Thursday, January 22, 2009

Teacups and Treasured Friends

I have developed a taste for tea. To me, tea is more than just hot water and herbal leaves. The word "tea" carries connotations that go deeper. When I ask someone "Would you come over for tea?" I think of sipping from dainty teacups, laughing and giggling, sharing secrets and concerns, and closing our time in prayer.

Teacups make our time together extra special. There's something about a little teacup that invites intimate conversations. (I know it's almost as big as I am... but you should see me next to a ceramic mug!!) A teacup signals the need to pause and reflect, to listen to each other and enjoy quiet company. No matter how hard I try, I can't quite gulp out of a teacup. Whether we drink hot chocolate, coffee, or tea, the imporant thing is taking the time to slow down and enjoy ourselves.

That's exactly what my friends and I have begun doing. A couple close friends and I meet weekly for an evening teatime. It's so refreshing to sit, relax, and enjoy their company. We laugh and giggle, having some of the crazy conversations that college girls and dolls have. We share our hopes, our dreams, our worries. We talk about life and relationships, asking for counsel in specific situations from each other. Sometimes, tea means an exciting story... other times, it means a chance to join in prayer over a concern.

The best part is at the end. We've neglected this at some of our past tea parties, but I'm so glad that we brought it back last night. We like to end our tea in prayer. Holding hands, we come together before the throne of grace with quiet hearts. We lift the dreams, praises, and worries that we'd discussed earlier to the Lord. We end our tea feeling rested and peaceful in the knowledge of God.

It's amazing how refreshing a cup of tea can be.

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy
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Friday, January 9, 2009


I am writing to you from the midst of Purgatory.

No... this is not going to be a post full of deep theological thoughts. "Purgatory" is what some of us here in the big city have nicknamed the two days right after break. (This does not mean that I affirm the doctrine of Purgatory... quite the contrary.)

Right after arriving back in the city, I went straight into intensive music rehearsals. This morning, I got up, ate breakfast, rehearsed, ate lunch, had an hour break, rehearsed, ate supper, and then rehearsed again. Tomorrow's schedule looks eerily similar. It was the craziness and ultimate exhaustion these days afford that earned them their nickname.

It feels good to be moved back into my little apartment and to have my suitcases unpacked. The skyscrapers are familiar this time around, and they don't seem quite so tall. Still, there's a twinge of sadness, part of me missing the big open skies of my small town. I guess you can't have both... :(

That's part of life, thought, isn't it? Learning to be peaceful and content no matter what. Whether in the big city or the small town, all a doll has to do is put the focus on Jesus. The rest will come. It's nice to know that He's in both places, isn't it?

Even in Purgatory. (Wait a second. Not quite sure about the doctrinal implications of that one... hmm...)

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to 2009!! Have you all enjoyed celebrating, making resolutions, reflecting on the past year, and watching football? Maybe, when looking back on the past year, you celebrated by making a resolution to watch football! Whatever the case, I hope you're enjoying your year. :)

Usually, I love celebrating, but I didn't do too much of it this year (or was it last year??). I stayed up late on New Year's Eve, said "Happy New Year" when my clock switched from 11:59 to 12:00, and then went to bed. (You don't look like a doll without getting your beauty sleep, you know!) There was no wearing of big hats, no blowing of loud things, no yelling... just a quiet recognition that it was the start of a new year. I liked it this way, I think. It was peaceful. I like peace. :)

I don't think I've ever really made lots of New Year resolutions. When I was a little doll... er... well... younger, at least -- I don't think I've changed size much over the years. If anything, I've shrunk from all those rounds through the dryer!! Anyway, when I was a younger doll, I would resolve to keep a diary every year. It never happened. Typically, it lasted a solid week, and then tapered off. Isn't that what happens with most New Year's resolutions? Regardless, I've made another one (of sorts!). I decided to start going through "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, this book is a devotional, with one reading for each day of the year. I'm looking forward to using a more structured Bible study method. Look for future posts on this! :) I've also resolved to blog more often... some people have told me I need to.

As I reflect on the past year, I've seen God's handiwork. The biggest change for me this past year was my move to the big city. For a small town doll, this was a big deal! I felt so lost at first, but I'm adjusting, and I actually like it there. (A lot!!) God has been so gracious as I've made the adjustment... sending friends into my life, providing income, and giving me His peace. Remember... I like peace. :)

Now, for confession time. I hate football. Okay... maybe "hate" is too strong a word. I find football to be tolerable only when accompanied by a good book. So my New Year's Day hasn't been spent in that traditional manner. Regardless, I found it to be a pleasurable one, and I can only hope the same is true of you.

With love from an absolute doll,
Erin Joy
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