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!