Saturday, December 3, 2011

you want us to what?

December 3, 2011

Hello there dear friends. As many of you know Randy and I are expecting another baby! I wanted to take time to tell you about this miracle. NO it wasn't a planned thing (so to speak) and no it wasn't a surprise. “So what was it?” you might comes the long story. You see, Randy and I were NEVER going to have another baby. For those of you who don't know, when Seth was 9 weeks old I was struck with psychosis and postpartum depression. I was REALLY sick for about 6 months. The baby was taken away and staying at my parents for a while as I was trying to kill him due to visions I was having and thought were reality. I had a babysitter with me 24/7 as I was trying to kill myself as well. It was hell on earth. I wouldn't wish that on...well, even on get my point. Anyway, the Lord blessed Randy and I SO deeply during that time of suffering, including, somehow, getting pregnant in the middle of it with Cole! (otherwise we would have NEVER had him) I was still on really serious meds and had to get off them but that pregnancy was what sparked my hormones to balance! Is the Lord good or what? Anwyay, AMAZING ministry and healing for us and others came through this trial. So, due to that suffering Randy and I swore we would NEVER have children again. Ever, end of story. Funny thing was, that whenever we thought about getting something done permanently in order to not get pregnant we never felt comfortable with it so we listened to that “feeling” and never did anything permanent.

Now, back in May while in Mada I was soaking with the Lord on my morning God date and He spoke to me so clearly.

God: Megan, do you trust me with everything?

me: Lord, you know I do. I'm in the middle of Mada with my family. How else can I possibly trust you more?

God: will you have another child?

Me: No

end of my soaking with the Lord for that day.

I was SO taken off guard and SO mad at HIM! How could he ask me such a thing? Did He forget the suffering we went through? He would NOT lay off the subject. EVERY DAY!!!! I shared with Randy and we started praying something like this, "seriously Lord is this you?"

Finally by September or so we started praying something like this, "We know this is You Lord, help us to obey". By October we finally gave into his loving "harrasment"! and right away we got pregnant, and right away our hearts were filled with so much joy because He had come through, He had given us the strength to obey Him. And you know what? I would rather obey Him and have the 50/50 chance or losing my sanity again than walk a day without Him and be sane.

We have found such peace and joy in the Lord because He is growing us and teaching us how to obey Him and when we walk in obedience how much He blesses us with His presence and peace.......hold on i need a moment to cry before Him and worship....

He is SO good, friends. Randy and I have learned that it is actually in God's mercy and love for us that He asks us to do hard things because He knows that in and of ourselves, if things were easy, we would not cling to HIM. Isn't that amazing!!!!! And so it is with a little bit of human fear and intrepidation that we say, "bring it on Lord, we are Yours and will obey You fully" And even our obedience has NOTHING to do with us! HE puts it in us to obey!!!!! AMAZING!

So there you have it. The full scoop! Now don't get me wrong, we beg of you to be praying us through this, especially the first year of the baby's life as that is when postpartum, IF it will come, will come. But we want you to rejoice with us that after hearing the Lord clearly and after seeking Him for the strength to obey He formed another miracle in us and we obeyed!

What is the Lord asking you to do that is difficult? I'd be happy to join your journey and pray for you in that. As a dear friend asked me I will ask you, “How can I stand beside you?”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lord grant me the knowledge....

November 8, 2011

God seems to talk to me in themes. This past two weeks, though they have been difficult, God has been talking to me about His love....not just “His love” but “His love for me”.

Ephesians 3 :14-21 says, “14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

This passage is FULL of amazing, mindblowng truths. There are several things that popped out to me in the passage.

1st We need to be strengthed with His power in order for Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith. Vs

16 &17

2nd We need to be rooted and established in this love (Christ's love) so that

    1. we may have power to GRASP how WIDE and LONG and HIGH and DEEP is the love of Christ (FOR ME) (vs 18)

    2. we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (vs 19)

3rd He (GOD) is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than ALL we can ask or imagine.


And so how am I going to use this passage to make changes spiritually, mentally, and emotionally?

  1. Spiritually:

    1. I'm going to start praying daily for God to allow me to GRASP how WIDE and LONG

    and HIGH and DEEP is the love of Christ (for ME)

      1. I'm going to ask Him to strengthen me with His power, and help me to be rooted in His love SO THAT Christ can dwell in my heart through faith.

    1. Mentally/Emotionally:

    1. Remind myself, that, when I start to have anxious thoughts about future things “HE IS


    therefore, worry is not necessary.

I truly believe that, mental illness aside, if we truly GOT God's love for us no one would need therapy. It wouldn't matter when we didn't get our way, when someone didn't meet our expectations, when we failed, when our children didn't act appropraitely...and this list goes on and on. Because our worth wouldn't be found in others or their actions and reactions/responses to us. It would be found in the WIDE and LONG and HIGH and DEEP love of Christ (for me). I wish that was as easy to live on a daily basis as it is to type.

So, join me, will you, in asking the Lord to grant us the ability

We need you Jesus. God please grant these beautiful family and friends of mine to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for us. And Father strengthen them with your power and help them be rooted in Your love SO THAT Christ can dwell in their hearts through faith. AMEN

Just saw this posting on Face Book. I watched it but could hardly see the end through my tears. You see, this is a good (human example mind you) example of how, when we are rooted in Chists love, He carries us though life on a daily basis......(Hold on I need to get a tissue.) Keep the image of God's love for YOU in your heart as you watch this clip. Luke 11:11-13 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead? or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? if you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give...."

Friday, November 4, 2011

To Answer fury, He was soft

A dear friend of mine from Madagascar has a gift of writing. She wrote a poem for me in response to my earlier posting. I'd like to share it with you all as it spoke well of what i feel and the truth of God. It's by Sarah N. Thank you Sarah, from the bottom of my broken heart.

To answer fury, He was soft

Like a lioness
Trapped in a cage
Please tame
Her wild ways.

Strong with teeth
Sharp and biting
She speaks with words
Not so inviting

Tearing through and through
The humble Master
Saying words of love
To calm disaster

He cries when she's whipped
Into submission
As she is breaking
His heart is broken.

She hardly sees
Past blinded eyes
Her own frailty
Is its own sunrise.

He clearly sees
Past snarling lips
She scrapes at wounds
He's tried to kiss

Her rage is
His sacrifice was
for her life.

The cat is meek
She's been declawed
He has mercy
On her flaws.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not for the faint of heart or easily offended: thorn in my flesh

November 2, 2011

I felt the Lord pressing upon my heart to share my morning with you. It's now a day later and I've finally given in to that leading. I've put it off as it's not a pretty picture and it's well, humbling. I'm writing the following as I feel that there are women out there who may suffer with the same kind of extreme emotions that I have, and if there are, and if they are Christians, they may question why this extreme emotion is happening to them and why it's not, at times, controllable. I also believe there are family members/friends out there who know someone who has extreme emotions and is not sure what is causing it or why it's happening. In this case, when I say “extreme emotions” I'm talking about mental illnesses due to whatever reason, including hormonal imbalances.

So, here we go. We are diving into some REALLY thick stuff here people. This morning I lost it with everyone. You see, I had held it together for a whole week. Randy rearranged the stuff in the cabinets last week in order to have a place for my new juicer. Nice thought honey. However, what he didn't know, and I didn't realize at the time, is that this set my OCD/anxiety on high alert. Every time I went into the kitchen I found myself getting really pissed (and no i'm not going to use nice/appropriate words to cover up what was going on my head head because, for some reason, there is someone out there who needs me to be TOTALLY honest with what goes on in my head). I would notice my change in emotion and I have learned that emotions are NOT truth. So, I went right into “prevention mode”, which, for me, is singing a praise song to the Lord or quoting scripture so that I'm telling myself truth rather than riding on pure emotion.

I would experience this, easily, about 10 times a day (I'm in the kitchen a lot, and this is besides the other things that would set me off into anxiety mode during the day). This morning, I could no longer hold it in. My parents had come over for dinner last night and had brought some snacks for the boys. I ALWAYS put the bag of snacks in front of the food closet and then put them away the next morning (as we are usually heading out the door for youth group when my parents arrive). This morning, however, when I went to put those things away and pack the boys lunch boxes the bag was not there. I immediately went into rage mode. There was no time for me to catch myself and respond with a song, lashing words came out at my husband. I finally found the “stupid fish bread and the f###ing oranges” and my mind just went off with obscenity after obscenity (I did have enough strength to not do so out loud as my children were around). Then Randy finally got the children out of the house to go to the bus and I slammed the door shut and cursed up a storm letting this rage out that had boiled to the brim. I took a shower, pounded on the walls, screamed at God “Why are You allowing me to struggle with this f###ing illness called OCD and anxiety disorder? Why is this STILL overpowering me! I am in Your word! I am spending time before You daily! What the hell else do you want from me Lord!?!?!?!”

I was reminded of Paul and the thorn in his flesh. There are guesses as to what that thorn in the flesh was, but sometimes I wonder if it wasn't something like a mental illness. Something that, most people around him, couldn't understand, in fact, he couldn't understand it himself. Do you know how lonely that is? It would make sense if that was what it was since he begged God to remove it, something I've done often.

Thankfully I have a loving husband who does not take my “episodes”, for lack of a better word, personally, nor does he tell me I need to just “get over it”, “pull myself up by the boot straps”, or “There are people out there in a lot worse condition than you are. You should be thankful and joyful that you're not one of the people starving to death. Get a hold of your emotions”. (Please don't ever say that to someone in this condition.) So why, if my sure foundation is Jesus Christ, and if I'm looking to Him to be my strength every day, am I still failing and being over taken by this illness? (and no I don't mean “giving into this illness”, I mean “overtaken”.)

I think it's simply because, though I'm free in Christ, I'm still bound by sin in this world. My spirit is connected to Christ but it is still in a fleshly body that is dying, decaying, and failing every moment. So what to do. Do I beat myself up because I've failed yet again (and I'm ON medication)? Do I listen to the people in my life who say, “You must have a sin in your life that you're not giving over to the Lord?” Do I give up and run away from my family because I truly believe they would be better off without me? Just a second. I need to go get a tissue, I can't see through my tears.....

No. I will try my best to not do those things above. I will fall on my knees at the throne of Christ, who doesn't care how rageful or angry I am. Who can handle me throwing every curse word I know at Him, and who, with mercy and grace, reaches down, picks me up, and whispers to me, “It's ok, Megan. I love you. I loved you yesterday, I loved you when I was hanging on the cross, and no emotion of yours, no angry words of yours, is going to stop me from loving you right now.”

There will be many people who can't understand mental illness (I don't and I have it) and will say or do hurtful things, even sometimes in the name of Christ. I (and you others who struggle too) need to not worry about that, and know that our safe haven, if you know Christ, is at the foot of the cross. We need to remind ourselves, that some day, we will have a new body and new mind. Thank you Jesus.

So, to you who struggle with extreme emotion or mental illness, know that you are not by yourselves, and that even I, an assistant pastor's wife (many people see people in those spiritual positions and think they don't struggle with a sinful nature/imperfect body with imperfect emotions) struggle intensely with this along side of you.

To those of you who know someone and/or are close to someone who struggles with something like this, I know that it is very difficult to understand someone who struggles with mental illness or hormonal imbalance. You can't see a physical defect, and often times it seems like their emotions are a choice. Please know that not one of us (with these issues) CHOOSES to be miserable or hard to live with, or make others feel miserable around us at times. It's just like if someone is crippled in the legs and physically isn't able to control what they look like when they walk, and quite honestly, you wouldn't expect them to try to. Simply pray for the Lord to continue to be their strength and their song. And pray that He shows you how to love them and be an encouragement to them.

I hope, that in some way, this has encouraged someone. I don't believe that the Lord would have allowed me to share something so private and NOT have it affect someone positively. If you are someone who struggles like I do feel free to e-mail me. If you are someone who lives with someone/is close to someone who struggles, feel free to e-mail my husband. We want to use this thorn in our flesh to encourage others and sit in the mud with those who feel alone. You can reach us at

Humbly yours,


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What do i know of Holy?

October 4, 2011

This morning I read the following passage while soaking in the Lord (praying/listening/reading the bible/being in the presence of the Lord)

Isaiah 6:1-8 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty: the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice fo the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!””

I know this passage is familiar to a lot of you. Something new about this passage hit me this morning. You see, whenever I read this passage I got angry with the Lord. I ALWAYS said, “Lord, I'm saying this! I'm saying 'Here am I. Send me!' and You are NOT sending me!You keep having me stay HERE!” My head went to go that direction again this morning as I read this, but it took a little bit of a turn. “Yes, Lord, thank you for sending me to Mada for a whole year. Yes Lord, I realize that though I feel like I'm STAYING here in Quakertown You are actually SENDING me to Quakertown.”

Then I just sat quietly for a moment. “My dear Daughter, Your focus is wrong. This passage is NOT about you, or sending you. Read this passage again Dear one, and this time don't focus on you but focus on Me.”

So I encourage you to do what I did. Go back and read the passage again, and focus on Him. Yes, right now, go ahead I'll wait......

Can you imagine being Isaiah and seeing, feeling,and hearing this!? Don't you think that from that moment on Isaiah had a different understanding of who God is and who he, himself is? Do you think it changed his outlook on eveyday life? I asked myself, "what do i know of Holy?" I went back a third time and read the passage again and imagined myself as Isaiah, seeing, feeling, and hearing. I suggest you try it. Ask God to open up your eyes to the wonder and magesty of His holiness. I understand that we wont fully get it, (His holiness) until we stand face to face with Him, but certainly we can ask Him to reveal more of Himself to us on a daily basis and allow that knowledge, of who He really is, His holiness, to change our daily behavior. I'm going to stop know and go back and read this passage again and just spend time soaking in His holiness. I challenge you to do the same. Soak Him in, allow His presence to change you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Sept 27, 2011

I've been trying to get into a new habit in the mornings. I get the boys off to school and then I do my stretching and go right into my God date. I've been calling it my “soaking” as my spirit is so dry I just feel I need to soak in His presence.

Do you ever get sick of being with yourself? I'm at that place today. I just want to get away from my anxiety and the mass of thoughts that just keep running laps around my brain. I'm struggling with what to do with my life. What do I do now that my children are in school and I am a stay at home mom? What do I do with my time? Why can't I be a better home maker? Why can't I be content, like most Americans, at living here in America where there is safety, freedom, and stuff? What am I worth now that I'm not “raising my children during school hours”, now that I'm not working and giving to the community? Is what I'm doing enough? It seems like all my insecurities are being brought out. Instead of talking about them I just shove them under a rug thinking, “This is so stupid, I should not be struggling with this. There are other people out there who would give anything to lead the life I lead.” and therefore I just dont work through it. In doing nothing with it, not talking about it/praying about it, these insecurities continue to have power over me. I guess it's really a pride issue. If I'm struggling with these issues that seem so pitiful to me what are others going to think of me?

The truth is, this is where I'm at in life. I am struggling with these issues, and it's ok. I need to work through them with the Lord and those who love me so that I DON'T give them the power to cause anxiety and fear in me. I need to work through them, talk about them, pray about them, in order to use these things to bring enlightenment, wisdom, and strength into my spirit rather than anxiety and fear.

I need to stop hiding behind the fear of seeming weak and just … well... be weak. It says in 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But (the Lord) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you , for my pwer is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Ok, so I'm not delighting in them as of right now, but you get my point right? I did finally have a good talk with my “bestie”, Randy, last night. Just laid all my fears and questions of myself out there. It was a nice release. Thankfully I have a husband who told me he loves me just the way I am. But you know what, even if I didn't have Randy I have the Lord and He loves me 100 times greater and more perfectly than Randy does. Cole was practicing his memory verse for school this morning. He reminded me this morning that “He (God) created my inmost being. He is the one who knit me together in my mother's womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139: 13-14.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. I need to work on believing that one. Do you need to work on believing that as well? Let's work on it together and not just “shove it under the rug”.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Struggling to appreciate things

  1. September 1, 2011

    Yes, I know it's been a lllllloooooonnnnnngggggg time since I've last blogged. I do need to appologize, that's assuming that anyone still reads this now that we're back in the States. I admit that I just haven't wanted to blog. I keep thinking, “Who wants to hear the mundane life of a stay at home mom, who has no children staying at home, living, what feels like, a mundane American life.”

    Anyway, that's enough of my soaking in my own misery. The boys had their first day of school on Monday. To say they were excited to ride the bus would be an understatement! We left the house to walk to their bus stop around 7:45 am. The bus stops right down the street from us at 7:51am. As the boys went off on the bus Randy and I walked back home. I then left to drive to the school for a “tissues and tea” for Kindergarten parents. I just wanted to go meet some of the other parents. There were about 10 other parents there. Some where complaining about how they had to walk 2 blocks to the bus stop even though the bus goes right past their house. I just sat there quietly listening. Should I even bother sharing with them the walk we did to get to school when we were in Madagascar? I decided against it.

    I came home, flopped down on the couch and started crying. Randy came out and said, “you sad to see the kids go?” “NO” I said. “There were parents complaining because they had to walk a whole 2 blocks to the bus stop! I wanted to complain because we ONLY had to walk 2 blocks from our house. Our walk to the bus here is so BORING! It was so short and there was no market to walk though. No need for me to say, ' Don't step on the pile of fish honey.' 'Don't trip over the hens.' 'Watch out for the zebu'. No hard working women pounding leaves in the pestle and mortar. Nobody yelling, “Vaza! Vaza!” It's SO boring here!”

    So, as you can hear in my writing, I'm still struggling with missing Madagascar. The boys and Randy are well adjusted. Though I do need to say that at least once a week Seth is in tears saying he misses his friend Amin from Madagascar.

    And so, this is why I haven't wanted to write. What do you write when most of what is on your mind is missing a certain place. I know that eventually I'll be able to move on from this pain. Until then, you'll have to lovingly deal with me as I share my grief through writing.

    For now I feel led to follow a friend of mine's lead. She just finished up her furlough in Canada and is now back in Madagascar. She wrote down 10 things she loves about her homeland (Canada). And so I shall do the same thing as I try to encourage my heart. I'm not going to state the obvious that I love my family and friends.

    10 things I love about America

    1. The freedom, safety, form of Government

    2. I can trust, for the most part, the policemen who are out working so hard for our safety.

    3. I can find just about any kind of nationality, people and cuisine, within an hour from my house!

    4. The freedom of speech and religion we have here.

    5. The access to anything and everything we have here (although this is also one of the things I can't stand)

    6. Reliable electricity and clean running water

    7. Turkey Hill Ice cream

    8. Hershey's chocolate

    9. 37” seemed pants

    10. Carpet

      and .....I'm done.....

Saturday, August 6, 2011

$0.25 a book …. 7 books sold = $30.00?????

Aug 6, 2011

So I have been going through ALL the children's books I have, wanting to thin them down to 1/3 of what I now have. I had chosen about 50 books I wanted to get rid of. I was going to take them to a thrift store but saw that someone was having a yard sale down the street from us. So I thought I'd make a sign and put the books out to see if I could make a buck or two. My neighbor stopped by and bought 6 books. She gave both the boys $5.00 as the books were, technically, their books. The boys were VERY excited and used that money to buy things for their fish (that they won at the fair last night). Later we were in the house playing with a friend and her son that stopped by. Randy was in the bedroom and looked out the window. There was a man looking through the books. Randy went out to chit chat with him. He asked about old books. Chit chat...chit chat.... Eventually he said that the only reason he stopped by was that God had told him to. Apparently he and his wife had gone through some rough times in the past and so when he sees someone selling things he will often stop by and see what their story is. Randy explained to him that we had just gotten back from Madagascar and that I wanted to thin down our STUFF. The man then picked out a book and said, “I want to buy this book, but this is all the money I have on me, I'd like you to have it”. Randy thanked him and the man drove away. When Randy finally counted the wad of money it was $20.00. Wow. I was speechless. We called the boys in, and my friend and her son, and told them what had just happened. We then stopped and prayed over this man that the Lord would conintue to bless him with money to bless others and that we would learn from this man's generosity and do the same in return.

Making things right

Aug 3, 2011
What do I blog about when my heart is so sad? I want to be able to find my sole contentment in God alone, however, how can I do that when I'm not talking to Him because I'm angry? I finally realized part of the reason why I'm struggling so much right now. Yes, I'm going through reverse culture shock. Yes, I'm missing Madagascar and my friends. Yes, I prefer to live in a thrid world country where life seems a little more simpler and slower going. But, when I was there I was solely dependent on the Lord. I prayed throughout my day, realizing that there was nothing I could do in my own strength. I looked to Him for daily safety in travel. I depended on His strength to live a day outside of my culture. I looked to Him to help me recall the Malagasy language. I looked to Him for strength as I walked 1.5 kms home from the grocery store with 5 lbs of groceries in each hand, 10 lbs on my back and two little boys. I looked to Him for wisdom as I tried to communicate with hurting people in another language other than my own heart language. The list goes on and on.

Why am I not praying throughout the day like I did before? I finally took some time for a God date. Much needed I assure you. You know what I came to realize? I'm angry. I'm mad at God for making us come back to America. The funny thing is that I can't imagine staying in Madagascar, because I have no peace about staying in Madagascar. I know He's calling us to be here in the States. So I have peace in my soul about being here, but my heart and head haven't caught up yet. Why is that? Why do I have to be so complicated?

And so, I cry before the Lord, asking Him to forgive me for being mad at Him, to instill in me a desire to lean on Him for my every need, my every desire. Help me Lord to look to Your strength throughout my day here in America. Help me Lord to look to You for safety in my daily travel. Help me to depend on Your strength to live a day in my own cuture. Help me to recall English and use it in a way to build others up and not tear people down. Help me to look to You for strength as I go through the grocery aisles with cranky people trying to push their way through the aisles to rush on to the next thing. Help me to look to you for wisdom as I try to communicate with hurting people here in my own neighborhood/church.

Ahhh, a sigh of relief as I feel the weight of the day come off my shoulders and onto His yoke. Why didn't I take time to do this before?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seriously? Do we need to talk about this again?

July 25, 2011

For those of you who don't know, when Seth, our firstborn, was about 9 weeks old I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression with Psychosis. It was a VERY difficult time for us as a family. That's a whole other story in itself. However, the reason I'm bringing it up right now is because that time in our lives has been brought up 5 times this past week. Firstly, when we went to fill out papers to apply for health insurance we had to record our health history for the past 10 years. Therefore, I had to name the psychotherapist who diagnosed me, all the antipsychotics and tranquilizers and anitdepressant medications I was on during that time. I sat there, in the insurance office, feeling very raw, very fragil, and yet very blessed that I, and all my family members, specifically Randy and Seth, were actually still alive.

The same day as the insurance visit I was meeting my best friend from high school for dinner. (Bear with me here as I do a little bit of circlular writing. I need to share a short story first before I go into how the psychosis came up.)  I had wanted to break up with her for a while because I was hurt by a few things that had happened between us. But, ya know what? There aren't any “break up cards” for best friends! I hadn't talked with her about these things earlier because I just felt stupid. I just kept telling myself, “Megan, people and friendships change.  Just deal”. So, back to the dinner date. We had dinner and were driving to Kohl's when we started talking about some things that might be awkward between us. This was the perfect time for me to mention my hurt to her. You see, when I went through my post partum I had not wanted to see ANYONE. I was hoping that Brigitte, being my best friend, would ignore my wishes and spend time with me anyway as I was really suffering. She hadn't. So I brought this up to her. She looked at me with her jaw dropped and an astonished look in her face. “Megan, I was with you once every week during that time! My mother rearranged her schedule so she could watch my baby, so I could be with you and Seth. Your brother would come in the morning and I would take the afternoon shift”. Up within me came a pit of sorrow (wait, a pit doesn't come up does know what I mean). I heaved with emotion and cried the ugly cry for about 10 minutes. I didn't know what I was more upset about, the fact that Brigitte wasn't as big of a jerk I thought she had been for a few years, or the fact that I couldn't remember this loving gift she had given me and therefore....I realized, again, that I really was VERY sick during that time.  (p.s. we're still friends:) )

The third time it came up was when I was going through boxes and BOXES of stuff we had packed to store while we were in Madagascar. I found a bunch of cards I had saved. I opened one to read it and it was a card from my dear friend Julie. She was very good at keeping in contact with me and encouraging me through cards. This one was dated 3 days before my first psychotic attack. I remember talking to her and telling her that I just wasn't feeling right. I felt like God was dead and that I was feeling distant, almost removed from the daily activity of just living. As I read that note I realized again, not only the depth of pain that I and my family had gone through, but the amazing miracles and ways God had shown Himself faithful to us through that time of suffering.

It then came up again, two days later, when I was talking to a friend about having more babies. She asked if Randy and were done having babies. I had stated how, for 5 years the thought of having another baby petrified me because of my fear of getting psychosis again. I would have never had Cole if God hadn't made it happen. (I was still in the middle of my post partum when I got pregnant with Cole). But, I shared with her that for the past several months God had put the thought of having another child back on my heart without ANY fears.

Then this afternoon Randy starts playing a song on the piano. I started singing with him and got all emotional. I said to him, “Why am I getting so emotional about this song?” He said, “We sang this song together when you were coming out of your Post Partum.”

Why is this coming up so many times this week? I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in purpose. So, what could be the purpose of the journey with this disease coming up 5 times this past week? Well, I know that when we go through very tough things, suffering of some sort or another, we often need to go through ALL the steps of grieving. They say that grieving the loss of a loved one takes up to 7 years. Therefore it doesn't suprise me that grieving the losses lost to this disease will take many years of healing. My sickness was full of losses but was also full of Godly gains. Thank you Lord for reminding me of the loss and the gain that I have received through that suffering.

So, I ask you, “What have you lost lately? What have you suffered through lately? Are you able yet to look back and see blessing in it? Are you able to look back and see God's hand through it?” I pray that if you can't yet, you will soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I want to pop my bubble.

July 17, 2011
So, I'm 36 years old and I had no idea that carrots don't always grow in that “perfect carrot” shape. You know the one I'm talking about? Thick at the top and thinning all the way down until it's a tiny point at the bottom. I didn't realize this until two summers ago when I grew carrots in my garden. I remember pulling them out with the boys and they were all “stubby”. Same size from the top to the bottom. Some had little knodules on them. I remember Seth saying, “Ew, I'm not going to eat those.” You might be asking yourself, “Why is she writing about this?”

In Mada the vegetables were beautiful. They were beautiful and ALL natural. No chemicals. AND no perfect shapes. The carrots where lots of different sizes and often needed some part of them cut out. The orange peals where not bright orange. The apples, though you would find a few really nice, nondamaged ones, where bruised or had little nibbles here and there taken out of them by bugs. Have you noticed the produce that's sold here in the States? It's “perfect”. Perfect in color. Perfect in size and shape. Extra juicey, extra crispy.

I was really stunned by this as I walked through the supermarket the other day. We Americans, really live in a “perfect” bubble. We need perfect looking produce or we don't buy it. We need perfect looking bodies in order to feel attractive. We want a perfect car with no scratches and will pay to have a scratch erased. We want the perfect meal served to us with the perfect service and if it's not how we feel it should be we complain. Oh yeah, and we want it quick.

I really don't think that most American's realize that they really don't live in the “real” world. We have created for ourselves a little bubble of “perfectness”. “Comfortablity”. “Reality”. The reality?  80% of the world's population lives on less then $10.00 a day. Do you think they care what their food looks like, let alone how it's served to them?

Excuse me as I rant a little bit. And please understand that I'm in “reverse culture shock” still. But really. I just want to challenge us a little bit. I really think that Americans need to realize that they are NOT living in “the real world”. The real world is full of germs, trash, and starving children who are looking through, if not living in, trash dumps trying to find food.  People with no shoes, no running water, and open sewers.  And our day is ruined if someone cuts us off while we're driving, if we have to wait too long for our food to be served to us, or if we have to wait more than 5 minutes in line at the grocery store (All of this last sentence happened to me today and irritated me....)

I'm just saying, living the way we do in America is NOT typical. Could we find more ways each day to be thankful rather than to be irritated and have our panties in a knot over someone having 16 items in the 15 item grocery line? This is just where my thoughts are today.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stuff, stuff, and more's more stuff...

July 14, 2011

I knew this was going to happen. Randy and the boys went up into the attic and brought down a few boxes of things we had put in storage. Wow, that's a lot of stuff. That was only ONE trip up to the attic. After a few days of bringing down more....well...stuff, we were finished with bringing down all the stuff that was seasonal. This morning, after dropping Cole and Seth off at VBS, Randy and I went to Mom and Dad's to guessed it...more of our stuff. Nothing like experiencing culture shock over your own stuff.

When we were in Mada we moved to a new house the same time my dear Malagasy friend, Helena, her husband and daughter had to move. We had a car full of 6 suitcases and many more bags to take to our new house (for one year). We had asked Helena if she needed help moving. They didn't. They only had one “trunk” and Haja could handle it. Oh. Wow. That's not much stuff.

There was something sad and yet....refreshingly simple, about the thought of having only one trunk full of stuff. Now I know, and I'm trying to remind myself, that America is a different culture and takes different stuff to live in successfully, however, taking time to really think about what stuff I really need is important. And so, to say quite simply, I was embarrassed about how much stuff we have and we will be thinning it out quite a bit in the next few weeks. And you know what? I'm actually excited about getting rid of it. It's less stuff I have to worry about getting lost or ruined.

And so, since I'm in “let's get rid of this stuff” mode, we are going through everything and getting rid of a lot of stuff. Because before we know it, we'll just have more....stuff.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sometimes there aren't words

July 11, 2011

Now for those of you who know me I'm usually never at a loss for words. However, this time it's different. I don't think there is a word, in any existing language, to describe what I'm feeling. I'm glad to be seeing people I had left a year ago here in the States, heart is broken having had to leave Madagascar. Bitter-sweet isn't strong enough. It's though I'm experiencing a death by leaving Mada but a heartbeat or breath of life as I re-enter “home”.

The death of new yet deep relationships. A heartbeat by seeing an old friend.

The death of a wonderful people group and culture. A breath of fresh air being in the presence of family.

The death of a language I worked so hard on. A heartbeat of being able to speak a sentence without having to think for 5 minutes first.

The death of a dream come true. A breath of fresh air worshiping with my church family.

A death of sitting around for hours and just being with Helena (my best Malagasy friend). A heartbeat eatting really good ice cream with my mom.

I guess that's life, isn't it? Experiencing death and new life throughout a life time....bitter-sweet....


July 7, 2011

Where am I? Ok, I'm in bed and it's one solid matress so that means I'm not in Madagascar. In Mada we had two twin beds next to each other with a gap in between us. I'm not in Durban we were each sleeping in single beds. I can stretch my legs so I'm not on an airplane. Not sure what I'm going to find I open my eyes slowly. No bars on the window. I know this place. It's familiar. As my eyes become less blurry from a night of deep sleep I slowly realize that I'm in my in-law's house. Oh, yeah. I remember coming here. Not quite thinking clearly, though I'm awake I begin to wonder. Have I been dreaming this whole time? Were we really in Madagascar? Only one way to test the reality of this while still in bed. I start to speak to myself in Malagasy. Wow. That sounds convincing. I guess we really were there.

Choose to be fully present each moment of the day, Megan. Before you know it your time here will be done and it will only feel like a wonderful dream.” I told myself this every day that I was in Mada, and I think I did a good job of being fully present. It does however, still feel like a dream.

It's been good to spend a few days here with our Gehlert parents. I think it's just been another nice step into transitioning back home. Pop, Randy, and I went yesterday to get Randy's drivers licence. I was in culture shock just driving on the road. Nice houses everywhere, grass that was soft, roads that were smooth, and.......LOTS of white people. While Randy was working on his license Pop and I went to Target to pick up some underwear, since ours was all stretched out to kingdom-come from being hand washed. I about fell over with sensory overload as I entered the store. Bright lights, HUGE shopping carts, more clothes then I've seen in a year on the streats of Madagascar, a whole section of the store was for underwear, choices of size, color, style. And the really weird thing? No one was staring at me. I went the entire time in the store without one person staring at me. I wasn't on exhibit here in Target. We were on exhibit EVERYWHERE in Madagascar: people would stop what they were doing, point, stare, and say “Vaza!”/”Foreigner”. I literally didn't know what to make of it. I wasn't being noticed here in Target. Strange.

Friday, July 8, 2011

sitting in the dirt...but not alone

July 5, 2011

We've been having a great visit with the Hills (missionary friends of ours we're staying with here in S. Africa).  They have been such a help to us in our tough transition from living in Madagascar to living in the States.  We've cried and laughed together at the joys and hardships of living in a different culture than what you grew up in.  

Yesterday I was finally able to allow all the emotions that had swelled up inside of me out. Yes, I had cried here and there but I hadn't done that....well...ya know....the “ugly cry”, where your lip quivers and snot runs out your nose uncontrollably. I had been feeling sick to my stomach all day yesterday and I was pretty sure it was just emotions. Pam had dropped me off at the house while she quick ran a friend home as I just coudn't be in the car any more due to complete dizziness. I was sitting on the ground because the house was all gated up. As I sat waves of heavy sadness heaved out of me like uncontrollable tsunami waves. Pam pulled into the driveway, got out of the car, and sat in the dirt beside me with her arm around me. She simply said, “I don't have any profound words of wisdom. I just know that it hurts.”.

I went to bed early last night, exhausted. It's now morning. I lay in bed for a while reminding myself that my God is King. He know's what He's doing in my life, in our lives, and I need to pour my trust into Him, even when I'm hurting. Even, when to me, life looks like it's roaring out of control. You see, having been in Mada for a year has changed us SO deeply. So deeply infact, that I don't even fully know all the ways it's changed us. I think we'll be noticing things that have changed in us for months. My grieving, however, comes with the fact that I don't know if I'll ever have a chance to see those beautiful Malagasy friends of mine again here on earth. I know I've blogged about this before, but I need to do it again...for my sake. I have to keep reminding myself to keep my eyes focused on the eternal. If I truly understood eternity I would understand that this life is a “blink of an eye”. And it's true. Just look back on this year. It's over....already! So fast. So fast that I can't get my head around it. That's how our life will go.

And so, I lovingly remind myself, “My King is in control. Hold on tightly to Him and get ready. I'd rather give up my greatest dream, which I truly believe He put in my heart, and live in the center of His will for me, then give up His will for me and live in the center of my dream.”

Sunday, July 3, 2011

If the ostriches chase you just lie flat on the ground.

June 29, 2011

We're staying at the cute little bed and breakfast place that is about 40 kilo away from where we will go on safari this afternoon. Each family has a little bungalow area. This morning we were told that we can go for a hike around the area. We may see giraffe, zebra, different kinds of “deer”, ostriches. We could just walk along among them, no problem. He did worn us though that we should not run around the ostriches or they WILL chase us. If they chase us we should just hit the ground and lie flat and they should leave us alone. Great. That would make for a great blog story. So, off we went. We did see some ostriches and some guinea hens. But that was about it. It was neat being able to walk in the “wild” though. We were all saying that we felt like Marty from Madagascar....finally out in the wild!

We went to Nambidi national park which is a well known park here in S. Africa. They have the “big five” (Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros) As we showed up for our safari, we saw our ride.....Awesome. (Pic to left) The boys were totally pumped! We actually didn't see any predators and we saw just a few animals. This was due to two fires that had been set accidentally by locals living on the grounds. We were able to see the rear-ends of elephants. Even though they were far away they were still REALLY big butts! We were able to see a family of giraffes. We saw several deer like creatures, wildebeests and different birds. It was beautiful to see another side of God's creativity!

Our ride lasted about 3 hours. Halfway through we stopped and had drinks and a snack overlooking a beautiful African valley! It was like standing in the middle of “The Lion King”.

I think that's all I'll write right now as I'm feeling very overwhelmed by all our amazing experiences. Until later....