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.
Posted by Erin Posted on 8:00 AM | No comments

Becoming Strapped

I found a new shop on etsy.com that I may never get over. Moxie & Olver. I will have to save my monies(eww...I hate when people say monies. Why did I do that?)if I want to actually buy anything from them, but just look how cute!

It's a guitar strap with an owl on it. It's so cute.
And this one. With the little heart carved into a tree? I love it!
This one is a mandolin strap. I don't play mandolin but I may have to learn just so I can have a reason to get this strap.

So pretty. Sigh.

What are your favorite etsy and bigcartel shops?

Happy Journey!
Erin

Monday, January 17, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:23 PM | 1 comment

Becoming a Piece of Work

Get to Work Monday...I had no idea what to write about today. Maybe I could write about how I'm reading a book that I have owned for a year and never read. Or how I'm going to watch The Matrix this weekend. Or how I spent 3 hours playing guitar yesterday and 20 minutes beatboxing (read: spitting and sounding ridiculous as I attempt to learn to beatbox). I could write about all those things but I just didn't have much to say about them. And so, it is nearly 11:30pm and I am just now posting.

Things are about to get really honest and really messy. So, turn back now or enter with grace please.

See, my heart is heavy. There has been a lot happening in my world lately and through it, God is bringing to light a thousand things in me that I'd rather not deal with. First it was my entitlement issues. I am the most "oldest brother" child of God ever. I compare my story to others constantly. And most of the time it leads to a place of, "I have done all I know to do to walk with you since I was 12 years old, and really, even before then. Sure I've made mistakes but I've never left. Even when I wanted to never see you again, I sucked it up, got over it, and kept serving you. So why does that person who has only been living for you for 3 years, who before those 3 years was spitting in your face...or that person over there who used to live for you but ran from you, took what you gave and spent it on themselves, and now is back...why are you blessing their ministries, giving them dream ministry jobs, fulfilling their desires? What has living for you ever gotten me? A job where I enter data all day? A life of singleness, not even a freaking date? All i have ever wanted are good things: a job where I can be who you created me to be and a husband to walk beside. What have I done to make you withhold things from me and what can I do so that you will love me the way you love those people?"

Sick, huh? It is so hard to admit that, even to myself. That attitude has the stench of death all over it. And all I am actually entitled to is death. God owes me nothing. The only reason I get to be a part of what He is doing, even in a part I don't enjoy like data entry, is because of His grace. The only reason I got to go to India? Grace. The only reason I have a guitar to play or for that matter fingers to play it with? Grace. A house? Grace. A voice to speak? Grace. He owes me nothing. No. Thing. And so I am learning. Learning how to be honest about my desires without turning them into demands. I am learning to weep over my pride. I don't think I have ever been so broken over my sin. God has been humbling me so much. It's good and it's hard and it's heartbreaking.

And now, He is bring another issue to light. And that is my self-protective tendencies. See, I am an idealist. What I mean by that is that I see in scripture how things should be and I think that they should actually be that way. But, the truth is people are broken and so things are not as they should be. But, I have a hard time accepting that. So, instead of moving toward the brokenness with grace and faith that god is bigger than it, I put up a wall and come up with a reason why I can't walk that direction at all. That is probably very convoluted but I just don't have the freedom to go into detail on this one. This is one for me and the Lord and some sweet girlfriends that will help me as I walk through the Lord undoing these things in me.

So, the Lord is getting to work on me. And my work in it is to believe. Believe that He does love me just as much as He loves the next guy. Believe that He does have plans to use me by His grace. Believe that He isn't withholding things from me as a punishment. Believe that He has already given me everything. That He can give me new vision to see correctly the gap between how things are and how they should be. That He is bigger than the gap. And that, by His hand, things really can be closer to what they should be than I have seen them be before.

And when I said I'd rather not deal with these things, what I meant was that I want to just be better. Kind of like how none of us want to exercise, we just want to be skinny. But it doesn't work that way. I won't wake up tomorrow and be over feeling entitled and over comparing my relationship with God to others. I won't suddenly be ok with risking my heart on things that could be but might not be what they should be. Tonight, Tammie Head said the sweetest deliverance happens slowly. It takes time. But when that last step out of bondage comes, it will be so sweet.

I hope some of this resonates with you. I hope that you are seeing God move toward you in your brokenness. He is good to not allow us to continue on in our pride and our false securities. Brothers and sisters, we are loved. Believe.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Friday, January 14, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 9:49 AM | 1 comment

Becoming a Juke Box

So remember that list of goals? Right. I'm still waiting for your help with #30. But in the meantime, how about helping me get started on crossing things off the list?

Two things you can help with today. #18. Establish a list of 30 worship songs that I can play on demand. And. #19 Establish a list of 15 cover songs.

So here is what I need from you. First of all, what are your favorite worship songs? You can name one or thirty, but I want my list to be other people's favorites too and not just my own. And then, secondly, what are some popular songs, current or not, that you think I should learn?

These are two of my goals because I am terrible about learning songs that others have written. I just stick to stuff I write, but in doing so I am causing myself to stall in my writing because I am not being challenged to hear new melodies and teach my fingers new patterns. Here's to the challenge!

I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Happy Journey!
Erin

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 6:08 PM | 1 comment

Becoming a Tuednesday

Tuednesday: a combination of Tuesday and Wednesday

I skipped yesterday's "Tickle My Fancy". This week has been busy busy busy. But, it's ok because today's World-changer and yesterday's Tickle My Fancy are the same thing. As Our Own.

Oh. You've heard of it? I talk about it all the time? You are right. I do.


Yesterday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Every 6 seconds two children are sold. And in those same 6 seconds, two human beings (daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, neighbors, grandchildren...) are trafficked into the US. Sickening, huh?

As you know, I recently went to India to work with As Our Own, who is building relationship with mothers in the red light district in order to bring little girls out of it. My mission team decided to have a Share and Prayer to invite friends and family to hear about what God is doing in India. And we decided to do it yesterday. Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

There were some glitches in preparation. We were...or I was expecting there to be maybe 30 people who would come. So, we planned to have the event at my house. When the guest list reached 45, I decided we'd better move it to the church. So we did. We put in a room request and planned for snacks and coffee and chai. Of course, we got there and the room wasn't quite what we had intended. But, it turned out to be just what we needed. God knows better than we do.

So we set everything up and people came. Lots of people. About 80 people. And we shared stories and truth and our lives. We told them of the darkness we saw the first morning. And we told them of the light. We talked about painted nails and scwunchy giggle faces. We talked about young men coming to study God's word and taking it to a country in desperate need. We talked of rescue and restoration. And then we prayed.

We moved into three circles. A circle to pray for Rescue. A circle for Aftercare. And a circle for Prevention. We cried and we prayed for broken people and we cried and we prayed in worship to a God who is big enough. Jesus is the only God who hears the cry of the enslaved and moves toward them to lead them out of captivity.

And when we had prayed we shared more stories and met new friends and listened to them share about how their hearts are being stirred. And I delighted. I delighted in seeing people that I love in Houston, begin to love the people that I love in India. I delighted to have the opportunity to tell stories about my girls and to have people laugh and cry and hurt and rejoice with me. I delighted to see the church have the heart of the church. I delighted. And I imagine that the Lord delighted a million trillion bazillion times more in all of those things.

*if you would like to read more about my time in India, please see here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 5:16 PM | No comments

Becoming a Goal-getter

I have a friend who used to be my boss who I would have sworn up and down to you loves setting goals. Turns out she doesn't. She just was trying to help me and the other interns learn to set goals. Ha!

Anyways, I don't usually follow through on goals so I generally just avoid setting them. It keeps me from experiencing guilt when I don't follow through...which I don't. Like ever. Don't judge. But, in the core of who I am, I believe goals are good. I think we should hold them loosely as God might just have something else in mind, but still, I believe goal setting is good. And so I have set some. Here is my 30 before 30 goal list...minus #30 because I'm waiting on your brilliant ideas. (Also, some of them will be a little vague here because I don't think I need to share the specifics with the world, but they are specific in actuality.)

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.???????

Some of these will be easy: watch the Matrix for example. No problem. But many will be hard. Some will be hard because they will require time...consistent time. Some will be hard because they will cause me to push through fears and insecurities. And some will be hard because I have absolutely no idea how it could be possible for me to do them. But that's the point. I have a tendency to quit when things get hard. If people are relying on me to get something done, it will get done, but as soon as the commitment to others ends, I will never do that thing again. I could tell you a thousand stories about things I gave up because I encountered opposition. In many cases, I came out looking like I was sure of myself, but looks can be deceiving. Mosty, I was sure that I was hurt and that I wouldn't let myself be hurt like that again. So I picked up my bags and left that figurative town.

But I need to be reminded that opposition isn't a wall. It's an opportunity. I need to finish things that I can't finish. You with me? Many of the things on my list, I will only be able to do if God shows up. I need to be reminded that, yes, I am in fact inadequate, but my Jesus is all-sufficient. So, I may get angry when I am trying to learn Hindi and nothing is making sense. But my God knows everything. The Holy Spirit can understand and He can be my teacher. He can get a hold of my head and put Hindi in it. My head and Hindi belong to Him anyways, right?

So there it is. A beautiful, crazy, daunting list of 29... to be 30 things for me to work on for the next 2.5 years. And I suspect that working at these will lead to blessings that at this point would seem unrelated to re-upholtering a chair.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 5:54 PM | 2 comments

Becoming a Andy Fan

In college, I discovered the sweet freedom of traveling to cities around TX to hear great music. I mean, you can get in the car at 5pm on a Thursday night, drive 4 hours away for a 2 hour show, turn around and come back and no one will tell you no. You don't have to be at work at 8am. Most likely your class schedule is such that you will have plenty of time to nap so you will be ready to do it all again the next night. I road tripped with friends to see Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz, Jon McLaughlin, Micah Dalton, Nathan Angelo, Ryan Horne, and probably others. But the one that I saw more than any other...Andy Davis.

I was introduced to Andy's music by my friend John. He came into the coffee shop where I worked and we started talking about music. He asked if I'd ever heard of Andy Davis and when I said no, he went home, got a cd and brought it to me. I might not have listened to anything else for a month. I loved it. I can't remember meeting a college girl that didn't love it, but you know...You might not want to always trust the taste of the masses, but in this case you do. I promise.

I saw Andy play in College Station, Waco, Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Aaaaand Waco again, Austin probably 3 more times, and Houston at least twice more. What was really fun was when my friend Daniel knew the guys touring with Andy (Micah Dalton and Nathan Angelo...also stellar musicians who you should check out). And so we ending up helping with merch at some shows. We went to Waco one night, then Austin, then Houston. Best memory ever? Hanging out with all three of those guys at The House of Pies after the show.

Andy is still making great music and will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help with his next album. He keeps getting better and better. And he started out great, so that's a big deal. I leave you now with the song that every girl wishes were written about her. Enjoy!!!

Andy Davis: Brown Eyes (from his Thinks of Her and his Let the Woman albums)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:35 AM | 1 comment

Becoming a List Maker

I mean, I don't plan to make a habit of this list-making business but I did make one recently. But here's the thing. It's incomplete and I need your help. And thus we have our very virst "Participation Counts Friday".

I decided to make a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. With the help of some friends yesterday I got the list up to 29 things. I need one more. What are some ideas? Here are some guidelines...

-It can't be something that will cost a ton of money. (ie.Buy a house)
-I won't do anything that involves vonluntarily falling. (ie. Skydiving)
-It should be something I have control over. Meaning not something like "Get Married"...that isn't a decision I can make tomorrow morning and get it done.

So there you have it. Let the ideas roll. Once my list has 30 things, I will start. Hopefully, one of your ideas will stick and I can show you the complete list on Monday and then get started. I have 2.5 years to get it done. Shouldn't be a problem. (I may need some assitance getting some of them accomplished.)

Also, just as a sidenote, I am really excited about 30. A few months ago, out of the blue, I just had this overwhelming feeling that 30 is going to be a good year. Not sure what that means, but I am trusting that the gut feeling was from the Lord. The next two years will be a lot of hardwork, but at 30, I'm pretty sure I'm going to start seeing a lot of fruit. I can't wait!!!

Happy Journey
Erin

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:05 AM | No comments

Becoming Whistleblowers

"We are the land of the free and the brave and seem to not notice that the brave here have never been free." -Sean

I heard of Falling Whistles about two years ago. To be honest, I had a moment of thinking, "How horrible!" and then I went right back to living my life. Not ok. It is not ok to have knowledge about this or any horrendous darkness and to turn our heads as though it doesn't exist. So let me tell you now. If you will not respond to the hurting, hungry, and dying that we will address in World Changer Wednesdays, do not read themI say this, not out of pride. I am guilty of closing my eyes. I tell you this because it is easier to turn away now then to have your eyes opened and then pretend for any sustained time that you do not know. If you do continue on, I ask for you to be a part of the accountability in this community to be a part of the solution. I am not asking you to give to every need. You can't. I can't. I can't give my money to every organization. I can't go to serve every hurting people. But I can, WE can pray. We can tell their stories. That being said, let me tell you the story of Falling Whistles.

FW was started by Sean Carasso. He had been volunteering with TOMS and Invisble Children and then in 2007 he decided to take a short trip to the Dominican Republic of Congo. His short trip turned into a life-changing mission. Sean came face to face with boys who had been abducted by rebel armies and forced to fight. It was these five boys that told Sean of the whistleblowers.

Nkunda's rebel army abducted boys and trained them to fight, but there were some who were too small. They could not hold a gun. Still, Nkunda's army had a use for these little ones. If they were too small to hold a gun, then they would be given a whistle and sent to the front lines. As the rebel army attacked, the little boys would blow their whistles to scare the opposing troops and then as the startled troops began to fire, the whistleblowers would act as a baracade. They would be killed by the first round of gunfire. If they tried to run, Nkunda's men would fire at them from behind.

Sean knew that he could not return home and pretend he did not know. He had to do something. But just as many of us in the face of horror, he was at a loss. All he knew to do was tell the story. So he did. He emailed friends and family about what he had seen and heard. And they in turn were enraged by the darkness. When Sean returned home, a friend greeted him with a hug and a gift: a whistle. Now Sean asks that we be whistleblowers. That we stand between the boys and the opposing troops. He started this non-profit and they have just finished a tour to spread the word. You can buy a whistle to wear as a reminder to pray and to tell their story. You can host an event. You can even intern with Falling Whistles. They have all sorts of suggestions about how to get involved here. All I am asking you to do is pray. Right now. Wherever you are. Stop. Stop reading this and pray. Pray for Sean and the FW team. Pray for missionaries in Congo. Pray hard for those little boys, for rescue, for healing, for peace. And pray that God would hear their cries and that he would extend his mercy to Congo. It is a war-torn land. It's people have been taken advantage of for centuries. Pray that God would move toward them and bring them out of captivity. Pray for salvation.

Congo has begun to have a special place in my heart. You see, my great-great aunt, Flora Foreman was a missionary in the Belgian run Congo from 1920-1951. She was a nurse. The only missionary in my family as far as I am aware. As the Lord continues to stir my heart for the world, I can't help but be thankful to know that I would not be the first in my family to leave the familiar. There is a heritage that maybe skipped a couple of generations and over a couple of lines, but it is there nonetheless. Not everyone will go, and I know others in my family love the lost and the glory of God. And I may not ever go, the Lord may keep me here. But still it is awesome to have a tangible example of God's movement in my lineage towards the nations. In October, my grandmother even gave me a picture of Flora.


Let me leave you with one final word.
At Passion 2011 Francis Chan told a story of a Christian who lived through the Holocaust. This man went to church near the railroad tracks. He said that as the train approached they could hear the screams from the Jewish prisoners as they were being taken to their camps. What did the church do in response? They sang louder, he said. They would sing at the top of their lungs so they could drown out the sound of the cries. Francis Chan then proclaimed, rightly, "We cannot just sing louder. We have to do something. Our lives must make sense in light of the Gospel."

Don't just sing louder. Don't just find something else to read or do so that you forget what you have just read. Pray. Pray. And allow the gospel to determine your response to this war.

For more information visit www.FallingWhistles.com


Happy Journey!
Erin

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:20 AM | No comments

Becoming Positively Lovelies

Tickle My Fancy Tuesday!!!! It is our first TMFT and I am so excited! There are such talented people in the world and I just can't help but share this beauty with you as I find it.

Positively Lovelies!!!

1. I love this print from Vol25. I love the colors and the script and the resolve of the statement. I should probably hang this on my mirror so I see it everyday.

2. This vanity from Altar'd. Isn't it gorgeous? Just look at that beautiful yellow! And the chalkboard in place of the mirror?! Love it.

3. This is just too cute. HappyTownUSA has several of these prints. They are just so precious. It combines one of my favorite childhood toys with cute captions. Could this be any more awesome? I think not.


And now for a little of my own gratitude. Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow for the "World-Changer Wednesday".

Happy Journey!
Erin

Monday, January 3, 2011

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:32 PM | 1 comment

Becoming a New Year (2011)

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe another year has gone by (and harder to believe that I am enough of an old lady to say that sort of thing).

I want to welcome you to my new blog. Ok, ok. It's the same blog as before, but I am re-formatting. I was just beginning to feel that ToB needs a bit more structure. It could be because I have only posted 40 times in the last three years. So, let me explain what you will see on this here little blog.

Mondays will hence forth be known as "Get to Work Mondays". I will be writing about goals, hopes, and dreams. I will share with you what I am doing to make those hopes realities. I will share about what God is doing as well. After all, the only reason I can take a breath is because He allows it and gives it. And of course, there will be some frustrations, some confusion, and some plain ol' "What was I thinking?" moments. I will do my best to offer some practical advice as I learn it but you should also expect the element of transparency that you have seen from ToB in the past.

Tuesdays will be really fun. I like to refer to them now as "Tickle My Fancy Tuesdays". Pretty things, exciting places, super-riffic blogs... anything and everything that stirs my creative heart will be shared here.

I may be looking most forward to Wednesdays..."World-Changer Wednesdays". There are people and organizations that are literally changing the world. As Our Own and Fallen Whistles and Compassion and so many others that are joining in God's fight for the least of these. I am excited to seek out these organizations, to find out their hearts, and to share them with you. I know you want to change the world as I do and sometimes we just need help finding the place where we can best serve. Get ready to hear great stories of what God is up to around the world.

Thursdays I will take a break but Fridays we will be back with "Participation Counts". There will be pictures, polls, conversations... any manner of things. And I fully expect you to participate. You will be graded, not on your answer but on IF you answer. Not really... your GPS..errrr...GPA will not affect your ability to find a job. But, I do want this to be a community. Right now we are small. Perhaps we will grow or perhaps not. But whether it is a community of 5 or 50, let's be a community. Let's laugh with, dream with, encourage, and challenge one another...

On the weekends, you will see "Soundtrack of Life". I will share with you the music that is rocking my world at the moment. I love discovering new music... new to me. Songs really do mark seasons of my life. Music is a miraculous thing that can completely change the direction of a day. Sometimes you will see music that stirs the eternal side of you and sometimes you will see music that simply wants to make you dance or roll the windows down (I tend to think it all stirs the eternal but I suppose that is up for debate).


There you have it. I cannot guarantee that I will get each day's post done each week, but I will try. This blog needs more structure and I do as well. I hope you will join me in discovering new becomings. I am excited about what is ahead.