Jesus

Bus Ride

Fight For Joy 2012

I know it’s been almost 2 weeks, but I’m still here- promise! I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll see if I can get everything out in an orderly fasion.

Last week I had a wonderful time spending 5 whole days with an amazing group of people. My good friend and former pastor, Jesse Carbo, asked me a few months ago to come and lead worship for the Cross Pointe Orlando youth group in Panama City Beach.  I love how every time I imagine in my head what an event will be like, it always turns out to be so much better. It only proves that God delights in doing us good.

The few days prior to leaving for camp were awful. I shared in a previous post about Abram’s high fevers and my realizations of deep rooted idols. It was a perfect time to get away and be renewed, and that is exactly what happened.

I’m not gonna lie- I was kinda terrified for a few minutes after Daniel dropped me off at the McDonald’s where I was getting picked up. I walked in to 60 teenagers and had no idea what to do with myself. It had been a while.

Once we got to the retreat center in Panama City Beach, things started to roll really fast. I had the pleasure of leading worship with BENJAH all week, and we started rehearsing right away. I hadn’t been in the position of leadership over others in a while as far as music goes, and it was really cool to see how far God has taken me from where I used to be. I feel like two years ago, all of the sound issues and the non-chemistry between musicians would have ruined my week. But we got passed frustrations and let God work, and HE DID. Holy crap.

The first night was incredible. We opened up with “How He Loves” and the whole room was filled with beautiful voices worshiping a mighty God. The Holy Spirit created such an intense atmosphere of unabashed praise and humility, that I wasn’t able to sing at moments. To say it was incredible would be an understatement.

I got to know some of these teenagers and adults so well in a very short period, which made it quite the bitter- sweet experience. What I appreciated so much about these adults was that they were not quick to create some kind of manipulative formula that contrived an emotional response out of the kids. They just let the Holy Spirit lead and speak through them, and the kids broke down and came face to face with their struggles and idols on their own. The typical spirit of guilt was replaced with a deep feeling of relief, which created a beautiful bond and harmony amongst everyone.

God was working on me as well. He rejuvenated my heart and opened my eyes back up to my identity, which is solely placed in Him. I feel like Megan again, and not some soul-less robot that checks a list off every day. He also re-awakened my passion for music and gave me a peace about giving some other things up to be able to pursue that more and give more of myself to my family. But before I get into that hard conversation, here are some i-phone snapshots from last week.

My face looks so round in this picture…

Our tiny dining room.

2xl means a new sleep shirt. Thanks Jesse.

All I ever want.

Our cabin smelled like wet towels and candy body spray. I wouldn’t have camp any other way.

Our cabins had Bible names. Silly Christians.

Our one trip off campus to eat all of the fried chicken.

Liz, Amanda, Becca and James. Good people.

This started a tribal riot.

It got wild.

Knuckles up.

My french fries landed this way when I poured them out, and at the end of an exhausting trip, everything is awesome (also, my husband just reminded me of a public profession I made to never eat McDonald’s again in a blog post…? If I did, I apologize. It was our only option).

Best lesson of the week: Jesus is enough. Jesus is more than enough. Rest.

Best quote of the week: “Shallow Ho’s!” -Katie

Best dancer: Little Geoff. Hands down.

Best worship song: a toss up between Like an Avalanche and Give Me Faith.

For those of you that regularly read this blog, I’ll probably be talking about what God did in my life last week for the next couple of days. I’ve got an announcement coming up, but I’ll wait until later this week to announce it, so that the anticipation grows and makes you crazy. You’re welcome.

 

Trying To Do It All

I’ve noticed here recently that there’s been an overarching theme in my more serious writing, which is completely normal. I don’t know why I find it so surprising. We go through seasons, phases, lessons. Sometimes they take a while to harvest.

I feel like God’s been saying, “stop trying to do everything, and focus on what matters. But not what YOU think matters. Use your energy to do what I want you to do,” for weeks, months and possibly years now.

Since my vlog post on Monday, I’ve really seen how crippled I’ve made myself by all of the commitments I take on. No one thing ever gets my full attention, because there are too many tasks to accomplish. This being the case, the things that do actually get done are not the best they can be.

I’m learning that a good leader is not someone who can do everything, but who can do a few things well. Mainly because he/she has the time to do it. A good leader is able to resist the temptation to take on this and that, more and more… and more. In this resistance, he/she forsakes potential fame and glory for themselves. A good leader has his/her eyes steady upon something greater than “you did a great job!” or “man…. you’re super mom!”

Jesus showed for us a great example by letting himself be fully human (and still fully God) and had rest. His moments of rest all throughout the gospels show me that it is necessary if we want to completely and fully love others. Withdrawal and reflection is crucial to filling up again and going back out. Choosing a handful of people (or tasks) to invest in is ultimately more effective and produces a better quality of life than attempting to accept every request and opportunity presented before us.

So, with that being said, I am here and now going to publicly announce what I am giving up. I am doing this as an exercise in applying a lesson learned, and to challenge others to either let go of or take on commitments.

My Letting-Go-Of List

Trying to clean the house EVERYDAY

Wedding Planning

Media Shout at church

Blog Designing

It may not seem like much, but those four commitments are huge and time consuming, and although good things in and of themselves, are not the commitments that I feel God wants me focusing on at this time.

Just making that list is already so liberating. Mmmm, peace.

Now for the follow through.

It’s Nothing But My Heart.

Last night I found myself overwhelmed. A familiar place of course.

What’s so unfortunate about it is that nothing was really wrong. Walls were not crashing to their foundation and the earth was not giving way under my feet. Daniel and I both had a long and productive day that ended in a sweet wedding shower for our friends Darren and Kay. We had a happy, sleeping baby in the car on the way home, who clutched the string of his balloon so very tight.

Sure, when we walked in the dishes were stacked. There were some toys scattered on the living room floor. Clothes laid strewn about in our bedroom.

My mind raced across the days events, and the days to follow. My chest felt like it was being wound by a key as each moment went on, eventually being to tight to budge.

I had to stop.

Sit.

Breath.

Close my eyes.

Shhhh….. silence.

But it was not silent, you see because my heart was all tangled up in the triteness of life. And because my heart is directly connected to my head, loud noises continued to asphyxiate the peace.

“Hush,” says the Lord.

Be Still. (Psalm 46:10)

Look to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2)

Hand your burdens over. (Matthew 11:28)

Do not worry. (Matthew 6:31)

Fear not. (Psalm 23:24)

Take heart. (John 16:33)

Rest. (Hebrews 4:10-11)

In that wonderful moment when I’m back on earth, I am tempted to envy the one who does not toil in worry.

All of these things that I do and all of the information I load myself down with; is it big picture or is it trivial?

I think I would like to say that most of what concerns me day in and day out is the gospel. But I’d be a liar if I said that.

I could say that it would be nice if we could just go live on a vast piece of land somewhere, eat what we grow and enjoy the simplicity. But I’d eventually find a way to complicate it.

Or I could imagine what it would be like to shut off all of my devices, and be technology free. But I’d eventually find a way to slave myself.

It’s my heart, and nothing else. Fix it, and all the substance changes. The STUFF may still remain, but what it is made of and how I choose to handle it is where the breakthrough lies.

“Deep in your heart, you feather and tar your folly and fear. Expose them all for the fools they are and the world becomes clear.” – Audrey Assad