for those of you who still check this blog faithfully and quite often get NO new post....and click away disappointed and a bit frustrated that the blog has almost ceased to exist-----this news is for you!

Will and I have gotten married and would like to keep you up to date on our comings and goings, thoughts and whatnot.....on a combined blog at a new address. Here is our new blog.


Enjoy and please replace this blog address with the new one. we will not be updating on these blogs anymore.

Bless you!


summer is here!

Summer is here and we are hitting the ground running. The winter quarter has come home from DTS and graduated. We had a great friend in the school. She was a girl we met at Bethel Church in Redding California two years ago before Will and I were even together. We will miss her as she is up in Homer, AK again. We love you Karen Joy!

Will and I have a child!!! I guess we kind of have to explain ourselves. There is a girl we work with at the base named Jae Van Winkle. She is a great girl and we have so much fun with her. Even though she is 40 she takes us as her parents. She is also on our T-mobile family plan. It seems impossible to have her at my age and Will and I just being married for 2 months. Anyway, it is a funny joke that we try to live out. She got me a mother's day gift and we helped her move some stuff to her apartment. That's Will, jammed up into the steering wheel with Jae's stuff in the back of the car. What a great dad!!!

We are really proud of our daughter....we hardly raised her and now she is full time in YWAM and we actually work in the same office. What a delight. We will get some family photos up soon. Jae thinks that she is much more like her 'dad' Will because they both procrastinate. And we have been trying to figure out how she is like me. Perhaps the fact that we both like to try to be funny while giving public announcements.....can be our mother-daughter connection. It's a rude awakening to have a child----at least one I never knew until 2 months ago. It makes me wonder how strange it would be to adopt someone who was older than you. I suppose that does not happen. That would be very odd. We enjoy it though.

I climbed up to the top of one of the flat top mountains near Golden with Julie on Thursday. It was a great hike. Super easy, which is good. The altitude is enough to make you feel 100 pounds overweight by itself. On the way down from the top I was scaling some rocks, balancing myself and so I went to lean back on a rock and under my hand was a SNAKE! I hate snakes so much. I screamed. Julie tried to hurry, she is laughing, and I am in panic mode. I didn't care if it was poisonous at all. It was a slithering snake and that is all we needed to get us moving quickly down the path. I found out later that it was a non-venemous candy cane corn snake. People have them as pets. I don't know who would be so gross to do that. Imagine if I had not looked back to see where I was placing my hand. I would have actually touched it. YUCK!!!!!!

I'm hearing some strange summer birds in the tree. I've gotta go and check it out.


my new life in Denver

Family day!!! Kip, Erica, Anna Kate, Will and I went garage sale shopping this morning. We used $3.50 on two scarves, a pair of earrings, and two small green tea light votives. We finished our day together at Hapa in Cherry Creek Denver area for sushi. I used to hate this stuff, but now I really like it. That was the biggest change since knowing Will. I like to get a California and Philidelphia roll. Not much raw stuff....and I eat it with a sweet soy sauce. mmmm!
Today we got a new table for free from some friend's of ours, John & Michelle Connor. It's solid oak, spray painted black. We can do what we want with it later, perhaps sanding it down or something. But I think it looks nice with the brown chairs. The new painting on the wall was a gift from Matt Kunnari (artist friend from Dordt College). It is called Church Juice and we just love the concept and his very painterly technique. Thanks friends! You make our lives beautiful!



This is a picture of Will and I on our last night in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! Vacation is OVER!!!!
Back from the honeymoon....and we are getting into the swing of things here at YWAM Denver!

Here's an update for you: (Will wrote this, I just stole all of the text, and put myself in the 'writers' position....I had to confess! Ok Ok Ok Ok, I have been lacking inspiration to do it myself. Next time....)

We hope and pray that this update finds you all deeply enjoying life and the goodness of our Father as we are seeking to do the same here in Denver, CO. Since being married, I have joined staff here at Youth With A Mission Denver and have begun training to take over the Creative Ministries Dept. at the base. I am the assistant to the in charge of equipping and teaching each of the teams that then go on outreach to many nations and touch hundreds of lives. It’s a joy to be involved in training students to know how to express the love of Christ and then communicate that across cultures, languages, and religions.

Will, is continuing to run the Worship Department here and is now the new director
of our School of Worship. This three month course is designed to equip young worship leaders
with the musical and spiritual skills and confidence to go out and lead people into the presence of God. We’re excited to be a part of such an amazing opportunity!

God has also blessed us with many connections here in Denver to be leading worship all over the city. Just recently we were able to help plan a twenty four hour prayer and worship time for the National Day of Prayer and play for 7 of the 24 hours. The entire event was viewed online throughout the day by over 20,000 people and more than 100 came to know the Lord! Later on this summer we will also be able to lead worship at a large Christian music festival called, Heaven Fest, an event that over 15,000 people came to last year.

Now that you know what is going on...you know how to pray for us. Please keep it up!
Love you all,

erika's heart and will's words


a month away....and so ready

we are only a short month away from getting married. I can't believe it has been such a short time and yet we have been waiting for a long time. I have not been recording these feelings and these anticipations in any journal, blog, prayer book.....nothing. I am sitting here a little bummed that this time in my life is just about to move forward and I have some snippets here and there to capture the whole thing. I guess I always will have that wish of remembering everything---the good especially.

if I would go back two months and give you some highlights I would have a hard time. I think that would be because it is all a flexible mush. I had a lot of time, a car, and a private apartment to find peace. I feel so free now that I had that car to find out how to get from here to there by myself. I even took my third official manual transmission driving lesson tonight----wow my world is changing.

but why do I not spend time doing the things that I want to? well that is an interesting question. A couple weeks ago I was getting really overwhelmed with the wedding stuff (for no good reason, because not much has changed since then....it's just my perspective). Will did not allow me to check my email, to work on any wedding stuff or even be around that temptation. He told me that I needed to do something that I wanted to. I was stuck. What do I love to do? Have I lost all my love for other things. What will I do when I am not planning this wedding if that seems to be the only thing I find worth my time to do now? That was a scary moment to be stuck. I didn't even find sleeping in was very satisfactory anymore. You know when you have whatever you want, you tend to just not appreciate it anymore. I contacted my friend who lived downtown Denver. We met up, ate at Chipotle, went to the Denver Modern Art Museum, drank coffee, and talked about things that are important long after any wedding ceremony and day. It was truly a refreshing day. I found that I was on the edge of melt down. Later that week I moved out of my apartment, gave back the car, and moved in to the YWAM base again. NO car, NO privacy, NO control. You know.....God has a way of moving strongly in my lack of control.

I look at what I could have done with my time and I could get all upset, but then I guess I would rather be thankful and happy for the rest that I got. THe light that is in my eyes, the time I got to spend with Jesus, the practice time on the cello. These are truly some of the last times in my life that I will spend all day (only a few times) by myself. I think I did not even open my mouth a few days. I was not with people to talk to.....and it was a different kind of revelation. A silent revelation. Things are going to seriously change and that is a big deal for me.

I am grateful to the Lord for the big things that have been accomplished over the last month. We have an ALBUM!!! THe Lord provided the money from friends to cover most of the reproduction costs. What a providential gift!! The album is such a testimony of God's love and timing in our relationship and a big arrow pointing to where we should go.

Thank you for your prayers. MOre to come! There is a wedding soon!


some of my newest friends!

On Tuesday night Will and I drove to Castle Rock to meet THE BEST MAN! Will's best friend, Paul Downer, was in the area and I finally got to meet him. We had resisted to becoming facebook friends because we hoped to meet in person first. A couple weeks ago we became friends on facebook because we thought it would be SO unlikely that we would actually meet. Well.....we were wrong. It was so refreshing to meet Paul. He knows Will in a totally other way and to get inside that world is fun! We talked alot about our relationship and I soon realized how fun it is going to be to have Paul in my life now too. The wedding is going to be so fun with him around.

This is my roommate Brianna. She is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I think we figured out that she was visiting the tulip festival in 2001 when I was the queen. She was 12! This girl makes me laugh!
This is my friend Micha (I call her MITCHA) . Her name is cool because it's like the boy name Micah but the girl version--pronounced the same exact way. We dressed up in red and green one day. It was not on purpose but still it was awesome. She is a wonderful gal who loves the Lord and has a beautiful voice.In my school we are divided up into small groups. This is mine! We had a themed bowling night on Wednesday. It was so fun. We dressed up like crayons. I was green!! The hats were folders that were stapled so it looked like the point of a brand new crayon. Let me introduce my small group to you. RED- Elaine BLUE- Judith (staff leader) GREEN- me ORANGE- Laura PURPLE- Emily. We were the best dressed group there....in my opinion. I think I will throw in the detail that I won both games!
The girls in the front are my roommates (minus the Korean gal Synae) but we had some intruders from lanes 16 and 15. Getting to know new people is not so hard...or draining. I just love to see that God is using people from different places to do His will....which has been made perfect for each person.

it's true for you too.


Girl's Night at Will's House

It was so nice to get off the base campus and go to a home where there were couches, carpet, and a movie. Will and his roommates let me invite my new Phase II friends over for a nice evening together. We watched the movie Once and I made Norwegian buns. YEAH! Thanks Will for your couch and carpet!Elaine (PA & Chile), Micha (AL), Brianna (SD), Kyrgie (Kyrgestan), Ilsa (CO), me, Becca (IL), Stephanie (AZ)

under the dump

This is the view from my bed window--under the dump of snow! Alot of it!!! I think it will continue to fall throughout the day. Yesterday the boys that live at the alternative campus in the mountains could not come down because of the weather. They just played in the snow and had a day off all day! We went to class and did work duties like usual. Today we will do the same. As it has not stopped. It's fun, I just have a hard time letting go of the reality that I will not ride my bike anymore. boo.

I have had a great last week. I will share some photos with you now.
Will and I got engaged...as you saw and probably knew. We also celebrated our one year anniversary soon after on Oct 22. We were in Redding, CA last year for the Open Heaven's Conference at Bethel Church. Will had come to actually figure out if I was the one he wanted to date. It was Oct 22 when he called my dad and asked him if he could pursue me....then we changed our status on facebook. That makes everything official! So it has been a whole year now. A hard year of distance, growing with God, and figuring out what the Lord has already told both of us....but we just needed to learn it again.

To celebrate Will made shrimp alfredo! I LOVE SHRIMP!!!!! It was so great.We played and sang a little together on his new piano.
We did a little wedding planning too.
A delightful night at my future home! He splurged and even bought me flowers! I love this man so much. I am definetely blessed.
On Saturday of last week it was bright, shining, and warm! It is a bit different now you can imagine. We met Christina and Geneva in Boulder for brunch. We ate at Duchambe's Tea House. It was so fun to talk about wedding plans with her...she was helpful, curious, and generous.
Saturday evening Will and I drove down to Colorado Springs and joined a small party of people in a private home for Indian cuisine and a night of discussing art, Christianity, and our role in today's world. It was so exciting to meet up with artist who are INSIDE of thier craft. They are doing this stuff. They are committed to the Lord in so many areas. They have discovered that art is the way to communicate God's heart so they are doing it. It was encouraging to hear from some people about thier struggles and triumphs. We were both blown away by the years of experience in that room.
Dr. Michael and debi Story Maddox were the hosts. She is the artist that I met at the Arts Coference I attended in early October. She has her huge prophetic paintings hanging all over her house.
Sunday night we got to spend some time with friends passing through town. I did my School of Worship with Brittany on the right (with her husband Taylor). They were stopping in for two nights before heading up to Estes Park for a YWAM Conference. The others in the photo are Stephanie Snell (staff member here in Denver who married my other cell band leader from my SOW) and Megan Gilles (who recently married the electric guitar player in my SOW cell band). It was a lot of talk about marriage, engagement and pregnancy (Brittany just found out she and Taylor are expecting). This is a strange and new life.....to be in these girl groups talking about being wives and mothers. Oh boy.......what a change. It's fun.

Will and I started our pre-marital counseling from a pastor and his wife that Will knows from his church. It is going to be great!!! They are so similar to us. She is from Storm Lake, IA!!! It will be a wonderful time of learning and growing.

Have a great day!!!


our story told

The day was all planned out, sort of. I think Will had the gist of it, but how it all played out was decided on the spot. Remember I honestly did not have a clue. I just thought it was a nice day for a hike. And I do not get surprised very quickly. I might have to rethink that.
Anyway, here is how it all happened:

Will tried to trick me by giving me a few gifts at the top of the waterfall we were hiking to near Vail. It was close to our 1 year anniversary so it didn't seem weird. They were just decoys: a beautiful scarf and then silver circle earrings. We began our hike down, but stopped along the way. Will was looking for the river's edge. He was fascinated with getting there, but I didn't know why. We were nearing the end of the trail, so he just said, 'sit down on that rock'. He asked if he could wash my feet. What a cool symbol! That is why he wanted to get to the water!! He then pulled out this beautiful letter and read it out loud. I could have gone home happy after that. The tears were welling up in my eyes trying to wait until he was finished to burst forth. Seamlessly he popped out a little black box with a shiny ring!

What beautiful ring! It is perfect. And fits perfect too.
Through my tears and sobs I managed to say YES!

We're Engaged!!!
Let the fun continue!!