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.

hear that your soul may live

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Hear that your soul may live.

This has been a phrase that has been in my heart for a few months now.

I first read it when the passage Isaiah 55 showed up in my “guide to prayer”.

The words strung together are beautiful. And I held onto that beauty because I needed it. It was like a life raft for me. A bit of lovely to hold onto. I think in those moments in the coffee shop in Kingsburg it wasn’t about me hearing from God. It was the knowledge that God was there.

When my preschoolers would get super excited and have something they wanted to say; when they were jumping up and down out of their seats to say something but it wasn’t the time I would tell them to “save their thoughts”.

When God showed me the phrase “hear that your soul may live” I believe he then started saving His thoughts for me. He was really excited to let me in on what was going on in his head but it wasn’t the time for me. He was storing them for a time when I would be capable of REALLY listening.

And then I came to Spain.

 A couple of weeks ago we had a week dedicated to learning about hearing God’s voice. We learned through story and through seeing how God moved and spoke and what he was like.

Most every week here, every day, every conversation speaks about hearing from God and what we have HEARD from God.

Because when we hear from God we move.

When we hear from God we live.

And where do we hear from God?

Everywhere and everything.

It’s about opening the senses to touch, taste, hear, see and smell God.

There is no wrong way or right way to hear Him.

And now as I sit in another coffee shop halfway around the world I realize my spirit is so incredibly OPEN to hear from God.

That the thought of hearing from him inspires me.

There is a flipside as God wants to hear from me.

He doesn’t just want to speak. He wants to listen.

What does that look like?

For me it’s been stopping the act of putting headphones in my ears while I walk alone and freeing my mind of noise.

it’s writing my thoughts and words down so that other people can see what I’m pondering through.

it’s being open to speak so that I may hear.

“hear that your soul may live” has become a breathe in breathe out prayer for me.

 

There were days that in order for me to take a STEP forward I had to ask God to walk with me.

And he listened and walked with me.

And I think that without knowing it “hear that your soul may live” became a prayer.

Because I HEARD God.

I heard God one Sunday morning in June of 2009 staring at myself in the mirror.

And I spoke to God.

“Could I just meet you in heaven today? This is too much for me”

And He listened.

And then spoke. He showed me a dark, windowless, doorless room. There was no way out and no way for light to get in.

Then a nightlight came on.

A really small dim light.

HOPE anyway.

HOPE in spite of.

What if I had not heard God that day?

HEAR that your soul may LIVE.

HEAR that I may LIVE.

 Those days are far from me now.

They don’t lay claim on me.

All that is left of them are tear stained journal pages and the memory of a night spent crying on my phone in a parking lot.

I heard so that I would survive.

Now I hear so I may LIVE.

Hearing from God is met now with life. Met with hope.

Not met with grasping at a shred of light.

 HEAR that your SOUL may live.

My soul is living a lot these days.

Living and listening to the joy, the color, the vibrancy, the light of life.

I’m realizing the God can speak in and through everything.

From the winds that sweep through Mijas, to conversations my roommate Katarina and I have before we go to bed each night, He speaks through His word, and through prayer and conversation.

I’ve met with a new beautiful Jesus here in Mijas. One who is life bringing and who longs for me to dream and have vision. One who wants to speak so that I can hear.

One who trusts me with the plans he has created.

I can’t wait to continually learn about this lovely, light filled Jesus, to speak and listen to what he may have for me and others. To change the way I see things.

I can’t wait to continually, daily live.

Hear that your soul may LIVE.

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Processing: a four letter word.

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This week I asked this question on my Facebook:

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I asked it because I am sick and tired of the word “process”

So I thought I needed to replace the word. Because I need to process things and without a word how do I define and describe it?

But do I need to process things?

Or do I THINK I need to because that has been forced into my mind for so long?

As I’m not at scared to mention I am a woman who lived a season of 4 years in therapy. So for about an hour a week or every other week I sat in a room and talked about myself and my stuff.

Then I went on this trip called the world race where “processing” is on a list of buzzwords that every racer needs to know.

 And then it became an excuse.

“I really need to process that so I’m going stay back today”

“I don’t know how I feel- I haven’t processed it”

 People stopped living their lives and they lived in “process”. 

When I was first in counseling we spent time talking about my childhood- my past- but only if it collided with the present.

He’d always reference a picture. It was a picture of a blimp(or a hot air balloon…let’s go with blimp) that had all of these ropes hanging off of it. Sometimes in life you have to pull a rope off and look at it. Sometimes you need to cut it without even looking. Most of the time? Just let them trail behind you.

It’s ok to let things drag.

The blimp keeps moving forward.

It never stops.

When I asked the question on Facebook I got these 14 or so responses. Here a handful:

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A good grouping of words and phrases and ideas.

Three of the responses I got are from people who I would deem teachers (or people who smack me in the face with wisdom).

In each their own ways and languages they said the same thing:

Be and Live.

Just like my counselor would say so many times: pull up what needs to get pulled up but keep moving

Have words along the way but keep living.

And that reminded me why I hate the word process so much.

Because I have seen too many people halt their lives.

I halted my life for a while.

I was in a place of hell.

All I could do was think.

Think about the bad things in life, my failures, where I’d gone wrong, what I’d done wrong.

I was in my head all the time.

 And I tried to get out. I tried to climb out of this hole.

But I’d forgotten how to live.

When you live in process for so long; when you dig yourself in a hole away from the light you forget how to tend to your spirit in a healthy, lovely way.

Because sitting with your journal and pen or a canvas and a paintbrush for an hour each day is good for your soul.

But then you close the notebook, drape the canvas and you move.

 We need that time. It’s healthy, beautiful and bears fruit.

So here’s my challenge:

Let’s stop processing.

Let’s strike the word from our vocabulary.

Let’s start being.

Let’s make a habit to prune and tend to our lives  just like a vineyard owner would do to his vines daily.

He doesn’t spend ever minute of every day cutting tiny pieces away. He has a concentrated amount of time that he tends to & prunes his vineyard.

And then he lives.

So my friends?

Let’s live.

 

My expectations weren’t big enough

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I didn’t expect my life to change this week. I’m not the kind of person whose life changes instantaneously-not with a word or a moment.

I’ve struggled with things that don’t change over night.
I remember walking out of my therapist’s office the last time I saw him in December.
And I realized I had changed. I was new. It had taken a long time- over 4 years of counseling in a windowless room.
I grew up in a household where it was normal life to watch people struggle with sobriety. That too is a process that is not an overnight healing.

So this week when my life was changed I didn’t notice.

This week was meaty. From just four days of class and life I have accumulated over 30 pages in my journal of rambles and notes. I’ve sent many “oh girl” texts to friends in my life-lacking the words to articulate what was happening.

And on Thursday when all was said and done I realized I believe.

All of it.

What does that mean?

I have operated most of my life out of this weird version of humbleness and confidence. I do know who I am.

I’d just rather you not tell me.
Don’t put me up in front of a room and speak truth to me.

Please PLEASE put your attention on someone who NEEDS the strength.

I have plenty that I will freely give.
I don’t do or speak to get affirmation.
I just do.
I actually get physically uncomfortable and anxious when people speak truth about myself to me or when people compliment something I have done.
Clearly I don’t mind being the center of attention- I’d just rather be in control of the attention.

I’m really good at telling people that I’m learning to believe the words that are spoken to me.

But the thing is I don’t need to learn.
I need to choose.

I couldn’t run from affirmation this week. It shocked me and actually came from somewhere I didn’t expect.

After an intense afternoon in my head during class I went to talk to our teacher for the week (a coffee shop owning Irishman) and after a statement I didn’t think I needed to hear or had the capacity to recieve I uttered my normal “trying to believe” statement.

Then I thought- what if I chose to believe?
What if I actually believed those incredible, powerful though seemingly undeserving words he had spoken to me?
What would it change if I believed I speak truth, that I am wise, that I hear God’s voice?
What if I believe that I am indeed amazing?
Not in a cocky prideful way but being grounded in the fact that while yes, I do have the power to speak for others and spur them on that I am allowed to create something big as well?
That I no longer question my genuineness because no one else does. What if I walked in my own truth and power?

How much more could I do?
What would that change?

Everything.
It changes EVERYTHING.
I’m not saying I have it all figured out-not saying I’m no longer going to struggle with things or have moments of insecurity.

But it is saying that I can utilize all of those words, those truths that people have spoken over me for myself.

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(my identity map that I did with the class// #mindblown)

I’m amazingly good at speaking truth and creating hope for others

I recognize that I hear from God in many different ways

But I always thought none of that was for me. I thought I had to give it all away.

But that’s not true.
It’s for me to dream.

So when I made the decision to choose to believe in what others say I’m choosing to pick up what’s for me and run with it.

Choosing to love myself as I love others.
Choosing to believe I have something to give.
Choosing to believe means that I can change things.

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 in individuals.
I believed that I didn’t need to be noticed.

I just didn’t realize that I am supposed to be noticed.
That my voice is recognized and heard.
Even in little things.

I know why I am here now.
I truly am here for more.
More than I ever actually knew existed.
The more I was searching for.
I’ll be updating my “journey with me” page because now I know why I need support.

I’m still flabbergasted.
I didn’t expect anwsers this week.
I didn’t expect to feel home amidst discomfort.
I didn’t expect that I would have even more to say then what I have already said.
I didn’t expect victory or surprise or love.
I didn’t expect much.
I didn’t expect my life to change this week.

and this is why I bake

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Growing up with a mom who was in the business of helping others I picked up a smattering of advice.

  • you have to suffer for beauty
  • if you don’t wear clean underwear something bad will happen
  • always make your makeup look natural
  • never return a dish without something in it even if it is just some store-bought cookies.

The one lesson though that I heard my mom preaching day after day was when you were stuck in yourself, stuck in your addiction, stuck in whatever you are in: you need to do something for someone else. Bake something, clean something, DO something outside of yourself.

And that is something I have grabbed onto and ran with.

When I am too inside of myself, when I can’t figure why I am down or depressed or when there is LITERALLY nothing I can do to make myself feel better; I do.

I bake, I clean, I buy someone a present, write someone a card. Keep my hands busy. Not allow myself to go into a black hole of murky unknown without a way out.

And that has lead to many different trails of life.

It’s led me to loving better because I’ve learned to try to make peoples days a little happier. I’ve learned that I treasure loving others and helping them.

But it’s also led me to spiraling into a depression and anxiety and collapsing on the floor because I’ve chosen not to think but just to do.

It’s why I detest the phrase “fake it til you make it” because while it does hold value to sometimes it also leads us to walking away from feelings and emotions that are good to have and get through.

I’ve had a couple of sleepless nights in a row; waking up with my heart pounding and my chest heaving with anxiety. I’ve been unable to get into a restful regular sleep and I know it’s because things are being pulled up and I’m longing to run to places I’m comfortable that in all reality don’t exist here.

I’m having to force myself to sit in anxiety and I’m striving to find words to fit the feelings and emotions of sentences that lack explanation.

But I’m also baking. Cleaning. Doing. Creating. Walking.

Because as my mind spins around and around with no place to land my hands will continue to move. And I will continually learn to write and speak and be. I was told this week by our rocker, renaissance man of an instructor Herman Haan to continuing writing because people need my story. They need to hear what I have to say.

So I will continuing saying them and writing them and figuring them out.

But I will continue baking and doing.

So this is why I bake. This is why I show up places with muffins and cookies. Partly because I enjoy it, I love baking, writing, cooking, serving but also I do out of place of healing.

So maybe I need to do less and talk more, I’ll strive for a balance but I want to encourage you; if you are stuck in a circle, if you don’t what to do or where to go, make something, bake something, help someone and you will have a moment of clarity in the midst of the chaos. You will create something and not destroy a piece of yourself.

You will stand.

 

Live (in) Lovely

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I remember certain months on the World Race last year where I had so much to tell and yet no words to share the chaotic amount of thoughts in my head.

Welcome to my first month in Mijas, Spain. And learning to “live lovely”.

It’s been a busy, crazy July here. We’ve had birthdays, a wedding, 4 weeks of classes, 5 different festivals in the square, the World Cup finals, no fewer than 80 people tromping through Mijouse, we are just wrapping up the inaugural 5 year g42 reunion where 30+ people came from all corners of the globe to remember and celebrate the beautiful things that happened here.

And we’ve danced a lot.

I’ve had multiple glasses of wine with lovely people. I’ve had 3 blue chair sandwiches so far (I promise I’ll do better Mer), I made the prettiest cake for a wedding that I’ve ever had the privilege of baking, I’ve gotten up early mornings to walk with Tiffany and have beautiful conversation, I helped make 600+ tapas for the alumni cocktail party, I’ve begun to dabble in water color, I’ve continued to write a novel and I’ve laughed a bunch.

And I’ve continued to learn what it means to be loved unconditionally.

During worship last week to kick off the reunion I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I won’t begin to even touch on all the lessons and revelations piling up in my head today, but know that there is a lot in there.
So between all the thoughts jumbled inside and the fact that there were 30 extra people in my home I was freaking out a bit.

OK.
I was freaking out a lot.
So I went to the back of the church in an opened space to just breath and look at all these new and old friends in my life.

And I realized something that knocked me off my axis a bit.

They love.
And right as I was twirling into this train of self-doubt, insecurity and unworthiness one of the staff came up to me to tell me that I was appreciated.

(Cue tears.)

I said thank you and promptly turned into the wall away from everyone to stop the tears.

I’ve “stopped” the tears a lot this month.

Because for as much as I’ve been overwhelmed with the reminders of worthiness, acceptance and love I’ve had a voice shouting in my head to retreat, to pull back, that I’m just needed not wanted. It’s a space and place I’ve wrestled with all my life and it is rearing it’s ugly head and I’m having to fight with it as I go through the list of topic sentences that God placed before me.

So there’s that.
It’s not necessarily pretty.
But it is lovely.
And it will be lovely with every step I take down these cobblestone streets. It’s choosing to be present amidst the chaos in my brain, to stand firm in what I DO know, and be ok in questions and not knowing.

That’s all for now. In the next week I’ll be sending out a newsletter with more details of what I am doing and where I am going. But for now scroll through these few pictures of my life here in Mijas and I’ll be back with more soon.
And just as I will, I pray you will continue to be present over perfect and choose to live lovely.

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(Patty, Whitney and I produced 600+ tapas for the alumni cocktail party)

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(The wedding cake I made for the wedding that was held at Mijouse the 2nd weekend I was here. 5 layers and raspberry filling!)

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(my beautiful roommate and friend painted this for me. Many a time have I been given words that say “I’ma bird”)

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(And last but not least; one of the strongest forces to get me to Spain. Still can’t believe how blessed I am to do more life with her.)