So please, WRITE

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I always want my words to be profound.

I want them to hold something to have meaning.

I want to write things that incite conversation and promote action.

I also try too hard.

I sit in front of my computer every 4 days or so to post a new thought, a new revelation, a new truth that is rippling through my spirit.

And I erase a lot.

To the point where I am surprised my delete button still works on my computer.

There are a lot of words I haven’t said in my life and many of them come in the form of the backspaced words on word documents. If only there was a way to put all of them together.

On second hand let’s not.

Then I think of all of the words that go unsaid or unwritten.

Or all the words that go unread.

(And if they are unread are they really written? Just kidding…not going there)

There is something about profound insightful thoughts that cause us to move. I love reading words my friends have said and reading what they are going through and their insights. My email is crammed with blog subscriptions and the ability to see the world through others eyes. It’s crammed with group emails from friends about ramblings and stream of consciousness thought processes.

But now I think, I know what I HAVEN’T said. What haven’t THEY said? What moments of brilliance have been backspaced away or crumbled and thrown in a trashcan.

And it’s also kind of funny because we live in this crazy world where there are so many platforms to be heard; from 140 characters on twitter to creating your own website to podcasts and blogs and everything in between.

So with all of that ability to be heard; why are so many of us still silent? Why do we throw words in the trash and decide we don’t need to say them?

Some I’m sure think there are too many words out there so will their words be heard. Or maybe they are afraid of the comment section.

Or even just too afraid of what one singular person will say.

And so we delete or backspace or walk away from a thought because it is too honest or too real or too much of the person you actually ARE as opposed to the person who people see.

The last blog I posted entitled “Real” took everything in me to press publish. I really just wanted to delete it all and pretend it didn’t exist.

I think when I choose to delete something or send it to a friend rather than post it on my blog it’s mainly because I think it might be too much. Too vulnerable, too spiritual, too Jesus. Or sometimes it’s because it shows my flaws or my fears.

But when, in reality, it’s just my thought process, how my brain works.

It’s true sometimes I tie a spiritual lesson to an episode of Vampire Diaries and it’s inevitable I will talk about therapy, or the lessons from Spain or Cambodia small eye or getting hit by a car.

But it’s what’s in my heart.

It’s where I come from.

So I will write.

And I want you to as well.

So very badly I want to read the words you have written. I need them actually. They cause me to think and to write and they inspire me.

So push past the comment section, push past the vulnerability and the fear and put words to paper. Quit hitting delete, quit crumbling the paper and throwing it aside.

People need your words, they need you at your broken or your whole, they need you at your happiest, your angry and your giddy. They need you at your real, your teenage self who loves vampire shows and your adult self who has treasured things in your heart that need to come out.

So please, WRITE.

Here are some blogs of people who’s words I treasure, find humorous and lovely and adore reading. Some of them have been MIA for a moment but take a second to go back, read the archives and find some inspiration. None of them are “proffesional” they may have gotten paid once or twice for their writings, but mostly it’s a heart thing. It’s a pouring out onto paper of what’s inside.There are so so many more I could post or brag about. so many more words I read on a weekly basis. There is inspiration out there. You just have to choose to read it, see it, use it, and be it.  (and if you have a blog or a favorite space to read words comment and let me know!):

Patty~ Patty is one of my best friends and someone who has influenced my writing more than anyone. Her words are timely, poetic and beautiful.

Tiffany~ This woman called me to write and be truthful. She has been calling me into my story for over two years.

Abby~ Another member of my hometeam. She is currently on an adventure leading a World Race squad and she has beautiful words and truths.

Allan~ A crazy worshipper I met and got to do life with in Spain. Check out his Euro journey and all that entails.

Helena~ I followed her blog while she was on the race. She empowers women and has a hysterically lovely view on life

KellenWhitney ~ a couple whom I treasure. Their words inspire like none other.

Casey~ a longtime hometown friend who blogs about her adventures in dating.

Sarah~a truth speaker, bringer and a lie crusher. soon to be on another amazing adventure. 

Lauren~ from my orange county neck of the woods. her words are witty and intelligent and everything in between.

Glenalyn~ a fellow adventurer, wanderluster and tribe member. 

real

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My friend and future co~bookstore owner, Patty wrote a blog about love (read it here) after we came back from Spain. I had tears streaming down my face reading it because I understood the love she was speaking about.

And I must confess, I’ve wanted to write a blog on love too. But my words I knew would be different than Patty’s. And I wasn’t sure what words they were yet. All I knew was my heart bursts and breaks now in ways that it never had before.

The other day I woke up with a beautiful passage from Velveteen Rabbit in my head and on my heart. I hadn’t recently read it somewhere, I wasn’t scrolling through Pinterest—it was just there. Sitting in my brain.

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.quote from the Velveteen Rabbit. .picture from Sistarovat, Romania.

“But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always

BOOM.

Here’s the thing: real love, real tear filled, hard words, silly laughter, silent book reading afternoon love changes you. It does something to you that you almost can’t explain.

I don’t want this to be read as if I’d never experienced love before- I had. And actually if anything the last two years have caused me even more clearly to see where I’ve experienced love like that before.

Where I’ve experienced CHRIST like that before.

I’ve ran a lot in life. I’ve hid. I’ve hid behind the fact that I know how to love well. And if I KNOW how to love well then I must be ok. If I can give it I must have HAD it.

And of course, I give really, REALLY good hugs.

But there is a difference between GIVING a hug and RECEIVING one. There is a sink your whole self into the person, wrap your arms around them and let all your troubles go because you know that person is going to take them, even if for a moment from you.

I was normally on the giving end of a hug. I would see someone needing a hug and I’d give. I’d rarely ask for one. I didn’t need them that bad.

And when it comes down to it how I interacted with people was how I interacted with God.

I feel like, for the longest time I never asked God for a hug. I never plagued Him with my burdens. I’d hug Him when I felt like I needed too. But never in a receiving sort of way.

Then I got to the point that I couldn’t even hug him. I’d been there before, during times of depression and times of brokenness. But after the race and the beginning of Spain I had to force myself to even be in his presence. During an exercise in class last summer we had to picture Jesus with us in this field. I was sitting on a blanket when he came up. I promptly told him to not sit down next to me. To stay away.

Then He overwhelmed me. With words from people, with gifts, with love. He poured so much into my arms even while I was STILL telling him to stay away.

And then I ran. I made myself busy. I did a lot. I volunteered for things, offered myself for jobs. Which is my normal. It is what I did.

And then, like so many times before, I got tired.

And He was still there.

Through all of it. He had watched me run and do and be all of these people and places and things that I didn’t need to be. Like I had done time after time after time.

And He was still there. Like HE had done time after time after time.

And then out of sheer exhaustion and the inability to solve any of the “problems” going on around me I let Him hug me. I gave up really. I gave up running, gave up turning to things that I had been turning to for years, and I let him hug me.

And really, REALLY allowed myself to open my arms and receive love. Let it saturate me. Let it wear me down. Let myself hear what he thought of me. Let Him whisper that He LOVED me.

That He Loved me FIRST.

That He loves me ALWAYS.

And then, without knowing it, I became a person who can give and receive love.

Even when it looks messy and when it’s hard and when it causes your heart to burst and break. I have experienced the love of Christ like I’ve never known. Like I never chose to see or receive.

So I sit here, tears streaming down my face knowing that it isn’t possible to go back from this. Knowing it is in me.

And no matter how I struggle or where I go or what ups and downs happen in life I have this love from my God in heaven that has sufficiently rocked me to my core.

Without knowing it; I became Real.

(And once you are Real, it is for always)

writing on writing

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Something that I heard on multiple occasions in Spain was that there is new revelation every day. That each day we can grab a piece of truth and wisdom that we didn’t have before.

And I believe that that statement is true. I believe that we CAN get something new out of everyday. A bible verse, a song lyric, a word from a stranger, a prayer, a sunrise, ANYTHING that can unlock piece of truth for us.

Five days ago I started this daily writing challenge for myself. Not for anyone else.

It’s just for me.

I call it “back to the barre” in reference to a favorite movie.

And so, for the last 5 days I have turned my phone onto airplane mode and set an alarm for 30 minutes.

And written.

A couple of the days I worked on a story I’ve been writing for awhile while another day I wrote for myself. And then the last two days I’ve been furiously writing this short story. It’s going to become a five parter. I’ll probably share it with a few people, but mainly it’s for myself.

Because I’ve realized over the last year that writing is something for me.

It’s a place for me to throw all the things out of my brain and stare at them and then see how they fit back together.

Sometimes that is in the form of a blog, a letter or a Facebook status.

And sometimes it is in the form of a story that isn’t supposed to be about me. But it is. It hold a piece of myself.

I’ve realized it is actually easier for me to post a blog about myself then to post a short story or a poem. Because that writing, that story that comes from somewhere out of the depths of me is personal. More personal than I would like to admit. Or care to realize.

So, in all of this writing and putting words on a page, I didn’t think I was searching for truth. I thought I was just trying to open up this room in my mind that was storing words that I didn’t have access to anymore in the continental US.

But, of course I was searching for truth. I’m always searching for more truth. I’m always searching for things that make more sense then they did a day before.

The words that paint across the page from my pen or pencil are the inner-workings of my mind trying to put more pieces of the puzzle together.

Words unlock things. At least for me. Reading the words of a friend or an ancient scholar. Skimming through quotes on instagram or scribblings down the side of a page in a journal.

Words are my keys into the next. Words are my voice.

Words are a part of my truth.

So I guess, what I am getting at here is this: find your truth. Find what brings you to MORE truth. It could be writing, or painting, reading or listening to a podcast. It could be running or cooking or anything in between.

Just find what’s yours.

And use it.

Use it every day. There is so much out there for us to grab onto BUT there is so much inside of us to utilize and we don’t even know because we don’t know how to get to it.

Finding what brings you truth is essentially finding what brings you life.

That’s what is on my heart and mind right now. A push, a call, to find what brings you truth and life and do it everyday.

Find truth. Find life.

Grab it.

the one in which I make a centerstage reference

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I want to write. I really, REALLY do.

I want to commit words to a page and not use the backspace. I want to not erase line after line after line because I don’t know where it’s going.

Or I know where it’s going and don’t know how it’s going to get there.

I’ve stared three different blogs over the last hour, with three very different endings:

“I’m a cheerleader”

“I turn 30 in 4 months: sweet lord baby jesus”

“I cook with garlic and onions a lot”

I don’t know where to go with any of them. I don’t know what words to tap out to formulate the thoughts that are jumping around in my head. I have a lot them; thoughts that is. And right now all I can think about is that one scene from CenterStage where Juliette tells Eva to always come back to the barre. When the people are being mean and hateful and the world seems topsy turvy she just needs to come back to center. To the barre.

Now, I don’t feel topsy turvy really but I do feel like I need too, in some way get all of the chaos out of my brain. Out of the part of my brain where my words lie. I want to make sense of the things that don’t fit.

So starting today, for the month of February, I am going to sit for 30 minutes and write. Every day. Be it a piece of whimsical fiction or a letter to a friend or the sketching of multiple words across many pages. I know there are writing challenges everywhere happening and going on so this thought is not new but borrowed. But it works.

So I’ll be here, everyday, going back to the barre. (#backtothebarre?)

Care to join?

Shoot me a message or an email and maybe we can get this train moving together.

there’s no cream in my coffee

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Today, while getting ready to come and sit at my favorite little coffee shop in my hometown, I took a sip of coffee out of my mug.

Black coffee.

And with that simple change in my life, I have come to realize that I have changed.

I know, I KNOW. That’s a really silly thing to make you realize that you had changed. Not all of the other monumental aspects in life; but black coffee.

I’ve been meaning to rewrite the “about me” section of my blog these days. For multiple reasons but one of the main ones being this: the person that wrote that almost exactly a year ago is in no way, shape or form the same person that sits in front of the computer today.

I look about the same. I mean, there is nail polish on both my fingers and my toes and I am wearing a sock bun (and yes Whitney it is with the holder). But, I walk a bit differently, my language is a bit more life filled then it was before and I’m not afraid to just put all if out there. I don’t need to hide behind vague languages or mix my words. So without further ado, here is what will be living on my page entitled “who she is”(or my life in about 500 words).

Hi.

My name is MegHan, most call me Meg, Megs, Miss. Meghan or sometimes even Moses.

Grew up in Central California’s answer to a (Swedish) Stars Hollow.

I’m the youngest. 1 of 3. Only girl. I have 2 neices and 2 nephews. I have had the same best friend since I was 4.

Graduated high school. Moved to the beach. (And Disneyland) Studied English and Music. Wrote papers on Sex and the City, said the Indians weren’t people (CONTEXT!) and sang in a choir. Got a passport. Went to China.

Graduated College. Stayed near the beach. Worked at a preschool with kids. A day camp with kids. A church with kids. (this is when I started drinking coffee.)

Kept going to Disneyland. Kept having adventures with some of the best people ever, living in the best apartment ever.

Went through a hellish depression. Went to therapy. A lot. Told my therapist my coach purse made me feel better. (saw him for four years. That’s a lot of coach purses.)

Got involved at my church. Wrote a lot about sermons. And went to South Africa. So I wrote about that as well.

Somewhere along those years I acquired three tattoos.

Then I got hit by a car. (and got another tattoo) I decided I needed to quit my job of 5 years. So I did.

I packed up my stuff.

Went on an adventure to 11 countries. With a group of people who are now family. I was veracious, a BA and a #112. I cooked over stoves, gas fires and coals. I was broken, beaten, Cambodian small eye stricken. My heart was full of stories from all over the world.

(and I got another tattoo)

And I came home. Fell apart

Realized I had shattered into a million pieces.

(Mostly) believed in Jesus

So I kicking and screaming got on a plane.

And spent six months in Spain. Where I not only acquired cooking skills and wine snobbery but where I met Love. Trust. Hope. Truth. VOICE. Where I met Jesus. Where I met Christ. Where I SLAYED giants. Where I acquired more family and a home team. (and then my passport was filled and expired)

So now: I’m moving to Bellingham WA. With a member of my home team. We are going to do the damn thing. And create a home for people to meet Love, to meet Jesus and to meet Christ. (and to read books and drink coffee and all the lovely things)

So that’s me. Meg. Lover of words, Jesus and coffee.

I have favorite places scattered over the world from this coffee shop in Kingsburg, to just about anywhere in Mijas, from Disneyland to Antique Café in Bangkok, from CapeTown, South Africa to the rice fields in Kampong Speu. My favorite places are scattered because the people I hold dear are. They are as close as down the street and as far as across an ocean.

And everywhere in between.

So I will go everywhere in between. With my desire to bring truth, story and home wherever I go. And a desire to bring this crazy love of Christ that I’ve encountered to all the spaces in which I walk.

If you want to know more about me, my love of story, what I’m going to do in Bellingham, about the winds in Spain, my love of coffee, what it means to have a hometeam or the fact that my TV watching schedule involves vampires and shows on TLC shoot me a message. I’d love to hear from you and hear where the winds are taking you.

RIP rearview smolder

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I’ve gotten really good at celebrating “the last time”. I think it’s because I have lived a life (especially the last couple years) where I have HAD to celebrate those milestones in order to give closure to short chunks of seasons in my life.

I can tell you about the last optional chicken sandwich Friday in Malaysia with the 112 or the last time Veracity ate breakfast at Ana’s table in Ecuador.

I can tell you about the last time I took a bucket shower or hand washed my clothes (both in Cambodia).

The last coffee I had from Maria’s or the last time I watched the sun come up over the Mediterranean.

I can even tell you about the last time I sang together with the Vanguard Women’s Chorus. And that was almost ten years ago.

I love celebrating last times. Closing chapters, turning pages. Making an end. Telling people what they mean to me and telling them thank you.

And that’s how I know how it ends.

But what if you don’t know something is the last time?

Like, for instance, I didn’t know that the last time I took the bus to Fuengeriola and the hot bus driver was our driver (his name is Miguel) that it would be the last time I got a little rearview smolder.

Or that the last time I went to Starbucks with Joe would be the last time I ever went to Starbucks with Joe. And I didn’t know the next time I would see his face would be on a program for his funeral.

It’s crazy when you hit this moment and look back and realize that something was the last time and you didn’t get a chance to treat it like that.

The past three weeks I’ve been working at the preschool. I’ve had a lot of amazing conversations, gotten to hug the necks of a lot of moms whom I adore, and gotten to see how their adorable kiddos have grown. It was a whirlwind as I’d only been home from Spain for 2 weeks when I started.

There was all the normal questions, “What are you doing next” “Where have you been?” “Are you staying?” and of course “Can you babysit?”.

But the one question I got from close friends and people whom I trust was this: “Are you going to go see Sam?”

Sam (whose name ISN’T Sam, I just changed it) was my therapist. I saw Sam regularly from February 2009 to December 2012. I sat on the couch in his office week in and week out. I didn’t cry much, but I did fight a lot of battles in that tiny room. He walked me through a lot of hell, and when it comes down to it was probably one of the first men I ever allowed myself to place trust.

When I got home from the World Race I freaked out. I had a slight panic attack seeing all of the things that had changed. My world had shifted and moved and I didn’t know how to deal. So I grasped at the one thing in that space that I knew to grasp.

I made an appointment to see Sam.

Did I really need to see him?

Probably yes. I needed something to ground me. And for 4 years that space and that place had grounded me. And it did help; momentarily. It reminded me of where I had come from.

When I got back from Spain, I assumed a little bit that I might need to go see him. That I would need that affirmation or even need to tell him I was good.

To tell him I TRUSTED.

But as more and more people would ask if I was going to I realized I was ok.

More then ok actually.

I knew what to grasp at.

I KNOW what to grasp at. And it isn’t even like I’m having to consistently grasp. I’m more or less just steady. But when I do need to grasp; I know where to go.

When I happened upon that revelation, that I didn’t need to see him I had another revelation. The last time I saw him was the last time I would sit on that couch. The last time I would sit slightly anxious with a pillow in my lap.

And since I didn’t know it was the last time: I have never told him thank you.

And though he may never ever read this I just have to say:

Thank you.

Thank you for helping me walk through some of the most treacherous four years of my life. Thank you for talking me off of a ledge metaphorically and literally. Thank you for helping me laugh through tears and helping me realizing what my story actually meant. Thank you for being the beginning steps for me to show up to my life.

And thank you for following up my email with a phone call back in February 2009.

We don’t always know when something is the last time. And that’s ok. I’m not saying to live every moment like it’s your last because then honestly we get into this crazy, sometimes irresponsible mindset. But I am saying this:

Write. Document. Know. Make MEMORIES.

Show up to your life.

You will never have to live in regret or wishing you hadn’t done or said something. You can find ways to say them or you can know in some way you already did.

wash & dry in under 2 hours

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The appliance I have come to most appreciate after all of my time overseas is the dryer.

Not the stove, or the fridge but the dryer.

(though the stove and fridge fall quick in line behind)

Today, at the lovely home I am staying at, I knew that I needed to do laundry. I’m almost at the bottom of the barrel of underwear which is honestly my key deciding factor in doing laundry.

So this afternoon as I was pulling clothes out and deciding what to wash the thought occurred to me, “Oh wait, I need to wear these jeans tonight so I can’t wash them.”

My mind went on autopilot and already started calculating how many days it would take my clothes to dry. It calculated how long it would take my clothes to catch up to me.

But of course, I’m not international anymore.

I don’t have to leave my clothes hanging upstairs, or be fearful it’s going to rain. “Lavanderia” no longer has to be one of the first words I learn in a foreign country.

Because, next to the washer, in the garage is of course a dryer. My load of clothes was washed and dried in under two hours.

I didn’t have to wait for my clothes to catch up to me.  Didn’t have to pretend those clothes don’t exist for one or two days because they are stuck in the purgatory off the drying rack.

I think that in this world of therapy (of which I am an advocate of) and processing (of which I get the concept///hate the word) we sometimes forget that we don’t have to wait for lessons to catch up to us. We forget that we don’t have to pretend that we don’t “get it” yet and we can just live it.

Sometimes we can just put something new on and be done with it.

I think I’ve been timid the last couple of weeks to allow myself to just step into what I have learned and done. Almost like I took all of the clothes I got in Spain and set them out to dry instead of popping them into the dryer and putting them right back on.

There is a time to let truths sink in, and there is a time to repeat them so they are true.

But why don’t we wear them through that process?

Why don’t we choose to believe that we don’t have to catch up to something that was so truly already inside of us?

I got off to a shaky start here in the OC.

I got a lot of lies spit at me. I didn’t believe them. I put them aside, but also thought I had to find my footing when I really didn’t.

I was told I had to process.

I didn’t need too.

I was choosing to believe I couldn’t just pull my big girl pants out of my suitcase and put them on and live. I’ve had a hard time communicating that beyond text messages and stream of consciousness emails.

I thought United States Meg had to catch up to Spain Meg.

But they are the same people.

I no longer have to let my clothes air dry and catch up to me a few days later.

So I guess my challenge to you today is this:

If you’ve had revelation or truth spoken at you; if you’ve come to the realization that something you’ve known all your life is a lie?

 Walk in it.

Claim it.

It doesn’t have to be something you hang up on the clothesline to dry so you can put it back on again.

Pop it in the dryer and wear it.

It’s for you.

Today.

this is weird to say NOT in Spain

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I have wanted to write a blog to share about some decisions I made while in Spain. I was grateful to be in a space of people for 6 months that I could easily sit across coffee tables from and talk through my though processes and talk through what God was teaching and they were there literally at the exact moment a decision was made.

I was in this bubble in the guise of a village in southern Spain and now I’m not there anymore.

And now, I feel like I’ve tried, to the best of my ability, to explain what I learned and what I am doing next. I’m wishing I could just deposit all the conversations and presentations that were done and had onto this space because it explained it so well.

So now, I’m just sitting here staring at my screen and trying to telepathically put words onto it. I just want people to know.

I want people to know that in August I’m moving with my friend Patty to Bellingham, Washington.

I want people to know that for the next few years we are going to working our butts off, because we are going to start something.

And that something is a bookstore.

It sounds so simple. A bookstore.

But here’s the thing.

It’s not JUST a bookstore.

It’s a gathering place. A place for creative people to sit around a table and do life together. A place where the spirit of all of the creative writers and thinkers fill the book shelves. Where local artists put their work on the walls. A place for people to be known and to become who they are in whatever way that looks like. A place to dream and become more of who you are.

So yes, it’s a bookstore. But it’s also a kitchen table for people to sit at and a home for people to come too.

So that’s what I’ve been trying to tell people in 1 minute conversations. Trying to explain my heart, and trying to focus on the why and the what.

And of course there are a lot of questions that have been asked when I start this conversation.

The hands down most asked question is this:

Why Bellingham?

When we were deciding where to move and where to do this thing Patty drew us a map of the states. It had 6 or 7 dots on it. We took that list and started to see if there was community, jobs, if there was creativity.

And then Bellingham got added after meeting a smattering of people from there.

It’s creative. There’s community and a church we know we can walk into with trust.

It’s near a good handful of our friends.

(Yes, it’s rainy and I’m from California)

So we are going to go in August get jobs, become involved, open our home and as Patty so eloquently says:

We are going to do the damn thing.

(I’m only at about 500 words or so right now and I could keep talking.)

I could tell you how much I feel believed in to do this thing. How we have people behind us, praying for us, spurring us on.

I could tell you about the passion I felt inside speaking about this place, this home.

I could tell you all these things. All these good, good things that fill my heart with hope and joy.

I have so many words that I don’t exactly know how to splash across the page.

So I want to ask you to ask me.

Ask me questions;

ask me about Spain and Washington.

 Ask me about the spirit that is now in me.

I’ll answer. I will sit across a table or a Skype screen.

And I’ll share.

So that’s it.

That is what I’m preparing for; that’s a piece of what Spain brought me too.

Thank you to those who knew. To those of you who supported us and pushed us to make the decisions we were a bit scared of.

Thank you.

Let’s do this.

hit replay: of a different spirit

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(I’ve come to a realization that finishing g42 is finishing a season that was started 3 years ago when I heard a message at church and took it as my cue to jump. And as I will be sharing what’s next soon and where this season of 3 years has brought me; I wanted to share the original recap from the sermon I heard at Rockharbor church 3 years ago this month. It restored a spirit inside of me that I didn’t even know was there. To hear the message this is a recap of click here)

As written on January 1, 2012:

I feel like I have had a lot of “standing on a precipice” moments in my life.
One of the clearest is when at the end of my junior year in college I got elected to be the president of my fifty member University Women’s choir.

I don’t think I have ever been so afraid in my life. I was racked with doubt for the entirety of the summer. There was no possible way I should have been put in that position. I wasn’t a leader, I wasn’t perfect, I didn’t know how to lead a team of officers.

I was so wrong for the job.

When the time came to start I somehow got through Music camp, giving my devotion. Leading a team of wild and crazy freshman. But after the first rehearsal of our choir I went and cried.

It was too much for me. I couldn’t be an example. I couldn’t fight battles for these women in my choir. I couldn’t do it.

The giants were just to big for me. Just like they were for the Israelite leaders who went to look at the Promised land. They saw the milk, the honey. But they saw the giants that were smack-dab in this land that God had given them.

And that was all they really saw. Sure, they brought back the fruit, they told of the amazing land.

Then there was a really big BUT. They spoke of the giants. Of the fact that there was no possible way they could take the land.

Even though it was theirs for the taking because God had ordained it to be so.

They in that moment forgot they had a God bigger than the giants. They had a God bigger than absolutely anything and He had PROMISED them this land.

They had a God that had done so many miracles just to get them to the place where they were.

But one look at giants and all was forgotten. One word spoken of failure, loss and the people wanted to turn around and run back to Egypt.

This is the God that brought them OUT of Egypt and they were choosing to run back instead of jumping into this adventure, this life that God had given them. The Israelites didn’t stop to listen to Caleb and Joshua. These two men standing together REMEMBERING that God brought them out of Egypt. The people were choosing to run back to Egypt

How often to we choose to run back to Egypt?

How often do I choose to run back to Egypt?

Too many times to count.

In those moments when looking forward is like looking into a mine field. I was positive I was going to step on EVERY single mine. I had forgotten what God had already brought me through. Even in those first 3 years in college He had brought me through a close friend dying, through living away from home for the first time, through my first season of depression. He had made me stronger.

I promptly forgot that when I saw the giants.

But God stopped to show me I was stronger. He caused me to look down at my feet and make the move to stand with those who remembered that He would be there always. No matter what. That He would jump with us because He knew better.

I was still terrified most of the year. I was afraid most of the time that I wasn’t being a good influence to the 25 freshman girls in my choir. That I wasn’t leading the amazing friends I had in that group well. But looking back I know it was all ok because God was there each time to jump with me.

That ended up being one the most growing, amazing, refreshing, terrifying times of my life.

And now as this new year comes to being I need to remember that year. I need to remember how God brought me through that. I need to remember how God brought me out of Egypt.

Because I am on a precipice again and need to jump.

And I am terrified of those giants in the Promised Land.

But I am choosing to stand with Caleb and Joshua. To remember that our God can do anything. That He is telling me to jump.

I am choosing to live this year of a different spirit.
I am choosing to jump out and face the giants.

2014: a clean slate for a good thing

my

I thought that 2014 would be so much easier to sum up then 2013.

(I was wrong.)

So, I’m going to write a list (and I’m not the best at them). It’s not going to cover everything or everyone that crossed my path in 2014 but it might be the easiest way to sum up a year both living in my hometown and abroad.

my favorite piece of sky

my favorite piece of sky

1.  Most obvious as I sit blogging: I realized my writing voice and speaking voice  (and singing voice) are equally as strong. This will be my 46th blog on here. It’s been one of the most lovely parts of my week. Sitting and putting pen to paper and words to screen. And I stood up in front of adults, kids, peers and spoke words of truth and life like I never thought I could. (Translation: He’s the WORD. I’m the VOICE. I have something to SAY and I’m going to SAY IT)

a safe place  photo by Whitty

a safe place
photo by Whitty

2. I learned that one of the lessons from my mom that I carry with me is to never return a tupperware to someone empty.

3. I learned that I can still handle triple digit Kingsburg summers (mainly because my best friend has a pool) and also learned that, even though I complained, I can handle 7 degree weather. (spoiler alert: cold weather is in my future)

2 California girls and 2 Florida girls. Freezing cold Georgia weather.

2 California girls and 2 Florida girls. Freezing cold Georgia weather. photo by abby 

4. My cooking skills and baking skills were expanded after months of cooking for 5 people to 25 people. And I make the best omelettes. (even on really crappy pans). And 5 layer cakes ain’t got nothing on me. And tomato soup.

tomato soup

feeding people. love.

5. I realized it is ok to let guys carry my bags or walk on the road side of the street. Or move something heavy. OR take out the trash (am I right P. Reed?) ((also this blog and this blog may have taken a turn)

santiago. carrier of water jugs and groceries. AKA the one who never let me walk on the street side of the road.  And of course: my brother.

santiago. carrier of water jugs and groceries. AKA the one who never let me walk on the street side of the road.
And of course: my brother.

6. My family can indeed take family pictures.

older brothers and I. family pictures. be on the lookout for the next one in 2034.

older brothers and I. family pictures. be on the lookout for the next one in 2034.

7. I learned that maybe, just maybe, I might be done with pledging my loyalty to Starbucks. Mainly because of judgement and stripping of christianity. But also because I tasted actually good coffee. And it wins.

8. I can wear my hair down on a daily basis. And not cut it. ( side note: I totally want to cut my hair)

8b. I also paint my fingernails on a regular basis.

9. Group iMessage conversations are the best. Even when you are in the same room as the person. Especially when the third person isn’t in WIFI range and they get 105 messages when they get back into said wifi range. (also, once again: Thank you iMsg and Skype and Facetime for keeping my connected to those I love all over the world.)

tripod. best group text messages ever.

tripod. best group text messages ever.

10. And that those group iMessage conversations mean everything when they are with your home team.

hometeam

.hometeam.

11. Two words: Aqua congas.

(11. b. and cafe con leche, croissant y mantequilla y mermelade, blue chair bocadillos, iced chai lattes, scones, vino tinto, empenandas, pampa, tapas…..etc.)

12. I can still teach kids. Be it 92 of them that speak english or 6 that don’t.

image_3

13. I have jam on my hands. (And that jam is moving me to……well maybe we will save that for later)

we'll save this story for later

we’ll save this story for later

14. Jesus doesn’t have to look the same to me as he did 14 years ago when I first came to know him. Actually, it’s so much better that he looks different. It’s lovely. All of the things that I thought didn’t fit into the box I had not only exploded the box but made me realize to follow Christ doesn’t include a box.

this picture speaks so many words to me all at the same time. it screams our what I've learned, where I've come from and where I am going. photo by tiff evins

this picture speaks so many words to me all at the same time. it screams our what I’ve learned, where I’ve come from and where I am going.
photo by tiff evins

Prophecy, speaking in tongues, reading the bible with new eyes; all of those things didn’t fit in my box. And that box was the reason even what seemed like “silly” words maybe or maybe not from God I didn’t even look at. Like this one from Kyle in November of 2013 (the 16th to be exact). Now I hear from God in ways I didn’t deem possibly. I speak to Him with new words. And I accept things I normally wouldn’t be capable of accepting.

kyle

two months to the date I sent him this message…I applied to g42

Those are my 14 things. 2014 was my “Clean slate to dream” and it came in ways I didn’t really picture. I didn’t picture my faith getting a clean slate, or my dreams actually getting a clean slate. But all of them did.

my sweet goddaughters

my sweet goddaughters

I got to spend so much time with my mom and dad, and immense amounts of time with my best and her sweet girls. I had the opportunity to teach bible stories to kids at Royal Family Kids Camp.

And then I went to Spain.

2014 brought me to these.

2014 brought me to these.

Thank you 2014 for all that you were. All of the light and dark. Time in my hometown and time with my home team. Thank you 2014 for the family, the tribe you led me too. Thank you for allowing me to walk where I did and run when I needed.

2015. Goodness. I don’t really know how to describe the plans in place in 2015.

But let’s put it this way-3 years ago, I decided I wanted to be of a different spirit.

2015 is another big step in that direction.