Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dear 2015

Dear 2015,

Another year has almost come to an end and what a rollercoaster of a year it has been! I will admit I had high hopes for 2015 afterall 15 is my number (I was born on the 15th, my parents married on the 15th and I currently live in number 15 which has been the longest I have lived in any house) and while the year has had its high points it also had its low points. Early in this year I finally bought a car well my parents bought me a car which I am still paying off, the freedom of having my own wheels was amazing and my father got the joy of bragging to all his friends about the great deal he got on my first car.
I then managed to get a job in a law firm no less where I lasted (drumroll) 3 hours so I went back to my pyschologist which was the best thing and it was over due. I then was told to challenge myself and the next day a post popped up from ReachOut saying that needed youth ambassadors in my state so taking it as a sign I signed up and managed to get in. This did challenge me but I loved it and spending a weekend in a room full of strangers who would eventually become my friends proved to myself that I could push myself. I look back on the things I have done for ReachOut and can't believe it.
I also starting studying (online) to get my diploma in business administration and I managed to get two credits in the two units I have completed. This gave me something to do while I was looking for work with the added bonus that I could continue doing it once I found work.
Unemployment seemed to drag on and looking back at the amount of posts I wrote about job interviews and how I thought the job was 'the one' its not hard to see how much I struggled. I finally landed a job in July this year but this has been anything but smooth sailing and there are days when I find that I am drowning! Here I was thinking that a job would solve all my problems and it has just made them different and more complex, on the days I feel like I can't do the job I just pray and know that God is in control and keep trying to move forward.
We also said goodbye to my Grandma in July after a challenging few years of her going downhill, it was bittersweet to say goodbye to her as we knew she was in a better place and no doubt spending the next hundred years looking at God's toes as she was quoted saying in the years prior to her death. The funeral was well attended and it was comforting to see how many people cared about her.
I celebrated turning 21 this year which makes me officially an adult. I ended up doing a family breakfast followed by a party at night with friends on the Saturday before I turned 21 on the Tuesday. This was the perfect way to celebrate and I felt so loved and spoilt.
Of course after I turned 21 I found out I was going to loose my license for 3 months and have to resit (the dreaded) practical test. It was a shock and sent me into a downwards spiral which affected everything including my work which meant my probation had to be extended and I am still recovering from. I was thankfully able to drive down to the statewide sports competion between churches at the end of September as I had 28 days between handing in my licence and not being able to drive (which didn't help and I would've rather lost it then and there). We managed to win the small churches competion and the weekend ending up making some awesome new friends who joined our team from another church.
This year I have learnt a lot more about my anxiety and after changing my diet along with frequent psych appointments is a lot more manageable and I have noticed the difference long term.
Relationship wise I am still single and for now thats ok, I guess this year has been so busy that to throw a boy into the mix would be too much. I just know that I will meet the right guy at the right time and whatever happens God is in control.
Honestly 2015 has been anything but easy but what should I expect has anything in my life been easy? Bring on 2016 and what new adventures God will bring for me!

Love Erin

Sunday, December 20, 2015

12 Days of Thankfulness in 1 Day

Less than a week until Christmas which means less than a week until a week long break! Time is flying by, which is a great thing :) I was nominated by a friend on Facebook to do 12 days of thankfulness but as my life has been busy I just don't see how I will be able to do it all so I am instead going to compile it into one (long) blog post.
The thing is that I couldn't think of 12 things to be thankful for because in my head they had to be 12 'big things' yet I find myself being more and thankful for the 'little things':
The smell of rain and how it makes everything clean again. Being able to walk by myself down the street where in so many countries women need to be with a man outside. Being given the opportunities to go to school and complete further study. Able to work part time rather than full time. Having access to medical care and the resources I need to manage my anxiety. Living in a country where people with disabilities are seen as people and acknowledged as indviduals. Being able to turn on a tap and clean drinkable water pours out. Having a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in let alone my own room. Being able to afford to buy new clothes and the latest gadgets Having a laptop along with a mobile phone, ipod and family computer to use. Knowing that I can step outside without having a bomb go off. Being able to be a Christian and not killed for believing in God (in so many countries Christians are killed on a daily basis and its heartbreaking!). Being able to breathe and not having to worry about the polution levels. Not being forced to marry young or having an arranged marriage. Having friends of all backgrounds and ages who I know I can call on 24/7.
I wake up every morning and there are so many things I thank God for that are small and honestly as much as I should be thankful for the big things sometimes it's good to acknowledge the small things.
Below is the start of my '12 days of thankfulness' which has only ended up being 9, I guess I will leave the other 3 points blank so they can be filled in with any of the above, because honestly there are waaaay more than 12 things to be thankful and even the small things are big things.
  1. I am thankful for Rikki. Having him has made a huge difference in my life and he helps me with my anxiety. Just knowing that he is there for me after a hard day of work helps me get through the tough moments and days. He also makes me laugh, lately he has become obsessed with the grass in the backyard he will spend hours just rolling around in it and it always makes me smile.
  2. Knowing that God has a plan for me. Nothing in my life has been easy and it always helps to know that God has a plan for me even when I feel like I am drowning.
  3. My church family. I love how I have this community around me who support and pray for me. I have an amazing group of friends at church who have gone out of their way to help me in tough times. One friend gives me lifts home from work most afternoons as she works near me and lives not far from me and its such a huge help.
  4. My amazing psychologist. I am so thankful to have found a wonderful psych who I click with and understands me. I always look forward to seeing her and her appointments always seem to come at the perfect time.
  5. My immediate family. They make me laugh, put up my weird habits and support me no matter what. They have gone through so much with me and have never given up on me. When I lost my license my parents first reactions were 'we will get through this with you' and they have. They have become my taxi drivers and cancelled a potential holiday that would've left me for 3 weeks alone and have stood by through it all. Megan and Jocelyn are both awesome sisters to have and they are always down for chick flicks and girl talk.
  6. Christmas time. When you think about it what other time of the year can you talk about God so openly and people will listen. The whole reason for Christmas is Jesus and its great to be able to talk to people about him and what Christmas means for you.
  7. My job. I almost wasn't going to include as its been such a challenge but I am thankful to have such an amazing supervisor who is helping me and being in a supportive workplace. I have no idea what the future in terms of this job but I am thankful to be given this chance and know God is in control of what happens.
  8. ReachOut. I love this charity so much and being a youth ambassador is one of my favourite roles ever. I love being able spread the word about mental health in young adults and letting teens and young adults know about it more. We recently had a free dress day at work and when I stared in my wardrobe that morning I decided to wear my ReachOut shirt and got asked so many questions about what ReachOut does, how I got involved with them and what I do.
  9. My car. Even though I can't drive it at the moment (and its currently sitting in the driveway looking sad), I am thankful I have this mode of transportation and that I can afford to pay it off. There was a time when I doubted I would ever get my license and when I see my car I know that I will eventually get my license again (of course I do feel sad that I can't drive it as well). My car may be as old as my youngest sister but he runs well and I can't wait to sit behind the wheel again in a month (yes I may need my parents to sit in the car with me until I pass my dreaded practical test but I will still be allowed back on the roads!).
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Five Friday Favourites

Its time for another Friday Favourites! With exactly 2 weeks until Christmas time is flying by which is great (bring on my week off between Christmas and New Year!) but scary at the same time. This week has been a lot better in terms of everything that has been happening. I have learnt that just because I have one bad call doesn't mean that my day is automatically bad, so most of my days have been ok and I have my good moments and my bad. I am also offically halfway through not having my license which is great and I had a dream last night that I passed the practical test (compared to driving through a brickwall or doing something stupid in my other dreams). Midnight our black hen has also become broody once again so she is sitting on some fertile eggs and we are hoping that come new year we may have some cute chicks again.
Moving on here are my Friday Favourites for this week:

Exploding kittens - a friend introduced me to this game and I loved it! I recently purchased it for myself and its the best game to play with anyone, even Megan can play it which is great. Its just a fun simple game that doesn't take long to figure out and the cards have funny pictures as well.

ReachOut has been mentioned twice this week on Buzzfeed! This has by far been the best part of my week, seeing this awesome organisation get mentioned not once but twice. You can check out the posts they were meantioned on here (tip number 22) and here. Yes I am Erinm115 on Buzzfeed but I love the Breathe App and I love knowing I have it at my fingertips when I need it so I am super happy that they mentioned it.

Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi  - I have been struggling with my rough skin on my heels for so long and have various treatments and methods and nothing has been helping until I finally purchased this. It works within seconds and its super easy to use, the only downside is that it sounds like dentists drill but I can live with that for the results.

The Wedding Chapple by Rachel Hauck  - I love Rachel Hauck and I loved her latest book! Its a good story and so clevery written in the way that different characters cross over and have this linked history which you discover the more you read. It does have a happy ending but there are parts in the story that are sad and help you see the charcters struggles and their pasts better. I found this book was exactly what I needed at the time and you won't want to put it down. The blurb reads (taken from Rachel's website here):
For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.
Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ‘49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.
Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.
When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.
When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

 Christmas Gift Guide 2015 - If you haven't started Christmas shopping you need to check out my gift guide for this year. There is something for everyone and for a wide range of budgets. Its well worth checking out if you are stuck for finding that 'perfect gift' for someone.







Friday, December 4, 2015

Answers

This week has been one of the worst weeks of my life and I have no idea why. Normally when I have bad weeks I know why but this week there is no explanation for it. Things should be getting better at work instead I felt like things were going backwards and I honestly just wanted to hide. By Tuesday I was ready to run away and leave everything behind yet I stuck out the week and it didn't get any better. I guess I am feeling confused as to why God would give me this job if I am struggling so much with it. Is he trying to tell me something like this career isn't the one for me?! I mean I love my job just I feel like I am drowning in it at times and I hate letting my boss and myself down. I have prayed so much for this job and waited so long for it, yet when I get this job I feel like I am drowning.
I have also realised why I am taking loosing my license so hard, its because I feel betrayed by God (there I said it). I worked so hard to get it and there were times when I never thought I would pass the stupid practical test yet I managed to loose it in a freak accident. I feel like God has betrayed me by taking it away, this year was meant to be smooth sailing. Instead its been the complete opposite in so many ways and all I have to show for it is a job that I am struggling in at times and a car that I can't drive.
I guess I have a lot of questions right now and I want answers, I doubt I will get the answers but I still want them. Until I get the answers I will keep trusting God and trying to understand why God has let the things happen to me, because he knows what he is doing even if I have no idea.