Bye Bye Comfort and Control

I bet you just read that title and thought all kinds of sucky things.

Well, yes. What I am about to share is sucky for me. Sucky for fleshy Megan.

A couple of conversations at camp last week mixed with a couple of conversations this week brought about an eye- opening conviction today.

Coffee is my functional savior.

I’m sure some of you just dropped your head with a sad, slow shake, because you know what’s coming next.

It all started last week, when Jesse Carbo told me he  had given up coca cola. I’ve known Jesse for 6 years now, and if there is any one thing that gets him bad, it’s that sweet, eye-watering, carbonated beverage. It’s a mountain that he has tried to conquer for years, sometimes coming out victorious and other times failing. It’s very encouraging how transparent he has been about the whole thing.

Little conversations about coffee kept popping up last week. It was mostly in fun, but the truth is, I wasn’t able to make it through a day without it. I even had to leave campus several times to make a Starbucks run. And that was ON TOP OF the Cuban coffee Jesus made every day (pronounced Hey-Zeuss… Christ was not makin us coffee) .

Today I was hanging out with my two lady friends, Melissa and Laura, while our kids destroyed a play room. We were talking about weight struggles, foods and drinks we can’t live without and the things that keep us from being healthy. The truth hit as I was saying it out loud how much I NEED coffee. Isn’t it funny how God speaks to us often through our own mouths?

I don’t have any control over my days. With a child, I’m not sure if the day is going to go exactly as planned or if it is going to be an epic disaster. The one thing I can control and find comfort in, no matter how my day turns out, is my praised cup of coffee. Whether I make it myself, or I purchase my very specific beverage at Starbucks, it is mine. The smell and the taste makes life a billion times better.

And that is not o.k.

“You shall have no other God’s before me.” – Exodus 20:3

First commandment. Plain and simple.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

God is who I should be going to when things feel out of control, but even more than that, when things are perfectly fine. That time that I take each morning to worship the art of making/drinking coffee and is time I could be chasing God through scripture and just being at peace in His presence.

So, no more coffee for me! I’m sure some may think that that’s a bit extreme.

I mean, it is extreme. It’s extreme to let a beverage rule your life, and determine whether or not you are going to be happy or sad.

So extreme cases call for extreme measures.

I’m not under any kind of “spiritually high” illusion that with Jesus, this won’t be difficult. I’ve tried giving up coffee in the past, and obviously to no avail. It effing sucks. It’s not easy at all, and the first few days are excruciating, riddled with migraines and rage.

I also decline to be under the false pretense that I won’t fail. There is a likelihood that I will. No no, I’m not jinxing it before it even starts. On the contrary, I’m starting off realistically. I know myself too well, and if I tell myself that “this will be the time!” then I set myself up for a guilt-filled failure. I can’t do this without God, and it is for God that I am taking this on in the first place. Grace and relief is what I will rest in this time.

I’ll need lots of encouragement for the next couple of days. Don’t be shy, and feel free to share your stories of idols and how you abandoned them.

Or, if you are struggle in such a way as I am, let me know. We’ll do this together.

jatwsale

With Every Season….

So, on Monday I said I had an announcement to make, and I figured that it would be best to share it as soon as possible. I guess this could be considered a sad announcement, but not really!

While I was away being refreshed and getting some much needed color, God made some things very clear for me. The past few months has involved much narrowing down of commitments and passions, as I’ve shared in previous posts. I felt, last week, that God was continuing that process of elimination, and I feel very peaceful about the conclusions. With that said, this blog is going to change. This will no longer be one of my main focuses. Wait, don’t be upset! Let me finish.

One of the conversations I had last week with someone who is very passionately pursuing his gifts shared with me that even when God takes away a desire and replaces it with a new one  (or a RE-newed one), that it is still wise to fulfill your commitments until it’s completion, and continue to steward your gifts accordingly.  I have no idea if that makes any sense. Let me see if I can make that sound a little more coherent.

My desire for music has be re-awakened. With that came the diminished drive to do Jude And The Walrus, blog and etsy shop included. It was a feeling I started to have a couple of weeks ago, but was sort of in denial about it because I was finally getting the hang of the whole blog thing. I feel such a strong magnetism to writing music, singing, and becoming better skilled at the instruments I love. I even kinda want to get into the engineering and production aspect of music, and I couldn’t have married a better person to teach me how to do that!

Like I’ve said SO MANY TIMES, I’m only one person. And I committed a while back to stop committing so much- hehe. I feel peaceful about this decision.

Here’s where the stewarding my gifts accordingly comes in. Jude And The Walrus is not over for good. I will still be posting, but just not as much. The posts that I do share will be words that I feel God has given me throughout the week, and so there will be a lot less posts about thrift store finds, hair, etc. I will also be closing my Etsy shop. HOWEVER, I will still gladly make accessories of all kinds for anyone who wants them. So orders will become “upon request only” starting in July.

And now for the fun part of the  post…

Yep! I want to get rid of all my goodies on etsy, so from today until June 30th, everything in my shop will be 50% off! There’s only one of each thing, so if you want something, don’t wait! Click here or the “Shop JATW” button in the right top corner to snatch it all up! Use coupon code SUMMER12 at checkout, and purchases of 2 or more accessories will get a surprise accessory for free!

Ok, go!

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.