Honest, Spain g42

on becoming noticed.

There is this beautiful chapel up on the hill here. You can see it from just about anywhere in Mijas and it’s a relatively easy mountain to hike. I’ve gone up there in the middle of the day, in the morning as the sun is cresting the back of the mountains and at night when I have to use my flashlight app to not trip over the rocks. There is something beautiful about this little mysterious church. It is only open once a year on Good Friday and the rest of the days it stays locked up tight just a beacon looking down over Mijas.

Over the last three months I have looked at the chapel daily as I walk into the Epi for class. It’s become a picture of something that I’m not sure I want to believe.

I’ve written a lot about voice over the past weeks. My voice, helping other’s find a voice and hearing God’s voice.

Recently I talked about choosing to believe that I have something to say, choosing to believe that I am strong, choosing to believe in who I am and what I bring to the table. That’s been a lot of believing in myself.

The last couple of weeks I’ve had to step into a new belief. One that is so hard for me, one that I might fight against still. Let me quote myself:

“I honestly believed before this week that I am not seen, not in a bad negative way, but in the way that my presence does not cause ripples on a group, just individuals. I believed that I didn’t need to be noticed. I just didn’t realize that I am supposed to be noticed.”

Oof. Since I made that statement I’ve been being noticed. In ways that I’m not sure I’m comfortable with completely. It’s something I struggle with daily.

The idea of being noticed.

The other day I was walking with Tiffany and the conversation of voice came up and I immediately cringed and stated that I don’t like being the one who is seen. The one with the voice. I want it to be others; I see it in others, I want them to step up and be loud. And she essentially responded with “Tough cookies”.

I almost felt defeated. Like there was this thing that I didn’t want to have in my hands but it was glued there.

It’s a beautiful gift that I always don’t feel strong enough to take on .

I’ve prepared, in my most of my life, to be a behind the scenes person. I like it. I’m good at it. But good heavens I’m meant for more.

I KNOW I’m meant for more.

So everyday I look at the chapel on the hill and feel peace. And every time someone talks to me about voice I have a picture of that little chapel. And I’m standing on the hill and shouting down to the people in the streets of Mijas.

And they’re listening, not just hearing.

That’s heavy.

I think I’m ready to be heard. Ready to open my mouth. Ready to live my life that way, but something in me always holds me back.

My open and honest moment of the day: I’m scared to be a voice. To be heard. To not control the attention put on me.

That’s where I am today.

That’s the place I’m in as I step into this next term of G42.

A little bit scared. (Maybe a lot a bit scared.)

To own this new part of myself.

Scratch that, to own this part of myself that already was.

I speak through my fear, through my moments of being afraid. That’s the part though, that gives me peace in the midst of being afraid.

I know I will always speak.

I might stand shaking on the mountain;

But I will always speak.

cover photo taken by the always lovely Whitney Gorbett

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

hear that your soul may live

Hear that your soul may live.

This has been a phrase that has been in my heart for a few months now.

I first read it when the passage Isaiah 55 showed up in my “guide to prayer”.

The words strung together are beautiful. And I held onto that beauty because I needed it. It was like a life raft for me. A bit of lovely to hold onto. I think in those moments in the coffee shop in Kingsburg it wasn’t about me hearing from God. It was the knowledge that God was there.

When my preschoolers would get super excited and have something they wanted to say; when they were jumping up and down out of their seats to say something but it wasn’t the time I would tell them to “save their thoughts”.

When God showed me the phrase “hear that your soul may live” I believe he then started saving His thoughts for me. He was really excited to let me in on what was going on in his head but it wasn’t the time for me. He was storing them for a time when I would be capable of REALLY listening.

And then I came to Spain.

 A couple of weeks ago we had a week dedicated to learning about hearing God’s voice. We learned through story and through seeing how God moved and spoke and what he was like.

Most every week here, every day, every conversation speaks about hearing from God and what we have HEARD from God.

Because when we hear from God we move.

When we hear from God we live.

And where do we hear from God?

Everywhere and everything.

It’s about opening the senses to touch, taste, hear, see and smell God.

There is no wrong way or right way to hear Him.

And now as I sit in another coffee shop halfway around the world I realize my spirit is so incredibly OPEN to hear from God.

That the thought of hearing from him inspires me.

There is a flipside as God wants to hear from me.

He doesn’t just want to speak. He wants to listen.

What does that look like?

For me it’s been stopping the act of putting headphones in my ears while I walk alone and freeing my mind of noise.

it’s writing my thoughts and words down so that other people can see what I’m pondering through.

it’s being open to speak so that I may hear.

“hear that your soul may live” has become a breathe in breathe out prayer for me.

 

There were days that in order for me to take a STEP forward I had to ask God to walk with me.

And he listened and walked with me.

And I think that without knowing it “hear that your soul may live” became a prayer.

Because I HEARD God.

I heard God one Sunday morning in June of 2009 staring at myself in the mirror.

And I spoke to God.

“Could I just meet you in heaven today? This is too much for me”

And He listened.

And then spoke. He showed me a dark, windowless, doorless room. There was no way out and no way for light to get in.

Then a nightlight came on.

A really small dim light.

HOPE anyway.

HOPE in spite of.

What if I had not heard God that day?

HEAR that your soul may LIVE.

HEAR that I may LIVE.

 Those days are far from me now.

They don’t lay claim on me.

All that is left of them are tear stained journal pages and the memory of a night spent crying on my phone in a parking lot.

I heard so that I would survive.

Now I hear so I may LIVE.

Hearing from God is met now with life. Met with hope.

Not met with grasping at a shred of light.

 HEAR that your SOUL may live.

My soul is living a lot these days.

Living and listening to the joy, the color, the vibrancy, the light of life.

I’m realizing the God can speak in and through everything.

From the winds that sweep through Mijas, to conversations my roommate Katarina and I have before we go to bed each night, He speaks through His word, and through prayer and conversation.

I’ve met with a new beautiful Jesus here in Mijas. One who is life bringing and who longs for me to dream and have vision. One who wants to speak so that I can hear.

One who trusts me with the plans he has created.

I can’t wait to continually learn about this lovely, light filled Jesus, to speak and listen to what he may have for me and others. To change the way I see things.

I can’t wait to continually, daily live.

Hear that your soul may LIVE.

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Honest

I’m horrible PR for myself

I’ve apologized a lot this week. I’m in a new place where only a few people know me. These new folks have been told I’m a good baker, a great cook etc.

That makes me nervous.

And it makes me apologize.

I’ve broken a wineglass, had way too many blonde moments, I’ve accidentally used corn starch instead of cornmeal. I used the wrong type of sugar in baking cookies. I’m walking this line of insecurity that is laughable.

IMG_9363(test layer of cake I made//gone in five minutes)

And I just keep apologizing.

Tonight during worship I realized that I keep apologizing and belittling the gifts and talents that God has given me. And in that way; I’m belittling God. I’m belittling the fact that He Himself gave me all these gifts.

And here I am just apologizing away all of these things when I am unsure, or insecure or make a mistake.

I’m calling myself out on apologizing. I’m calling myself out on not having confidence in the gifts and talents He gives me. And it’s so funny because just this week I allowed myself to be taken up on stage and I danced with this Spanish rapper during the half of the World Cup final in the square in Mijas in front of at least a couple hundred people.

But ask me to write something for you, bake something, cook something and this week I have been full of excuses that it might not be up to par or that I’m full of nerves. Compliment me on something I made and I haven’t responded with “thank you” but “oh it’s actually really easy”.

IMG_9364(my refrain on the novel I am writing “I suck at writing dialogue”)

Why? Why do I completely brush away the things that I know God has given me to use? Why do I not allow myself to walk in gifts, talents and knowledge.

Why have I been walking these week like I will never be enough?

I was told tonight that God delights when I wake up every morning. That He gets so excited to see me live out my life.

And here I am squandering it away with “I’m sorry” or “It’s not my best” or “Please, don’t think to highly of this or that thing that people say I’m good at.”

It’s stupid, lame and I need to stop.

So if you’re reading this and you are currently doing life with me in Mijas: this week (and beyond) I give you permission to call me out when I don’t respond with “thank you” to a compliment or when I belittle the work I have done by undercutting the task.

IMG_9365

And mind you this next week I am doing the following: making a wedding cake, cooking for my house and helping with some writing projects.

Three things I hold close to my heart. Three things I know I am good at. Three things that I have undercut and apologized for lacking in in the last two weeks.

I don’t want to live a life of apology.

I don’t want to live a life peppered with insecurities or feeling like I’m not a enough.

I want to live a life walking in confidence of the good gifts He has given me.

So here I go: choosing to live a life free from apologizing and undercutting myself away.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Why I am in Spain? Check out journey with me)

ramblings

pardon me as I ramble about prophecy & truth

(this blog is very much a ramble. It is a topic that I need to delve more into, that I need to push more into, but these are some of my thoughts on what I think it is to have the gift of prophecy and how this blog turned into talking about feedback)

 

I remember one night at debrief in Brasov, Romania sitting with my friend Julie sipping tea and eating microwave popcorn and pondering what the next month in Ukraine would look like and then before I could even contemplate what was coming out of my mouth, I was speaking truth to Julie, words I felt she needed to hear.

piclab-6                                                                                         (this is Julie. ❤ to her)

It wasn’t the first time this kind of thing had happened. I just felt that there were sentiments that God wanted me to tell her.

Nothing special in that.

Just a messenger.

Then she said something I won’t ever forget, because it was something that I never thought would be part of who I am.

“Meg, has anyone ever told you that you have the gift of prophecy?”

Who said what now?

We talked about that for a second longer but I just had it milling in my head.

I wasn’t quite sure I agreed with it.

Going on the race we had to do this little thing called “feedback” essentially speaking truth and words into the members of our team. Sometimes that was difficult and in the form of constructive feedback, hard truths that were difficult to say. I’d begun to get into this practice of praying for the people around me, not just my teammates but my squadmates, my leaders, even my friends at home.
piclab-7                                                                 (veracity teamtime in Chincha Peru//this is how we pray)

And I’d found that God just kept filling my spirit with words, with wisdom that I shouldn’t know about it.

If I’m being honest sometimes it wasn’t exactly the easiest.

The main feedback I got through the year was too make sure I wasn’t sugarcoating what God was telling me, which if I’m being honest, I did sometimes.

I know the saying is, “don’t shoot the messenger” but sometimes the messenger feels like they are going to get shot.

Here’s the thing:

I’m a HIGH feeler. (also key WR lingo: “What’s your MeyersBriggs?)

And I care how other people feel (sometimes too much) so to impart such a hard truth on someone, who I know well and love, is a bit too much for me sometimes. I most definitely got better at it over the months of the race though.

piclab-9                                                                           (feedback dice//need I say more?)

So to bring us back to the point, PROPHECY and TRUTH are two words that have followed me home in powerful ways.

I still battle with those words. Being able to speak truth to people doesn’t mean everything I say is straight out of God’s mouth. I’m just a mere person whose brain and heart can get mixed in with the words I hear from Him. Thankfully we can take the words he gives us and put them next to scripture and the things that we know is true of Him.

 

Because, our God is not a God of confusion.

Which is comforting.

I’ve had more than one person at this point now almost a year later from that conversation with Julie tell me that I had the gift of prophecy, of truth telling.

It’s beautiful really because I treasure words so much, and I feel like God wouldn’t bestow this on me if He thought I would haphazardly throw his words around. I pray them over before they come out of my mouth they just start flowing.

In which case I have to pause and collect them, and organize them and pray that they come across wholly as his and not mine.

And in all of this I’ve learned this: God is not always loud, sometimes He is quiet, sometimes he is not speaking. But He never isn’t there.

Delving into and praying through this gift has been a constant reminder that God is always in fact there.

From “The Big God Story” by Michelle Anthony (yes a kid’s book. I used to be a preschool coordinator at a churchJ )

 “But then something strange happened….God was silent for a long time. Nearly four hundred years passed without a word from God. Just silence. But even though God was quiet, He wasn’t gone. His promise was still alive; it was just hidden”.

God has blessed in the last few weeks with the confirmation that wisdom He is allowing me to here for others is from Him. But in all of this; God has been silent about me. I think that’s where this whole topic came from, the silence from God as it pertains to my life, to my walk, to my heart. I know God is there, I know He is close by. He is just silent right now. All the things he has said before are still true, still active, still moving. His plan is still in action right now.

piclab-5                 (beginning of month 10, Siem Reap Cambodia NSQUAD worship// another moment of silence from God)

Right now in my head, it’s a stream of words of truth for others and in the midst of that silence for myself.

And all of this rambling is just for me to say:

Silence is ok.