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theErickaMarie

Mind Games 

I don’t know about the rest of you but my mind plays tricks on me just about every .01 seconds. You can blame it on anxiety, the fact that I have 3 kids, my schedule or just about anything really. I find myself often blaming it all on the enemy because admitting downfalls aren’t always easy but the truth is….I play a large role in my thought patterns. We all do. 

What I’ve learned is that thoughts and actions go hand in hand for me. When I’m away from God my actions reflect it & my thoughts continue to move into unhealthy territory but when I’m focused on him there is an instant renewing of the mind that doesn’t take much work on my part. It’s who he is….he’s the only instant gratification of this world. His promises are the only ones that won’t be broken. He’s the solid rock in our lives. And he never leaves us. 

“If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬http://bible.com/111/2co.5.13.niv


I guess I’m outta my mind. 

Things I miss 

Things I miss about Paris & London:

-The Eiffel Tower Majesty 

-Paris breakfast w yummy jam & butter 

-The History

-Architecture 

-Tesco

-Lattes 

-Croissants & bread on every corner 

-The accent of the people 

-The style…most importantly the vibrant out of this world hair color I saw constantly 

-Primark (HA)

Things I LOVE about America:

-My family is here 

-A/C

-Ice 

-Queso 

-Drivers

-The constant sincere hospitality 

Missing what was but so happy to be home. Til we meet again UK! 

Xo 
-theErickaMarie 

Reflection 

Back in the US from the mission trip I was blessed with….jet lagged & fatigued. Trying to wrap my mind around the trip that felt like a dream. It’s so hard to put what happened into words. 

Before I left I was excited to encounter another country, and be used by God. What I didn’t know was that God wasn’t only going to use us for the people of the U.K. but we were the mission too. He was working on each of us; stretching us & bringing us together. 

It was nice to sit & marvel at all of the beautiful things God created. Another countries way of life and to see the people he molded & made that were just set in a different environment. There were opportunities to discuss God and pray for others that could only be explained as divine. 2 young ladies in a restaurant bathroom, homeless people all over, people on the tubes, in the tube station, at the Park, at the airport….you name it. God certainly shined his light through us. Many people were astonished at the fact that we were giving things for free, often asking us “how much?”. We gave kids toys & encouraged their parents. We smiled, waved, gave good tips that these service men & women are not used to. They were grateful. I heard two people thank us specifically for the hope we gave them. A young homeless man named John that we met on a bench in Bath said that he was so thankful he chose to sit on that bench. That just when he was feeling lonely he met us. He was anxious for us to pray with him. We also worked with K180 Ministries sharing the love of God on a street corner. From 13 year old boys to a young mother of 2 who was struggling to make ends meet; we were able to pray and offer hope. I met a young man from Poland who was new to London seeking his purpose and trying to meet friends. Through conversation we learned we had 2 things in common; he wanted to go to school for criminal justice like I did and he was born 1 day before I was. Across countries and lives…born 24 hours apart. Another gentlemen named Hassan told me that he was Muslim but so happy that we were there talking about God because everyone deserves the hope of God. He told me he had to run but asked me to pray for him; for peace and for his family because they were having problems at home. Please join me in continued prayers for him. Life with God is so good & seeing the boldness of the K180 team and all they do weekly was pretty awesome. 

There were many moments where I knew I was loved….moments where I felt him hugging me and telling me that I’m worthy of beauty & of the great things he has for me. I was breathed on by God and passion was ignited within me. I also developed a friendship that I know was God given. And I’m so thankful. 

So what’s next? I started asking myself that question like something had to be next. But I think God wants me to rest in him, be still & spend time with him. So what’s next is a deeper relationship with God, new priorities and spending time on things that count. 

God is so Good!!! 

Blessed

I’m sitting here in London on my last morning reflecting on this trip and thinking about how incredibly blessed I am. I’m drinking a cafe latte in a London hotel near our flat listening to the sounds & soaking in the peace that comes with this moment. Sometimes we don’t quite feel worthy of what God blesses us with. I’m in that moment. Thinking of the cross and the price he paid. That not only did he pay the price but he also continued to bless us, listen to us & carry us through life. He could have said, “I washed away your sins, I’m done.” 

But he didn’t. 

He still lives today and wants so much to be in our lives and even though I’ve failed time and time again he brought me to London. All his timing, his provision. I can’t stop thinking about the limits I placed on my life. I never thought I would make it here in my life, never thought I’d ever go out of the country. Dreamed of what I thought would never happen. I’m so excited about the fire he has ignited within me. 
I’m done with limits & Im gonna dream HUGE from now on. 

Wreckless faith. 

Mission Trip 2017

I was blessed by a friend to be invited on her dream & calling of doing missions in the UK a while back. I’ve always had a deep desire to travel & do missions because helping people is what I know I was born to do. 

The day I said yes to the trip I was shocked that it was even a possibility. 

And time has flown by. 

Prayer…stress….fundraisers….the deep desire to give up and let the enemy win. It all happened over the course of these months and the week is here. In 6 days we depart to Manchester, Paris & London and I’m so excited about what God will do over the 10 day trip. God has confirmed over and over in the past month that the U.K. Is  where I am supposed to be and I’ve had more random conversations about England or with people from England out of nowhere. I’m astonished at Gods humor and deeply humbled by his love for me. There have been days and weeks throughout this journey where I couldn’t believe I could be used anymore, where I felt ashamed and like less than the dirt on the floor. But God. He’s an all inclusive well of unjudgemental love. We had a guest speaker this weekend at church. He said “In God you BELONG before you believe or behave.” (Nathan Green) 

And I thought to myself that it was the absolutely best way to describe Gods love. He chose us before we even chose ourselves. Some of us still don’t choose ourselves, but he doesn’t struggle with that. He knows who we are, why he created us and what is planned for our lives. We just have to choose him. I’m excited to help others choose God on this mission. I’m praying God uses us to touch every person along the journey and ignites a passion within me that’s a little dusty, and that he renews my faith & mind with his wonderfullness in all he has planned. So excited to share this journey with y’all.  

-theErickaMarie

Wreckless Faith 

Sitting in church this past Sunday; I heard this. 

“Sometimes you gotta have some wreckless faith!” -Jabo Green 

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. The two words hit me like a TON of bricks. 
“Wreckless Faith” 

I don’t want to have strong faith, I want to have wreckless faith. 

The kind of faith that makes me jump up in the morning ready to conquer my dreams no matter what fears or doubts I have.

The kind of faith that shows the Devil I will never give up! 

The faith that shows the world that your smile won’t fade no matter what your circumstances are. 

I’m so thankful for life & I’m excited about living with a new mindset. 

I’m ready to push towards all that God has for me. 

God is good. 

Do they understand??

This time of year always gets me….it’s difficult because my brother loved Thanksgiving and I’m normally an emotional mess this time of year BUT God always shows up and I get overwhelmed with his thankfulness. I think he knows that my focus on him will get me through the tough stuff and he never ceases to amaze me by jumping into my thoughts regardless of the circumstances around me.

I am truly thankful. I wonder if everyone else in this world is too. I see the crowds at the grocery store buying thanksgiving food and all the posts on social media, all the retail stuff ramping up and I truly wonder if anyone ever stops to understand and take it all in. I wonder if they stop and realize that so many other people cannot afford to have what we consider “Thanksgiving”…not only those in other countries but people in our very own country. Children may not eat this Thursday and they certainly won’t be standing in line at 6pm to go black Friday shopping with their parents. I can only hope that my thoughts are not true and that people all over are truly stopping to spend time thanking God for all he has done.

Thankful means: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved

It isn’t hard to be thankful. It doesn’t take long to thank God or to look around with fresh eyes and marvel in the majesty of his goodness. We are but a speck on this planet and he’s done so much for each us individually and we didn’t have to work for it, not one second.

I’m thankful for the air I breathe

thankful for the sun and stars

thankful for the roof over my head

thankful for health

thankful for my children

thankful for schools and books

thankful for vehicles

thankful for doctors

thankful for jobs

thankful for the freedom to worship

thankful for the ability to think, read and write

thankful for love

thankful for relationships

thankful for answered prayers

thankful for unanswered prayers and the lessons in between

thankful for the good and the bad

thankful that with or without turkey & sides….I’m full of the grace of God.

So thankful for so many things.  At the end of the day we all leave this earth in full spirit and leave this earth behind. I encourage each of you to sit and marvel at the majestic sky, at the flowers nearby, at the people all unique in their God given way. Sit and thank him today. Don’t get wrapped up in commercialized thankfulness. Let your attitude be full of gratitude this Thanksgiving. Enjoy every moment!

“The Lord has done GREAT things for us and we are filled with JOY!” -Psalm 126:3

“Give Thanks to the Lord for he is Good and his love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with Thanksgiving.” -Psalm 69:30

 

xo

-theErickaMarie

bethankful

 

TWO

Today my sweet angel Bee is 2. It’s crazy how fast two years flew by. I remember the dragging aching moments in my last month of pregnancy. I was in pain…I was miserable…so ready. Then she came & our world turned around and around. Adjusting to three littles was certainly not easy, but it’s been amazing. Shelbee has no idea how much she is loved. She goes through her days carefree enjoying those around her. She loves Dory & Nemo…babies, chips, dancing. She’s so happy. I don’t know if I’ve ever known a happier child. These two years of discovery, lots of laughter and lots of love have been just an ounce of the greatness to come. Can’t wait to see where life takes her.

So blessed to be her mom.

I love you Bee. I pray that your years will be full of love and joy. I’ll be here with you always. 

Xo -Mom 

Love is Simple 

I had the opportunity to go visit a nursing home yesterday with the youth from church and a few other awesome volunteers. I was reminded that it doesn’t take much to show love. We sang songs, just a group of young people who aren’t in a choir, who aren’t professional….Just young people who trusted God to sing. I saw an older gentlemen in his bed who couldn’t even lift his head tap his small frail fist against his bed. It hit me that worship isn’t always easy…sometimes through certain seasons of life and set backs we have to force ourselves to worship. He used any bit of energy he had to simply worship the only way he could. He hasn’t given up on life but so many of us who are much more fortunate today have.

The simple gesture of love our group brought completely changed the atmosphere of the place and I was humbled. Humbled because one day we will all sit where they sit. We will sit and wonder if we’ve done enough. If we accomplished anything. If there is still hope for our lives. I wonder how hard it must be to keep going when your health is calling the shots. God loved til the very end and called us to love. Loving isn’t that hard. It takes a few small steps to bring smiles to the faces & souls of so many.

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