Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Location!

Hi friends! Thanks for sticking with me. I wanted to share some exciting information!

My blog has a new location - www.erincpeters.wordpress.com

It's bigger and better than before and I can't wait to start posting again. Look for my next blog post later this week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Are "Heart Sisters" Anyway?

Have ever watched Anne Of Green Gables? If so, you'll remember when Anne and Diana discovered their friendship was more than just a friendship, but that they were true kindred spirits. I remember wondering if anyone would ever find me as their kindred spirit. Years later, I have found not one, but many friends that I would consider kindred spirits.

Now don't get me wrong, I've seen more than my fair share of friends come and go, and often wondered "is there something wrong with me?" Have you ever felt that way. Maybe you still ponder such questions in your mind.

Well, I have great news for you! Whether you are good a friendships, bad at friendships or would love to know how God wants us to function in friendships, "Heart Sisters" by Natalie Chambers Snapp is a must read book!

Natalie shares from her heart as she journeys through some of her own friendship mistakes, which has any woman who has had even one friend shouting, "me too!" But she doesn't stop there. She continues by taking a look at The Super Seven Sisters, women from the Bible who modelled true "Heart Sister" character. I'm a Deborah myself :)

One of the many things I love about this book is how Natalie does not shy away from the true nitty gritty of friendships, and now true forgiveness and   conflict resolution can strengthen "Heart Sisters". Here's just one of the quotes I highlighted :)

"Being humble doesn’t only mean you don’t toot your own horn. It means you accept you will mess up from time to time and might need to apologize for it to boot. It means going to someone in a nonaccusatory manner to seek understanding without assuming you have done nothing wrong and being willing to own your part and move toward reconciliation."

As she wraps up the book, Natalie devotes a chapter to passing on and modelling to the next generation of "Heart Sisters", what true friendships that are designed by God and centered on Him look like. 

What a blessing it has been to get to know Natalie through her book and to feel her passion about God's design and importance of true "Heart Sister" friendships!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Giving My Dream Away

I have dream to be a writer...but I gave it away.

I have a dream to be a speaker...but I gave it away.

I have a dream to be a leader of women...but I gave it away.

I have a dream of being an amazing wife...but I gave it away.

I have a dream of being an awesome mom...but I gave it away. 

Why did I give these dreams away?

I didn't give these dreams away because of distractions or obstacles or being too busy. I didn't throw them in the garbage or disregard them with a casual attitude. I didn't get bogged down with "why me". 

I gave them to the One who can actually make them happen. I gave them to the One who will make them perfect. I gave them to the One who knows me and all my strengths and weaknesses better than I do.

Most importantly, I gave them away because I want God to be in charge of the outcome of my life.

I know there will be times when I try to take them back. Times when I try and take control of my path or try and force something that should not happen. But I trust God to bring me back to this place of surrendering my hopes, dreams and desires to Him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

God Is Bigger!

At the start of every new year, I begin with the best of intentions to keep on track with a Bible reading plan. The furthest I ever made it is the end of July before getting off track. This year I decided to read through the Bible chronologically. Thankfully, my husband decided to do it with me. Well, the truth is that I set up the YouVersion app on his iPad mini and signed him up. But so far, we've been faithful everyday.

A few days ago, we started with the book of Exodus. Since I've started reading through the Bible every year numerous times before, this means I've read this book many times before. But that just means that I have to work on being intentional in how I read and why I read!

Today, I opened up to Exodus chapter 14. Like every time I read the story of the Israelites, I get extremely frustrated with these people who are finally free after 430 years of bondage! Yes, I try and remind myself that I am very similar to them, but honestly, do I really act as ungrateful as them? This part of the story is where Pharoh's army has them trapped beside the Red Sea. And what do the people do? They complain and grumble at The Lord and Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. Very frustrating people!

But today as I read, Moses' response in verse 13 stuck out in a very big way to me!
And Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of The Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. (Exodus 14:13)

These people are trapped. They're stuck. They are convinced this is the end and it cannot get any worse. This is the stuff that horrible nightmares are made of. But notice how Moses draws their focus off of themselves and points them to The Lord.

This is where I stop, shake my head and raise my hand. Yes, that is what I do when faced with the worst situation I can imagine. I cry out to God in frustration, and yes, there is usually complaining involved in some way. I am just like the Israelites.

But God! Or how He has shed new light on this old-time story for me today. He showed me that just as He led the Israelites to their place of biggest fear, so He leads me sometimes. And why does He do this? Because sometimes God allows us to face our biggest fear to show us that He is bigger!

So today, as you face that potential job layoff, a sick child, a marriage in shambles, or loneliness, know that God hasn't abandoned you. You're right where He wants you to be in order to show you more of Himself.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Health of My Heart

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
             1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The clock read 11:37pm. The curtains were drawn and everyone was asleep, except my son. He sat in my arms, wrapped in his soft green blanket, smiling. Oh that smile. Cute, but not at 11:37pm.

So many thoughts ran through my head. Why he was still awake? Why is my husband sleeping? Doesn't he know that I have to get up at 6am too? Yes, he has a "real" job, but my "job" gets the kids fed, clothed and keeps them from fighting all day. Plus I have a meeting in the morning. And we need lightbulbs from the store. I get to have coffee tomorrow. Haven't had it four days. Ugh! Why is this child not sleeping.

Them bam! I felt it. That God tap. That reminder of what love is.

It's patient with what comes throughout the day, or night.

It's kind when my child interrupts me because he needs a snuggle.

It's not envious that my husband gets to go to work and talk to adults all day long.

It doesn't boast over how much I do for those I love.

It's not proud at what I've accomplished.

It doesn't push my own selfish "needs" before those that I am trusted to care for.

It doesn't seek to elevate my position.

It doesn't get angry when my plans get changed.

It doesn't keep a record of how many times I've taken the "night-shift" with the kids.

It doesn't get joy out of another mom's struggle.

It always protects.

It always trusts.

It always hopes.

It always perseveres.

It was then that I realized that I hadn't been loving those whom God gave me to love. I was crushed with the overwhelming sense of guilt and repentance at what I had been truly feeling in my heart. This was the health of my heart and I didn't like it.

So I prayed. Prayed for His forgiveness and His help, because it's easy to be the opposite of loving. That part comes naturally.

As I woke today, I was refreshed despite the loss of sleep. But I woke with a different perspective. A God perspecitive. I want the Holy Spirit to guide me in loving all those in my path. This is my prayer.

Have you checked the condition of your heart lately?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Who Are You Fighting?

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
             1 Peter 3:8-9

It's breaking out. People everywhere fall prey without even realizing it. Those who thought they were immune are being hit the hardest.

No, I'm not talking about ebola.

I'm talking about Christians taking out other Christians. Attacking. Slandering. Snickering. Backstabbing. Breaking ties. Lying.

What is the cause?

Honestly, I believe it starts very small, as all sin does. It might begin with not liking how someone looked at us or maybe they didn't sit in their usual spot on Sunday morning. Maybe it was a disagreement over a sermon or how the potluck at church was cancelled. It may have started over a Christmas card getting lost in the mail.

You may laugh at some or all of the above, but it's true. Christians can sometimes be the most petty and get a burr under their saddle over the tiniest thing.

How do I know? Because I've done it. As I sat and typed this, recalling others who have attacked and participated in going after another Christian, God boldly reminded me of something I cannot deny. I've done this and the number of times is too many to count. I've attacked. I've slandered. I've snickered. I've backstabbed.

But let's be brutally honest. Every one of those situations could have been dealt with in a loving way if those involved had turned to God for their reaction rather than rallying support and/or blowing it out of proportion. Would He want the reaction of us getting huffy over someone's mistake or small error, or would He have wanted grace extended and a civil conversation? Would He want more people than necessary involved or would He want it brought to Him in prayer? Would He want a letter/text/email sent in haste or grace/prayer/time? I think we all know the answer.

This may all seem over the top and like I'm scraping the bottom of my blog writing barrel. Sadly, I'm not. It's all true and very, very sad.

The reality of it all is that satan has distracted us from fighting him by turning us against each other. He plants seeds of doubt, paranoia, and gossip and then sits back while we tear eachother apart. He gives us a taste of feeling like someone has wronged us or that we have a right to fight a fight over something that was never worth fighting over.

We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and refocus on God! Our gatherings should resemble the throne room where God resides instead of looking like a courtroom where we come to fight for victory over a fellow Christian.

Basically what is all comes down to is we need to pray. Pray against satan's temptations in our lives and pray that we hold fast to what God has extended to us, His power over sin and His grace of which we are so very undeserving. Because remembering that grace that we don't deserve that God has given to us should stop us before ever attacking another brother or sister in Christ.

And extend that same grace when we don't receive a Christmas card from someone this year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

God Is In To Details

Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.
          Exodus 25:9

I know, it's been forever since I posted something. I've missed it and longed to sit down and write. So here I am, on a cloudly, Canadian Thanksgiving Monday morning with my cup of green tea and my Bible. Kids are playing happily, for the moment.

Are you a detailed person? Do you like to have things a certain way? Or are you a more laid back, go-with-the-flow, spontaneous personality? No matter what category you find yourself, I bet there are at least parts of your life that you are detailed, or picky, about. It may be the way you like your coffee or how you fold your clothes. It could be that you can only eat steak if it is very lightly pink in the middle or your car must be parked in that specific spot in the driveway.

I'm very much a detailed person. Sometimes, yes it's over the top and picky. And believe me, I have spent so much time and energy making sure the details are written down, packed or communicated.

Did you know that God is into details too? I'm reading a book called Leaving Ordinary by Donna Gaines where she walks through the Old Testament tabernacle, the house of God and the correlation between Jesus Christ. As I was reading yesterday, she quoted verses from Luke chapter 2 that tell of Jesus' birth and verses from Revelations 21 that tell of the New Jerusalem where we who are believers will dwell with God forever. Donna explained that these plans that God has laid out have and will come to pass, down to the finest detail.

God does care about the details of your life too. How do I know? Because nothing happens by accident. He cares that you got stuck in the long line at Wal-Mart today because He knew you needed to talk to the little old lady behind you. He cares that you have to deal with a very difficult situation at work because He knows your co-workers are watching how you react. He cares that your child is in a class at school where there is an autistic child, which will teach her compassion and that different is still special.

In a time in when our world seems to be in chaos and who don't know what evil is going to do next, the thought that God has everything planned out, down to every small details comforts me. Because ultimately, He's the one in control. The details I care about may not be exactly what God is concerned with, but the ones that really matter are totally in His control.

What about you? Does knowing that God is in to details comfort you as it does me?