"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

~Philippians 1:6


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A New Segment I Like To Call...

Thankful Thursdays!

Over here at "He Who Began A Good Work" I try to be informative AND inspiring. Every Thursday I'm going to put together a new list of things I'm thankful for. So here goes...

I'm Thankful...

  1. For the sunshine. It's nice and warm here today.
  2. That tomorrow is my 27th birthday.
  3. That my Dad who consistently every year is late with birthday cards called me this morning and exclaimed "Happy Birthday!" Man I love that guy.
  4. For my delightful adorable kids.
  5. That I have relationship with my sister Sarah. We're so tight now that she sends me picture messages of the things that come out of her nose.
  6. For my beautiful computer, Ambrosia. She's so awesome!
  7. That my washer isn't broken after all. (The mini-catastrophe deserves it's own post)
  8. I have a great church family where I feel at home.
  9. I have an amazing, loving husband who puts up with me and all my quirks/annoyances.
  10. My husband is in remission from cancer.
So there is my list for this addition of Thankful Thursdays!

*this was actually posted in May sometime. Not sure why it is being posted as a new one. Sorry about that!


Wordy Wednesday!

I love the word metaphrast. It's lots of fun to say and the meaning is definitely interesting.


met·a·phrast  
[met-uh-frast]
noun
1. a person who translates or changes a literary work from one form to another, as prose into verse. 


The word I hate isn't technically a word, but I really really do hate it when people write it. It's the word thanx. I just don't understand how the letter K and S are that much of a hardship that you have to replace them with an X. We can't be that lazy can we?!?


thanx
1. a stupid and lazy way to say thanks!! Don't write it ever again!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kinda Short, But Full Of News

My kids had their open house for kindergarten today. We met their teachers and saw their desks (so cute!). They are super excited to start their first full day tomorrow. I just don't know if I'm ready for them to start. Don't get me wrong I'm excited my babies are moving through new stages in their lives, but it's really scary as a mother to have your kids away from you. Derek and I have essentially controlled every aspect of their lives for the last 5 (Ashley) and 6 (Alexander) years. Now I don't have as much control and that scares the fluids right out of me. I know I need trust God with them, trust that He will keep them safe. He loves them more than I do (which is hard to comprehend). Pray that I'll trust God with my precious little children.

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

I officially started school today. I love learning! It's so great. I have some nerves though. I'm so worried I'll fail. I'm such a perfectionist that if I can't be perfect I don't want to do it all. God is working on my heart with this, but it's hard not to revert. I know I'm going to do fine. The nerves should go away once I establish some habits and get the swing of things. God is working that I know for sure.

Happy Monday Everyone!!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letter to a Boxer

Dear Floyd Mayweather Jr., (a boxer)

I'm gonna start off by saying that half of me feels sorry for you and the other half despises you and what you represent.

Let's start with the despising part. On 24/7 HBO you asked the camera tell me one athlete that works harder than me. You can't say you work harder than anybody else! You said tell me one athlete that is better than me and is undefeated. I can't think of anyone else that's undefeated, but I can think of two athletes that are better and I'll tell you why they're better. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Quarterbacks for the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. Brady has 3 Super bowls and Manning has 1. They are future Hall of Famers and have already beat and set records. You are probably saying some pretty nasty words right now (cause that's what you do) and asking why they are better. Well I'll tell you. They have played the best and beat the best. Can you say that? You'd say yes because you are arrogant, vain, pompous, smug (I'll stop there because I could go on all day). Manny Pacquiao is one of the best fighters in boxing right now and you refused to fight him on the grounds of some stupid blood test. You know that if you fight Manny Pacquiao you'd lose and there'd go the only thing you have to stand on in your career: your "perfect" record. Another thing, you have 6 pending charges against you. You don't care who you hurt or how as long as it benefits you. That's so angering!

Now, I'll state why I feel sorry for you. You're all about the money. Didn't you hear the latest? No? Well I'll let you in on a little secret "money can't buy you happiness". It can buy you all those fancy cars and that big house in Vegas. It can pay to have 50 cent hang around you. It can even buy "Miss Jackson" that gaudy awful ring she's got on. It pays for your entourage. You are able to walk in anywhere and get special treatment. Let me ask you this, if your money were to disappear right now who and what would you be left with? You couldn't afford to maintain your lifestyle so where would you go? You and your father aren't on great terms, so who would take you in? I point all this out to say that the life you are leading is empty and sad. You should box because you absolutely love it. You should box because if you didn't you'd feel like a part of you is missing. You should box "for love of the game".

I'm going to answer one of my own questions. I asked if you lost all of your money who would take you in, the answer to that question is undoubtedly God. You may have heard this before and probably blown it off, but I'm going to tell you anyway. God is ready and waiting for you. Ready to heal your hurts and show you what real love is like. A love that caused Him to sent His Son to die for YOU. Give that some thought, it's a matter of life and death. I pray you realize soon that the life you are building is a actually a trap. You are actively participating in your own demise. I think you need to take a long hard look in the mirror and at the people around you and decide if this is what you want for the rest of your life. If the answer is yes (which I suspect it will be) then at least I've pointed all of this out to you and said what I wanted to say.

Sincerely,

Someone Who Thinks You're An Idiot

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hot Button Issues and An Amazing Story

There are two issues that when brought up in conversation will undoubtedly set people off. Religion and politics. Everybody has an opinion on these two issues and more often than not people aren't informed enough to argue their side, but they know they disagree with you so they're gonna talk and yell it out until they're satisfied. I decided awhile ago that I wouldn't engage these people for really one reason. I tend to get pretty heated and opinionated and end up embarrassing myself. My mom likes to point out how much I like my soap box.

I say all of this to say I read a story about a Navy SEAL that really got to me. Whether we agree with the war or not the fact is that our troops are over there and we need to support them. I'm not posting this to debate the war so I ask you please not to leave comments debating the war. I'm posting this to showcase heart and loyalty.

Jon Tumilson was one of 30 Americans killed in a helicopter crash. A rocket propelled hand grenade took out the Chinook helicopter he was in. His funeral was in Rockford, Iowa and 1,500 people attended. He was Derek's age. This man, this hero gave his life in service to his country. For that I thank him and his family. I can't even begin to imagine what his family and friends must be going through. I extend my deepest heart felt sympathies to you all.

There was an additional attendant to Tumilson's funeral. His dog Hawkeye. Jon and Hawkeye were so close friends and family often called the dog his "son". A friend walked to the front of the room and Hawkeye followed. When he reached Jon's casket he laid down. The loyalty and heart this dog showed touches me on such a deep level. Hawkeye wasn't thinking of himself on this day (dogs rarely or if ever do), he was acknowledging his own loss. The loss of his protector, owner, and best friend. I think we humans could learn more than a couple of things from Hawkeye.

This picture was taken by Tumilson's cousin Lisa Pembleton

You can find the article where I got this story here




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursdays!

I'm Thankful...

  1. For my new vacuum-it's awesome!
  2. That my back pain has been a lot better lately
  3. School starts on Monday
  4. For the time I got to spend with Derek and the kids on vacation
  5. My photo shoot went well
  6. For grocery stores
  7. That God is so much bigger than my anxiety
  8. It's cloudy today
  9. For kisses and hugs from my kids
  10. I'm loved
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordy Wednesday!

My love word for today is so much fun to say. The word is Exacerbate!

ex·ac·er·bate  
[ig-zas-er-beyt, ek-sas-]
verb 
1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of(disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate
2. to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate


I hate the word collogue for two reasons. I don't like to say it and I don't like the definition. It is also the word of the day on dictionary.com.


col·logue   
\kuh-LOHG\
verb
1. to confer secretly
2. to plot mischief; conspire

Oddly Quiet

So maybe you noticed (maybe you didn't) that I haven't posted in a bit. Derek, me, and the kids went on a mini-vacation for a couple of days. I didn't take my computer (which was weird), but refreshing. We had lots of fun and it was good to get a little bit of a break. I will be posting pictures and posting Wordy Wednesdays! later today. Just wanted to let you all know that I am alive and well and as talkative as ever :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursdays!

I'm Thankful...

  1. For my husband's understanding and patience
  2. That it hasn't been unbearably hot this August
  3. For iCarly, I love that show
  4. That we leave for vacation on Sunday
  5. For Kat at Illusions, I'm getting beautified tomorrow!
  6. For Gabrielle's photo that inspired me to write a little
  7. For my Mom, she's an awesome awesome lady. She's gonna get a post all to herself soon
  8. For my iPhone not breaking when I dropped it today
  9. That stupid Wal*Mart wasn't very busy when I went today
  10. For Psalm 139

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordy Wednesday!

I dedicate this week's installment of Wordy Wednesday to Gabrielle. She challenged me to find a word I love and hate that rhymed. I'll admit I kinda cheated by going to one of those rhyming web sites. I found a word I loved and then put it in the web site and they gave me words that rhymed. So without further adieu here is Wordy Wednesday!

I love the word actuate! Not only is it fun to say, but I love the meaning.

ac·tu·ate  
[ak-choo-eyt]
verb (used with object)
1. to incite or move to action; impel; motivate
2. to put into action; start a process; turn on


I hate the word desecrate! It's a horrible word and just saying it makes me upset.


des·e·crate  
[des-i-kreyt]
verb (used with object)
1. to divest of sacred or hallowed character or office
2. to divert from a sacred to a profane use or purpose
3. to treat with sacrilege; profane

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Want To List

I made a list of things I want to do. I'm nowhere near done, but this is what I have so far. Some of them are unrealistic, but I want to do them so I included them!

My Want To List


I want to…
ΓΌ Go to Israel
Go to Rome
Go to Greece
Go to Ireland
See a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium
Get at least one official modeling job
Own a harlequin Great Dane and name                 him Patriot
Own a yellow or red VW bug w/a sunroof
Own a paint horse and name him Charlie
Go on a missionary trip
Get my college degree
Have a book published
Go into space
Meet Bill Belichick
Go to a game at UW stadium
Go to all the Smithsonian museums
Go to the Louvre
Run a marathon
Go to the NCAA and NFL hall of fame
See a football game at Notre Dame                        stadium
Pet a Lion
Pet a Bear
Learn to surf
Learn Italian
Learn Hebrew
                  Learn German
                  Visit the Sistine Chapel






Saturday, August 13, 2011

Freedom & Fulfillment



Life, at times, is a strange thing. It confounds us. It’s a mystery, a woman leading a man on a merry chase. The man enjoys the chase enough, but what’s driving him is the prize at the end. The thought that he will attain the goal, get the prize. In the man’s case the beautiful woman is something he thinks will satisfy him. Life does this to us. It leads us on many merry chases, chases for fame, fortune, and freedom. Fast cars and pretty houses are things that if we could just grasp even for a fleeting moment will fill us up and leave us…satisfied. Not true though as so many of us know, because behind it all is an ugliness that we’d rather forget exists; the ugliness of our human nature, the drive to get what we want, when we want, and how we want it.

The aforementioned freedom is an elusive thing. It can mean many things to many people. It depends on your position in life. To the inmate it simply means no set schedule, eating when and what you want, and being in a space larger than 8x8x12. To the abused woman it means being free of the daily fear for your life or the life of your children. Being away from the prison her mate has created and that she has felt compelled to remain in. For others who aren’t in as extreme situations it might be freedom from being broke; the prison of pennilessness. It might be freedom from the bondage of pornography, adultery, gluttony, anger, mental illness, depression. Well you get the picture. There are a million things that conflict any one of us at any time and it changes moment to moment. It changes so often it’s hard to keep up with ourselves let alone those we love and care for. When we choose to keep our burdens and troubles to ourselves we get overwhelmed, which is one more thing that we have to deal with. One more thing to keep us from our daily fellowship with God. One more thing that prevents the Holy Spirit from completely filling us up and working in every aspect of our lives.

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you"              1 Peter 5:7

Self-centeredness is a terrible thing. It lies to us. Not only does it make us the center of our own worlds, but it makes us believe that we deserve to be there. Everything important slowly fades from view. It’s a gradual thing of course, as most things are that we wish we could change in hindsight. We never realize it’s happening until we are so deep in we look up and can’t see the light above. When we take a breath it is tainted with the truth, the truth that we have allowed ourselves to be consumed. Consumed by this world we were commanded not to love.

                  "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15)

As Christians this balance is difficult to achieve. We are in fact in this world. We are here to minister and witness to God’s never ending glory, mercy, and grace. We also have to go to work every day and participate in the mundane trappings of life. I call them trappings because they become a trap.
                  1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1&2)
This race we are running does in fact take patience. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. With the fast food mentality of our society today we expect instant gratification. Not only for the things which we desire, but for the results we desire. We desire instant triumph at the things we venture to try. Our relationship with Christ is obviously the most important. Despite the fact that we don’t have to be good, we try to. We try to succeed at it when we indeed already achieved the ultimate accomplishment. We succeeded the day we decided to accept Jesus Christ as our savior. The day we realized we were beyond redemption without the shedding of His blood that made us victors over sin, this world, and our life. I’ll leave you with this:

                  55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursdays!

I'm Thankful...

  1. My husband is home after being gone for 3 days
  2. I finally got our family vacation planned
  3. For the thunderstorm we had last night
  4. That my boys still snuggle with me
  5. Ashley wants to spend time with me and be like me
  6. For God's goodness
  7. For the comments and support on my blog
  8. For good little surprises 
  9. For International Delight's Cinnabon creamer
  10. For great make-up

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordy Wednesday!

I love the word Dirigible! It's so fun to say! Say it a bunch of times in a row and you'll realize why I like it so much.

dir·i·gi·ble  
[dir-i-juh-buhl, dih-rij-uh-]
noun
1. an airship.
adjective
2. designed for or capable of being directed, controlled, or steered.


I hate the word Gluttony. It's such a disgusting word, mostly because of what it means. I mean have you ever partaken in gluttony and not been sick or full of regret? I know I haven't.


glut·ton·y  
[gluht-n-ee]
noun
1. excessive eating and drinking. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Creative Process (if you can call it that)

I get all my good ideas at night, when I'm laying in bed waiting for sleep to claim me. I think it's because that's when my mind shuts down and kind of opens up. I write my post completely in my mind before I sit at my computer to write it. I can't just open up blogger and crank out a post. My mind doesn't work like that, if anything it shuts down when I see the blank space waiting for words. That blank space has a lot of expectation to me. Like it's begging me to fill it with something meaningful and witty. Most of the time I feel like I let the blank space down. My blank space is probably thinking "Seriously Erica?!? I wait here for you to fill me up with something I can be proud of and THIS is what you give me?!? SHEESH!" OK, if blank space could think or talk that's what it would say.

Anyway, last night I had this great post planned, but I was too tired to get up and outline it on paper. So I outlined it in my mind and told myself to remember it. I woke up this morning and can't remember a dang thing! It's really bothering me. I can't remember what it was about, but I'm pretty sure it was awesome.

So blank space, please don't be upset. I had an awesome post planned for you, but sleep robbed me of it. If I catch my thief and get the post back I will certainly bless your space with it. For now you will need to content with my mediocre ramblings.

Monday, August 8, 2011

6 Years and A Month

Alexander turned 6 on July 11. I meant to do a post then about him, but it was a crazy time.

For right now he is obsessed about Batman and becoming a Fireman. He'll tell you stories about how he had to put out a fire and save one of his firemans. He's such a joy to be around. Very smart for his age. He's sensitive too. He senses my moods and if I'm crying he'll usually break down. He loves God and loves to learn.

My water broke surprisingly on a Sunday afternoon. Derek and I drove to the hospital to find I was already dilated to a 4. He was born the next day at 5:06 p.m. He was 4 weeks early, but healthy. I thought I had plenty of time to buy the essentials so some friends had to bring us a car seat so we could leave the hospital! I sat in the back seat with him in his car seat to "watch" him (like he was going to escape his car seat at a day old).

Him and Ashley are starting kindergarten this fall. He's already said that if anybody messes with his sister that he will "take care" of it. Part of me is said he is no longer a baby or even a toddler. I'm happy though that he loves Jesus and takes praying seriously. I'm excited to see the boy he's becoming. God truly blessed our lives when he gave us Ander.

Alexander in the Hospital
Alexander 1 Month Old

Derek and Alexander (9 mos)

Alexander's 1st Birthday


My Batman
My Fire Captain

Friday, August 5, 2011

Letter to a Loudmouth

Dear Chad Johnson (not ochocinco, Wide Receiver for the Patriots),

I refuse to use ochocinco even if you did legally change your name. What happens when you're career is done and you fade into football obscurity? You'll be somewhere and they'll say "last name please" you'll say "ochocinco" and they're gonna look at you and they're gonna say "we asked for your last name sir not your age." This is what will happen should you screw up in New England.

I have never been a particular fan of yours. Your loud mouth has always put me off. I don't like the show boating (even if you are that good and no one is ever that good). You don't see Tom Brady or Peyton Manning show boating after they throw their 3rd touchdown pass do you? You must be decent if Bill Belichick is willing to take you and lose a draft pick.

I have decided to give you a chance. I'm going to keep an open mind about you. Now don't go thinking we're best friends or anything, but I'm willing not to bad mouth you to every single person I meet. So good luck and don't screw up.

Sincerely,

A Skeptical Almost Maybe Fan

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things I Dislike Immensely

Waiting in line*Waiting at red lights*Slow drivers*Ignorance*Rudeness*Wind*Water chestnuts* Ketchup*Cherry flavored candy*Swiss Cheese*The Jets*The Cowboys*Spongebob*Bigotry* Racism* Mean-spiritedness*Verizon*USC*Oregon (the college not the state)*Hyenas*Temperatures over 80* Crimes against children*Parents who don't cherish their children*Illogicalness*Abortion*When people assume I'll do something without asking*Hot dogs*Bologna*Sausage*When people touch my food*A non-family member invading my personal space or touching me*Squash*Watermelon*Pears*Mushy bananas*People getting famous for doing stupid things*My feet being touched*Being touched by other people's feet (except Derek's)*People drinking out of my milk glass* Domestic violence*Drinking out of containers where I can't see the liquid (pop cans excluded)*Stupidity*Using words out of context*Lazy grammar*The word pic*Crunchy cookies*Money sharks*People who abuse their power*Large crowds* The Raiders*WSU*Michigan (the college not the state)*Yankees*LSU*San Diego Chargers* Going to Wal Mart*Lasagna*Tomatoes*Chicken & Dumplings*Light bulbs burning out*Pills getting stuck in your throat*Bad hygiene*The expansion of the Pac 10*Pete Carroll*Kites*Good movies with bad endings* Peas*Dell computers*Being judged*Judging others*Clutter (even though I'm the Queen of Planet Clutter) *When my cell phone battery dies*Thieves*Drug dealers*Instant gratification*When the new car smell goes away*Being an outsider*Not being liked*Gossip*Feeling inferior*Back and rib pain*

I reserve the right to add to this at any time. If you have some you want to add go ahead send them over, light-hearted or not I want to hear them all!

Thankful Thursdays!

I'm Thankful...

  1. I have such a wonderful husband who got all of the laundry done
  2. That my kids will still snuggle with me
  3. We're going to have an NFL season
  4. For reaching my goal (more on this in another post)
  5. It hasn't been too hot
  6. My Mom is going to come visit at Christmas when I'm on break
  7. For my admissions advisor, Sarah, she's amazing
  8. For having coffee with a  dear friend yesterday, she never fails to help
  9. For potluck tomorrow, I'm using my church friends as recipe guinea pigs
  10. For God's unfailing love. It humbles me in it's strength and constancy. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordy Wednesday!

This week's word I love is courtesy of my Mom. It is Platypus.

platypus 
[plat-i-puhs, -poos]
noun, plural -pus·es, -pi

1. a small, aquatic, egg-laying monotreme, Ornithorhynchusanatinus, of Australia and Tasmania, having webbed feet, a tail like that of a beaver, a sensitive bill resembling that of a duck, and in adult males, venom-injecting spurs on the ankles of the hind limbs used primarily for fighting with other males during the breeding season.

The word I hate is Invariably. People never use it right and it just sounds so stupid! There is a person I dislike quite a bit who uses it CONSTANTLY! Like it makes him sound smart or something. Invariably it makes sound like an idiot!!

invariably 
invariable
[in-vair-ee-uh-buhl] 

1. not variable; not changing or capable of being changed; static or constant.
2. something that is invariable; a constant.

*If you press on the speaker you'll notice the pronunciation is for invariable. I'm thinking it's because invariably isn't a real word, but dictionary.com did have a entry for it. Stupid, stupid word!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Struggles In Perspective

I'm going to warn you now this post is going to contain a disturbing news article I read. I couldn't stop thinking about these people. If you don't want to read then go ahead and exit now.


On Saturday I kind of freaked out. I'm feeling very stressed lately. I think it's mostly because of the changes that are coming up. I'm starting school which is scary in and of itself, but Alexander and Ashley are starting kindergarten and Griz is starting pre-school. Derek's job is so-so and my house is dirtier than I'd like. I feel like things are changing so fast and I can't keep up. I was talking to Derek Saturday night about how scared I am to "settle in" here. Here being this house, Butte, our church etc. It seems that every time I do God whisks us away somewhere else. I have, it's a shame to admit this, put God on the back burner so to speak. I still pray and read, but I'm holding back from Him because of how scared I am. Scared of someone else in my family getting sick or dying, moving, losing my dog etc. I read a great post from a blog friend over at hishealinggrace (just click). She was talking about her marriage and the pains that come with it. Then she said that only 10% of her marriage is like that. She went on to explain the other 90% and how wonderful her husband is. It was so awesome! I'm letting worry and fear dictate my life right now. I'm wasting precious moments with my Lord and my family because something might happen. Not cool, not cool at all. 


"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 
~2 Timothy 1:7 


This news article I read really put the things I struggle with in perspective. I think it's important to know what goes on outside of this bubble we call the USA. Ahmedhashim Mawlid Abdi is a Somalian refugee. He is a 40 year old father of seven who had to leave Somalia because of famine and violence. On his way to the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya he had to watch while militants raped his pregnant wife and before he could get to safety his 7 year old died of hunger, disease, and exhaustion. This story affected me so profoundly. This man and his family have been through so much and it's not over. They left their home, they have no food, and their lives are in danger daily. 


My thoughts after my mini-meltdown when I remembered this man and his family were: At least I can go to school. At least I have a home. If I'm out of food I drive to the store and buy some more. If my kids are sick I take them to the doctor. My water is clean. I don't worry about militants raping or attacking when I leave my house. Instead of looking at the negative in my life I choose to look at the 90% that is positive. I choose to look at God's blessings instead of what I perceive as the lack of blessings. 


Please pray for this family and all the family's affected by the famine and violence in Somalia. Please pray for the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya.