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

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.

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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, Spain g42

all I have is a topic sentence

I’ve started at least 3 blogs in the last five minutes trying to figure out what to write about.

There are multiple things I could write about right now. I have a myriad of thoughts flying through my brain.

But most of them are all topic sentences:

(Re)Learning to use my voice.

(Re)Learning to step out in faith.

Learning to burst beyond that which makes me uncomfortable.

Learning to leave insecurity at the door.

Learning not to second guess myself or my purpose.

It’s all a beginning. Or more so a continuation.

7 months ago I got off of a plane into a familiar place that had turned unknown.

A week ago I go on a plane to an unknown place that is full of familiar.

photo 3((some of my NSquad girls who I have the joy & privilege of doing life with here in Spain))

And the lessons aren’t the same. But the lessons here have built upon the lessons from there.

So now I sit here with all of these topic sentences at the beginning of a new season. 5 for now; probably more to come. And here’s the thing:

That’s ok.

It’s like God is handing me this notebook with a topic at the top of each page and saying

“it’s ok. You don’t have to figure all this out tonight. Or even tomorrow. I’m just saying it’s time.”

And it is time.

photo 2((july interns on a scavenger hunt through Mijas))

There are a couple things that I’ve let lurk in my closet far too long that I am ready to let out and then beat them down with a broom. They have been taunting me and poking their heads out for too long.

And God is reminding me daily that it’s fine. And it’s time.

I tore so many chains aside last year; and I’ve come to realize that I have some more. They’re rusted over because they’ve been there for so long that I’ve forgotten about them.

It took the demolishing of the chains on top of them to realize that they were there.

So that’s where I am. I’m sitting here in lovely Spain, having just finished my first week of class with a post it note of topic sentences; of things God is going to walk with me through.

And it’s going to be good. And hard. And beautiful.

I’m here. I’m ready to live through these lessons that I may come back someday and be able to tell you about another chain that has fallen off.

I am here.

photo 4

And here I go.

 (click here if you would like to see ways in which you can journey with me

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!!)

hope is a verb

an emotionally-naked sit in

I feel naked.

Really emotionally vulnerable and out there.

I’m about to get trampled and wrecked

And after that no one is going to recognize me after.

I’m ok with all that though. Really, I’m totally used to getting trampled and wrecked. I’m used to people not being able to see who I am anymore because I am so unlike what I once was.

photo 4( (swazi//feministry//team leader))

I’d be lying though, if I said I was ok with not being able to recognize myself.

I’m so sick of not recognizing myself. I’m so sick of thinking that I’m done with hurt and anger and unpacking my life and then I just find another layer. The person that got off the plane in December has been plaqued with loneliness, heartbreak, sadness, joy, doubts.

I’m sick of holding back tears because I’m so afraid of the bursting dam

But I see the blue skies. I see the reason why. I see the HOPE that is out there that I want to give to others. I see how because of all of this I can help others figure out how to move.

That, that in fact, is my movement. My purpose. A call to help others move.

And because of that movement and that purpose I have to keep allowing myself to be naked. To open up my soul and pour out my heart.

To learn. To gain more tools.

To take one more terrifying step into this wild unknown.

I remember taking the first leap into the world race last year. It was easy.

The first leap is the easiest.

photo 3

It gets harder after that.

Because people don’t expect you to jump a second time. They expect you to place two feet on the ground and start life again how everyone else is. That after taking such a big leap you’ll have more answers.

I myself had less answers.

Some of the last words I wrote while on the world race were that I wanted to “live a life that was nothing normal and everything Christ.” And goodness that proclamation is hard.

It’s that promise to the self that got off the plane in New York 6 months ago that leads me to get on another plane in a month.

piclab-5

This is my beginning. This is the culmination of years of silence, bible studies, speaking out, stepping out, reaching out of my comfort zone, this is years of walking through hell and depression, years of sitting on my therapist’s couch NOT crying, this is the year of world race and time spent across the coffee tables and walking down dirt roads.

This is me taking all of those lessons, all of those tears wept or not, and going to Spain for 6 months. I am going to sit (emotionally) naked before Jesus and get rocked, trampled and wrecked. It’s taking the fears I have, my incredible discomfort in certain scenarios and literally staging a sit in.

photo 2

((a realization that I need to carry with me))

I feel like the World Race was the realization that I want more. And that there is more. It was the realization that I have gifts, and talents and joys. It was the beginning of this process of unpacking heartache and disappointment.

And so now, I go, taking one more terrifying leap into the unknown. I bought a plane ticket I can’t get refunded for and am stepping into the more.

And I need your help.

I have 3 weeks to raise $3000 (I need a total of $6000) in order to get picked up from the airport in Malaga.

Any amount of money makes a different, any amount of support helps me. (To donate please go here: Donate | G-42 Leadership Academy )

And I need prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. Like I said, I feel as if I am going to be staging an emotional sit in with myself. I am going to be battling a couple of monsters in my closet. And learning, learning, learning. Learning how to step into this crazy role God has called me to in my life and I need each and every one of you behind me. Please subscribe to this blog to follow my journey there. I hope to continue posting once a week and sharing what God is doing and where He is taking me.

Thank you for your support and love. It means more than you know.

If you have questions about Spain or supporting me or comments or words of love/truth (or if you need words of love/truth)

contact me below!

photo 1((Abby//my heart//waiting for me in Espana//check her out here))

 

To dream

29: Sorry Mr. Demaris, I need to relearn spanish.

26. (you were a wacky ride)

27.(you went whoosh)

28.(I’m gonna need a new passport)

Good heavens.

I started my 28th birthday in the midst of running across the Istanbul airport trying to get to the correct gate to catch our flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africa in that moment was probably my most favorite country in the world. And I was going to get the chance to spend my first month of being 28 nestled in the outskirts of my favorite city getting to spend my days doing ministry, living on a guava farm and of course getting to look at Table Mountain every day.

IMG_8806((my 28th birthday on a plane))

And what a start it gave 28.

The first 5 months of my 28 was spent in foreign countries. South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland THAILAND, Cambodia, Malaysia.

I slept in a stable, in my tent in the middle of a village, on a foam mattress in the middle of a team house, in a tent in a house surrounded by lizards, in a strip mall, in (a lot ) of hostels.

piclab-26((randy&betsy// two people who brought me more wisdom and love than I could ever fathom in my 28))

I did life with some utterly amazing people. I saw elephants and lions and so many giraffes. I hitchhiked down African roads. I laid hands on people and saw demons physically come out of them. I cooked for 100 widows and orphans on $30. I taught english, gave singing lessons, drank a lot of coffee, held babies, held some more babies, I filled up journals, wrote blogs, ate roti, cleaned   bathrooms everywhere, ran in the southeast asian humidity, baked cakes, and drank some more coffee.

IMG_8811((just a perfect day off with some amazing, truth speaking, lovely people))

I cooked for my family of 50 and got blisters cutting up butternut squash.

I found out that I was truly a BA

I fell in love with the city of Bangkok.

IMG_8809((my cooking crew in swaziland. cooking butternut squash mac n cheese for Nsquad))

And with street food in Mozambique.

I was reminded of my love for leading worship.

I learned so much about myself.

More than I can even begin to fathom.

And then that journey ended.

IMG_8810

((my BA women in Swazi))

I remember sitting in my counselor office on my first Thursday in the states.

Did that just happen?

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((the 112//no words needed))

Was it a dream?

And now almost 6 months later I can say it wasn’t.

These last 6 months I’ve reconnected with friends. I’ve had numerous skype dates and facetime calls holding onto the relationships I made last year. I’ve gone to Georgia and got to do life in the states if but for a moment with those I treasure.

IMG_8807

((i carry you in my heart))

I’ve got in and out of darkness over the last 6 months. In and out of ruts. I’ve curled up on the couches at my best friend’s house and laughed with her and her sweet girls. I’ve gone to orange county and laughed in an apartment that holds so many memories. I’ve sat in the same chair at a new coffee shop in my hometown and poured out so many of my feelings and heartaches.

((I still haven’t had the Choprah))

I’ve written A LOT.

IMG_8802

((the bestie and my goddaughters// my loves.))

I’ve realized I’m so much further from what I once was than I thought.

I’ve seen God in a new way.

I’ve made a decision to walk over fear and keep going.

28 was up, down, in and out. 28 makes me long for foreign breezes and watching the sun tuck behind an ocean that is not my own.

The beginning of 28 oddly enough felt like home and the end has felt murky.

I’m going to spend the beginning of 29 on a foreign lands.

IMG_8805

 

((our first family picture in 20 years. My older brothers and I))

I have so many hopes, dreams and passions and the beginning of 29 feels like the start.

I wish I could properly articulate why this next step is so important. It’s happening because of all I learned about myself in 28. There is still more to do and grow.

28 rocked me and changed me.

I literally and metaphorically conquered mountains.

IMG_8804

 

((members of Team V who conquered Table Mountain in South Africa))

It allowed me to be able to stand on the edge and yell that I am worth it.

29 is going to be apart of helping me believe it and 29 is going to be rough as I take an even bigger plunge.

28 was a turning point. Showing me that I never want to live in a world where God is only as big as we make him.

Because he is so much bigger. And I’m going to spend 29 and beyond pressing into that and showing those around me His truth.

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((hashtuck// ankgor wat, Cambodia))

((I still need some help to get there. If you want to join me in my 29 adventure and partner with me please check this out.))

Honest, To dream

It always comes back to my thesis statement

I have a BA in English, and while it is a mostly useless degree it did give me a chance to come to terms with this fact:

I love thesis statements. And I hate tangents.

Yes, there are some great reasons for tangents. I remember in my AP Lit and Language classes in High School I would get SO annoyed when tangents would happen. (So much so that Becky, Stephanie and I made “Hi Topic!” signs)

Going off subject, off-topic, on a tangent makes everything BLURRY.

You forget why you started the conversation, what you’re doing. Why you might even be there.

My life feels blurry right now.

Not necessarily like I’m on a tangent, or am on a part of the path I’m not meant to be: but I keep feeling like I’m forgetting my thesis statement.

I’m discouraged

It’s been a running theme of my life when I’m in a preparation season. Now, this isn’t saying prep seasons are bad for me. In fact, they are probably some of my favorite seasons (in retrospect of course). Preparation happens before launch.

The summer before my freshman year in college. The summer before I was W.C. President. The season before I worked at the preschool. The months leading up to the race. These months leading up to Spain.

Everything is a battle. People telling you to do something different. To not go the way you are. People literally becoming hurtles in your life to stop you from the next move.

In all of that though, you know when the prep ends and the launch begins.

But I’m discouraged because the line of prep and launch has gotten blurry. Emails aren’t getting replied too, phone calls aren’t getting replied too, my excitement wanes.

It makes it blurry.

But then, there is a moment, a conversation where the line between prep/launch is less blurry. Where I am able to say this is why I am doing this thing that makes no sense.

And someone understands.

They get it.

piclab-2

And I’m filled with joy, because that peace that filled me sitting on a couch back in Georgia with Tiffany while tears flowed down my face returns.

I’ve had 3 of those conversations. One with a friend over Skype, one with a dad of an old high school friend in the middle of a grocery story and one with a good friend over the phone.

The tears are coming now just thinking of those moments where someone was able to comprehend this dream I have for myself and for others.

The tears came when I woke up one morning and my dad had sent me THIS on Facebook:

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goodness.

I’m still taking it one day at a time. And every day as it gets closer to April and I realize that I might not be getting on a plane as soon as I want I get discouraged.

It’s rough when the line between prep and launch gets blurry.

It makes you forget the why. It makes you forget your thesis statement

It makes you forget the peace that you felt the moment you knew that this is what you were meant to do for the next step in your life.

The blurry causes you to want to move farther off track so you forget the pain you feel each moment your dream has to get differed a little more. The blurry causes you to squint your eyes so much to see the end that your head starts to hurt.

I need to REMEMBER to go back to my thesis statement daily.

Back to that moment where I KNEW.

I’m bringing myself back to Georgia. To crying on a couch with a friend, to writing a mission statement that would impact my thought process and to the knowledge that I have a God that has this plan for me and He will walk with me through it, the good, the bad and the blurry.

So, amidst the tears falling on my keyboard, amidst my heart hurting in the blurry, I want to leave you with my words. The words that empowered me and reminded me where I was meant to go in this life. The words that I am excited to take to Spain to define something, to create something. The words that will help heal me, and one day, with Jesus help me show others the way to life.

piclab

My friend, wherever you may be, whatever you may be working on, hoping for, planning to do, whatever has been stirred in your heart to move towards- if you are feeling discouraged, if you are feeling in the blurry–look back to your thesis statement. Be reminded why you are moving.

Be encouraged that life happens in seasons and whatever is going on now is bringing you to the next- and it’s important. Even if it feels blurry, or away from the topic.

Be blessed.

(to read more on how you can partner with me in going to Spain check out journey with me)

hope is a verb, To dream

epiphanies in a mozambique marketplace

One of my favorite things about being in dark, rainy Mozambique last July was days where my ministry was to cook.

I mean that makes sense right? I love to cook. But cooking in Mozambique was no joke. To cook in Mozi meant spending 2 hours at the market haggling, bartering, trying not to smell all the meat, then coming back and chopping vegetables for more hours then I would like to admit. Then cooking for 19 people on a coal fire.

To cook in Mozambique made me feel super accomplished.

mozicook

But that’s not why I loved it.

It was the trekking to the market normally in mud, sometimes in rain and buying from the same women I bought from every 3 or 4 days. It was just a moment to smile with them, talk in broken Portuguese/Spanish and try to find out how their day was going.

It was always a highlight to me. Something that always brought me joy.

And as I look back on my life in missions and of course just life in general it’s the talking to and encouraging of women that has been a streamline in my life. From women’s bible studies in Mexico when I was in high school, to talking to moms daily tn the preschool and church where I worked, to walking alongside my friends each day.

spainblog(four of the women I did life with this year and the ways God rocked and changed them)

There’s something in me that’s always had a heart, even as a high school student for story, for hearing dreams, for seeing what people wanted to do with their lives. When I look at my circle of friends I’m amazed by the strong women that with whom God has surrounded me. My best friend Jess is a nurse and a mom of three. My forever roommate Leah works daily with autistic kids to better their lives. Kaytie and Lisa sit and hear stories of people who are hurting and help them through life as therapists. The list could go on.

I’ve always wondered what my place was within those strong women. What I was meant to do. How I fit. I worked as a preschool teacher for five years so I thought maybe what I was meant to do was enrich the lives of kiddos in that way. But then I realized something:

I wanted more.

This past year I spent time in 11 different countries doing life and doing ministry. But some of my sweetest times were those moments sitting across tables from women on my squad and hearing their story, hearing their life, hearing what God would have for them. I remember sitting across the table from my friend Chelsey at a coffee shop in Brasov, Romania as she told me her dreams and her call to move.

sb2(Jo, Abby Tiff and I. 3 women who move and call me to move)

I want to be apart of that. I want to forever be apart of others call to move.

While in South Africa last year, discussing dreams and heart story my squad coach Betsy asked me a question. Did I want to be in the classroom or build the school and run it.

1003789_10151841959050479_2101645836_n(Fuji, Kacie and Jesse. 3 more women of movement that I team lead with in Swaziland)

There are so many answers to that question. One being YES I love being in the classroom. I love literally being apart of the story that God is writing.

But I want to help YOU be in there. On the ground floor. Realizing what you want to do, where your story is and how you want to move.

We all have things in our stories that need to be heard. We all have hurts and pains and joys and happiness. All of these things combined are what makes us who we are. What leads us to move.

Maybe you are a full time mom who wants to group together other moms and have bible study or do yoga together.

Maybe you are single working female who just needs a community and want to find a way to make it intentional.

Maybe you just need someone to talk too.

That’s what Hope is a Verb is about. Empowering women. Realizing truth in story. A call to movement.

sb3(Emily. A women I sat across many tables from all year)

And that is why I am going to Spain.

To be equipped. To help people to movement.

To help myself to movement.

I may have sat across tables from so many different types of women, with different stories, with different hurts and different dreams. (All of the women pictures have changed my life. And the all have their own call to move)

And I’m finally realizing mine.

75207_10201511441850082_1743706677_n(Cassie and I were together every day last year. She’s going to change Uganda and the world)

But I also know that I have parts of my story, parts of my heart I need to fully realize more. I need to place myself in an environment where that is possible.

And that is where G42 comes in.

A place to heal, to learn, to grow, to be surround by a community of people who are in their stories, with passions and hearts to move in the ways God is calling them.

I’d love for you to join me in this journey.

Here are a few ways:

  1. Subscribe to my blog and follow my heart. I try to post about once a week (hopefully more while I am in Spain). It’s a place where I lay down what I am learning, what I am going through. ( you can find my blog here: https://awindlikethis.wordpress.com )
  2. Join me in prayer. If I’ve learned ANYTHING from time on the mission field and just life in general it’s that we need to support one another in prayer. We need to rally behind one another and lift each other up.
  3. Last year in the midst of rainy Africa as I trailed around our host for the month, walking miles each day to visit widows, God spoke pretty clearly to me again about the fact that I truly needed to trust Him. That I wouldn’t be done raising support. I kind of hated that. But I tried to get out of it. But he didn’t relent. So I bow my head ask if you would consider joining me in the ground level of Hope is A Verb by contributing to my time in Spain. I have to raise 6300 for 6 months at G42 (covers all the things except a plane ticket which is already covered for me). If you have 10 dollars or 100 dollars every bit counts. Click here to donate to my support account.
  4. Ask me any question you want! Contact me below.

Thank you for reading and stopping into to my little space on the Internet. Thank you for blessing me and coming alongside in all of the things God has done, is doing and will continue to do in my life.  Thank you for helping me apart of God’s call on my life to live nothing normal and everything Christ.

hope is a verb

sit down and open your mouth.

(this is just a glimpse into apart of my story that got me talking, a part of my story that showed me there is more out there. It’s a small piece in the puzzle of “hope is a verb” and my call to spain and to movement)

I’ll never forget the first time I sat in the little waiting room at my counselors office. We’d talk on the phone twice and he’d emailed me intake forms that I’d filled out the night before.

Needless to say I was scared.

Scared to sit in a tiny room with this man I didn’t know.

Scared to reveal the fact that I was falling apart. Scared to cry (which I didn’t do for weeks)

 Scared to show my weakness.

I was scared to have someone I saw a semi regular basis (he was a preschool parent) see me. Like really see me.

It was scary to sit on the couch in this windowless office and answer questions no one had ever thought to ask me.

Questions about hurt, pain, joy, happiness.

I’d like to tell you it got easier with time.

I mean I guess it did.

But for me, talking about myself wasn’t the easiest thing in the world.

Can’t I just listen to your stuff?

Your problems?

I am so good at that.

I remember one week, a month or so into this therapy journey looking him straight in the face and telling him that I hated talking about myself. And that I felt that therapy was causing me to only talk about myself/think about myself.

And I detested it.

I remember him recrossing his legs and taking a moment. I’ll never forget the look on his face.

He then told me he thought I probably only thought about myself 10 or 20% of the time.

Yah, right.

I talked about myself ALL the time.

But of course as I went into that next week I noticed that he was right.

And it’s so funny.  Because I could WRITE about myself so easily.

But I had no idea how to talk about myself, or what I was going through or how I felt. I was the purveyor of the “I don’t know” or the “I’m ok”

And now, 5 years to the week that I sat in that therapy office for the first time, I’ve gotten better. I’ve sat in more hours of therapy than I might like to admit, I went on this crazy, spiritual journey that demanded I be open and vulnerable.

I can talk about myself now. How I’m feeling.

But what I’ve noticed is sadly; I’m in the minority.

There are a lot of people who don’t even know where to start. We live in this short hand society where a sad face emoticon is put in place to mean 50 different emotions.

regular-msn-emoticons

I’m not saying everyone needs to go to therapy and talk about their issues for 50 minutes a week but what I am saying is (to quote my friend Catherine Rosseli) we need to commit to opening up our mouths.

We need a person, a group, maybe even, yes a therapist, where we start to talk. Where we open our mouths and let our story flow.

I think we’d be amazing at what kind of people we could be come.

What kind of friendships we could have.                                                          What kind of relationships we could be in.

What kind of kids we could raise

If we only took  time to find out what sad is, what happy is, what mad is, what excited is, what hurt is.

Like I said: It’s been 5 years since the first time I walked into that therapy room. (February 25th 2009 because I’m good with dates like that).

And yes, It never got completely easy to walk into that office. There were some months I only went once, others where I went every week.

I went and saw him after I came back from the race. And even after a year away it was still a little hard to sit on the couch. But that’s ok. I don’t think it will ever be completely easy to sit and talk about hurt or pain.

Because it is hurt and it is pain.

But if we can’t recognize the things that hurt us how are we supposed to recognize the places where we are truly happy?

(Because not everything can be solved with one of these 🙂 or one of these 😦 )

Step away from the shorthand and emoticons even for the moment. Sit down across from a friend at a coffee shop, pull up skype and call a friend across the country or even yes, sit on a couch in a therapist office.

Couch*304

Because, my friends, it’s so good for your soul.

To dream

the one in which my heart goes “whoosh”

I just said probably one of the most ridiculous things via text that I had ever said in my life.

I said I wish I had taken less risk.

Meaning:

Maybe I should have just stayed a preschool teacher.

Not gone on the race.

I’d have more of career, maybe more stability, less dreams, more foundations.

I could be right now sitting in my apartment in Orange County.

Maybe having just gone shopping or something, anything that was Saturday normal.

But instead, I’m sitting outside on my old trampoline at my parents house.

Reading and also staring at my journal because if I’m being honest?

I’m kind of afraid to pour my thoughts into at the moment.

Because I’m terrified.

I’m scared of what people will think when I tell them.

I’m not ready to settle down and get a job.

God’s plans aren’t that for me right now.

I’ve actually been sitting on my hands for about a week out of terror.

Because I know what’s next.

I know that God has put a plan, a vision in my heart and a way to get there.

And it’s terrifying.

Because it doesn’t involve getting a “real job” right now.

It doesn’t involve staying in the states.

It doesn’t involve anything emotionally easy.

It involves more learning, more growing, more being stretched and torn apart.

It involves raising money

It involves pouring my heart out to try to help people understand the why.

It involves going to Spain for 6 month and being apart of a leadership community called G42.

Whoosh.

I remember that sound.

It’s the sound I made when I finally came out about the World Race last year.

It’s the sound of a release of emotions bottled up inside for so long that I honestly didn’t know what to do with them.

It’s a sound that holds my dreams and visions for getting and grasping onto the tools that will empowering me to help remind others that hope is a verb.

It’s the sound of someone who is choosing to allow herself to be launched without much to grasp on herself.

It the sound of someone who is choosing to not be afraid anymore of what others say.

And the sound of someone who can’t believe she even for a second regretted the one thing that changed her life for the good.

I’ll be talking more about G42 soon.

If you have questions, comments or want to learn ways you can partner with me, please let me know.

I just had to get this out there. Not be held down by fear or confusion, but choose to walk in the peace of mind that God has given me.

And for my friends, for those I love and cherish that I haven’t told about this: Please forgive me for letting the few naysayers and pessimistic people I have told get in the way of telling you, the ones who have always supported me and stood by me.

(and HERE is a video a short video with a glimpse into the heart of G42)