Spain g42, washington whimsy

Find an exit buddy

To the interns wandering around Mijas;

Though our paths didn’t cross, I guarantee we’ve sat in same places all over that white washed village. (My favorite seat in the epi was the one in the center section next to the pole closest to the office just FYI).

It doesn’t matter that we’ve never met, we are apart of the same tribe, the same family, we share something even without knowing each other’s names.

So, I am sitting at the table and would love to echo something I’m sure you’ve heard whether you’ve been there 1 or 4 months.

Please, listen when they encourage you not to go alone.

Because, whether you believe it or not at this point, it changes everything.

I will never forget sitting at OCP with George Ridley during graduation week my first term. He asked me what my plan was, where I was going and I responded I didn’t know and the place really didn’t matter.

He told me four things I needed: people, a place to live, a job, and people doing something I loved. And when it came down to it if the three check marks didn’t include a job; that didn’t remove the place.

But it was logical and clear cut- go to people who were filled with life and love.

I was going to tell you my how. HOw I made the decision not to go alone.

But really that’s not what I want to tell you.
I want to tell you right now, to choose; to decide not to go try to do the thing alone.
Go TO people. Go WITH people.
Please, don’t try to save the world single-handed.

I left Spain in December with the knowledge that by August I would be living in Bellingham, WA with my friend and a member of my home team, Patty, and I’d be going to A Life Family church and getting to know the people there, some I’d met, some I’d heard about and some I’d (spoiler alert) stalked on Facebook.

What I’m saying is I had found an exit buddy.

I had a friend who knew the fears and the hardships and the goodbyes emotions I was feeling because she was going through similar things. I had a friend who reminded me in the ridiculous times of working retail that this was apart of our doing of the damn thing.

It’s August and I just paid my second month of rent. I’ve attended church and community group and gone and got beers or coffee with the people I’d only heard about. Each night my roommate and I recap our day, sometimes over an episode of saved by the bell.

And in the days when it’s hard, though I can and do text and FaceTime my people scattered over the world; one of my people actually lives in the same house as me.

It changes things.

Our home is filled with life, because we chose to have it be that way. Filled with truth, encouragement, wackiness and beer.

And had we come to a new place without community, we would have probably been ok.

But guys, GUYS, coming to a place and a community you already trust with people who you trust (Even borrowed trust) changes absolutely everything.

That advice George gave me that day in front of OCP fixed my gaze on the logical and that made it less scary.

Coming to Bellingham where there was already a community and people was probably the best decision we could have made for ourselves.

To quote both Andrew & Freddy “it just makes sense”.

{And in the days when you maybe almost get a concussion from hitting your head so hard on a cabinet at work and your roommate has to go to class, you can call someone, even though you just met him a mere 3 weeks prior and he can sit with you and eat pizza and make sure you don’t have a concussion.}

We came to a community that we trusted because those we trust, trust them.

And guys there are those people all over the country. We are here in Bellingham and in Denver. There’s a table in Chicago and one in Memphis and so many others in between.

I can guarantee there is someone from this tribe with a similar heart and vision, either already doing the thing or looking to start it.

We aren’t meant to wander aimlessly.
And the more people around you the less chance you will get off track.

Start those conversations now. We emailed with a friend here in Bellingham for months prior to moving.

Ask questions.
Ask the staff questions, ask who they know that have similar hearts, ask them to connect you.

Don’t be me for the first three months, believing I could end up just anywhere, which was basically true. But I was missing that I needed to end up Not just anywhere but with people.

It changes the good to celebration and changes the hard days to face to face conversations rather then over FaceTime.

It just changes things.

So if you read this whole letter I want to challenge you to have those conversations, ask those questions and decide to do the thing with people.

Reach out and grab it.

It’s so good.

If you have any questions or want to know specifically what’s going on here in Bellingham or our process of deciding to come here please shoot me an email. (Mmreeve @gmail) And if you are ever in the area we live in the best little yellow house and our door is open and there is normally beer & wine in the fridge and some emergency cookie dough ready to be thawed and baked.

I don’t know you guys but I do know you are amazing.
Do me a favor and love the staff really well, they are some of my favorite people on planet earth.
And please, PLEASE, go buy a bag of paprika chips from spar and eat them for me.

With love,
Meg

Spain g42, To dream

this is weird to say NOT in Spain

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.

Honest, hope is a verb, Spain g42, To dream

an attempt at an elevator speech

It’s been over a week.

Over a week since I walked the streets of Mijas, over a week since I sat at Maria’s one last time with Kaitlyn.

Over a week since Patty and I got in a car with Kellen and Whitney and held back tears on our way to the airport.

So what does that mean?

It means it’s been a week of letting words, truths and practices seep into my being in a way that I never thought possible.

The day after I landed in the states I was sitting across from my friend Leah and we were talking about a smattering of topics over breakfast and I got slightly weirded out.

 I think my exact words were “It’s so weird to talk about this not in Spain”.

I’ve at this point had two really, really good conversations about who I am post Spain. I’ve sat cuddled up with a family I treasure and told them so many lessons and what’s in the next. I’ve sat drinking a margarita telling my friend Casey about what God’s point and how it affected me.

And it is still REALLY weird to not be having these conversations in Spain. But with each conversation I’ve realized that it is in me. It’s not just in Spain. It’s something I carry.

So, I’ve been trying to find some sort of a way to sum in up. Some way to bring the point across of where I have come from and where I’ve been. Is there a lesson or a statement? Is there a person who rocked me? A week of teaching that stands out over all of them?

There is a lot.

There’s my class. My family. Who sat around tables with me and cried and laughed and prayed in loud voices on rooftops.

There is the staff who were in my life daily, who spoke truths to me, who saw me, who met me where I was and pushed me into where I ACTUALLY was.

There is Ferg who brought out this realization that I hear God’s voice in ways I didn’t think I could and that I need to speak those things out.

There’s Herman, this crazy, wine loving, JESUS loving Dutch rockstar who left creativity in his wake for us to pick up.

There’s Ethan and Kristen who taught me about God’s love and showed me I knew it was there.

There’s Ted and Michael who both rocked my theological foundations in the best way.

There’s David who had us climb mountains to realize that we in fact, could climb AND claim mountains.

And then there was Andrew who never stopped reminded me, from the moment he patted me on my cheek and said ‘welcome home’, that I had Christ inside me

And of course, Freddie, who as simply as I can put it; renewed my trust.

There are even more people to name who, a week at a time (or sometimes with one DAY), brought truth and revelation into my hands that I had never seen before.

 That’s a lot.

 It’s filled in pages of my journals and scribbled in the margins of my torn, well worn bible.

AND It’s written on my heart. 

So what do I say?

What do I say when someone comes to me and asks me what I did in Spain? What do I say in a span of 30 seconds to describe pages of journal entries, hours of teaching, buckets of laughter and tears (and wine and bocadillos and mr. chicken)?

 I say this:

I lived in Spain for 6 months. I learned that we are here to BE loved and out of that beautiful love we are meant to love others in return. I learned who I am, what I was created for. That I have something to say. So, I made a plan. I found a seat at a table.

I lived in Spain for 6 months.

And it changed everything.

Soon, oh so very soon, I’ll give you the “what’s next”, the plan, the beautiful dream that unrolled itself while I was in Spain.

It’s going to be awesome.

But for now, if you have questions, comments, or a limerick or Haiku shoot me a message or an email. I’d love to hear from you!

(And for those who haven’t had a listen: another way I can explain my heart and my time in Spain is through this song my friend Allan and I wrote//recorded. You can have a listen here)

Honest, Spain g42

Leftovers in the yogurt

I’m sitting at Maria’s, drinking a coffee, something that I do most Mondays.

But in four Mondays from now, on the 22nd, I will be 8 hours into a 13 hr plane ride back to California.

That makes my heart constrict a little.
(That makes my heart constrict a lot.)

This place.
These people.
The spirit that remains no matter who passes through.

I love these cobblestone streets more deeply than I actually fathomed I could.

Because really, it’s not the cobblestone streets, but when I walk down them? Each step is filled words and lessons and spirit that pummels into my being.

It’s seeping through my feet.
It’s now in my foundation.
I hear the the hearts, of the staff, the teachers, voices that I value repeating words, phrases of wisdom that I scratch quickly across blank pages.

I want to remember, retain and practice.

There is so much beauty between the covers of my journal, so much whimsy of Christ.
But the one I’ve been going back and forth with, the one I’ve been trying to put into words for myself to keep is this:

I want to live out of WHO I am, not HOW I am.

When I first got to G42 this was a concept that I fought against. I remember a span of months during therapy where I had to write my emotional levels down each day and if I’m being honest with myself my life was up and down by the hour. I held it together reasonably well during work, but as soon as I got home by myself I sunk. I allowed myself to be ruled by what I was feeling and allowed that feeling to come out of my pores and seep into the atmosphere around me.

The ups and downs ruled me. The fact I I came out on the other side is a testament to Christ and to the Christ inside of those around me.

I had no bearings to grasp onto- but I sank, literally, at the foot of the cross at church every week and clung onto hope.

And I got through, a bit battered and a bit cynical.

I’m now Meg.
And I refuse to be up and down.

The last couple months I’ve had more FEELINGS of up and down then I would care to admit, because I know that I can live outside of being ruled by emotions. I know the truths about myself and the truths of who I am.

This challenge- living out of who I am and not how I am- has at moments been tough for me to swallow, because it shimmers it’s way into most aspects of my life. But I realize in the moments where I respond negatively to something because how I feel, how important it is to do life out of who I am.

When I choose to live out of how I am, I am choosing to live out of frustration, negativity, depression, exhaustion.

I am NONE of those things.
It reminds me of how we store leftovers-in yogurt containers. I was cleaning out the fridge to see what we needed to buy for the week. I glanced in our fridge and saw about 4-5 containers and because my house has been eating a lot of yogurt, I did the math and decided how many to buy.

Later talking to one of my housemates, found out that 2 of those containers actually held yogurt. But because we use them to hold something else I assumed they were all leftovers & chose not look. Not only does this say something about assuming, but it says something to me about how I present myself.

If I constantly live out of anger or frustration because those are my feelings, because those are the emotions that I feel so I grab them and run, eventually that will be what people see. Those around me will get so used to me living out of my emotions that it will be the assumption that I am angry and frustrated. There won’t be a second glance to search for something more because that will be all that is seen. My container, my being, will look the same, but inside it will be assumed it is negativity.

But really that’s not what is inside.
Inside is yogurt.
I just have to actually look.

I want to live a life where people don’t actually have to look inside to know that it is love. I want to live out of who I am, which is someone who loves, among so many other aspects.

I am a woman who has a lot to learn, and because of that a lot to give. And a lot of love

That’s where I am. I am nowhere near the end of figuring out how to do this, how to live solely on who I am. I’m finding that foundation, I’m finding the Christ inside me that has created that foundation of who I am.

I want to live on it and from it.

(And I don’t want you to automatically assume there are leftovers in the yogurt containers.)

Spain g42

a monologue like katniss & a room like harry

There is a repetitive scene in the final book of the Hunger Games where Katniss keeps going back and reminding herself whom she is
amidst all of the chaos going on around her. She attempts to ground herself in who she is so that she can keep moving. She doesn’t want to lose herself in the middle of all of these new pieces her identity being poured out on her.

I’m sure if we had even more of a picture of the inside of Katniss’s brain that we would have heard lies upon lies piling up. We heard some; her believing that people had wished that had saved Peeta, lies that she wasn’t good enough.
I’m sure there were more.

Most main characters of books; while going through major characters revelations have to remind themselves who they are constantly, because they are continuously getting lied to about what they aren’t. Harry Potter went through life changes like nobodies business. He went from being treated as nothing to being “The Boy who Lived”. But for the first 10 or so years of his life he was relegated to a closet. He was physically told he wasn’t important and didn’t need to take up space. He went from being not allowed to take up room to having friends and people who cared about him.

That kind of truth and change can shake a person greatly. For every truth there are lies that tell you not to listen to the truth.

I’ve been told a lot of truth here in Spain.

And it’s shocked me. Physically, emotionally and spiritually I haven’t known how to take it all in. Bit by bit I’ve taken some. The fourth or fifth week I was here I had truth spoken to and over me and that took my breath away.

I haven’t known what to do with it all.

Just like Katniss and Harry I’ve had to remind myself of who I am and I’ve had to expand it.

I’ve had to move out of the room I’m living in because all of who I am doesn’t fit in the room anymore.

But I’ve found myself going back to the room daily because in all honesty, I’ve lived one way for so long that it isn’t even that it’s easier, it isn’t even that I don’t know different; it’s just that I’ve decorated and figured out how to live.

This past week we had “prophetic activation”. We learned a lot about what prophecy actual is and what it means to prophecy. And it was all so very good. But we also did activation.

At one point I found myself in the middle of a circle of 6 people.

The words that were spoken hit my heart.

And one of the statements that hit me about prophecy came running into my head during the time I was standing in the middle.

Prophecy hits in you. When there are words that you know are from God that hit you straight in your heart.

Because you know. You just know. God’s probably already told you; someone else has already told you.

Prophecy is confirming things already at work in you.

For me, it was a lot of truth that I need to add to statements I speak over myself.

If I don’t I will forget amidst all of the lies that hit my core.

This morning I was hit with lie upon lie. Trying to counteract and contradict all of the statements that I so desperately want to hold onto. Words that I want to believe are true.

Words that I NEED to believe are true for myself.
Statements that don’t fit in my room that I’ve decorated.
Words that cause me to need to renovate, open up the space and walk out the door.

Like Katniss I am going to say who I am. I am going to remind myself to find my footing each day, because I’ve heard and seen some pretty wild things in the past 5 months and I want to hold onto them and claim them as my own.

Like Harry, I am going to accept the fact that I don’t have to live in the small room under the stairs, I can walk out the door and leave it behind.

And if you are someone, like me, who is unable to fit truth in the room with you- remind yourself who you are. Don’t be afraid like I’ve been for so long to add onto what you know about who you are.

There is so much to uncover on ourselves. So much we are unable to see. Allow others to see them, and speak them to you, even (preaching to the choir) when they don’t fit in the space you’ve created.

Knock down some walls, slap up some new paint and create something with the truth you’ve been given.

I am Meg
Remembered.
Treasured.
Caregiver
Worth following
Rock breaker
Worth it.

ramblings, Spain g42

and the fog rolled in

When I was younger foggy day schedules were the best. My mom would shake me awake to tell me that I didn’t have to be up for another hour because school was starting late. To some that sounds crazy;to stop school for fog, but what you have to know is central California fog is no joke. There would be mornings when I couldn’t see across the street to the grape vines on the other side. Foggy day schedules meant watching TV on the couch and sleeping.

As I got a little older I started to dislike the fog more. There were too many accidents and too many deaths that took place. The fog started to be less like a blanket and more like an invisible roadblock.

Apart from all that I still like the fog. When I’m inside curled up by the fire and the fog rolls in; it still feels like a blanket, it still feels comforting. Fog tells a story of what’s not there.

The fog rolled in, in fierce ways in Mijas. As I walked home down cobblestone roads fog intermingled through the buildings and lingered outside of doorways. I turned the corner to head up  to my house I noticed that the fog was stopping at the base of the hill. My home sits higher in Mijas so it make sense that there was no fog at our doorway.

As I walked down the stairs to my patio I watched the fog, white and billowy, pour down the mountainside and cover the Mediterranean. Anything the fog didn’t touch seemed clearer, more defined, more colorful even against the white. In all this I thought of the phrase “having a foggy brain”.How a foggy brain makes thoughts seem murky or unclear and how after the fog subsides every thing is clear because you can actually see without searching or straining.

But what if instead of focusing on the part that is foggy we focused on the part just outside of the fog? Instead of looking to what we can’t see why don’t we look to what we can. So often, we choose to try to search through what we can’t see. We try to look for the unseen and forget to see what we can actually comprehend without hurting our eyes. And as we understand what is seen, the fog rolls back we see even more and we don’t miss the first part.

We’re doing prophecy activation this week at g42 and so many pieces of my life that I dubbed foggy are slowly being uncovered. It’s not quick or all at once, but I’m beginning to realize that the fog is fading and things that weren’t clear are beginning to be covered by the light.

Fog isn’t a bad thing. It keeps the ground from freezing and holds in warmth. It covers. Fog hold onto things (like oranges) so they don’t get ruined in the weather,so it doesn’t go bad before it gets picked.

The fog in my brain has been holding revelation until I was able to connect the dots. Until I was able to accept. A lot of those dots were connected today. But truthfully there is still fog. And if I’m being honest…it’s a lot of information that hasn’t all been made clear. A lot of information I haven’t been able to fully sort through.

But watching the fog roll in and out and uncover mysteries in my life has been a theme. Yesterday, the fog rolled in and out to physically show me things were about to be revealed.

To show me that what I didn’t think I had, I have now. It was just covered in fog, being protected, so when the freeze came the fruit wouldn’t get ruined because it wasn’t ready to be picked.

I’ve lived my life in different states of fogginess. But I’m choosing now to see what’s above or outside of the fog. Because eventually it will roll away and I will be able to see for what I’ve been waiting.

I’m not going to stand in the fog and search eyes strained. My vision already bad enough without forcing myself to see what is not ready for me to see.

hope is a verb, Spain g42

don’t drink my coffee

Due to the fact that my friend Santiago has a countdown to traveling to see his girlfriend that happens to fall on the same day that I leave Spain for the states I know exactly how many days I have left.

But I’m going to pretend I don’t.

Let’s just say I don’t have a lot of time left here and I’ve realized something very, very important:

I have some SERIOUS giants to slay in the next (insert how many days I have left here).

I guess I should go back.

January 2012. The first sermon of the new year was about the giants in the promised land and how Joshua & Caleb were “of a different spirit”. That was my, “Oh crap. I need to quit my job. I need to move on to the next. I need to jump” sermon.

And that was not the last time I’ve heard that message over the last 2.5 years. It peppered talks on the World Race and now here in Spain it’s laced into most week’s topics. Being of a different spirit. Stepping into the river and taking what’s mine.

The last 2.5 years in my life have been wilderness years. They’ve been full of adventure, provision, wisdom and an immense amount of preparation.

At this very moment I’m standing on the edge of the river bed and I can see the Promised Land.

It’s terrifying.

And I think part of me has already touched the water. I might be standing ankle deep. And I can see these giants.

From far away they look scary. Gnashing teeth and fierce eyes. They are ready to kick me down and tell me that I’m not meant for greatness. That the land isn’t mine. That I’ve survived on garlic and onions and I should keep it that way.

They have names written across their chest.

Unworthiness. Lack of trust. Invisibility. Independent. Stubborn. Burden.

These words scream at me daily.

These words need to go to hell.

These words are “fundamental truths” in my life. They pepper the foundation of who I am. They are the scope of which I view myself. They are words from which I’m able to emotionally detach myself. I pretend//act like, they don’t effect me in anyway. I’m able to get beyond them, but in reality they are still there.

May I repeat?

These words need to go to hell.

I don’t want to live cowering in the shallow end of the river not walking the rest of the way to the Promise Land because these giants are kicking back and drinking my good coffee in the place I belong while I sit sipping instant coffee.

I don’t want to leave Spain with these giants still in front of me. Now, I’m not saying once I slay all these giants my promised land won’t be have hardship or hurt or I won’t struggle with lies.

But I won’t struggle with THOSE lies anymore.

They are going to find a final resting place in the south of Spain.

That’s what I’m going to be doing these next several weeks.

Continuing the process of choosing to slay giants because I’m choosing to see and claim my promise land.

 Two and half years ago I realized I wanted to be of a different spirit.

And today, sitting in a cafe, drinking my good coffee, I choose to make that decision again.