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.

Honest

Running from stillness

Other than the Y and random part time jobs that I have had here and there I have always worked at a church or for a Christian organization.

I’ve almost always been on a church property 40+ hrs a week.

From 2007-2012 I worked at a preschool and for some of the time also worked at the church.

(Basically, I lived there.)

But, in that I found myself among families and people that I could talk to and process with and be around.

Around 2010 the Wayman family came to the church.

And it was lovely.

Not only did I get to see their kiddos grow but I got to lean on and reach out and be mentored by Eric and Cathy.

They are two humans that I am so grateful for. I know that I was in the exact place I was supposed to be when they came to Lighthouse. They are two humans who walked me through some of the hardest, ugliest times of my life up to that date.

They’ve always welcomed me back with open arms, even when I wasn’t sure of up and down.

I mention them because I randomly decided to listen to one of Eric’s most recent sermons.

It was about solitude and noise in our lives and essentially how we are surrounded by it. Now, this isn’t new.

We all know this. We know that there is an immense amount of noise in our life. We are engulfed by it. (As I write this I am listening to music and texting two different people).

My mind is full of to do lists and assessments and assignments and 18 different tiny humans (probably more if I’m being honest). I’m thinking about what I can do to show my friends I care. I am trying to be present in people’s lives and present 40 hours a week in my classroom.

I’m trying to make space to be creative and to write and make good choices for my body.

So, today when I decided to sit and listen to Eric speak, I thought of sitting on the couches at Eric and Cathy’s house and I realized I would probably just sit down and burst into tears. It’s one of those few places that I would sit and stop.

Now, I have been stopping here and there. I’ve been learning more and more to saying no and staying in and eating apples.

But…sitting WITH God?

Not as much.

I’m slightly terrified of the quiet right now. Mainly, because quieting all the things would take a lot of work.

Opening my Bible stirs something in me. Praying is a little too close for comfort.

I wrote something for an online magazine a couple years ago. And I know I’ve quoted this exact section before but it resonates once again.

“Everything in me wanted to run.

I couldn’t handle Jesus any more.

He was being silent.

But it was a weird silence.

It was almost like Jesus was playing the part of the man in a horror movie, who just after the power goes out, calls your house phone, so you can hear him breathe and then when the police track the phone call you find that it is coming from inside the house.

Jesus was still in the house, I apparently just needed to go find him.”

Jesus is still in the house. He still lives here. My relationship has morphed and changed even since I wrote this piece. My life is ever evolving. My beliefs and truths are morphing and become more refined.

But, sitting in stillness still terrifies me. It isn’t something I’ve ever done super well.

So, I go back in my thoughts to sitting with Cathy on their couch or walking into Eric’s office on my lunch. My life wasn’t all roses and sunshine then. I was going through depression and sickness in my family. And whenever I stopped with them, I would almost always cry.

And that’s ok. But, I sat. And I stopped.

There are so many things I’m wanting to say right now.

I think what I want you to know that if the silence and the quiet scares you; you aren’t alone.

If sitting with whomever your deity is terrifies you because of the intimacy of it; that’s ok.

If stopping will make you burst into tears-let me pass you the Kleenex.

And if you have something in your mind that is changing, then explore.

Today, I disposed of the shame of feeling far from God. The shame of not being able to hear Him.

Today, I disposed of the shame of running. I didn’t stop running-I just stopped feeling shame.

Today, I disposed of the shame of a changed mind.

Deep breathes to the toes friends. We’ve got this.

Honest

name your shields

Over the last week I’ve had to mark off “single” on forms and applications and surveys.

And each time I’ve cringed.

Today, sitting in church, about to do communion, I was waiting to hear a phrase I’ve grown to loathe “grab one other person”.

(99% of my friends are attached to one other person).

I am pretty great on my own. I’ve written about being single. I can sit at bars and restaurants by myself. I can travel by myself. I can make my own decisions. I got this.

But, if I’m being honest; being single isn’t a flag I wave.

I wear my singleness as a shield.

I wear my singleness as a shield because if I’m being honest- I’m terrified.

(My head is full of disclaimers right now and I’m choosing not to write them)

I wear my singleness as a shield because it’s easier then having to admit that I still have stuff to deal with in regards to the opposite sex.

I wear my singleness as a shield because I know I’m enough for myself.

I wear my singleness as a shield because it’s less heartbreaking than feeling left out.

I wear my singleness as shield because I’d rather a shield than shame.

I wear my singleness as a shield because it’s easier to use it then have it use me.

The thing about it though is this: I am not the only one.

And it’s not just being single. It’s whatever box you have to tick, identifier that others place on you, comfort blanket you throw on your lap to protect you from what’s happening around you.

While those statements were hard to write, I know, without a shadow of a doubt that I’m not the only one.

I am not the only one who uses something that isn’t a bad thing as a protection.

Hell, there are times in my life that I use my Christianity as a shield.

And I can hear you out there.

Shield does NOT = excuse.

That’s not what this is about.

This is me choosing to tell you that there are things in my life that I am well aware I am doing. There are places that I haven’t gone and walls I haven’t scaled and journeys I haven’t chosen to walk into because I will have to set down that shield (whatever it may be) and be willing to take the arrows.

This is me choosing to tell you for as much as I am “man up or shut up” or “do the damn thing”, that you are not alone in needing to feel defended.

If this was Meghan circa 2012 I’d probably tie this up with a statement about Jesus. I’ve reached the point in my life, to know that Jesus is not the answer to the question.

Meghan of 2018 knows that I’ve been given the tools, the mind, the heart and the spirit to get through and work through the things

I am going to say to you- encourage you, to name your shields.

Name those things you use. Those words, those jobs, those people, those places in your life you need protection,

That’s all I’m encouraging you to do.

Name your shields.

Honest, washington whimsy

2017 might not be different

I normally wait till the end of the year to start processing a year gone by. But there are about 7 weeks left in 2016 and I am counting down.

This year has been brutal. Not necessarily lots of “bad” things have transpired, but every single week has been a competition for the award of the longest week. Most days have felt like battles I was unable to win
And I’m trying to figure out why. Was it me? Was I not trying? Did I not trust? Was I not kind enough? Was I not giving it my all?

I’m 31 and at some point I guess I began to believe the lie that eventually this would get easier.

But it doesn’t. (At least not in the way we think it should).

I’ve searched to find bright spots (and I have–I’ll share those another day), but those even seem to get muffled in what look like mistakes, miscommunications, burdens.

The wonderful, beautiful moments are lined in heartbreak. The dreams have a “but I’m not there yet” tagged on the end.

And, what I’ve come to realize is a new year isn’t going to change any of that.

That’s hard for me to say. To come to grips with. 
It’s not the person that I am.

I’m the one that says, “choose to believe”. I’m the person that hopes when people can’t hope for themselves. I believe when you are unable to choose that.

And I have to say:

2017 might not be different.

I distinctly remember when the year went from 2004-2005 or 2009-2010 or even 2012-2013.

I cried at midnight each of those years.

I was ready, I knew that no matter what, the year that followed would be nothing like the year that preceded it.

Depression, death, heartbreak.

But now, I’m 31 and I’ve experienced all those things more than I care to admit.

So, here’s what I’ve concluded.

2017 might not be different. 

It might have depression, heartbreak, death. It will probably have more than a handful of long weeks. It will have tears, anger, sleepless nights. The things that are lovely and joyful might be tinged with heartache.

2017 might not be different.

But I have to choose to be.

I have to choose to believe that I am a more whole person than I was when the year moved from 2015 to 2016. I have to remember that I care less what people think about me and more if they feel loved. 

(And I dare say, that maybe I am funnier than I was in 2015.)

I’ll share more as this year rounds out, more victories in the midst of feeling unsuccessful. More lessons, more moments that brought me to tears with laughter. This has been my year of honesty in writing and I will keep bringing that to the table.

Because 2017 might not be different.

But I will be.

washington whimsy

A mishmash on showing up

I have been writing a lot about showing up on my Facebook and via Instagram. Wanna know why?

Because writing inspirational captions about why we need to show up each day is much easier then writing a 400 + word blog.

Because it’s hard.

I think I have been doing an ok job at showing up in daily life. I have good days and bad days and all those in between but for the most part I feel capable of walking into a situation and figuring out how to be present.

I don’t like to write about things when I am in the middle of them or when I don’t have a response or when I don’t understand why this or that is happening. I am still figuring out fully why showing up is so hard for me to talk about.

And today was definitely one of those days.

But it’s near the end of today and I think I can fully and truly say that today it was not the greatest.

Today was a day chalk full of memories and phone calls and pain. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I shed a few tears on my way to work. (I shed a few tears at work.)

But I knew, that if I crawled into a hole, if I ignored everything, if I sunk into myself, it wouldn’t be fair to anyone around me. Because I chose to put on my big girl panties and jump into my life, so I was going to do it.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be hard or I can’t have emotions or break. 

Showing up isn’t about being perfect. Showing up is about being present in that moment, with those people, in that situation. It’s about being where you are.

That’s something I have struggled with for a long time. Being present where I am. Not waiting for the next thing, or the next event but choosing today each day. I think that’s why this season of life has been difficult. There isn’t a next thing, or an event. 

I am here.

That’s it.

So, today, after all was said and done, I knew I needed to write more then a caption or status. I needed to admit that it’s hard. That it’s a battle. And that showing up isn’t really a physical thing. It’s mental. Emotional. Bigger then just actually being there.

Showing up is choosing to think of yourself and others at the same time.

We show up for ourselves and then because we show up for ourselves we are more capable to show up for others.

So, please. Don’t just physically be somewhere. Choose to BE there. It isn’t easy. We won’t always get it 100% right. But if we do it, daily, a change will come.

Let’s bring change, shall we?

Honest, Spain g42

Processing: a four letter word.

This week I asked this question on my Facebook:

photo 2-2

I asked it because I am sick and tired of the word “process”

So I thought I needed to replace the word. Because I need to process things and without a word how do I define and describe it?

But do I need to process things?

Or do I THINK I need to because that has been forced into my mind for so long?

As I’m not at scared to mention I am a woman who lived a season of 4 years in therapy. So for about an hour a week or every other week I sat in a room and talked about myself and my stuff.

Then I went on this trip called the world race where “processing” is on a list of buzzwords that every racer needs to know.

 And then it became an excuse.

“I really need to process that so I’m going stay back today”

“I don’t know how I feel- I haven’t processed it”

 People stopped living their lives and they lived in “process”. 

When I was first in counseling we spent time talking about my childhood- my past- but only if it collided with the present.

He’d always reference a picture. It was a picture of a blimp(or a hot air balloon…let’s go with blimp) that had all of these ropes hanging off of it. Sometimes in life you have to pull a rope off and look at it. Sometimes you need to cut it without even looking. Most of the time? Just let them trail behind you.

It’s ok to let things drag.

The blimp keeps moving forward.

It never stops.

When I asked the question on Facebook I got these 14 or so responses. Here a handful:

photo 1-2

A good grouping of words and phrases and ideas.

Three of the responses I got are from people who I would deem teachers (or people who smack me in the face with wisdom).

In each their own ways and languages they said the same thing:

Be and Live.

Just like my counselor would say so many times: pull up what needs to get pulled up but keep moving

Have words along the way but keep living.

And that reminded me why I hate the word process so much.

Because I have seen too many people halt their lives.

I halted my life for a while.

I was in a place of hell.

All I could do was think.

Think about the bad things in life, my failures, where I’d gone wrong, what I’d done wrong.

I was in my head all the time.

 And I tried to get out. I tried to climb out of this hole.

But I’d forgotten how to live.

When you live in process for so long; when you dig yourself in a hole away from the light you forget how to tend to your spirit in a healthy, lovely way.

Because sitting with your journal and pen or a canvas and a paintbrush for an hour each day is good for your soul.

But then you close the notebook, drape the canvas and you move.

 We need that time. It’s healthy, beautiful and bears fruit.

So here’s my challenge:

Let’s stop processing.

Let’s strike the word from our vocabulary.

Let’s start being.

Let’s make a habit to prune and tend to our lives  just like a vineyard owner would do to his vines daily.

He doesn’t spend ever minute of every day cutting tiny pieces away. He has a concentrated amount of time that he tends to & prunes his vineyard.

And then he lives.

So my friends?

Let’s live.