Friday, February 22, 2013

Parenting in Grace

Let me take some time to be a little transparent about where my heart is at the moment in this BIG job God has called me to, parenting.  So, a little over 9 1/2 years ago I gave birth to our first born son Bryson.  I was ecstatic to become a mom, this was something I had dreamed about my whole life and then this reality was becoming true.  I have to say, for me, taking care of a newborn seemed pretty easy, I tend to be a bit strict on scheduling for sleep, eating etc., so he seemed to fall into the routine pretty easily, as did the rest of my kiddos when they were born (Landon, Ashlyn, Madelyn & Hudson).  The problem truly came when they were around 2 (maybe some were 18 months, but closer to the 2 year old mark).  All of a sudden, they had this innate desire to start controlling their lives.  You know, if I said A, then they wanted to do B.  Or if they wanted to not do it they were quick to voice their little opinion.  Before now, that really didn't seem to hard to overcome.
So many times though, I am like that little 2 year old stomping my feet and pitching a fit because I want MY way with God.  Somehow I think HE needs to hear what I think and what my opinion about it is.  Just as this is crazy for a 2 year old, how much more crazy is it for me.  I tell my husband often, God made us parents to refine us, not so much our kids. : )  Every day my kids teach me so much about myself that it can be a bit eye opening and convicting all the same.
My prayer lately is that God would give me GRACE to give my kids, instead of so much TRUTH.  I tend to be a truth driven person and sometimes it gets in the way of giving GRACE in situations.  Where would be without God's grace?  I know I would be on my way to hell, because that is what I deserve.  God has been so gracious to redeem me and also to give me the grace I need daily to live for Him.  He so lovingly reminds me daily of how much I need HIM to be a better woman, wife, sister, daughter and yes....parent.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


What lies are you believing today?

  • God doesn't really forgive what I have done.
  • God can't fix this situation or problem in my life.
  • God doesn't really understand where I am.
  • If God loves me, why would I have to go through this?
  • The future looks so grim and I don't see a way out.
All of these are LIES!  Lies that Satan is throwing at you to believe that whatever it is in your life is to big for God.  Just this morning I allowed doubt and fear to enter and I started listening to the lies Satan was whispering in my ear.  Things like, you have 2 bills do this Friday and the money isn't in the bank what are YOU going to do Erin to figure this out.  Your husband still doesn't have a full time job, what is wrong with him?  It is so easy to let your mind and heart go that way.  Immediately I felt this anxiousness and then I remember....GOD HAS THIS!  We have made every bill so far....why would this week be any different?  God is growing me to trust HIM day by day.  Sometimes we get our focus on the future that we allow all of those uncertainties overwhelm us for no reason.

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  Matthew 6:25-34

See...GOD HAS THIS!  Don't spend so much time worrying about next month that you can't live today.  Trust God for today and what He has for you right now!  It is so easy to get our eyes on everything ahead and fret and listen to Satan lie.  Look back on how God has done exactly what you needed in HIS timing, not our own.  Stop letting Satan tell you differently!  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sharing My Heart this Morning

This is going to be a little side note.  : )  Just want to encourage you in your quiet time.  God has used praise music, music that brings glory to Him and who He is.  Not just songs about God, but songs I can sing directly to Him.  I love having songs like this playing all day while I am at home, or in the car.  It is a constant mindset on what He has done for me and How much He loves me that helps me most in times of doubt, confusion, fear that helps me.
I hear so many people that struggle with their self worth, etc.  Where do you find your worth?  Do you find it from your husband/boyfriend and the expectations you put on him to say just the right thing to make you feel better.  Or maybe your self worth is in your kids and how they behave or the accomplishments they do.  Maybe it's your friends, surely they can make your life so fulfilling.  Or maybe it is a circumstance that you just know will go a certain way, but it doesn't.  Well, I am not sure if you have figured this out yet, but people are human just like you.  Do you always say the right thing or do the right thing in all these relationships?  No....because we are broken!  So why do we look to people that are broken like us to fulfill us when there is one who is perfect, holy and who has already paid the price for all of our sin.  It is only when I have put my expectation and self worth in HIM that I feel so full and a sense of true joy.  A piece of this is control...yikes!  As women, and even men, but more so women our core sin is control.  Control over everything, not just our husbands, but life in general.  You know, why can't I control my kids...if I would just spank them more or be more consistent.  Why can't I control my husband, he really is messing this up and needs to listen to what I have to say.  My friend, see I need her to do this or act this way or in some way do something for me and that isn't happening.  My life, you see I need it to go this way because then it would be so easy or how I had planned things to go.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Our hope is not in the now, but what God is doing in us and changing us to be more like Him for the future.  The now may hurt, but looking back on the hurts, that is what made us stronger and what He wants us to be.  That is what energizes me to move forward, even when I don't understand or see where we are headed.  I will touch more on control in a later post, but wanted to share a bit this morning of what was on my heart.  Thank you Lord that you are changing me everyday into something more beautiful than I was before.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Here we go...

My heart is so full, I really don't know where to start.  There is so much going on on the inside of me that I find it hard to get my thoughts together.  I have to say one thing though, God allows hard things in my life not for my pain, but for HIS glory and my good.  Really?  I know that is the last thing you want to hear when you are in the midst of God doing something you really DON"T understand.  Trust me, I have been there MANY times over the last year.

  • Why would God move our family to Chicago for 4 months, then to Hickory, NC for a month, all that transition and change and chaos?
  • Why would HE allow things for our church plant to be so up and down?
  • Why would HE allow the dream and vision of Harvest Greenville South to completely die?
  • Why would HE make us suffer such financial loss and heartache?
  • Why would I have to go back to work part time?
  • Why would my son be diagnosed with learning disabilities?
  • Why would I feel so alone and helpless?
These really are just SOME of the emotions and struggles I have faced in the last year.  I really want to take several blog posts to cover each of these and more and how God has grown in my heart and my faith through all of this.  To be honest, this is going to take a lot of transparency and I still struggle with being so open and honest, but why?  In reality, we are all sinners saved by the same grace.  I don't have to feel judged or condemned, because Jesus already paid for it on the cross.  What others think or say, doesn't matter.  I just want to be able to encourage others with how I am growing.  Not for my glory, but for His. I am on this journey of grace, and I never imagined how wild of a ride it would be!  Would you allow me to be boldly honest about my struggles and how God has redeemed so much in my life...I hope so, because you are just the same...maybe different struggles, but when we can see others in that same light of God's grace, then there is no judgement, only freedom!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Starting Fresh...More Blogging to Come

I haven't blogged in about 6 months.  First, I can't believe it REALLY has been that long, but when I look back over the last 6 months of my life, I really UNDERSTAND why.  So, I redesigned by blog a bit and I have a ton to share!  Stay tuned!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Can't I Find the Time....

Why can't I be one of these people who blogs my thoughts etc, everyday?  I mean it's not like I have anything else to do right?  I just hate that the times between blogging are longer and longer. Crazy....pathetic...please forgive me.
God has been doing so much in my heart and life in the months of May & June.  Honestly, these 2 months have been REALLY hard for me!  Let me start off by saying this....being a godly wife and mom is hard work, then throw in being a wife to a church planter-boom, enter craziness!  Honestly, I NEVER thought things could be so hectic and stressful and busy and amazing all at the same time.  God has been teaching me so many lessons that it is hard to sit down and really write about them all.
The church plant is going well, do I wish it was going my way-absolutely! (hehehe)  I am so glad that I am not the one writing this story of Harvest Bible Chapel, Greenville, because I would have messed it up a LONG time ago.  A few lessons I have learned so far:

  • Faith-my faith is so much weaker than I thought!  I have doubted God so many times in the last 2 months, honestly I am ashamed to really admit it, but more than that, I was really surprised that I felt so weak.  I know Satan has been attacking me because if he can discourage me then that is exactly where he wants me.
  • Blessings-these don't come always the way I think they should.  I mean, I have a list of the way I want God to provide for us, but He has provided in other ways so that He gets the glory, and we learn the lessons!
  • Ministry-ministry is HARD!  Not that I went into this thinking it was easy, but I have been reminded of the perseverance it takes to be in ministry, especially married to the senior pastor.
As I look over this list, I amazed at how God continues to grow me and shape me into who HE wants me to be.  Sam and I have talked multiple times about how this process of church planting is growing and stretching us in ways we have never thought possible!  Watching Sam step forward and lead our core group has been amazing!  How you can pray for us:
  • We are actively looking for someone to head up our children's ministry.
  • The search is on for a launch location!
  • Financial provision
  • Continued growth of our core group, both numerically and spiritually.

So, beyond that (which is a heartful), I am enjoying the kiddos all being home for the summer.  We have been able to swim at least twice just about every week, thanks to some kind friends.  We are also involved in the summer reading program, and working towards free passes to the waterpark.  Bryson and Madelyn's birthday party is coming up this week, they will be turning 9 and 4 on the 10th.  Really? am I old enough to have a 9 year old already?  I really am amazed how time just rushes by and I am so guilty of not taking time to just breathe and enjoy the stage I am in.  We are moving out the "baby years" and I have to say I am not missing that, well at least not when I remember that they turn 2.  Although, raising kids is no easy task, and discipling them is even harder.  God has really grown me in this and I am trying to be a little more intentional on taking the small things of life and making them teachable moments.  I said to a friend recently, God is changing my own heart, and that is what makes me a better parent! (instead of thinking my kids are the ones that always need to change)  I am thankful that I can look back over the last 5 years and see how God is moving in my life and that gives me hope for what is to come!
Fathers Day 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Really, I can explain...

First of all, I can't even believe that it has been 2 1/2 months since my last blog post.  Really, I have good intentions, as you have heard before.  I can't believe how fast time goes by, and again it is just a reminder of  the fact that our time is limited and passing quickly.

  • Sam is crazy busy.  I love watching him lead and grow and God change him into something more beautiful and amazing than I could ever imagine.  
  • Bryson is such a good big brother.  I love watching his concern and care for his siblings and family.  Please pray as we make some decisions in this next month about possibly retaining him in 3rd grade next year.
  • Landon is blossoming at school and recently won an award for character-that really made me proud.  
  • Ashlyn is so ready to start school in the fall.  I frequently find her "reading" books and trying to sound out words.  I love her love for learning.
  • Madelyn is growing and always has such interesting things to talk about, never a dull moment with her around.
  • Hudson is taking on new words everyday.  He has no problem keeping up with the big boys and often wants to do everything they are (including the naughty things). 
  • I am crazy busy being a Sr. Pastor's wife to a church planter, mom to 5 kids, daughter to a widow, friend to some great people and whatever else falls into my lap.  (oh and loving every bit of it!)

  • We just returned from Harvest University.  This is an annual leadership conference held by Harvest Bible Fellowship.  Wow!  So hard to put in words how much of a blessing this was.  This was my first time to attend.  Sam had gone last year as his first introduction to Harvest.  We were blessed to be able to take 5 others from our core group with us.  Can I just say how excited I am about what God is doing in our church, Harvest Bible Chapel Greenville South.
  • We were able to connect with lots of people while we were there (Sunday-Wednesday).  It was great to see our fellow friends and servants from our time at the training center.  We also were able to meet others who are much farther ahead of us in this church planting process.  I was able to attend the track for Sr. Pastors wives and was so encouraged and challenged.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, Sam was commissioned by Harvest Bible Fellowship.  Can I just take a moment to say how proud I am of my husband.  His humility and steadfastness have been amazing.  I am so thankful for how he has lead and continues to lead our family and watching him make this next step of accomplishment was amazing!

  • We start meeting every week beginning this Sunday night for our core group meetings, which is an awesome next step for us. 
  • Please continue to pray for us as we continue to build into leaders for our future church, which will launch this fall!
I really am hoping to get more regular on this blog thing....