Honest, hope is a verb, ramblings, Uncategorized, washington whimsy

But we are here, together.

I’ve been staring at my blank screen for about an hour.

I’ve written three or four different beginnings and deleted them because I had no clue where they were going.

I’ve pulled out my journal and jotted phrases, I’ve pulled from conversations this week that have shaken me and provided me no answers but just the assurance that I’m still going and I’m still here. I’ve pulled from moments of wanting to punch people from their ability to challenge me to my feet.

I don’t think people read my blog for answers.

I think maybe they read it because I flood their newsfeed with links, others read it because they are kind humans, and other read it because hopefully to see if what I am saying is what they are saying too.

I’ve been taking a lot about (or a lot around) God these days.

God and I are currently in a season of life where our relationship doesn’t work the same as it used too. So, we (me) are trying to figure out what it looks like now. In reality I am choosing to believe it’s because it’s deeper than it ever has been.

When I write I try my best to relate to people where they are. I try to use broad terms and illustrations to remind as best I can that we are all human.

I try to make sure that people who read this, be it people who see me on a daily basis or people that have seen me in months or people that have never met me, know that on a basic level, I am always ok.

The ok may be shaken sometimes but it’s always there.

The season/process/chunk of life I’m in right now is definitely a “shaky ok” kind of season. Mainly in terms of my faith, and my relationship with God and my inability to receive beautiful soul-filling words that are currently being said to me.

All the things in my life that used to work aren’t working anymore.

And so, I write for you from the middle.

I write from the middle so that you know that the middle is ok.

That these stories and processes and lives we are a part of creating are good and beautiful even when they feel ugly and hopeless.

I share my stories and my beliefs or lack thereof to show you that we aren’t that different whether you believe in my God or another God or nothing at all.

I don’t know what the answer is for me right now. I chose not to go to church this morning hoping to find some semblance of a response and was met with silence.

But, I know that silence wasn’t actually silence. It was incredibly loud in actuality.

And I say that for this reason: what may feel like silence isn’t. What may feel like the universe or god or whomever isn’t responding isn’t that. There is something there. I swear.

I don’t think people read my blog for answers because I sure as hell don’t have them.

So, whatever you are going through, whatever seems insurmountable, whatever doesn’t seem right or true or hopeful.

Know that you are the thing that is hope.

You are the thing that can get over the mountain.

And maybe, all you need to know, is that we are here, together.

I choose champagne, To dream, washington whimsy

at some point, ice has to melt.

I am sitting here for one last silent Sunday of the year at my favorite bar. I sit here as many Sundays as I can, at the table in the corner by the window (and the outlet) and drink 1 or 2 or 3 grapefruit mimosas and I write.

Sometimes other people join me in silence, but most of the time I just sit by myself attempting to verbalize thoughts in my head. This has become one of my most favorite times of the week. Without the people around me knowing it; this bar has become a part of my church. It’s become a safe place for me to choke back tears and form thoughts and have weighty realizations.

So, tonight, I’m sitting here and thinking about all that 2017 was. It was a lot. I’ve been trying to separate the good and the bad. The ugly and the uglier. The places of heartbreak and the places where my heart hasn’t even gotten the chance to break.

Many things stand out here and there, so many people and places and events.

June is a big one. In June I turned 32, I had about 32 people that I adore here in Bellingham over to my house for tacos and laughter and love. In June I ended my time with the two year olds and turned 3. In June I felt betrayal and hurt that I can’t match to any other time in my life.

In June I went to my other home for camp and was reminded that I can take joy in what I do.

If I am being honest- a lot of other things feel like an immense blur.

I want so badly to say that this year was good. I want so desperately to say that this year redeemed the year before it. But it didn’t

I want to say that I found ways this year to be who I am. I want to say that I’ve learned to apologize less and to not second guess.

I want to say that my heartaches less and that I am 100% happy in my own skin. That needing a space for one has gotten easier.

I want to say that I’ve been brave.

I want to say all of those things.

But, I’m just not sure I can.

It’s funny. I spend 40 hours a week telling tiny humans that they need to use their words. I hold their hands and look them in the eyes and take deep breaths with them. I say, “I understand that you are feeling frustrated. I understand that your body feels upset. But what I need you to do is take some deep breaths and tell me with your words whats wrong.”

I felt a lot of things this year. I felt lonely, I felt pain and anguish for myself and on behalf of those around me. I felt joy. I felt love that I can’t really articulate. I felt every single damn day for the 18 tiny humans who are on my class list.

But, ask me to articulate what I was feeling on behalf of my own self and I was never quite sure.

I don’t think I was the only one with that problem this year.

A lot of things happened this year. Things in our control or out of it. Things that impacted us or our neighbor. There was anger and hate and laugher from disbelief. It spilled into everything. Every aspect of our lives were impacted whether we wanted them to be or not.

I don’t have the words to describe all the things.

But, I think what I can say, is that in spite of all the things, in spite of the loneliness and the betrayal and the hurt I didn’t give up. In spite of my inability to use my words, I didn’t stop trying.

In spite of all the things, there was still joy.

And there it is my friends.

In spite of all the things- there is still joy.

There are still moments of joy.

I tried, so incredibly hard, in the midst of all things to find joy.

I think we all did. If we really searched through our memories, we tried this year to balance all the things with joy.

I was and still am numb to this year. I’m numb to the things that made me feel less like the person I know I am. I am numb to the things that added to my character.

But, at some point, ice has to melt. At some point an asleep leg has to wake up.

So, to 2017 I say this,

Thank you for the people in my life.

Thank you for my roommate.

Thank you for my work wife.

For my bosses and my coworkers and all those I would never know without the Y.

Thank you for my church, for the people who are scattered in the rows around me, who are family.

Thank you for my forever best friend.

Thank you for my OCfamily and that little blue house in Irvine.

Thank you for my family whom I grow to appreciate with every passing year.

Thank you for opportunities to speak and space to give love and be love.

And to 2018 I saw this:

Let’s thaw out the numbness and find places each day to wake our words up a little more.

Dear 2018,

Please, I beg of you.

Use your words.

With love,

Meghan

washington whimsy

to my 2 year olds; with love, teacher meg

I have a mere five days left as the lead teacher to 16 two year olds. I’ll be taking six of them to continue the journey in preschool. But, man, two year olds. They are all the things. And I’ve loved them.

So though they will probably never read this, this is a letter to them.
To my sweet, sassy, snuggly, silly and never really that silent, two year olds:

For your last year as two year olds, you have been my life. I have changed your diapers, helped you go potty, fed you, been peed on, pooped on and bled on, I have talked you through tantrums and sadness, I have helped you go to sleep, I’ve helped you explore and learn and laugh. I’ve been hit, kick, punched, slapped and spit on by you. I’ve grown tired of you screaming my name and missed you when you are gone.

I know A LOT about each of you. I know what your body looks like when you are tired, hungry, sick. I know your real laugh from your fake laugh, I know what holds your attention or what doesn’t. I know what friends you like and those with whom your body needs space. I know that your Monday attitude is different than your Thursday attitude and I know that even though you don’t want me to leave at three, that means it’s sooner for your moms and dads to come.

I see a lot in each of you. One of you is going to be someone who celebrates people well, another is going to use her inevitable popularity to show kindness to those who need it. I believe in this group of tiny humans lies an engineer, a musician and a veterinarian. I see an activist; one my most stubborn, using their skills for good. I see teachers and professors. I see some epic storytellers and writers and creators.

I see that each of you have the ability to change the world around you.

I think, I hope, that in the last year (or two) that you’ve been with me that you’ve learned a few things. One, is to be kind. When you hit, bite, steal a friend’s toy, I hope you’ve learned compassion from me (though you can’t fully comprehend it). I hope that you’ve learned to hope and dream. That you’ve picked that up in your tiny human bodies. 

I hope you’ve learned from me that you are born to be loved. 

Because you are. And so many people love you. You each have a village of moms and dads and teachers and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and neighbors and friends that love you. 

I hope you’ve learned from me to show up for your life no matter what. I hope you become adults who choose to do the damn thing. Who choose to be present and not perfect. 

Who choose to live.

And I hope (albeit maybe NOT in such a dramatic fashion) that you continue to learn to be humans who express their emotions. 

Because of all the things I’ve hope you’ve learned from me; this is what I’ve learned from you. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt when you are feeling: happy, tired, silly, frustrated, sad, mad. You might not know all the verbiage but you express the emotions.

See, as adults, we lack the ability, most of the time, to do that. To put it in your terms: we don’t give our bodies space.

Thank you, for being constant reminders to do that. Thank you for being reminders to let myself feel. Thank you for the practice of labeling your emotions, so that I in turn label my own. I’ll never forget when one of you, upon me asking a rhetorical question of, “who do I need to take care of?”, responded with a singularly word, “you”.

Thank you for helping me pause. For in MY moments of frustration, squeezing my cheeks or giggling, or offering me ice coffee. Thank you for teaching me to breathe. 

And lastly, but in no way least: thank you for being safe with me. For running to me with open arms, for reaching out to me when you were tired or sad or scared. For wanting to hold my hands when we danced. 

Thank you for allowing me to apart of your year of two. I can’t wait to see what I will learn from you next.

With love,

Teacher Meg

I choose champagne, washington whimsy

But first, celebrate.

About two months ago I had this outlandish idea. For my birthday, all I wanted to do was construct a big table, cook a bunch of food and combine all of my Bellingham friend groups.
Combining friend groups is tricky. Mixing and mingling between multiple groups of humans where, for the most part, you’re the only bridge.

that one time I combined multiple friend groups in the OC before I left the country.

Here in Bellingham I have those I’ve met at A Life and those I’ve met at the Y.

They are the both eclectic, diverse and weird groups of humans.

So, I found tables, asked people to bring chairs and (mostly) sparkly beverages. I bought 25 lbs of chicken. I borrowed crockpots and my neighbor’s kitchen space. My roommate decorated and I scrubbed our back porch with bleach.

And I cooked and chopped and sliced.

And then when people started showing up, I put them to work. 

I wish I had taken a picture, but I will have to settle for a mental image. Friends, from two different parts of my life, shredding chicken, cutting watermelon, mixing coleslaw, hauling chairs, setting up tables, sprinkling confetti. Friends who have spent time in my house separately, grabbing cups out of the cupboard and ice out of the freezer and knowing where the forks live.

At about 7:35, when all the food was out, when everyone had a beverage and was laughing and talking, I paused.

See, I was celebrating my birthday. That’s true.

But really, I was celebrating my people. My community.

I wanted to build a table, so that my people could bring some chairs to it and we could laugh and talk and eat.

It wasn’t perfect.

Everyone I wanted to be there couldn’t.

But there was no shame.

Only celebration.

My table, my heart and my life in that moment, was full.

The thing that I love about the people in my life, whether here, in Irvine, in Kingsburg, or scattered around the world is that when the time and the space happens where we can sit around a table it’s normally for one specific reason. 

To celebrate.

When I finally get to see people in my life that I never see, we don’t tend to jump straight into serious conversation. I spent an entire day sitting in silence with my friend Tiffany even though I hadn’t seen her for well over a year. She didn’t have the time to hang out and talk as she was studying for the GMAT, but I just wanted to be in her space.

Jess, my best friend of about twenty-eight years, and I, see each other so infrequently, but we always take time to laugh, reminisce and drink Dutch Brothers.

The crew of humans I will be seeing in about three weeks, I see most of them once a year. And we will spend a lot of our week at a table, eating bad camp food and being tired.

But we will show up and we will laugh. And celebrate. (And drink A LOT of coffee)

Community has become such a buzzword lately. It feels as if it’s binding. And serious.

But, it’s not.

There is a time and a place and a sacred circle. 

But we need to make time, more time, to celebrate. The more we choose to celebrate, the more foundation we have to stand on for those more serious hard moments.

The more we celebrate, the better position we are in to grieve with and console.

The more we sit and celebrate, the more space we have in someone else’s life.  

Community, establishing it, living in it, being a part of more then one, is gritty. Sometimes you only come to them once a year, sometimes once a week. Sometimes someone can’t come, but now, you just have an open seat.

I came to Bellingham to be a part of a church.


I got so much more.

I got so many more people then I could have even fathomed. 

When you make showing up your norm, when you meet people where they are, when you don’t shame the ones who aren’t capable of showing up, you clean out the clutter and you are left with celebration.

My birthday dinner taught me a lot of things: I am loved, I can cook for thirty people stateside, I am loved, I have hysterical friends, I am known and when you lead with celebration at the table, people will come to it.

Let’s build our lives on celebration and joy, so that when the dark and the hard and sad comes, we will have a foundation to sit with each other and the space to do so.

Honest, washington whimsy

My dear 31, you were kind of a bitch.

The kind of lovely thing about a basically mid year birthday is that you can stop and reflect about what has happened since the calendar year changed as well as what has gone on since your age changed last.
Seven out of the twelve months of this year were lived in 2016.

And we all know what kind of year 2016 was.

I’ve been trying my best to separate 31 from 2016. I’ve been trying to be glass half full, or at least glass refillable.

But what I’ve realized is that 31 was like an avocado that is starting to go bad. You have to work for the good parts, because man, those parts are ripe and perfect and it’s a crime to throw away edible avocado. So, you slice and spoon out and flick the black bruised parts into the trash.

And some of them end up in your guacamole, or in your nachos, or spread on your toast (SO WHAT I’M BASIC).

It might make your mouth a little puckered, but you wouldn’t have even had the chance to have any of it if you’d chosen to chuck the whole thing.

There have been A LOT of times over 31 that I wanted to chuck the whole thing. I wanted to chuck bellingham, my job, any chance of dreams. I wanted to chuck my voice, my abilities, my hope because I was running into a lot of bruised parts. Some days it felt like too many.

Some days, I felt like the bruised part in other people’s life.
I think if I had to take anything away from the last year of my life, it is this: “but I didn’t.”

But I didn’t run.

But I didn’t stay silent (most of the time).

But I didn’t stop making friends.

But I didn’t stop celebrating.

But I didn’t stop showing up.

But I didn’t stop loving.

But I didn’t stop seeing the best in people.

But I didn’t let my tears stop falling.

But I didn’t stop baking.

And even though this is the hardest one: But I didn’t stop hoping. 

31 you were beautiful.

You had a lot of tears, some weddings, sweet baby Peyton, some surprises, a lot more two year olds then I ever imagined I’d ever interact with in my life, you had board games and nights out and nights in. You brought new humans into my life, kept so many old, you had celebration and laughter. You had beer, margaritas and let’s be real: tequila. 

31, as with every other year in my life, I do appreciate you. I appreciate the fight you’ve given me. I appreciate the tears and the days the tears never came. I appreciate the belly laughter, I appreciate that you were my second year in Bellingham. You were the year I established more and floundered less.

I appreciate you, but, if you would be so kind:

Please bring on 32.

Here’s to 32.

To more hope.

To more joy.

To more life.

To more beautiful surprises.

(And to less two year olds- 32 is more of a “three year old” kind of year)

And here’s to the people of my 31 (obviously not all pictures. I only get nine guys!)


I freaking love you people.

I know it’s (almost) my birthday, but it’s you I want to celebrate.

Thank you for being hope, light, joy, laughter, and (buying me) tequila, to me.

Thank you all for being my people. Each and everyone of you, close as the next room and far as across an ocean, I love you all.

Honest, washington whimsy

wear the damn tiara

I was thinking a lot while I was in church today about why I go to church.
I’m not from a regular church attending type of family. We were able to make our own choices and decisions, we were about to choose our path.

I’m grateful for that.

I’m grateful that I know, from the very depths of my being that ,at some point in my life, I decided of my own accord, to choose Christ.
I technically became a Christian the summer of 2000 (youth conference in Indiana). I’ve done a lot of Christian things in my life. I’ve been on mission trips and outings as close as my backyard and as far away China (and everywhere in between). I’ve taught Sunday school, I’ve led worship, I’ve ran VBS, I’ve been on the payroll of 3 different churches at one time, I’ve been on the writing team where I written recaps of sermons for the church website. I went to a Christian university, was the president of a choir there. I began a probably never going to be completed Masters in Leadership in spirituality. I went to a Christian leadership academy in the south of Spain.

What I am trying to say is I have an extensive resume of Christianity over the last almost 17 years of my life or as my friend Krys put it once, I’m a serious Christian-I’ve held babies in Africa.

But like, really, why?

After I went on the World Race and during my time in Spain, I went through a crisis of faith. What it came down to was this: I had always been a good person. I had always been kind, service oriented, people loving.

After I came to choose Christ and do all of these Christian things, my life felt as if it fell apart. And through all of the things I had to come to terms with the fact that all the good things from before, all the loveliness in my life that I deemed Meghan were actually indeed one and the same with the loveliness that was Christ in my life. It wasn’t just Christ. It wasn’t just Meg.

It was both/and.

Then I moved to Bellingham.

And there is an incredibly long, winding story as to the how and the why which I’m sure I’ve written about at some point.

But, the short of it is: I came to Bellingham for a church, for a community.

I think I might have come to bring something even though I don’t quite know what that is still.

So, this morning, I was in that very church, the one that I have been to most every Sunday since I moved to Bellingham, wondering why. 

Quick side note before we move on: I love my church.

But, when I was thinking about why church this morning it wasn’t necessarily why MY church. And I keep trying to type as if my fingers will just perpetuate the correct answer to my question. I think that, in all honesty, I don’t know why. 

Part of it (as I just messaged to my magical unicorn Betsy) is that I’m struggling with being in a box these days. So questions of things that pertain to my identity are hitting me hard. Whenever I feel firm and rooted and knowledgeable of who I am, I feel a lot of pressure. 

In all honesty, it feels like in books about normal girls becoming princesses and all they want to do is push against it, all they want to do is not be that thing. Even though they know it is part of who they are. That all the things are in them for a reason.

I don’t want to wear a tiara.

But it has my name on it.

(I need everyone to know that writing the above five sentences physically made me gag).

Holy rabbit trail Batman.

This is 700 words that I wrote off a singular question in my brain (that I didn’t even answer) about why I go to church.

But, what I did, is continued the questions I ask of myself.

Even when it feels slightly painful, or uncomfortable, or when I don’t want to know the answer, I never want to stop asking myself questions.

As much as I would love to have it all figured it out, I’m glad I don’t. 

And I guess, that IS part of the reason I go to church, whatever that may look like. 

Moral of the story: don’t stop asking questions of yourself, don’t stop seeking wisdom, and don’t stop being who you are–even when it doesn’t feel as if it fits.

It does.

Wear the damn tiara.

ramblings, washington whimsy

the moment I realized I wasn’t normal 


I don’t really know at what point in my life I realized there was a difference between being normal and being not normal. There was a moment though, I think maybe, in the season of my life that I was made fun of for my voice and I realized people were mean, that I distinctly got the impression that something about me didn’t fit-I wasn’t normal. I wasn’t going to be the one picked or chosen or wanted.

A memory came to me tonight, very strongly, so I called my mom to ask her about it. I was young, maybe 8 or 9, and I had written my Grandma Reeve, who lived in Kansas, a card about not being normal. I remember the feeling I had when I had the epiphany, but I can’t place the why. Then, in return, my grandma had written back that she was my “not-normal” grandma.

I haven’t thought about that moment in years. But tonight my (exhausted) train of thought led me to that memory. And the moment in what I feel like every person life when they stumble upon the “us vs. them” and that begins to shape how they view themselves. 

It took me a long time to move away from the normal vs. not normal. A lot of heartache in my life and loneliness came from this place of feeling as if I don’t fit, feeling like I am not worth it. Like I don’t deserve it, whatever it may be.

I can be a pretty insecure human. I mostly have long stretches of wholeness with a smattering of rain clouds in them. I’m more secure than I was 10 years ago and I’m sure I will be more secure in 10 more. But, when it hits it hits.

And I think I wanted to write this in a place when it wasn’t hitting that hard.

I’m a firm believer that if you want to rock an outfit and you feel comfortable in it then go head and rock the damn outfit. If you have the confidence and belief in yourself to do something then do it. 

80% of the time I actually don’t care what people think. And that is a far cry from the teenager and twenty something who tiptoed around with the firm belief that she was too much and that people would run. 

It’s a far cry from the tiny human who didn’t believe she would ever fit in the box that is normal. 

This collection of words isn’t to define normal, because that’s way to cliche for me.

It’s a reminder that even in being who we are the little things can still sneak up and bite us. It’s a reminder that at some point in your life you reached a fork in the road that was us vs them and it shaped some part of you whether you know it or not.

My fork was normal vs. not normal. Those were my boxes for so long. So, when I have insecurity, when I feel not enough or more often feel too much, when I don’t feel wanted or needed, when my response is to run, I need to remember that little girl who didn’t feel normal. I need to remember what I’ve come from, what I’ve done and who is around me.  

So, as I start a new week, as I attempt to the best of my ability to show up for my life each day, I want to continue obliterating that thought process in my life. I want to remember that little girl who didn’t think she was normal. I want to hug her and tell her she was exactly the tiny human she needed to be. I want to tell her that it won’t get better, but it will get more whole. 

And I want to remind her to be kind to herself.

This week I need to go back to remembering that very thing.

Be kind this week, first to yourself and then onward.