Sunday, April 14, 2013

rub a dub dub

look at these cuties. bath time is such a good time to see their growth.
 the one below is from this week. look at the progression of not only the kids but the number of toys in the tub. we go from no toys, to some toys, to all the toys!

this year 2013

last year 2012

2 years ago 2011

Thursday, April 11, 2013

camp highland

ahhhh camp highland. i have so many fond memories of that summer. see, since i came to know God so late in life - i was 27 - and i am an alcoholic - read addict - i took this christian thing serious. i went full force. i wanted to make up for lost time and have as many experiences as i could right away. i went a little over board in hindsight but hey you have to learn on your own right? i sure do miss all those cd's i threw out bc a book i read said to get rid of anything that has memories of your life "before" attached to it. so i threw away EVERYTHING. including my journey cd's, seriously? WTH? anyway, back to camp.

so one experience i wanted to have was being a camp counselor! ha! i had heard about a place called camp highland. they had an over night camp for big kids and a day camp for elementary aged kiddos. sign me up! it was on the same campus as my current church and it was a christian camp. see everything in my life needed to be christian at this point. i was obsessed. i even took my bible with me to the gym. dork :) but taking that with me to the gym proved purposeful when i meant one of my current best friends bc of it. i saw some girls walking into the gym one day and recognized them from church and kelly saw the bible on the treadmill and we started talking. we are still friends to this day!

kelly is on the left, me, tracey.

so i applied to work at the camp. best thing i did! i loved it, i have some awesome memories from that summer. made some great friends! sarah, jen, cathy, jonathan, michael, lauren, kurt. so much fun. the best part was that i got to be a kid again and really learn about faith through the eyes of a child. while i was teaching them i think i was really the one learning. it was also the first place i learned about serving others. ill never forget - which is funny since my memory stinks! one of the things that bill chapman - the founder of camp highland - said during our orientation. he was talking about the kiddos and how to serve them. now remember, we are talking about teenagers, young adults and me working with little kids. these kids were as young as 4 - almost 5 - and we were serving them. but it was amazing. bill said, when you are with these kids and they are doing something you want them to stop doing, think about this: are they just getting on your nerves or are they really going something they shouldnt be doing. i often think about that. there were many many times that summer that i was tired of doing something they wanted to do, or they really were driving me crazy or just really getting on my nerves but i kept on. i kept on playing, i kept on singing, i kept on serving them. it was awesome. i have a specific memory of carrying one little boy all the way across the parking lot {black as black can be parking lot in the hot hot summer} because he forgot his shoes. it was hot, he was heavy and i was tired, but i was there to serve him. so i carried him back and forth across that hot parking lot and back and his little feet never had to touch the hot ground.

me and sarah

cathy, me and jen

me and jonathan

2000 continued

picking up where i left "i got saved" what does that even mean? for me it meant a lot. it completely changed the trajectory of my life. at the time all of the previous mentioned chaos was going on i was working in the adult entertainment industry as a stripper {there will probably be many more posts about that} and a shooter girl, yes i was stripping, serving drinks and working in a bar while sober. ha! no wonder i was such a "dry drunk" {someone who is still behaving like a drunk but isnt drinking}.

so i had this amazing spiritual moment on a monday afternoon, on the floor in my bedroom. the very next day, i went to work. i walked in and immediately felt something different, the usually loud music, people laughing, etc was not appealing to me. i walked in, walked over to the house mom and said im quitting. and i did. i never looked back.

i borrowed money from a friend, broke my apartment lease and moved in with my best friend. that december i moved in with my parents and started working at a video store. i had a thing for photography at the time so this was fun for me. i was going to church and 722 {a bible study for singles}. making new friends, i got in a small group, and started a new life away from all the chaos.

these are the ladies from my small group, steph (not the same as the BFF steph), me, jen w/ little abby, melissa and rose.

this is me and the best friend, stephanie.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

holy loved forgiven

i remember a time not so long ago
there were so many things i didn’t know
i lived life without any assistance
unaware of your existence
higher power, “god”, mother earth
the universe
self-help and counseling sessions
all those things kept me from seeing you there in heaven
i thought i was fine all on my own
little did i know i was lost and alone
thank you Lord even though i couldn’t see you
somehow you knew
all it would take, the heated debates
i thought i was crazy
my mind and thoughts were so hazy
alcohol, money, drugs and sex
all the insatiable desires of my flesh
through all of that darkness you could see
holy loved forgiven saved me
cleansing love that comes to us from above
thank you for helping me work it out
for sorting through all of my doubt
thank you that you always knew
i would eventually find what was true
thank you Jesus that truth was You


Monday, April 8, 2013

new life

today is your special day
to proclaim the name of Jesus
the one who has shown you the way
you are such a delight
what a beautiful sight
to see
what amazing gift your
friendship is to me
thank you for your heart
for allowing me into a small part
of who you are
even that small part of you
shines like the brightest star
today a part of you will die
but that part is the rest of the lie
even though you became pure and new
the moment you said I do
today you will rise in Him
washed forever of your sin
today is a public symbol
of his dying sacrifice
to show the world around you
that he paid your high price
he shed his blood for you
to show you that He is true
there was nothing you could do
you must accept this amazing gift
and all that it comes with
grace patience mercy love
all of His wonderful blessings from above
today I rejoice with Him
grateful that you are my friend

Spring 2003

1999 ~ 2000 dates to remember - because my memory stinks

i found an old piece of paper from a journal and thought it might be important to document this on the web rather than a random piece of paper, seeing as my memory stinks and all.

1999 ~ stopped drinking in April - the 10th to be exact. i stopped on the same day that the father of my boyfriend at the time was celebrating his anniversary. not sure how many years it was for him but i chose that day to be the day i stopped. the best decision i ever made for sure. in case you didnt stop to do the math that is a LONG FREAKING TIME AGO! FOURTEEN years ago, sans two days from right now. i cant believe i have been sober almost 14 years. lets just go ahead and call it 14 bc lets be honest its not like i have a ton of blog readers, so in the chance that you are reading this at all, it is probably way past the time that i posted this so ill go ahead and give myself a 14 years sober pat on the back! congrats me! thanks me!

2000 {may 8th} ~ became a Christian,  - got saved - born into the family of the Lord, yada, yada. whatever you want to call it. i got my act together. see, i had been sober for over a year. but i was what they - whoever they are - call dry drunk. i was pretty much white knuckling my life. you know the hang on for dear life bc if you let go you might die? yeah that. but for whatever reason i chose that day to finally turn it over to something greater than me and ask for help. the guy i was dating at the time knew that i was seeking something. i was struggling with my sobriety, not making the best decisions in my relationship with him, angry and depressed. i cried a LOT. and i cried a LOT to him, about him and me and what was wrong with us? {we had a very healthy relationship don't ya think} anyway, he knew i needed something and he knew i had looked for that something in every place that i could so he very simply laid it out for me. paraphrase {remember my memory stinks}: "listen, i know you are miserable, hurting, depressed and you have looked everywhere to fill the God sized hole in you, so why not look to God to fill that hole." hum, keep talking. "you were born with a God sized hole in you, like we all were and even though i {him} am not walking super close to God right now i do know the "right" things to do. so why not ask him to help you feel better?" ok, what does that mean? "well, you just close your eyes and ask Jesus to live in your heart and to help you with everything you are going through. and listen erin, if it doesnt work it doesnt work. you have tried everything else, why not try this?" hum, ok sounds like a plan to me. so what do i do? he then proceeded to talk to me about the sinners prayer and what that meant from a biblical perspective and asked me if i wanted him to pray with me? even though i was a hot mess i knew enough to know that i didnt want part of the main problem in my life - read him - to pray with me about him. ya know. so i hung up the phone and say on the floor of my room on a monday afternoon and just cried and cried. you know the kind of crying where its coming up from your gut? the kind that makes your whole body shake, snot from head to toe? that was me. so i cried ad cried and just talked to God. just said if you are there help me. i hate my life, i dont want to die but i dont want to live with this kind of pain anymore. so please just help me. i think i said a few things that my friend had suggested like live in my heart or something like that but i basically begged for my life and for peace in that life. SO, here is where the really cool part of the story comes in. so remember when i was talking before about ugly cry face, snot from head to toe, my cat's fur was even wet from me crying on them? well the minute i asked God for help, literally the exact minute, i stopped crying. it was like a switched flipped and i was at peace. and here is the even cooler part: my face was dry. the tears had evaporated. i had my head down while i was praying/crying with God and when i looked up - dont miss this ---> my freaking room was glowing. no, i am not exaggerating, i know my memory stinks but i remember this as clear as if it just happened. i was sitting on the floor of my room next to my bed, the end table and phone were next to me and when you looked up over my bed there was a large picture window across the room. i lived in an apartment and all i had were the standard blinds on the window and the entire outline of the window and that side of the room was glowing. i felt like i was floating. so much peace. i just wanted to sit in that moment for as long as i could. after a while i called my friend and said i think i just had one of those spiritual experiences they talk about in AA, i told him what happened and he said "no, you just got saved".

new blog header

for those of you who read this blog from a reader i wanted to post my new blog header here since i know most of you will never see it! man i love those kiddos!