Monday, October 25, 2010

"I imagine that's how we'll get to heaven," she said.

"We'll be played there on a song, and we'll arrive twirling."

I went, tonight, to Grace Notes at my church. It's a "musical interlude" held each month with a local musician. Without a doubt, it was the most calming, beautiful time I've spent just "being" in so long. As the notes seeped into my bones and filled up my soul, the tension eased ever so slowly off of me, and I could breathe again.

I think God must glory in music. The way my soul dances and sways and twirls to the sound assures me that He is there. In the movie The Holiday, the character Miles says to his love interest, "Iris, if you were a melody...I used only the good notes." I wonder if our souls are a melody to God? I wonder if He used only the good notes to form us, and along the way we hit some wrong notes, we create some discordant sounds, but because He made us, because He saved us, because we are holy, precious, and loved, we are still a beautiful melody to Him?

I believe there is truth in the music. I believe that twirling and dancing is the way to live fully abandoned to Him. I believe that our souls, open and attentive to His spirit, are a melody played just for Him.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer updates...

I know, I know, I haven't been very good about keeping up with this little blog and its five followers through the summer months. However, I don't feel so terribly bad since I know all five followers, and they generally know what I've been up to. But if you are one of the visitors, here's a summer update for you.

I spent quite a lot of time with my brother and sister-in-law (much more a sister than an in-law) at the local farmer's market.

They grew a tremendous garden this summer (I didn't help much with that) and sold their produce on Saturday mornings (I did help with that.)

My WHOLE family (mom, dad, brothers, sisters, girlfriends, cousins, aunts, uncles, you name it) also visited Michigan in July. It was beautiful.

Just look at the coast off of Makinac Island - I want to live there!

I also got to see my first fireflies - amazing. But even better to watch my two younger cousins entranced, tushes in the air.

More to come on my garden and fun summer things as we move deeper into fall. AHHHH.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Five beautiful things and one perfect day...

Saturday, and already five beautiful things before dinner have found their way into my life. I didn't take a single picture because I forgot my camera at home, but I'll describe them the best I can. (I've included a few pictures from other beautiful, perfect days, though.)

1st: An oxymoron: my lazy, productive morning. I know it sounds impossible, but it was wonderful. I got so much done (folding a pile of week-old laundry, cleaning the bedroom and kitchen, grading paragraphs, reading...), but it felt blissfully lazy at the same time. I was able to spend time with my Lord reading his word and soaking up his presence and the reminders that he so freely gives. Like this one: Ephesians 5:15-17 - more to come on that.

2nd: The cutest, little present for my friend who's about to pop. There's going to be a little boy in our lives soon, soon, soon, and I found him the most adorable something. Can't wait to post a picture of HIM in it, and I won't ruin the surprise for her.

3rd: A little girl of four or five years sitting, legs crossed, on a small stool in a used bookstore around the corner from her parents and little brother. She was sweetly flipping through a book that entranced her. It was my favorite picture of the day!

4th: My writing group, a set of four wonderful women whom I met this summer through the National Writing Project in my hometown. We decided to morph into a new writing group and keep things rolling, so we met yesterday at a coffee shop I love to talk, listen, and spout ideas into our stories.

5th: Meeting our beautiful friends to talk and laugh and generally enjoy life together.

And one perfect day... one perfect FALL day. It was cloudy and just a bit drizzly and chilly and lovely. I've been waiting for fall not very patiently and saying under my breath that it certainly needs to be fall if school is in full swing, and finally it is. The leaves were turning at the lake by my house and starting to drop yellow on the ground - they were the first I've noticed. I'm so ready for sweaters and Pumpkin Spice Lattes and scarves and crunching leaves and everything cozy and cool. Plus, I listened to two fun ladies on my iPod and realized they sound like fall. Check them out: Katie Herzig, especially "Songbird," "I Want to Belong to You," and "Wish You Well" on her album Apple Tree and Missy Higgins on her album The Sound of White.

What do beautiful things on a perfect day look like to you?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The story He (re)told me...

Once I had chosen Him again, once I had turned back out of the dull, apathetic space I was in, toward the life and light of His being, I was curious. Why, when I had asked so fully to experience the Holy Spirit, had I instead slipped so completely into apathy? I went on a walk with Him, and He retold me His story, but this time I heard the part of the Holy Spirit.

This is what He revealed...

He has chosen us, you and me, as the place for His Spirit, His personal, powerful, active presence in the world, in which to reside. The God of the universe wants to live in us, wants to put His power in us. Amazing. But there's more.

He reminded me of the tabernacle in the Old Testament (see Exodus). He reminded me of the perfection of it. He gave Moses exact measurements, He directed Moses to the perfect materials, and He commanded that only the most skilled and gifted craftsmen were to work on the tabernacle. It had to be perfect for His Spirit to live there. Just like we have to be perfect for His Spirit to live in us.

But we aren't. We sin. We choose to turn away, to let our hearts wander far from Him all the time. He wanted us for his temple, though, so He sent Jesus to earth to become a man like us, to struggle like us, and to ultimately die the most painful, excruciating death possible in order that He could take away our sin and live in us. It's an amazing - true - story.

At that moment everything looked new and clean to me. Each piece of nature stood out in stark contrast to things around it. The lines were crisp. He has given me a new story to live out.

What story are you living out?


P.S. If you want to read more on the Holy Spirit, check out Francis Chan's new book.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


That's the reason I haven't posted anything in quite a while. It started, though, with apathy. Actually, it goes even further back than that.

I wanted to know - really know, as in experience and see - the Holy Spirit. Although I've been a Christian from a young age being raised in the church, I never really understood or experienced the Holy Spirit in a tangible way. So I asked. Instead I got apathy, thick and strong.

I felt like everything around was dull. I didn't want to spend time with my Father, which made me sad. But at the same time, I just didn't care. Like I said, apathy set in thick and strong.

I was in that place for a few weeks, not caring, and not caring that I didn't care, until one day while talking with my sister-in-law. She reminded me (as she had multiple times previously) that Jesus simply wanted to spend time with me. Out of my mouth (straight from my heart) came spiteful and angry words: "Just like everybody else. He just wants my time like everybody else."

Those words and the force behind them shocked me. I couldn't believe that's what I'd been feeling. I couldn't believe that's what I'd been believing about my Father and my Savior. I was full of shame. But in His absolute goodness, He used my shame to bring me back to him.

Through the blogs (and quick emails) of some beautiful sisters whom I've never actually met, he reminded me that I simply need to choose Him. I can choose to live in apathy, or I can choose to live in Him. And choosing apathy is choosing death, plain and simply. Only He will give me life. That's when I chose Him, and He told me a new story...

Thank you to the two women who encouraged me in their blogs, Annie and Lauren , your faithfulness to our Lord is beautiful.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's a...

CELEBRATION! Kelby, my wonderful husband, and I have been married four years today! I can't imagine life without him. So, here's a few things that I love about him four years in...

I LOVE that Kelby has a servant's heart. He's always volunteering to help anyone that he sees with a need. He truly is full of compassion, which comes straight from Jesus.

I LOVE that Kelby is a man after God's own heart. He desires a deep, full, and wide relationship with God. He loves God and is fully devoted to seeking Jesus.

I LOVE that Kelby makes me laugh. He's not afraid to be silly with me, and we love having fun together.

I LOVE that Kelby likes to create. He builds things (a yurt, a mirror for our bedroom, a fence for his sister, and the list goes on) and designs things (our yard, our garden) beautifully. He really makes things beautiful because he's patterned in God's own image.

I LOVE that Kelby is my best friend. I know that he'll listen attentively when I talk to him. I know that he'll look out for my needs. And I know that he'll take me on adventures with him whenever, where ever.

I LOVE that Kelby is adventurous. Actually, this trait freaked me out a bit when we first were together because I'm such a planner, but I've so grown to love it. I'm impressed by his free and laid back spirit. I really appreciate that he's willing to go, to find, to explore, to journey.

I LOVE that Kelby is a provider. He provides in big ways constantly. He's is so encouraging of me when I want to follow my dreams, and he supports even the littlest whim. But he also takes care of me on a minute level, bringing me tea in bed, covering me with blankets, etc.

I LOVE that Kelby desires to be a father. It's beautiful to watch my husband with small children because he so has our Father's heart. I can't wait to be able to share in the joy that children will bring him one day.

I LOVE that Kelby makes me feel beautiful. He's always giving me words of affirmation, holding my hand, and generally being so in love that I can't help swooning!

I LOVE that Kelby loves family. He won't pass up a chance at being with one or our families. Since we're so close, that means the world to me.

And a silly one, I LOVE that Kelby reads. This has not always been the case. But now he really enjoys reading, and (being the English teacher that I am) I love it.

What are you celebrating today?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oh I wish...

I were a punk rocker with flowers in my hair...

I love that song by Sandi Thom. But since I'm probably not going to be a punk rocker, I guess I'll have to settle for flowers in my hair. And guess what? I made one!

I found this wonderful tutorial on how to make beautiful flowers for your hair. Instead of beads, I used an old button. I think you could also do some fun stuff with ribbon if you wanted. I used a hot glue gun to attach a bobby pin to the back. Try it out - it's so fun and easy.

What wishes are you working on?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I've been waiting
and watching,
wondering where you were.

The winter was much too long for me -
it was still and strong
unyielding of its grasp on the earth.

But I've been waiting
and watching,
and you've finally come
in all your glory.

Full of movement
and light
and all good things.
Your dress is beautiful,
white with pink buds.

I've witnessed you dancing through the aspens,
shimmering in the morning light
awakening slowly
but finally here.

Hello, friend. Welcome back.

"O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!"
Psalm 8:1

Sunday, April 11, 2010


...God has been teaching me about his power. During Easter, he reminded me that his son didn't suffer unbelievable pain and anguish just to die. No, he suffered in order to rise again, to overcome death, to save us from our sin. That's power.

And further, he's opened my eyes through the book Blessed Child by Ted Dekker. He's been reminding me that his gift after his resurrection was his Holy Spirit. He gave his Holy Spirit that we would do greater things than he did. Greater things than giving sight to the blind, making the lame walk, bringing people back to life? Yes, that's what he said. It seems like a crazy claim - no one can do those miraculous things...on their own. But with the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus says that we can and will.

So why aren't we seeing this miraculous power more often? Even before receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, God gave us free will. He allows us to choose - every decision, every day is ours to choose light and life or darkness and death. I don't know about you, but I more often choose to serve myself than my Creator. I choose darkness and death instead. And it's breaking my heart. And it's even more breaking his heart. It says in James that "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us" (4:5). He has made his spirit to dwell within us, to fill us with his power in order that we will bring light to the world, and yet I continually choose my own way, my own path. When I don't follow his Spirit, he can't work his power through me.

As he was showing me all of this beautiful, hard truth, he gave me the most precious vision of his power. I woke up last week to light. It was like just outside my vision, just past the edges, there was real light shining in. Hope took residence in my soul, and I was full of joy and full of his Spirit. He showed me what it's like when I choose him.

(I'm not saying it's easy and shiny all the time walking with God. He doesn't ever tell us this. He tells us we have to die to ourselves, turn our back on our earthly desires. But like Dumbledore says in Harry Potter, there comes a time when you must choose between what is right and what is easy. And God certainly does give us hope and joy and peace and promise in the midst of the struggle and the pain.)

There is real power in this world to change things for the good. That power resides in Jesus Christ. When we choose him and follow where he's going, we will truly see what the early church saw - greater things than even Jesus did through the power of his Holy Spirit. So...where is his Spirit leading you?

The sunrise on my way to school last week.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Opening my eyes

I just got back from Napa (my first trip), and it was amazing. So you'd probably think that I'd have pictures and fun details to share. I do...just not today. Today, I have some other insight into my life.

Lately, God's been opening my eyes to my sinfulness. He's showing me how I am judgmental, how I choose distraction over being with Him, how I wander from Him every time, how I am unfaithful.

For most of my life, I haven't felt like a sinner. I truly thought that I was loyal and faithful, open and honest, dedicated to Him, and I definitely didn't judge others. I knew I wasn't perfect, but I certainly was good enough. This was the lie that I was believing.

I have realized that I am a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I will never be good enough when I'm compared to God. And He's diligently showing me this in small and big ways. He really is opening my eyes to my own sin, my own issues, to how I fall short of Him and His plan for me every day.

And yet, it is good news. He has forgiven me. He has covered my sin - my ugly, nasty sin - with His pure blood. But I still must choose to turn to Him, to follow Him. I must choose Him in each of those moments when I realize how gross I really am on my own. And He'll be there. He'll be the voice saying, "'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever I turn to the right or to the left" (Isaiah 30:21).

What has He been opening your eyes to lately?


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Beautiful - a Saturday revelation

I was in a pre-institute meeting today for the National Writing Project. During the afternoon session, we participated in a teaching demonstration. My group got to read the book "Beautiful," a children's book, and work toward our own definition of beautiful.

On my way to the definition, I described the windows in my house as beautiful because they allow me to look out to the world. Through them, I am brought out of myself and into the world and creation. I called them beautiful because they draw you in without demanding your attention.

And I realized that I am much like a window - or I should be anyway. I should be the glass through which my neighbors, friends, and acquaintances see God. My relationship with Him should draw them in without demanding their attention so that their attention can rightly go to Him.

That's when I came to my definition of the word "beautiful." I think that something (or someone) is beautiful when it fulfills its purpose. Paintings are beautiful because they bring light, color, perspective, and joy to viewers, for which they are meant. Books are beautiful because they allow you to hear other people's stories (whether real or not) and find a fuller meaning out of life. I am beautiful when I come in close to Him and reveal His love by loving those around me.

I don't quite know how this looks, yet. I'm still praying through what it means and how I go about loving (relentlessly!) those around me. But, oh, how I want to be beautiful.

Where do you find beauty? Where do you find purpose?


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Love relentlessly.

These two words caught me tonight. As a follower of Christ, I am called to love relentlessly. But more often than not (way more often) I don't follow that way. Instead, I find myself thinking only about me. I find in myself a wholly self-centered attitude. The question running through the back of my mind is usually how will this benefit me?

Love relentlessly.

It keeps coming back. And I fall short each time because I can't even try hard enough to come close. My pastor said the other Sunday that when we get to a point of saying, "I can't do this by myself," then we're at a place where God can actually work in our lives. So that's where I am. On my own, I am not filled with love. I can't do this by myself. And yet, I am called...

Love relentlessly.

Which means there is a way. With Christ, it is possible to love relentlessly.

In love, Megan

Monday, March 1, 2010

Three unrelated things...

First to the important thing - what God's been teaching me. Lately, He's been really emphasizing the point in my life to draw near and lean into Him. Right now I'm in a time of waiting on Him which has been hard and painful and so rewarding at the same time. But as I wait, I have the tendency to want to get busy, and so I distract myself from the purpose He's called me to. But a few days ago He reminded me to be still and simply know that He is God.

And in that moment of surrender and letting go to go to Him, I remembered that He really is God. He is in control. He has a plan, and it's good. I don't have to worry about getting everything in the right place because He's already doing that. When I actually still my anxious heart and turn back to the one who created everything, I can breath easier because I know that He's working all things together for the good of us who believe.

The second thing is a smaller celebration. I started my first sewing project. It's an easy one to begin - just a simple hemming of our drapes. But I'm going to use the leftover scraps to make original window treatments for our small bedroom windows. I'll post a picture when I'm finished.

The third unrelated thing is this...
My African Violets are blooming and sparkling in an unbelievable way. Just when I'm so sick of winter I can hardly stand it, God gives a little piece of grace and beauty.

Now, to you. What has God been teaching you lately? Has He drawn you into a new place in Him? What are you celebrating right now - big or little? What's one thing that surprised you this week in a lovely way?

Allow yourself to be swept away by the beauty of truth and creation.


Monday, February 22, 2010

New Beginnings

It’s almost spring, and my world is filled with new beginnings. For one thing, I’ve started this blog. It seems a small, trifle thing, but the more I think about it, the more excited I become. I want to create, share, and venture further out into this world – even when I’m not able to leave my own little couch.

Which leads me to another beginning. My new writing “table.” My husband’s generous mother passed along this lovely antique chest that now sits in our living room. It’s amazing how much space (not literal square footage, but metaphorical, emotional influence) one piece of furniture can occupy. It really changes our entire room and whispers of an older world, one without the hustle and bustle; one with adventure and journeying; one with new sights and sounds; one without internet, certainly, but with just as much (or possibly more) connection to others.

And more? A new (actually old) sewing machine to be used in many new, crafty ways. I’ve been reading Anna Maria Horner’s blog, which has inspired me in more than a few ways to begin creating anything and everything. My machine is patiently waiting new hands (mine) to revitalize it and bring life and beauty again. So…I’m off to sew.

Enjoy the possibility of new beginnings,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Made for this...

On Sunday my pastor asked us, "What's in your hand?" Although short, the question is full and deep. What's in my hand for the kingdom? What's in my hand for God? What's in my hand that He's given me to use for His good? I do not have a physical thing like Moses had with his staff (where the story originated), so it makes answering the question a bit more difficult.

But as I pondered, I stumbled upon some beautiful and fun blogs - a medium of writing and art quite new to me. I realized that I have two things in my hand: writing and my story. I love to write, but don't have a ton of time as a middle school teacher. And God is taking me on some exciting and daring adventures that I want to share. Put them together, and...wah-lah, this blog became an idea playing around in my head.

It seems I am made for this. Writing, journeying, writing about journeying... So welcome to my blog about life.

Now, let me ask you: What's in YOUR hand?