Life

Oh, Hey 2013… Didn’t see ya there.

Guys….. how ON EARTH are we already half way through January of 2013? Why is time being so rude and rushing me through the month?

So you see, my lack of posts is not my fault. Ha.

No, but seriously, 2013, am I right? I’m excited, but already exhausted, for this new year. I don’t honestly know how super bloggers, who also happen to be moms AND who also have passions they are pursuing, blog every day. I’ve tried the suggestions and organization tips and all. But here’s the thing- I refuse to over-work myself into frenzy, which inevitably leads me down a path of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual destruction. That’s not a pretty sight- usually it looks like me in a constant state of tears and suffering from some kind of crazy illness.

If there’s any kind of New Years Resolution for me this year, it will be to pace myself.

I made such a ridiculous list of NYR’s last year, because it was the first time I’d actually written one out. Looking back at that list, it dawned on me that those kinds of projects and goals take YEARS for people to achieve, and that’s if you are super driven. I haven’t always had the “go get ’em!” attitude, so I have no idea what I was thinking. BUT- I did accomplish one resolution on that list:

Have a successful blog.

Some of you, I’m sure very boisterously, just laughed out loud. You are thinking, “Megan… c’mon, girl. Have you seen a successful blog? You don’t even have one ad on your page. There are barely any comments on your posts. You posted like 2 times last month!”

Here’s what I said to myself last January.

“If one single person tells methat they benefited from something I wrote in a blog post, then I will consider my blog a success.”

Well, that happened. In fact, it happened all year. My most difficult and painful posts, the ones that were accompanied by anger and tears and lots of talking to God, were the ones that were followed by texts from friends and family that said they “really needed to read that, so thanks.” It was especially affirming to read the rare, encouraging comment from a complete stranger.

Don’t get me wrong, the posts about hair and soap and thrift store shopping are fun, and I love doing them. They are things that I enjoy, and will continue to share them. But after doing this for a year, I can look back and see what I need to focus in on when it comes to this blog.

As you’ve read over the last 12 months, I’m afraid of  many things. But I am not afraid to share. So I’m gonna keep doing that, and hopefully you will stick around to read.

So what should you expect to see from Jude and the Walrus in 2013?

Remember how I said that I was going to pace myself? It’s true. But that’s one of a few of my goals for this year.

1) Pace myself

2) Keep pursuing God’s love for me, and in turn love my family better

3) Record and finish my first album

4) Run

There ya go. All of my posts are probably going to be stemming from one or more of these goals. And YES! I have finally started recording my first solo album (technically solo- even though lots of my friends will be participating in the process). I’ll be posting tid bits, teasers and explanations behind lyrics and so forth.

I’m planning on running a 5k the first week in March. I’m on my second week of interval training, and so far so good. We all know my hatred for this particular exercise, but I want to do this so badly. Feel free to solicit any and all encouragement.

There will be a new Jude and the Walrus blog layout coming at the end of March, including a new logo! My good friend Angie will be illustrating it for me, which I am very excited about. You can check out the portrait she did of our family if you click here.

So what about you? What are you planning to do this year? Let’s keep each other to our goals, and allow for mistakes and failures. Because, if there’s anything that 2012 taught me, it was that failure is a necessary tool that focuses your vision, helping you see what you were made to do.

Tim Soap

Ok friends. I hope you are ready to enjoy some soap, because this is the best kind around!

I have a friend named Tim. He makes soap, collects weird instruments, and is moving to Africa in January. He needs support!

The best thing about Tim Soap is that it has the most minimal amount of ingredients, but produces the most hydrated and best feeling skin. My current favorite is the chocolate peppermint, or as I like to call it, the “Peppermint Patty.” This one simply contains goat milk, silk, cocoa powder and peppermint essential oil. That’s it! All of these things are highly recommended for nourishing and naturally cleaning the skin. Peppermint essential oil also does wonders with a tight, stressful chest and a tension headache. It’s only $5 a bar!

He has several different bars that are up for grabs. Here’s a list of them and there ingredients!

Baby Skin– $5: baby powder frangrance oil, goats milk, silk and sandalwood powder. This is a great one for exfoliation!

Man Soap– $5: liquified frankinsense resin, anise essential oil, sweet orange, cedar wood, ylang ylang and silk. There’s nothing feminine about this one!

Close Shave– $3: bentonite clay and juniper berry essential oil. This one gives a crazy lather, and is also a good bath soap!

He even has an unscented bar for $3 for those who simply want to clean themselves without the frill.

The packaging will look much better once the lovely AlliRay gets her hands on it, and we will be selling it at the Lake Desoto Farmers Market next weekend!

Sounds awesome right? Not only do you need to grab some of these up for yourself, but they also make fantastic stocking stuffers, leaving the entire stocking smelling so fresh and so clean.

Now I understand that soap is soap. We can buy it virtually anywhere, so why would anyone take the time to order this stuff? Well, let me tell you about Tim, and maybe that will sway your vote.

Tim goes to my church, Church on the Way. If you want to hear complaints, bickering, gossip, negativity, and all of the other crap that we tend to consume ourselves with on a daily basis, then DO NOT go to Tim. Most conversations with Tim consist of instruments, soap, coffee, music festivals, tattoos and the neat adventures he’s been on. Over the summer, he lost his house to the terrible flooding from the storms up here in North Florida, and at one point was riding his bike something like 40 miles a day to get to work. When he needs a place to rest his head, he has one, even if it’s not the most convenient. In the couple of years that I’ve had the pleasure of being in a church community with Tim, I’ve never once heard the man complain. If you want to meet a man who actually looks like a Christ follower, then this is your guy. He’s moving to Africa to join Brie Demott, our other international missionary, to love on orphans and serve Nakuru, Kenya however he can. If you want to know more about Tim’s life and his calling, then clear here and contact him!

So are you ready to buy some soap? If you are interested in supporting Tim and also having the best skin, then email me at meganontheway@gmail.com and we will get your soap ordered right away!

Failure Does Not Equal Death.

When you wake up in the morning, what is it that you wish you could do?

When you are getting ready for work, what is your mind REALLY occupied with?

What is that thing, above all other ideas and tasks and jobs, that gets your blood rushing and your adrenaline up? That thing that when you think about it, you get lost in a day dream, and when you actually get a free moment to spend time doing it, you lose track of time?

What are you passionate about?

And why aren’t you living that passion out?

Every person I have ever encountered that is not doing what they love almost always answers me with one or more of these three things:

“Well, it’s just not very practical.”

“There’s not really any money in that.”

“My spouse/family/friends wouldn’t understand or approve.”

Here’s the common denominator that anchors all of these excuses to our hearts: FEAR.

Fear tells us that our dreams are only just that: dreams. They aren’t meant to make into a reality. They are simply there to make us feel better, nothing more. Taking it any further would just end in failure, because it’s not what practical adults do.

Fear loves to ask, “how are you going to pay your bills doing that? That’s going to take a lot of sacrifice, and sacrifice is not your strong point. It’s just too hard. People are going to think you are ridiculous for not making every dollar you could possibly make.”

Fear insists that you think about the possible disapproval of your loved ones, and how you just can’t handle that. You’ve tried to make them understand before, but they just don’t get it, so why bother?

All of that is crap. Fear is a liar. I mean, I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until we all finally BELIEVE THIS CRUCIAL TRUTH.

We were created in the image of our CREATOR. We have the create ingredient in us.

There’s a strange, unexplainable and euphoric joy that comes from doing, making, creating something with your own hands (or minds), isn’t there?

That’s part of that image-bearer in us. And what’s so incredible, what makes me want to fall on my face in worship right now, is that there are millions of us, with millions of different passions and abilities lying in hibernation, waiting to be awakened and put to use for our joy, the continued restoration and redemption of our world and ultimately God’s glory.

So let me ask you again: Why aren’t you living that passion out?

If you just exist each day in the mind set that if you try, you might fail, then you are going to live a very sad life. It’s that simple.

Failure ≠ Death.

Failure = A First, Second, Third, Fourth Try.

In the ridiculous but somewhat insightful words of Pink (or whoever it is that writes her songs), “…but just because it burns, doesn’t mean you are gonna die, you gotta get up and try try try.”

Awakening that passion may mean that you are going to be really poor. It may mean selling your nice car and driving an old clunker around. It may mean eating out less and cooking beans and rice more. It may mean shredding your credit card so that you stop spending loads of money you don’t have. It may mean that even though you have to turn all the lights off in your house to lower the energy bill, you paint incredible masterpieces by candle light.

Your passion is worth it.

It may mean that you die the “American Dream” and sell everything you have and move to Nakuru, Kenya so that you can love motherless babies and make soap.

Your passion is worth it.

It may mean going to school for something so specific and risky, instead of being an accountant like your dad wants you to be.

Your passion is worth it.

It may mean that you try, and fail, and try and fail, and try and fail…. and then finally succeed.

Your passion is worth it.

No more excuses, ok? Stop cheating yourself and everyone around you out of your God-given and beautiful abilities.

Do. Make. Create.

Fear is a liar. Repeat that in your head as many times as necessary.