An open letter to summertime

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Dear Sweet Summertime,

The ease of waking up and the welcoming presence of a new day give me peace.

The freedom of laying in bed for way longer than necessary and no pressure to get up at a certain time.

The collection of colorful mugs of cold brew each morning, not those evil travel mugs and their symbols of hurry and busyness.

No make up, no hair brushing, and no contacts for as long as I want.

The uncovering of emotions that I forgot I had because it was nestled safely underneath the more glaring issues of children and parents and learning.

The space in you brain to adequately reflect on the other areas of my life, such as the church group I lead.

The slow walks with Franklin and the quiet mornings watching him on the patio bark on birds.

The energy to enter hard conversations and let it take up my entire brain space.

The capacity to love others with greater awareness and intentionality.

The blank white space on my google calendar.

The quiet music playing from speakers filling the living room and dining room with its’ melodies.

Slow and careful handwriting across pages of journals writing whispers of prayers, shouts of joy, hidden dreams, and anything else that I want.

Hot summer afternoons spent by the pool with a good book and the smell of sun screen.

Vacations spent connecting with my husband and the memories to be made.

Sand between my toes, rhythms of ocean waves crashing with no plans of stopping, and a summer rain shower that makes sure you know there’s no such thing as a perfect day–but it was pretty close to perfect.

The constant process of relearning to relax, slow down, be still, and be present in each moment.

Summer, these are the reasons I love you.

But, I know you can’t stay forever.

Just, please go slowly.

 

The Top 5 Letters in My Alphabet

My February series was a doozy for me, but I keep thinking about how much  I learned about discipline in my writing from it. I’ve also been reflecting on what caught people’s eye the most.

Here are the most popular posts of the alphabet:

5. B is for Books – 4 Reasons to Pick Up a Book Right Now

2

4. C is for Change – How to Make a Change Right This Second

3

3. S is for Start – What You Need to Do Right No to Jump Start Your Passions

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2. F is for Faith – The Beginner’s Guide to Writing About Faith

6

1. A is for Asian Americans – What You Need to Know About the Asian American Identity

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Which one of these stands out to you the most? How about in the rest of the series? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

T is for Thankful

On this dreary Wednesday night, there’s nothing more fitting than a good old fashioned Thank You post!

10 Things I’m Thankful For Today & Everyday:

  1. Good Old Green Car has been a trusty companion for the past several years. I’m thankful it’s still running and doesn’t have any of that modern technology like power locks or power windows.
  2. Franklin the Dog’s jumping to come home to. His ever wagging tail and excessive panting always put a smile on my face the minute I walk in the door.
  3. My Students – between the good and bad, easy and hard, empowering and draining, funny and serious, energizing and tiring – there is always something to be thankful for in who they are and what they are learning.
  4. Coffee – Need I say more? Coffee is always there for me when I need her most. She gives me a false sense of energy and a false sense of confidence, but it’s all I need on any sleepy-eyed morning.
  5. Snapchats full of bitmojis with friends who get me and the true authenticity that these tiny pictures share.
  6. Josh’s hugs. Comfort and safety and love all wrapped together.
  7. Morning Time Bible Reading – no matter how groggy I am or sleepily I scroll the my Bible app, I’m thankful for the power these words and the
  8. The gift of words. If you’ve read any of my other posts,  you know the ways that I’m learning to embrace words strung together for others to read.
  9. The power of reading – the escape it brings, the diversity it shows, and the freedom it gives me to imagine and believe.
  10. Laughter. Always laugh. Find something to laugh at. If nothing else, just laugh at yourself. It makes everything better.
  11. Choice. The opportunity to make a choice on my thoughts, feelings, and attitude. The opportunity to choose what I do and where I go, what my future could hold and the steps I might take to shape it.
  12. Connection. I wrote about my new word(s) for the new year, and this was one of them. Connecting means being present with the environment and people I’m in right here and right now. Focusing on connection – when I remember to – has changed so much for me in my day to day life. I need to remember that more!

F is for Faith

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I honestly haven’t written about my faith in a long time. I’m not sure why.

I used to write about it a lot. I used to lead in faith-based organizations in ways that I don’t do anymore. The way I lead used to lead me to write a lot about my own faith. About the ways that the Word of God had been changing me. I haven’t done this as much. And, it’s not for a lack of leading or reading. 

In thinking more about who I am as a writer, I want to take care with which I post about faith. I don’t want to be seen waving a flag that my life doesn’t represent. I don’t want to be braggy or show off. I don’t want to be self righteous or proud. And if we’re being honest, it’s hard for me not to sound that way when putting my faith on public display. 

At the same time, I wonder if these cautions come at a cost. I think that there is power in sharing about one’s faith. There is understanding to be met amongst varying belief systems. There is power in encouraging others with the same beliefs.

I wonder about how much of my silence on my faith in my writing on this blog is helping or hurting. I want to reach a wide audience. I want this to be a place that is welcoming to people of any belief. And, I want this to a safe space.

At the same time, I want to be authentic. Authenticity breeds authenticity. And, if I’m truly being transparent and authentic about who I am, then I would most definitely write of my faith. My faith permeates to all that I think, see, believe, and do. Any writing that I have comes through faith and anything that I share has certainly been effected by my faith.

My faith in God is essential to my being. Jesus as my Savior and all that this means for how I love and live is the essence of who I am. There is no Meagan without Jesus being the pinnacle of my stories. I believe that Jesus is in every single one of the stories that I’ve written. Even the silly ones about my dog or my books, I think Jesus is in each of those.

The question lies in how to be authentic about my identity as a Christian, while still speaking inclusively to a diverse audience. 

How do you handle this in your writing? In your relationships? In your life?