Friday, December 31, 2010

Hopes

Tonight, we are going to have a sparkling grape juice toast with our boys about where they were this time last year, and where they want to be this time next year...we also will ask them to think about what they will have to do to actually get there.

The hubbs and I thought about our answers to these questions, and we both sighed... this time last year, we were in Colorado with our old youth group and friends' youth group last year...and next year want to be with family.  So many things to do before next New Years....here are my hopes for 2011:

> Live in a different country
> Complete my Master's Degree coursework
> Move back to Texas (definitely more a hope at this point)
> Find a job for the hubbs and me
> Continue to seek God's will for each of these steps

So it's going to be a busy year...but I think what is the most encouraging to me is that I see so much potential love to have and to give.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Crocheting

My entire right arm was cramping for a day after finishing this Yoda for my cousin for Christmas.
But I pushed through and finished by other Christmas crocheting for friends and family.  Nothing says "I love you" like a gift of warmth :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Speaking of the Story of Jesus...

Here is a very creative take...although, I don't see Joseph and Mary using Facebook...the video is still neat:

p.s. notice the song they use...makes it even better

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Story of Jesus

The older I get, the more precious the role of Mary in Jesus' life and God's will for our salvation becomes  to me.

A women, the lowest of the low in her society, was trusted with the life of the Holy Child.

How about that?

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

one semester down

{12 more months to go}

And the crazy thing is, I think there are some books missing from my pile.

The only way I made it through this semester was by the grace of our God, the love of my hubbs and the prayers of family and friends.  Thank you all so much!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, December 10, 2010

Emmanuel

God with us.

I can't help but hearing Amy Grant's Emmanuel, God with Us when I hear this word.  This may be my favorite Christmas song of all times...just because I think the word is so powerful.

God is with us because He loves us...and He wants to be the glory that every second of our lives reflects...

May your holiday season be filled with emmanuel.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

freedom

{Salvation}

What kind of feelings settle on your heart when you hear this word?  For me, concepts such as completeness, love and freedom fill my heart.  Knowing that you are saved by the blood of Christ is the most profound feeling you can have.

But freedom, I think most of us think that salvation just brings us freedom from eternity in Hell...but salvation also brings us freedom from Hell on Earth.

So what does it  mean to have freedom here on Earth?  I think it means that we are free to love and to be with God in every second of our day.  We are free to share that love with others and to be who we were made to be by the Creator.  We are free to be.

What do you think?

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, December 4, 2010

here comes the bride

Congrats to my beautiful cousin, Tori, and her soon to be hubby, Thomas!

Enjoy my picture of the future cusband wedding!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the blessing

{May all your expectations be frustrated

May all your plans be thwarted

May all your desires be withered into nothingness

That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child

And sing and dance in the compassion of God

Who is Father, Son, and Spirit.}


Larry Hine

I shared this with my Theology of Poverty class today for our devotion.  

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

Loy is a little girl in Uganda, living in an AIDS infected village...and I am her World Vision sponsor.

What can you do to stop the epidemic?  Everyone can do something.
Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, November 29, 2010

Give a little Love 146

What a great idea!  Not only are these e-cards absolutely ADORABLE, they also raise money for Love 146, an organization working to stop human sex trafficking {www.love146.org}
























Give a little love this Christmas, give to change a girl's life.
{and YOU decide how much you would like to donate.}

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 24, 2010




















This is not my first Thanksgiving away from home, but it is the Thanksgiving that puts me closer to my first Christmas not with my family.  I am so thankful for a family that I can miss...and that miss me back. I'm not sure why God decided to give the hubbs and I such great families, but sometimes I think that He blessed us so that we could be family to those who were not as blessed.

I love you guys and wish the hubbs and I could be with you this holiday season!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shonglap


The Ripple Effect from MONIKER|productions on Vimeo.

Brings tears to my eyes...see more at
{www.shonglap.org}

$10 a month can go a long way...this may be just the place where you can use your blessings to bless others

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the perfect shirt

on a pretty wonderful lady
Meet Hannah and the perfect shirt...why is it perfect?
Besides the obvious that is says "love.", it is alto UT orange and a v-neck...perfect
Hannah is one of my girls from my time sponsoring my home church's youth group.  We had some pretty amazing times and I have enjoyed watching her grow into the beautiful woman she is today!

Hannah, you are lovely and I pray that God's love is evident through you and in the life around you.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthday Hubbs

















Happy birthday to my wonderful hubbs!

I pray today is one filled with love and appreciation.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, November 15, 2010

your life

A little something to start your week with focus.


Much love,

Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Need a prayer for today?

Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by life that I can't even pray.  Have you ever felt that way?

Well, no worries!  Shane Claiborne and friends have a blog of prayers that focus around loving God and others...good stuff.

Click here to visit Common Prayer

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, November 8, 2010

the most wonderful man in my life

{yes, Mom, I am saying my husband is more wonderful than Dad}
I don't like to give up...its just not me {ask my mom how I act when I want her to buy something for me and she tells me no}

But it's not about me...it's about seeing my husband thrive, rather than drown in a crazy house with poor support.  He is great at his job...but he cannot thrive without support.

I love him...we need to do what is best for him...still waiting on God for that one...

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A text for Tuesday

In response to a recent post on The Newlin Weds blog, my dear soul sister, Justina, sent me this text:

{Just read the newlin weds blog...latest two entries.  Really impacted me Em.  You live so intentionally with these boys its making many of my relationships seem shallow.  REAL family is REALLY painful.  thanks for sharing.  i pray that God protects you and Jon emotionally and gives you what you need for each day...you have so much love in your heart and this has been a long obedience.  I am so proud of you and jon.  Whatever happens, the Lord is with you.}

That is one great text.  Thank you, Stina, for your ever present love and encouragement in my life...you are a precious source of love for me.

I also thought about how wonderful it is for me to go to school and get so much encouragement there as well...it makes me feel for the hubbs.  His network is so limited here.  So, if you feel led...send him an encouraging email :)  jonathannewlin@gmail.com

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, October 30, 2010

games

During a spiritual development workshop at school, we were asked to go around in a circle and finish the sentence:

{I am most happy when...}

My reply was:  I am most happy when I am sitting around a table with all of my family playing a game.
It's true.

What about you?  Let me know in a comment!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

cousins

It is interesting that when I put "I Hate Rap." as my Facebook status, my wall comes alive like I just said I was having a baby.  Out of all of friends' comments...came love:

I have a big cousin, who once was a king
Running and glasses were her sorta thing
She then left to college, it was very sad
I should have taken advantage of the time that I had
And now she is gone to the city of Philly
And I miss her lots, yeah... really.

Crack me up...this was written by my cousin, Nick...God love him...he is very special to me...when I babysat him (during his dinosaur loving days) we would dance to the Newsboys...I mean...how many boy cousins do that???  I have enjoyed watching him grow up...gain a sense of humor...and come to me for advice...I just can't really explain how much it means to me when he says he misses me.

I miss you too, Nick...thanks for being so cool :)...I love you...and so does the hubbs :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, October 25, 2010

The art of steeping

So many of us spend our days rushing and running...it's not hard to apply this same lifestyle with our spiritual one...

Many American Christians feel they need to work for God's love and grace...but I propose a different approach:

steeping in God's presence

Psalm 131 says:

{My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; 
I do not concern myself with great matters 
or things too wonderful for me.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul; 
like a weaned child with its mother, 
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD 
both now and forevermore.}

I love this Psalm...it comes from a humbled heart, depending on God...it brings memories of being comforted by my mother...and encourages us to quiet ourselves before Him

So take some time, friends, to rest in the love and grace that the Savior gives freely.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Fall

Farmer's Market in DeKalb, IL

I absolutely love Fall...I may even like it more than Spring....the smell of the fresh, chilled air mixed with the falling leaves brings back so many memories of Fall with my family...Rice Krispy Treats...carmel apples...carving pumpkins and then roasting pumpkin seeds...trees that look like they are on fire with red and yellow leaves...pumpkin spice coffee creamer...pumpkin bread...bean soup...finding those black and yellow catapillers everywhere...bonfires...carmel apple suckers...just love it all...

I was driving home from school one day and heard this song, "American Honey" by Lady Antebellum...and it took me home...and I think that's why I love Fall...it takes me back to East Texas...where I can hear my mom say how much she loves the weather...and I enjoy all the festivities with the rest of the fam.

Remaking of a classic when I visited my sis over Fall Break during my senior year at SNU

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Transforming Power

This has been my favorite book I have read so far in grad school.

Robert Linthicum takes Deuteronomy as God's ideal nation and compares it to the nation that has turned away from God in Ezekiel.  He proposes that the only way to bring a nation back to God is through God loving community organizers.  Linthicum uses Jesus Christ and Nehemiah as examples of biblical community organizers.

I really loved this book because I think it is a wonderful guide to assist anyone who sees injustice in their community do something about it....how to react with love.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

JT

In honor of my dear, soul sister, Jessie O'Brien's 25th birthday, I am posting our famous "Sexy Back" video {its hard to believe that we made this 3 years ago...wow}.  I am also sharing a link my sister, Amy, sent me to make sure I smiled, or more like laughed out loud, once during the day.

So this is my ode to JT by way of JO:

*sorry, this video uses the unedited version of JTimberlake's "Sexy Back"

Jessie:  I love you so much!  I hope your birthday weekend is WONDERFUL and I wish I could spend it with you over a pumpkin spice latte.  You add so much to my life, including:  LOTS of laughs, encouragement and love.

JT:  Thank you for the music that has been the rhythm of so many fun times on my life.  However, your interview on NPR was pretty lame.  Nonetheless...thank you.

Much love, 
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

rainy cold day

but my sunshine is the hubbs.

A girl's got to love when she {hasn't had time to take a shower...and throws on a headband, jeans and a fleece hoodie...} knows there is no use trying to look nice on a cold, wet day...and her love tells her she looks cute...

yes...just another reason I know I married a precious man.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, October 3, 2010

hiding

I'm not sure what it means, but my heart is warmed.

I have hidden myself away all day in our bedroom, recovering from what I hope is the last day of a cold...homework, documentaries and meals delivered by the hubbs have occupied a pleasant day of productivity and vegging...

As our boys file to their rooms for the night, one knocks on the door and asks if I am okay...I say yes and he says, "just checking," the way my mom would...then another knocks on the door a little later and saying, "Goodnight, Em."

Maybe it's not love, but at least it is care :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

love is hard

It's not that I expected this to be easy...I did not expected to be loved in return or to even find it easy to love the boys that were waiting for us when we came to Pennsylvania.

But with the arrival of two boys that are brand new to the program, the hubbs and I see that there is hope for boys here to like us...the ones that were here before we came are just so jaded...and bitter...it's hard to even believe we can get any where good from here.

Alas, when I am at my breaking point, I am reminded of this song by a friend...Love is Hard...if love was easier, we would have world peace.  And if love is easy for you, you have either found a wonderful person who loves you back completely...or maybe you need to examine what you think love really is.

Thank you all for your prayers and love.  We are looking for God to take over and use us despite our limits.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sissy

Today my sweet sister takes another step toward 30 {I knew you would appreciate that, Amy}
She is so wonderful and will be a Dr. of English soon...craziness...I have only begun to understand how much work she has really put in to reaching her goal of a doctorate...she is admired, for sure

My sister and I have the wonderful gift of a shared sense of humor and the ability to cry while laughing...and we both like cats more than the average person.

I look forward to the day when we live less than 4 hours away from each other and can be a part of each other's lives on a regular basis...siiiiiiggghhh

Sissy, I love you and I am very proud of you.  The woman you have become is strong, caring and unique.  Thank you for not really liking Lady Gaga.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


{Psalm 13}
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? 
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts 
and every day have sorrow in my heart? 
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. 
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," 
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love; 
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD, 
for he has been good to me.

{I bet most of you could pick out that line without me coloring it green and putting it in italics}

It has been very hard...just one of these feats would be hard by themselves...but two...

This weekend we had one of our boys run away...but I still got all of my homework for Monday AND Tuesday classes done...only the Divine could have been involved in that, for sure

So it's not a matter of wondering if we are in the wrong place...it's a matter of who we are putting our trust in...the hubbs and I have for sure been praying more together since we took on this house parenting job...but we sense a lack of scripture in our lives and a lack of quiet time...and scriptures ,like the one above, prove to us that we NEED this good, rich nutrient to survive from day to day.

I have always seen such beauty at the end of myself and knowing that God is working in spite of me.  The hubbs and I have come to end of ourselves in a short four weeks...so we are ready...GOD USE US PLEASE!  

But what we continue to see is a broken world that has shaped the hearts and souls of these boys in our home...and God's unfailing love is the only thing that can remodel.

Oh God, my God...why has though forsaken me?  Why would you bring us here, just to show us that we don't know anything about how to change the lives of these boys?

And He smiles down and says:

"Trust in my unfailing love, and your heart will rejoice in my salvation."

I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, September 19, 2010

{challenge yourself every time you turn on your computer}

check out {Just Wallpaper}
This is my wallpaper...the challenge I gave myself after my Mission Year...and that God give us all in Micah 6:8

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Grad School


why am I here?

to be a scholar?  umm no

to work in a Third World country for the rest of my life?  probably not

to just get a Master's Degree in something that sounded interesting ao I can get paid more one day?  nope

so why?

I am at Eastern University getting my Master's in International Development so I can know what my actions and my country's actions are doing to the rest of the world...and to know how I can help those that are doing good do more.

So, no Prof., I will not be getting an "A" on this paper...but I will be getting my mind blown by all this crazy information about development, leadership and theology...and I will be telling everyone I know about everything I learn {especially the hubbs}

So thanks Profs for being so awesome!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

-Henry Scott Holland



My dear roomie, Justina, gave me this poem as I struggle with death. Death and I really hadn't come in close quarters until I lost my aunt two years ago...I have been wanting to write about it...but I just haven't found the words...

Death comes into my lively world again with the news that a mentor of my youth will not defeat colon cancer that she has been fighting for a year and a half...and all the same feelings came back...its so final...so distancing...

until Stina gave me this poem

Thank you...and I am sure my mother thanks you as well as she reads this poem as well...I love you.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, September 10, 2010

Half the Sky

One of the women in my cohort talked about this book during class discussion this week.  I went to the library that day to check it out...and it was gone...so it must have been as good as she said it was, right?

So I went home and ordered it from Amazon...got it in the mail yesterday...and I don't want to put it down.  How have I never heard of this book before...and it's not like I don't listen to NPR...I must have been jamming to Air 1 when they interviewed Kristof and WuDunn about their marvelous work!
Women are beautiful, I think everyone can agree to that.  Half the Sky unveils the horrors that women undergo around the world...even in America.  But unlike so much information that we get today, this book not only makes you aware of the pain and despair, it also makes you aware of the organizations that are helping women overcome their disparities.

This book has helped me to hone in my passion for women and children in the informal sector (sweatshops, brothels, etc.) in the world.  God has given me a vision...but that is for another post :)

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stuff Christians Like

I love people with a good sense of humor...like this guy...so if you are in the mood to poke a little at your Christian friends (which actually...these are some pretty good observations), check out

Stuff Christians Like:  The Blog

Which I think that it is interesting that we like so much anyway, we definitely are a consumeristic society...I know I am...but I'm working on it...I have to stop myself so many times from blogging about material things that "I love"...but it's a start

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, September 2, 2010

show some love

I just wanted to let all my readers know that I LOVE comments...so please, if you are reading and just want to say "hi" or ":)" I would love to know!  I'm making it easier for you to comment, as well...so try it out :)


Also, the hubbs and I have started a blog about our time in Philly...to follow this blog, just go to The Newin Weds.


Thank you all for your support and prayers...the hubbs and I have seen the fruits of your thoughfulness.


Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Oakes

I was looking through some one's pics of Southern Nazarene University's {my undergrad Alma Mater} freshman move in and orientation day pictures and found this beautiful one of my auntie Deb, uncle Stan and mini-me-cousin Allie {who is a freshman at SNU this year}

The Oakes have been such a big part of my life.  I enjoyed a week or more at their home in Houston every summer that I spent at home...including while I was in college.  Debbi taught me how to sew and has poured many a life lesson into my heart about life...and has always been someone that I knew I could come to with just about anything.  She is the aunt who helped me with my wedding...they all had a part in a way, but she was hands on...decorations...food...thank God for you, auntie Debbi

Stan always has mustard and Cherry Coke ready for me when I visit...and is very dependable when it comes to texts wishing you a happy holiday.  He speaks love through candy...what more could one want from an uncle?

Tori was one of my bridesmaids and will always be one of my best friends...watching her grow into a beautiful woman of God is one of the most precious parts of our relationship...our shared love for Texas, Buddha's doodle and the ridiculous keep our love alive, even if we have not talked in a while.  Her birthday gifts and care packages are much anticipated :)
Allie, last but def not least {for we all know that their evil dog, Josie, is last AND least} is a girl after my own heart...in many ways.  She has a passion for fashion {tee hee} and for life that is not shared by many of my cousins.  Her heart is willing to be shared with those that are in pain and suffering around her.  And although it is very easy for the youth of this world to get caught up in themselves, Allie definitely broadens her world view.

For the past 2 years, while I lived near SNU, I enjoyed the company and close proximity to Tori, the daughter missing in the above picture.  Really, the only downside to moving to Philly for me was that I would no longer have access to family the way I did in OKC...and that I would not be able to be there for Allie's first year at SNU {which can be very dramatic...after all, I met my husband seven years ago on our move-in and orientation day}

I am very excited to see where God leads Allie through her time at SNU...and what the near future holds for Tori as she exists SNU...I love you two...and The Deb and Stan the Man...thank you so much for all of the love you have given me...and all the time you have invested in our relationship.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stalking

I just added a cause, Love 146, to my Things to Love page.  My discovery of this cause is result of my Facebook stalking of one Anna Hrovat...my roomie from Mission Year.

Girl, I love you so much and I thank you for sharing Love 146 on your page...even though it was in a conversation with someone else other than me.  COME SEE ME IN PHILLY!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am an investment

Today, my cohort enjoyed hearing from Dr. Tony Campolo for the entire day...it was wonderful!  I finally got to meet him and told him all about all sorts of things...and he said that he loved me and gave me a hug...talk about family...I think I just met another grandfather :)

He ended the day by talking about Babylon...and how Revelation 18 is referring to any country in which one resides...and how all great countries fall...and how America is going to fall sooner than later.

Now you may be wondering, "what in THE WORLD does that have to do with love?"

Before he dismissed us he asked us a simple question..."What will you be doing when our Babylon falls?" Will we look back and see that everything we have is destroyed because we invested our lives in Babylon, or will we look up and see our treasures stores in heaven...in the Kingdom of God.

I know that I will be able to look at the Kingdom and have no fear...but I did not learn that this is what life is about on my own.  My parents taught me where to invest my time, talent and resources...in people.  The biggest way that they have shown this to me is through their investment in me.  Dr. Campolo also talked about, unless we were children of a farmer, we were only an economic liability to our parents...and this is SO true...but my parents still tell me all of the time that they are very proud of me and that I affirm their decision to invest in me...rather than in their house, or the stock market...or even a savings account.

{My parents paid for my education, will do anything to support me, have taken on the hubbs as a part of the family, and give big to everyone around them.  Thank you, Mom & Dad, for loving me so much that you put your needs after mine and that you have shared your dreams and love with my...and that you do the same for others.  Your investment in me has allowed me to invest in others.}

I love you,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Home

Home is taking a whole new meaning for me...and I truly believe its where the heart is.

{Our new home is in the suburbs of Philadelphia.  We share our two story house with six teenage boys...or maybe they share the house with us...we are still unpacking, but it feels like we are home}

Drama has been pretty low since we took over...I think because there is no parental struggle with us...we are almost their peers...so maybe they don't feel like we are trying to control them.

Orientation at Eastern has been really great...I feel like I am at home with my cohort...it's such a privilege to know that I will be spending the next year with people that have the same passions and love for the world and others.  It feels like Mission Year.

There are so many great opportunities that I will have this year:  Costa Rica for Spring Break, DC for a day, a possible visit to the UN in NY...and any conference that we think will be beneficial to us (like the CCDA in Chicago next month).  

{Home is where the Hubbs is...he has been so amazing during this transition...not only is he primarily responsible for our youngsters, he has taken very good care of me.  He has been very encouraging and loving, despite his exhaustion.  I am so happy that we are married and get to experience this year together.}

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the adventure

this week has been none other than the adventure of the hubbs and my lives...and it's not going to get any less exciting for the next two weeks...but lots of love was found

{Our dear friends Tyler and Roxie not only opened their home to us and helped us move everything into our moving van, Roxie cleaned our entire apartment for us while I was working...this spoke so much love to me...I don't know how we could ever really thank them...ever}

{My last day of work was our annual special event...it was beautiful...and it was nice to say good bye to the people that I have spent the last 2 years working beside while we all looked so snazzy.  I really didn't know  what I wanted to give them as a Thank You present for the last 2 years...I thought about it a long time and decided I would give them each a different kind of cross...one that looked like their personality/style...and I told them when they opened them that they were to hang in their home...and every time they looked at them they should remember that I thank God for the time we had.  It was perfect, and I think they all know how much I love them}

Arkansas is our next stop for the weekend, and then its on to Pennsylvania...where we will move into our group home with our boys and I will start orientation at school on the same day...offff course

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Momita

I just wanted to take some time to tell my mother

Happy Birthday!

You are a wonderful friend and mentor...I love it when people say I remind them of you...I wish I could be home to celebrate with you...but I am very grateful that Sissy is there!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Relationships

A lot of times I look back at all of the wonderful friends I have had in my life...and think about some that were not so great...and in trying to figure out why we need friends anyway, I have come up with this:

Relationships...whether with friends, family or lovesr...are meant to make us better people. I used to believe that a true friend would just accept me for who I am...but after getting married and looking back on my best friends of all time...it's more than that...in fact, they don't accept you for who you are...they join in a journey to the person that God created you to be

Relationships that are meaningful are the ones that are filled with so much love that an argument or a few harsh words will never destroy...the true friend will honestly tell you how they feel and will let you know what they appreciate about you...they will stand beside you when you realize who you really are...they will join you in the pits of despair...and they will laugh with you so hard that you both pee your pants (ok...so maybe these are just my friends)

I have been very lucky to have more than one friend like this in my life...and I give all the credit to God and to them for the person I am today

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

sweet sweet words

From my friend Janell...the one I can credit all my crochet skills to:

{I love you for who you are because you aren't afraid to be who you are.

When you first told me that you were moving I was so excited for you and the opportunity this is for you and Jon. Then in the past week I realized that it also meant you would be gone from here. That does make me sad, I will miss you. I treasure our friendship as well and look forward to the day we might live near each other again. Whatever the future holds, I am very grateful for this time we have had together.}

God, thank you for friends in every part of my life...You have always known just what I needed from a friend...You have given me a great gift with Janell
 
Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A lovely weekend

I had a very busy, but wonderful weekend...

It started off with working really late for a {Friday}, but feeling so productive...and then playing water games with kids at our church's last night of VBS...I got to meet some parents of the children I spent so much time with during the week...it was good...scratch that...God is good.

{Saturday}, I woke up early to go to my cousin Tori's apartment for a Texas breakfast...featuring Texas shaped waffles, orange juice and chocolate milk drank from a UT cup, and syrup from Jefferson, Texas...ohhh yes...and to top it all off, we wore Texas shirts...mine looking like this:
Good times, good times...it was the perfect way to finish a memorable birthday month!  As we enjoyed the comedic stylings of Rift Tracks while watching Twighlight and New Moon, my bestie Sarah and I starting chopping up shirts from college for t-shirts quilts...we had so many of the same t-shirts...it reminded me of how God has blessed me so much with Sarah's friendship...we have shared so much of our lives...it's good to have people that know where you come from.  We ended the night with hanging out with our dear friends Ben & Tabatha...and their son Logan...who gave me kisses...and it was awesome.

{Sunday}, our second to last Sunday at CCN, the hubbs got to baptize two of the girls in our teen group.  This was specially meaningful to us because we have seen these girls grow so much in their relationships with God...and it was awesome to see the hubbs pull out his newly ordained Rev. skills :)  I was proud...so proud, of all of them!  

{I also found out today that my grandfather reads my blog...and likes it :)  It always makes me happy to hear that people enjoy reading these posts...especially when it's family...so Shout out to Pawpaw Pitts!  I love and miss you, always!  Feel free to comment whenever you like :)}

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, July 30, 2010

VBS

{This is yesterday's "God Sighting"}

Our church has been doing Group's High Seas Adventure VBS program...and honestly, this is the best VBS I have ever been to or participated in.  As an adult, it is even encouraging to my spiritual journey and teaching me things...here are just some highlights from last night:

-getting to talk to a 3rd grade girl about how horrible the cross was for Jesus, but how He still chose to die for her...watching her process the severity of it all...and the wonder of it all was a precious gift

-during one of the centers, there is a time where kids write down their "God Sightings" and stick them on the "Journey of Life" map...I hadn't really looked at the map...at all the detail...until last night when the center leader walked the kids through where they were...we had traveled through the Sea of Sadness, Mountains of Homework, New School, Laughing Point, and the Island of Loneliness....then we went through the Wave of Goodbye...Fishing for Friends...Deep Blue Blessings...and those three things really hit my heart...I thought about crying, they were so meaningful to me....getting ready to go through the Wave of Goodbye in two weeks...and having to Fish for Friends in Pennsylvania...and I know God will lead us through Deep Blue Blessings...it was sooooooooooooo good

-it also has been great to just get to know the kids, watching them enjoy their time at our church AND watching the people of our church come together and give of their time and talents to make this the best VBS ever has been AMAZING...and so encouraging...exactly what my heart needed yesterday...and this entire week

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Doodly love

So it's come down to this...moving in three weeks...putting together the auction for our special event at work...starting school in three weeks...moving into a group home in three weeks... and trying to focus

Although there is so much to do {which is why I have not really been able to post very often} God has given me a blessing of letting me see so many little wonderful things that happen each day...so I'm going to try to blog everyday until I move...a small post...just to share with you all those things I see.

Today, I saw Him in my new friend Amy Morgan {who writes these wonderful journals you muuuuussst check out}  Amy is one of those people who can read you from the second she meets you...and then, she will meet you where you are...not just expect you to get over yourself and get to know her.  So in our short time together sharing the same corridor at work, she has figured out how I receive love...gifts and acknowledgement...we went to Mardels over our lunch break and I showed her this lovely green "GRACE" that I would like to have for the new Newlin Nest in Pennsylvania...and the next thing I know...she is buying it for me...along with my lunch...and all I can think now is "siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh...she loves me..."

Thank you, SMorgan, for your beautiful heart and spirit...and for allowing God to work through you even when you are having a bad day.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, July 2, 2010

Notes

Yesterday began my birthday month!  Yes, that's right...having a summer birthday was always sad as a kid because my friends were out of town/on vacation when my day rolled around...so my parents let me have the whole month to celebrate, ie make my b-day an excuse to do something fun with the family...so I still do it today...the hubbs is being a trooper...I think he will find that just wishing me a "Happy Birthday Month" everyday is just what I need :)

Speaking love into my life is as easy as a couple of words...I got this message on Facebook this morning...

{Hey! How have you been lately? I know I just saw you on wed. but yet it seems like its been FOREVER! :) Anyhow, I feel like I should let you know something.. you ruined my life. Now, before you get upset let me expound upon this idea. Shane Claibore says that Jesus ruined his life.. well you kinda did the same for me.. in a beautiful, wonderful, lovely way though. Emily, you introduced me to ideas, revelations, and facts that I have never even thought of. And, because of the spark that you've ignited in me I've learned more, so much more that my parents call me a "liberal-idealist-Jesus-hippie". God spoke through you to speak truth, life and love into my. You've helped me figure out stuff in my life and I will always be grateful.}

Letting someone know how much you appreciate them can make a bigger difference than buying them a car...or giving them $100...because it lets that person know that they are fulfilling their purpose on this earth...and that they are loved for it...

Do you have someone that has made a difference in your life lately?...a quick note could make their life.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Church Camp

I celebrated my 12th year at church camp last week...and it's going to be a sad day when I have been a counselor at camp more years than I have been a camper...not there yet...but I will arrive shortly!

I have to say that I began the week with not very high hopes and dreams about my bed at home...our youth group arrived three days before everyone else to do some service work at a church nearby...so when everyone else was arriving...we were already settled...and feeling like we had already been there for three weeks...

All of this to say that I am so glad I went this year...I've missed it! I love being with my girls...and meeting new people...and drinking lots of water...and acting like a fool for the sake of "I can and its cool here"...but more than that...I love that camp is a place to connect...with new and old friends...and God...the music was wonderful (minus the rock star egos of the band at times), the speaker (Tim Milburn) said things to these teens that I had never heard when I was their age...

{life is going to be hard...and you will have pain...but if you are living for God and letting Him live through you, you will have a life that surpasses all expectations and dreams you could have come up with on your own!}

I LOVED IT...I saw some of my youth stand up and be counted as ones who have received a call into ministry...I, myself, even met God in a place that I have missed for some time...we sang a song that included the lyrics:

{here in your presence, heaven and earth become one}

in the moment I sang that with my whole heart...God allowed me to be there...the place where heaven and earth become one...at His feet...it was beautiful

I love church camp...but more than that, I love my teens that the hubbs and I have the honor of serving and spending so much of our time with.
All aboard the crazy bus....this was a GREAT game!
Aren't they soooo cute...and yes...that's Kendra...another counselor on Sidney's shoulders :)

Thank you, God, for a wonderful week and thank you CCN youth for being so cool.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Year in the Life"

Here is a preview of the new Mission Year documentary that follows Chicago 2009-2010 team members.  I am so excited to see the entire project...Hassan, featured here, is in the same neighborhood , La Villita, that I spent my Mission Year in!  SOOOOO EXCITING! 

Next personal goal:  Get a story of Mission Year on NPR...maybe even This American Life????

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

RE: Shout Out, baby!

Dear Abs:

Thanks for the shout out...LOVE THE PIC...even though the brown looks a little pink...these booties were for a boy :)...and I told Abigail that I would LOVE to see them make a post on her blog...success!

To show you my thanks and love, here is the picture I told you about from our wedding:


LOOOOOVVVVEEEESSS and can't wait to meet Baby Ransom, even if it is only through Facebook and Blog stalking

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Monday, June 14, 2010

the love bucket

My cousin Tori and I have a long running tradition...I don't think we have practiced it in a while...but it is still ours

A love bucket is a bucket/basket/bag full of small presents that are specific to the receiver's favorites..for example...Tori LOVES orange tic-tacs, orange gum, cookie and cream Hershey bars...and anything with Buddha's doodle :)  So, for many a birthday, we have given each other these containers overflowing with things the other loves...and since we share the same birthday month...we go over the top for each other!
Love buckets made for Tori...purple one from me
(click to see larger)

There is nothing that speaks love to me more than a thought filled gift...especially when those thoughts are from my closest friends...and cousins :)

Thank you Tori for always thinking of me and making my birthday extra special!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The chills...

"You are the face that changed the whole world
No one too lost for you to love
No one too low for you to serve
So give us the grace to change the world
No one too lost for me to love
No one too low for me to serve

Let us see... let us be your face"

Every time I hear this Sanctus Real song, I get chill bumps...I LOVE CHILL BUMPS...they are the product of truth and beauty physically resonating with my soul.  Those are the moments to cherish and are just another way I feel God's love.

Thank you God for good music and for the soft heart that allows me to enjoy the simple things of Your world!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I heart him


After being 6 hours apart for our Memorial Day weekend...the hubbs and I spent a wonderful evening just being close...and he even picked up the apartment a bit before I got home...making it even easier for me to relax. 

Thanks Hubbs...I love you more everyday!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

p.s. more pics to come from our 1 Year Anniversary photo shoot with Kaskas Designs!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Ramonies

My crew from high school:
We have Kings (me),
and then V-Slims (Haley),
Lucky (April),
Pink Lady (Keri) and
Brownie (Tiffany)


I thought about them when I commented on a post by my cousin saying she needed a "man"...I thought about the "men" that were available when I was in high school...yeah right

In high school...girls need GREAT girl friends...and I didn't really have a group until my senior year...and we called ourselves The Ramonies...mocking a group of "popular" kids in our class that called themselves "The Maroney Gang" named after the park they met up at before they went partying (see below)
we are sooo gangsta
Since high school, we may have all been in the same place once...well...for sure once...at April's wedding
After April, Tiffany and I got married...where there was always two more Ramonies present...so awesome!  Now it's Haley's turn to walk down the aisle!

These girls, although our time together was short, showed me what it was to be loved for who I was, to enjoy life and to not let me lose myself in what my high school was ---- DRAMA.

As V-Slims said it best on our Facebook group page:

Hmm, what do I think of when I hear the word Ramonies??
I would have to say...
...I think of root beer and glass bottles.
I think of bubble gum and cigarettes ;)
I think of my old white blazer with the windows down.
I think of driving around acting cool.
I think of my little brother's Spiderman shirt I was wearing that fateful night.
I think of Maroney drive and being scared that real Maronies would show up.
I think of hanging out the windows with our cigs...but most of all....
I think of Pink Lady, Kings, Brownie, and Lucky.... :) Some of the classiest and coolest girls I know!
we were so cool

Much love to ya Ramonies,
Emily Elizabeth

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I always feel like...

...somebody's watchin me...
I am a dork...I have never tried to deny this...but the hubbs allowed me to bask in my dorkie-ness once again today.

He is in charge of car insurance...and since we acquired the Batmobile...he decided that we would get full coverage on it, rather than just liability...so he shopped around...and we ended un with GEICO (hence the above)...but you see, I LOVE the GEICO Money Stack...those commercials make me so happy...and sometime I have to Google the song just to get it out of my head...

But what the hubbs surely does not realize is that I am happy he picked GEICO, because now I have a relationship with the Money Stack...and that is just one of those small things that makes me smile and feel loved.

That's right, hubbs, I feel loved that you chose GEICO...and who knew something so obscure would mean so much!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Rainbow

I saw not one, but TWO full rainbows yesterday!  I had forgotten how amazing they were...and to make it even better, I witnessed a little girl seeing one for the first time...she just kept saying, "it is soooo beautiful!"

Rainbows...used now to symbolize so many things...but the one that I could not take my mind off of while looking at the two was the promise that God gave Noah (Genesis 9:15-16).  How wonderful it would have been to Noah, to see God's love for him and mankind reflected in the sky with the beautiful colors of a rainbow...colors we see everyday, Noah probably had never seen all in one place except for after it rained.

God shows us He loves us in a way we will understand.  That is truly amazing, and that is what I feel when I look at a rainbow...God's love through the simple and perfectness of His earth.

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Sunday, May 16, 2010

one year...and counting

The hubbs and I have enjoyed looking back on this month a year ago...and remembering all the craziness that was before our wedding...

but to reflect on one year ago today...

too cool for school...but perfect for each other
ceremony at my home church in Texas
our best friends in the world
my girls in green...coming from all over the world
the tallest cake I have ever seen

Just a few pictures...but nothing can really show how wonderful our wedding day was!

To my hubbs:

Thank you for a wonderful year...it's been so special and wonderful...we have grown so much and I know that we will grow so much more over the next 60+ years.  There is no one that I would rather have the rest of my life adventures with...no one that I would rather watch God through on a daily basis.  Thank you for vowing to take care of me...and actually doing it.  Thanking you for loving me with your whole heart and for giving me what I need to be the best version of me.

I love you and happy one year anniversary!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth

Friday, May 7, 2010

tom + meg = best love movies of all time


It's not even that they (Sleepless in Seattle & You've Got Mail) have everything a great feel-good romantic chick flick should have...but it's that they are so endearing

I have deepened so many possible surface relationships through the love of these movies...quotes from them can bridge many a divide ("NY...what does that mean?...No Way...that would be NW!" or "She had to beeeee!" [while wildly shaking fence outside coffee shop])

A love of the same movies can really deepen a friendship...and secure a vast amount of inside jokes...and even make Saturday morning traditions with your mom...always crying over the end of Sleepless in Seattle...no matter how many times you ahve seen it.

..and then there is that other one...Joe vs. the Volcano...not so much even on the same planet as their other two movies...but still with some great quotes that I share only with my bestie, Anna..."They look like little monsters...but they're good little monsters...WAAAACK"

bring some loved quotes to mind?...call the one it reminded you of and let them know how much you love them!

Much love,
Emily Elizabeth