous. This is about what was in my heart, not theirs. My heart lived in a constant state of comparison. And it was not until I was 25 that I realized it and saw that I was trying to earn a seat of honor. I also realized that I was tired.


(Coming up we will be talking about Mary, Peter, and Esther as we look at what scripture says to us about being chosen)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------*This post is adapted from my journal entries from 2009
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Questions for today:
1. Are you living in a constant state of comparison?
2. What are the thoughts you hear running a muck in your head?
3. Are you tired? Are you ready to deal with your heart?

I would love for us to answer these questions in the comment section. If you feel like you need to, you can always comment anonymously.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Monday, March 7, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:52 AM | No comments

Public Service Announcement

If you know me at all or follow me on facebook, you have heard me mention "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" and how much this book has affected the way I think about life. Well, today, the paperback releases and I highly recommend that you purchase it. You can do that here. And also, check out this video from Don.

What story are you telling? from Rhetorik Creative on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 8:28 PM | 4 comments

Chosen Series: Part 2

A little over a year ago, there was this guy (the beginning of so many stories). I did not know much about him, but I knew that he was mysterious and I was intrigued. Not head over heels, just curious. Then, just a few weeks into this new found curiousity, a friend informed me that Mr. Mysterious had asked her to coffee.

UGH! NO!

I was honestly shocked by the jealousy and hurt that arose in me. After all, I had only known this guy for a few weeks and knew very little about him. I was not even sure I wanted to actually explore a relationship. But yet, I was so hurt that he had chosen her. My friend. I was not upset with her. How could I be? It is not that I did not want her to be chosen, I just didn't want her or anyone else to be chosen over me. In my mind, I was devalued because of his choice. How is that for prime-time drama?

For the first time, I reached a place where I was forced to be honest with myself and admit that my reaction was absurd. I began to pray through the response of my heart and talk through it a bit with the "chosen" friend. She and I began to share our stories and I was sharing my story with a couple of other friends at the time as well. As I was telling and re-telling the story of my life, I began to see a pattern. And the cry of my heart was painfully obvious. "Choose me!"

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*This post is adapted from my journal entries from 2009
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Questions for today:
1. Have you ever had a moment when the reaction of your heart was shocking even to you?
2. Have you told your story to anyone lately?
3. Have you noticed any patterns in your story?

I would love for us to answer these questions in the comment section. If you feel like you need to, you can always comment anonymously.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 5:12 PM | 1 comment

Chosen Series: Part 1

"Pick me. Choose me. Love me." It's the definitive line from the ad that has been enticing viewers to relive the lives of the residents of Seattle Grace on Grey's Anatomy. "See it all from the beginning."

I never did get drawn into Greys, nor do I plan on scheduling my life around the reruns, but this line has found a cozy little place to snuggle up in my mind somewhere between what I used to know and what I'd like to forget. The truth is, it is not only Meredith Grey that is begging to be chosen and loved. I often feel my heart pleading the same: Pick me. Choose me. Love me. I am sure that men long for this too in some regard, but for women, for us, it seems to be the greatest cry.

Look around you. You can see it everywhere. Pre-teen fashion. Music. The job market. Everywhere. As much as we would all like to pretend that we think the show is silly, we have probably all seen at least one episode of "The Bachelor". And one episode is all it takes for us to see it. These women all turn into Meredith. Every decision, every meltdown, ever stab in the back, and every premature declaration of love is motivated by the overwhelming urge to be chosen.
I have a terrible habit of labeling their behavior as absurd and we would be hard pressed to find someone who disagreed. But, if I am honest, I am just as ridiculous. It may take on different forms, but no matter how it manifests, my effort to be the last one with the metaphorical rose is ludicrous. And, I never would have put myself in the same basket of loony as these women, until recently...
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*This post is adapted from my journal entries from 2009
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Questions for today:
1. Where else in culture or in your circle of awareness does this desire to be chosen seem to be the motivation?
2.Do you identify with Meredith's cry of "Pick me. Choose me. Love me."?

I would love for us to answer these questions in the comment section. If you feel like you need to, you can always comment anonymously.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Monday, February 28, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:51 PM | 2 comments

Becoming Serious about Series

Here's the deal. This format is not working. I thought it would keep me disciplined, but instead I found myself straining to think of something to write that had to do with the "topic" for the day. I will still do some of those post some of the time...you can still expect to hear about people and organizations that are changing the world. You can expect updates on the 30 in 30. But mostly, I will be writing about whatever is stirring in the moment. Which brings us to the series...

Over the next few posts, I will be writing about something that I started to come to terms with a couple of years ago. And some of the posts will be taken from journal entries written in 2009. This is something that I have been considering writing about for awhile in book form, but I figured, why not start here? It is something that I believe is at the heart of every woman, the desire to be chosen.

My heart is that we will all find encouragement in this journey. That we will find an honest place in ourselves and with the Lord where we can confess our hearts and that we would be an encouragement to each other. Please, please do not be quiet during this series. Please share your thoughts, your stories, your heartaches, and your joys. We are meant to discover truth together and so I am asking you to leave comments during this. I am excited to see what the Lord has waiting for us.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:51 AM | No comments

Becoming MIA

Woah...a little behind, aren't I? Aren't I? Is that grammatically correct? It can't be. I wouldn't say "I are a little behind." English majors? Help me out here...

Oh well. Life has been a little crazy. We've had "inclimate weather" days...that is Houston speak for "cold liquid is falling from the sky and we don't know how to operate in anything below 35degree weather so we stop life." We thought it was going to snow last week. It didn't. All around us it did. I was not happy. On non-non-snow days, I've been busy with meetings. All the time. Meetings meetings meetings. And of course, there is work, which fills up way too much of my time. (Yes, I'm thankful for the fact I have a job. No, I don't need you to lecture me about how some people can't find work.)

In the time I have had, I've worked on updating my website and my myspace. I also finally bought fabric to recover my chair. I bought the fabric from My Little Sunshine, a fabulous fabric shop on etsy. Ashley, also has an etsy shop full of beautiful accessories and handbags. Check it out.

Here's the fabric I chose...
The stripes are actually much thinner than this picture would lead you to believe. I am so excited about how my chair will look after all the work is done.

Another thing I've been cramming into my spare time is practice. Yes. Practice practice practice. I am playing two shows in College Station in the next few weeks and so I have been putting the fingers to work on that guitar. My first show is February 19th at Mugwalls. Chris, Isais, and Meredith are playing with me so it will be very fun. Two local artists will kick off the night at 8pm. And it's a free show. And then, on March 5th, I will have the honor of joining Jill DeZwaan and Sarah DeGroat at Part of the Solution, a night of the Masterpiece Conference that invites young women to engage in the kingdom of God locally and globally. Jill, Sarah, and I will be sharing our music while the girls learn of how they can be a part of the solution. I am so humbled and thrilled to get to be a part of Masterpiece. On March 5th my loves will come together in one place: music, missions, and college ladies. I cannot imagine a more fabulous way to spend a Saturday. If you are a woman between the ages of 17 and 25, go sign up for Masterpiece...like now.

So, that's the craziness of life in Houston right now. This weekend I will be out of town. And I won't have a chance to breathe again untill probably April, but I will enjoy the business as much as possible and I will enjoy my Jesus everyday, no matter how busy I am.

So, how can you participate? (after all, it is participation counts friday). Well, you can come see me on February 19th. You can visit my website and leave a comment on the discussion board. And mostly, you can pray. Pray for rest and health and that my daily strength and satisfaction are constantly found in the Lord. And thank you, in advnace, for your prayers.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Monday, January 31, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 2:14 PM | 1 comment

Becoming a DIYer

Check me out. I don't buy things from the store that I can make myself. Know why? Because I'm a DIYer. That's right. Do it yourself.

I'm not normally. I tend to lean naturally toward, spend the extra money over the extra time, but I'm tired of that. And I want to have things around me that reflect MY creativity and not World Market's or Anthropologie...which for the record, I have never actually purchase any decor from wither store, but you get the idea.

So, I just finished my first DIY project. I started it over a month ago and then got stuck becuase I wasn't sure how to finish it. But thanks to my friend, Laurie, we brainstormed and came up with a solution. Now, there is not a half-finished project mocking me from the corner of the room. Want to see what I made? Ok.

BEFORE:





















$2 frame from MAM resale. (I had painted it before I thought to take a picture. )
Chalkboard paint, sheet metal, and various tools from Home Depot.


AFTER:




















A magnetic chalkboard!!!

Sure, it has a couple of flaws, but it's something that I started and finished. It's something that I put time into and that with minimal help, I figured out how to do. I love it. Now I just need to go buy some magnets and chalk.

Happy Journey!
Erin
Posted by Erin Posted on 8:30 AM | No comments

Becoming Commited

Last Friday, Donald Miller wrote a post titled "Commit to the Work, Not the Goals". I love his short posts. They are so full of wisdom...and common sense.

Truthfully, some of the goals on my 30x30 list will never get done if it's just a goal. I need to break them down into manageable steps. And I need to commit to the steps.

Having something published? I need to write every week. And I need to do some research about avenues for publishing.

Run 6 miles? Well, hello...I need to start by running a little at least 3 times a week.

Memorize 1 John? I need to start by memorizing 1 John 1:1. And then 1:2, 1:3, 1:4...You get the idea.

Goals look great in a list. But it is so easy to feel warm and fuzzy about a list and never actually take steps to getting those things done.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 1:58 PM | No comments

Becoming a Conquerer (slowly)


Do you remember these t-shirts? If not, it's becuase you are younger than me. But, trust me. They were very cool. Anyways...

The other day I was having a conversation with myself...you do it too. Don't act like you don't. I don't really remember what "we" were discussing, but I do remember interrupting myself and saying, "No Fear." And then I immediately had a mental image of junior high me in my No Fear shirt. (Mine was not quite so creepy...it had something to do with basketball on it). And then "we" laughed about that silly trend for a minute before getting back to why on earth that phrase came up in conversation.

It doesn't take a lion trainer to figure it out (I get tired of the phrase "it doesn't take a genious or rocket scientist"). "No Fear" came up because I do fear. Often. I am terrified. I am terrified that my circumstances won't change. That I don't have what it takes to reach my goals. That people won't think my best amounts to much at all. That I. Will. Fail. Or if I succeed that the success will be a let down.

Fear is the reason I never finish anyth...

(Just kidding)


Do you know what fear kept people from in scripture?

In Deuteronomy 1 we see that it kept an entire generation from seeing the land that the Lord had promised His people. They trembled in fear and said, "The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky." And even though Moses reminded them ,“Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” But they let fear win. They stopped moving forward because their fear was bigger than their faith. God was too little in their eyes to do what He promised. To lead them in victory.

Sarah told her husband Abraham to sleep with another woman. Sarah was afraid that God was not big enough to keep his promise to give them a child so she made her own way and in doing so gave up the peace in her household. And she brought havoc into another woman's life. And the world is still feeling the effects of her decision.

Peter was afraid too. His fear looked like shame. But what is shame if it isn't fear that we cannot be loved or useful to Christ after the things we have done? In Peter's fear, he went back to the familiar. He ignored that Jesus had renamed him "The Rock" and promised that the church would be built through him. He gave up the potential God himself had spoken over him and Peter returned to the familiar...fishing. Not for men, but for fish. He went back to casting his nets day after day never knowing whether it would be a good day or a bad day.

Isn't that just ridiculous? I mean, when you read those stories, it is so clear that these people were being dumb! You gave up what God had PROMISED because you were afraid? Of what? So what if the people are big? So what if it is taking longer that you thought? So WHAT if you made a fool out of yourself and made one of the worst mistakes of your life? God has already told you he is giving this future to you. Hello!

But I do the same thing. I mean, God has not told me I will be a sucessful musician or that I will ever get to go back to India or that I will ever be married. But, He has promised to take care of me, to lead me in victory, to direct my steps, to love me, to use me, to mold me. He has promised the best for me. So, why would I let fear keep me from moving forward?

Here is one immediate example. I'm playing a show next month and I am terrified. Seriously. Terrified. So many uncertainties. I'm not cute enough...I don't look like a musician (what does that even mean?). None of those people know me or my music, why would they come? What if I forget my words? What if no one comes? What if a ton of people come? What if What if What if?????

STOP!

Stop what ifing. ok..So WHAT if those things happen? Isn't God big enough to handle that night? Do I really think that one of those things could throw His entire plan off course sending me into a tailspin till I die sad and alone at the age of 93? Dumb.

Of course He is big enough. He is bigger and stronger than all my mistakes, then anyone elses thoughts towards me, than any walls and oceans and armies that threaten to keep me from the things God has in store for me.

So, No Fear. I will choose, every second of every day. I will decide over and over and over again to not be afraid. To not let fear keep me from receiving the fulfillments of all His promises towards me. I will choose to remember that my God is big enough, strong enough, and He loves me more than enough to lead me in victory.

I love the speech that Samuel gives the people in 1 Samuel 12.
Do not be afraid. You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”

Erin, do not be afraid. Yes, you have made some stupid decisions, but the Lord called you because He wanted to. Fear Him. Love Him. Look at all He has already done for you and keep moving forward.

Happy Journey!
Erin
Posted by Erin Posted on 9:42 AM | No comments

Becoming Emo?

This photo is screaming for a caption. I mean just look at her! Now, part me says, "That isn't funny. That poor child is going goth and she hasn't even graduated from mother's day out!" The other part of me says, "BAH!!! Hahahahahahah!" Judge me if you will, but while you are at it, come up with a caption for the picture.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 3:54 PM | No comments

Become A Follower

this is your chance to do a little becoming. That's right...head over to bloglovin' and follow me for updates.

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:20 PM | No comments

Becoming a Siamese Chihuahua

Did that post title get your attention? Good...I needed something to grab you since I am so late in posting.

Last week, I met up with a friend at a bookstore to catch up on life. We sat in the children's section. It was quiet since it was 8pm. All the kiddos were home in bed. As I waited for my friend, I went on a hunt for the best children's book series ever. It is a series I didn't discover until my senior year of college. One of my roommates was an elementary ed. major and she had lots of children's books. And thus, I learned of...

SkippyJon Jones.

Skippyjon Jones is a siamese cat who has a vivid imagination. In his daydreams he thinks he is a chihuahua. He goes on all sorts of adventures with a gang of chihuahuas. And they of course are written in rhyme. So SJJ says things like, "My name is Skipito Friskito. I am a great sword fighting bandito!"

These books are so cute. My mom gave me one for Christmas a few years ago. I can't wait to have little children in my life to read it to. In the meantime I will be content to read it to my grown up friends who think I'm a nut case.

(And I just discovered there is a website...here. It's not as awesome as the books themselves but it will do.)



Happy Journey!
Erin

Monday, January 24, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 12:51 PM | 1 comment

Becoming a Stepper

I will occassionally post updates to let you all know how these goals are coming along. The bold italicized goals are ones I have taken steps toward accomplishing. It may be a tiny step but it is a step. The ones that are crossed off are completed. Woohoo! And the one with question marks is waiting to be decided. Maybe it's something that God has in mind that I won't know until it happens. Or maybe it will be my unspoken goal that I,in reality, have no control over. We shall see. But for now, here is the progress report.


Erin's Fantabulous 30 things to do before 30...

1. Play 2 shows beyond the Texas border
2. Raise a certain amount of money for As Our Own 3. Lose a certain amount of weight
4. Run 6 miles at once...sounds silly but I am not a runner. At all.
5. Have something published
6. Learn to beatbox...seriously.
7. Enroll in grad school
8. Memorize 1 John
9. Refinish my dresser
10. Reupholster the chair
11. Pay off my Album loan
12. Start working on an EP
13. Cowrite 3 songs
14. Pay off debt...oh so close.
15. Visit Seth and Courtney.
16. Take a serious, lengthy retreat alone.
17. Go to an event out of the norm.
18. Establish a list of 30 worship songs I can pull out of my head whenever.
19. Establish a list of 15 cover songs.
20. Watch The Matrix.
21. Read every book I already own.
22. Write 4 more songs for the Scripture to Music Collective.
23. Visit Nika and Amy
24. Learn a second creative skill
25. Create a file system and use it.
26. Send a snail mail letter to at least one person every week for 3 months straight.
27. Start learning Hindi.
28. Read through the Bible chronologically in a year
29. Get certified in Zumba.
30.???????

Happy Journey!
Erin

Friday, January 21, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 1:52 PM | No comments

Becoming Stalled

Today's post is a post of desperation. I am creatively stalled today. There are a thousand things I want to learn to do. And a thousand projects I have to complete...and by complete, I mean begin.

But, alas, the truth remains that I have a desk job where I sit in front of a computer all day. A job that asks me to turn off my right brain and think about data and numbers and statistics. And I am more frequesntly having days where my creative mind won't turn off. It just pesters me like an obnoxious sibling all day. "I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you..." Good gracious! I have to find a way to appease my creative nymph while I accomplish the job I'm paid to do.

So for those of you who have a day job and a dream job that are complete opposites, how to do you fit creativity into your job? Or how do you balance what you do with what you love? And also, what is your creative process, from inspiration to finished product...what does that look like for you?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 3:58 PM | No comments

Becoming a Book Reviewer

I just read "Chazown" by Craig Groeschel and I thought I would share my thoughts on it.

First of all, this is the full title: "Chazown: Define Your Vision. Pursue Your Passion. Live Your Life on Purpose." And here is the description on Amazon.com:
"You’re invited on a most unusual odyssey—to find, name, and live out your personal Chazown. It’s a journey you’ll never forget because it’s impossible to return unchanged.
Practical, fresh, and biblically sound, Chazown is a one-of-a-kind life planning experience... Craig Groeschel will help you get under the surface of your life to discover your life purpose in three often overlooked areas: your core values, your spiritual gifts, and your past experiences. He’ll help you turn it into a highly motivating credo—complete with short-term goals, action steps, and a supportive network to make your big dream a reality.
Are you living someone else’s dream for your life, or no dream at all? Get ready for Chazown."



We have all asked what we are here for. What is my purpose? And let's be honest. There are a thousand books about finding your purpose, about discovering what God has placed in you. So, on it's own, the book is nothing new. Groeschel offers some pretty straightforward thoughts on realizing your core values, spiritual gifts, and personal history and how those things shape your purpose. There was never a point in reading that I thought, "Oh man! I needed to hear that." Actually, most of the time I was thinking, "I already know that."

However, the book also points to an online resource where Groeschel not only talks you through the importance of each step but invites you to work through the steps to identify the aforementioned things in you. It is easy to breeze through it, to not think about it, and just to check it off. I was tempted to do just that. But, if you take the time to really pray through it and wait on the Lord during the process, I believe that you could actually end with a true vision statement for your life. For me, it confirmed some things in me that I had begun to doubt. Now, if only the book could help me find a job that allows me to put that vision to use fulltime. Because a vision and a mission statement are different. So don't expect to finish this book knowing what your next big move in life will be. But you should expect to have the Lord give you a clear vision. Just know, it will take work. You can't just read a book and have an answer.