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!