encouragement

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.

Music Monday: Who I Am

So as I’ve shared recently, running (or trying to run) has been a mountain I’ve been trying to conquer. When viewed with the right lenses and for the right reasons, health is really important to me. Unfortunately, we all know how difficult it is to keep our sights set on why we need to be healthy in the first place.

For me, I am not able to successfully be healthy if my goal is to make myself happy or to please Daniel. I have always and will forever fail if those two reasons are why I do anything. It just proves so hard how human I am. When I am able to believe that striving for healthy living is for God and his glory, then the success comes. Again, it’s difficult.

Some days I’ve truly got it. And some days I don’t feel God and I’d rather sit on the couch and eat an entire bag of Pirates Booty.

An album, and more specifically a certain song reminds me of why I do anything in the first place, and helps me see myself differently.

Life In Your Way’s Kingdoms, which is an album comprised of three EP’s (The Kingdom of Man, The Kingdom of Darkness and The Kingdom of God) , is something you NEED to listen to, especially if you are into melodic hardcore. But even if you’re not, give it a listen.

My favorite EP of the three part album is The Kingdom of God. On there is a song called “Who I Am”… and good grief.

It’s funny, because every time I’m running and contemplating giving up, this song starts playing through my Nike running app. It’s starts off with an intense, “THIS IS WHO I AM…” You know in Super Mario Kart, those question marks you run into that sometimes give you a super boost and you blast by all of the other guys? That’s what happens to me when this song comes on. It somehow gives me the power to believe who I really am, versus who I’ve made myself out to be in my own mind.

He doesn’t see what I see, He doesn’t see what you see.
He sees my destiny and calls me to be a son.

I seriously get teary eyed every time I reach this part of the song. You know why this is motivating? Because it’s true. And even though I don’t quite understand fully what God sees in me, I know He sees it. I’m so grateful because if my worth was solely left up to me, well then I would just be a sad girl all the time.

This is going to sound stupid and girly, but it also helps me get past what I see in the mirror. Like it or not, we all have issues with what stares back at us. You could have a slammin’ hot bod, and still find something that unsettles you. No matter how much physical beauty we think we’ve accomplished, it is just never enough. Most of the time, I feel like the grossest person ever. I could name off at least 20 things I’d have different on my body. Now, hear me. This is not a call for shallow compliments, because that will never be what satisfies my soul. And please don’t tell me how I just have to “love myself.” I refuse to trade in the sin of self-loathing for the sin of pride. It’s a battle most of us (both men and women) will fight every day, and we could blame it on all kinds of things. Media, childhood, food, friends, etc.

But the reality is, He sees none of that crap. He sees what He has made, what He is cultivating, and ultimately what He will finish. That pushes me. That gives me that last shred of energy to go one more mile. That allows me not to look in the mirror and smile, but to walk passed it completely and not even worry about it. It helps me choose to love others, even when they severely piss me off. It gives me the strength I desperately need to be a better wife, mom and person.

This is who I am, by the power of the risen death and what You’ve done.
This is who I am, all I’ve been and who I’ve become.