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Stop Trying to Understand

I was up late the other night. As is the case most nights, because I find myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours on end. And on this particular night I had scrolled through just about everything I could scroll through. So, I transferred my attention to Facebook to mindlessly scroll through that. And when I signed onto Facebook I immediately had a notification. “Hillsong Barcelona streaming live now.”

Wow. Hillsong Barcelona- haven’t thought of them since I studied abroad. That was my home church when I lived in Spain, and funny enough, at one point in time if you Googled “Hillsong Barcelona” my blog was the third search option that popped up. Anyways, with nothing more to scroll through I thought, “Eh why not.”

So I turned the live stream on and waited for service to start. For the first ten minutes I watched the preservice announcement slides and listened to worship music in Spanish. As the songs played I was able to recognize the melodies and knew I knew the songs in English, but I can hardly remember lyrics in English let alone remember them in Spanish. Then service started and Pastor Juan and Damsy started with a few announcements. Pastor Juan speaks a million words a minute, but even with how fast he spoke I could still understand him. Somewhere in my brain I was able to comprehend it and know exactly what he was saying. After the announcements came worship, and that’s when God whispered to me.

Compared to preservice announcement music, the worship set displayed the lyrics on the screen the way you would see them if you were in service. And instead of just listening to the music and going along with it, I listened, read the lyrics on the screen, and tried my best and fastest to translate them. So the whole time rather than worshipping along with the song, I was working my brain to try to understand and comprehend what was being said. And I messed it up for myself.

I learned a long time ago- while studying in Barcelona actually- that God works in inconceivable ways. He works across language barriers and socio-economic statuses. He works in the United States just as much as He does in Spain or in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He works in adults who have been around the church for a lifetime, and He works in young children who can barely piece together words.

So why is it that in that moment, I was still trying to make God fit into what I understand? Why did I need to translate lyrics when I know in my heart that the Holy Spirit understands Spanish.

That’s what led God to whispering, “Stop trying to understand.”

Because lately God has been saying over and over to me that I don’t need to- and truly will never be able to- understand Him or His ways. I don’t need to overanalyze and complicate the situation. I don’t need to think through all the steps and organize what to do next. I just need to keep going. Keep believing in His goodness. Keep trusting in His faithfulness. And keep relying on His love that will endure.

I see this image of Him looking at me, holding my face, staring into my eyes and telling me all the things I should have already learned by now…

“Meg, I created you to be organized and thorough and detailed and goal-oriented. I created you knowing you would plan everything and expect the world of it. But I did not create you to know my thoughts or know my reasoning. And I want to give you glimpses, I really do. I want to show you the pieces so that you can enjoy the ride along the way… So that it won’t hurt so much. So that you can rejoice along with me. But I know that when I do, you run off on your own. You take what is written in front of you, you work your brain to try to uncover it’s meaning, and then you try to turn it into something you can understand. But it’s not your job to understand.”

How do I rewire my brain in order to stay on the path God has set before me? How do I prevent myself from messing up opportunities because of my second nature need to understand? What do I do when all I want is for the world- my world- to make sense, but God keeps hinting at the fact that it won’t make sense- not anytime soon anyways.

Someone please tell me. Because I’m dying to understand.

0 In Hawaii/ Uncategorized

I’ve Come So Far

I cheated.

But is it really even cheating? It’s my birthday tradition. I made up the rules. The letter is written to me after all!

So maybe I didn’t cheat. But I did open my letter early. My special letter. The one that no one else is allowed to read. The ones that up until this very moment- these exact sentences- the world didn’t know about until now.

Every year, right before my birthday, I go to the beach and I watch the sunrise. It doesn’t seem that special. Now that I’m working from home I do that every other Tuesday morning. But the special part is the letter. The one I read early remember? Every year, I write myself a letter. From this Meg to the Meg in the future. It’s a little confusing, so just bear with me.

I started this tradition when I first moved to Hawaii. It was in the midst of loneliness post graduating college and moving to a place where I had absolutely no friends. This letter to myself was my vehicle of hope that sent forth my dreams and wishes. It came from a present point of sorrow and sadness with the hope of something greater in the expectation that once opened, the something greater would have been achieved.

I’ll write things like “Pay off your credit card bill.” Haven’t achieved that yet. Or “Hope you’re not single anymore.” Negative to that too. But you get the gist. I have a dream, and I write to myself hoping that in the next year the dream will be fulfilled.

But 2019 was difficult because 2018 was different. Two years ago, instead of writing a letter from the hopes of my own soul, I wrote from what I thought God was telling me. And maybe God did tell me that thing and I just happened to ruin the plans along the way (I do that sometimes), but that 2018 letter was written from a different part of my desires.

And ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to say it ruined me in 2019. Because for a whole year I held onto that message I thought I had heard from God. And when the clock started ticking and my birthday rolled around the corner, the message and the reality of my life didn’t line up. So I opened my letter with so much sadness and disappointment and heartbreak and bitterness and frustration and confusion and hurt and pain and I can go on and on with the flurry of emotions that did not equate to happiness or joy…

But praise the Lord God Almighty, this year was not the same.

I cheated because I knew it was going to be good. Before I even knew the words written on that card, I knew I would be filled with contentment.

And not because I read the letter and saw “Hope you’re not single anymore!” and was able to actually prove myself wrong, because I am still oh so very single. But because I read the one piece of advice I had written to myself, and I knew that I had listened.

There will come a point in time where I stop comparing myself to where I was last year, but now is not that point in time. Because I am still celebrating how far I’ve come. I’m still so proud of the way my faith has stretched this year.

The space that I was in last year was dark and grey and lifeless. I was not trying to grow. I was angry and upset with God, so I was satisfied in backtracking. Backtracking to the point of not choosing God. Backtracking to the point of not thinking God is working for my good. Backtracking all because what I thought in my head was going to happen didn’t end up happening. After this incredible life I’ve lived, how absurd for me to think that my plans will ever trump God’s. But last year I was not the sunshine and rainbows I pride myself to be.

So my letter could have been filled with anger. It could have been a nasty strike at God. But in the most miraculous way- not miraculous at all because I’ve been baptized and the Holy Spirit lives in me- my letter was filled with wisdom.

I told myself to not turn my back on God.

That if there was one thing I was going to do throughout my 25th year on earth, let it be to always choose God. Broken, tired, deeply disappointed 24-year old Meg hoped that as I turned 25 last year and as I lived out my 25th year, that all I would do was put God first.

And as I fight back the flood of tears that are about to stream down my face, I can say with full confidence that I read that letter and said “You did it Meg.”

Instead of getting angry and upset and thinking that God isn’t listening to my desires or that God isn’t close to me as I suffer, I have spent the past year crying and crying and crying some more then wiping those tears away and saying, “It’s ok God, because you’ve got me covered.” There have been countless times where I am on my knees in despair asking God what on earth is He doing and when will it all end or at least when will it make sense, and in the midst of that pain I’m able to stop myself and remember that God is still working for my good. Regardless of my current situation or the lack of progress I see in the desires of my heart becoming a reality, I know that God will do more than I could ever ask for or imagine. And I have spent this year choosing Him over and over and over again.

So, you did it Meg.

Light all the candlesticks. You’re officially 26.

0 In Hawaii/ Uncategorized

This One’s Not For Me

Friday’s are a little rough for my small humans. They love nap time, but they don’t always fall asleep right as nap time begins. This makes it extra difficult when they fall asleep at 1:30 PM, and I have to wake them up at 1:45 PM in order for them to go home at 2:00 PM.

And this Friday was no exception.

Groggy, tired, and frustrated, they got up and got ready to leave. Except one friend. He was even more groggy and even more tired and even more frustrated. He sat on his blanket and pouted. His fiery attitude matched his fiery red hair, and he was not ready to start moving.

So I walked over to his blanket, kneeled down to him, and told him it’s almost time to leave. Immediately he scrunched his face up and crossed his eyebrows. I told him I knew he was upset, but it was time to go. Then he stood up, and he started crying. He wiggled his arms around, started whimpering out in aguish, and looked at me with utter defeat in his eyes.

Because the latest fashion trend in the Mahina class is to flip your shirt over your head but keep your arms through the sleeves. And this little dude fell asleep with his shirt flipped up over his head and woke up to a sweaty, sticky shirt tucked behind his neck but still attached to his arms. He was already upset and sad about waking up, but now he was frustrated and helpless with his shirt all tangled up.

And as I reached out to help him, I said, “Bubs, sometimes it’s easier to just start all over rather than try to fix things with where they’re at.”

Rather than try to squeeze his sweat covered shirt up over his head, I told him to reach his arms up and I’ll take the shirt off then we can try again. And all the while as I’m doing this, I’m rolling my eyes thinking, “God, this one’s not for me.” I heard it loud and clear, but I don’t think this message is for me.

And for the three people who will read this, maybe this message is for you… Sometimes it’s easier to just start all over rather than try to fix things with where they’re at.


Broken things are called broken for a reason. If they were fixed or if they were whole, they wouldn’t be called broken. Because once they break- once something shatters or gets lost or alters in any way from its original purpose- then it’s no longer the same.

But broken doesn’t have to mean bad. Not all broken things are bad. Broken smoke detectors- now those are bad. Those need to be fixed. But sometimes broken things actually lead to better things. Like the eggshells need to break before you make the breakfast eggs and tomatoes. And the wrapping needs to tear before you can get to the present. And best of all, the foil needs to come off before you can eat the chocolate. Broken might not be fun, but it doesn’t always have to be bad.

In this season of COVID and quarantine and social distance and isolate, I’m learning just that- it’s a season. It is a once in a lifetime occurrence, and I am praying to God that I never, ever, ever have to experience a pandemic again. But in this season a lot of things broke. Daily routines, friendships, predictability. And the beauty in realizing and accepting that this time- this whole year- is just a season is that I can have peace knowing it won’t be like this forever. The brokenness will not last a lifetime.

What I do know- what didn’t break- is God. Who He is. What He does for me. The purposes and plans He has for my life. Those did not shatter or get lost or alter in any way from its original purpose. He has stayed the same.

And so even though I have no idea what the future of this season has in store, I know that God is good. So I can bear through the broken and I can have peace in starting all over again. Because there’s an off chance that God will mend the broken things in my life and bring them back to full restoration. But there’s also the slight chance that He’s telling me to leave the broken things behind. To restart. To trust in Him and let go of what I’ve been holding onto.

We’ll see. Either way, He is faithful through it all.

0 In Hawaii/ Uncategorized

Catching On

*I missed this. There’s something beautiful about being able to hit backspace.*


My sister is really good at math. It’s a good thing she’s in the accounting field, because she’s just good at it. That’s her knack. I’ve always referred to her as my human calculator. For as long as I can remember, that was just something that came naturally to her. Yes, she studied and had to learn things along the way, but being good with numbers was always something she was good at figuring out.

I, on the other hand, don’t have that talent. I’m not sure what you could consider to be my knack. Writing maybe? I do like writing, and I would say that I’m good at it. But not many things just come naturally to me.

Or so I thought… And then I realized what it was. And I’m not sure if I’m proud of it or embarrassed. I’m not sure if it’s something that’s beneficial or hindering to my understanding of the world. And I don’t know if I should keep doing it or if I should learn how to stop. But I’m really good at attempting to figure out what God is trying to do in my life.

And when I say really good, I don’t mean that I know exactly what God is doing or how He’s doing it. Actually, I’m terrible at that. I never know what God is doing or understand why He’s doing it. But I’m really good at looking through the course of my life, looking at what is going to happen next in my life, and trying to piece together what God is trying to do.

It needs to make sense in my life, and it needs to have reason.

I am driven by purpose and potential and expectation. Probably too much so because it sometimes drives me straight into the ground. But when I know these things- when I’m aware of what’s going to happen- then I know what to do next.

And the hard part these past couple years is that what I need- purpose, potential, and expectation- has not lined up with what I’ve been given. Maybe I see the potential… But then my expectation doesn’t match up and the purpose behind it all is cloudier than I thought. Or maybe- and this is often the case- I have such high expectations, but the potential isn’t there and the purpose gets lost along the way. Regardless of what order or what context or what I have and don’t have, the past couple years have been a flurry of trying to figure out God but not having all the components.

And last year was really rough. So bad that I nearly walked away from God completely. Nothing made sense, and I needed it to make sense. Yet every time I turned around looking for clarity, something was jumbled and mixed up.

So, the first time this happened, I despised God. I was so angry at Him and so upset that He could let me feel this kind of pain. I shook my fists at Him and said, “If this is how you’re going to treat me, then I can do better on my own.” I was so hurt.

That plan clearly didn’t work out.

And some time later, I came crawling back to God. On my knees and in desperation. Then He took me in, and He said let’s try this again.

But impatient old me couldn’t wait for things to make sense or to see the reasoning, so I took the potential and I thought that if I just hold onto it tight enough I could run towards all my expectations. That one failed again.

Yet this time around, instead of despising God and being angry with Him, I accepted that I needed to trust in Him and turn to Him first and immediately. First and immediately. First and immediately. First and immediately. That’s what I had to do, but that’s not where I was at.

The first try was more of a last-ditch effort. Instead of running away from God when I reached the dark lows, I looked up for His helping hand and followed His lead. The second try was a little bit better. I recognized the gap in my life that only God could fill, and so I let God fill it. This was more slowly and steadily. The third try I cried a whole lot, but then at some point I realized I didn’t have to cry because God would be taking care of me. So whenever I felt the tears starting to well up, I reminded myself that God is in control. Finally, I started getting the immediately down.

And now I’m starting to catch on.

I might be on my fifth, sixth, or seventh try. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve surpassed my tenth try. God has given me a lot of redoes. But first and immediately. In the midst of not understanding the purpose or the potential or the expectation, turn to God first and immediately.

Don’t let the pain cause you to walk away from God. Don’t let the darkness stop you from looking up. Don’t let the holes get larger. Don’t let the tears fall when they don’t have to.

Instead, turn to God first and immediately.

He’ll always be there. And the more you turn to Him, the more you’ll start to see and understand the purpose and the potential and the expectations.

0 In Hawaii/ Uncategorized

Walk

Let’s go in order, and then we’ll flashback.

Sometimes you don’t always get what you were planning for.

Maci and I went to Kaionas today. It was a perfect beyond perfect day. We got parking right by the gate entrance, the water was crystal clear, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Mace had gone a couple days ago and saw baby turtles swimming around, so she wanted to go again in hopes of seeing them. So we swam quite a ways out, circled around for a while, but an hour later and not a single turtle. We came in the hopes of swimming with turtles, but not a turtle in sight.

Sometimes you get lucky and you get exactly what you wanted.

After Kaionas we beach hopped and headed to Kailua. Since the world is shut down again, all Kailua beach parking lots and surrounding street areas are blocked off. So each time I go, I cross my fingers and hope to find parking on the street uphill from the boat ramp. And this time was no different. I turned right up the road, slowly crawled my way up the street, and ta da there was a parking spot three cars from the top. I’ve always gotten lucky with this spot.

Watch out.

It was a full moon a few days ago, so that means one thing- man o wars. At first Maci and I were living our best lives just floating around in our floaties. Not a care in the world. Dodging waves and bobbing around. Until I saw a man o war. Then it became stressful. We could no longer swim with our guards down. We had to watch out, because if we weren’t paying attention we would get stung. And one by one the man o wars would float by us. We had to have seen at least a dozen of them.

Just rest.

After the beach and taking Maci home, I came home, took a shower, and laid in my bed. Laying in my bed when I’m all fresh and clean is my favorite thing to do. And eventually after a few minutes of laying in bed, I fell asleep and took a quick nap. No plans. No to dos. No rushing to the next thing. Just napping for a while. Then after napping I picked up the book I’m currently reading. No cleaning. No responding to emails. No busy work. Just sitting on the couch and reading.

Walk.

I didn’t want to, but I knew I needed to. I can’t say I enjoy exercising, but I know that being outdoors and getting my body moving is good for my brain and my well-being. Endorphins make you happy- so they say. Plus this new black muscle tee I bought from Madewell matched perfectly with my black Lululemon leggings, so how could I say no to looking cute and working out.

I did my usual. Up the hill and then back down the hill. I hustled my way up that hill. I wouldn’t say I was out of breath or exhausted, but I was certainly breathing heavier and I could feel the muscles working in my thighs. Uncle Herb even commented and said I was going super fast.

It was at the crosswalk that I heard it. Or maybe I felt the nudging. I’m not really sure at this point. God talks to me a lot in so many different ways. But instead of crossing the street and waiting for the light to change and the white walking man to appear, the white walking man was already there. So, I didn’t need to stop. I just needed to keep walking.


And as I wrap up this fast and download Instagram at precisely midnight tonight, that is what God is telling me to continue doing: just keep going.

Just keep swimming even if you don’t see any turtles, because along the way you’ll see the fish from finding nemo with the scar on his face. You’ll also see what coral looks like before it’s ruined by humans. Then there will also be some tiny black fish with white splotches that you’ve never seen before. Just keep swimming.

Just keep driving, because you don’t know what’s at the end of the road. And even if you didn’t find parking this time around, keep circling- don’t give up so easily. If at first it doesn’t work out or seem like things are going in your favor, try again. Eventually you’ll find what you’re looking for. And when you do, don’t forget to thank God. Just keep driving, He’s got something in store for you.

Just keep being on the lookout. Things might seem fine and dandy, but you never know when the enemy will sneak up from right under you and try to hurt you. The enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion trying to find someone to devour. If you keep your guard up and you’re watching out, you’ll be able to catch him before he can hurt you. Just keep being on the lookout.

Just keep resting. You don’t have to constantly be moving. God doesn’t require you to fulfill a daily checklist. Sometimes you need only to be still. It’s in the stillness and in the rest that God renews you. He gives you the energy to keep going. So just keep resting.

Just keep walking. Don’t stop to compare your journey to someone else’s. Don’t get distracted by other things or things you think are better. Trust in God’s plan and know that He has the best laid out for you if you just walk in His presence. Keep going. Keep following Him. Just keep walking.

It’s Not Over Yet.

Last night. With tears in my eyes. With sniffles in my nose. I half prayed in fear and half prayed in hope. One day left of the fast. What was God going to do?

And He said it’s not over yet. Just because the fast is ending. Just because your 21 days are up and you’re going to redownload Instagram immediately, does not mean I am done working with you Meg.

I have only just begun.

We’re going to keep going. Me and God. We’re going to keep working through my stubbornness until I surrender. Until I can pick up my cross every day and follow Jesus without grumbling or mumbling in the background. Because God sees me roll my eyes and stick my tongue out. He knows that I am a brat. He knows that I want things the way I want them and I want them right away. And He’s trying to get me to understand that the things I want will come, they just won’t come yet. They won’t come when I’m stomping my feet and gripping my fists. They’ll come when my heart is at peace and my faith is ready.

And there’s not going to be a notification or a ceremony when I reach that point. I don’t think it’s something that’s measurable. But I know I’ll get there because every day I’m just going to keep walking. I’m going to keep going in the direction that God wants me to be. Then I’ll know I’m in the right place, because I’ll constantly be walking towards Him.


I have spent the last 21 days writing. Maybe a little less than 21 days, because I think I skipped a few days. And now I’m finished. I’m not going to write on here anymore. At least not for now.

God gave me a project in February. At a church camp, with giggly middle school teens, sitting in rocking chairs under the stars, God told me what to do. And I walked away from it for the longest time. Then I realized I was going the wrong way, and started walking back. But of course, I got distracted and paused. Now it’s time for me to keep walking. To keep working on that thing He put on my heart.

So as much as I’ve loved writing daily for the past 21 days, I’m done now. Thank you for reading. Mom, Dad, Cas, Lynn, Jasmine. You’ve kept up with every word even though I call you and tell you everything before I even write it. And for you Mikey, you have my number and you know how to text me if you want to know how I’m doing.

Goodbye for now Meg’s blog. Until the next life crisis that I have to write my way out of.