Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Update.

Well, my first real semester of graduate school is complete! Somehow it worked out that I got several big assignments and most of my finals done a week early, so it's like I've been on break for a week already. So nice. :)

Today has been a super lazy day - just the way I like to start my break. I slept in until almost 11am - which NEVER happens - but it's been raining all morning, so it's been perfect sleeping weather. (But what's up with that??? RAIN??? It's DECEMBER in ILLINOIS! I want snow!)

I've also completed my Christmas shopping (I think)! So, for the next couple of weeks, you will most likely find me reading for fun, hanging out with family & friends, wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, and maybe even experimenting in the kitchen. Then I'll take a January mini-mester course and begin my spring semester about the third week of January. Life is so full most of the time... it's nice to catch my breath and just relax.

Just a quick update. I oftentimes think of interesting things to blog about, but never make myself sit down and type it out. Maybe I'll try to do better at that... No promises. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still Transitioning.

Apparently, I am an awful blogger.
(Which reminds me of Weezer's song, "Trainwrecks.")

I am, however, a consistent journaler. I've been seriously journaling since my freshman year of high school and just finished my 34th one last night. It tends to give me a feeling of ... not accomplishment ... more a sense of humility, really. When I look back at my previous journals, I am amazed at the way God cares for me. When I read what was going on in my life a week, a month, a year ago, I realize how much energy I wasted on anxiety; I reminisce about events and relationships; I laugh at my silly thoughts and ideas -- but even in the moments I wrote those words on the pages, the Lord knew my future. He knew where I would be now, which gives me hope and security knowing that He knows what lies ahead. Not only does He know -- He is orchestrating my situations, my circumstances, my interactions even now. I know that to be true, but it can be so difficult to hold onto in the midst of the mundane, and especially in times of trial. Oh, but He is so good, so kind, so compassionate.

One of my favorite verses that became life-giving hope and encouragement to me over the summer is 2 Timothy 2:13, which says,

"If we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself."

Oh, how sweet that promise has been to me - and how often I have clung to it. I can be the lowliest, most unworthy sinner on the face of the earth - and yet He is faithful to me. He is faithful to who He is! Praise the Lord that He does not change like shifting shadows; that His love, grace, and forgiveness is not dependent on my performance, my abilities, my will-power, my determination. No, it is all HIM.


I have been attending a wonderful church over the last few months since moving to Peoria. This is a solid, Jesus-centered, Bible-preaching and teaching church - and I am encouraged and fed and humbled week after week after week. This church teaches the richness of the Word like I have never experienced on a consistent basis before - and I LOVE the church I grew up in, but there's just something so edifying for me about this church. Praise the Lord.

Although I am growing to love this church and am being encouraged and strengthened in the Lord by the preaching and teaching, it has been difficult for me to get to know people. This is a large congregation, which makes it difficult to meet the same people over and over - making it difficult to feel connected. I know that this is, in large part, my own responsibility. I need to take steps to get plugged in -- by joining ministries, BIble studies, small groups, etc., as well as volunteering through ministries. I'm hoping to join a small group after the New Year and I am going to look into helping out with a ministry (although I have no idea which one!).

I love to see how the Body works together. I know that each one has unique gifts to serve others and glorify God. I know that He has given me certain gifts that I need to use for His Kingdom. I struggle sometimes in knowing what those gifts are. But I truly desire to use them to edify the Body, to encourage others, to build up my brothers and sisters, to know Christ more intimately, and to bring praise to God.

It's a hard thing to transition. It's taken me several months to feel settled - and I wouldn't even say I feel "at home" really, although it's getting there. But the Lord has blessed me with new and old friends, closeness to my family, a good start with graduate school, and much more. I am thankful for what He has done and that He is always with me. May I recognize and acknowledge His presence. May I abide in Him moment-by-moment, trusting in Him, enjoying Him, and glorifying Him.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Psalm 63:1-8 (NET)
O Godyou are my God! I long for you!
My soul thirsts  for you,
my flesh yearns for you,
in a dry and parched  land where there is no water.
Yes, in the sanctuary I have seen you,
and witnessed  your power and splendor.
Because  experiencing  your loyal love is better than life itself,
my lips will praise you.
For this reason I will praise you while I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
As if with choice meat you satisfy my soul.
My mouth joyfully praises you
whenever I remember you on my bed,
and think about you during the nighttimehours.
For you are my deliverer;
under your wings I rejoice.
My soul pursues you;
your right hand upholds me.

Proverbs 3:7-8 (NET)
Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will bring healing to your body,
and refreshment to your inner self.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NET)
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged swordpiercing even to the point of dividing soul from spiritand joints from marrowit is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Friday, June 17, 2011


A week after the American Pickers weekend, I went to the Moss Avenue sale in Peoria, which always has super cool stuff. Some of my favorites include:

the Flour & Sugar containers: snagged those for $10!

Lion drinking fountain, anyone? I passed.

Jewelry made out of typewriter pieces - soooo cute!

Besides yard sales and flea markets, I have been keeping busy with grad school. I have now completed my first two weeks of my summer session. My 3 classes are being squeezed into about 4 weeks. Which means it feels like finals week every week. Yuck. Can't wait until I'm done! (Even though I'm JUST starting grad school, ha.)


Last summer, I got serious about getting healthier. I ended up losing 25-30 lbs. and maintained it since that time. However, now I'm back at home and really off of my healthier habits/routines. I want to get back to that healthier lifestyle, including exercising. I also really want to work on my cooking skills, which are severely lacking at this point. I'm inspired by this woman's recipe blog - everything looks delicious & fairly simple! Plus, I lost the weight by doing Weight Watchers, which she includes in her nutrition information. Wish me luck! It's going to take a lot of self-discipline, self-control, motivation, and consistency.

Not only do I want to focus on my physical health, though. I feel like I've been neglecting my relationship with the Lord a bit - not spending nearly enough time with Him. And He is so worthy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

American Pickers.

Hey Blogger friend(s).

I just got home from LeClaire, Iowa, and had an AWESOME time at the American Picker's sale weekend! I just got into their show on the History channel this year but have fallen in love with the people and the adventure of picking. My Dad heard about this event a couple weeks ago so he, my mom, my sister & brother-in-law, and I were soooo pumped to go.
And we were not disappointed.

There were tons of yard sales around the town, a Q&A with Mike and Danielle, autograph time, not to mention several antique stores in the historical district of LeClaire.

This post might be a copy-cat of Ashley's blog, but here are my purchases from today. ;)

a $12 antique frame; a 50-cent porcelain bird; a $5 flower hair clip made by Danielle; a $4 notebook made from burlap. AND a free American Pickers poster signed by Mike Wolfe! (Yes, it says, "Erin, you rock!" on it. ;))

I also had to buy an Antique Achaeology shirt. :)

Highlight of the day: meeting Mike!

It was such a fun day! I'll leave you with some pictures from the flea market. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grown-up Plans.

So, the Lord has really been opening doors - and I am so thankful!

I finally decided to commit to a grad school (woohoo!), and I'm starting classes this summer - rather than in the fall. I'll be able to take 3 courses (5 credits) during the month of June. It will probably be a bit intense since all the curriculum is squeezed into 4-6 weeks, but I'm glad to be getting started.

I've also had 4 interviews - with 2 offers! Praise the Lord! I'm still not sure which one it's going to be, though - one is a daycare and one is a bookstore. As of now, the daycare can offer me more hours; however, lately I've been concerned that it's going to be too exhausting. (Kids are a lot of work!) I would like to work at the bookstore, but it sounds like they can't give me a whole lot for the summer; however, I told them I'd be willing to take what they've got for the summer if I could have more hours in the fall. We'll see! God has provided so much already - I know that He'll work all this out. I'm actually working at the daycare next week as a bit of a "trial run" so we'll see how that goes.

Since things have been falling into place as far as a job and classes, I am going to be moving into my friend Chelsea's apartment sooner rather than later! (As long as I get approved. ;)) Soooo, home decor has been on my mind lately. :) I'm having to down-size to a twin bed because my new bedroom will be a bit small - but I'm excited to see how I can be creative with the space! Even though this bedding is for a full-size bed, my Mom & I were talking about cutting off the excess fabric and using it for pillows! Pretty excited - I've had my eye on this bedding for a while!

I also went "garage saleing" today & got a few things... as well as... this adorable antique head- and foot-boards!! I looovvveee it! And can't wait to put it with the bedding!

Obviously, the first picture is the bed. Isn't it cute? And in the second picture... I got a couple of small, white vases; a cute Old Navy water bottle; an apron!; some IKEA jars; two green & brown place-mats; and a mini-thesaurus (which might have been my favorite purchase of the day). I probably spent about $7 on all of that - which is why I LOVE garage sales.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Wow. I don't blog for 3 months and then all of a sudden I post 3 times in one night!
Don't get used to it.

I just wanted to put up a few photos that I took for my friend Amy Jo and her fiancĂ©e Thomas. This was my first engagement photo session, and it was a lot of fun!

I met Amy Jo sophomore year of high school when she moved to my hometown. Band brought us together (ha), and then we ended up going to the same college and rooming together for 3 years. She is such a great friend, a beautiful sister in Christ, and one of the funniest people I've ever met. Thomas is a lucky guy. :)


Throughout college, I have been a faithful Firefox user; but recently, a friend mentioned Google Chrome & how great it is. I was hesitant at first because Firefox has served me so well. (Is this ridiculous enough yet?) But I decided to give GC a shot just to test it out.

Turns out it's pretty sweet.

Anyhow, short story short... I was switching my bookmarks over to Google Chrome and happened upon some amazing blogs. At first I thought it was slightly silly that people have these websites simply to share design and art and photos (some of which is not even their own), but then I noticed that I was getting an itch for creativity. Yes, I was, in fact, quite inspired by some of the blogs I was visiting. I don't think it's that ridiculous to say that. Art comes in many forms. Why not weblogs?

This is one of my new favorites. This lady from Paris has so many fun DIY projects! I wish I was a bit craftier, but it just takes some practice and a lot of patience.

Although I am not actually a cooker/baker at all, I truly admire people who use food as an art-form, and it definitely motivates me to try out some of these recipes. One of my favorites so far is called Picky Palate, which basically describes me. My friends often joke that I have the same food preferences as a 5 year-old. (Mac & cheese, ice cream, Cap'n Crunch. What else do ya need? And, yes, I still buy juice boxes at the age of twenty-two.)

And, finally, take a look at THIS. Can you say inspiration? I've always been a fan of HGTV, but I didn't realize how much I enjoy design and style. (These blogs are so much fun!) This one in particular is giving me all kinds of ideas on how I want to decorate my future bedroom at my friend Chelsea's apartment in Peoria (Lord willing!)...


Oh, blogs.

Oh, goodness.

Well, I would say this blog has been sufficiently neglected. Sadly, so has my discipline of verse memorization.
However, I am hoping to get things back on track! THIS WEEK. (Lord, help me.)

I graduated from college on May 7th, which was a pretty terrific feeling. Actually, it still doesn't even seem real. It's strange to think that I won't be heading back to Bourbonnais for school in the fall. And it's been a bit sad to say goodbye to friends for who-knows how long. But I am looking forward to the future. I am planning on spending the next three years getting my Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Peoria. At present, I am job-hunting. This is no easy task, let me tell you. But I am confident and hopeful that the Lord will open a door. I just have to put my big girl pants on and wait on His timing.

I really enjoyed my time at Olivet. I matured in many ways, developed meaningful friendships, received an excellent education, and most of all I have fallen more in love with Jesus. Things did not always go exactly as planned, and there were definitely some extremely rough times. In fact, during the last week of school, as I was having a real heart-to-heart with my roommates Angela and Emily, I was finally able to recognize and express something that God had been working in me over the last few years. In high school, I was on fire for the Lord. I was part of a thriving youth group and really became a spiritual leader. During that time, everything about God was new, fresh, and exciting. But throughout college, His presence was not as obvious to me. I often felt distant from God, not able to feel His Spirit, and often frustrated because I couldn't feel Him. It's not that I never experienced the Lord's presence in my life during this time, but it was certainly a "dry season," if that makes sense. However, on one of those last nights in my apartment with my close friends, as I poured my heart out, I finally understood how God had been at work in me.

It was a bit like the Lord's conversation with Peter in John 21:15-12.

I sensed Him asking me:
"Do you truly love Me? Or do you love the way I make you feel?"

It was as if a light turned on inside of me. It was an "A-HA" moment of pure insight.

During high school, the Lord was so kind in allowing me to feel and sense His presence constantly. But in college, that became more uncommon. Instead, I had to constantly remind myself of His consistency, His faithfulness, His unchanging character. I had to keep telling myself, "God is with me, even though I cannot feel Him."

And that night, I knew it to be true. 100%.
He showed me that, even through dry seasons, He is who He is. He is the same God that I worship when I am on a mountaintop of emotions, when His presence is obvious and richly dwelling in me and spilling over.
He is the same. And He had been with me the whole time.

This lesson gives me hope and assurance for the future. No matter how I'm feeling, I know who He is - His true character. No matter where I am, I know that He is with me. No matter what I'm doing, I know that He is leading me.

Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Memory Verse #3

Well, it seems like I'm just using this blog for memory verses - which is cool with me!
Here is the next one!

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything

-1 John 3:18-20 NIV

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Verse #2

So far, so good with the memorization! It has been a blessing for me to recall the Word throughout the day. God is so good!

Here is the next verse I am memorizing:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
--Galatians 6:9 NIV

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Post!

Hello BloggerLand!

I have to admit, I have had a blog in the past - mostly in an attempt to stay connected with others' blogs. And, truthfully, that didn't work out so well. I'm hoping for more consistency now, but I'm not making any promises. Honestly, I am a bit apprehensive because...well, what do I have to say that will be of any interest to anyone? Haha! Really, I'm not doing anything particularly interesting at the moment - you know, how some people get blogs because they're going on a trip or they're doing an internship with an interesting group or whatever else.

But, really, I'm pretty much an average 22 year-old (minus the excessive drinking). Even so, here I am with this blog! I actually created it because I am following Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memory Team for the year. (Check it out!) I was about to post my first passage of Scripture that I hope to memorize and realized it would be more fun to see others' blogs and share my own thoughts as we go through this year of memorizing Bible verses. (Okay, so maybe I'm not your average 22 year-old at all! I'm okay with that. :))

So, along with some thoughts about faith, I may also use this blog to post my photography - one of my hobbies that I really enjoy! I'm a bit nervous about sharing my "art" with others sometimes, but I'll give Blogger a shot. Plus, I'm not really expecting many people that I know to hear about this blog. :)

I think the perfect way to sum up this first post is by sharing the passage I will be working on memorizing for the next two weeks. I hope it encourages you!

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
-Hebrews 13:15-16 NIV