Saturday, September 29, 2012

when it rains, it pours

In my life, exciting things tend to happen in clumps instead of being nicely spaced apart like I want them to be. I suppose I should be glad that at least exciting things happen to me, right? I'm trying to look at the silver lining here! Here's what's going on: I am in the process of moving to a new city and starting a new job at the same time. For someone who likes predictability and is an introvert by nature, this can be very chaotic and also a source of anxiety. I've done this once before in college and for the next month or so after the move, I was not me. Everything was so new and scary, that I lost myself for a little while and was just trying to survive. I think it was because I was very nervous about my new job (I had never worked at a bank before and I am not a math person at all, so my confidence was low. I'd always said that was one job I'd never do, since numbers and I don't get along. I worked there for almost two years, however, and everything worked out fine.). It also had to do with the fact that I had an apartment for the first time, it was a new semester at school, and I was in a new town. Threw me for a loop!

I like to analyze my feelings (and other peoples' feelings, too...) so it's normal for me to go off on a tangent like that, I'm embarrassed to admit. Sigh. My apologies. ;)  Let's get back on track, shall we? I was excited for this new job because it seems like it's going to fit me a lot better than the bank. It's more of a retail environment and just all around different than what I'm used to. However...today I found out that instead of it being a full time position, it is part time. I so desperately need a full time job for both the money and the benefits, such as health insurance. It's so important to me that I have insurance because I would just rest easier knowing I have it - did you know that if you don't have health insurance and have to go to the ER, that visit would cost thousands of dollars? That thought alone nearly makes me have a panic attack! I was mildly devastated when I realized the miscommunication (a grievous miscommunication on the company's part) and went from being relieved that I had a job to fearful, disappointed, and a little frantic. I need a full time job and the perks that come with it. I'm still trying to calm myself down. I've prayed for the Lord to give me a peace about it and that He'd help me to trust Him, too. Oh my, it's so hard to hand it all over to Him, isn't it? Especially when it's one of those really important things - or is that just me? Please tell me I'm not the only one who's struggling with trusting! ;) Isn't it pathetic, though, how I forget that He's always got it all figured out? How quickly I forget. I'll look back on this months from now and shake my head and wonder why I ever doubted.

In the face of uncertainty and fear, I know that:

He's got this.
He will work it out.
He always does.
He wants the best for me.
He knows my situation.
I am His child.
He sees my fears and longs for me to trust Him. To really trust Him. Not just words, but action.
God will be glorified in this situation.
It looks hopeless now, but that's just my point of view (of course a mountain looks impossible from the ground).

Lord, help me to be a lump of clay.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Chris Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Unto You be all glory!

If you would, please pray for me. I would appreciate that so much. Just mention my name in prayer - God'll know. Thanks. <3

Be blessed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Skirt makin'

First off, I am a complete beginner at sewing. Very much a beginner. My parents got me a sewing machine for Christmas a couple years back after I'd asked for one. A couple days after Christmas I attempted my first project: an apron pattern from Walmart that looked simple enough. Got the pattern pinned to my material, cut everything out (that was a painstakingly slow process as I didn't have fabric scissors), and sat down to start sewing. I couldn't do it! I don't remember what the problem was, but I got frustrated and quit. I still have those pieces around here somewhere, still pinned to the pattern. Sad, huh?



I've recently been inspired to start up sewing again. (I use the word "again" quite loosely. haha) My first clothing project was a skirt that I started yesterday. It took me about 6 hours. It should have been a simple task, but as a beginner, I was just fumbling along and learning as I went. Oh boy, did I ever learn! Jersey knit is a difficult fabric to handle and it took me an hour to cut the amount that I needed. I realize now that I did it incorrectly - all I had to do was fold and cut. Instead, I had the fabric sprawled all over my little table as I tried to measure and cut while most of the fabric was hanging off the table. I was also using a rotary cutter for the first time. After I got my fabric cut out, things went smoothly enough. Until I got to the elastic for the waist band...it was tedious and took a lot of patience trying to get it threaded through. Once I saw the light at the end of the tunnel (or the other end of elastic) I let out a cry of triumph and took a picture.


Then I realized that my elastic was twisted! I tried and tried to get it turned back the right way but it wasn't working out. So with a heavy heart, I pulled the elastic out and started over. If this doesn't teach me patience, nothing will!



Once I got the skirt completely finished (My heart was rejoicing! Am I being too dramatic? ;)), I put it on and realized that it was a little more bulky at the waistline than I wanted. I definitely do not need extra bulk there, I'm doing just fine on my own, thank you! So, as it was midnight, I hung the skirt up and promised myself I'd finish it in the morning. And so I did! I ended up ripping the seam out of the waistband, took out the elastic (yes, I was nearly crying. haha Not really.), and sewed the waistband again, leaving only a 2-inch gap where it was orginally 2.5". You can see in the directly above photo that I had too much room for my elastic. That was causing a majority of the bulk. Live and learn, right? ;)

I also cut off about 1.5" from the elastic while I had it out for the second time. The wasitband doesn't add so much bulk now! I'm really happy with the finished product! I'm going to make one in black and another in ivory. Okay, I'll probably go crazy and make some in a lot of different colors. ;) I made this one in grey because it's the only jersey knit they had at Hancock's. I didn't mind too much, though. Grey is a neutral that can go with a lot of different colors.

I followed the tutorial found here.

This is how it turned out:
   

 
 
What do y'all think?
 
I think I'm going to try to find a maxi skirt tutorial or pattern that includes a different waist band. It is still a little more bulky than I'd like.

I welcome any and all help I can get, so if you have any sewing advice for me, please share it! Thanks in advance. ;)



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001. I remember I was in 3rd hour science class and my teacher turned on the TV. We watched in horror as tragic pictures and video clips flashed across the screen. I remember feeling scared, alone. Wondering if "this was it" -ya know, the end of the world as we knew it. And it was, in many ways. What was left of our innocence as a nation was obliterated.

I say "what was left" because my innocence had been shaken 6 years before, in 1995. I live just two and a half hours away from Oklahoma City and as a first grader, seeing the shell of a blown-out building and a firefighter holding a dying child and knowing that these horrific and unthinkable images were near me, not in some country on the other side of the world...I wouldn't be the same little girl after that. Every experience we have shapes us as a person in some way. We're all shaped by these tragedies. We all remember them. We all mourn.



Let's remember the families who lost loved ones - husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons. Also the heroes who entered those doomed buildings without looking back, so great was their determination to save lives - remember them for their courage and selflessness. I don't pretend to know what it's like to have lost a close relative or friend in these tragedies. Thankfully, I didn't lose anyone close to me or that I even knew. I don't know what it's like. I can't imagine the sorrow. I can only pray for those who are mourning a little more on this day because of the anniversary. God bless them.

As a tribute, I urge you to read this article. If you've never heard of The Man in the Red Bandanna, you need to read it!

There is also a great video here about him.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

journalin'

I've been keeping a prayer journal. I read that it is very important to journal about what you read in the Word and also to write down prayers. It has helped me to go back and remember some things I've prayed for. I write about what I'm struggling with, or another day I'll run across an awesome video on Scripture memorization and why it's so important, and I'll write notes about that in my journal. I read a book on prayer and wrote notes about it in my journal. Stuff like that. If you don't already do something like this, I would highly recommend it! It helps me meditate on what I've read in the Word, too, which is another thing I've been learning about.


Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing. -Anonymous

Reading is an immense gift, but only if the words are assimilated, taken into the soul - eaten, chewed, gnawed, received in unhurried delight. - Eugene Peterson in Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading


I'd like to share my prayer journal with y'all. Please forgive the horrendous photography - these are coming straight from my phone. I don't have a fancy camera - yet. ha Maybe for Christmas?

 
This is the front of it. It's fabric on thick cardboard. The fabric feels like rough canvas. I like how it's got a stripped down feel to it. It's deconstructed.
 
 
This is the spine. That's what I mean by "stripped down."


 
I like how it opens flat like this. I'm left-handed so things get a little hairy when there are big spirals in the way or if the crease is really crease-y.
 
 
Each page has a verse. They start over like 1/3 of the way through the notebook but that's just fine with me!
 
 
The back. Isn't it pretty? I'm in love with it.
 
 
Well, thanks for looking at my crude, unprofessional photos. :) Now I'm off to get some things done!
 
Be blessed!
 
~Erin
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First post. Here goes...

Well, here I am. This is me. I'll try not to be cheesy with this blog...my aim is to encourage and inspire. Or maybe it'll turn out to be a "this is what not to do!" type of thing. Because the Lord knows, I make mistakes. Not to get too bogged down on me, but I am an utter failure that has turned to God and said, "Here, God. Sorry I tried yet again to do this on my own. I'll let you take over now." Somehow I always end up falling flat on my face. It never works, does it? Us trying to do it on our own? My problem was I wasn't in a relationship with God. I shut down spiritually after my family went through a tough situation a year ago and put up a little wall between me and God. I was going to church whenever the door was open but I never prayed unless I needed something (sometimes I'd pray at night in my bed when I'd happen to think about it. Sad, huh?) and I never read my Bible. I was a Christian on the outside but certainly not on the inside and God hates that - not the people, but the action (or inaction, as it may be). Sometimes I'd break through that wall, usually from seeking God at the altar at church, but I'd go right back to living a prayerless life. Living for God is way more than going to church and getting a blessing. I'm learning that I have to live it. This is a relationship between me and God. Thankfully, God has dealt with me and I have, like I said, turned back to Him, handed Him the sad little mess I'd made, and He's slowly unraveling it and putting things back where they should be. This journey just started about a week ago. Yeah, so this is a new deal, this "Get Erin's heart where it needs to be" thing. I just got fed up with living like I was. Thank God.

So I'm on a journey to be the best person I can be. On a journey whilst on a journey. Kind of like a mini-journey, if you will, because this life is a journey. We're not here for long. I'm just passing through and I want to make it count.

Sorry to be preachy. Just wanted to kind of shed light on where I am right now. I've been reading some great blogs and have wanted to join in the blog world for a while. Decided to just DO it! Gotta take the initiative, ya know?

My goal is to become the best version of myself I can possibly be. I'm tired of wasting time moseying around on the Internet. I am going to get things done! I'm going to take the time to create things, learn new things, and read like nobody's business.

On this blog, I aim to offer glimpses of me and my relationship with God as it flourishes, my journey to craftiness galore, and my baking and cooking skills that will one day surpass the Pioneer Woman. haha

Looking forward to chronicling my journey. Hope it's not too boring for y'all! ;)

Be blessed.

~Erin