do the damn thing.

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I’m ready.
Or at least, I think I’m ready.

When I had two months to go on the World Race last year I was in the middle of Cambodia in a village, hand washing my clothes and taking bucket showers, battling Small Eye, teaching little children English and for a season being a vegetarian because no has time to accidently eat dog.

I had a countdown chain that was counting the days until I hit the United States. I was ready to go home. Ready to be done. I had to firmly plant my feet in the rice fields of Cambodia and pray for so many aspects of life.

This time is different.

I’m not ready.

I am finding ways to superglue my feet into the soil of Mijas.
Ways to soak up every minute around these people I love.
I don’t want to leave this place. The people, the heart, the DNA.
There were parts of last year I didn’t want to leave.
But there is nothing really about here that causes me to retreat.

And that is why I am ready.
I have two months left and I am going to take all I can and infuse myself with this corner of the south of Spain.

And then to quote my friend Patty Reed “I’m going to go do the damn thing”.

I’m ready to step in the river; not test out the water, not stick a toe in, but go and DO and BE.

So this is why I am so utterly grateful that I still have two months to sink my toes into the sands next to the Mediterranean. Two more months to grab hold of all that this place has to offer.

Two more months to live in this place I will always call home.

My vision and dreams feel more real, more part of myself then they EVER have.

I’m ready to plant my feet and build, speak and create life.

As I sat in class today this is what I came to terms with; I realized I’m ready, but I’m not.

So let’s go do the damn thing.

creatively speaking: a story

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normally I don’t post creative works on here. but last week we had one of my favorites here:Herman Haan. He always challenges us to step outside our box. to do something unexpected. this week he brought two songs to us “one of us” Joan Osborne and “if it be your will” Leonard Cohen. we had to take one of the two songs and analyze it and share that and then we had to make our own creative interpretation. this is the fictional story that came out when I sat down to interpret “one of us”

And so I sat.

I take the same train home everyday.
I sit in the same spot in the same car.
Most people deem that impossible but I know it’s the same because of the mickey mouse sticker stuck on the bottom of the seat across from me.

I come home from work at almost the same time every day so I see the same cast of characters.

There’s a trio of school teachers normally complaining about this is that. There is an always loud group of teenage girls coming from dance class.

There’s multiple businessmen who every day get frustrated with the exact same breaks in cell service.

Then there is this guy. Who usually has a suit on and it’s rumpled in all of the places you’d expect a suit to be rumpled.

One time I saw him pull a rattle out of his pocket. He smiled at it and stuck it back in his jacket.

I gather he’s a father.

But for as rugged as his appearance can be, I never know if he’s coming or going. I don’t know if he’s going to work and lacks an iron or if he’s coming home from work and carries weight and responsibility with him.

The thing about train commuters is that we are a people who are creatures of habit.
So when I got on the train today I was shocked to find him in his rumpled suit sitting in the seat next to the one across from the mickey sticker.

I contemplated sitting somewhere else since he had so oddly changed the assigned seating of the 5:30 train.

But something about the look on his face compelled me to sit. It wasn’t just that he was tired looking, like he had a lot going on, he looked wearied. But he looked wearied and alive at the same time.

He looked young but old.

So I sat.

Sitting next to him he fished out of his pocket a torn crinkled picture; one that had gone through the washer a few times. I found myself hooked on it. He kept running his fingers over along the seams created from time spent in a pocket. I just kept my eyes glued.

I don’t know how long I stared at it but in a swift moment I felt the atmosphere change. I could feel his eyes on me. Looking at me.

I wanted with everything in me not to look up.
But at some point I’d have to look up. Up into the eyes of this man who took the same train as me.

I found myself want to look in his eyes. If anything to find so many answers to questions I had stored up. Not necessarily about him, though I did have some, but mainly every question I had stored up sitting on that train. Every moment that I had watched poles scan by the window. Every moment I sat contemplating what I was doing.
I knew he would have the answers.

So I looked up.

He held by eyes and smiled this tired smile.

Here’s the thing: I’m just a normal person. I work a 9 to 5 job and go home to a studio apartment.
I have a basil plant and a fire escape.

I’m not complicated.

And this man could understand that. He saw something in me as he held my gaze. It was like the picture he had in his pocket had me in it.
He knew me.
He saw me.
He saw me.

I didn’t want to break away from the stories and emotions running through my head, but he broke eye contact from me.

And I sat.

I sat long enough to come to the realization that I had, for the first time ever, missed my stop.

I didn’t want to stand up, didn’t want to get away from what was happening, didn’t want to lose what I might have found.

But I knew the further away I got, the further that I would be away from home. The harder it would be to GET home.

So I stood up on shaky legs. Not knowing what had happened.

It was as if in an instant my life flipped. One moment of eye contact and I realized I hadn’t been seen in a long while. I walked out the doors of the train and turned around to glance back in the windows and say him, smiling tiredly, once more.

I hugged my bag tightly as the wind started to pick up. Fall was coming, a change was coming.
A change had come.

A change had come in the form of the unknown father sitting next to me.

I don’t know what I was going to do with that moment. A moment most would normally throw away and deem unimportant.
But I was going to do something.
But I knew I had to do something.

lovely, once more

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I don’t like writing things out by hand. It feels as if the words that I place on paper have more power and emotion behind them then the words that I type out.

I don’t know why.

I just know that it is scarier for me.

It is scarier for me to place things handwritten in a journal.

It is scarier for me to place HURT in a journal.

There is so much pain involved in placing phrases and story in my own hand, phrases that hurt parts of my soul.

My journal is sacred. It’s filled with notes from class, quotes from books that impact and lovely musings.

It is where I separate the light from the dark. It is where I should be able to be vulnerable.

But here in this moment I want nothing to do with vulnerability.

I don’t want to fill my journal with words and phrases.

It is terrifying

It terrifies me so much that I bought watercolors to paint the pages in my journal and make them beautiful so I would WANT to write in them. To entice me to place words inside its covers.

I have another blog started on another blank page.

It’s about one of the reasons I am at G42.

A reason I never talk about.

I was going to explain it.

Because in all honesty I just want it to go away.

But while in conversation with one of my precious people in the haven and warmth of her home I realized I still hurt.

I still feel ugly in those things.

As the women who are influential in my life always say tears and anger are a map.

My tears showed me a lot today.

And it’s tough. I’m sitting here on the floor trying to even eek out a sentence in regards to all that’s in my head. All the beginnings of sentences I began in conversation with my dear friend.

I guess I want to encourage myself and in turn encourage you to write the ugly things. I’m writing mine on beautiful painted pages in my journal. I’m surrounding things I deem ugly with beauty.

I think it’s wonderful that I live in a world where ugly things are made lovely so often.

And that’s what I want to strive to do. Show people what they deem ugly in their story and show how they can create out of it beauty

That’s what I’ll be doing in my journal. Sentence by sentence, line by line, I’m going to paint pictures with my words and make the things that aren’t lovely, lovely once more.

an aggressive wind

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Last night as I walked back and forth around my little town the wind was blowing something fierce. I had to put on a sweatshirt to walk to a friends and I was in love with the cold,almost violent wind that was making a noise down the sweet cobblestone streets of Mijas.

The wind never stopped last night.

It got louder and more consuming. Slamming doors, throwing things off clotheslines, shifting our curtains with every inhale of air. And I couldn’t find peace amidst it.

Normally the wind brings me home, hope, calm. Even in it’s most rowdy, I revel in its presence.

Last night it scared me. It brought me unrest, I couldn’t sleep. I just wanted it to stop, I wanted there to be a moment that I could take a deep breath before it started again.

I wanted to yell at the wind. I wanted to open my mouth and shout. I didn’t like what it was riling up. I didn’t feel the peace it normally brings.

I know that wind stirs and settles and calms. It mixes things up to make them look new. It brushes away debris that doesn’t need to be there. It cleans and makes a mess all at the same time.

The wind wasn’t cleaning last night. It wasn’t allowing anything to exist inside of it. It was moving things to places where they didn’t necessarily belong and it was up to us to open doors and put things back together.

We needed to clean up what the wind left behind.

After last night I feel as if the wind left me in a mess. It was the exact picture of what I feel inside. There is this massive destructive wind going on within. Pressing against the places I’m pushing into and challenging me to stop.

To be silent and to stop.

But here’s the thing: the wind may be aggressive; but I can outlast it. The wind may put everything in disarray, but I know how to clean. The wind may scare me in the night but eventually it will be day.

And the wind will stop.

The wind will stop before I stop.

So this morning when the sun finally peeked its head out over the mountains, my curtains stopped rustling.

I opened doors and windows again and cleaned up what the wind brought.

Last night was a reminder that something stirring up isn’t the greatest, that something being pushed around and reaching the point of feeling unsettled isn’t fun.

But it also brought the picture that morning will always come. And that we can outlast the night no matter how dark it seems. Right now, the wind is doing something in me; even when it isn’t outside for me to see. It’s pushing things around and calling me to sit in the dirt and the muck and be ok.

The aggressive wind showed me that I can sit in the chaos and not become chaotic. That there can be destruction around me and I will not collapse.

And the wind will stop before I do.

more to you than this

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I’ve had a lot of trouble putting words to paper the past few days. I’ve tried to write multiple times. Tried to put together a thought or two. I’ve started I don’t know how many blogs, backspaced, deleted and closed my laptop.

I’ve tried paper and pen, my phone, anything just to get a word out.

And I always have to stop.

The thought won’t finish, I don’t come to a conclusion, I don’t HAVE a conclusion, it’s not flowing right or I just don’t want to share.

Last weekend I watched Little Women for the first time. (Yes, I’m a horrible English major.). But in it there was a moment where the German Professor had just read Jo’s manuscript and he didn’t really like it. It wasn’t enough of her heart.

“Jo, there is more to you than this; if you have the courage to write it”.

Whitney promptly told me that it would be my quote for the week.

(She was right.)

It’s been turning in my mind since that night.

I feel in regards to writing I’m pretty honest. I share what I’m learning; where I’ve been, where I’m going. I let the “raw” come out every once in awhile even though that’s a bit harder and takes a moment more for me to press publish.

But there’s more to me. And that more I don’t really know how to share.

So here is a piece of my more:

If there is one statement about myself that I’ve never had the courage to attempt in print it’s this:

I belittle myself all the time.

Things I’ve gone through, places I’ve been, hurts I have.

Which is why when I sit down to write a blog and can’t see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel or any kind of peace in the midst of chaos I choose not to write because I feel it must not matter.

It’s a problem I have; choosing to brush under the rug feelings I have, hurts I have and places I’ve been when I think it’s not worthy of telling.

I am advocate for story. I supremely believe every nook and cranny in our life is a story to be told. Be it the story of the people who watched Grey’s Anatomy at my apartment every Thursday or eating tuna sandwiches at my grandma’s in high school or the hours I spent in the Bakersfield hospital when my mom was sick.

Everything big or small leaves an imprint on our hearts.

We need to not push the bad and ugly parts aside. Or even the supremely joyful.

I need to not push those parts aside.

So all this to say I’m choosing to share one of those things that I have been belittling myself up and down about. The thing I found myself with tears running down my face because I was beating myself up for feeling this way.

Selfishness.

In a myriad of ways and moments. I won’t share the why or the what, but every time I’ve had a feeling or emotion or reaction to this specific major thing that just occurred I bat it away because I feel selfish.

It’s a vague thought, but that’s the spot I’m in. It’s not necessarily something sacred that I can’t share; but it something ugly I don’t want to share.

There’s more to me than the shiny. And that’s ok.

I’m not perfect, I’m not glue, I’m Meg.

Yes, there is more to me than “this”.

And I am gaining the courage to write more from my heart with each passing moment and realizing what that looks like. The feeling of not writing for anyone but myself and knowing that it probably actual is for someone

So amidst my ramble,and my wacky thought process and what came from a simple quote in a movie I want to leave you with another lovely quote that is a favorite of mine. It is something I hold onto and will take into the next.

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on becoming noticed.

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There is this beautiful chapel up on the hill here. You can see it from just about anywhere in Mijas and it’s a relatively easy mountain to hike. I’ve gone up there in the middle of the day, in the morning as the sun is cresting the back of the mountains and at night when I have to use my flashlight app to not trip over the rocks. There is something beautiful about this little mysterious church. It is only open once a year on Good Friday and the rest of the days it stays locked up tight just a beacon looking down over Mijas.

Over the last three months I have looked at the chapel daily as I walk into the Epi for class. It’s become a picture of something that I’m not sure I want to believe.

I’ve written a lot about voice over the past weeks. My voice, helping other’s find a voice and hearing God’s voice.

Recently I talked about choosing to believe that I have something to say, choosing to believe that I am strong, choosing to believe in who I am and what I bring to the table. That’s been a lot of believing in myself.

The last couple of weeks I’ve had to step into a new belief. One that is so hard for me, one that I might fight against still. Let me quote myself:

“I honestly believed before this week that I am not seen, not in a bad negative way, but in the way that my presence does not cause ripples on a group, just individuals. I believed that I didn’t need to be noticed. I just didn’t realize that I am supposed to be noticed.”

Oof. Since I made that statement I’ve been being noticed. In ways that I’m not sure I’m comfortable with completely. It’s something I struggle with daily.

The idea of being noticed.

The other day I was walking with Tiffany and the conversation of voice came up and I immediately cringed and stated that I don’t like being the one who is seen. The one with the voice. I want it to be others; I see it in others, I want them to step up and be loud. And she essentially responded with “Tough cookies”.

I almost felt defeated. Like there was this thing that I didn’t want to have in my hands but it was glued there.

It’s a beautiful gift that I always don’t feel strong enough to take on .

I’ve prepared, in my most of my life, to be a behind the scenes person. I like it. I’m good at it. But good heavens I’m meant for more.

I KNOW I’m meant for more.

So everyday I look at the chapel on the hill and feel peace. And every time someone talks to me about voice I have a picture of that little chapel. And I’m standing on the hill and shouting down to the people in the streets of Mijas.

And they’re listening, not just hearing.

That’s heavy.

I think I’m ready to be heard. Ready to open my mouth. Ready to live my life that way, but something in me always holds me back.

My open and honest moment of the day: I’m scared to be a voice. To be heard. To not control the attention put on me.

That’s where I am today.

That’s the place I’m in as I step into this next term of G42.

A little bit scared. (Maybe a lot a bit scared.)

To own this new part of myself.

Scratch that, to own this part of myself that already was.

I speak through my fear, through my moments of being afraid. That’s the part though, that gives me peace in the midst of being afraid.

I know I will always speak.

I might stand shaking on the mountain;

But I will always speak.

cover photo taken by the always lovely Whitney Gorbett

the wind stopped

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Mijas has some of the most beautiful moments of wind. At any point of the day you can hear the wind howling through the mountains and down the cliffs and rushing toward the Mediterranean Sea.

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The 5 of us + our Alumni squad leader Tiff traveled the world together for 11 months last year and then got a chance for a few more months to make home together in Mijas.

I love wind because what it brings. Wind has this ability to in the same moment; stir something up, change what it looks like and in the same “swoosh” settle it.

Wind provides chaos and calm.

Over the last few days, my twitter, facebook, my blog; all of those things have been quiet. Even my communication with my friends at home has been quiet.

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Patty, Katarina and I. Tribe. Heart. Family.

Because I haven’t known what to say. I still am not sure if I do.

The wind finally stopped stirring for a moment and settled. And left me sitting here in a big quiet house with a little bit of dirt on the floor, not entirely sure what just happened but knowing I have a bit of a breath before it starts up again.

The last 3 months the wind has come full force, daily, stirring up my heart and spirit with lessons, conversations, reminders, smacks in the face (only literal smacks in the face for the men). The wind has brought laughter, tears and sometimes anger. The wind brought moments abounding.

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We will forever & always be a #classof6.

Moments that were meals eaten crammed around our table here at Mijouse, out on the patio, on the roof at Sans. Hours spent writing at Maria’s with Patty. Each moment of our precious July intern time on Mondays. Afternoons spent painting on Kaitlin’s porch or around our dinner table with Katarina, Sunday mornings spent curled up at the Suttle’s eating breakfast and watching Band of Brothers. Mornings spent walking with Tiffany or doing t25 in the epi with Abby, Jess, Traci & Whitney. Conversations with families passing through, with alumni who came home throughout the three months, sweet moments with Mama Gail and a couple Friday evenings spent babysit Ezra Lou at Suenos. Hours upon hours of corn hole after dinner every night. Family, family, family.

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Be still my heart. Abby, Patty & Tiff.

The last week has had a few defined moments that I’ll hold in my heart: Patty and I sitting on the floor of my room as Katarina packed up to head back Monday morning: the necessity of friendship and the love of a family created. Wednesday night at graduation as NSquad took one final picture of the family of 6 that came to Mijas. Thursday afternoon as Abby, Patty and I laid and sprawled out at Tiff’s place. Napping, writing, baking, painting.

And then the moment where, if but for a split second, the wind stopped. After all the graduating interns had left Emily, Patty, Zach and I were all out in the hall in Sans. It was as if we all just exhaled out and realized that we were it. The four to step into next term.

The wind settled over all of us. Each taking a different lesson, a different realization with us. I wish I could describe it more. It wasn’t a huge earth shaking. Just a picture in itself; one to be scratched out in a journal or noted in a blog.

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The 12 interns of the July 2014 term. Family

The wind is going to start up again and it’s going to be good.

Two weeks of calm and quiet. And then?

Whoosh.

I want to tell you more of what I’ve learned in the last three months and I will. But right now you just need to know this:

The wind swept through Mijas and through me the last 3 months. It did some beautiful, wonderful work brushing away what needs not be there in order to show what lays beneath. The wind has caused me to stand taller, and be louder.

The wind has caused me to move.

(( Thank you for your support and love, and prayers. Thank you to those who have believed abundantly in me.

I still need help staying here in Mijas for the next three months so if you’d like to support me you can click this link and make sure to write Meg Reeve in the intern name line.

http://www.g42leadershipacademy.org/donate

And if you want to read more about my time at g42 and the lessons I’ve learned check out what I’ve written since I’ve set foot here.

https://awindlikethis.wordpress.com/category/spain-g42/ ))

it just comes to us

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My journal is a scary place right now.

And I’m starting a new one tomorrow.

It’s mainly notes from 8 weeks or so of class here in Spain with bits and pieces of thoughts and revelation intertwined in the pages.

I’ve sorted a lot of it out through asking questions and conversations over coffee, tea and wine. But the pages of my journal are a mess of words, phrases and scribbles.

And if there is one theme that weaves it’s way through all of it, it’s the theme of identity.

We talk about identity so much in this world. And as someone who has spent most of her Christian life in bible studies with groups of women it’s a topic that causes me to roll my eyes.

I don’t think we need to SEARCH so hard for our identity.

I think it just comes to us.

That’s why my journal is peppered with talk of identity.

Because as I learn more and more about this new face of Jesus I’m seeing who I am.

We live this life where we strive to find identity in everything that we do. In everywhere we go.

But what if we didn’t need to strive? What if we didn’t need to search for things that give us clues to who we are but what if instead we searched to learn about who Jesus was and is presently.

I’ve been learning something beautiful the last 2 months: I’ve been learning about who God IS. And he definitely isn’t a lot of what I’ve heard all my life.

He’s joyous. He delights in us. He gives us keys to the plans he has and tells us to run with them. He does not want to check our every decision.

He just wants us to be who he created us to be. Because those creations are vibrant and lovely already.

So while I’ve been searching for this identity it’s honestly been right in my front of my face.

I am who God created me to be.

I don’t need bible studies or books or anything to figure that out.

I just need to walk arm and arm with God and hear what he tells me, through so many varities of ways and I need to pick up what’s meant for me.

Nothing more, nothing less

Cake with Jam

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Before coming to Spain I had the vague idea of what I wanted to do. But mainly I just had this large pile of things that I wanted to be involved in. Passions, gifts, talents, words. Just in this bag of tricks that I lugged with me over an ocean.

I had no idea what to do with it.

A few weeks into my time in Spain we held the inaugural g42 reunion. Alumni from the first five years came from all over the globe to remember and celebrate what God had done and was doing, to lift one another up, to visit this place so many people still call home and of course to establish more vision in the next years of life.

The house I live in is the bigger of the two so we hosted ten alumni and in that group was the Harder family. Steve and Jo Harder and their beautiful boys who are missionaries to Ukraine.

Jo is a kindred spirit.

She is a powerful, strong, vibrant woman who hears wonderful, beautiful truths from God.

At the reunion kickoff we had a time of prayer and prophecy and Jo shared a word she had. She wasn’t sure who it was for but she knew she had to share it.

She shared a picture of this person who was holding all of this JAM. It was dripping out of their hands and the person wasn’t sure what to do with it all. Jo reiterated that she didn’t know who it was for, but if it was for you then to come see her.

I didn’t give it a second thought. Mainly because I was in an incredibly emotionally, overwhelmed place and also because I didn’t WANT to hear it.

(you see where this is going don’t you)

So that evening after worship was over I had two people come up and say they thought of me when the “jam hands” picture was given. Why? The week prior I had made a wedding cake and the filling? Raspberry jam.

But, like I said I wasn’t in the place or the mindset. And also like I said in this last blog; I feel as if God has been “saving thoughts” for me and this thought; this picture was one he saved for me.

A couple weeks later during class we were doing the process of identity mapping and while Zach was getting his done I suddenly had this thought:

What if I opened a secondhand bookstore?

There it was. A random thought in the middle of class on a Thursday morning.

What if I opened a secondhand bookstore and taught creative writing classes?

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I wrote a little more and then stopped.

What if I taught story? Through everything in this little bookstore.

Through creative writing, through baking, through book clubs, through sharing and laughing over good food.

 Wow.

Since going on the world race I’ve known that for the rest of my life I want to sit across tables from people. I want to hear story and see what is going on the lives of those around me.

I am honored that I get the privilege of hearing what God is doing and being able to speak into what God is doing and where he is going in someone’s life.

I’ve also known that I want to tell my story and let other’s use it in their lives.

I want to teach things that are good for the heart. I want to use the things I have been given to speak into other’s lives.

I want to create a space out of which people can MOVE.

But my thought prior to this random moment of revelation was where in the WORLD can I do this? Is this just a lifestyle that I am going to live? Is this a ministry I will step into?

But there wasn’t enough for me in that.

And then sitting in the class in the middle of the morning I just knew.

I knew I had found something that was more.

I knew I had found something that terrified me.

I knew that I was standing there with jam on my hands

Later that same afternoon I did my identity mapping up front. And one the questions that was asked of me was this: Where do you see yourself in 30 years.

My answer: Standing on my porch.

So what does that mean?

That I own a house.

WHAT?

And suddenly everything that I had ever thought was gone and I was choosing to believe in myself more. Choosing to believe that I could do more then just sit across from someone at a coffee shop.

So that’s where I am going to leave this.

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That’s where I am going to leave you.

With the fact that there is more for me then I ever actually thought possible.

I’m dreaming big, creating a plan to get there. It’s not a next year plan, or even two years, but a long term plan.

Dreaming, thinking and invisoning the future.

I’m here in Spain for 3 more months and would be honored if you would consider partnering with me in further what I’ve learned and done here.

To see ways that you can journey with me check this out.

I’ll leave you with a verse from class today; the prayer of Jabez. It encourages me to dream, hope, and long for more.

1 Chronicles 4:10

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

It gives me the courage to know that I CAN do more with all this jam on my hands.

 

a powerful voice (in spite of)

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A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog about having my life changed. It came with many epiphanies and realization and honestly a lot of good solid truth I hadn’t chosen to believe for a long time. Which of course hinders so much of what I was doing and who I was.

But here’s the thing: I still need to repent: to change the way I see things.

I’m living my life with the following sentence.

I have a powerful voice IN SPITE OF the fact that it can be hard to understand me.

Notice I carefully worded that to not say BUT because I am an advocate that BUT negates what comes before it.

But so does in spite of.

When I was 5ish I had my tonsils taken out. And for a medical reason I’m not even going to try to explain this lead to me having to essentially relearn how to speak because of a gap that was left in my airway.

I was in speech therapy at school; went to an ear nose and throat doctor; had this surgery where all I can remember is having plugs put up my nose.

I had to learn how to place my tounge and how to concentrate when I speak. If I spoke to fast the air got caught in my nose and mouth and it sounded mumbling. I also (still) perpetually sound like I have a cold. A fact that really just kids tend to point out to me.

And in all of this I got made fun of. A lot. The sound that the teacher on Charlie brown makes is what kids, and sometimes my brothers would respond to me with whenever I spoke.

charlie brown teacher

So I just stopped talking.

For a very long time I didn’t speak out in class or make myself known because I was just afraid I wouldn’t be understood. Because when I spoke people didn’t listen. They laughed.

The funny part is speaking in front of people doesn’t make me nervous. I know I have something to say; it’s just the act of saying it. The act of being understood at a basic level that causes me to get nervous.

When I was in fifth grade I chose choir when it came time to choose a path of music for a few reasons; one being the band teacher scared me; two I remember my speech therapist Mrs. Martin said it might be good and three I can’t blow up a balloon why should I be able to blow into an instrument.

So I jumped into choir and stayed there for years. I went through high school and college in a choir and on worship teams.

I found comfort in my singing voice because it WASN’T my speaking voice. I don’t get nervous singing anymore because I know that it sounds different.

And I basically detest the sound of my speaking voice.

Why is this coming out now?

I believe in the power of my voice. I also believe it doesn’t need to come in a beautiful package and I think I had come to terms with that fact. That I just need to use my voice IN SPITE OF how it actually sounds. And if people don’t understand me, or think I have a cold, or make fun of how I sound that’s ok.

I don’t need to have a beautiful speaking voice.

(I forget that I have a God that likes to surprise me.)

Sitting in the English tea room this week I had a lady from England lean over her table to talk to me. She proceeded to tell me that I have the loveliest accent she had ever heard and she could listen to me SPEAK all day.

Not SING but SPEAK.

In my whole life I’ve never had someone tell me that.

I’ve confidently spoken out for so long IN SPITE OF being insecure about how it sounds.

That lovely woman in the tea room doesn’t know what she did for me that day.

She gave me beauty I didn’t even know I was capable of having.

What a difference to believe that the voice that I have is worth listening to not just for what it holds but how it sounds.

I don’t know what to do completely with the gift she gave me but I do know it was a surprising lovely gift that bashed a lot of hurt and pain from my life away.

 So my repentance: my “change the way I see things” is this.

I have a powerful LOVELY speaking voice IN SPITE OF the fact it might be hard for people to understand me.