Jan 16, 2012

SHINE Spotlight...

The SHINE girl I chose to spotlight this week is Erin Spinks. She will choose the next SHINE girl to spotlight...and we will share her story next week.

The purpose of this is to encourage each other and lift each other up, just as God's word tells us to do.

Erin has been a huge part of my growth and walk with the Lord. When we moved to our current location, I prayed fervently for the Lord to introduce me to some friends that would be good for me, and that would hold me accountable in my walk with God.
I met Erin when my friend, Kristi, invited me to run with some other mommas in the morning after carpool.
From that day forward, I knew God had answered my prayers.
Erin is a cheerleader at heart and always encourages others to do their best.
Not sure about you, but I need a cheerleader in my life! :)
Read her story, and be blessed.

Chuck and Erin <3

erin and her 4 special loves

When Jill asked me to share my testimony, I became sick to my stomach! Not because I didn’t want to share, but because I wondered what in the world I would share! If you know me, not much is a mystery about my life. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I usually never meet a stranger. However, praying about what I should share and preparing to share my heart scared me. We all have stories. We all have purpose. I think that most of the fears come from my passion of wanting to make a difference. I want to be the best me so that others(mostly my 4 little children) will strive to be the best themselves. I have always been a cheerleader at heart! I love to cheer others along the way in life. However, there are times when cheerleaders have to also look at themselves and cheer themselves to be betterJ “Sometimes the hardest person to lead is yourself.”

This is who I am, this is me: Erin Spinks. I am a wife to a wonderful man who puts God first every single day. I pray for him daily and I strive to love him like God loves him. I choose him first in every part of my life. But, I am NOT a perfect wife. I am a mother of 4 precious children. I love to be surrounded my them. My perfect days are when we are all together all day long. But, I am NOT always patient and gentle with them. I am a faithful friend and I love to celebrate the lives of others. But, I have let people down. I am a child that was abandoned by my father early in my life, this is why I do not want to miss a moment with my children. I want to be in every part of their lives. I am a sinner but God has new mercies for me each and every day. I am an encourager to others and yet there are days when I feel lonely. I am a runner but I have never ran a marathon. This is who God created me to be and the awesome thing about it all is that He is not done. I am still growing, still healing, still mentoring, still loving, still providing, still running, still longing, still praying, still hopeful for mended relationships.
“In this life you will have troubles! But, know I have overcome the world” John 16:33--This life is hard. But, I choose to find the beauty in it all. Beauty in the life, in the love, in the hurt, in the sorrow, in the unknown. I have joy! Jesus does not expect us to live perfect lives, praise God! He is the only one that can be perfect. He wants us to take the obstacles of life and turn them into opportunities. TODAY-as I was preparing to write about my testimony(I love that about our GOD), our pastor asks us to write down 5 tough times in our lives and share our story with someone!
So, tonight I did that: my list, my story. How I handle tough times defines me as a person--molds my character. “Tough times do not last, but tough people do!”

1. Childhood without a father
2. Miscarriage with our #2 pregnancy
3. Going 3 months without paycheck when we had 2 little ones early in our marriage
4. Mae’s adoption/ foster process
5. Lump taken out for testing
6.(overachieverJ )- selling our home this summer to downsize
These things in my list are troubles I have faced. Troubles I have overcome. Troubles I have left at the foot of Jesus. I have learned that stepping out in faith and going through troubles is what this life is about. I am not done. I will face more through out my life. I am prepared for that. I know that in James Ch.1, we are reminded to have joy in the troubles. This is given to us to make us stronger. God wants us to look to Him for wisdom and peace. When we lay it down, He comes. His mighty winds, holy spirit can freely feel our lives and make us whole again. Years ago a friend asked me about my faith through the hard time of going without a paycheck for the 3 months. I remember telling her that I gave to the Lord and really didn’t even think about it. That conversation messed with me though and I questioned my true faith. Was I like that because I really had faith in God that much or was it because Chuck is our provided and he was the true one making the payments?? Since that day, I asked God to use me. Let me have a story to share. Where can I have faith like that in something that REALLY is all me trusting, leaning, and praying for wisdom?

He answered loudly, God wants us to be used. For Him to have all the glory. We always knew we would adopt. It was 3 years ago now, but we ended up fostering our little girl. I can remember praying and truly seeking God’s will and wanting Him to write in the sky the answer to our plea about THIS BABY. God choose me and my faith was shaken to no end. There was never an easy moment. My trust as completely in Him. I learned that without Him, I am not me. I can not make decisions. I cannot find beauty without seeking His face first. I cannot love without first knowing how He loves us. I cannot forgive, heal, grow without faith in Him.

God desires our hearts. He longs to feel our sorrows. He awaits for our cry out in need. We will all have troubles, but we can turn them all into great JOY knowing that this is HIS plan to make us stronger. So…. “even when the rains fall, even when the floods start rising, even when the storm comes--we are washed in the water!” Let your faith arise! Whoever you are, no matter what you have been through or believe in, you can touch someone! Tell your story, lay your troubles down, ask for God’s wisdom. Do not hold on to your story/life---SHINE and let the whole world see!!! Celebrate the good of others! Love out loud! When we get to see Jesus face to face, He is going to shout out the good that we have done and He will celebrate us BIG TIME! Do that with others in your life. Each day I announce the good that each of my children did that day, I try to tell others tooJ Life is not about what we didn’t get done, or didn’t do right it is about what we DID DO!! Live life running after God’s wisdom. Lay those troubles down and grow!! I am cheering for you!!!
Blessings to you all!
Love always,
Erin Spinks <3
Erin asked me to include this video...please watch. :)


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