Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks be to God!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I have so many things to be thankful for today and always... I won't subject you to my exceedingly long list. Instead, I ask you to take a few minutes to watch the video posted below.

It is of one of my all-time favorite songs!

Praising God for His mercy!
Praising God for bringing me through!
Praising God for providing!
Praising God for every trial He has seen me through.
He is so faithful and good.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving! In all the activity do not forget to give thanks to the Giver of life.

Much love to all my blog friends.


Monday, October 10, 2011

writer's block

Writer's block is what I've got.

I sit down with my guitar and a notebook. No lyrics.

I sit down at my computer with Blogger open. No inspiration.

My brain is a little foggy right now but I hope to be back in the swing of things soon. I have the chance to submit a short story/memoir for a compilation book about faith-based short-term urban volunteerism, and I sure would love to write something worth publishing! Deadline is this Friday... and I have a blank page thusfar. Prayers appreciated.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so, how did YOU overcome?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Slow your roll!

3,750 miles.
13 states.
18 days.

Welcome to my September!

This month I was privileged to be able to visit my forever-and-always friend Summer in Tennessee, enjoy chats with my kindred spirit Charity in Indiana, have coffee with Super-Proverbs 31-Momma-and-Wife Brittany, say goodbye to my darling Joseph before he left for England, meet up with the Lovely Loveall Ladies to take Bekah to Master's Commission in Chicago, journey from Indiana to Kansas City with my dear & favorite Katie, catch up with my mentors and dear friends Todd & Candy & their beautiful family... AND spend a few days with my beloved sister, bro-in-law and fantastic nephew in Kansas. I have the best people. I'm convinced.

Another (read: primary) purpose of my travels was to retrieve my possessions so I could bring them all HOME with me. Yes, this lady is settling down for a while, in a sweet little place called New Jersey.

Now I'm back, I'm moved in but by no means "settled" in yet, looking for a job, sleeping on a very comfortable floor with heaps of blankets for comfort. The pace of my life has been bordering insane levels, but I am looking forward to a day in the hopefully-not-so-distant future when my life will demonstrate some sense of "normalcy" once again. Not to say I desire a normal life. I don't, hopefully never will. But let's face it, we all need to find a sustainable pace at which to live so we don't burn out. A burnt out Megan (or you) is of little value to anyone.

Is this post a little random? Probably.
I'm not even going to proof it, because it is what it is. And what it is is an honest write-up of where I am right now. And where I am right now is Panera. In a physical sense. But that's not what I meant.

Beyond tired.

Have you ever blogged while feeling a little crazy?


Monday, August 22, 2011

the canyon that is rather grand

I am super behind on posting. I had a few weeks of feeling very unmotivated when it comes to my writing, but I think I'm back on track now.

Sooner rather than later I hope to share some of the my summer journey with you all. On 3 occasions now I have forgotten to grab the cord to upload pictures before heading to a spot with WiFi.

One highlight of this summer was returning to the Grand Canyon! I've had the privilege of seeing it not once but twice in my life! Some people will never make it out there, so I don't take the opportunity to have done so for granted!

I had so much fun with the Bethel "youthies" at the Canyon. I nearly had a heart attack about 20 times as I watched the boys (and Pastor Brian) climbing around like monkeys (a few of them in SANDALS, no less!) but even still it was a blissful day!

Again, I hope to post more summertime pictures soon, but I'll just leave you with these few for now. This next one is my favorite! I was so proud of myself. It took a lot for me to climb out to where it was taken. As I posed with my arms raised I was trembling in fear of the height from which I stood. But I did it!

Many thanks to Brendan (follow his artistic self on twitter: AVibrantBlaze) for capturing this terrifyingly thrilling moment in my life!

When's the last time you were terrified and thrilled at the same time? Hopefully it hasn't been too long. It's good for the soul!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

to whom it may concern...

To Whom it May Concern:

I've (at least temporarily) given up on writing in a physical journal every night. Picking up a pen at the end of the day is too laborious a task for me, plus I've gone through 2 journals in 7 weeks. I move too often to be accumulating anything right now!

I've decided to start journaling daily on my computer. I'm going to give it a two-week run to see how it goes. My guess is it is going to go well, and my paper journals will end up being used for notes during devotional reading, special occasions, and times I'm just "in the mood" to hand-write.

Not sure anyone cares about this, but this is new territory for me and I didn't want to go it alone:)!

Do you keep a journal? If so, what do you use (computer, iPad, notebook, pretty journal, something else)?

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

like an avalanche.

My favorite song right now. Went to my first Hillsong United show last week and it was phenomenal. Can't believe I had never heard this song before last week!

The bridge is my favorite part... it is my prayer set to music!

What's "your song" right now in this season of life?


Sunday, August 7, 2011

home is You

Another post via e-mail.

Tired, but my mind is racing. Processing too many situations/ feelings/ thoughts/ conversations/ memories/ opportunities/ divine appointments right now.

Learning more about myself all the time.

I'm struggling to focus on the Truth in the midst of a crazy life. Struggling to focus on the Known in the midst of so many questions.

So as my mind races at the end of the day, I just need to make a declaration. Too tired to journal this all out. Hoping someone else will benefit from knowing they're not alone in this wild ride called life.

My declaration tonight:

You, my God, are my true home.
You are where my heart is.

I have no need but You.

All that I possess does not validate me.
All that I lack will never hinder me.
All I've done does not define me.

Your grace is sufficient for me!


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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Directionally Challenged.

I'll be the first to admit that I am directionally challenged.

I can get lost going somewhere I've been a dozen times. I can tell you the worst possible way to get just about anywhere. I've driven the wrong way down a one-way street a time or two (or three, or four... don't judge me, you know you've done it too). Add a passenger or phone convo into the mix and I'm capable of missing my exit and driving multiple hundreds of miles on the wrong road. In my home state I know how to get only a handful of places. No joke.

You'd think I would be used to it by now. I certainly am not. I try to have a sense of humor about it but the truth is:

Getting lost is stressful, even panic-inducing.
Realizing you're going the wrong way is confusing.
Not knowing how to get where you want to be is frustrating.

Today the irony of my directionally challenged-ness hit me like a ton of bricks. Right now I am in a life season that is very uncomfortable and awkward. I've had my share of these seasons before but just like the frustration of getting lost while driving, the discomfort of the season has not lessened over time. If anything, it has intensified.

Sometimes I feel a little lost in life. I panic, I analyze every little thing trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing. Then I look to my Daddy and remember He said that if I trust Him with my whole heart and acknowledge Him in everything, He'll make the path straight before me (Proverbs 3).

I fear going the wrong way. In a culture that expects me to have life figured out by now, I daily have to shake off the feelings (oh, emotions!) and expectations of people and cling to the Truth that in this life I walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5). Another Scripture I love: He makes me sure-footed as a deer, leading me along mountain heights (Psalm 18). When I walk with Him I can walk in confidence and certainty.

I have dreams and goals and desires that often seem so far away. To be a woman after God's heart, a more passionate worshipper, true friend, wise leader, loving wife and crazy-awesome mom. For the moments when I am overwhelmed by my inadequacies or frustrated with the delays I pray and confess the words of Psalm 138:8 (one of my all-time favorites):

The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever-  do not abandon the works of Your hand.

I find great comfort, strength & confidence in the Word of God. It is my roadmap and a flawless GPS to navigate every bump, detour & destination in this life. (And unlike my GPS [Melda] He isn't desperately in need of a  map update, neither does He recalculate 14 times per trip. I'm also fairly sure that He doesn't have a British accent, but you never know.)

It is in the seasons that just feel like "in-betweens" that  I best learn to trust Him with my whole heart. So I guess I should be grateful for the uncomfortable season in which I presently live :).

If you're brave enough to admit you're directionally challenged (literally or figuratively), please share your best story with me!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

messy, imperfect, beautiful [me & you]

Another e-mail blog. Please pardon any aesthetic and/or grammatical errors you may stumble upon. It is late and I'm in the car, somewhere in Ohio. Or is it Indiana?

Just saw a sign. It's still Ohio for 26 more miles. Don't worry, I'm not driving, I'm happily passenger-ing. I'll share trip highlights soon but tonight I just want to share what is on my heart. A little road-trip food for thought.

First, I want to encourage everyone to practice speaking words of life into and over your family & friends, acquaintances & strangers. Tell them what they mean to God and to you. Write them a note. Thank them for pouring into you. Buy them a little something that made you think of them from the moment you saw it. Send a piece of snail mail (my favorite!). You just might have a lasting impact. Your encouragement, your little bit of love may be enough to get them through a tough time. You may never know the impact you make on someone's life by a small, heartfelt gesture. Or one day they may tell you and it will just mess you up/make you cry/humble you/remind you how faithful God is.

Second, don't ever stop celebrating your freedom in Christ! If you've yielded your life to Him He's brought you out into a spacious place- and He's brought you there because He delights in you (Psalm 18). Yes, YOU!

You- who still makes mistakes.
You- who yelled at your spouse and/or kids today.
You- with the extra 20/35/50 pounds you can't seem to shed.
You- with the dreams that don't seem to be coming true right now (or ever).
You- who struggles to stop comparing yourself to anybody and everybody.
You- who doesn't always "feel" so free.

The Lord of all the earth, Almighty God... He DELIGHTS in messy, imperfect, beautiful me & you.
He loves you AND He likes you.
He's rescued you from sin and brought you into a spacious place.

And I feel like tonight He just wants somebody to get this:

"I have brought you into a spacious place. And I want you to utilize it."

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Thursday, July 14, 2011


Hello friends!
Blogging via e-mail today. Not ideal, but I'm on holiday so it is the only option!
Tonight I get to see one of my absolute, all-time, most favorite bands: U2! They've been around longer than I have, and they still make some pretty sweet music. I'm putting on the waterproof mascara today- I'm almost certain I'm going to cry tonight!
There's something quite epic about live music. And I like that!
What's the most spectacular show you've been to (and why)?

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Friday, July 8, 2011

I use the words "septic tank" in this post, so you know it's gotta be good...

Tonight, I'm sharing a poem about the kind of week month I'm having. Sometimes you just gotta get in touch with your 10-year-old self and write a silly but tragically serious poem. So, here is a little insight into my relationship with God these days:).

When You take the lead
This dance simply flows
When I take the lead
I step on Your toes

When You take the lead
My story is epic
When I take the lead
Life ends up in the septic

When You take the lead
The results are fantastic
When I take the lead
I'm stressed out and spastic

When You take the lead
I can confidently chase
When I take the lead
I need to press the backspace

When You take the lead
I'll admit I get antsy
But I trust that Your plan is
Much, much, much more fancy
than mine

And when You take the lead
Worry has no place
So here I wait again
Nestled safely in Your grace

Even in a season when it is very difficult to wait on the Lord and be of good courage I am thankful for laughter and joy in His presence. Whatever would I do without Jesus?

Anyone else right here with me?


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

solitary in families

My birthday was wonderful! I must admit I had my doubts about how the day would turn out. Sometimes I get sad & lonely for the ones I'm not with and places I can't be. Just one of the drawbacks of living such a transitory lifestyle, I guess. But I am very thankful that God knew what I needed and blessed me with such a special day.

I spent it with family... (best nephew ever!)

And with a few best friends... (Katie & Mel!)

Sweet, sweet Lindsey Hall bought me a cake! All my favorite colors;).

God is relationship-oriented. It's something I really like about Him. He blesses us with companionship with Himself (WOW) as well as with the fellowship of other believers. Together, we make up a great big family.

I had the privilege of spending my evening with spiritual family. I was blessed with a sense of belonging that I have been missing. The entire Olson family joined us for dinner then had us over to their home for a wonderful time!

It was a perfect summer night. Hot & humid- my fave! After watching HILARIOUS videos (laughed my head off), playing a game and hanging out inside LaFawn suggested taking the party outside to "make memories". And that we did! Sam caught a huge frog and I gave it a birthday kiss. Why not, right? :)

I held its little webby hands and it wrapped its webby fingers around my thumbs. I must admit, it was pretty cute, even for a NON-animal-lover like myself!

A scripture I couldn't let go of that entire night was Psalm 68:6- "He sets the solitary in families..." It is amazing how much healing God ministered to me from just a few hours spent with a Godly family. Sigh.

I'm very thankful to be serving a God who cares about my emotional and relational needs. He is so faithful!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Begins...

It's a little after midnight on June 9th.

My summer begins officially today! (after 6-7 hours of sleep, I hope!)

Floyd MC's graduation was Sunday and I've spent the past 3 days doing laundry, spending time with friends, packing, loading my car, giving things away, uploading pictures, saying goodbyes/see-ya-later's and drinking an inordinate amount of coffee.

The past few months have been crazy busy between MC and personal obligations, so I am ready to R-E-L-A-X for a minute or two! I could pursue many things this summer: leisure, travel, family time, a phenomenal tan, friendships, entertainment. None of these things are bad in and of themselves. But focused pursuit of God is what I'm about this summer!

I don't really have any solid summer plans. Lots (and I mean LOTS) of ideas are stirring in my head and in my heart, but I know I must begin in the place of prayer and pursuit of the Lord.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Shawnee, KS to spend some time with my sister, bro-in-law and favorite human a.k.a. my nephew London. I plan on spending as much time as possible at the International House of Prayer. I'm not sure how long I'll be in Kansas or how much traveling I'll get to do this summer. But one thing that's for sure is this is a time marked out to spend quality time first and foremost with Jesus, the One who loved me first.

This summer is a Season of Pursuit. Expect to see me "hash-tagging" this on Twitter.

How do you plan on connecting with God this summer?


Friday, May 27, 2011


My mind has been majorly cluttered!

For some of April and most of May when I've tried to sit down to read, write, pray, think... My mind just goes 100 mph in several directions at one time.
This whole mind-clutter thing didn't alarm me at first. I figured it would pass when I wrote to-do lists and starting packing and accomplishing tasks, but in fact it has only gotten worse, even to the point of impairing basic decision-making skills on a few occasions.

On Sunday afternoon I decided to take control of the situation. Though I "needed" to work out, do some packing, finish a few assignments for a class... I grabbed my ipod and sunglasses, LEFT MY PHONE at home and headed outside.

I walked to the river and found a sunny seat by the kayak course. I got as comfortable as a girl can be while sitting on rocks, leaned back onto a boulder and just breathed. At times I focused on the words of the worship music I was listening to. Other times I focused on breathing deeply. I focused on the goodness of God and recalled moments of tangible faithfulness this year. I focused on everything EXCEPT the to-do list that has been looming over my head. I took my time. I went home and accomplished more in 2 hours than I had for days before.

On Monday evening I set out for more de-cluttering time and found a shady, grassy area by a quieter part of the river. I did take the phone this time (So I could listen to some Gospel choir music on Pandora) and captured this scene:

He leads me beside the quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. (Psalm 23, TNIV)

Have you ever experienced moderate to severe mind-clutter? How did you banish it? :)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It...

...but I feel fine!

I was thinking about writing a post on the May 21st judgment day thing, but I found an extremely well-written, couldn't-have-said-it-better-myself post [HERE].

There is really nothing else on my mind at the moment. Anything on your mind? Feel free to comment!


Saturday, April 30, 2011


It is rare that I post this late at night (11:30pm is soooo late, haha...) but tonight I must share this incredible song.

The song is "Blessings" by Laura Story.

The lyrics to this song are not the kind you just write because you need a song about the hard things in life. This song has a raw, authentic quality to it, so I had to know the story behind it. I found it [here].

Laura and her husband Martin have been married for 7 years now. Martin was diagnosed with a brain tumor a little less than 2 years into their marriage. Though God has brought tremendous healing to him, they're still in a place of waiting for that healing to be brought to completion. She admitted "we have a whole lot more questions than we do answers."

A quote that really stuck out to me from the story is this: "Sometimes He gives us what we need rather than what we want. And sometimes He lets us stay broken in ways that we might not feel comfortable with, ways that we might not expect. Because it's like that shattered, like that broken vessel that His light can beam through."

He lets us stay broken.

Not exactly a popular Sunday morning topic is it?

God is sovereign over all and has our best interests at heart. While we may try to pray according to His will, we miss it from time to time. As a loving and supremely wise Father He simply cannot give us everything we pray for. He knows whether immediate healing will strengthen us or spoil us. He knows whether that job or relationship or dream we've been praying for is truly His best for us.

He loves us enough to say "no" sometimes. And while the "no" may hurt and our heart may break, He is there through it all to hold us close to His great heart. That is, if we will lean into His arms.

This song is a beautiful portrait of the sovereign blessings of God even in our brokenness. I pray it will minister to you as deeply as it does to me.


"Blessings" by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Friday, April 29, 2011

sometimes I forget...

Sometimes I forget to stand in awe...

Yesterday I was driving my 24.7 mile drive to work. After the first mile the entire drive is in the country. Farms, farms & more farms. It was one of many recent misty, cold days and I was feeling more-than-a-little bitter about that.

I looked at the clouds and thought, "Wow, there are so many of them!" And in that very moment my bitter crankiness subsided. I remembered how I stood so much in awe of the sky and its Maker when I moved to Indiana in 2005.

Growing up in New Jersey I didn't see much sky except for at the beach (I could see Philadelphia's skyline from an upstairs bedroom window, however, which is pretty cool!). I was rarely in an open space with no buildings or trees. (Yes, I said trees. Lest you think there are only cities and buildings in South Jersey, I must clarify that there are also many trees! The Pine Barrens are part of the 1.1 million acre Pinelands National Reserve. Trees [and ticks] abound.)

But wide open spaces... miles and miles of sky... these were a rare scene.

When I moved to Indiana I became a little obsessed with the hugeness of the country sky. Sunsets were more brilliant; thunderstorms were more thrilling; even a cloudy sky was simply breathtaking. Daytime skies were beautiful, but nighttime skies were over-the-top dazzling! A clear night under the stars in a place with very little light pollution is uh-maze-ing!

But sometime between then and now I forgot to stand in awe. I didn’t even realize it until I noted the sheer size of the cloud blanket I was driving under. I immediately praised God for His creativity and for its breathtaking beauty. Next I began to sing “Cowboy Take Me Away.” Don’t judge me.

My challenge to you is to take delight in something beautiful in today.

Embrace the wind.
Examine your fingerprints.
Stand in wonder of the vast sky.
Delight in your good-lookin' spouse.
Give your kids an extra-tight squeeze.
Be captivated by the intricacy of a flower.
Smile as the sun kisses your skin with its rays.
Heck, enjoy the scent of your grass as you mow!

All of creation was hand-crafted by God, and I’m sure He wouldn’t mind getting props for it!


Saturday, April 16, 2011



Ten years ago this month my parents separated. I was a junior in high school, my sister a freshman. Just eleven months later they were divorced.

In what seemed like only a moment, our entire world was turned upside-down. 

A Little History Lesson
Growing up I was a kid who stuffed my emotions away. I perceived from an early age that anger and disappointment were "negative", so I tried to just be happy all the time. I thought my parents and teachers would be pleased with me if I was happy and didn't complain. (note: I am the middle child. If you’ve read any birth-order personality books you probably know we tend toward secrecy and are peace-keepers who avoid confrontation.)
“Keeping it all in” proved poisonous to me. As a young teen I struggled with depression thoughts of suicide. In my high school years I searched for happiness in many places, finding temporary comfort in the darkness of addiction.

When Everything Fell Apart
When my parents separated in 2001 I worked feverishly to keep the appearance of “togetherness”, as I had my entire life.

I was truly in a state of shock. One day we were a family. A mostly-happy, mostly-normal family in my estimation. The next day my sister and I lived in a single-parent home. It was devastating.

I was numb with depression but hid behind the mask of a smile. I spiraled deeper into addiction, desperate to medicate my pain. I quit dance lessons after 12 years because I did not have the energy or desire anymore. I rarely cried when thinking about my parents, but cried about anything and everything else. I experienced rage for the first time, and plenty of it.

Things that Hurt, & Things that Helped
I wish I would have known then what I know now: Divorce is a kind of death, a tearing apart of something that was designed for permanence. With death comes grief. Divorcees and their kids are grieving a terrible loss and need lots of love and compassion.

Things that Hurt:
·         Continually being told “You’re so strong & have so much joy in all of this… I’m so proud of you.”
This may not sound harmful, but connecting strength and joy to approval can damage a vulnerable young person. For me it reinforced the need to put up a mask. People wouldn’t be proud of me if I was weak. Yes, that’s really what I believed.

A better thing to communicate to the young person is that it is okay to be weak and broken. A favorite Scripture of mine is 2 Cor. 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” God tells us to be strong in His mighty power. Embracing weakness is really to our advantage once we bring our weak selves to the Cross. It is there that the fullness of God’s perfect power rests in us.

·         “At least your parents were married growing up. You were fortunate to have your parents together as long as you did!” Yes, I really heard this. A lot. I heard this from adults and even peers with divorced parents!

Nothing could be LESS comforting to a hurting person than “things could be worse” & “look at the bright side” statements. Focusing on all the things “you still have” doesn’t change the fact that there was a terrible loss. Belittling their pain will not help them heal and can even cause a person to feel guilty for grieving.

A better way to help is to validate the person’s grief. A grieving person needs to know that their pain matters. Don’t minimize their situation even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you in the grand scheme of things. It is a big deal to them, so refrain from making comparisons to other people’s situations.

·         “How’s your mom?”

As a teen I absolutely hated this question and rarely received it as a caring gesture (even when it was!). Everything inside of me wanted to explode: “WHY DON’T YOU ASK HER YOURSELF?!” Even when my relationship with my mom was rocky I loved her and did not want to see her become the object of gossip. I figured if people really cared about my mom they would give her a call, maybe ask her to meet for lunch or coffee.

Also, a divorcee’s children have likely acted as liaison between their parents enough already. It is not right to put them in the position of having to answer questions about their parent’s spiritual, emotional or financial state.

A better thing to do is to tell the teen, “I’ve been thinking about and praying for your mom. Could you please give me her number so I can give her a call this week?” Then follow through with the call! The teen will know you care without feeling stuck in the middle.

*I was nervous to bring this one up, because people still ask this question every time I am home. Those of you who still ask—I know all of you well—and I know your intentions are pure. You’re the ones who’ve been making phone calls and sending emails and loving my family for 10 years. I appreciate and love you!*

Things that Helped:
·         Being invited over for holidays. People at my church were great about this!

Holidays are hard for divorcees and their kids—family gatherings may not take place and once-valued family traditions can stir up great pain. Inviting a divorcee and their kids to your home for a holiday communicates a sense of love and community.

Even if you figure they have plans, invite them to your gathering. I think a lot of people don’t ask not because they don’t care, but because they figure someone else already has. Sometimes, no one else has! Show some love by inviting them over—it can bring a lot of joy in a hard season.

·         Being part of a church family.

Ever been in church when it’s a special time—maybe communion or a candlelight service—and families are supposed to pray together? These times can be really awkward and lonely for kids from broken homes, kids whose parents don’t attend church, divorcees (and all single people while we’re talking about it!). Pull a stray teen or adult into your family and pray for them like you’d pray for your own family. Prayers from my church family communicated love and a sense of belonging.

My youth leaders (most of whom were no more than 10 years older than me) became family to my sister and I when our parents separated. They’d buy us lunch after church on Sundays and sometimes hang out with us all afternoon. They’d ask if we needed a ride to or from church—they made sure we stayed connected. They sent emails and wrote us cards and encouraged us during some of our darkest times.

Ten Years Later
All I can say is this: God is really, really good.
I have a great relationship with both of my parents. I have a great friendship with my sister. I have a joy-filled relationship with God. It’s taken a long time, but He’s done a lot of healing in my heart.
There’s still a tinge of sadness around every holiday. I cry about it if I need to then enjoy my day. And sometimes it’s still strange going to Jersey and having to coordinate “whose house and what time” for family visits. It’s not how things are “supposed” to be, but it is how they are—and I need to make the best of what I’ve got.
What I’ve got is a lot. I’ve got people who love me, and I love them right back!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In This Season

I'm currently sitting in a Caribou Coffee in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Not to be confused with Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I've been wondering lately what the next leg of my Wild Goose Chase is going to look like. I consider myself to be quite fortunate to live the kind of life I do. It is not always easy being a person who moves frequently, but I've come to accept that, at least for now, this is my life.

I believe life happens in seasons.

In this season:

1. I'm grateful to be single.
Don't get me wrong. I believe marriage and motherhood are great adventures and certainly ones I desire for my future. But right now, in this season, I am so blessed to be unattached. I am blessed to be discovering again and again how God provides for His own. I am blessed to be in the process of learning who I am in Christ apart from another person. I am blessed to be in the center of His will for me right now. I am blessed to be under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, learning to submit my will to His.

2. I'm so grateful I'm debt-free.
One reason I'm able to move freely is because I am 100% free from debt. I can't take the credit for this, though I usually tend toward frugality. All the glory goes to God. He's given me opportunities to work and raise funds and has prompted the hearts of many to give very generously to me over the years.
While on the topic of finances, I want to put in a plug for Master's Commissions & small Bible schools everywhere. Through my 2 years as a student and year on staff with MC I am 2 months away from earning my bachelor's degree.
Want to know how much I owe for student loans?: $0.

3. I'm especially grateful for family.
I must confess I have not always appreciated my family as I do today. But throughout the past 9 years of me living like a nomad they have been so supportive. I am blessed to have parents who let me be my own person. I was 17 the last time I got unsolicited advice from my Dad. I've gotten plenty of advice from him since then, not because he insists on giving it, but because I askMy mom calls me from time to time. She doesn't nag me if I don't call her back right away, rather she leaves it to me to share with her, and that's why I do! My parents allowed me to spread my wings instead of trying to clip them. My twenties been anything but "normal" but they accept me as the oddball I am:).
Then there's my siblings: My brother and I only see each other once or twice a year but every time we're together it's like we haven't missed a moment together. My sister is my best friend on this planet. She's stuck with me through thick and thin (figuratively & literally!) and is my #1 confidant. My brother-in-law is God's perfect match for my sister and has become one of my favorite friends over the years!

This is the only picture I could find of my whole family since the '90s...
From Mike & Melissa's wedding almost 3 years ago!

What season of life do you find yourself in? How are you embracing life in this season, and what are you grateful for?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Take A Hike!

I enjoyed everyone's participation on the adventure poll! Here's the results:

47% of you chose hiking as your adventure-of-choice.

Skydiving came in second place (23%).

I don't think I would ever sky dive unless someone else's life depended on it (If MY life depended on it, I'd likely choose death closer to the ground). I am pretty sure I don't have it in me. I am not much of a thrill-seeker to begin with and I'm afraid of heights. Bad combination. Honestly I'm a little anxious just writing about this, so I'm going to stop now.

I like hiking and I'm glad it was the number one pick. There is something so wonderful about being out in nature, the artwork of God. To those who care to listen and observe, God reveals His divine nature through the complexity of creation:

For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]. -Romans 1:20 (AMP)

Creation is not divine, but God's divine fingerprints are certainly all over nature. If you doubt His existence, take a hike. Literally.

Seek and you will find...


Friday, March 18, 2011

Outdoor adventures...

I've decided to add a weekly poll to my blog (well... we'll see if I can keep up with it weekly!) and write a little blurb about the results on Fridays.

This week's question is about outdoor adventures!

I take a lot of heat for being a "city girl" residing in a small town in Iowa, but city girl or not I do have a deep appreciation for the great outdoors! I have gone fishing with a home-made fishing poll & hot dogs as bait (and I take MY OWN fish off the hook thank you very much). I enjoy rafting, canoeing, boats of all kinds and tubing too! I have hiked mountains in New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arizona and California and have slept under the stars at Lake Tahoe. I have swam under waterfalls and explored caves, gotten muddy and loved it. I'm far from strong and I am an expert at none of the above, still I cannot help but love outdoor adventures!

I'll admit I like wearing makeup and fixing my hair and wearing heels and other "girly things". I like coffee shops and art museums and shopping and music festivals and other "city things". But I've got a bit of adventure woven into my DNA, too. I think we all do - it's just easy to let it lie dormant in our fast-paced, work-oriented culture.

Hope your adventurous spirit has been stirred today! Don't forget to vote on the poll at the top of the page!


I said I wanna touch the earth, I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly
-Dixie Chicks

St. Patrick!

Love reading Mark Batterson's annual St. Patrick post. Check it out [here] and be inspired!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gotta give props... my new friend Marsha! We met for about 30 minutes after a service MC did in Texas, then connected on Facebook and here on Blogger. I'm so glad we did! I'm lovin' her post Single White Female from January 24th. Check it out and follow her!


Friday, March 11, 2011

One Crazy Month

February 2011 was one of the busiest months I've had in ages! February is usually a very busy month in Master's Commission, but this one was beyond busy for me in a great way!

It was also full of surprises. If you know me well you know that I L-O-V-E surprises! Here's a recap of my favorite February in years! This is going to be a lengthy post, so I'm including pictures for those who do not care much for reading;).

I pack two bags: one for the Texas trip with MC, and one for my Tennessee trip for Summer Joy's wedding.

The Master's team loads up and heads to Wichita, Kansas. We spend the night  there with Bethany Cooper's mom, stepdad and adorable sister.

Back in the van heading south to Brownwood, Texas! I drove us through the STICKS of Texas... There was tumbleweed and everything!
Upon arrival we attended a FANCY church banquet in t-shirts and jeans. Well, I had jeans on. A few of the students were wearing sweatpants! Poor kids.

After the banquet we got to spend some quality time with the incredible Pastor Kelly and Donna Crenshaw of New Beginnings Church . God is doing big things in their lives and church!
Masters ministered at the morning service at New Beginnings Church. I taught the high school Sunday school class full of very special young people! The service was amazing, not because we are so great, but because the Holy Spirit of God SHOWED UP and moved!

After lunch we headed to Arlington, Texas and met up with Pastor Matt Davis (MCKC graduate and friend)! He took the team out to BDubs (one of my favorites!) then we got settled in with our fantastic home-openers.

First day of Master's Commission Conference! The weather was beautiful!
I reconnected with old friends and met some new ones, too. I even got to do the Cupid Shuffle and Electric Slide at the Rec night after service! But my favorite part of the day was a breakout session for MC staff members where Pastor Jay West shared EXACTLY what I was needing to hear. Gotta love when that happens!

Second day of MC Conference! Just as great as day one. Pastor Lloyd and Joey Alcala spoke a message on our Unlimited God and His power at work within us.

Fun day with Pastor Matt Davis. We had a picnic lunch at the park, then went to Dave & Buster's compliments of our generous Pastor-Friend.
In the evening we ministered at the Vine Fellowship's youth ministry. Once again, God was SO FAITHFUL to show up and pour out LOVE on us all. I was so proud of our team for really pouring out what God's been pouring into them. We met some great youth and young adults there. I LOVE TEXAS!!!!!!!

Piled back in the van to head home to Floyd. Some time today my sister tells me we should road trip to New Jersey next week. Zach tells me I should go! I drove for a looooong time then surrendered the keys to Zach. Got home around 8:30 p.m.
Sometimes I get road rage. Nibs (our mascot) does too. (Ps, Zach's face in the background of this is priceless!)

Got in my car at 4:15 A.M. to leave for Lebanon, Indiana. Met up with my girls Charity & Brooke around 1, got in Charity's car, then headed to TENNESSEE for Summer's wedding weekend!!!!!!!

Upon arriving in Knoxville we had dinner with Summer and Bruce's families, then had some girl time on Summer's last night as a single lady.

Summer is excited to be a wife!

Summer becomes Mrs. Wiggleston! All of us gals slept in, ran a few errands, grabbed some Panera and headed over to Bruce's parents to get Summer ready for the ceremony.
She was absolutely radiant! She and Bruce got married outside at a beautiful park with closest friends and family present.
Brooke and I pouting about being single;)...

...but I caught the bouquet a few hours later. YESSSSS!

I was so glad I was privileged to attend Summer's wedding. She has been, is and ever will be one of my dearest friends!

Drove back up to Lebanon, Indiana with Brooke and Charity. We of course stopped for Dunkin Donuts on our way:). Blueberry cake donut, mmm. Spent the night at Charity and Andrew's house.

Had a buckwheat pancake breakfast with Charity then headed off to Lafayette for a few days! Had lunch at Scotty's with Miss Vicki Young (BEST buffalo chicken wrap!), caught up with Pastor Adam and met the new guys on staff at the church, had coffee with Sarah Faulkner, then dinner at the OG with my dear friend Joseph Howe. Stayed with the Loveall ladies:).

Had breakfast and Panera with Matt and Brittany Speaks and shopped around Borders. Had lunch at Moe's with Bekah and Hannah Loveall then went antique shopping. Took Hannah to work, then Chris Allen, Bekah and I went to JAVA ROASTER!

Had a brief McDonalds coffee and yogurt parfait date with Sarah Catron. Love her and am proud of her! Had lunch with Becky Deere and her beautiful daughter Hannah, then headed back to Lebanon to hang with Charity before the next leg of my fantastic February! My sister and nephew London met me there to drive together to New Jersey!

Final road trip in my Nissan (sad...). No better people to have "the last hoorah" with than my sister and nephew! Arrived in Jersey around 9 p.m.

Slept in, visited our dear friends Alicia and Tim and adorable son Landon. Got together with Matt, Steph, and Carmen to plan surprise details for Sunday night's service at Bethel: Pastor Joe and Robin's last night as youth pastors!

Had lunch with Alicia, Melissa, and Wendy at the Meadows. Love that place and love these girls!

In the afternoon we had another exciting happening: praise and worship practice with our old praise and worship team! Ahhhhhh, memories! 

Had dinner with my Dad in the evening then hung out at Matt & Stephanie Royce's place. "The original" Steph Royce, Matt and Carmen made a video about Speed the Light. It's worth a watch:).

Sunday! Skipped church to keep the element of surprise for the evening service (Pastor Joe and Robin didn't know we were in town). Had lunch with the family, then went to Nifty Fiftys for a milkshake with my friend Ciara I met last summer. Then I was off to church for Pastor Joe and Robin's celebration service!
Robin squealed with shock when "Josh & the Jericho's" walked on stage! She was surprised, and I was delighted! (photo by Will Mendez)

A graduate from each year wrote a thank you note to Pastor Joe & Robin for their impact over the years. (photo by Will Mendez)

Had a reunion with lifetime friends. We took a shot like the one above in high school when Eliott hated all things pertaining to life. Dave and I had to tickle him to get him to smile back then! Now he's getting ready to be a Marine! SO PROUD!

Got the old "Extreme Force" crew together for a picture on the old sanctuary steps. The last time I was in one of these pictures, Abby (the young girl in front) was just ONE year old! Oh how time flies!

After service some of us stuck around and reminisced. For hours. It was so refreshing and fun and just... sigh... home.

Last day in Jersey. Hung out with my siblings and nephews, then went to the Bell's house to watch videos from our many fun adventures in high school. Not sure why, but I didn't get a picture of Jacob, London and I all together.

Mel and I drove from Jersey to Lebanon to spend one more night with Charity before parting ways.
My mom gave me her car and traded mine in. This was a bittersweet happening, as my Nissan was my first car and the first major purchase I had ever made. Here's to many new adventures in my SUV!

Drove from Lebanon to Floyd, arriving in time to co-lead some praise and worship with Beka Fox!

THAT was my favorite February in a nutshell.
Believe me.
This IS the nutshell version.

Here's to Wild Goose chases and the surprises of life!