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.

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

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

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

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

Honest

Seriously, where would I go?

A couple weekends ago I went to Orange County.

It was glorious.

There was boating, salsa dancing, drunken watermelon, Susie cakes, laughter and friends.

(and that was just Saturday)

Sunday though? Sunday was my day. Haute Cakes, coffee, RockHarbor, getting to see my Grandma Winnie (who might I add made me teary eyed with just one hug, I miss that woman)

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Sunday felt like home. It felt normal.

Walking into my church on Sunday was overwhelming. I remember the first Sunday I went after I came back in December. It was something I’d been waiting for. At that point it been a little over 2 months since I’d been in an English speaking church. To not have to listen for translation is something I can’t really describe.

And to be in a place that has seen so many of my tears?

The surge of emotion that came when worship started was almost too much for me, but I held on. I knew that if I lost it, there would be no coming back.

A new series on Sunday “Words of Life”. I feverishly took notes, and read along with the scripture.

But there was one verse that stuck out to me. We were in the book of John (chapter 6), after Jesus fed the 5,000 and He had just explained to them that HE himself was the bread of life. And the disciples could not grasp it. It was too hard of a concept.

So some of them left.

He then turned to the twelve and asked if they were going to go.

Let me stop there.

Life has been rough lately for too many reasons to count. Lonely, depressing, quiet, among many other things.

So when Jesus turns to the twelve and ask if they were going to go I get it. I feel like He’s maybe asked me that question in the last 4 months, not in a “when the going get’s tough” kind of way, more in a “When I just can’t seem to make sense of it” kind of way.

Sometimes Jesus makes NO sense, at all. He speaks in ways that we can’t comprehend or fathom. He knows it’s going to be ok. But sometimes we forget.

In verse 68 Peter says this, “Who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life.”

And it doesn’t say, but in all honesty I picture Peter being weary here. Extremely weary. He’s been following Jesus, listening to him, trying to wrap his head around all of this truth and wisdom. He’s been trying to figure out how it fits in his life. What he is supposed to do with it.

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All that thinking is tiring. Truly exhausting.

So at the point where Jesus is asking if they are going to go, Peter throws his hands up and basically is like (this is the Meg Message version), “we know all of it sounds crazy to so many people, we know that sometimes it is crazy but we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you speak truth, that you are truth and we want to live in that truth.”

And that verse shook me to the core and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

I know that weary feeling well.

The feeling I’ve had these days takes me back to parking lots and tears and nightlights in the dark.

But the thing is, even then and even now I know that there is nowhere I would rather be and no one I would rather follow then Jesus.

Because even though it is sometimes crazy sounding, even when he tells me to do things that no one ever will understand, I know he speaks the words of eternal life.

So sitting in church, I threw my hands up.

Because really? Where WOULD I go?

Who would I turn too?

Just like the twelve that day, I knew.

Because I know from the bottom of my heart WHO speaks the truth. I know that sometimes those words just aren’t easy to comprehend, but they are still the truth.

I think I’ve always known that. The days when it was super dark, or super bright. Be it in the United States or chilling in my tent in Mozambique, I’ve always known that He is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE.

So, when I feel like life has gotten too big or too hard, I’ll remember that. When I feel as if life has gotten away from me or my mind contemplates life without Jesus before I can get my heart to remember what I know I will rest in the knowledge that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE is on the throne.

It’s a comforting thought, comforting knowledge to remember and know that HE is on the throne. Because whatever life throws me, WHEREVER life takes me I can be assured in that.

I’ll leave you with these words I wrote. My creative writing professor my senior year along with my songwriting/music theory professor always reminded us less is more. So after you’ve read all of these words you can read this shortened version of everything I just said.

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