Monday, February 27, 2012

my 5 h plan

my life has been a mess of stress over the past oh...5 years? but more recently since moving back to the states and starting a career. it sounds crazy, "moving back to the states", as though it just happened. it has been 3 years now officially. that doesn't make me sad like it used to. the beautiful reality is that i was just in malawi and zambia not even a year ago spending time with my loved one's there. and if i want to go back, heck, i've got another man in zambia who has proposed so...doors are open, i'm just choosing not to walk through some of them.

for the first time in a long time my choices feel like they are mine. i'm not living in desperation, just trying to survive...not materially anyway. i've got a good paying job, a sweet condo, a paid-off car, money to buy food and the occasional dress to grace my feminine desires, i can even get my hair highlighted on occasion. go figure!

but i have shifted into survival mode emotionally. my job is emotionally and mentally taxing. the level of responsibility compared to the level of support and resources do not match. but this ever responsible drive within me to find perfection and success and to overcome challenges may ultimately be the death of me.

that saying, "she's finding the beauty in letting go" ...well i'm working on that. i'm working on a lot of things, attempting to sort through all kinds of disillusionment and fear. figuring out what it means to be an almost 30, single, and fabulous woman.

what i'm finding is that the only option is to let go, because i have absolutely no ability to control anything in this life of mine.

the other day a friend encouraged me to make a list of the things i need to be healthy and whole. you see...i feel i'm at a breaking point, one step away from a breakdown. i can't actually carry the load that i've been attempting to manage. it's not possible, but gosh darnit i've been trying to do it on my own. that's what being a grown-up is all about right?! but my advisers have given me a reality check.

"you're depressed megan".

"if you don't make a change today you will have a mental breakdown".

uhm.....i'm listening.

now when this friend told me to make a list, i snarled.

another "to do" for my seemingly never ending list of "things to do" was exactly the last thing i needed. my eyes start twitching at any little piece of advice people have kindly been offering me lately because it usually is something more that i "should" be doing...but, she walked through it with me unfazed by my emotional response and i think we came up with a pretty fantastic list.

introducing my 5 h plan

health
happiness
home
hound
hubby

these are in order of importance and are my priorities right now. my health is #1. i need to rest, to nurture my body so it slows down in its endeavour to attack itself. i think a big piece of #1 is that letting go theme and taking the first step in recovery - acknowledging that my life has become unmanageable and step 2 submitting control over to my higher power = my abba father. i think that's how it goes anyways.

this is my "plan" for now. maybe i'll find some time/energy to write more on this later, but i'm thankful for some focus, long suffering friends, my reality check, and being able to look back and see all that i truly have to be thankful for.

onward.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

unmerited favor

such an absence...it was a retreat, meant in every way possible

and now, i find myself just one night of sleep away from a plane that will take me to a land i long for regularly. africa.

i spend most of my days longing for one thing or another that i don't have. this week i went to a church service where a man from india spoke about how blessed americans are. his perspective reminded me of a perspective that i had at one time but misplaced as this american life sunk into my daily routine. my apartment would be a mansion to many and i share it no one unless i choose to squeeze one of my out of town friends into my space and on my bed where we roll in towards the center dip and thank God for such a comfortable friendship.

i have so much. you do too, if you're reading this i'd imagine that you have a computer, and internet access, and probably a nice table to set it on, and an air-conditioned room to sit in coolness and take a moment to read. and lets just focus on that moment too, that you have, that i have, to sit down and read or write, electricity so we can see....

just a week or so ago i sat at my favorite restaurant, all by myself, eating my favorite healthy, fresh, clean foods, and bemoaned the fact that i sat there alone. while sitting there a woman sitting near who was also alone struck up a conversation with me and by the end of the time, sitting outside in the shade but near the sun we both had cried some tears of loneliness and blessing. i scolded myself afterwards, even during that sulky time. i had no where to be but resting where i love to be, and God gave me a woman to connect with as my heart longs to do, and we ate our fill, and drank delicious coffee, and both praised God for our "random" meeting.

why God is so good to me i don't know, because most of the time his gifts to me are lost in the mess of my self-pity. how i can go through life in mourning as the birds chirp, as air fills my lungs, and i work, and connect, and laugh...even this 115 degree sunshine, it's a gift. God knows i love the sun, and love to sweat. he has given me both in abundance during these summer months.

and tomorrow i go back to africa for three weeks, to bring what i feel is feeble to the doorways of those who truly have a reason to live in mourning. Those who are dying of hiv/aids, who have watched their parents die, their children - the shame, the hopelessness, the inevitable feeling that God has abandoned them...i will walk to their homes made of mud and stick, and i will have something to offer. love, a smile, time, willing hands, a willing mouth, arms that yearn to hold...and i will leave receiving more than i could give - hope, humility, richness, truth, reality, joy, a song in my heart and on my lips...

unmerited favor. He keeps giving to me, meeting my heart's desires, and speaking truth into my heart. pray for me, that i would have open eyes and an open heart. that i would serve without thought of myself. that God would use this broken vessel to remind even just one person that they are loved by a good God who desires to give good things to his children.

thank you Abba, for everything you have given me that i can't even see. thank you for africa, for the people there, for their faith, for their perseverance. i want to surrender myself, and only take up whatever it is that you would like for me to do over these next few weeks. may we bring glory to you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

masked

last weekend i went to the graduation of a good friend of mine from an 8 month rehabilitation program. this was the first time that i went to see him, i'm not sure why. i think part of me maybe felt unsafe, betrayed, another person i love unstable, risky. but i went to the graduation to support him, trusting in redemption.

at first i felt pretty proud of myself, entering the bad neighborhood of town, me in my classy outfit, my silver dangly earings, makeup-ed face. i entered the church with my friend and sat next to him on the wooden bench, squeezed in between him and his family. i felt a little uncomfortable, broken people surrounded me. prostitutes, drug addicts, gang bangers - dirty, homeless, addicted.

the band got up to lead worship and the leader, long nappy dreadlocks, starting pacing the front of the room, swinging his head around and around, he was ready to rock. he climbed up the stairs and jumped off as the song began. my friend leaned over to explain the lead singer was one of the pastors. i stood, judging. i couldn't get into it, i felt like i was pretending. what was that guy singing anyways, i couldn't understand it. i sat back down on the bench, trying to be authentic, and as i sat there the band began a new song. about a fourth of the way through it i started to recognize the words, "or in awe of you be still, will i stand in your presence, or to my knees will i fall..." my heart started to soften, to change - this song has an effect on me almost every time i hear it. i was humbled instantly and i stood again to sing, in a way i was unfamiliar with, and i think the scales over my eyes began to fall as i recognized myself in every broken person in the room.

i realize that the only difference between them and me is the ability to buy makeup and clothes that mask my nakedness. soap to wash the outside of my body, while the inside is still dirty. i am just as broken, but they are willing to show their scars, the humility to come broken before the Lord, just as they are - unmasked. they started singing, "heaven let you light shine down" as a worship song and i thought, i belong here...i needed this, my spirit needed to be in a place where pretenses are dropped and we can stand naked and broken before the throne.

i've said many times since i've come home from africa that i'm not looking for a church for christians but rather a church for sinners...but i've become comfortable with the ritual of church for christians. we dress up and come with our masks. keep the conversations surface, put smiles on our faces, and we, the broken, remain broken while judging those who are brave enough to find healing. i am talking about me right now. i've become one of those who isn't acknowledging the beggars living on the other side of my fancy wall. when did this happen?

maybe that's what we're all challenged with everyday, are we willing to keep things real and live out life, or will be retreat to the comfortable, the safe, the clean and tidy - consumers of churches for christians only, holding stock in masks.

i miss my Father. i miss the authenticity, the brokenness, the growth - life. the life uncommon. i keep running, keep hiding myself, ashamed, hurt, trying to be stronger, trying to keep that smile on my face so no one feels uncomfortable with my truth, so i don't feel uncomfortable with my truth.

Lord, i will always be broken. you came for the sick, for sinners. forgive me for trying to pretend like i have everything together, forgive me for thinking i am better than others. it's fear. i want to trust you, and i want to stand with those in need, those just like me. i want to have the courage to stand, unmasked, looking towards you. thank you for speaking to my heart in the very way i needed to recognize truth. your mercies are new to me every day.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

radiance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3BDYBGhSgI



"i sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed"

psalm 34:4-5

Saturday, October 2, 2010

grieving and sorrow

tears are all i've known today. so many memories, those summer visits, the stories, asparagus hunting, walks in the cornfield, walks to the postoffice, those piercing blue eyes and the mischevious smile, those kisses on the mouth that always made me feel a little uncomfortable. you always squeezed me tight when you hugged me, so attentive, so concerned. i hate the thought of losing you. i think of all the things i should have done, regrets. why didn't i send more mail to brighten your daily walks to the post? why didn't i let you shelter me when you wanted to? always the fighter i've been, but i think you secretly liked that spirit in me, i challenged you from the beginning. i imagine that curly haired blondie growling right back at you when you tried to scare her. she loved you, she still does. i'm so glad i made those summer trips, you were always a priority in my heart, i needed to know you, needed to spend time with you. i want to believe that you knew who i was when we last saw each other. i want to believe that all those sweet sweet memories of days gone by are the ones you're choosing to think on right now. but better than these, i hope that your sweet Jesus is comforting your heart, that you are more found than you've ever been, that you are more lucid that you've ever been, that you are being held, which you are. my grandpa, i love you. i miss you already, have been missing you for a while now. thank you for your love, for the heritage you passed along, always the gentleman - i wish i had seen it sooner. mwende bwino, go well, i'll be missing you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3DxVVfTifg

Thursday, September 30, 2010

etc.

i think i like my hair best on the third day of not washing it...the poof is out and it flips more...yes
last night i met a passionate spanish man who was a member of "people unlimited". very sad. he is a talented musician, a lover, an artist, an entrepreneur...he said that he has already "fulfilled" the need for God in his life. he asked me not to invite him to church, but he felt that i should listen to him since our meeting could not have been by chance. besides, he is a very important person, and so am i. i spoke my heart that i felt that yes, this was a divine meeting - but maybe it was actually that he needed to hear my heart too. this is the first opportunity in a while where i was able to share Christ. not fully or intricately, but in love, disagree and passionately speak that Jesus is real. i pray that God gives me more opportunities to speak to this man. i believe He will...and i am hopeful that God is using me in his work of wooing this very lost man to the true freedom he kept speaking of - except a different kind of freedom.

these past two months held several changes. i moved into my first apartment alone, leading to an increase in the conversations i have with myself. it is difficult to live with another person, but it is also difficult to live alone. the quiet time when i need it is wonderful, but it is also nice to have someone to talk to, to get a hug from, to tell you if your outfit looks good or not, to share food with, to fight with even.

i'm baking a squash in the oven for dinner. it's 9:30pm currently. i've become a wild child with my shorter and much blonder hair. living on the edge. you can't put me to bed by 9 anymore, no! i will stay up and bake squash if i choose. heck, i might even break out the sudoku. turning 28 reminded me that i'm still young. too young to be living like i'm old -- even though some of my habits do resemble a grandma more than an under 30, flirty and thriving woman.

i've been tired a lot lately. veganism has taken all the iron out of my blood and left me feeling spent more often than not. i've been thinking of incorporating some salmon on a weekly basis to get those omega - 3s and the iron that my body has been craving. it's all part of the process.