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, 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.

Honest, washington whimsy

why Spain ruined adulthood

I’ve gotten more then one comment about my emo-sounding Facebook statuses these days. Most of them have to do with being done with long weeks, and needing a drink.
(2016 has been long)
I don’t write them to get a reaction–it’s more like Facebook has become this weird time capsule of my life. And I really enjoy it.
(And I also I like sarcasm.)

I’ve been trying to find longer words and sentences to help explain the thoughts in my head. I’m much better at explaining them at my kitchen island or over group text. But when I try to long form these thoughts I hit a stalemate.

So here goes nothing.

Before I went on the world race in 2013, I had lived in Orange County essentially for about nine years. 

The first four in college and then from 2007 to the fall of 2012, I lived and worked in the area. I babysat a lot, went on adventures with my friends, was involved in my church, paid rent & bills, went to therapy, cooked my own meals, did my own laundry. 

What I am trying to say that before I went on my whirlwind two years of adventure, I had done the adult things. I had dealt with grown-up matters.

And then I went around the world and also dealt with adult matters that a lot of adults don’t deal with: emotional health, spiritual health, border crossings and praying against witch craft. 

But then? 

Then I went to Spain.

And if I am being honest it has screwed up being an adult.

I found out that I have more control over who I am then I ever thought.

I found out my presence changes things.

I found out that there is more to me.

I found out that I could change the colors of my flowers if I wanted.

And now I’m back in the states. Settled. Working 40 hrs a week. Involved in church. Paying bills, doing laundry. Not cooking as much as I should. 

But it’s different. Now, that I am settled and where I am going to be, I found myself living in this tension. 

Now, I know there is more.

And I’m not talking about more in the sense of “more out there”.

(backpacking living ain’t for me.)

Yes, I want to travel more and fill another passport. I want to go back to Spain and have a blue chair bocadillo and I want to see Samaritan Creation’s coffee shop and have Kay make me a Thai coffee.

I mean, there is more for me here. There is more to sink my teeth into. But right now, I’m living in this tension. And it’s weird to describe. Because, I know, I am here for a reason, for a purpose, for a life. And I know that apart of that is what I am living and doing being right now. But there is something beyond the everyday. 

The more is now and also later.

(Both/and)

Here’s the tension: if the more is now, how do we put the more into our daily lives? How do I take all the things I’ve learned and received, that I attempt to walk in daily and use them?

How do I change the color of my flowers if no one else is?

How do I become a person who reacts out of who I am not who the other person is when the person doesn’t give a damn?

How do I fit the more into a 40 hr work week?

Being an adult was so much easier when I didn’t know any of this.

But I do, and I am grateful for the knowledge. I am grateful I have a voice and a mind and higher thoughts and the ability to live in this tension.

I know I’m here.

I know the more is now.

And I know the more the future.

I don’t have any answers.

I’m figuring it out.