Happy Birthday: Lessons Learned in One Year of Blogging

It’s the one year anniversary of this lil‘ blog!

I would love to pass gourmet cupcakes with sparkler-style candles to all of you faithful readers who have returned time and again to read this little journal of Rare and Beautiful Treasures.

What a year it has been!

I will be real with you and tell you that this has been a difficult year; the kind of year that brings you to your knees and leaves you with but one breath of air left in your lungs to cry out for mercy. Somehow in the midst of that rubble, this blog was born.
Prior to this year I lived my life (like all people?) afraid of the black and blue that hovers in the shadows. I was ready for the black and steeled against whatever the blue might bring, but it was many shades of grey that turned up at my door like a thief in the night to slowly dismantle things: page by page, memory by memory, love by love.

Today, on this anniversary, I can tell you the specifics are not important, but the lessons are varied and true. I consider myself to be but one amongst a brotherhood of the courageous, who will ultimately be called the triumphant. And I am confident that after a year of standing in ashes that God will somehow use them for beauty. I wait on that day with an eager heart, and I pray that I will not be so caught up in my own plans that I will miss the transformation. For today a new life kicks within me and I want to keep walking forward, but to not forget the lessons of the past, learned on ice cold nights when my head was plastered to the ground in silent prayer. My heart will always remember the cries-“Yaweh, where are you??”

So here I sit today, as the season’s change, the air is cool but the sky the bright blue of promise, and share these lessons (link heavy!) learned in one year of recording God’s Rare and Beautiful Treasures:
1. You really can train your mind to focus on the simple things. It is worth the effort.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
-Philippians 4:8

2. If you write the lovely things in a journal, and then post them on the internet for the world to read, people will. From countries across the world, your voice will be heard.
3. This takes courage.

4. You will make irreplaceable friends that you otherwise would never have known this side of eternity.

5. There is beauty here on earth, but the real treasure is in heaven.
6. Life is the same for readers in Brazil and Australia as it is for me in Indiana: life’s stress will come but you can always take time out to watch the birds and to bake a pie. Somehow, in the midst of life’s jagged edges, this matters.
7. Home improvement projects will take twice as much money as you anticipate and six times as much time.

8. The easiest projects you create on a whim and a song will circulate through blogland and be every one’s favorite.

9. Neutrals may be best, but a pop of color goes a long way.

10. You may cry an ocean of tears, but the Lord knows every tear. Someday He will use them to wash you free of that which will have fallen away.

Thou tellest my wanderings:

put thou my tears into thy bottle:

are they not in thy book?

Psalm 56:8

11. Sometimes you cannot feel God-and that is ok. He is still there.

12. God answers prayers.

13. Sometimes you will be thrown about in a raging sea, but only to be better refined for the journey before you.

14. On your birthday, you may receive a call from a stranger you have never met, offering to pray with you, and then the answer will be clear: “Yaweh, there you are.” (thank you to a special friend who has made Jesus alive and real to me over and over and over this year, I love you Steph.)

15. Sometimes the best renovations cost the least amount of money.

16. Ralph Lauren and his paint colors cannot always be trusted. (sorry Ralph, but seriously, send clothes, all will be forgotten.)

17. Green monster smoothies taste great and will help you shed pounds: 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, 2 heaping cups fresh spinach, 1 Tbl almond butter, few ice cubes, blend. Trust me, friends.

18. A good novel and cup of sweet milky tea can improve almost any day.

19. You are sometimes powerless to protect the ones you love the most. This hurts like walking barefoot on broken glass, but carries an important message-you must trust God to protect them according to His perfect wisdom. For you are not God.

20. Francine Rivers writes life-changing books. Haddasah, sweet sister in faith, thank you for your faithfulness.

21. You will be blessed if you take the time to stop and buy the flowers.

22. You can never have too much wainscoting or too many hardwood floors.

23. You might always walk the earth with a limp, but your crutch will be the One who suffered more and knows all.

24. For To everything, there is a season.

and every season will bring understanding and thereby knowledge. Your house will then be built upon a rock . . .

25. β€œits rooms filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4


  1. #20. I love Francine Rivers. The Mark of the Lion series was excellent. πŸ™‚ Have you tried Redeeming Love or The Atonement Child? The Last Sineater is also great…

    Happy Blogiversary!!! πŸ™‚

  2. I have to comment on your number 20 … I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Mark of the Lion series… by far one the greatest novel series ever written. (Redeeming Love is also FANTASTIC!) I wanted to say thank you for sharing your faith the way you do. It is an encouragement to me and others, too, I am sure. I pray God’s blessings on you and your husband and that new precious life you’ve created!

  3. What a beautiful heart you have! You have shined Jesus’ light right through to my hard day! I praise God for you and this beautiful blog…Happy Birthday!
    A stranger… who is your sister in the Lord,

  4. WOW! that is all I have to say πŸ™‚ You sound pretty amazing and your passion for God blows me away. You know… I have had a pretty crazy day today, and wondering what is he telling me? and then I read this WOW! keep your faith lit like a wildfire πŸ™‚


  5. Happy Birthday – wow a year. I have read every post of yours. And on really bad days I have found that you somehow shine and make it a bit better. I am not a big “church” person and have always felt that unless you were you were not a true Christian. I can honestly say that I have learned more about God and felt him more through your posts. Thanks for getting him closer to me.
    And thanks for sharing your life- I can’t wait to see the new little one that will have a true blessing- one great mother.

  6. “Happy Birthday!” I have enjoyed reading through your blog! You share a beautiful gift!

  7. Wow! A year! Happy Bloggy Birthday! I love how you said: “And I am confident that after a year of standing in ashes that God will somehow use them for beauty.” It instantly reminded me of the chorus of one of my favorite songs from church. The chorus goes: “I trade these ashes in for beauty, and wear forgiveness like a crown. Coming to kiss the feet of mercy, I lay every burden down.” I never get through that song without a tear.

    Your post was beautiful.

  8. Happy Birthday to your blog! This was the best post EVER!!!!! I’m in awe, and I’m honored to be your friend.

    Bear hugs,
    Layla πŸ™‚

  9. Your words are a blessing and an encouragement for a sister in a storm. I admire your courage. I, too, love Francine Rivers, especially The Scarlet Thread. He is faithful. Happy Anniversary.

  10. What a wonderful post Erin – you certainly have had quite a year, and you’ve handled it with nothing but grace. Thanks for all of these lovely reminders – they are certainly not lost on me. πŸ™‚

  11. Erin, happy blogbirthday!

    Thank you so much for your Christ-soaked entries and lovely thoughts. Escaping to your page while I’m at work has been a blessing!

    I hope the baby and momma and daddy are healthy!

  12. Erin, what a treasure in my heart it is that some of my earliest memories include you! Amazing how even the blog of an old friend can be an evidence of God’s grace to us. I can’t WAIT to see the healing and redemption and victory the NEXT year will bring! Happy blogbirthday!

  13. Happy B-day to your blogging. I hope round two
    is filled with a lot of inspirational home decor projects. Good Luck!

  14. Wow! I’m overjoyed with finding your blog. It’s absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. Thank you so much for sharing your kind thoughts with all of us. We are all the better for having visited!

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