Sunday, December 19, 2010

Everything changes.

Right now, my gold retriever, Lexus is lazily panting on the floor, my sweet baby nephew Braylon is innocently snoring in his pack-and-play he sleeps in at my mom's house, right next to me. I can hear my brother's TV in the room next to me and my door is shut so the light in my room doesn't keep my mom awake across the hall, she has to be up for work. My sister is at home with her husband, sleeping because she too has to work in the morning. My dad is in Tennessee, trying hard to make it home as soon as possible tomorrow. Josh is with his family- joyfully playing Wii with his sister and best friend. Peace- be still.

As I sit here in this bed... and look around me... tears fill my eyes. I've struggled so much with this idea of change. With the fracture that has been placed where my family once was. The idea and virtue of patience is a rather simple one for me, I can wait. Change on the other hand, it terrifies me. It terrifies me so much, that I have been failing to let it happen. I have failed to allow time to do what it does; to shape me, to grow me and to most importantly age me with life. When I was a teenager (not SO long ago) I always wanted to be older. I never understood why people freaked out when they turned 28 or 43. I just though it would be cool to be older. As I continue to get older, I don't necessary have that young naive mindset. I know that getting older, inevitably means change. I change, the people I love change, my family changes, even my dogs change. Easily, I can get stuck here. I can get stuck in this sad place of what was, and what I miss. I can hang on and grip so tightly to the memories that haunt me, the good memories that bring me only tears. I dread the days to come, because I fear that something will be wrong and someone will be hurting, dying or walking the wrong road. I always hear people say, "The only thing that never changes in this life is the fact that everything will keep changing." Huh. So if this is true, which I believe it is, that means if I fight continue fighting this idea of change in my life I will forever be in turmoil, in angst over something that I have absolutely no control over. It's freeing kind of, when I think of it that way.

God designed me to trust him, to praise him, and to obey what his word says. Do I question this? Yes, with the most immature and unknowing mind, and the most yearning heart. There is power in "The Blood"- Freedom in "The Blood." When I think of the current placing of my family at this very moment, it overwhelms me. How are we here? How did it all happen so fast? How does "The Blood" makes us free- how does our little crazy, loud and hysterical family fit into the family of God when we are just messed up sinners, trying to feel something in this life. In this moment, I know deep in my soul that there is a God- the Only God- who made us each so different and unique that we fit together perfectly. That because we are crazy messed up sinners, we are like all of the others in the family of God. Imperfect, undeserving, unworthy- yet LOVED. I don't know how many years ago Jesus was born, or if it was in October or December that he was laid down into a manger with animals all around him. All that I know- and all that I believe is that he was- and he did. He was born- he did in fact live a life of perfection because we are sinners, undeserving- yet hungry for what this Christmas season represents. Christ being born, to come into the world so that our sins could be washed away by The Blood. That's how we fit it, that's how I belong to Jesus.

I don't like change, and I'll avoid it and fight it at all costs. God reminds me that through change and through the darkness, his Glory is here in it and the light on the other side of the dark night is so sweet... The small reminder of this precious baby sleeping next to me, or my little brother punching me so hard in the arm I felt like we were kids again because I was so mad at him--- making Christmas cookies with my mom and sister again. Even though change has stolen some of my most fondest memories, God is making all things new in this family, and in my life. I will praise him with a thankful heart for bringing me this far.

Merry Christmas. Emily.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let me re-phrase that.

So, like I said last night- normal is a word that I am trying to delete from my vocabulary. I'm reading another book- I have just gotten into it, but I've wanted to read it for a long time. It is called, "Cold Tangerines," by Shauna Niequist. This book is " about celebrating the extraordinary nature of everyday life." I think with the hustle and bustle of working and studying and kids and dinner and every other thing that goes on, we start to not appreciate and enjoy the things that keep us so busy. I really hope to find that in this book, the encouragement one needs to enjoy and appreciate the things that happen each day. Instead of living in yesterday or for tomorrow- I want to live right now. I want to handle every situation with grace, and a smile...

I didn't mean for my last blog to be a sob fest, and make anyone who read it think that I've had it and I'm done. Not the case. Every day is a different adventure. Everyday, God gives me grace, and I either choose to accept it or I pick back up what I laid down at his feet the night before and in those days I find myself lost. Being able to lay it all down and leave it there is a talent, I have yet to acquire.

Saturday we leave for Michigan! I'm so excited to go home. It's been almost three months! Holy smokes. I can't believe it. I feel like Grant will be 3 feet taller and Braylon is going to be talking. Where does the time go? Another reminder that God gave us life, to love him, love people- and enjoy the blessings he has given us. I think the spirit of Gratitude can get us a long way.

Thanks for playing!

Monday, December 13, 2010


A question I frequently ask Josh is, "when am I going to just feel normal again." He is always quick to reply, " when you stop trying to define what normal means."

In one week, I will be back in the place where I was a year ago. Back in the place where I packed everything I had, stuffed it in the Alero that I still drive, and hit the road to Texas. I can't believe a year has gone by. I find myself still waiting to feel normal, or waiting to feel like I thought I was going to feel by now. Waiting to be that person I thought I was going to be by now. Here's the thing- that person is me. It's whoever I am right now. It's the person who is writing this, who is sitting here with a ton of bricks on her chest for no real reason, the person who stubbed her toe on the footstool in the living room and found herself laying on the floor sobbing because not only did my toe hurt... but I still don't feel normal.

It's frightening thing... growing up. It was so much easier when I could at least pretend like I had it all together. When my dreams were all laid out in front of me, the ones I never thought would get here and now they are here. I don't think it's coincidence that each night the devotional book I read is referring to hard time, talking about being in a weird dark place, or talking about struggling. Today it said, " don't give up," "don't be afraid." Those are words I needed to hear. Wherever you are on this journey, whether it's super awesome, or super hard... just don't give up. Some days I want to...most days, as a matter of fact, it would be easier it seems. Here is something I can't understand, but know to be true. God's "plan" isn't just for our lives individually- it's for a whole universe. I honestly don't even know what that means, but it is a lot more than just my life. Rest in the fact that the plan goes beyond your lifetime, and beyond my lifetime. I just pray that my role is significant, and that God will tell me well done.

Rest in the Peace of the Holy Spirit tonight--- I'll try.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

looking back.

I should totally be doing my homework right now. I'm enrolled in an online MBA program and my employer is paying for it. It's amazing how meaningless it is when it is not your money. Not to mention the fact I have no idea what I am doing or talking about half the time. Anyways- that has nothing to do with anything, I just don't want to do it. Bad me.

A few nights ago a person that I went to high school with randomly IM'd me on Facebook. I typically don't chat on there because I feel guilty for how much time I spend on there in the first place. This person was one I didn't know well in high school, but I most definitely knew this person existed, who their family was, where they lived and all of that general information. In high school though, I was just as self-conscious as the next person and I didn't think that people always wanted to talk to me, I didn't even think that anyone really liked me. This person was expressing to me how they were surprised that I even knew they existed and said that because of the people I was associated with, I couldn't possibly care about this persons life or feelings. Man. That hit me deep. In high school I guess I was a part of that so called " popular" crowd- OMG I hate that I even just put myself in that category, or that that category even exists. The funny part is, the girls in that social network hated me, and did everything possible to make my life miserable. People didn't know it and probably still don't but wow, I was so lost and I just wanted to be liked like everyone else. I knew I believed in Jesus and I knew that being 'popular' did not matter at all. I wanted to, and I know this sounds so cliche', but I wanted to be friends with everyone. I remember thinking that the friends that I had in choir class where the friends I wish I had outside of choir. Those girls were so cool and they were actually good friends to each other. If you read this- you know who you are. Anyways, the whole point to this is that in high school we don't know anything. We don't know how hard life really is and we don't know that what we say, do and how we look at people can hurt them and affect them for the rest of their lives. The Wreckers, a country band, sings a song called "Stand Still Look Pretty." In high school this was my anthem. I struggled deeply with depression. I cried myself to sleep probably every night. This person probably never would have thought that because I was an athlete, the Homecoming Queen and voted "Best Dressed" our senior year. This song says basically that you can't tell whats going on inside, my iron smile made it impossible for people to understand that just because I was an athlete and did my hair pretty and wore too much make-up didn't mean that my life was better. I guess the whole point of this is so that people know, any age, that you really cannot judge a book by it's cover. Maybe this person felt like I didn't care about them in High School, and that is terrible, I should have said Hi, I should have asked them how their day was going I should I have said something. I was young and stupid. I'm old enough now, and high school was long ago enough now to understand that we all have been through something different. Each person I went to High School with had a different high school experience. I hated high school. You couldn't pay me enough money to go back. But I guess I just wish that I could go back and hang out with those people who I didn't hang out with, and love the ones who have to this day never felt one ounce of love anywhere. It really grinds me gears to know that I missed my chance, I missed my chance to love and to allow Jesus to shine through my every word and action. That's what I'm here for. To love, to talk and listen, to sacrifice and serve. Gosh, why can't I just get that through my head.

My prayer tonight is that all of those people who I didn't smile at, or didn't talk to - all of the people who I didn't express any interest towards because my own bad decisions were consuming my life- I pray that they would feel love and that they would sense God's presence and desire for them. Gosh, I just want to be so real. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves, take a minute today to tell the outcast around you that you like their shoes, or bring them a cup of coffee or something- just notice them. You never know who's life God will allow you to change for the kingdom.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bloom where you're planted

Good morning! Yes, it is morning and I am blogging in bed! On Tuesdays and Thursdays I don't have to go into work until 11am. Sometimes I love it- sometimes I don't love it. Today, I kind of like it because I finally felt good enough to just lay in bed and be lazy. I haven't been able to do that for so long. I kept thinking that I needed to get up and go for a run or read all of my bible or the two books I am trying to finish that I carry with me everywhere I go. Instead, I just laid here. Dozed in and out of sleep and caught myself praying for certain things. I've been really challenged with God, prayer, faithfulness and hope- and what that all means recently and it bothered me so much I couldn't relax. It has finally occurred to me that it isn't a bad thing for me to be wrestling with these things. It's okay, the answers just don't come as easy and and as freely as they used to.
Yesterday, God kind showed me in an indirect way how he was providing for me and he was in charge of my every step. About two months ago I was offered a new position at the school/company I work for in a different department than I was currently in. I accepted the position and have been enjoying it. The old position that I left, was eliminated as of yesterday. I would be out of a job right now. God was so gracious to me and protected me from that stress and chaos before it even happened. My heart was really heavy yesterday for my co-workers who had the bear that hard news, and I hope for them all the best. I have been quick to fear and doubt and this has shown me that God's will in my life is for good.
It was chilly in Austin yesterday! It made me feel like I was home, and it was fall. I wasn't home though, I was here in Austin. This past month I have been working really hard to live in Austin. God has planted me here. I need to bloom. I need to grow. I want to love it here. God why is it so far away from my family? I get scared that I will never live near them again and that all of my love for them doesn't matter any more- because it's my lot in life to live far. I don't care how many people do it or like to do it, I don't like it. I don't want to live overseas or across the country. If that is what God has for me- I will do it and I'm sure it will be great. My prayer is that at some point I will be in driving distance from my family again. I hope it's not a selfish prayer- that has all of the wrong intentions. I desire for my family to know Jesus and understand what it means to fear the Lord and desire eternity with him. I want to see it and be a part of it, not just hear about life through the phone. Sometimes Josh and I can't seem to see this in the same way. He will go anywhere. Live anywhere. Do anything. He has an adventurous soul. He wants to leave a footprint and touch the lives of many. I do too, but I still want to be able to hug my parents and hang out with my sister and bro. I know I worry too much about the future, it just seems so short sometimes. This- is why I struggle to bloom here. So this is my shot today, to wake up and smell the fresh 70 degree air outside- TRUST GOD and just be here, live here, grow here, bloom here- where God has planted me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the ugly truth.

It really has been since August since I've last blogged. Apparently everything that has been necessary to write down has been in the journal that sits by my bed. All things in which you probably would not want to know anyways.

Last time I was here, Grant was hittin' the field for his 1st Varsity football game. That day came and went, and I was able to watch him play on Homecoming. Josh and I flew home October 7,8,9,10 and got to hang out with family all weekend. We spent time at his parents and a lot of time with my mom, abby, braylon and grant. Being home in Michigan for fall was awesome, the colors of the trees made me never want to leave, and the weather was enough to take my breath away. I could sit in my moms front yard all day and be perfectly content. I don't know what it is, but I find some kind of peace there. Watching Braylon play and the dogs lay in the yard, and just being on the front steps seems to feel really good. I know I won't be saying this when all of that snow comes, but I think I'll even miss that a little.

I have a devotional book that I read out of every night before I go to bed. It's called, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. If you are looking for a good one, I highly recommend this. It's awesome and every night I read it, God speaks to me and I find myself nodding my head. Unfortunately, I have really been struggling in my faith recently. The ups and downs of life have gotten me into a bad frame of mind, and God is allowing this time of struggle in my life. I shared a bit of my testimony with a small group of people at church this morning, and I was reminded of how much I have been through as a 22 year old. Not that much compared to probably most people in the world, but to me it was a lot. Looking back now, life is/should be good. For some reason though, now is when my faith is tested to the limit. Now is when doubt, fear, anxiety and bitterness have latched on and won't let go. The Word says that we will face trials of many kinds, we will be persecuted and pushed to the limit. I, in my head, thought that my limit had come and gone. How much more could I take? Moving to Austin was exciting, an adventure, and the next big thing in my life. My love was here, and I felt like God had more for me to do here than he did anywhere else.

Moving right along, the devotion I read tonight was delightful. I'm doubting God left and right, I'm finding myself in tears because I am literally just scared of everything and I am becoming frustrated, bitter and angry and I have no idea why. Clearly, I want this to stop. So, reading, listening, writing in my journal, counseling and constatnely praying for Gods voice, or presence or something- ANYTHING! Day by day I have just been learning perseverance and patients. So often, I don't feel better, I don't feel healed.

"We should never give ourselves the freedom to doubt God or his eternal love and faithfulness towards us in everything."

"Then as we stand firm, refusing to doubt, the Holy Spirit will come to your aid giving us the faith of God and crowing us with His victory."

Let us "count it all joy" when we cannot feel one emotion of happiness. Let us rejoice by faith, by resolution, by reckoning, and we shall surely find that God will make the reckoning real. --Selected

the end.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I never knew the day would come...

Tomorrow will be Grant's first Varsity Football game.

I have a lot of mixed emotions and feelings about this. Since before I can remember, going to watch Grant play sports of any kind has been such a joy to me. I loved going with my parents to baseball or basketball tournaments, and I loved watching Grant play football- even when he was so young and such a baby!!! Through out college, I would go home every possible chance (every week) during football season to watch this kid play football. I was always, and still am, SO proud of him.

I have been trying to prepare myself for tomorrow for a long time. I don't think anyone really understands how bad I want to be there. Like- I would have done anything to be there. Why though, does God allow that to not happen? It doesn't seem like there is a very good reason for it- but there has to be. God is using this, or will use this to teach me something or grow a different part of me.

I'll probably cry tomorrow, like I did today and the day before, just thinking about all the games I have watched Grant play, and now.. his big Varsity debut... I miss. Geez- I sound pretty depressing don't I? It's very hard for me not to be there. "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understandings, in all of your ways acknowledge him and he will keep your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6. I need to do this. My faith is so weak and little. I know what is truth, but I struggle to live it. I know what is life, but I struggle to find it. I know where my help comes from... I just have to let it.

I know tomorrow night at 7pm when Grant marches out there on the field in Blue and Gold withe the rest of the Birch Run Panthers, a new era begins in his life. I did get the privilege to drop him off a football camp this last time I was home. I know it sounds crazy- and I'm not his mom- but it felt like I had just let one of my own go! I cried rather heavily as I drove away recounting all of the times I dropped him off to football practice every summer in years past.

My brother and sister are my best friends. There is not anything that has ever come between us. We have been through thick and thin, through the best of times and the worst of times and we are still standing. I am so thankful and so blessed to be called their sister- and I hope they know every day, no matter how far away from them I am- how deeply I love them.

I always wondered where I would be when Grant started playing Varsity football. I never thought I'd miss it. I never thought I'd be here. I never knew the day would come... but it's here!

Grant- #20! I'm so proud of you and I can't wait to see you play. I love you so much!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8 Months ago today..

Today was Wednesday. I did something kind of funny today. I went on a tour of a hair school [[Regency Beauty Institute]]. AGAIN. I've been to several different hair schools and visited. Each one I feel as though I was meant to be there. It's really interesting because at this point it seems nearly impossible to do? I've wanted to do hair since I was in high school. God has ordained my steps though. If I would have went to Cosmetology school and skipped out on SAU, I wouldn't be where I am today. I would have missed out on the experience that I consider the best days of my life. Anyways, I walked out of there confident that I will do hair some day, I just don't know when.

I was able to tour the school before work this morning because Wednesday's are days when I work from 11am -8pm. SICK. I hate working those hours. I seriously think I am going to go crazy when I'm there that late some time. One new development since the last blog post... I got a new job! Starting September 7, 2010 I will be a Financial Aid Officer for The Art Institute of Austin. I'm pretty excited about it. It's a new challenge, something to get my wheels turning again in my mind.

Tomorrow marks 8 months from the day I pulled out of my moms driveway and left for Texas. I can still see her, Braylon and Grant in the review mirrors. As hard as that is to think about, I know it was the right decision. I forget so often how the Lord brought me here. I forget that God is never going to bring me to a place and just leave me there. When I was at camp this last month, my cousin Kelly encouraged me to, " grow where you are planted." I have had a hard time forgetting that. God has planted me in Austin, Texas with Josh Rickard. We are surrounded by people who love us, care about us, and who would do anything for us. I feel so guilty because I have been so unfaithful in doubting that God has a plan for me, for my life and for my future with Josh and my family.

I have a busy weekend coming up, and a lot to look forward too. This weekend is jam packed with a night out downtown with Josh for a going away party :), working all day Saturday and catching up with a great mentor and friend Jenn, and then church and Chelsea's lingerie shower on Sunday [[which I am cooking all of the food for... YIKES]].

A week from tomorrow- Abby and Braylon fly in!! Wow- I can say that my level of excitement is through the roof. I am so excited to have them all to myself.

I'm so blessed, and my prayer is that I would not forget that. That we would all count our blessings and know that our life is to be lived for the Glory of God, and everything else will fall into place... it always does.

xO. Em

Friday, August 6, 2010

time will rob you blind.

It is indeed that time of year. Wedding bells are ringing and girls all over the country are putting on their big white dresses and walking down the aisle starting a whole new journey in life. Tomorrow one of my best friends from my childhood is getting married. My sister and I are in the wedding. This is the first one of my "good friends" other than my sister and a friend from college that has gotten married. As I sit here the night before her wedding- I can't help but think of all of the memories we have together. All of the times we (Becky and I) would drive around in her car or mine, or walk to each others house or ride fourwheelers together. We were neighbors (about a mile apart) and spent a lot of time together growing up. I never realized that a day would come when both of us would get married. When we would stop being our daddy's little girls. I had this same reality hit me when my sister got married. Marriage is a big thing. The older I get, the more I realize that it's not just a fairy tail. That it is not just about the wedding- but it's about the marriage that comes after the wedding. I hope nothing but the best for Becky and Vince, and I pray that God would lead them in a direction ending in His arms.

Of course, since I am in this wedding, I am home in Michigan again. Last week I was home for Simpson Park Camp for about 5 days. It was nice to be at my moms for a while and then to get to spend some time in Romeo, MI with the other half of the family. As you can imagine, 2 trips from Texas to Michigan in the last week have been a bit tiring. I love it though. I really needed this time to be with my family and be "home" for a while. Austin is becoming more and more like "my" home- but it will never be home. Coming to Birch Run and being around my family and just in the cool Michigan weather is a unmistakable feeling that nothing can replace. I feel as though for the first time in a long time, I enjoy being here. As I sit here and watch Grant playing video games in his room-- I am reminded again at how much time has passed. I feel like I'm 18 still- but then that would make him 10 and we all know that he is not 10. He is 5'8 and solid muscle weighing in at 130lbs- ON VARSITY FOOTBALL. My word- wasn't he just learning how to ride a bike in our front yard while I laid on the grass trying to figure out what the clouds looked like that day? More recently- it has scared me how quickly the time goes. For so long I "couldn't wait" for so many things. I am not at the point where I just want to slow it all down. If you know me, you know I would never say something like that. Every day though, I have to face the reality that life is going to keep going. Things are going to keep changing and I, as well as everyone around me, is going to keep getting older. It can be fun though-- I just have to let it be!

Tomorrow is the big day for Becky. Makes me wonder what it will feel like when it's my big day. Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves though- I think I'll just go finish my homework for now. ;) Pictures of Becky's wedding- to come!

Have a great weekend- whoever you are.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You're ok.

psalms 121:
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

If you read this- I hope you are encouraged. I feel as though many of my friends and family, myself included, are in the midst of troubled times. This verse has been my glue- the words, inspired by God, to hold me together. I'm often presented with the idea that we as human beings "can't do this anymore." Awesome, but not true. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13. You can't wake up another day, to face another hard miserable day? You can. The relationship that Christ wants to have with you is an intimate one. Every morning- ask God for his hand in the day. Knowing that we don't have to rely only on ourselves for anything is something hard to grasp. It's cool though, because if you let it happen and you trust in the word of the Lord, the hard times will still be there... but your holding the hand of Jesus this time- and you're ok.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Job 23:10

"He knows the way that I take, when He has tested me, I will come out like Gold."

It's a good thing that God see's us through our storms. Sometimes I forget. More recently I have just not been able to understand. With a lack of understanding comes a lack of control- and I really hate that. Who doesn't though, right? After living in Texas for about 6.5 months, I think God is totally making me new, and allowing me to see life from a different set of eyes. I've realized more in the last month or two than I have probably in my whole life. It's almost like I've had a mid-life/quarter life crisis and epiphany all at the same time. I'm at a place where God is doing awesome things, and performing miracles in my life daily- but I have felt to consumed with reality and fear to notice. I have been praying to God for help and for comfort, when all along I just had to believe. I think I was/am having a difficult time with that because I don't understand. Faith- believing in what you do not see- in what you do not understand. God did not ask me to understand. He asked me to have faith. Sometimes, I feel as though my fear and anxiety literally takes over my life. The point that it got to recently, really showed me how much I rely on myself and other people way to much- and I don't rely on God nearly enough. Talking with Mary last night, we both came to the conclusion that it was almost like God was saying, " You say that you believe in me and that you believe in what I can do- but do you really?" Ouch. I just moved out of my apartment that I was living in by myself, in with one of my close friends here in Austin, Mary. It has honestly been such a blessing, even in the 3 days i've been here. God knew that I needed to live with someone, and he provided a girl take over my lease within a matter of minutes of my asking. Amazing. The move was smooth, and although I am not unpacked, I feel great about being here. It is hard when you go from having 6 roommates to 0. Even in the storms, and the confusion, God has provided for me. Mary has said numerous times that the one thing getting her through lifes storm right now is the ways that "God has shown up- in big and small ways." She is dead on. As I am getting a bit older now, God is teaching me about myself and about who I am moving forward. God is teaching me who He really is- and although it's going to be beautiful- it's not easy. Psalm 121- I life my eyes to the hills- my help comes from the Lord.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's been so long...

I feel like it has been forever since I last wrote my thoughts down in the form of a blog. Sorry. Why is it that when you feel like you are on the right track, you get knocked down again? I think everyone has experienced that a time or two.

Lately, I have just been out of it! I was kind of sick over the weekend, headache, stomach hurts, cold, little fever maybe? Just out of it. The weekend was so busy, I barely remember it. Lets see.. there was, a wedding, the pool, a reception, some UFC, fireworks, church, dinner, drinks, friends... lots of stuff. Needless to say, I was on the same page as the rest of the world when I had to go back to work today.

So like I said a while ago, I've been wrestling with some anxiety issues and just basic growing pains. I find myself often wondering how I got to the place where I am. When I grew up, when I didn't live at home anymore, when I was done with high school, and now college. It just all happened so fast! I guess what I have been learning more than anything, is that sometimes nothing makes sense. Even though it seems like it should- it just doesn't. I see so much tragedy and brokenness around me, everywhere I go, we all do. None of it makes sense, but that doesn't take God off of His throne. It is not comforting to know that life is always going to change, something is always going to go wrong and something will always be hard. The comfort that we must run after is the promise God gave us. Why is this so hard for me to hang onto? Through all of these emotions that have been surfacing recently, that is what God is teaching me. To hang onto Him- even when I can't see him, I don't feel him, I can't hear him. He's real, and saving my life daily.

It still doesn't make sense, but knowing that God knows my life and whats ahead is all that I should need anyways. So I'm going with it, with all of my heart. "Trust in the Lord with All of your heart and lean not on your own understandings. In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Beloved

I think that in order to trust Jesus, and to know that God indeed does love us and have us in the palm of His hands...we need to know how He feels about us- what he see's when he looks at us. There are so many people in our lives that directly affect the way we see ourselves. The mistakes me make throughout our lives make us feel as though we can never be loved again. We continually beat ourselves up for things in the past that can be wiped clean once we can fall at the feet of our Lord Jesus, confess our sin, and walk forward with Jesus.

We have done nothing to deserve the Love and the option to Trust a Lord that is so gracious and patient. The beautiful part about that is we get to. We get to choose everyday to walk worthy, to love the Lord and to allow God to use us for the good of the Kingdom.

Consider the words to this song, as a love letter from Christ. When I listen to this song I like to close my eyes and imagine God in all of his glory- singing this to me.

You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me My love

You're Beautiful to Me
So beautiful to Me

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
My child

You're Beautiful to Me
So Beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Cast all your care down at My feet
Come and find your rest in Me

I'll breathe My life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're My beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love

"Come rest in me and be made whole- I see no stain on you My child." I love it. Jesus is so cool--- today, yesterday, tomorrow--- I am loved, and I am cared for and I am protected and forgiven and chosen and taken care of. I get to cast all of my cares- all of my worry- all of my anxiety down at the feet of a powerful God. It seems like I would not have to remind myself of this on a daily basis, but I do. Be so very encouraged that although life is hard, it can still be good- and rich- and full of JOY.

one love. em.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

money money money moneyyy

Morning! I thought I would try blogging in the morning on days like today... where I don' t have to go into work until 11 :) The only bad part about those days is I don't get home until 8- and that's dumb.

So my phone rang at 5:37 this morning, of course I thought someone was like in trouble or something. It was my mom. A while ago- during tax season, I reminded her of a tax credit that we could get from my paying tuition all last year. If you know anything about taxes- it's a pretty big credit. Anyways- long story short, my mom learned that God always provides, always protects and always will meet you right where you are at. Without going into to much detail, mom was down to not a lot of $$$ and that check came this morning just at the right time. It is so awesome when God see's our needs, when he hears our cries and see's us giving everything we have-- and responds. I have heard so many stories throughout my life of people who are down to their last dollar- and they give it away. It is seriously one of my favorite things to see that restored and to see God give it back double what it was given in His name. My Aunt Prudie always tells me, " You can never out give God." I am so convicted by this today because of how I am managing my money. I just got out of college 6 months ago and I am making more money than I ever thought I would be starting out. In college, I went months without buying groceries because I had to many other expenses and such a small income. I have really been doing a poor job, if you wanted to know, about giving back to the Lord what is already his. Monetarily, I don't honor God. I obsess over money and the lack of it for things I truly desire. I don't believe that God is the God of all of my money and my desires and that he indeed will provide for them if it is HIS WILL. 1 Peter 1:14 says, " As obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance (before you knew the awesome news of Jesus!). 15- But just as he who called you is holy, be holy in all that you do, for it is written, "Be Holy because I am holy."

That can apply to so many other things in this life. "Be Holy Because I am Holy." That basically answers all of our questions about why we should follow Christ, and why we should die to ourselves everyday and be different than the rest of the world. Because Christ is Holy.

I hope you all have an amazing day. The sun is shining and there are clear blue skies here. Thank you Jesus- what a wonderful maker.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday, greatday.

Sunday's do always turn out to be my favorite day of the week. When I lived in the house I grew up in, Sundays were always the day that we went to church as a family, came home did some yard work or played outside, and parents made a sweet meal. Usually roast or something. That is a good memory :) Thanks mom and dad. When I lived at school, Sunday would start out with a bunch of girly roommates buzzing around trying to get ready for church, but so tired from staying up till 3am watching movies, eating popcorn and inhaling ice cream. Gosh, THOSE were the days. I miss college. When I lived in Nashville, Sundays were AWESOME! Aunt P and I would eat egg sandwiches, drink some amazing coffee, and head out the door to church. After an always amazing service we would either get lunch or go home and make some left-overs, and if you know how she cooks- even leftovers are to die for. After eating, NAP TIME! Never did it fail, then a wake up, maybe go for a walk or just lay on the couch and hang out for the rest of the night, watch Reba lol ;) Wow- Sunday's have always just been the best day of the week. They seem to be the days that last the longest, too. Maybe because I want it to last the longest because I know Monday is right around the corner.

Now, Sundays are much different. In Austin, my Sunday consists of waking up earlier than I do to go to work in order to get ready and pick up Josh to make it downtown by 8:30 or 9. Usually we get a little treat and stop at Starbucks for coffee :) Being a part of the set up crew at church for the last couple of months has been a blessing. Sometimes I Don't always stick around, and I just wander around the downtown area of Austin and spend some quite time overlooking Town Lake with the Lord. Today it was so clear to me that I was right where I was supposed to be. My relationships with people at church have gone so much deeper than surface level and I feel such a sense of friendship and belonging. This was the first Sunday I had gone to church on my own with out Josh and it didn't even cross my mind to not go. It is just as my the church I go to as it is the church Josh goes to. I loved it. I was able to kind of share with the church today what God has been doing in my life and how God is revealing himself to me, even in the midst of a really deep inner struggle. There is something about saying out loud to people what you have been going through that makes it more real and valid. It also helps to say things like that out loud to people and confess what it is that is going on in order to actually accept the outcome and move FORWARD!!! YAY!! One thing that took me by surprise today was when I picked up Joshua from the airport. God has shown me so much grace and mercy always, and everyday I was choosing to tell God that "I TRUST YOU" or "I know this is out of my control- God PLEASE walk with me through this." There is something about my relationship with Josh that makes me want to take control again. I was reminded today, when Josh got in the car, that this relationship is NOT mine. I am not the one who created myself or Josh, and I am not the one who knows where our lives will end up. I could feel it all up in my chest that I was trying to not only take control back from God about Josh, but mentally I was already freaking out. WHAAT!! Not long after, I was able to remind myself that "I am HIS (God's) and He is MINE." Meaning- I can't control life, and the minute I try to take that control back from the one who controls the Thunderstorms, the oceans and all of the worlds shooting stars :)-- I start to fall to pieces. One verse that is SO amazing when thinking about being near or far to the Lord is in Romans 8

" For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus." ( vs 38).

Awesome. We can try and control anything we want. I have yet to succeed at being in control ANY part of my life. The great part is, God still loves us. There is NOTHING we can do that would make him love us less. Thats why it is so cool that when I tried to take that control back from Jesus today, I was reminded that it won't work- God loves me enough to remind me that our only answer, our only hope- is to let GO and let GOD be in control.

I so don't deserve that kind of Love... I better not let it go to waste.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Good News.

For those of you who read this blog and dwell in the northern region aka Michigan, I have something that may be rather enticing about the southern half of the country. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe that there is such a thing as Ross "Dress For Less" up there. My friend Crystal took me to Ross while the guys were at band practice one day. She was pregnant and needed to look for some cheap shirts or something, but she also mentioned that i was shoe week. Long story short, I feel like every week is shoe week at Ross. There is one around every corner and the it seems as tho the options are endless. I really scored today at a new Ross Location with a pair of 'Jessica Simpsons' and 'Guess' Shoes. Both for an exceptionally low price ;) Praise God- I couldn't be happier, I love me some shoes.
After spending too much money at the dress for less place, I made my way over to my friends house who was having people over for dinner. My heart was warm tonight as I left as well. Dinner was amazing, and the company was fantastic. I realized something as I sat around my friends dinner table, drinking a lovely cocktail and talking with two outstanding women about people, faith, Jesus and hardship. I realized that I like where I live. It has been a process of trying to figure out what I am feeling right now- but God really showed me tonight that friends, and community and laughter are the things that make life rich and full. Although in Michigan, I had all of those things, God wanted to give me more. He wants to always give us more. I was so blessed by the people at the house tonight. My friend who's house we were at is going through a divorce. Her house needed to be put back together and 3 couples who are dear friends to her all were there. They were there picking up the pieces, holding her hand, making her dinner, helping her laugh and loving on her like I've never seen. In that moment of seeing these people moving furniture, cooking dinner, fixing ceiling fans and keeping normalcy-- I felt at peace. It was almost like the Lord had said, "Emily it is okay to be here- I love you and I am keeping you." I've always struggled with guilt. I felt guilty for leaving my family, my friends, my HOUSE that i grew up in, my dogs... my hometown. Feeling guilty keeps us from being happy. Feeling guilty is not what God has laid out for us, and it's not how he wants us to live. I feel like I have been holding myself back from experiencing the emotion of joy and happiness for years now. Even though the Lord has and is continuing to bless me, I find myself not able to rejoice in fear of making other people feel bad because of where they are at in life. If we go through life, never rejoicing in what the Lord has done, no one will see what He can and will do. [[Lightbulb goes off]]. I love where I live, I love my boyfriend, I love these people that God surrounds me with wherever I go. It is only because of his love that I am where I am right at this moment.

At the end of the day, I sit here in my bed and while I try to think about 400 different things, the one thing that stands out to me now more than ever is that God never leaves us. Wherever we go, He goes first and he prepares a place for us. I rest in knowing that God brought me here to Austin, and that wherever you are-- he knew you were going to be there. Good or bad, He knows where you are and what your heart is beating for and what it is feeling like. The good news of God... "The kingdom of God is near. Repent (turn away from sin, and run into the arms of Christ) and BELIEVE the good news." Mark 1:15. "... and surely I am with you always, till the very end of the age." Matt. 28:20.


Friday, June 18, 2010


It is way to late to be doing this, I agree. It is so hot right now in my room, it's almost like I live in TX or something...oh wait I do.

Josh has been gone to Ohio for a wedding since Wednesday and it is not Friday night. I've kept myself very busy since the boy has been gone, I must say. It is nice to know that I indeed have the capability of having my own life, (DUH). Tonight I got to spend some time with a GIRL! Yes, a female, Chelsea Melton. Her fiance Erik and my boyfriend Josh are friends, so we have gotten to know each other- it's great. One thing that I miss about college and life before now is my girlfriends. You know who you are. Having conversations with them, randomly and spontaneously.. just a spur of the moment girl convo. Tonight Chelsea made dinner for myself and Erik, and then he left. We honestly had a great time of just sharing and getting to know each other better, but really just talking. Wow- it really was so nice to have some quality girl time.

This makes me think about something my mom said to me last night. It's been a struggle the last 3 weeks being away from my mom and my sister. Knowing that we are all in a place of weariness and trial really makes me want to be there to continue to walk with both of them, and everyone else in the family, through this. Long story short- God puts me in Texas, I can't really be there like I used to be for them- obviously there is a reason for that, to be shared at a later date ;) While talking about some of the things mom has been struggling with last night, she said something really awesome.. which does not surprise me. She has a way of saying things sometimes that I can never forget. She said that something she often reminds herself to do, in the midst of some very tough tough times is to-- ASK-BELIEVE and - RECEIVE. Ever since she said this I wasn't able to stop thinking about how truly amazing it is that she said that. Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 21:22 says, If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Wait- how amazing is that. I think so often we ask ask ask ask ask God for so many things. We ask him, " please just let this happen, or please just let me make rent this month-- God PLEASE allow me to have a good week." Do we ever really believe those things are going to happen or do we just ask God to do something we don't even believe that he CAN or WILL do. Every night I ask God to heal my mom, pursue my sister, protect my brother, be a comfort to my father and to bless the relationship I have with Josh. Now that I am 22 years old, I think the next step is to actually believe that God is the Almighty. Be encouraged- God listens and responds... He delivers us.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things." Philippians 4:8.

How often do we focus on the opposite of each of those things? Believe in the Power of God, pray for miracles and be confident in God's love for you and think about excellent or praiseworthy things... probably will make for a beautiful day.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paper trail to my heart...

I have gone to Simpson Park camp for the last 22 years of my life. I've never missed a summer. It is with great sadness that I tell you that I will not be able to be there for the full week this year. Praise God that I will be able to be there for at least 3 days, though. It is going to be very hard to not be at a place that literally molded me to love the Lord, and seek God and know that He desires a relationship with me. The thought of being there takes me to a happy place, a place of peace and comfort.. of raccoons messing up garbage and crickets chirping all night long. One thing that I started to do when I was at camp was collect items in my bible. We, as campers, always sat through the long adult service and wrote notes and drew picture. In my "teenage" bible, they are all still there and all still mean something to me. Letters from friends during the year, or important pictures would be stashed in my bible. My safe place.

Laying on my bed tonight, I hung up the phone from Josh and accidentally knocked all of the papers that have been stored away in my bible off of my bed. I don't look at them all too often, but in my "adult" bible, I have a lot of different things that I store in there for safe keeping. Isn't it funny, that in this book- I know that even my paper possessions are safe? Could this also mean that the safety and security that we so often long for, but never find, could also be right inside this book??? As I picked up these items off of the floor, I realized that they were all very important and significant to me. They all have a direct line to my life and a clear shot into my head. I want to share them with you.

1. Walmart receipt for the dog cage I bought little Thelma. That is to remind me that I need to listen to the Lord when he says, "probably not." I learned a lot through that experience with the great dane pup.

2. Three plane tickets from the first time I flew to Austin to see the love of my life, [[Joshua Thomas Rickard]]. These are from 11 months ago. Yes, that means one month from Sunday we will be celebrating our "One year of Love" [[ i don't like the word anniversary yet]]. These are special to me.

3. A letter of confessions I wrote during a trip to panama city. It was a time of surrender and crying out to Jesus- confessing my sins and letting him heal me and forgive me. I like to read through this and see the things that I have let go of, and the things I still am struggling with.

4. A list of the groups in Panama City. I led that trip for 2 years, went on it for 3, and every year that trip meant something different to me. God worked in so many ways. It was the most awkward trip, but it was God's and he always made it fantastic.

5. A 3x5 card with a note on it from a dear friend in college before we went to Panama City, encouragement.

6. Notes from a podcast that Josh sent me to listen to during my last summer in Nashville. It was one of my favorite podcasts, obviously bc i listened to it 2 times and took notes..

7. A letter that little Braylon sent me. Abby wrote on it, but you can see Braylon's scribbles, I miss them so much.

8. A very old letter that I found in some old pictures that my dad wrote to his grandparents after his mom died. It is a funny letter because as a 15 year old, he spelled everything wrong. At the end though, even though this kids MOTHER had just died unexpectedly, he said-- and I quote " don't worrie it's working out, God had his plan. and that's that. by" Oh my gosh. That one sentence pulled me through the darkest times in my life. I read this every day for a long time, and although my father was not there- God knew that I needed him to tell me everything was going to be okay. It is still a comfort for me to read that.

9. A letter that my best friend in the world wrote me after I found out my sister was pregnant. I love that baby more than anything, at the time it was tough news. Beth wrote this letter and it also has some stick figure drawings of our friendship ;) priceless, friendship is truly priceless.

10. A list of 44 things I want to do before I die. I am crossin' those suckers off left and right.

11. Sticky note- Psalm 116 March 17, 2007. Dead smack in the middle of my parents divorce. 1st night of panama city. " I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the Lord. " O LORD SAVE ME..." Look up the rest. It's wonderful, Our God hears us- and he saves us. Awesome.

12. A shopping list :) hehe.. who knows how that got in there..

13. I usually keep a picture of my mom in there, just because she's beautiful, I miss her and I need to remember to pray and lift her up to the Lord daily.

14. Movie ticket stubbs to "The Blind Side." The first movie Josh and I ever went to together :)

15. A pink sticky note. "Pray for Aunt Prudies Husband." That's been there since she got me this bible. God is so good to her and he knows what she needs... She has taught me that the Lord is the best husband a girl could ever ask for and that He is honestly all that we need.

15. A letter from Josh, that he just recently wrote. It's truly beautiful and I'm so blessed to be in Austin with him.

Ok that's all. Now your wondering how I even close my bible.

Hebrews 12:7- Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as a Son...11- No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Cry out to God, let him train you and discipline you. So that whatever comes next, you will be prepared.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I made it.

I'll never be as good as my sister at blogging, but shoot- I've always wanted to do it. She's an inspiration to me, so here I go. Let me just start out with something that I think we would all agree on. Life is weird. I moved to Austin, Texas 6 months ago and I've never thought life to be more weird.

God has taken me through some crazy times in my life, but I feel like now is the most unusual and weird time. I guess the transition from a being a full time college student to being a full time working professional has taken it's toll on me. Did I mention I moved to Austin, TX as well? So as you can imagine, things are now starting to settle in. I am finding myself, often at a loss for words and just kind of confused as to when this all happened.

That has been sort of a pattern in my life. At times when I thought I "had a plan," God said..."my plan is better." It is at that point that he stops me from what I am doing, and literally takes over. It's at that time, when I have no control or handle on anything that I remember that I NEED JESUS. Does it make sense? No. Do I understand any of it? Not really. But God knows us. "Oh God, you search me and you know me..." Psalm 139. He knows what it means. It makes sense to Him. I can rest in that. Every night before I go to bed I read the word. I read the word of God and let God speak to me through it. It's not a guilty thing, I'm not reading it because I feel like I should. I'm reading the WORD OF LIFE because it GIVES ME LIFE. I need it, it is what we crave and hunger for- although we do not see it as that. Talking to God- praying to him and knowing that he is listening is my next step. Sometimes I can't feel God, and I feel like I'm praying for all of the same things- but he's there and he is listening.

think about your life.. think back and remember those hard times or those trials that you thought you were never going to make it through. You did it. You're here. Maybe your in the middle of something else, you'll make it. Maybe your still in the same thing you were in years ago- " take heart, I have over come the world." (Jesus). Press on- hold onto Jesus- come near to the Lord and he will come near to you. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective..." James 5:16.

Wherever you are- I pray that you would feel God's peace, mercy and love surrounding you!

Psalms 121- I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does me help come from? My help comes from the LORD the maker of heaven and earth. AMEN!