I am amazed at how God moves in my life. Opportunities to use His gifts are abundant and I am happy to strive and do all I can for His kingdom. However, I also know the tactic of busyness keeping me from me being a good daughter to my heavenly Father, a good wife to my husband and a good mother to my children.

My own personal relationship with Christ, being a good wife and a good mother are my first ministries and priorities. If I am unable to be a good stewart in those areas of my life, how can I ever believe that I can be successful in any other ministry or area of my life? God has given me a gift and I want to treasure my husband and my children.

Having said that, I wanted to let you all know that I am taking some time away from A Precious Vessel and My Restoration Journey to focus on my first ministries. You are all in my prayers and I will check in every now and then, when the Lord leads me to reach out to you.

In the meantime, be blessed and put God first in your life. Seek Christ above all things.

God Bless You,
Erica & Family


Planting Seeds

Hello Beautiful Readers! Today my post is serving two purposes, so be sure to read all the way down to the bottom.

Yesterday afternoon, after sitting on my couch stuffed from all of the BBQ, a relative of mine came in and sat on the couch. This particular relative is not a born again Christian. I believe this young man keeps God at arm's length, for reasons to many to list. Nevertheless when he seeks my or David's advice we always counsel from a Christian perspective. While I don't expect him to jump up after hearing our advice and proclaiming he is a born again Christian (although maybe I should), I do believe that David and I are planting seeds so that God will nuture and water how He see fit. Our job is to plant the seed. Amazingly enough, I have seen the little sprouts in his faith and it is quite wonderful to see. To God be the glory!

I wasn't always so brave to give Christian counsel. I could blame it on wisdom or lack thereof. I could blame it not finding the words because I don't know the bible as I probably should.  I am actually quite shy around those I don't know well, so I could blame it on my timid nature. I dislike confrontation, so I could blame it on keeping my peace. I could blame it on so many other things, but in reality my hindrance was fear.

I feared that I didn't have enough wisdom, enough bible study, enough boldness, enough backbone, enough of anything. My fear controlled me. I had to recgnize that if God called me to do it than He would give me the wisdom, the words, the boldness, the courage and everything else I need to JUST DO IT!

So having said that, I am calling all of you encouragers! I am in search of a few admins to help sow seeds into the My Restoration Journey Facebook Group and some to write encouraging posts that will be featured here on the blog and on the facebook page. Be a blessing to someone else, even in the midst of your own struggle.

Pen named encourages are more than welcome for I know that we want to encourage but do not want to use our real names. So if that is you, please feel free to use a pen name. I will train those who are may need a little help with the techincal side of things, which is very, very minimal.

Is the holy spirit been nudging you? If so, please contact me here or inbox me on Facebook for more details!

But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6:8 MSG


Happy Anniversary!

Sunday is my twelfth wedding anniversary. I am super excited and not for any particular reason other than I am celebrating being victorious in marriage one more year. This year was a doozy but we fought the good fight of faith and live to celebrate another anniversary. To God be the glory!

Thank you God for restoring me to You and then restoring him to me.
I ask for your protection over my marriage and the marriages of those fighting the good fight.
May You be the one to always shine through.


Tying God's Hands

You have probably heard it many time before, "God can do all things" or "God is all powerful". So how is it that little old human you, has the power to tie the hands of the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all living things? You probably didn't even know that you had that power.

Well actually, it's more like a curse than a power. When you choose to follow your own way, you tie God's hands to bring about His will for your life. When you choose to live separately from God you tie his hands to give your His promises. When you speak cursings upon others (name calling & slander) you tie God's hands to bless you with the ability to disciple. When you choose to doubt His word because they are going badly you tie His hands to deliver you from your persecution. When you stop believing and fighting the good fight of faith, you tie God's hands to deliver the victory.

Let go and let God. Love and honor Him. Speak life. Have faith. Trust in Him.

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed. Jeremiah 29:11-14


Wondering Wednesdays #6 - How Can I Show I've Changed?

I get asked lots of question from wives who are standing or simply having marital troubles and I am always amazed at how someone on one side of the country is experiencing the exact same thing as someone else a thousand miles away. So I have decided that every Wednesday I will answer your thought provoking questions. And by all means, please feel free to send me your questions and I will try to answer them on Wednesday's blog post which I have dubbed Wondering Wednesdays.

My spouse wants nothing to do with me. I was wondering how can I show them I've changed or convince them we can work it out?

More often than not, I get this question asked in two parts. The fact that I get this question asked in two parts (show them I've changed and convince them to work it out) is very telling. It tells me where the heart and mind of a stander is. Last week I touched on a little on this question. (Click here to read WW #5).

Whether your spouse wants nothing to do with you because of you (your words, attitude, actions, etc..) or because of them (they've moved on, hardened heart, etc...), wanting to make your marriage work is a painful experience. I often say and will continue to say that God is allowing your journey for a purpose and the main purpose is for restoration with Him BEFORE restoration with your spouse. Let me be clear. God DID NOT cause your marital problems, but He is waiting in the wings ready and able to be the husband you need (for wife standers) and an example of a what a good husband is (for husband standers).

He wants you to seek to please Him first and show HIM you've changed. Your spouse is secondary in the matter. Let me repeat...your spouse is secondary in the matter. Now, I'm sure there are some of you that think that is a load of bull. Congratulations for proving my point. How much have you really changed if you are more concerned with pleasing your spouse above God? Your words can fool me, Aunt Sue and Uncle Hugh but God can not be fooled. Check your heart and ask yourself if you have made an idol of your husband and even your marriage restoration above please God.

Convincing my hubby to work it out isn't my area of expertise. I failed at that more times than I care to count, but for the sake of this post I will give you a few examples. I wrote David a letter. FAIL. I begged. FAIL. I cried. FAIL. I argued. FAIL. I used the kids as an excuse (although valid, I was thinking more of myself... A big regret of mine). FAIL. I called him mercilessly. BIG FAIL. I quoted him scripture. BIGGEST FAIL. Those were all manipulation tactics. 

I had to learn (after so many fails) that my job wasn't to convince or manipulate David to work it out. In retrospect, I am so glad that I had failed at convincing David to return. I had to learn what it felt like to be truly loved and how to truly love to know that I shouldn't have to convince or manipulate my spouse to come home. I only learned that after falling in love with Jesus and seeing how much He truly loved me and equally important, how much I purely loved Him. David had to have an encounter with God so he could find a relationship with God as I had. It was then that he decided he WANTED to come home, I didn't have to convince him of anything.

Here is my advice for you. Aim to please God and not man. Develop a loving relationship with God. And pray for your spouse to have an encounter with God. Not for the purpose of coming home because that is still making an idol of restoration. But because you want your spouse to have a relationship with God that will change his life for the better. 


He Can!

It is mind blowing to sit outside and watch nature. In the span of a few minutes, one can see clouds move, the sun shine, birds airborne, bugs in the dirt, bees on flowers, leaves on trees rustling in the wind. Hours later you can look up at the moon and stars, hear an owl hoot but not hear the chirping of birds. A firefly passes by illuminating the sky for a quick moment and a dog barks in the distance. All of this happens in the span of 24 hours and then repeats itself. Nothing changes it. We always have daytime, whether we can see the sun through the clouds or not. Night time always arrives at its appointed time. Birds are flying whether in the north or the south. Fish are swimming.

God created it all. Every living thing. Everyday, there is so much going on in the natural simultaenously that we don't see with the naked eye or simply don't give our attention to. Bees creating honey and hives, worms making holes in the soil, birds building nests, waves crashing against the shore, the sun setting and rising and the moon waiting its turn. There is such order and a delicate balance, its simply miraculous.

But us humans in our weaknesses and limited knowledge doubt God's ability to keep His promises. He made the heavens and the earth. He made us. Can He truly not restore your family, marriage, health, finances or friendships? Of course He can! We just need to take a look around and marvel at His works and all He can do. He is everywhere. Have faith in Him.


What Did You Say?!

This week has been a reminder and wide opener in my family. My baby girl is a year old and her first word was hello. Not Mama or Dada. She says those too along with stop, out and shush.

At her first year check-up when asked how many words does she say,  I began making a metal count. I was embarrassed to recollect that many of the words she knows have a negative connatation to them. I could have easily shifted the blame but I took stock of how she learned these words. My baby girl learned those words from me! Whenever I am putting her down for a nap and my older children try to come in and play with her, I tell them out, out out! At any given time of the day,  I am yelling for my son to STOP running up and down the stairs or arguing with his sister. I am constantly shushing my oldest who talks ten octaves above normal (I've had her hearing checked.'s normal. She's just loud.) It's not all bad however. My baby girl also calls her daddy, Babe, just like I do quite often.

Our words and how we speak them are powerful instruments. They mold and shape EVERY relationship. It is through sweet words that a man can woo a woman. It is through compliments that a woman can woo a man. It is through instruction that a parent disciplines and a teacher teaches. It is through arguing that a friendship can end. An "I love you" can make a person's heart soar and "It's over," can make it hurt.

God spoke creation into existence. The enemy used words to deceive Eve. It is my belief that we have the power to plant and nurture seeds in our hearts and in the hearts of others with our words as well as kill a seed. Are you speaking words of love and growth for your marriage and children or are you talking more about divorce and everything your spouse has done wrong? Are you speaking more about how you hurt or about how God is your refuge? Are you speaking more about what you want God to do or thanking and praising Him for what He has already done?

Words kill, words give life;   they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. Proverbs 18:21

Speak Life by TobyMac


Hello Gorgeous!

I have often said that my restoration journey was the most difficult thing I have ever done to date. I am pretty sure I will continue to say so for many more years to come. Looking back, it is hard to pinpoint what was hardest. Sometimes forgiving was hardest. I hated David for promising to love me through thick and thin and but instead walked out on me. Sometimes the hardest was the betrayal that burned me from deep within, gnawing away at me night after night. Sometimes it was the fear that I could not raise my children as a single mother or that I found myself having to without a choice. Other times it was the loneliness I felt. Often it was the rejection.  The rejection of someone I loved deeply. The rejection of all of our promises and future hopes. The rejection of me as a wife and a person. I felt like I just wasn't good enough.

The enemy used my pain to remind me over and over again that I wasn't good enough for David, my children or my life. I bought into it. Why shouldn't I? David had left. He said he didn't love me anymore. That was proof enough that I wasn't good enough. 

It took a while, but I learned I was wrong. God chased after me and when I began to believe that He loved me and had a will for my life, my outlook and focus began to change. I started to believe that I was good enough. I began to believe that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I then began to feel great about myself. If David couldn't see how wonderful I was, well then good riddance.

After having this new found love for myself and God, I didn't want restoration anymore. I was done with rejection and heartache. I was done with David. God, quickly convicted me on those thoughts and reminded me that I was good enough but so was David. All His children are, they just needed to open their eyes to see it. Sometimes they need their loved ones to stand in the gap long enough for the scales to be removed from their eyes.

He showed me how me giving up on David and my marriage was exactly what David had done and that my decision to let my marriage fall to the wayside would be worse than David's. Worse because I was the "enlightened" one and had a promise from God and still I choose the flesh nevertheless. Out of reverance for God alone did I make the decision to continue fighting. I had to ask God to show me how to see David how He saw David. I asked God to show me how to love David again.

Shortly after, David began to flirt and woo me with glances and words and it didn't take long before my feelings towards him began to heat up again. David began to do all of those things because I was a new creature. The fearfully and wonderfully made me, shone bright and David just couldn't help but fall in love with me too. How could he not? I was now gorgeous...on the inside, where it matters most.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 ESV


The Bigger Picture

My eight year old son, Daniel, is a wonderful kid that has a knack for getting into spats. He wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid to tell ANYONE exactly how he feels about anything, good, bad or indifferent. Feeling down about himself and his constant spatting I prayed for the Lord to show me how to help my son.

First the Lord reminded me that He created Daniel just as He needed him. Daniel is a tough kid now and will be one in the future when he is working for God's kingdom and encountering  attacks from the enemy and those who will wish to tear him down. God showed me that Daniel needs to be tough for what He has planned for him and in the meantime it is my job to teach him compassion. What is the need of being tough when Daniel is out and doing God's work if he has no compassion for the lost?

I thanked God for His assurance and wisdom and began to pray for myself as Daniel's mother. I mean the kid is stubborn and no mommy coaching was going to "fix" him. I know I have a lot of headaches coming my way.

You see, my sight was focused on the wrong thing. I was trying to change Daniel to suit my needs and make my life easier. I didn't want a child that wore his heart on his sleeve and wasn't afraid of anyone.  But God showed me my selfishness. Rather than seeing him as a problem child or "bad," God showed me the treasure he is. He blessed me with a tough kid and it is my job to use my compassionate nature to help train him in the way he should go so that when the time comes, God can use him for what he was destined for.

Have you been looking at your journey in the wrong way?  Have you only sought how it can benefit only you and make your life easier? It has been my experience, not just with Daniel but my life, that God always has a bigger plan and when we focus on only ourselves and our wants, we end up making wrong choices and in turn making our journey's a lot longer and rougher.

Ask God to help you refocus. Be willing to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture.

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." Isaiah 55:8
Photo is of Andres Amador creating sand art. Up close its hard to see what he is creating but when you take a look from higher and more distant ground, you see a masterpiece.


Wondering Wednesdays #5 - Is A Childless Marriage Restoration Possible?

I get asked lots of question from wives who are standing or simply having marital troubles and I am always amazed at how someone on one side of the country is experiencing the exact same thing as someone else a thousand miles away. So I have decided that every Wednesday I will answer your thought provoking questions. And by all means, please feel free to send me your questions and I will try to answer them on Wednesday's blog post which I have dubbed Wondering Wednesdays.

My spouse and I don't have children. Is there a chance for restoration?

When standers seek me out to ask this particular question their fear is usually something deeper than can God restore a marriage with no children. God can do all things. Amen? What they are really wanting to know is how can a marriage be restored if their is no reason for the prodigal to contact the stander. In many cases, children are the catalyst to keep communication between stander and prodigal open. Those in childless marriages can feel like they don't have that advantage or luxury.

In MY stand, my children were indeed a part of my restoration journey. It is because we had children that David kept any communication with me although he kept it to hello and goodbye (literally). I wondered if no communication would have been less painful than the constant rejection day after day. I'm sure to those who have no communication at all with their spouses they are shaking their heads no, right about now. However, I know whats it is like to be rejected daily. To be reminded daily through his phone calls that he no longer loved me and we had no future together. That took a toll of me.

If you are in a childless marriage and have little to no communication with your spouse, please don't believe your situation to be hopeless or impossible. God has allowed this in your life for a purpose. He gives us all qualities and gifts. I can imagine you may be a patient person and God gave this burden to you because you can handle it with Him as your strength. If you aren't a patient person, maybe God is trying to develop that in your personality for a future purpose.

Nevertheless, I can not pretend to know why God allows certain things for certain people but I do know that He loves us all equally and what He did for me, He can do for you, NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCE. Children or no children, near or far, believing spouse or unbelieving. 

However, one of the most dangerous thing you can do is measure your victory according to someone else's restoration. We all have different journey's in life and while we may all be standers or have lots of things in common, your journey is your own unique story. Your roadmap to victory isn't the same as someone else's and trying to follow their roadmap will only get you lost and at a dead end. Your roadmap will become a testimony that will one day inspire someone that perhaps my journey couldn't. 

So while God may use childen to help restore one marriage, He can use a friend, a pastor or a stranger to restore a childless one. Don't limit God to the ways He can restore anything. And if in this season you have no communication with your spouse, embrace it. God could be protecting you from harm or hurt that perhaps you aren't spiritually ready to handle. 

Likewise, He could be working in the life of your spouse. Sometimes us standers develop a holier than our spouse attitude and take on the job of assistant Holy Spirit. If you spouse in as unbeliever or backslidden, this attitude may hurt more than help and God is keeping that from happening. There are so many reasons why you may have no communication, but if you have placed your trust in God, know that something is happening even if you can't see it.

I know that many standers have asked me how can their spouses see the changes they have made in their lives if their spouses aren't around to see it firsthand. My answer is this: You need to re-evaluate why you have changed. Was it for man (your spouse) or for God? If for man, than you haven't changed enough. Seek God and ask Him to show you the TRUE purpose of why you are standing. If for God, only He needs to see how you have changed. Everything else will fall into place when we seek to please Him first.

Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. 2 Corinthians 5:9 MSG


Prayer For The Mother of My Children

Mother's Day is upon us and for me the celebrations begin today. My son has invited me to a tea party for just he and I. He made it very clear that he despises tea parties for several reasons. First and foremost, with evident disgust he said that tea parties are for girls. He then made a gagging sound. Secondly, he pointed out that there is never enough food at a tea party. Lastly he rolled his eyes and said that only wimps like that kind of stuff and he'd rather not starve. Realization of his words set in and he quickly made it clear that I, his mother,  am not a wimp. Nevertheless he set up a tea party for the two of us although he would rather do anything else apparently.

My daughter went shopping with her Dad and purchased me a very cute dress to wear for Mother's Day. Lord willing, tomorrow we are giving each other manicures and pedicures before we start doing our hair. A day of pampering is just what we need. Although her gift to me was the dress, her qualty time is what I treasure more.

When David asked what I wanted, I told him "nothing" as I do every year. All I truly want are his prayers for me, not just as his wife but as the mother of his children. So if there are any men out with children reading this, whether she is your wife or not, pray for the mother of your children.

Heavenly Father, I pray for the mother of my children.
You have given her a job that is of such importance
in the life of my children.
Bless her with love, wisdom, discernment and patience.
Be an ever present help during her difficult times of mothering.
Surround her with others who will teach her, guide her and
comfort her when she is in need.
Keep her mind and soul fixed on your ways
so that she make wise decisions for our children.
Show her how to be equally a nurturer as well as a disciplinarian.
Teach her how to be a Godly example of a
Christian woman to my daughters.
Allow my sons to see in her, biblical qualities that they
will one day want their wives to possess.
Bless her endeavors, dreams and goals for a better future.
But today God, simply bless her as your daughter
and the mother of my children.


Is God Really Talking To Me?

One of the issues that I dealt with early on in my Christian walk was the ability to discern whether or not God was talking to me.  I remember sitting in my bedroom and praying quietly and waiting for God to speak to me. The silence was deafening. I began to doubt myself and wondered if I was truly saved or forgiven. Was God mad at me after all? Why was He ignoring me?

So the Jews surrounded Him and began asking Him, How long are You going to keep us in doubt and suspense? If You are really the Christ (the Messiah), tell us so plainly and openly. John 10: 24 AMP

Not wanting to give up, I continued to pray and continued not hearing anything. Truth be told, I didn't even know what I was supposed to be listening for. I had heard so many times that He speaks to your heart and it is a still small voice. What?! Were these people for real?  What did that even mean? Nutjobs!

Jesus answered them, I have told you so, yet you do not believe Me [you do not trust Me and rely on Me]. The very works that I do by the power of My Father and in My Father’s name bear witness concerning Me [they are My credentials and evidence in support of Me]. John 10:25 AMP

Although I still didn't hear the Lord speaking to me, I found comfort in believing that I was saved and just figured that the relationship with God was one-sided. Would the Creator of the universe have time to talk with me?! How ridiculous was I to even hope for such a thing?

But you do not believe and trust and rely on Me because you do not belong to My fold [you are no sheep of Mine]. John 10:26 AMP

Over time, as I read the bible more and prayed wholeheartedly, I began to hear that still small voice and I marveled in it. I began to pray day and night just so that I could talk to God. Not to ask for restoration or any thing else. The fact that I could communicate with God astounded me. Hearing God after that seemed like breathing. Washing dishes, I heard Him. Walking to the park with the kids, I heard Him. Cooking dinner, cleaning my apartment, volunteering, I heard Him.
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 AMP

Looking back I realized that I didn't hear God at first because I didn't know Him. While I didn't doubt His existence I doubted His character and love for me. I didn't know all of His promises and ways. I simply didn't know much about Him. It was in KNOWING Him that I began to truly love Him and being able to follow Him wholeheartedly and actually hear Him. Only those who know Him, can hear Him. You can only do that through His word and prayer. There are no shortcuts or secret tips to knowing God. Prayer and His Word are it. I am proud to say that I am now one of the nutjobs!

Have you heard the Lord speaking to you? Do you truly know Him?


Wondering Wednesays: Where Have You Been?

Hello All. I have received a few messages, emails, facebook pokes and the like, everyone wondering where I have been. What better day that Wondering Wednesday for me to fill you all in.

First, please forgive me for my disappearance. This blog is very important to me as is this ministry I feel called to so please believe that although I wasn't here, you were all in my thoughts and prayers and my absence was not merely a fanciful whim.

As many of you may know, I was sick. What I though was the flu turned out not to be flu. In fact I have no idea what it was, but I do know that it took me out of commission for a few days and then a few more days of taking it easy. As if it that weren't bad enough, David had to leave on a business trip the day before I got and was gone for a week so I had to tend to the children alone. Bless my mom's heart she came over and helped when she could.

With being stuck in bed with severe headaches and fever, I loss a lot of time from work that I had to catch up on. During catch-up I received several weird phone calls. It wasn't the first time that I had received these unknown calls 2 or 3 times in a row. Most times I don't answer but to stop the repeat caller I answered to no one speaking on the other end.

Several weeks before all of this I had mentioned to David that something in my spirit was off. A sense of warning had begun to grow and grow. He mentioned that it was possible that he may be transferred to another state for work. I wanted to believe that was what God was warning me of, but deep down I knew that wasn't what was wrong although moving to another state was not something I was too thrilled about.

After receiving these calls (as I have had many times before and simply ignored) that sense of dread came full force. After finishing up some work, I decided to check my phone records. I couldn't help but wonder if someone was trying hide their phone number. What I discovered was shocking and scary. For the sake of my private life I will simply disclose that David and I had a stalker on our hands and the many many unknown calls was from the same person.

I immediately called David and with him thousands of miles away, he went into protective husband mode. For the sake of my children and family, I took precautionary measures to block this person from seeing more of my life which included staying clear of social media.

Thank God, the situaton has been taken care of and my social media was safe. David returned from his trip and the very next day came down with whatever I had the previous week. So for the past few days I have been giving him my full attention and pampering him. He is after all my first ministry.

I am so blessed that the Holy Spirit guided me to get that scary situation exposed because there is no telling what would have happened had this person continued. It is times like this that I am so grateful that I am sensitive to the Holy Spirit's nudging.

So now that you are all caught up on the life of EK for the past few weeks, I pray you are ready pick up where we left off.

David and I will continue to answer questions together twice a month, so please please please send in your questions. I will also resume Wondering Wednesdays.