Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Sorry it's been so long since we've updated. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind, and I have a feeling our last few weeks in the States will not be any less crazy! But its a good crazy. Our next weeks include spending as much time with family and friends as possible while squeezing in last minute preparations. Brian and I are savoring every second. Not taking anything for granted. A lot has happened since the last post, so I'm going to give you the reader's digest version. I promise our next post will include pictures of all the fun we're having with family and friends.
  • We have an APARTMENT. I know this was included in the last post, but I'll go into some detail. We will be living in the on campus apartments for married students. However this is not your momma's normal campus apartments. Hillsong leases a complex of apartments from a large company in Sydney. They are located in Waterloo, which is in Sydney, next to campus and church. Very convienent for Brian to walk to class. We're right there with the heart of Sydney at our fingertips which is great for job opportunities and transportation...and shopping(not that I would EVER dream of such a thing)....hehe. Our apartment consists of a master suite (bedroom and bathroom), kitchen/dining area, and a living room. Here is the link for you to take a virtual tour of a similar apartment. Ours won't come with all the decor and such but it will give you an idea of the layout of our place.
  • I'm DREADING packing. Brian and I are taking 3 suitcases a piece, however, we were informed by our international flight that none of the suitcases can exceed 66lbs... or else. Or else we have to LEAVE something at the airport. No fees, but if it the weight is over the limit you CAN'T take it with you. The kind lady with the airline informed us that with international flights they have to put a strict policy in place or their won't be enough luggage room for all the passengers. This means I'm gonna have to master the art of packing. We have some tricks up our sleeves. I have a blueprint of our suitcases and I know what is going in each suitcase! On the up side, this has made me get rid of things I NEVER wear. It also helps that we won't need a bunch of heavy sweaters or coats.
  • We're on the job hunt. Brian already has an interview lined up shortly after we arrive and a lead on another job. Please continue to pray that the Lord provide us with jobs. On the job note, tomorrow is our LAST day of working here in the States. I am going to miss Commerce so much. When I started I just thought it would be a good temporary job, but nothing more. I never imagined I'd make such great relationships with my coworkers. What a blessing these people and job has been for me. My last day will definately bring tears. But they're throwing me a party, so it will be a day of laughter as well!
  • It SNOWED in KC...TWICE. As it was coming down I was thinking about how much I'll miss snow in Sydney. That was until I had to drive in it...ick! It nearly doubled my commute time.

T minus 27 days till take off!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

I write to you on the eve of our last Thanksgiving in the States for awhile. Bittersweet. I am determined to absorb and cherish each memory this Thanksgiving and weekend holds. The smell of turkey coming out of the oven. Cooking with my mom and mother in law. Sounds of laughter around the table. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The book my dad reads to me each year about the pilgrim's voyage. Just the feeling of love this day brings. But most of all I cherish, at the risk of sounding cliche, the selflessness and thanfulness that comes with this holiday. This year I am especially thankful. I have so much to be thankful for: my near perfect husband, amazing family, friends...I could go on and on, but this year I am most thankful to be adopted. Thats right adopted.

" 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.... Ephesians 1:1-5.

Let me be real and painfully transparent with you. This week has been rough. And when I say rough I mean rough. I've spent many moments with the Lord weeping and longing. My mind has been a battleground between the Truth and lies. Satan has tried, and sometimes, conquered my thoughts this week. Somedays I felt extremely defeated. Alas, I knew this was coming. My faith has been increased ten fold through this process of leaving, and I've seen the Lord work in ways that would leave your mouth on the floor. And when God moves, Satan isn't far. So he's trying everything in his power to get my mind off of the Lord and shake my faith. You name it and he's used it. Heartache in relationships. Dissapointment from friends I thought would ALWAYS be there. Not feeling good enough. Fear. Missing my family. He hit me in areas most precious to my heart. Ahh but TRUTH prevails. And it finally pierced the darkness this morning. As I was reading Ephesians this morning in my time with the Lord, ADOPTED nearly lept off the page. The Lord gently whispered in my Spirit, "I've adopted you, Erika. You belong to me. You are not of the world. This is not your home. You don't belong here. You were made for much more." This Truth hit me like a load of bricks. I've known this for a long time. But it wasn't until earthly things I once held dear have been ripped from my grip, did I begin to realize they don't bring true contentment. It wasn't until I HAD to cling to Christ, did I realize those things and relationships will always dissappoint me. They will never bring TRUE contentment or satisfaction. Why? Because I was made for Christ. Period. Things of this world can't satisfy a soul that belongs to Christ and heaven bound. These earthly treasures and relationships are blessings that the Lord gives to us as gifts for here on earth. They were never meant to fill us. Or be held higher than the Giver. However, so many times we exalt and lift them higher than the Lord. Only to find we are left dissapointed and empty no matter how great the relationship or thing. I know this is a Truth we are taught very young in Sunday School, however, knowing it in your head and experiencing it in your heart are very different.

So this Thanksgiving as I sit around in good company of the best family one could wish for, I will be reflecting and thankful for the earthly blessings and relationships the Lord has given me, but I will be MOST thankful for adoption. Adoption by Jesus Christ whom my heart belongs. Thankful for the only One who brings contentment to my weary soul. Longing for my true home where I get to spend an eternity with my Savior face to face. Now thats something to be thankful for. I leave you with some lyrics that describe my heart exactly. The song is called "The CS Lewis Song" by my favorite Brooke Fraser.

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,I can only conclude that I was not made for here. If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared.

Speak to me in the light of the dawn. Mercy comes with the morning. I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive? 'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb. And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

For we, we are not long here. Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it. And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you. Hope is coming for me. Hope, He's coming.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting Closer

The day for us leaving is getting so close I (Brian) can't even believe it. The big things are pretty much done, we have our visa, passports, and our apartment in Sydney. Now we are just taking care of the last minute things which is great! It is so neat to see God continually working in our lives. He is teaching me so much about how to live by faith, and also prayer. I couldn't even tell you how much I have learned about prayer. We thank all of you who have been praying for us, we are so grateful and have see God work through your prayers as well.
I recently have picked up the guitar and started learning it. Tim Jarrett has been teaching me different chords and scales and I am having so much fun learning it. It is so different than the piano, but the same concepts. I also get to play a song I wrote next Sunday night at church (on the piano). I have missed leading worship so much, and am very excited for this opportunity.
Right now Im sitting here watching Nick at Nite, but just finished watching The Office. So funny, I won't ruin it for those who have not yet seen it.
We would love to hear from everybody that reads this blog, please let us know how you are, and what is going on in your lives. We want to keep up relations with everybody. If you don't want to leave a comment, please email us. My email address is Thanks again everybody for your support. We couldn't do it without you. If you are reading this blog randomly and you don't know us, thats cool. Say hi and let us know who you are.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Here and There.

I don't know about you, but I LOVE lists. Why? Well, if it wasn't for my famous lists I wouldn't get anything done. I suffer from something called "scatterbrained" and without my lists I wouldn't know what to do each day. So you all get to experience an "Erika List". Here are some things that are going on in our world (in no particular order):

1. WE GOT OUR VISA!! As of last Wednesday, we were approved! Quick story, I was getting antsy about the whole visa process so Brian, Dennis, and I all had a time of prayer and in a matter of hours after our prayer time our Visa was approved. How amazing! From the time they got our results from our doctors visits we were approved within 24 hours. Now for those of you who are not familiar with this process, that is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks for all of you who are faithfully praying for us.

2. We are in the process of securing an apartment in Sydney. As soon as specifics are finalized we'll reveal are soon to be residence! Have I mentioned what an amazing provider we have in Christ? He never ceases to amaze me.

3. My family is visiting KC this weekend. I can't tell you how excited I am. We are going to chat, shop, eat, chat, shop, eat...poor dad and Brian. I LOVE spending time with my family. I also get to see one of my bestest friends Julie Johnson!!!!!! Horray!

4. We got to spend great quality time with some dear friends this week. It was so wonderful. We love you Mark, Amy, Jonah, and Melanie.

5. It is COLD in KC. Windy and cold. And for those of you who know me well, you know how much I love wind...ick.

6. Last Friday on date night, we saw a traveling Broadway Production of Disney's Lion King. Took my breath away. No exaggeration. Loved it. Nothing beats live theatre.

Welp, that about wraps it up for now. We love you all so much. Thanks for all your prayers! Drop us a line and let us know how you are doing!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hello all,
I am excited to write my (Brian) first post on our blogspot.  Things are going really well with the visa process.  So far it has been about a month long event, but I think we are winding down.  We just finished with our doctor visits and the last applications have been sent to the embassy, so we should know something within the next couple of weeks.  I have really enjoyed our time in Kansas City. I have gotten to spend a lot of time with Erika and I always look forward to our Friday night date night.  In the last 2 months we have grown so much together.  Other big news, we have just sent out our prayer cards and letters, and are excited to see God work through those.  It is so amazing to me that we have already seen God working through those.   Erika told me it would be funny if I did a shout out to somebody, so I just wanted to give a big shout out to Cheryl Dick.  I know that is totally random, but I picked you Cheryl because you are my newest friend on Facebook, and I dearly hope that this gets back to you.  Oh my goodness I am laughing so hard right now.  Oh as you can see that Erika is a much better writer than I am.  We are also sitting here watching Dancing with the Stars...... blah, but I like to sit here with Erika. Well I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging for the first time.  Please stay tuned, I will be doing this much more, and please stay tuned to some more shout outs!!!  We love you all and thank you so very much for your prayers and support!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Great Visa Adventure

Before I begin the post let me clear up any possible misconceptions that may be drawn from the title of this post, this post has NOTHING to do with a Visa Credit Card. Let me repeat, nothing to do with a credit card. I understand that some of you may think that since I(erika) am such the "shopper" that it must have something to do with me maxing out a Visa Card...nope nothing of the sorts. Since we have all possible misunderstandings of this post out of the way, let me proceed.

Last Tuesday evening, Brian & I began the exciting adventure of obtaining a student Visa. A student Visa will allow Brian to study and work and allow me to work for our full stay in Sydney. Despite all of the horror stories we heard about Visa fiascos, the application process was fairly painless. The Embassy has a website and you can apply for your Visa online! After Brian completed the application and submitted it, it told us the next, and hopefully last, step in the application process-doctor visits. We are required to get very basic physicalls and chest xrays. Not a big deal, right? Well, the following day I called a local doctor to set up our appointments. This was the most RIDICULOUS phone call I've ever participated in...unbelievable actually. As you read the following conversation you will be tempted to think I'm making this up for a good post or fabricating the 'real' story, but please believe me when I say the following events actually happened...

Me: I would like to make an appointments for my husband and I to get physicals.
Receptionist: What kind of physical, full or partial?
Me: (Wondering to self what a partial physical is) Well my husband and I are going overseas for 3 years and we need to get physicals to get our Visa to leave the country. I have a checklist of things we need the doctor to check for us. It is a very basic physical.
Receptionist: Visa? Why do you have to get a Visa to leave the country?
Me: Well, you need one upon entering and staying in a foreign country.
Receptionist: I still don't understand why you need a CREDIT CARD to stay in another country.
Me: (in utter shock and disbelief) Ma'am I am not referring to a credit card but a document that allows you to enter another country.
At this point my office is roaring in laughter (I made the phone call on my break at work). I'm to shush them and proceed on the phone.
Receptionist: Well isn't that what a passport is for? I've never heard of this Visa thing. So I don't know what kind of physical you are going to need and I can't schedule you for an appointment until I know.
Me: Well I have a checklist of things that we need done during the physical and I can read them to you and we can determine what kind of physical we need.
Receptionist: That won't be necessary. Hang on.
Receptionist: (after putting me on hold and making me listen to horrid elevator music for 5 minutes): Why don't I give you the codes for each of the different types of physicals and you call your insurance company and see which physical they will cover and then call me back and we'll set you up for the physical they cover. I don't want you to have to pay more than you have too.
Me: I appreciate that but I'm not concerned about what my insurance will cover. I cannot leave the US without this checklist completed. Can I please just tell you what I need done and then we can plan accordingly?
Receptionist: Okay, well I need you to call your insurance company first so we know what they cover.
Me: (utterly frustrated and desperately wanting to hang up) Okay, go ahead with the codes.

And that is the short version. I was so utterly frustrated that I immediately called Brian and told him that he was going to have to call her back and deal with her; I simply could not. And after two trys, Brian successfully made us appointments for a "basic physical" and chest xrays. Turns out it was much easier than the receptionist was making it. And there you have it, our Visa adventure. And that was the short verstion!

In other news, I turned the big 2-5 on Saturday. We had a BLAST partying it up with my family last weekend. And this weekend Brian is taking me out for our own celebration and then we get to celebrate with Brian's family...I love dragging my birthday out as long as possible. Be looking for our next post...Birthday Edition!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

random ramblings from K-C...

i'm rediscovering my passions. i lost them. i realized that for the past couple of years i allowed "life" to get in the way of doing things that i love. and i'm being reintroduced to them. and i love it. now that i've found them i'm never letting myself become too busy again.

i thoroughly enjoy my coworkers. the Lord is teaching me so much about love & compassion through them. our department is like a community. i've been reading through acts which is simpy amazing and the other day as i watched them interact with one another i was reminded of acts 4 vs 34-35, "There were no needy people among them because those who owned land or houses will sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need." the crazy thing is a majority of them don't even know the Lord. and some of them are putting the body of Christ to shame. what a wake up call for me personally. what am i doing to meet others needs?

as much as i enjoy my coworkers i quickly discovered i could never do a desk job-again. an individual with add should NEVER try to sit at a desk all day. it is killer. i get up and walk around and socialize ALL THE TIME because i just can't stay in my chair for too long. my coworkers tease me about not being able to sit still.... thankfully i discovered this in a temp position and not something permenant.

we are going to a church in Lee's Summit called Abundant Life. and we love it. brian just started leading worship for a prayer meeting that meets each tuesday evening. worshipping the Lord + people + prayer= brian loves it! and i'm getting some opportunities to write and act in some dramas. its so refreshing. i almost forgot how much i loved the stage. it is such an outlet for worship for me. i feel closest to the Lord when i'm on the stage. i get to connect to Him as Creator. i think it is so neat how the first characteristic of God we see in the Bible is God as Creator. i think that gives us a glimpse into the heart of God. and then He gives me the blessing of creating too. i think thats why i feel so connected to Him when i'm acting. such an experience.

brian and i have started "date nights". each friday night we go on a date. and we alternate planning them. so when its my turn i plan a night of things i enjoy and we do it together and vice versa. not only is this great quality time together but i'm learning so much about my husband. i'm discovering likes and dislikes of his that i never knew. this time is so sacred.

the Lord is refining brian and i. and while this is painful, it is beautiful. He is preparing us to say "Lord, i love you MORE than life." and while i wish i could say i've always been able to honestly say this, i can't. i've always clung tight to family, friends, and my possessions. and while there is nothing wrong with treasuring the relationships the Lord gives, they can NEVER be held higher than Him. and if I honestly reflect, i put the realtionships in my life before Him. so the Lord is prunning. so necessary. but the pain sometimes...

in midst of all of this going on around us...i feel so alive.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Good-Bye...The Finale (till January).

This is our last installment for Good-Bye Springfield. As I look back at all the pictures and reflect on all the memories, I pondered if we ever slept in those final days in Springfield. We packed in so many fun times with family and friends, I don't think we caught a wink! We would gladly do it all over. So here you go...good-bye edition.

Caution! I have a wild and crazy family...beware as you view the madness.

My grandma makes the BEST meatballs...we couldn't resist one last meatball meal!

In honor of the Olympics, we had a Chinese Food was all homemade...yummy cashew chicken!

Sunday Morning Brunch...can you tell Brian just woke up?!?!

Bye, Bye, Springfield!!

As you can see, I have the best family. As I sit here and post the pictures, I can't help but think about all the things my family taught me over the years. You know, important life lessons, such laughing at the dinner table with milk in your mouth (this had to be a rule for me because I often sprayed my sister across the table), sit up straight or you'll be a hunchback (thanks mom), call if you're going to be late, no arguing with your authority, and the list goes on and on. But seriously, they've taught me a lot. I've become the woman I am today because of the things I've learned from them. And in all the lessons and heart-to-hearts, the most important thing they ever taught me was to LOVE. And while all the other rules and lessons they tried to enstill may have been broken at one time, we always, no matter what, love one another. Thats family.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Good-Bye Part II

Sorry its taken so long for another post, but we've been busy makin' memories in Springfield and makin' the move to KC! Our last days in Springfield were so memorable and beyond words. So, instead of me trying to capture in words all it meant to us...we're gonna use pictures. After all, they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I think you'll find this to be true....

This is the RBC Student Staff going away party for us. It was a surprise. And as you can see we didn't go hungry!!

What a great representation of the RBC Student Staff...(the girls anyway).

Our last Wednesday night at RBC...RBC wouldn't have been the amazing experience it was without the Bock's!

Need I say more?

Members of the Student Band...what would Brian have done without Tim & Alex?!?!

Silly Girlz
Our last Sunday everyone gathered around Brian and I and prayed for us-how with the 10th grade girls.

(Please read the following in a low announcer voice with much emotion)... Stay tuned for Part III of our dramatic good-bye.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good-Byes Part I

Good-byes are never any fun. However, if you are an emotional, sleep deprived, and relationship oriented female this is ESPECIALLY true. I've found that I should ALWAYS carry a tissue and waterproof mascara! Our time in Springfield is slipping through my fingers. It seems like that April afternoon that we found out we were headed off to our Australian Adventure, was only yesterday! I realize that sounds cliche, but it is so true. Time has just flown! For those of you who are wondering "What AUSTRALIAN Adventure?!?!" Let me explain. Brian and I will be in Sydney, Australia for the next 3 years at Hillsong Church (FYI...this is the church of Darlene Zschech). Hillsong has a Leadership College where you can earn a ministry degree. Brian will be studying in the Worship and Creative Arts program. In addition to obtaining a degree you also get to do an internship with Hillsong. We are so excited to see the Lord work through this adventure. We are both thrilled about the ministry opportunities this is going to bring. The Lord is doing so much in me (that is a post for another day).

Back to good-byes...we've had so many great parties! The silver lining in good-byes, at least for me, is how incredibly loved you feel. I've been overwhelmed with the amount of love and geneorousity we've been shown. So to all of you who've had a hand in this..."Thank You!" Our first party was from the RBC Student Ministry. They surprised us after service last Wednesday night. I had no idea! They showered us with an array of food and fun. We were also presented with a journal that students and parents signed. This is the best gift they could have given us! And in case you're wondering...I blubbered. Our second party was another SURPRISE! The staff at Ridgecrest threw Brian and I a party complete with all the food you could imagine. I've been bombarded with love. My heart is full and happy, as well as my tummy!

Here are pictures of our Student Ministry Party. Pics of the staff party are coming soon!

Leigh Anna and I.

The boys gettin' crazy!

The boyz and me!

Our yummy cake!