Monday, January 7, 2013

After all these years...

I did something brave yesterday. I told the truth. I don't know about you, but I am the sort of person who will avoid confrontation at all cost. I'll smile sweetly and nod innocently in the face of torture, but ask me to be honest and say what I really think and I just can't do it -- especially if it means hurting someone's feelings or standing up for myself.

All that changed yesterday.

I had an opportunity to say what I really meant, to explain that something someone did was really and truly wrong and caused me a great deal of pain. I said it without fanfare or bitterness, but I did say it. And you know what? The sky didn't fall because I was honest. The earth didn't shatter and quake because I told the truth about being hurt. I think sometimes as Christians we tend to cover up other people's sins, thinking we are being selfless and decent and gentle and kind. We tiptoe away from them. It's so much easier to say nothing than to get embroiled in some sort of hoopla by confronting someone about his or her wrongdoing. It was a small victory. It was something very tiny that I did yesterday. But for the first time in a long time, I was honest and forthright about how I felt instead of swallowing the pain, putting on a brave face while my heart was aching, and pretending all was well.

I think it was a great start to a new year. A brave first step toward being who I am instead of trying to always be whoever the person in front of me wants me to be. I know some people don't struggle with this type of thing at all. But for those of us who are pleasers, this was no small feat. I am blessed.

Yours, standing tall when feeling small,

Megan Elizabeth

P.S. I posted the photo of my dog Poochini because I love my dog. It has nothing to do with this post. But he's danged cute, isn't he?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Life, Death, and Posterity...

Happy New Year!

As a Christian, I believe this life is just a brief prelude to the glorious eternity I will share with my heavenly Father, my Lord, and my loved ones. But that's not what this post is about. Today, New Year's Day, 2012, I'm thinking more about what my legacy will be here on earth for the generations that will come after me -- for my children's children and beyond. As I sit here listening to Dan Fogelberg sing "Sketches," and thinking about his early demise and his musical legacy, I can't help but wonder what I'd leave behind if, like him, my passing came earlier than expected.

I've been writing children's picture books, midgrade novels, and one long, arduous Young Adult novel for the past decade or so. None of them are published yet, but I keep plugging along. Suppose those book manuscripts never make it into the hands of children the world over. Would my legacy still be acceptable?

I've written a few songs and poems over the years. Those are unpublished, too. I've written for fashion magazines, for nonprofits, for television. Will any of that last? Probably not.

I love home design and decorating. I seem to have a knack for it, too. When I designed my own dream home, it turned out great! But the extra expenses involved when we had to switch contractors twice left us destitute. Was home design my legacy? Probably not.

I love to cook! Every year at Christmas and Easter, I whip up a magnificent feast a la the Frugal Gourmet and Nancy Glass (my mother). The oohs and ahhs feed my soul as I watch my family feed their stomachs with satisfaction. Is that my legacy? Making memories with my family around my table is sweet. But I doubt it will reach past the next few generations. I mean, I don't have any of my great grandmother's recipes. Do you? No, cooking is probably not going to leave a lasting legacy.

There are two things left circling in my mind. And neither of them involve accomplishments. First, I look into the eyes of my children and see smoky visions of myself staring back, glimpses and snippets of beautiful times we've had together. My daughters remember dancing through a field of wildflowers with me, singing a Jars of Clay song (Love Song for a Savior) at the top of our lungs as we drove to church each Sunday. "I WANT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU! I WANT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU! I WANT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU! I WANT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU!"

I think I've found my lasting legacy.

My calling all along was to spend myself on behalf of my children, to teach them to know and love their Savior, to gently guide them with loving, firm hands that will gradually shift from fresh and pink to wrinkled and chapped to arthritic and marred before returning to their Maker. My greatest joy is to bring glory and honor to God. And my highest calling is to share His love with a suffering world. But my everyday legacy will undoubtedly be wrapped up in thousands of tiny moments shared with my family -- moments of pure joy and bliss and seasons of tragedy where all I had to offer was a shoulder to cry on and tears to shed in unity with the hurting.

I am 48 years young. There's still time for that great novel of mine to get published or maybe a work of nonfiction I'll be wrapping up soon. Until then, my hope is that my soul will nourish the souls of those most precious to me.

Yours, with feet firmly planted in nutrient-rich soil and heart pierced and broken for the humble and needy,

Megan Elizabeth

Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Day

My husband works at The Inspiration Network. He's a television executive in charge of selecting programming to air, previewing it, researching what their audience wants and what is inspirational. This network used to air primarily religious programming -- preaching shows, teaching shows, Gospel music shows, that sort of thing. The shift toward entertainment programming that enriches is, I think, going to be a great one. There is so much trash tv available and so little that is inspiring. The "theme" of the shift in programming is "It's a New Day." I like that. It's invigorating to think that we can wake up one day and say, "Today is going to be different. Instead of ____________, I am going to _______________." We don't have to accept the way things are, the things life has thrown us that are unsavory, unappealing, or downright horrible. We can fall back and regroup. Or we can at least try to.

How would you fill in those blanks? Here's what I think...

Instead of suffering silently, I am going to call a friend and ask for help.
Instead of wishing I had a book published, I am going to finish the ones I have only partially completed and start submitting them to publishers.
Instead of worrying about money, I am going to trust God to provide for all of our needs.
Instead of judging people when they treat me poorly, I am going to pray for them.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines, I am going to get back in the game.

Yours, with trembling hands and fluttery heart, stumbling feet and blinded eyes,

Megan Elizabeth

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back to the blog...

I took quite a long hiatus from blogging due to unforeseen personal circumstances that just made me change my priorities, circle the wagons, get back to basics and get over some pretty huge wounds inflicted by people who should have known better but somehow, inexplicably, didn't.

So I was thinking about what I'd like to say after a year away, and it occurred to me that the shift in my priorities ought to be the focus. So here's the thing. After being ripped off by unscrupulous remodelers, losing over $100,000 in the process, facing four kids' college tuition with no money and no retirement money, dealing with bitterness, loss of faith in God, and severe emotional pain that left me on the outside of an organization I thought I'd see through until the day I died, I came to the conclusion that we walk through this life alone -- not completely alone but nothing is secure here beyond our own personal walk with God and our own interactions with other human beings. I trusted the wrong people, probably through some inner fault of mine that kept me from holding them accountable because I was insecure and underconfident. The thing is, if God has given us free will, and He says He has, that means other people have free will, too, and their decisions affect our lives. But ultimately, God is there in the midst of it all.

Learning the hard lessons -- always the hard way, it seems -- has left me vulnerable in some areas and hardened in others. I tend not to trust people as easily now and when bad things happen I tend to mistrust God as well. The important lesson I learned is that God can take that. He knows our frailties, fears, and concerns. He knows the deepest longings of our hearts, and already knows how we're going to react. The truth is He loves us in spite of our sin and sent His son because of our frailties. It's comforting to know that He has our backs when we're wrongly accused and is ever present -- ready to comfort us.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hilary in La Boheme with Opera Carolina!

Congratulations, Hilary! You did an absolutely amazing job performing in La Boheme. We're so proud of you for heading up there in the middle of a snowstorm. What dedication and grit you have! And what a great dad to drive you up there... LOL!

You made a beautiful marching band member. We love you!

Hannah has been accepted to Berklee College of Music, so she's headed to Boston in the fall. We drove her down to Atlanta for an audition and interview a few months ago. She didn't want to tell anyone in the opera she was audi- tioning just in case she didn't get in... But she DID get in! And we just found out they only accepted around 16% of all their applicants this year.

Way to go, Hannah-Bella!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The ferocious beasts we love...


It's been some time since I've posted anything on this blog. It seems I have no words left. Life has been quite a train wreck lately. But, you know, God has faithfully whispered in my ear, every step of the way, "this is the way, walk in it!" As we walk, we sometimes stumble, sometimes scurry too fast and miss a blessing, other times wallow for too long in the moat instead of walking the bridge above it. It's all a part of the journey. And meanwhile, feather touches of joy pierce through if we stop long enough to feel the dusty brush of them.

Here's to the new co-op, our new addition, the future sale of our home, and all else God has planned in the coming months...

Yours when walking mountain crags and breathing in pure bliss and when sludging through muck and mush and wishing life would cease to be unpleasant,

Megan Elizabeth

Hannah and Tim dressed in 19th century garb...

Reptilian event... Jesse!

Snake belt... Good on ya, Jesse!