Sunday, September 18, 2016

Adulting.

Sometimes I feel as though my life is full of many contradictions.

After all, wasn't I the girl who sat talking on a stool at a recent writing workshop & proclaimed to the world (or a room full of people) that in order to have a blog, you must always be dedicated to writing on said blog? Because there is nothing more annoying than finally finding a blog you enjoy reading, only to realize the writer eventually quits writing on it.

If I'm honest, I'm totally that girl right now. I own it.  Somedays it feels literally impossible to get here. Whether it's just by way of an overly busy schedule. Or me processing through things in a much more private way. Scribbling through journals, calling my best friend, or just trying to avoid my feelings all together. (As I have been known to do.)
Blogging ---> Why Are You SOOOOOO hard?!
This whole space continues to challenge me & demands that I work through things I quite frankly just don't want to work through sometimes. I HATE THAT. And yet I know how good this is for me. Which is why you won't see me giving this space up anytime soon. Here's to living (and then fretting about writing) our Truth. Cheers.
In other news.....

School has started for the kids. They are both doing SO GREAT. #proudmom

My college car FINALLY decided to die on us after a good 12 years of use.
[Seriously. What a trooper.]

Bridget Jones is having a baby. I need to see how this ends. Movie date anyone?!

After a terrible spout of strep throat, I've decided I can never grow old.
If only because I can NEVER remember to take my meds.
Or finish my meds.
Or seem to even remember I have meds at all for that matter.

The Vikings play the Packers tonight.
So naturally my husband who bleeds purple is just trying to keep it together right now.

I'm in a 2 month shop-free cleanse currently.
No clothes. No shoes. No purses. FOR TWO MONTHS.
This may seem really shallow.
Yet I admit it truly is a little hard for a true fashion consumer like me.
But my closet, checkbook, & husband are all very happy about it.

Fall has creeped up on me - despite knowing how this whole change of the seasons thing works.
This year it really came back fast.
Like the return of the 90's velvet choker necklace.
It's all very - WHOA. Where did this come from?!
And I'm hating every moment of it.
For those of you who need a list as to reasons why we should all hate Fall, here goes:

Reasons To Hate Fall

1. It's getting colder.
2. Pumpkin spice is just so overplayed.
3. Goodbye cute summer wedges.
4. Soon I will be commuting in snow.
5. I lost my sister in the fall. It's just all very gloom & doom from there.
6. Football widow anyone?
7. Death seems everywhere. The trees. The grass. Brown is just not my favorite color.
8. Back to school shopping. OH. MY. LANTA.
9. The days get shorter & my Vitamin E levels tank.
10. Summer vacations with my besties have officially ended for the year.

That last one is what I've been really focused on lately.
Since every summer is when I finally get to see the other people connected to my soul, I find myself in a bit of slump when it's all ended.
This year I immensely looked forward to seeing my squad.
We made all sorts of plans & I knew we would have a great week together.
When my best friend Krista arrived from Indianapolis, it didn't take us long to cut the crap & dive into the deep.
I'm always so thankful for how God uses the close friendships in my life to help me figure out my way through the maze of adulting.
There were a few sharp edges to some truths she gave me that cut pretty deep.
Things I know I need to do & have put off.
Or things I don't even realize I'm doing that suck the life right out of me.
Her words were a mirror to my heart.
Just when I thought I was doing maybe okay-ish, she helped me to see that with a few modifications, I could do much better than okay-ish.
Our time together never disappoints.
Especially not the stories she tells, the taste of salty tears from spilling out my greatest fears & regrets, or just the physical pain of deep belly laughs.
Matching bestie shoes sold separately. #squadgoals




Not more than a couple weeks later, a few other close Iowa friends came for a short visit.
With their own set of encouragement & challenges for my life, I know I should have felt thankful that they cared enough to help me walk through some difficult things.
And I was - and still am - grateful & honored to have my friends.
But by the end of August & the end of my time with these people who know me inside & out- I was feeling completely vulnerable & exposed.
I didn't realize how much I had been closing myself off.
Or how much I try to hide from the people I love what I am really going through.
So much so that when I was with the people I know I can be genuinely authentic with & finally let my guard down, I struggled immensely after doing so.
Terrified that I had let people too closely in.
Afraid of what they might think.
Wondering what they might do in knowing that the image I present of having it all together, doesn't even come close to my everyday reality.

In the interest of self-preservation, I preferred to stay in the dark.
It just plain seems safer there.
I never thought that light could be so painful.

From here I'm just taking it all in.
Their advice. Their love. Their guidance.
I'm sifting through it all.
Reading the books they gave me.
[Though honestly - I didn't want to read them. Books that scare the crap out of me. Deep breaths.]
Praying & meditating through each of their words.
And mostly just being thankful.
For the people who know the deepest parts of us - and love us anyway.

It's been QUITE A MONTH dear Internet friends, of change.
Which seems to be appropriate I suppose with the theme of Fall & all it's turning colors.
I know Fall can be beautiful when seen through the right lens.
I just don't know if I'm up for it yet. #truth #jesusbenear

Have a great week Reader.
Gooooo Vikings!

 






Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Door Holder.




There he is.
His first time serving in church in 3 years.
Just holding the door open for people to welcome them in.
But ah, what a journey it is to have gotten here.
To even just hold a door.
It seems so small, and yet we both know what it means.
I'm so proud of him.

"Time heals all wounds" is such crap.
Put a little distance & time between anything, it can certainly give perspective & the ability to just not think about it all day, every single day like in the beginning.
But only God redeems & restores the broken places.
Tending to wounds & nursing the scars that most people will never even know of.
God does what only He can - cleaning out & mending the sacred, shattered ground we find ourselves still somehow standing on.

To you - whom church has been an awful toward.
A place that has judged you, abandoned you, hurt you, or betrayed you.
Left you out, forgotten you, a place where you felt anything but loved & fully accepted.
My heart aches with you.
Keep the faith love.

I once heard this all compared to a bride & groom.
Have you ever seen someone hate on the bride?
In front of the groom?
It never goes over too well.
"How can we love the groom but hate on the bride?"
My answer to this question someone once asked me was simple - I DON'T KNOW.
BUT IT'S FRICKEN POSSIBLE.

To you hating on the church - the Bride of Christ.
I can only say that I got you boo.
My place in all this is to simply tell you that I get it.
To give you a safe space to open up & start the discussion.
That I offer my understanding, my compassion, and my empathy.

My unsolicited advice (which of course you didn't ask for, but I'm dishing it out like a good friend would anyway) is only to say that in this situation, it is wise to remember your beef is with a specific person or people inside the church.
Maybe not the church as a whole.
If you can somehow separate the two (this nearly seems impossible at first) it will help you to focus on the issues at hand.
When a person does something awful to you, you realize that this one person does not define every single person you've ever met.
So you literally cannot hate on all of humanity. (as much as I want to somedays. Rawr.)
You just might know too many good people to give up on mankind collectively.
I'd encourage you to start the process of sorting through your situation with that lens - with a trusted friend, a counselor, or a pastor.
Maybe ALL THREE if you are anything like us.
Ain't no shame in that game.

And then - when you're really ready.
Maybe you'll try. Maybe it's one Sunday. Sitting in the very back row.
Arms crossed. Being totally convinced you've made some sort of huge mistake by attempting this whole thing again.
Maybe you'll think you need to have your head examined to even be thinking about it.
Maybe in that moment - God will bring you a friend. (Love you Kelly & Makara.)
People to encourage you & drag you to things you really REALLY don't want to go to.
Maybe you'll find a church unlike any other place you've ever experienced before.
(They are not all the same ya know?!)
Maybe you'll meet a pastor whose idea of a good time is jamming out to music you never thought a pastor would listen to. Sitting with you after a tough funeral with a cold beer in his hands.
Admitting that he just cannot seem to figure this whole life thing out either.
(Pastors aren't all the same either. Neither are Pastor Wives.....wink wink.)


Will this full-time ministry thing ever come for us again?
I cannot even imagine it now.
For now- ministry looks a lot like opening a door.
Saying "Good Morning!" and offering a smile to someone who just doesn't want to be there.
It's working hard - letting people see friendly & joy with every business meeting or every report I complete.
It's being a damn good mom.
Being quiet, being brave enough to just listen & not have all the answers.
Or drinking a Mike's, watching a beautiful sunset with those God puts in my path.
Ministry is being kind to people that others often miss.
Looking for chances to genuinely encourage the efforts of others.
It's volunteering my time doing financial reports for small non-profits.
Maybe (MAYBE) it's joining a small group. (Baby steps Internet. Gulp.)

It looks so different than my life did as a pastor's wife 3 years ago.
I never thought that the girl who would shoot her hand up to lead a youth group when needed or host a women's bible study would now find even attending the smallest of small groups THIS intimidating.
Yet every single one of these small, seemingly insignificant steps has led us here.
To a place where I'm different - and yet still kind of the same with how much I care.
A place where even holding a door now gives some sort of ultimate significance that it just didn't before.

To us - the door holders  - Carry on Warrior.

Friday, August 12, 2016

This Summer.

Hiiiiiiii There.
So I'm officically on vacation.
Vacation has me all.....






Today was my first official full day of vacay. The first vacation I have taken in 13 months mind you.
We spent it enjoying the 3 S's......



To be perfectly straight with you: I worked my tail off this summer.
It all started earlier this spring.
In March I got a phone call that a temporary leadership position was opening up.
I didn't expect to get it. And I already really enjoyed the job I already had.
[A really great place to be, mind you.]
However, there really was nothing to lose by going for it.
I threw my name in the ring. I was terrified to do it.
[Which is how I knew I absolutely should do it.]
And before I knew it, I was hired & in downtown Minneapolis for the summer.


 
 
As any normal small town girl will tell you, the city is both a mix of excitement & pee your pants scary moments. I try to never cower away from things that scare me.
But good heavens - there are some SCARY people in this world.
That aside, the hustle & bustle of city life was completely addicting.
CAN WE ALSO TALK ABOUT THE FASHION PLEASE?!
And every single girl who came to see me at the office was completely mesmerized by all the men in the skyway wearing classy suits and extremely tight skinny jeans. [You're welcome girls.]
 
My first day in my office was such a moment.
I have worked in an open little cubicle for YEARS.
So my very first day, I shut the door.
Sat down & spun around in my chair for a minute - just enjoying a quiet space that was finally mine.


And while I was constantly taken back by the experience & new city views, I knew it was time to put my head down & produce the type of quality of work I knew I was capable of doing.
It wasn't easy. In fact, it was probably more pressure than I ever even realized at the time.
I just tried not to focus on all that & showed up to do what I knew I could do.
The hours were long.
The drives in rush hour traffic were unbearable.
There was so much of the time I had to just try out different things, go with it, & pray I was doing it somewhat right.
Everything I had worked so hard for seemed to come together for this moment.
I had a team of good people.
Together we had some great wins.
A few losses.
And I learned more in my career these past 4 months than I have ever learned before.
Meeting some incredibly talented, passionate people along the way. [Who I already miss.]



I'm so thankful for the opportunity, which hopefully will just continue to spur me down the road towards the goals & dreams I would love to accomplish.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to things quieting down for a while.
Deleting the work email app off my phone.
[No more being available 24/7. Holllllllla!]
And getting back to a better work/family balance that is soooo much easier to do, when it's only you that you are responsible for at the end of the day.
Seriously - how do CEO's sleep at night?! Wowzer that would be intense.
Thank the Lord for sleep aides.

While things may have seemed more work than play [and let's be very honest, it kind of was] I still managed to squeeze in a little bit of awesomeness this summer.

There were baseball games, grad parties, parades, Auntie days, concerts, bingo nights, & beach days.
A trip to Iowa for a wedding & yes - even managing to squeeze in my 32nd birthday.


I still don't completely understand people who hate birthdays.
Getting older is nothing to fear if you enjoy your life.
I think about losing my sister when she just 19 years old & I know deep in my bones how much turning 30 would have meant to her.
It seems almost wrong to not celebrate a birthday when so many people never live to get to see that age. So let's just all eat cake & love life. Capiche?




I also cannot forget to talk about the Olympics.
Michael Phelps - I gotta be honest.
I didn't think he had this one in him.
With all his troubles these past few years, I just didn't expect swimming to still be something he was going to be the BEST IN THE WORLD at.
I'm all too happy to admit being wrong & crying at every single Michael Phelps medal ceremony.


In fact, in honor of Michael Phelps, I give you the list of things I am still doing well spanning the 5 Olympics he has swam in - 16 years later:

1. Crying at Olympic Medal Ceremonies
2. Curling my hair & wearing entirely too much hair spray
3. Caring much too much about pleasing people
4. Having random embarrassing klutzy moments
5. Knowing all the words to Backstreet Boys songs

I think you get my point here......
While many this week in Rio have been celebrating a lifetime of hard work & success in their particular sport at the Olympics, the company I work for handed out trophies to each individual employee for their unique accomplishments during our annual Employee Appreciation Week.

I won "Most Put Together."
 
 
I'm thinking this is to be some sort of compliment for wearing lipstick & at least attempting to run a comb through my hair once per day.

But I also had to chuckle to myself. I'm so glad I have everyone SO COMPLETELY FOOLED.
Because for too many days I feel like the worst version of myself.
A hot mess of emotions, sin, and feeble attempts to be more of something I don't know that I am.
I somehow keep it together [mostly so that my children will not have to someday go to years of therapy].
Yet somehow this award feels like a betrayal of the genuine "Hey, I really don't have it all together. Which is why I need You dear Jesus" person that I really hope & pray people see me as.

The award was so entirely sweet of them to give me.
But it's totally got me thinking....
Maybe less of this Meggan:
 


More of the real Meggan:



 
Thank you to those of you who love & support the real me.
You are my peoples.

Until next time...
Still holding onto that last bit of summer.......

Your pal- Megs