Sunday, July 27, 2014

How 30 Looks.


"So how old are you? Can I ask?"
"Well...."   [I nervously laughed.]
"I'll be 30 this week."
"30?! I want a glass of whatever it is you are drinking!"

His name was Paul.
He was on the next green over from ours as my Dad & I sat out on the driving range.
Crushing yellow neon balls.
Appreciating a little stillness & silence that a golf course offers.
Getting blisters so large on my thumbs, I swear my hands may or may not fall off.

He was a little old man who was watching my swing.
And told me what a natural I was at driving the ball......
Apparently Paul didn't see the several whiffs I took earlier that day.
Or the large wrinkle I get in my forehead as I attempt to take out life's frustrations on these tiny little golf balls.

My Dad always tells me that there's good crazy & bad crazy.
And Paul was the good kind of crazy.
Good thing my Dad, the retired cop was there. Because if Paul was the bad crazy, I have no doubt my Dad was more than likely carrying some type of automatic weapon in his golf bag.
Paul sure had a lot to say.

"I couldn't help but to walk over here. You have such a positive energy flowing from you. Do you ever get a good read on people?"

"Yes sir."
I said.
"I believe one of God's gifts each of us with something. I guess for me I think that is discernment. I just wish I could learn to trust it more."

"You're young yet. You'll develop your gifts. Just remember that when you walk into a room & you sense what type of feel the room has, acknowledge to your brain that you are aware of the vibe. It will help you to calm your senses to focus on what people you are there to meet with. And when you sense people coming towards you, know that most people tend to float to whatever it is that gives them the least amount of resistance. Whatever it is that they appreciate most or what gives them the most inner peace. If you discern a person drawing into you, they are drawn to something within you. You will find great success with helping these types of people who are most drawn to you. You will find great failure if you focus too much on why the other people in the room are not as drawn to you."

I mean. What does a person SAY TO THAT?!
Because honestly peoples - if you are drawn to me in any possible way, you need to know that it's not really me you are drawn to. It's the Jesus within.
And hi- did Paul really just give me the easiest version of my own personal success & failure in 30 seconds flat based on knowing nothing more about me, other than the look of my pathetic golf swing?!

Paul then proceeded to watch my Dad's golf swing, determine he was once a baseball player, and then gave him a helpful remedy for getting better sleep in the winter time.

I MEAN. WHAT THE BEEP PAUL?!

And then just as quickly & sweetly as he walked up, Paul walked away.
And my Dad & I drove out of the parking lot, wind in our hair, convertible top down.
Feeling like we both had learned more today about how to correct some bigger things in our lives other than just our golf swings.

The truth is dear reader, I've felt uneasy about turning 30.
Not because I'm afraid of getting older.
My sister never lived to see her 20th golden birthday.
I know enough about life to know that getting older is a privilege.

I think the part where I sense resistance is more to my own personal ideas to what I thought my life would look like at 30.
Which is weird because I never had much of a plan really.
I just didn't think 30 would look like this.

And this isn't bad. It's not.
But it's still not what I imagined it would be.
It's success. It's failures. It's up's. It's downs. It's the love you've all shared with me. It's the broken promises & the broken hearts. It's the life in the years really lived. It's the smell & fear & taste of death. It's the hope in the midst of the day. It's the tears on the pillow at night.
I mean - who knew that life could be so beautifully tragic?!

I'm starting 30 at a rebuilding stage in my life.
Where careers are changing.
Where my family is praying through what the future looks like.
Where we are seeing God's goodness & fullness changing us.
Where sunny days immediately follow rainy days.
Where we use words like humble & broken to describe ourselves.
Right next to words like cray-cray & amazeballs.
Because I don't want to live in a world where things aren't amazeballs. Fo shizzle.

And instead of being so thankful that the Lord walked through all this hard stuff with me.
Instead of giving myself a little credit.
Instead of seeing strength & accomplishment.
Paul was right. I focus on the half of the room I just cannot seem to win over.
All the ways my life doesn't look the way I planned for it to look.
And I somehow feel as though I have just failed miserably.

I mean - what the hey Meggan?

I am not sure what 30 is going to look like.
What people I will meet. What places I will see.
What love I will feel. And what rejection I will face.
But I think.......I think the point is:

1) Life never ever looks the way you planned for it to look.

and

2) You are enough. God says so.


Living in those truths. Learning from the good crazy guys like Paul. And working on my golf swing.
That's going to be the theme of my 30's I just decided.












Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Lessons To Write About On Your Day Off.

Today is my day off.
Which of course means I should be unpacking from my vacation finally.
But listen internet, the only thing more depressing than vacation being over, is having to unpack from vacation.

So really I'm just avoiding the inevitable.
And blogging is a super great distraction.

As I was thinking about these past few weeks, and all the people I've gotten to see & all the new things I'm picking up along the way, I thought I'd share just a few of them.


1. If a person thinks badly of you, just keep in mind that they don't know the half of it.

If they could read your mind, see all of your past mistakes, and see every struggle you've ever faced, there is a good chance that only Jesus & maybe your Mom [maybe] might be the only ones who would still stand beside you.



Just remember that the person throwing all that junk into world isn't perfect either. We are ALL sinners saved only by grace. You're not perfect. Neither are they. And at the end of the day, you won't be best friends with everyone. I am [finally] learning to be okay with not everyone liking me.
For some people this is an easy concept to grasp. But some of us [raise your hand people pleasers] have a much harder time with this. But if we are loving & sincere. If we do our best to live at peace with everyone. If our actions in response to people who do not like us are God-honoring. Then at the end of the day, you can sleep well. Knowing you have done all that is required of you.

 

2. A lot of women shave their big toe.

I didn't know this. Apparently there is a whole huge crowd of women out there shaving their big toe that I never knew about. I must have missed that section in the "Shaving 101" handbook. Apparently, if you are a woman with hairy toes, you should probably be shaving those babies. Because NO WOMAN wants to be known by her friends as the one with hairy feet.


3. I will never EVER find a coke bottle with my name spelled right on it.


Just like I never had a personalized license plate on my bike when I was kid. Just like I will never find a souvenir coffee mug with my name spelled correctly on it. When your parents choose to go the road less traveled, Coca-Cola will sadly never oblige.

To all you name weirdos out there - I feel your pain.

4. This baby pillow is a must have for new parents. And this pillow STILL exists.



My kids lived in this pillow as babies. Truth be told, I got it from my coworkers as a gift & secretly wanted to return it for something more practical - like diapers or baby hair accessories. Ya know, the must haves.

I must have forgotten about the pillow, because before I could return it, Trevor had taken it out of the plastic & Addison had puked all over it. Rendering the item nonreturnable.
Since I had no choice but to use it, I placed Addison in it. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Until I seriously could NOT FUNCTION without this pillow.
My kids played in it. Slept in it. Cooked dinner with me in it. Watched me to do the dishes.
This pillow was A LIFESAVER.
It is different from the traditional boppy pillow. Because it has a center middle on it.
It makes it much easier for baby to get comfortable. And much harder for babies to wiggle their way out of. If you don't get how a middle of a pillow can make life that much more bearable, than you clearly have not used this pillow yet.

Now. True story. When my niece & nephew were about to be born, I went shopping for the pillow again. Since my pillow had seen too much use & was waaaaay too faded for a new mom to love.
I COULDN'T FIND THE PILLOW ANYWHERE. [Insert panic.]
Until I checked my old friend Amazon. Thank the Lord for Amazon.
Pillows were bought this past month. And now the babies enjoy them.
And I still rave about my go-to baby item that most new moms do not know about.

Addison Back In The Day.




5. Flower girls grow up.



I know. I know. There are those of us who still consider ourselves waaaaaay young, where I swear our wedding just happened 8 years ago yesterday. So this last lesson may come as a surprise to you.
I had my cousins Lindsay & Laura as my flower girls on my wedding day.
And I've loved watching them grow up to become the beautiful young ladies they are now.



Not sure how I'm going to feel when one of them gets married........
Probably like the oldest bride hag that ever lived.
Until then. I'm still young, vibrant, and in my 20's..........cough cough.....for 18 more days.


Here's to learning new things still while in our 20's...... well what's left of them anyways.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Travels.



This past week was time for me to get away from the office. time to get out to the pool. time to sit & smell the suntain lotion. time to spend teaching my kids how to swim. and time to spend with my peoples.


We drove & drove & drove some more. Until we literally felt like we were going to kill someone if we spent another minute in that minivan. And got to Indianapolis thankfully all alive.

Also. Why when I travel do I have these great aspirations of watching movies I've wanted to see & reading books I want to read?! I bring them. They waste precious car space. And I never. EVER. read or watch movies. What the crap? Will I ever learn?

So we get there. A few long screams & hugs occur. But it takes a minute for everyone to readjust to seeing each other after nearly a year apart. [sad face for not seeing your bestie for an entire year.]

When you see your best friend- the person who is supposed to know you better than anyone else in the entire world - there is simply no time to waste. You must figure out how this person that you have spent hour upon hour texting, facebook stalking, phone calling, facetiming, and emailing is different in real life than she is electronically.

This naturally occurs when the kids are napping & you escape to her nearby Starbucks.


This just in: my best friend is a little more confident in saying what she thinks. She didn't waste any time filling in the spaces when I asked her what she thought about something.
I also am just starting to learn about how her miscarriage is being processed a year later.
I am taking her all in.
How she looks. How she sounds. The way she sips her iced coffee. How long her hair has gotten.
It's all so comforting. So familiar & lovely.
It reminds me a million times over why I think the world of this beautiful person.




A visit to the Indianapolis Children's Museum & a pool day later, the other best friend flies in from California with her family. There's SEVEN kids age 5 & under now present in one big & beautiful suburban home. So basically everything gets loud & crazy - especially at first. By the time everyone adjusts, it's all about observing my best friends as mom's & being challenged on nearly every level of my being.

It feels good. Hella good. To just let my guard down. And be the broken mess that I am.
I talk a lot about this past year. My friends just listen. They nod. They ask questions to understand.
They see my husband. They really see him.
They get us.
They know us.
They love us.

They slip in gentle truths. Loving reminders. They inspire me. They remind me to be who I am.
They give us encouragement.
Which I then of course realized how very few people in my life actually do that.
Encourage me.
It made me kinda sad as I realized how few people in the world really take the time to bless others with their words.
Especially how few people in my own world do this.

See, in the world I live in, everyone wants to give you their truth.
But no one ever really bothers to cover it in love.

This reminds me to be more loving of course. To speak words that bless others.
Why is that so hard? It's not really.
I just get too preoccupied to care sometimes.

We somehow end up conning talking 3 babysitters into coming over. So we can get some much needed adult time without the constant demands & interruptions that children are known for.
We all feel how much we've aged as we climb into the mini-van for our hot date night out.



I realized I hadn't had a date night with Trev since the first weekend of May.
This also makes me sad.
We've been so busy lately.
It feels good to get a night out in the city with him.

We hold hands as we walk.
He has his hair all gelled up the way I like it.
He's quiet tonight. He's tired I can tell.
Too many nights staying up late talking.
He gets hit on by a random woman in a trendy downtown restaurant we visit.
This never makes me jealous so much as reaffirms what I already knew:
My husband is amazing.



I decide to eat Haggis that night. Which is some sort of mixture of lamb liver & heart.
This past year has been all about embracing the new & coming out of the box.
Food should be no exception.


It wasn't something I'd likely order again. But at least I can say I've tried it.
At dessert, my friends go around in a circle & list off the biggest way they've changed in the last year since we last each other.

"More Patient" one of friend's says.
"I do not allow people to walk all over me anymore" my husband shares.
As each person speaks I find myself nodding.
It's interesting to hear how people view themselves.
It's also incredibly inspiring to hear how much my friends have been growing & developing since we all left college. It makes me sad that I am not there to see it every day as I wish I could be.
But it also reminds me how good God is.
I needed to be reminded of that too.





"I don't sweat the small stuff like I used to" I say.
I am surprised by my answer. But taste it's truth nonetheless.

I watch my friends with their spouses that night.
I remember what they were like when they all first started dating.
I remember helping them get ready for their first dates.
Then helping them get all dolled up on their wedding days.
We've all come so far since then. Seen so much of life.
As I look around, I'm kind of proud of us.
We're all a little rough around the edges.
[Except Chris. That guy is as sweet as they come.]
But our hearts still find joy in the people we married.
I smile as I watch my friend check his wife out.


Our boys were still our boys.



And we were still us.
And sometimes when life changes as quickly as it can sometimes, it's good to feel as though some things will never change.


Our kids spent the best week together. They all got along so well. [I mean, for the most part.]



I finally got to meet happy baby Charlotte......




And spent some much needed mom time with my own kiddos......





On the 4th of July, our kids sat together with us snuggled up under blankets & sweatshirts. Pandora's America Channel blaring "Proud To Be An American" over the mini-van speakers. Watching the fireworks with these people that I just cannot seem to let go of.
That I for one reason or another need beside me.
It felt like coming home.


From the dorm halls in Iowa, to the different states we all live in currently today - I thank sweet Jesus for people you can always count on. Who will be there. No matter what it costs them.
Who push you. And bug you. And help you to be better.
But love you. And laugh at you. And get you.
Even when you don't always know what better looks like.


So I guess the short of it.
If you basically skimmed this & wanted only to gaze at the pictures to see how many gray hairs we've all gotten, and whether or not we still have our mommy bellies  [we have both by the way]
Is simply this:

Life With Best Friends > Life Without Best Friends


My love tank is filled. My soul has found some rest. And my skin has a killer tan.
Oh and this just in. My spanx is MISSING.
Apparently I didn't get the memo that spanx should never be brought on one's vacation.
And if you break this cardinal vacation rule: your spanx will refuse to be found.

Point taken.

Though it didn't feel right getting up this morning without you 2 here, I hope you know what you mean to me. I think you caught my drift tonight.
And if you find my spanx or any other random inappropriate items I tend to travel with, call me:)

XoXo.