Friday, August 29, 2008

Taking a nap and gaining perspective...

I took a nap yesterday.

This may seem like an average, run of the mill thing to do... nothing related to being in the big city. This nap, however, stemmed from something much bigger.

I've discovered over the past week and a half that there are lot of things for a doll to do in the big city. I have classes that require homework and attendance (even if I am too short to be noticed), and piano practice to do. I have a job to go to, and I have paperwork to fill out. I also have a blog to write. :)

Somehow, in the midst of all these things, I'd forgotten the most important one. Letting my Bible homework fill in the place of my devotions, or simply offering up a quick prayer as I dashed down the stairs to an eight o'clock class, I neglected to simply sit before the Lord and take in daily nourishment from Him. I didn't turn to Him when the stressors came my way; instead, I just went on, trying to solve it myself. Eventually, however, trying a task that is far beyond my strength led to one place: emotional and physical exhaustion.

As I lay down for my nap, I wondered to myself why I was so tired. I went to bed early last night, and got a good night's sleep. But as I started to fall asleep, it all came together... and by the time my nap was over, God had shown me what the problem was. Forgetting to depend solely on Him for my strength left me weak and spent. If I had simply trusted in my Savior and looked to Him for the energy to get through the day, feeding on His Word and stopping to listen to His counsel, I would have had His strength and perspective.

God led me to this passage during my devotions yesterday afternoon. Psalm 62:5-8 reads, "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."

It's easy for a doll like me to get tossed around when I don't have my eyes set on the One who's holding me tight and not letting go, loving me as His own daughter, and molding me into the person He wants me to be. But when I pour out my heart before Him, trusting in Him as my salvation, He brings everything back into focus.

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making the move!!!

I have finally arrived in the big city. I rode down in a van, with all my stuff in the back. It was a long trip, especially when you consider it in doll years!! Once we got here and unloaded, it got a bit easier. That's me, sitting on the luggage. It didn't fit in two suitcases, like someone told me it should, but I didn't want to forget anything!

After we arrived, I decided to get unpacked. I had so much fun organizing everything. I'm in an apartment style dorm-room... there are three girls in my room. I'm still amazed every time I look out my window. I see these skyscrapers! Do you know how much taller they are then me?? I thought rulers were tall...

I'm having a hard time getting used to the security, too... unlocking every door before I enter will be something of an adjustment. It all seems a bit daunting now, but I'm sure that will change. Within a few weeks I'll be walking around like I've lived here all my life. Or, rather... being carried around... but you get the idea. :)

The most amazing thing about this place is the people. I'm surrounded by those that love and want to follow my Savior. Opening sessions with prayer, or handing out Bible studies at a meeting... it's all evidence of this amazing emphasis on Christ.

Well... I guess I should sign off for now. I'm might go do something... somewhere... at some point. Or maybe just sit around and look at the skyscrapers... :)

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beijing 2008

Taking a brief break from my busy packing, I decided to watch some of the Olympics. I have to admit... I actually prefer the winter games. I like the figure skating, the skiing, the half-pipe snowboarding, and all sorts of good stuff. Still, the gymnastics the other night was impressive. (I might be more flexible... but then again, I'm made out of cloth and old stuffing, not bones and muscle.)

While sitting here blogging, I just saw Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal in this set of games. I find that mind-boggling. Most athletes don't win one medal... let alone a total of sixteen, fourteen of them gold (according to the NBC newscast I'm watching). It takes dedication and perseverance to be the kind of athlete that Phelps is. Talent is involved as well, of course. (Obviously, I'm never going to be an amazing swimmer, no matter how much time I spend practicing in the nearest bathtub.) Still, a swimmer like Phelps is not merely talented. He is someone who has taken his talent to unimaginable heights, setting his mind on his dream, and giving an example to us that we would do well to follow.

The Olympics got me thinking about the way we are called to treat our lives and our pursuit of Christ. The Bible often compares Christianity to a race, urging us to give Christ the dedication an Olympic medalist gives the sport.

The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:24-25: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable." In Hebrews, the author also urges us to run the race of life in a manner honoring to God. Hebrews 11:1-2 reads, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

If we applied ourselves at following Christ the way Phelps and other Olympic athletes pursue the gold medal, what would the results be? If we would persevere through painful circumstances and trials the way an athlete still finishes a painful workout or picks himself up after a fall, how great would our faith be? If we would set aside sin the way Phelps and his fellow swimmers work to remove anything that would slow them down, how much richer would our walk with Christ be? We have a greater motivation than Olympians... we have an imperishable crown waiting for us when we complete the race successfully. We have a better, more experienced coach... one who loved us enough to give up His life.

Let me conclude with Philippians 3:13-14: "Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy

Friday, August 15, 2008

Erin Joy joins the blogosphere

Well... it's time to welcome me to the blogosphere! A bit about me, you ask? I'm less than a foot tall, probably the shortest blogger on the internet. :) In a few days, I'll be making the move from a tiny American town to a big American city. It'll be easy for a doll like me to get lost in the shuffle, so I decided I'd share my adventures on the web for those of you who are interested.

I'm a very loved doll, having grown up in a stable home since the Christmas of 1990. I've been a lot of places already... to Bible camp, to church, to Mount Rushmore, to the Royal Gorge, and even to the backyard! I've helped with homework, piano practice, and playtime. With all this valuable experience, I'm sure I'll add great depths to the current wealth of blogging minds posting their thoughts on the internet.

I think it's time to sign off for now. I've got to keep packing for my big move. Look out city, here I come!!

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy