Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Need a Hero

Yesterday we finally resumed our weekly Bible study at church. We are currently studying the book "Captivating". We had a great and fun first day back, as we discussed our childhoods favorites. It was great to think back to those days...

As I read this book one of the greatest mysteries of my life is being explained to me. You see, when I started liking boys I seemed to gravitate to the "rebels", I wanted the boys that my mom didn't approve of, the ones I had to sneak around with to date and til this day my mom is always asking me why. I didn't know why...

One of my favorite movies growing up was Grease, I loved it! I had the soundtrack and listened to it over and over. I loved Danny and all the hoods. I also loved Fonzi, from Happy Days, he was so cool to me.

In seven grade I remember riding the bus and I noticed this tall, blonde guy and my heart skipped a beat when he actually spoke to me. That day I decided I like Johnny, everybody else called him John but he was Johnny to me. He was the guy in school that all the boys feared, all the girls wanted to date and he was SO cool and of course, so goodlooking! My mom didn't like Johnny AT ALL. SO my answer was to sneak around with him. We dated on and off from the end of 7th to the middle of 9th. He was my Fonzi or my Danny. He wasn't afraid of a fight and he stepped in when a guy at school was harrassing me. The boy never spoke to me again after that. I remember one night I met him at the beach and we were talking with his friends who were spewing filthy words every breath...he put his arm around me and said, "HEY! Don't talk like that around my girl!" Can you see me swooning? I did! Believe me!

But Johnny had a dark side, he hid it from me, but it was there. I heard tales of him doing drugs and cheating on me constantly. He would deny it all but looking back on it I knew it was true but I wanted that excitement, I loved the feeling I had when I was around him, that feeling of protection, the way my heart fell to my feet when I saw him, the way he treated me like I was so special when we together, the way he would throw his arm around me and we were "the" couple, ya know, it was all rather romantic, for the most part, as we were Romeo and Juliet, of course ;)

Then came the breakup, we were at the beach one night, he broke up with me and I was so angry at him! He already had a girl waiting for him in a nearby car. I pushed him and HE PUSHED ME BACK. My head hit a light pole and I looked up at him with tears and stars in my eyes and I could see the look on his face was one of regret but before he could say anything, another guy came from nowhere, grabbed his arm and said,"I better not EVER see you do that again!" And he just held onto Johnny's arm and as I looked in Johnny's eyes, I saw fear there. WOW! Meet my new hero, who as it turned out was the local drug dealer, he was WAY too old for me and he actually lied to ME about his age. I'm not going to say his name because frankly this relationship is a complete embarrassment to me now. I will say however that during this time that he never exposed me to them and threatened all the kids in our school that he would beat them up if they ever gave me drugs. I found all this out later from a guy on the bus that had always been a real jerk to me but one day he said, Erika, I'm really worried about you because..... And he told me, he begged me not to ever tell my boyfriend who told me because he would beat this guy up. Wow, I wish I could say I broke up with him at that point, but, I didn't. I was in 9th grade and too stupid to see clearly, I was addicted to the game, the game of sneaking around, I was addicted to the adventure and the romance of it all. And I was incredibly naive, I believed him when he told me that he didn't deal drugs...but luckily I noticed David one day (he was the only guy I ever dated that my parents approved of! lol) and that was the end of that guy. Whew!

In 1984, when I was 15 a song came out that explainrd me to a T! It was "I Need a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler. I played that song over and over again, loudly, and I recall dancing and spinning around the room with stardust in my eyes! I truly wanted a hero! Someone that would save me like I was a damsel in distress. One that was fresh from the fight; one that was larger than life. What I ended up with were criminals. It turns out that Johnny married that girl waiting in the car for him and one night he beat her to a pulp. When she left him finally, he shot himself to try to bring her, scary. He is now, from what I hear, a crackhead with so many kids that I've lost count. I was so close to being that girl. The other guy, I see him occasionally, I think he's straightened his life out but he ruined so many young kids lives in our area before he did...definitely neither of these guys were ever "Hero" material.

I now know that I've found my true hero and He can outdo all other heroes! I've found the one good man, I've found the street wise Hercules to fight the rising odds. I have my white knight upon a fiery steed. He is strong, He is fast, He's sure, He's soon and He's definitely larger than life! He's always reaching back for me. He's definitely a superman and He's definitely swept me off my feet! His name is Jesus and He is somewhere watching me, protecting me, guiding me, loving me, He actually died for me and He is the only hero we need! He was always there, He was always just a prayer away...

Thank you Jesus for being my hero and thank you Father for loving me no matter the cost! Photobucket

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Answered Prayers

I had to write today because last night I had the most miraculous thing happen....

In Sunday School, our teens are praying the Jabez Prayer for a prayer pal whose name they drew in class this past sunday. Last night, it hit me that my son, who's in the class, hasn't been praying for his prayer pal. So, I did what I've always said I wouldn't do and I asked him about it. I feel that the other kids don't get this special treatment at home so, I shouldn't give my own son that special treatment...however, I really want him to learn that verse and prayer!! So, I broke my rules and I talked to him about the prayer. We spoke of all the many miracles I have encountered with it. He said the prayer for his prayer pal and we both tried to recite it...I won ;). It was rather funny as he was amazed that I knew it, which is hilarious because I've been reciting that prayer to myself for months now! LOL Anyway, I tuck him in and say goodnight.

I then head to the garage. In the garage we have an old desk and chair, where I sit and read alot. I'll take a glass of drink, a book and go read several time during the day and night. It's like my break spot I guess. So, after tucking both kids in bed, I get a glass of milk, my book and head to the garage. My cat runs frantically in the house just as I open the door. I pay her no mind, head to the chair, sit down and preceed to read. (I'm currently reading a book that actually belongs to my son and it's not bad for a kids book :)

The door opens, out walks my husband who stops adruptly and says, "Someone is going to get hurt out here!" HUH? What is he talking about? Shaking his head he points to the floor and there on the floor is a HUGE pile of shattered glass. Someone had evidently left a glass outside and my cat had knocked it off the desk, where it shattered in a million shards. I looked down at the path that I had to take to get to my chair, I looked under my chair, and I looked under the desk...HOW IN THE WORLD DID I WALK THAT WAY AND NOT STEP ON GLASS? My husband and I shook our heads, I'm not exactly sure how I didn't cut my feet wide open getting to the chair. It was hard to manuever once I knew it was there to not get cut. I checked myself to be sure and there were no cuts anywhere. How did I not see the glass? How did I not get cut? Good grief what if it had been a snake?!?! lol

As we cleaned up the glass I started thinking about the prayer my son and I had just uttered not even five minutes before I stepped out of that door. Wow, talk about an answered prayer!! AND I had to break my rules to do it...hmmmm, I don't know what to make of that one but I do know that I'm sure glad that I said that prayer and I'm oh so thankful that God's hand (and feet apparently) was with me as I walked out of that door :)

May the Lord bless you indeed, may He enlarge your territory, may His hand always be with you! May He keep you from evil, so that you will not cause pain, In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN!

PS!! While I was writing this, the phone rang! It was Rusty saying that he has another interview at the phone company in the morning!! Thank you Jesus!!! And thank you for always blessing us INDEED!!!!


Thursday, September 3, 2009


As most of you know my husband has been out of work since April. It's been trying at times but not too bad. God has provided and He's used this time to teach me so much. He has truly taught me the lesson that HE is the provider and Oh, how He loves us. How faithful He is! We've only had one month where we were worried about paying bills. I have learned to lean on HIM more, to trust Him and just to know that He is in control. I've told my husband the whole time that if it's God's will, he'll get this job or that job. My faith remained strong, my joy was in tact, I truly wasn't worried about it. I was just trusting.

Well, my husband was called to the local phone company to do an interview. He made it through to the third round, there's only the fourth to go. I was so excited about this prospect and truly thought THIS is God's best for my husband! This job brings great pay, great benefits, a place to grow and move up. This has to be the job we've been waiting for! God has saved the best for last! The way it all came about was another God-incident. If Rusty hadn't applied at a local computer repair center, his resume wouldn't have been looked at. It just felt RIGHT, it felt like God's doing.

Rusty was told that they would call him the first of this week...they haven't called. I've been fine during this whole process until yesterday. Yesterday is officially the middle of the week and as the day progressed and all the well meaning people kept asking me if we'd heard anything...well, my hope left me. I finally saw for the first time that what if this isn't what God wants for Rusty? What if he doesn't get the job? What if, what if...I fell like a sack of bricks. God kept saying to me, don't you trust Me? Why don't you trust Me? I was overwhelmed with worry, overwhelmed with fear and just plain not trusting Him.

A friend called me last night to see if we wanted some lasagna for our supper. Lasagna is my favorite all time food. I LOVE lasagna!! LOVE IT!! It was such a sweet thing for her to do. She brought it to me and she was even in her pajamas! I started talking to her about my problems and what I was feeling. Just out of nowhere, just bowled her over with them. She didn't even see it coming, lol. Somehow me telling her what the Lord had been asking all just hit me and stuck. It was like the Lord had personally sent me lasagna and a friend to listen just so I could get over it. Just so I could truly give it to Him and NOT take it back.

We still haven't heard anything but I know now that if this isn't the job that the Lord has for Rusty, God is still in control. He won't let us down. He knows all and His ways aren't our ways. If Rusty doesn't get this job who knows the mercy that's just been extended to us? We won't be able to see it of course, but I believe that it will be mercy and not rejection.

Oh Lord, I thank You for Your patience and Your faithfulness! I thank You for guiding us and for Your provision. I praise You for Your unending mercy and Your neverending blessings! Lord, help me to cling to You no matter the outcome, use it to make Rusty and me stronger in our faith and us to see Your loving grace all around us. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Wall of No's

I have some great news!! The A/C is back on! WooHoo!! However, I was given this heavenly breeze yesterday that made it bareable. That, my friends, was a blessing from God, INDEED!

This morning as I sat down in my very cool A/C, I decided to do my devotion. I had attempted this same devotion yesterday but just couldn't focus. The current devotion that I'm doing is incredible but sometimes it's over my head a little. Who says it's only blondes that are airheaded? LOL I'm here to prove that theory wrong. ...Okay, so I sit down, I pray and I try it again. The Lord just opened it up for me and I'm going to share that "opening up" with you :) Aren't you glad? LOL

"By the miracle of Redemption Saul of Tarsus was turned in one second from a strong-willed, intense Pharisee into a humble, devoted slave of the Lord Jesus" *

Well, for me it hasn't been a "one second conversion" at ALL. I'd say the belief has been a lifetime but the living it...well, the first thing I noticed being changed was my taste in music. Certain music made my skin crawl and I just couldn't listen to it anymore. So much for all those Pearl Jam tapes that I listened to at the time. That was over. Next came my mouth. He cleaned that up rather quickly, as far as curse words are concerned.

But my faith walk came in stages for the longest time. I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was around 14 but I didn't start trying to live for Him til I was in my early twenties. Then came a lull where I walked away. I didn't go to church, I was surrounded by people that believed but didn't LIVE it and there IS a difference.

Next, came The Weigh Down Workshop and WOW that totally sparked the spark again. I was in my late 20's at that time. I thought God had made a complete turn around and this lady was discribing someone completely new. This God was amazing and wasn't there with a pointed finger in your face and angry at you all the time. I grew closer to him with each passing day. He removed some things from my life that definitely needed to be removed, my love of food, another addiction that I needed to give up and I did. But then he asked me to give up cigarettes. Are you kidding me Lord?!?!

"But woe be to me if when I see HIM (meaning Jesus) I say---I will not. He will never insist that I do, but I have begun to sign the death warrant of the Son of God in my soul."*

And that's exactly what happened. I stopped the Weigh Down Workshop and stopped my nightly bible study. I picked everything I had lost back up again and lost Jesus in the process. I had said no, Jesus, I won't.

Fast forward several years, mid thirties, I believe, and I'm lead to a wonderful church. I fall in love with this church and the Lord let me know that this is where He wants me. I eventually fall in love with the people. The Lord brings new friendships to my life, a new love of church to my life and an actual ministry to my life (youth Sunday School). Everything is running smoothly, nothing stands out really until we hit the line on the timeline of a certain bible study that I took. I can't recall the name of the study but I remember it was about prayer. We were told to pick two people to pray for, people that we thought needed the Lord in their life. I picked them and then the next assignment was to send a card to those people telling them that they are being prayed for...Are you kidding me?!!? These people don't even LIKE me...I will not. And I didn't. It wasn't long after that a truck ran over my mailbox, just plowed it down. LOL I KNEW I had done it again, I had said no, Lord, I will not. I still believed, I still went to church but honestly, I didn't study His word like I should, I didn't pray like I should, I wasn't walking in His ways like I should. I was in a rut.

Fast forward a few years to now. We did the Jabez study as the last study before summer and boy did I LOVE that one. I decided to do what it said to pray that prayer for a month. It was amazing, my earlier blogs speak of that time. Everything was running so smoothly, my relationship with the Lord had been rekindled, I was flying HIGH and I was on the mountaintop again. I couldn't get enough of His word, I devoured it like I devour lasagna =0 and I could feel the Lord moving me, molding me, shaping me, making me truly His again. Well one night I got the thought to start going to prayer time on Tuesday mornings at church. The problem was, they started at 8am and I was normally getting up at that time on days I don't have to work. I didn't go...and things weren't terrible but I could feel a pulling away that I can't describe. I didn't know what it was but eventually it dawned on me. I had said it once again, Lord, I will not.

I will be at that prayer time next Tuesday morning, sleeping til 8 is just plain lazy anyway. I want to go where He sends me, I want to be His hands, be His feet and I don't want to ever say "No, I will not" to the Lord ever again. But above all, I don't want to lose Jesus again. There's a freedom and joy that you only experience when You are truly walking with Him that I don't want to not have. It's not the blessings that He rains over my life, it's HIM being IN my life, that I love. It's the fact that I can feel His pressence; that I know HE's in control if I will just do what He says! Ahhhh, the freedom of that, the fretlessness of knowing that He's in control!!

"It is a matter of indifference to God's grace how abominable I am if I come to the light; but woe be to me if I refuse the light."*

Oh Lord open our eyes to Your ways and Your will. Help us to see clearly the paths that You choose for us to take. Teach us to always say YES when You call. We ask that You give us the courage and the strength to stay always in Your sight, Your light and Your will. In Jesus Name we pray! Amen.


*Quotes from "My Utmost for His Highest"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Heat is On!

If there is one thing that stops me in my tracks, it's the heat. I live in the south, at the beach but I don't like the all! When it gets hot, I sweat....alot! I know you've heard that southern women don't sweat but I'm here to tell you...that's NOT true, this one does. It starts at my hairline and my hair is ruined for the entire day. It pours down my face in a way that is most embarrassing. I recall a time, at church, that it had happened to me and as I'm sitting in the sanctuary, someone that I considered being a close friend, started making fun of me and my bad hair. I looked and all the friends, that I considered closest to me, joined in the laughter. Wow, I was so hurt. Especially with the one who knew of the true way I felt concerning it. If I could have left I would have but I was sandwiched in and there was no retreat in site. Don't you hate it when you are being made fun of and you can't even leave?

I learned last week that there was alot of making fun of each other and calling each other names. All this at church. I was even a target...I didn't have to hear it but my son did. Unfortunately, for myself and my kids, I have alot to be made fun of, about me. It hurt me so bad that my son had to deal with something I've had to deal with all my life. What and how do you handle it when you are being made fun and your child has to deal with it? Talk about a heart breaker and a reason to be down on yourself. I did go there with the "guilt" thing but I didn't stay there. I explained to him that I was sorry but I can't help that, if I could I would...believe me! We discussed different stategies to handling it when it happened again. Because it will happen again. I'm sorry I'm talking in circles...but it's not something I like to talk about, it's rather embarrassing but something the Lord has given me to deal with.

One thing I've learned over my lifetime of being the butt of jokes is I don't make fun of others. I really try NOT to make fun of others and I don't laugh when someone else is being made fun of. Because when you laugh, you are giving the bully a huge high five and you are helping the person being turtured go lower and lower. You would think as adults we have fine tuned this area but I've noticed, some of us, haven't. We get it when it's us who are the victim but not always when others are the victim.

The Lord calls us to a higher standard than the world. He calls us to love our neighbor as ourself. There is not one of us who likes our weaknesses put on display. We need to watch our words constantly so that we are constantly aware of what we are saying and to whom. Would what I'm about to say hurt them? Embarrass them?

I realize I fail but I DO try. I never want to make someone feel as I have felt over the years. We all fall short of the Glory of God however, we should never stop trying, til our last breathe is drawn. Here's to lifting others up instead of tearing them down!!!

Today , at work, the A/C is off and I'm currently melting as I sit here typing. I have a pencil in my hair holding it up and I'm wishing I had my visor so nobody could see the damage being done to my hair. Please, if you happen to come by...don't make fun of my hair OR my other issues. The heat in me can't take it ; )

May the Lord make the words of your mouth pleasing in His site and may He restore all broken A/Cs asap. Praise the Lord for A/C!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Women Only.

So far 2009 has not been the best for my health.....or has it?

In January of 2009 I ended up at a doctor's office with chest pain. Turns out it was an ulcer. That night I was in the ER because the pain was so great I couldn't deal anymore. They, too, said it was an ulcer. Two EKGs in one day confirmed it wasn't my heart. As the month wore on, it got better and better. I weaned myself off the meds like the Doc. said to. I was left, however, with this burning pain in the center of my chest everytime I did something the slightest bit strenuous. I didn't tell anyone for quite awhile but it happened when I walked fast, just to the mailbox and it just got worse over time...

I also deal with an issue that most women have no issue with but for me it's rather irritating, neverending sometimes, or never coming at others. It seemed to have straightened itself out in 2009, it was rather normal but incredibly heavy. Move forward to July....I had a terrible experience with it this month. As a matter of fact it sent me to the ER because of the pain. I'm not kidding the pain was horrific. I was writhing in pain and actually drove myself to the ER at 3:30 in the morning, my husband wasn't very happy but ...I had my reasons. Once I got to the ER and explained, through the pain and believe me it was intolerable, my symtoms they took me back to the who I believe must be the meanist nurse in exsistance. She was so rude to me. She informed me that I should be telling my Gynecologist about this and not them. Wow, it's sorta hard to reach him at 3:30 am...Anyway, she could tell she had mad me angry, I'm sure by my facial expression but I was as nice as I could be under those painful and rude situations. The ER doc came in, gave me some pain killers and sent me on my way...

Well, this incident really scared me, not the ER but the experience with the pain. It scared me enough that I actually made an appointment, with the Gynecologist, that was nine years overdue. Once seeing him, I explained the chest pain and he sent me on to a general practitioner for that.

Turns out the chest pain is still the ulcer!!! YAY! My heart is fine. YAY!

What I went to the ER for this month however left me severely anemic. He said that if it hadn't stopped when it did I would have been back there for a blood transfusion. He said if "it" comes back anytime soon to head back to the ER, my body can't take that right now. Turns out I'm not just being lazy, I truly don't have the energy to do anything. That was a relief. Because since then, I haven't done much of anything. I feel drained and sleepy ALL the time. And now I know why and I can tell my hubby why =)

So, 2009 started out with a BANG. An ulcer BANG. But, 2009, has also sent me to some much needed doctor visits and I'm praying that the ten pills I'm currently taking will get me back on track. I still have August 10 to look forward to with a return visit to the Gynecologist and reports of tests taken. He did make me feel better, however, because he told me he didn't think it was anything serious, just something we needed to get under control.

God is good and He sent me where I needed to be. He also sent me where all I need, except meds, aren't costing me anything. WOOHOO to free medical care =) And yesterday I found out that it's possible the meds might be free too. So the Lord is taking care of me and He's trying to get me into shape...He's got His work cut out for Him but I know He's perfect for the job.

Here's to your health and to going to the Dr.!!


Monday, July 27, 2009

A Split Second

The other day at work, I was so bored. I had done my devotions, read my Bible, done a blog, read those that I follow, which honestly aren't many and the boredom set in. I went to Facebook and started looking around there. I started seeing what all the fun was about. I hung out there for quite awhile. Then I noticed my ex-boyfriend, over 20 years at this point had posted something. I went to his page to see how he was doing. I saw the cute wife, the cute kids, the nice house and the trip to New York. I then went to another ex's page and saw the same thing there and just for a split second I started wondering what if...

It didn't last long because as I thought of those past relationships and honestly they were high school relationships so they weren't that serious, I started remembering mine and Rusty's beginnings.

I remembered, with a smile on my face, the time we were hanging out at the beach and he pointed up at the sky and saw a shape in the clouds. I think that was the moment I knew I loved him and the reason for that was my first boyfriend had told me I was immature the time that I pointed out a shape in the clouds. I remember looking at Rusty with stardust in my eyes and I remember his returned look of what?

Then my memory jumped to the Christmas that he gave me my dream jewel. Basically I had wanted a blue topaz ring for as long as I could remember. I mentioned it once, he remembered and surprised me on our first Christmas as a couple with a blue topaz ring and the cutest teddy bear you've ever seen. He had even cut the ribbon off and replaced it with a blue one so it would match the ring...

Then there was the time we were in a very heated argument. The place I was staying had huge holes in the ground because the landlord was adding on. As I screamed my point at Rusty, I stepped in a hole and fell face first...I was humiliated and it made me even angrier. But HE, my knight in shining armor rushed to my side and asked without the first hint of a smile, Are you okay? Wow. Even I thought it was funny deep down but he didnt' because he was afraid I was hurt.

I remembered the time he took me shooting and the rifle kicked and almost knocked me down. He was so scared that it had hurt me and rushed to my side once again.

I remembered the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me, he did. It had snowed here one year and we never get snow. We got inches and inches (I don't remember how many) and we had been snowed in for days. We were dating and couldn't stand being apart so long. So he made the trip. He got stuck on that long dirt road (surely it was two miles or longer) twice before we made it safely to the paved main road. We stayed out til after dark and when we reached home, he offered to walk me all the way home. I took him up on it because the thought of walking all that way in the dark, by myself, didn't appeal to me. I've never forgotten that act of love he showed me that night. Not only did he have to walk there but he had to walk back on that dark, snowy, freezing night. And he did it without one single complaint.

The Lord shined brightly on me the day I met Rusty. He makes me happy like no other could and he loves me like no other would. He loves me in spite of all my many faults and flaws. We dated for six years before we said I do and I can honestly say I've never regretted it, in our 15 years of marriage, not even for a split second!