Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

 Merry Christmas EVERYONE! :) I hope you all have enjoyed this great day that has been "given" to you. We can not forget the true reason we celebrate Christmas. It's been a lazy kind of day I must admit. Very few days do I sit around in the house with my pjs on and just enjoy the fire rolling in the living room. I wasn't going to work out this morning, BUT I decided I probably should simply because I knew the rest of the day I wouldn't do a whole lot. :) The real reason I decided to write in my blog for the first time in forever is this......

 I wanted to talk about how thankful I am. With each year I get older & with each new day of different things that happen in the lives of soo many and even in my own life... I begin to realize how important it is to be thankful & grateful for all that the Lord has blessed me with. It's very important that we do NOT take a single day for granted. We can't take a single moment or opportunity for granted. When you have the chance to make memories with loved ones...then you should always take advantage of that opportunity. It's hard for me to believe that another year has gone by. We will soon be starting the year 2013 and I for one am excited to see what this year will hold.

As I look back over the year 2012 I often go to the times that were not very happy. I think about having a virus over spring break, getting bit by a black widow on our 2 year wedding anniversary, having pneumonia in october. It seems like the list continued to go on and on and on. Then I shook my head and told myself..... " ERIN" come on.... Why would you sit there and dwell on the negative things that have happened!?! Why not focus more on the positives! The positives out weight the negatives by a LONG shot. Sometimes we are guilty of just looking at the bad parts of our lives and tend to forget all the great times, the great memories made and the many blessings that God has given to us..... WE tend to forget that we have a home to live in, loved ones that care about us, our health, food on the table, transportation, the means to do the things we need to do, the fact that I am a daughter of a KING and we all have the ability to worship our Lord and Savior anytime/anywhere if we choose to.

 With all that said... Who can look at the negatives when the positives are far greater than any negative. Life is about choices that we make every day. Choices to do great things, the right thing or to choose the opposite and do bad things and not care. Yes, we all have bad days where we want to choose choice B. Which stands for choosing bad things. Then we all have those days where we feel great and we feel nothing can go wrong and we want to choose choice A. I know each day brings about new challenges in our lives. Trust me... each day brings new challenges in my life as well.... Some challenges are harder than others... It's tough attempting to stay positive, but we must never forget all that we have been "given". God places individuals in our lives to help us. I truly believe I have certain people in my life that God sent to me as angels. They help me each and every day. They keep me going and they seem to love me no matter what.

  Please never forget. God doesn't make mistakes. He knows what He is doing! This new year will bring about all sorts of challenges that we must face. The good news is this. WE never ever have to face a challenge alone. :)

 Well, I wasn't real sure where I was going to go with this blog entry.. but... looks like I have rambled long enough... I wish each of you the MERRIEST CHRISTmas possible and also a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Enjoy this time to the fullest!
Love to all!
Erin Stansell-Sears

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Testimony

 Good evening everyone. The sun is slowly going down for the day and Tuesday August 7th will soon be coming to an end. I mentioned yesterday that I would be writing my Testimony tonight in my blog. I try to stay true to what I say that I am going to do. Believe me, I have fallen short so many times from this goal. The first thing I want to say is this...I am not perfect nor will I ever claim to be. I make mistakes like anyone and I make them DAILY.  Over the years, I've learned a lot from the mistakes that I have made. I feel as though everything happens for a reason and those mistakes have led me to where I am today. 

 Through out my life I've been a pretty busy individual. I was always involved in sports & and showing cattle in the younger years. In the older years I went to college and played ball for a few years, graduated and came back to work at Rivercrest. This school, as most of you know, is my alma mater. The last 8 years I have been a teacher/coach and I truly love what I do. There are ups and downs with this profession, but that's just how it is in any profession you choose to be a part of. I  am currently starting my 9th year at Rivercrest and the start of this year has already been the best start of my life. Here's why.........

 During the course of my life I went to church on and off as a youngster. I never really understood a lot about everything that went on in church when I was little. Actually, I yawned a lot, chewed a lot of gum during church services. I asked questions, but never really caught on. As I got older I was in high school and me and some friends went to a youth rally at Mt. Pleasant Football stadium. There were people being "saved" and going down on the field during the youth rally. I thought it was all really cool, but I still hadn't had the feeling inside of me that I heard so many discuss that dealt with being saved and knowing God and His word. Years went on and I would often think about being baptized and wonder why I hadn't been. I went to different churches and was never truly happy at any of them. I knew in my heart the type church I felt would be perfect ( like a home ), but I just didn't know where to find this kind of church. So, for a long time I gave up going to churches all together. I would occasionally read in my bible but that was very very rare. A lot of times I would clam up if someone mentioned something about church. It was always an uncomfortable topic of discussion for me. I heard about people having this awesome feeling when they allowed God to come in their life and gave up trying to do everything on their "own". I thought to myself, how can you do that? I wondered what that feeling felt like. So a few times I would pray and tell myself I was turning over my life to God and going to allow him to control it. Was I really doing as I said I was ? NO! I just couldn't cut the ties of wanting to be in control of my life. Something in my head kept telling me that I would never feel the feeling that so many people said they had felt when they made this decision. Soo..... I quit worrying about it and then I began working at Rivercrest and a few years into my job I got invited to a country church called Cuthand United Methodist Church. I was a lil hesitate, simply because I was scared.... I wasn't sure if everyone would stare at me my first time to go to this church. I wasn't sure of a lot of things. Finally, I got up the courage to go. When I left the church after the first Sunday of attending it.... I was amazed! It was the church I had dreamed of, hoped for, longed to be able to attend. I went on and off for a year and then suddenly I got in a bad habit of no longer going. This habit can sneak up on you quickly if you allow it to. Even though I knew my weeks were so much better when I heard John preach on Sunday... I still for whatever reason fell into the bad habit of not going. I had a few people ask me to come back and I would continue to tell them. Oh, I will just been busy. Of course ... Excuse # 1. There are many excuses, but none amount to anything. Then, someone put a bug in my ear and it was like... you know... Erin, you need to start going back... So.. I did... I had truly been missing out for a while. Sundays quickly started becoming my fave day of the week. I looked fwd to them so very much. Then I began to think to myself. I had never been baptized. I didn't know why I hadn't other than it was something I just never had done. I prayed about the situation, but I wasn't even real sure how to pray about it.  Finally, I felt ready to take this step. I talked to John Purviance about it and the first part of December I got baptized. I remember what an awesome feeling that was. I felt incredible! Even as incredible as I felt I realized weeks later that I still didn't think I felt that strong connection I had been looking for. I prayed and I read in my Bible ( not all the time, but from time to time ) and I was attending church every Sunday. On the outside I appeared to really be rolling and on fire for the Lord. From time to time I felt on fire for Him and I felt that my life was exactly how it should be. That feeling back then doesn't even compare to the feeling I have TODAY. So, this summer I have had the opportunity to finally feel, what others have said they feel. One day John said in church that the " life application bible " was an awesome study bible. I wrote the title down so I could remember it and decided one day to go buy it. I began studying the book of Proverbs each day. As  I study I learn more and more and realize that Gods word is alive and well. I've realized recently that life can be so incredible every day when we allow God to be in control of our life. I finally let go and let God be in every part of what I do. There were many days before, where I wouldn't make time for God like I should. I wouldn't pray as often as I should or make the effort to ask Him for help and guidance. I still tried working alone in my life. Finally, the day came where I turned it ALL over to Him. I began using the end of my jogging every day to walk and pray. I look forward to this time more than anything else that I do. It's peaceful, humble & just an awesome experience. I started praying more and listening. Since I truly allowed God into my heart, I've had the most amazing experiences. I have learned to enjoy the most simple things that life has to offer. I have become a more patient individual and I've learned to be kind to everyone, no matter how badly they may have hurt me. With God in my life and for me, I feel I am on cloud 9. I feel sorry for those that have never nor will ever experience this feeling. It's a feeling I wish everyone would experience.  I must admit. At first I wasn't real sure I wanted to share all of this information, but i prayed about it and  decided that if this blog could help at least one person out then it would be well worth it. God has been sooo good to me. He has blessed me with an amazing life full of great family and friends that I love dearly. I know that every day isnt going to be all peachy and amazing. That would be living in a fairy tail if it were so. I do know that my attitude towards each day can be positive and it's important to keep in mind that set backs will occur, life will get in the way & I will struggle at different times. This is normal for anyone. Just knowing that I don't have to face anything alone makes it all sooo much easier to get through.  I am grateful & thankful for where my life is at and the opportunities that I have to help others. Every day I have a  goal that I try to accomplish.... some days I do better than others..... I try to help others and bring about positive energy in their lives. I try really hard to be a good influence and live life to the fullest. Do I fall short in all these areas? Absolutely!!! I fall short daily, but it doesn't mean I plan to give up. With God being my #1 priority in my life I can and will try very hard to do my best. I have bad days just like anyone does. I've just learned that things can always be worse, but I'm so blessed to have this close relationship to God like I have now. My eyes have been opened and I realize just exactly how awesome life can truly be. It doesn't matter how great things may seem on the outside. He knows your heart and your every thought. You may talk a good game, but what's really going on with you on the inside is what truly matters. I've been at some pretty low points in my life from time to time yet tried to remain as though I had it all together. Lets face it... life can be hard... That's why we have to have HELP!!!  My heart is happier NOW than ever... I'm far from perfect and I'll never claim to be good at much of anything, but I do know that God is awesome and if you don't truly KNOW Him then you are missing out.. Allow Him to help you in your daily walk. You will NEVER regret it!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Well...good afternoon everyone! It's a Monday afternoon and I am able to do a little writing. A major perk to teaching/coaching... You have most of your summers off. :) Give me another month and I certainly won't be able to be doing this at 3:30 in the afternoon :) . So, things have been good and the summer is quickly fading away. Sure is nice to see some rain. It has now been 11 days since the crazy spider incident. The meds that I was given really made me sick and made me feel pretty crummy most of the time. Lost some weight, but I'll gain it back quick once I get my appetite back. :) I was suppose to take another weeks worth of them, BUT they told me at the doc office that as much antibiotics as I've had the last week and a half, I should be good to go. This is awesome news because now I'm thinking I will have an appetite again and start feeling more like normal. :))) I was never a sick child and I've never liked to take meds of any kind. I will however take them if it means they will make me feel better, but when they make u feel horrible.... that's a different story... Just hope the bite area continues to heal up. The spider bite itself looks like it's pretty much gone except for a scar, but I do have some red bumps around the area that continue to itch a little. Hopefully, those will clear up soon. I'm ready to get all of this behind me and move forward.

 So today marks 13 years since my sweet father received a kidney transplant. I was a young wipper snapper when all of this took place. At the time I didn't realize how important this was and how vital it was to his life. I just took for granted that my parents would always be alive and that they were invincible.  Dad had gotten really sick tho before his transplant. He had been on dialysis for over a year and he stayed so sick all the time. I'll never forget those days. I give all the thanks and glory to God for seeing to it that he was able to get a kidney and continue his life. :)))  If it wasn't for my mom always keeping such a good close watch on dad and making sure his health was a priority, who knows how my dad would have turned out. My mom is a warrior in a half. She is the back bone to our family and a go getter. She always puts us all first and herself last. She wouldn't have it any other way.
 Well, as I write this I hear the thunder rolling... :)
 I'm so very blessed and so fortunate. God has been so good to me my whole life. I complain from time to time about different things, but I have no reason to complain. Things could be much worse and I'm grateful for all the many wonderful people that are in my life. The people that are there always through the good and the bad times. I do love all of you..

 Enjoy your Monday evening everyone :) Til nxt time :)