Honest, stateside

wash & dry in under 2 hours

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.

Honest, Spain g42

I hate change.

I’ve sat in front of my computer and feel like I’ve started multiple blogs and most times I’ve written, “I don’t know what to say”.

But of course that’s a major lie.
8 times out of 10 I know what I want to say.
What I’m learning is when or when it is not the time to say them.

Right now there are an incredible amount of thoughts, plans, stories stocked piled in my brain that I want to share. It’s so much that I don’t really know where to start. My mind flits from topic, to tangent and I end up sitting in front of my screen deleting full paragraphs of what I have started, shutting my computer and calling it a day.

Today I’m choosing to write about one I’ve been thinking on for awhile.

I have a word that I realize I despise almost as much as “process”.

CHANGE.

I despise the word change. Every day we are attacked with things we need to change.

Changing how you eat.
Changing how you act.
Changing who you are.

But is it really about change?

About 4 years ago I got this tattoo.
image-22
I got it after year of battling, surging through and living in depression.

Restored is finalized. Done. Finished.

That’s what I wanted to be. I didn’t want to have a present tense word tattooed on me for eternity; I wanted something that spoke of an act already completed.

In the process of life I wasn’t “changing” into a less depressed person, I was become restored into something I was already.

Take a painting for example; it’s battered, torn, ripped. A person doesn’t look at it and decide well, it has done its job, might as well scrap the thing and move on. Nope, they call in someone who restores. Who will take the pieces that are there and bring it back to its original likeness.

And that is why I hate the word change.
God doesn’t want to CHANGE us. For heavens sakes, he CREATED us. He saw us in our original beautiful form. He wants to bring us back to where we once were.

He wants to bring us back to the original likeness he created.

I think that we so often think we need to “change” because we don’t actually know what we are supposed to be.
I don’t know how many times I can say it: We don’t need to change. Change means scrap the whole thing; it means take nothing of ourselves. And God gave us so many crazy talents, gifts and desires to use.
So many to keep.

God wants to restore the world. He wants to show us what He really made us to be. That’s why it never works to go into a third world country and try to get them to act like America and do life like America; that’s not how they were designed. We can help them find what they’ve lost in themselves.

I will never ask you to change who you are. Because deep down in all of us is the foundation of encouraging, of service, giving, and love. It’s all in there. We just need to chip away at the things that hide them.

We need to bring in the one who does an amazing job at restoring masterpieces and have him work on the rips and the blemishes.

So as I walked to Spar today and especially over the last few weeks of the new term; I’ve realized that God is restoring me to what I am supposed to be. I’m different. New, strong.

My joy has been restored.

And it’s not from asking God to change me or make me into some new. It’s from walking with Him each day, in the good and the bad and seeing who HE is and in that seeing who I am.

I’m not new. I’m just me. Restored. Realizing passions and dreams that are becoming a doable reality right out in front of me.

Restoration isn’t easy. It’s hard work, it’s allowing some tears to be torn a little more. It’s not about scrapping and starting over.
It’s about doing the work that needs to be done.
It’s about living like you were made for something.
Not like you were made to be something else.

Let’s stop changing.
Let’s get into the business of restoration.

Honest, Spain g42

it just comes to us

My journal is a scary place right now.

And I’m starting a new one tomorrow.

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

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

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

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

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

I think it just comes to us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am who God created me to be.

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

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

Nothing more, nothing less

hope is a verb, Spain g42, To dream

Cake with Jam

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

I had no idea what to do with it.

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

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

Jo is a kindred spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What if I opened a secondhand bookstore?

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

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

image

I wrote a little more and then stopped.

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

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

 Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But there wasn’t enough for me in that.

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

I knew I had found something that was more.

I knew I had found something that terrified me.

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

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

My answer: Standing on my porch.

So what does that mean?

That I own a house.

WHAT?

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

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

image

That’s where I am going to leave you.

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

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

Dreaming, thinking and invisoning the future.

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

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

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

1 Chronicles 4:10

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

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

 

Honest, Spain g42

Live (in) Lovely

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

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

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

And we’ve danced a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Cue tears.)

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

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

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

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

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

photo 1

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

photo 2

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

photo 4

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

photo 5

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

Honest, hope is a verb

an afro, some sequins (& 92 kids)

(before I begin this: a shoutout to the incredibly amazing, lovely, dance party-riffic staff & counselors of Newport Mesa Church’s Royal Family Kids Camp. Your kindness, encouragement and love spurred me on last week and I was completely and utterly humbled by your words!)

Last year in February I did ministry for the day along with 5 others from my squad at a maximum security prison in Trujillo, Peru. If I’m being honest I wasn’t THAT nervous. Sure, I was a little nervous. But I’d prayed and ask for God to shield my eyes from things I shouldn’t see and to protect my ears from things I shouldn’t hear. I felt protected.

I stood up in front of men in that prison and helped lead worship, spoke words from God.

I was at peace.

Last week I stood in front of 92 kids between the ages of 7-11 and was scared to death.

image_3            (the carpool crew before we headed up the mountain)

Hilarious much?

Last week I was the Bible story teacher at Royal Family Kids Camp. RFKC is a week of fun and happiness for kids who are in the foster care system. Some of them are from pretty rough backgrounds; living in foster families, group homes, separated from siblings. For the most part life for them hasn’t been easy. So RFKC happen around the nation and they are filled with volunteers who come together to make a week of fun, love and joy for this kids.

This is my fourth year volunteering and my first year as the bible story teacher. So each chapel I would teach the kids the memory verse (Psalm 23:4), do some sheep trivia questions and after singing  and dancing I would get up and tell them stories about David and the Good shepherd.The first morning I was TERRIFIED.

Would I be able to hold the attention of (most) of the kids? Would the counselors hate me for taking too much time or even worse not enough? Would the staff totally regret their decision to have me take the job?

image_2(my trenta)

So many doubts as I went to step up and took the mike for the first time. I got up that first chapel and talked about shepherds and the awesome teen staff helped me with a skit. And as I finished my first day of stories my nervousness began to go away because I realized I was doing something I love more then anything.

Getting the privilege of telling kids that they are not only special and loved but that God has a plan for them.

And these kids need to hear that desperately.

In that I realized where my fear came from. In all the times last year I stood in front of a mike and talked or sang, I never was really nervous because I didn’t really care what other people thought (and of course for the most part no one spoke english).

image_1(Lauren// fellow WR Alum// fellow Californian// fellow adventurer)

Put me in front of a mike in front of a group of kids with short attention spans, friends I respect and people I don’t really know and I forget why I ‘m really there.

The next day I showed up to chapel in a sparkly sweater and an afro and a lot more confidence and love.

Because all that mattered was that the kids listened long enough to know we love them, Jesus loves them and He has a plan for them.

THAT’S what I want my life to look like no matter has scary it seems. I want people to know they are loved by Jesus, that He has a plan for them no matter where they are in life.

I admitted a few things to the kiddos last week between shouting psalm 23:4 and apparently looking like a a crossover between MJ and Bob Marley; I admitted I’m blind as a sheep, I need google, that I was afraid of the dark and that I’m 29 and still unsure completely what I want to be when I grow up.

But what last week taught me is that standing in front of someone (or many someones) and encouraging them to go and do and be is a big part of who I am and what I want to be.

So yes, I was scared this week before I put on the sparkly sweater.

Because kids? are scary.

Adults? they are scary too.

People who understand english?

Yep, scary.

The bottom line, the thing that helped me get over the fear is the reminder that God has a plan.

image_4

I’m leaving Thursday for another adventure.

And just like those kids, God has a plan. And that information grounds me a little. I’m getting on a plane Thursday by myself and I’m antsy and nervous. I’m so thankful I have friends meeting me on the other side.

That’s all for now. Last week was a beautiful blessing and I can’t wait to see my Royal Family again next year.

I may or may not have more blog stateside (or on my enormous 4th of July layover in Turkey) But I treasure your prayers and encouragement in this next part of life. And if you are able and willing I still need some help and support for this journey. All donations are tax deductible: Click HERE to donate and make sure you type “Meg Reeve” in the notes. (And if you’d like a postagram from Espana shoot me your mailing address!!)