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.

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.
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

Monday, July 11, 2016

The One Where Meggan Tries New Things.

I mean- it's been months since I last opened my laptop or even had the time to write anything that came from somewhere deep down inside me.
As opposed to one of the three dozen work emails I send out every day to the effect of "Sounds great! I will get completed today!:)"
P.S. Always add the smiley face at the end for effect.
Crabby women don't go far in the business world.
And frowning gives you wrinkles.
So much has happened in just a few short months.
I feel like I keep saying that.
But that doesn't make it any less true.

To recap:
Everything in my newsfeed has either something to do with the upcoming Rio Olympics.
Or has to with someone being racist.
As much as I love being told that I need to understand the African American perspective after being told that as a white person I will never understand the African American perspective, I decided that confusion and/or cop hating just isn't my style.
I thought that weird yellow dude died next to everything else in the mid 2000's, including but not limited to trucker hats and frosting your tips.

Aside from the strange, alternative universe I find myself in - here is a list of recent things I have now started enjoying in my everyday life.

1. Coffee.
I started choking down mocha during business meetings. As both a way to stay awake after working some pretty long hours these past few months. And also as a way to stay hydrated.
I'm not sure when it happened. Apparently I had one too many of these things.
But I actually don't exactly hate mocha now.
I'm officially a woman.
2. False Eyelashes.
My sister hates them.
But I feel so girly, and almost like I have my life together when I wear them.
There have been a few instances though where my eyes have watered & somehow my lashes end up glued, stuck to the side of my face some where they aren't supposed to be.
(You know I keep it real with you guys.)
I'm definitely still learning the delicate art of eyelash glue.
I'll get there eventually.

3. Dark Lipstick.
Because I need to reorder this particular shade of lipstick again.
It's become my go-to these past few months & I've worn this tube of lipstick down to a nub.
Mary Kay - have your lipstick people call my people.
I need some product ASAP.

4. Wearing my hair all natural.
Seriously. I might put a spritz of hairspray in.
But I condition the heck out of my hair in the shower.
I get out & DON'T EVEN COMB IT.
I let it go free.
And the waves do their thing.
It's somewhat magical.
Pfffffft are the days of straightening my hair for a bloody hour before going out in public.

The Lipstick. Eyelashes & Hair Waves. Oh My.

5. Hulu Plus.
After a long day of unpacking at my new place, it's nice to have every single episode of Real Housewives ever made to look forward to. Or Dawson's Creek. Okay, Okay. I watch reruns of Austin & Ally episodes..... Are you happy now?!

6. Audible.
This ingenious app lets me listen to books whilst I commute every day.
I knew I needed this when someone recently asked me what the last book I read was.
"Uhhhh....The Bible?"
I mean it's good to read the bible.
But just plain sad if that's all you ever read.
I wish my first choice of book on this app would have been a literary classic or something kind of funny.
Instead I chose "I Didn't Come Here To Make Friends" By, Courtney Robertson.
A book mostly about the behind of the scenes of the Bachelor franchise.
It's all shop talk for those of us who only do Monday's because Jojo's the Bachelorette.
I promise Mom. My next book choice will be something much more tasteful.
I wonder if Austin & Ally have a tell-all book yet?!

 But in complete seriousness Internet, to say the last few months have been hard- wouldn't be doing them justice.
My new job has been kicking my butt.
Between the new hours, commute, job responsibilities, & manager conferences strictly aimed at refining leadership skills, I have learned so much on both a professional & personal level.
These past few months have been the most rewarding of my career.
I could not be more grateful to have this opportunity & for the people who have refused to let me settle.
But pushing yourself to what your fully capable of - demanding no less than excellence IS HARD.
Tears have been shed. Sleepless nights have been had.
I wonder secretly if I'm enough or doing this right at the end of day.
But it's only because well, I care.

Right after I accepted this new position - my rental house sold.
(trust me. Renting absolutely makes the most sense at this point in my life for several boring reasons.)
I had less than 4 weeks to find a new a place & move.
With free time being a luxury I didn't have while paying my dues at said new job.
The idea of finding new schools & daycares for my kids was daunting.
My husband's non-profit job was falling through at that time.
So we decided he would stay home for the summer with the kids & focus on the move.
Which let me tell you - was SUCH A GREAT DECISION.
If he wasn't here finding us a great new place to live, moving every single box, cleaning out our old place, organizing our new place, all while being the best dad to our kids - I WOULD HAVE LOST MY EVER-LOVING MIND.
I honestly couldn't have made it without him.
The kids needed him. I needed him.
And he really stepped up for our family.

Now that we're nearly through these growing pains, I can soon focus on more important things.
My family.
The Rio Olympics.
Making my birthday wish list on Amazon.
Seeing a Twins game with my dad.
Figuring out next job steps for Trev.
Losing that 10 extra pounds I gained since I last saw my best friend, before seeing her again at the end of August.
Planning my TWO AND A HALF WEEK VACATION in August.
Actually reading a book instead of just listening to one.
Writing. (Hello again Blog.)
Squeezing in a few more reruns of Austin & Ally.
Finding new couch throw pillows.
Joining a gym.
Maybe. Possibly. Thinking about joining a small group at church.
Going Camping. (Without a blow-dryer. *Pause For Effect*)
Being in IOWA again!
Decorating my new house. Finding all my decorations buried in boxes in the garage.
Meeting my new neighbors.
Baking something. Anything really.

So much of the important stuff.
Here's to you Summer!