7 Quick Takes: 5/3/13

It’s Friday!! This may be a quick, rambly post this week. I have had a chest cold/sinus infection/case of death  this week….and it really knocked me around. Instead of complaining, how about I get right to the takes?

1.) I tend to over buy when I get sick….cough drops, teas, kleenex, anything with “multi-symptom” on the box. I won’t take asprin for a headache, but if I’m SICK like this I will buy whatever I think I “need”.

Four bags of cough drops….a little excessive in retrospect….entirely necessary when you feel like death. 
2.) I’m just starting to get to the point where there is less pressure in my chest, but now it’s all in my sinuses which I think is worse….but that’s enough complaining for me! 
3.) Say a prayer for me this weekend. I will be babysitting from Today to Sunday for three awesome boys at my church. I babysit these guys pretty regularly but a full weekend is a new experience for all of us! Usually I watch them for a couple of hours while their mom and dad go to dinner….never for this long all at once! It should be interesting! 
4.) I also have an unspoken prayer request, and at the risk of sounding cryptic I would just ask that you pray that God’s Will be done in my life, and in our church. Thanks so much! 
5.) Spring has finally sprung! My windows are open, the birds are singing, and flowers are in bloom! My small group was able to meet outside on our patio on Wednesday, and we could all finally enjoy the fresh spring air! 
6.) I may have over-glamorized things by calling it a small group….which technically it is (just not church sanctioned). It’s really just a group of ladies all from our church, of all ages, married, single, with kids, without kids….all of us sharing a common bond: Yarn. That’s right, we all knit/crochet. It is a great time of fellowship, so we call it a small group, it’s just not recognized as one! We love it! The kids play outside, we fellowship together, sharing new projects and patterns, laughing, talking over one another….it’s just plain fun! 
7.) This will be my last QT post for a few weeks. I will be going radio silent for a short time….again I hate to sound cryptic but I promise I’ll explain better later this week before I unplug, and definitely check back around the 20th for full explanation!! 
Enjoy your weekend everybody, and thank you for stopping by! Head on over to Conversion Diary and check out all of the other QT’s from this week! 
Blessings, 
Megan 

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The Cold That Just Won’t Leave…

I feel like The Shelf has been neglected! I haven’t even looked at my dashboard in about a week. Sunday night I started coming down with this terrible chest cold that put me out of commission for a while. Usually I can work through this kind of thing, but this one really knocked me down….to the point that I actually used a sick day. I can actually breathe now (praise the Lord!!!) so I’m hoping to be in tip top shape for the weekend! If you think about it, whisper a prayer for me. I have a pretty big weekend coming up, and would love to have this cold behind me. Thank you!

Blessings,
Megan

7 Quick Takes: 3/22/13

Happy Firday! I love, love, love Friday’s! For me, it is the end of the work week, and gives me plenty of time to hang out with my family. Friday also means it’s time for another installment of Quick Takes! I’m joining Jen over at Conversion Diary, let’s get to it!

1.) Last Saturday night my whole extended family (on dad’s side) got together to celebrate my Great Grandmother’s 94th birthday.

Four generations: Great Grandma, Grandma, Dad, Myself, and my Cousins. This picture should actually include a few more grandkids and great grand kids however they were not in attendance. 
2.) I would like to ask you to please pray for my Great Grandma, as I said she is (now) 94 years old, her health is failing. We are aware that at her age it’s pretty normal for her health and memory to be slowly declining, however the decline has NOT been slow. From week to week she seems to just get worse. If you would please pray for her, and the family as we try to help her….it would be very much appreciated! 
3.) It’s NCAA Tournament time, which means that for the office and family I’ve filled out brackets. Mine never really seem to go very far….so this year (because ESPN lets you make up to ten) I’ve done 9. Hopefully at least ONE of them will make it to the end! 
4.) NCAA Tournament time in this house means that basketball is on all day. ALL DAY!!! There is no escaping it, however today I plan to take four (or more) hours and sit down and watch Les Miserables. (Released TODAY on DVD!!!) complete with popcorn and snacks, and a full box of tissue! 
5.) Even though Wednesday was the first day of spring, it is still snowing like crazy here! I almost can’t believe that it really is March! I am ready for the Florida trip! I know it’s still months away, but I would love to move it up because this snow is killing me! 
6.) I’m still working on the parenting interview, and I’m loving the research aspect of Psychology! It has been so much fun gathering information, and conducting interviews. Now, I have to find a way to put it all into a paper…..the not so fun part…..
7.) This week is Palm Sunday…..the day that we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is also the start of Holy Week. Thursday, we are having our Maundy Thursday service. There is something so striking about this service. We have a partial orchestra, and a full choir. It is a candle lit service, one by one, as each scripture is read, and each song is sung a candle will be extinguished….we share communion, and after the final prayer a lone trumpeter plays were you there. The sound of the horn rings out almost eerily in the completely dark sanctuary. The congregation leaves in absolute silence. Silence is loud, very, very loud. This was the night of the last supper, the night Jesus was betrayed. Friday, we have no service. Friday (Good Friday) is a day of contemplation….something that I will share with you all next Friday! I love Holy Week. I love the services that I get to be a part of…..I love what Jesus did for me on the cross, dying for my sins!
Blessings to you as we enter into this coming week. It’s not about the bunnies and the candy….though I do love a good marshmallow Peep, it’s about the Cross, and the sacrifice, the grace and salvation we do not deserve but are granted anyway. 

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/aowdjLeaCYs&source=uds
(Youtube: Keith and Kristyn Getty)

Blessings,
Megan 

7 Quick Takes: 2/8/13

Happy Friday! As always, I’ll be joining up with our wonderful host Jen, over at Conversion Diary…..and away we go!

1.) Last Saturday I spent all day writing, and writing, and writing and….well, I think you get the picture. I was alone at home and I had my computer in the living room, and I decided that I would put something on the TV just for a little noise….I went to NetFlix and I thought that I would see what all the hype is about with Downton Abbey.

I have seen the light! I watched all of season one on Saturday…all of it! I’m finally beginning to get caught up now on season three, and I’m wondering why I didn’t just start watching it to begin with back when it first started! I have gotten myself totally hooked, and I am falling in love with these people! It has made for some great TV watching!

So.Much.Love for this show!
2.) My research paper is finally finished, and (as I figured would happen) I didn’t stick with my original topic. I thought that the topic of Religion would be easy, but boy was I wrong. I had no problem finding the research to go along with that topic, but putting my thoughts into words was SO difficult for me! I finally just picked an entirely different topic: Parents’ Relationships. I used my own mom and dad as an example, and incorporated Alfred Bandura’s studies in Observational Learning……basically I said that kids learn from watching mom and dad, although I said it in more technical terms….I can tell, that this is where my heart is at. Not necessarily this developmental stuff, but Psychology in general, I can talk about it for hours, and I never tire of reading about it! I’m in for a fun ride!
3.) Sunday we had a preview rehearsal of the concert our Worship Arts Ministry will be presenting for Easter, and I was totally blown away by the music! It is a really good mix of some new contemporary worship songs, and traditional hymns of the church! The orchestration is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the horn part!
4.) I’ll admit this to you….please don’t judge me. I’m writing this late Thursday night….as I’m looking out my window, all I can see is swirling snow. According to weather maps, I am right smack in the middle of this “Massive snow storm”. Local stations are calling it “Snow Storm 2013” and the National Weather Service has even named it. Let me ask you this, when did we start naming something other than a Hurricane? I don’t know, to me it just seems silly….but that said, if you are on the east coast I know that you are about to get hit much harder than us here in the Midwest. Please, please, please stay safe, and warm. Don’t go out in this unless it is absolutely necessary. This stuff may look pretty, but it can turn dangerous in an instant! Stay safe!
5.) I’m hoping to head out soon to score myself some good deals on fabric, using my new student discount at Joann Fabrics. I have these grandiose plans of making a “vintage inspired” skirt. I have a plan, and a pattern, now I just need the fabric….that’s what I’m still trying to decide on. Solid or print? Pastel, dark, neutral? If I go with a pattern what should it be? This is why it has taken me so long to pick a fabric…I cannot decide what I want. Help!
6.) The cold bug has hit our family and two-of-three are down for the count, myself included. Mom and I both have it, however she is much worse than I am. Dad (lucky duck), seems to never get sick when her and I do, but so far we don’t have it so bad (knock on wood). Hopefully this is it and it will vacate the  residence soon…if not we’re in for trouble if dad gets it. 
7.) There are some things that need no words….and this, I believe, is one of them…..Take a look: 
By the end I was crying like a baby! This kid is amazing! I can only hope that his story will inspire people to think differently about handicaps. Honestly, I do not have words for how incredible this story is! I hope you enjoyed it as much as me! What an inspiration!
As I said at the beginning, go see Jen, and everyone else for more Quick Takes! Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!
Blessings,
Megan 

Mental Break

Every now and then I need a good little mental break, especially right now. I’m writing this paper for my child psych. class, and normally I don’t have any problem coming up with things to say that make sense and flow well together but I have been stuck on the dang intro paragraph for about an hour now and it is killing me. I’m hoping that by taking this mental break, and doing some lighter writing (read: blogging or complaining whatever you wish) will help me to focus when I do go back to the paper. I used to be able to sit at my computer and in no time at all have at least the intro, and background information in the time that it has taken me to get this far.

When I chose my topic, raising kids with religion, I thought it would be an easy topic compared to the others on the list. I was WRONG, this has proven to be a pretty hard topic and as I said I’m only on the intro! I’m going to do a little more writing tonight, and hopefully after a good night’s sleep and some coffee in the morning ideas will flow better, and I’ll be able to formulate coherent sentences…..we’ll see. In the meantime, prayers are appreciated, I’m struggling on this one for some reason, and can’t seem to get rid of this writer’s block. 
Blessings,
Megan 

7 Quick Takes: One Louder Edition

Joining Jen and the rest at Conversion Diary for a little Friday Fun, be sure to check it out.

So, last week I told you all about Disciple Now, and I promised you a recap; here it is:

1.) We kicked off the weekend with a leadership meeting, and prayer for all of the kids that would be participating. We went over rules and expectations, and got ready to welcome them for the weekend.

Handbook/Note Keeping Journal
2.) Usually a rule on weekends like this is that (for the students) cell phones, i-devices, tablets, etc., etc, are not allowed. This one was different however. We literally wanted to be One Louder for the whole weekend. So, we allowed the students to keep their electronics. We blew up Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all weekend using the hashtag #OneLouder. 
2a.) On Sunday, to wrap up, we were told that our tweets were seen by a possible 140K people! How awesome, that our message went viral! At one point in the weekend we were “Trending”. 
3.) The theme of the weekend was One Louder. Andrew, our Sr. High Pastor said it best in his blog this week:

One Louder is buzz language for living out of ones own comfort zone and reaching outside to those who don’t yet know the love of Christ. One Louder is the acceptance of the outcast, the defense of the oppressed, the standing up for the bullied, and the love for the unlovable. Ultimately One Louder is a life lived for the other.

 You can find him at Arpology... he was the creative genius behind this weekend.

Our speaker for the weekend was our College Pastor, in one of his messages he said that we need to live our lives as an 11-out-of-10, One Louder, one more than normal. He also said that  we need to think outside the “soap”box. One louder isn’t necessarily street corner preaching, but that it could be Shiva…the Jewish mourning tradition of just being present. One Louder could be just listening to someone talk, when someone asks you to pray for them instead of adding it to your list take the time right then to pray WITH them.

4.) I had the most amazing group of girls to spend the weekend with. They are all struggling with issues that I dealt with at that age, and in one of them I see so much of myself. I could tell that she (more than the others) was really struggling to fit in, and that reminded me so much of my eighth grade self. I was able to have some great talks with her, and just be a friend for all of them this weekend. We started with small groups on Friday night, and right off the bat got into some pretty deep spiritual discussions, and I could tell right then what we were in store for, for the rest of the retreat. We did some get to know you stuff where the girls introduced themselves, and then got to ask me any question that they wanted to. I highly recommend this to anyone in a youth leadership position: I had them write on a slip of paper (anonymously) any question they wanted to…spiritual, fashion, relationships, nothing was off limits….and then I had to answer. Let me tell you, things got emotional. We talked about our spiritual journeys, friendship troubles, the importance of knowing that no matter how you feel about what you see in the mirror, GOD sees beauty! I got emotional, and so did my girls.

Then when we had gathered ourselves together we settled in with popcorn, and homemade peanut butter fudge and watched The Princess Bride. Which up until this point in my life I had never seen…..Holy Twoo Wuv Batman! It was AWESOME! I didn’t know what I was missing until now…..Loved it!

5.) Saturday was a day of service. We were sent all over the community to do a day of service projects. I went with my girls over to a local clothing closet, and food distribution center. We painted, vacuumed, sorted through bags of donated items, cleaned windows inside and out, and scrubbed floors. We did all that in two hours, and still had two more to go. We headed back for the church where we joined in on the folding of 4,000 plastic grocery bags for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan…yes, we folded 4,000 plastic bags! It was fun!

6.) I had a wonderful weekend, hanging out with the teens, seeing old friends, and remembering my time as a student on these retreats. These kids have committed themselves to living One Louder! They have said that they are not ashamed of the Gospel! I saw the power of God working in them! How amazing it was to see prayers answered this weekend!

7.)   Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” 

 One Louder. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel, don’t be ashamed of your faith, of who you are in Christ! Live your life as and 11-out-of-10! Let your actions, your unyielding faith, your love speak One Louder! I know that in this society it isn’t always easy, God never promised that your cross wouldn’t be heavy, but he did promise to bring you through. Living One Louder may sound impossible, but not with God on your side. I can’t wait to see where he takes this. We can be One Louder here at home, or on an international mission field. We can be One Louder as a pastor, or as a psychologist. God can use you wherever you are, whatever your circumstance he can use you to be One Louder!

Thank you so much for your prayers for this weekend! I would like to ask that you keep praying for our teens, as they return back to “normal” life. Being back at school, and at home for some is not always easy. Please continue to pray.

Allow me to leave you with this….here is a picture of me (on the right) and my best friend.

The two of us met seven years ago as students at Disciple Now, and were back this year as leaders! I trust this girl with my life. We keep each other accountable, we keep each other in line, and we confide in each other…thanks to a Disciple Now seven years ago….I got to witness friendships like ours formed this weekend. Thanks be to God for putting these people in our lives!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Blessings,

Megan  

7 Quick Takes: 1/18/13

Once again joining Jen @ Conversion Diary, I’m going to get right to it today since I still have to pack, find my study questions, re-read them, and cross-reference the scripture that goes with them before I head off to my weekend of leading the eight grade girls in discipleship…Disciple Now (the retreat I’ve been telling you about) begins tonight at 5 P.M…..allow me to use up some of my takes telling you all about it……again.

1.) The theme for the weekend is “One Louder”, referring to Paul’s challenge to not be ashamed ofthe life-changing gospel in today’s world. This is pretty exciting…..eighth grade is that weird year where you want desperately to fit in, and sometimes, unfortunately, you’ll try to change yourself to do that….I want these girls to know that they have nothing to be ashamed of, and that they are perfect just as they are! I am so looking forward to leading their discussions, and seeing what God does for them this weekend!

2.) The verse that we are focusing on for the weekend is Romans 1:16

“16 I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”

This is a wonderful passage, and one that I hope will inspire these kids this week to live their lives for God no matter what society may say about them!

3.) Along with worship services, small group time, and service projects….we do get to have some activity time as a large group; this year it is ice skating. I am 20 years old, born and raised in Michigan, and NEVER, not a day in my life, have I ever been ice skating….your prayers are appreciated!

4.) I had the opportunity to go to three Disciple Now’s as a student, and had some wonderful experiences with my friends. It was always great to spend the weekend living with sometimes twenty other girls, and just being able to share how God was working in our lives, and talking freely about what was happening. Worshiping alongside your best friends, and acting like fools playing your typical “youth group” games! I am so excited to be on the other side now as a leader….watching someone else look like a fool playing the games, and leading those discussions.

5.) The service project is one of my favorite things to do on retreat…I have no idea what it will be, but I’m game for anything and I can’t wait! We are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet, and what better way than to go out and serve in your community!

6.) So, that whole 5 take lead in brings me to this….take #7

7.) I would like to ask you to please pray! We have filled slots for 43 hours of prayer for this weekend! From the time we start tonight, ’till the time we finish on Sunday afternoon we will be covered in the prayers of our church family! I ask that sometime in those 43 hours, you remember us, and you say a prayer. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, it doesn’t have to be a whole hour….just pray that God opens our hearts, and prepares us for the work that he can do in us this weekend! Please join me in praying:

  •  for the 85 students (grades 7-12) that will be participating. 
  • For the 24+ College students that are small group leaders
  • the 12 families that have opened their homes to us this weekend
  • the hands that prepare our meals
  • the band that will lead us in worship
  • that hearts will be opened
  • that healing will take place
  • that love will come where there is none
  • that HIS light will shine in the darkness
  • that we will be ONE LOUDER!

I know I said it doesn’t have to be specific, and then added this list….it still doesn’t need to be specific. Just knowing that we are covered in prayer for the weekend is a wonderful feeling! I will try to keep you updated as much as possible throughout the weekend…and if I’m not able to do that, I will do one big “Disciple Now Recap Post” on Monday.

Until then, thank you for your prayers thanks for stopping by, and like always I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Let me leave you with this throwback picture….

I’m the one on the bottom left….five years have gone by since Disciple Now 10….this will be the first one in FIVE years! I can’t wait….have I said that yet?! I really can’t wait!

Blessings,
Megan

Just an update as of 8 am this morning….we have one student and two leaders down for the count with the flu. Please pray for them, and the rest of us as we scramble to fill their shoes.

7 Quick Takes: 1/11/13

I’m so happy that Jen is back at the helm this week! She is still recovering, and still in my prayers, help her in yours as well. I’ll be linking up with her over at Conversion Diary……

Here we go…

1.) Friday caught me off guard this week, it really sort of snuck up on me and I wasn’t at all prepared for this post today. Well, there’s one!

2.) Winter semester starts officially on Monday, I have loved having so much time off….being home with my family, and just hanging out.

3.) I don’t mind winter, as long as there is snow on the ground, once it warms up and the snow melts away I want it to be warm and sunny all the time and get depressed with the next big snowfall. I know that it comes with living in Michigan but, it’s the same every year and after a while I just want to back my bags and head someplace warm…Florida, California, Arizona, Hawaii …..anywhere warmer than here would be perfect!

4.) I did a little sewing to keep myself busy this week, you can read about that HERE.

5.) After the holidays got over with, I got back to strictly counting my calories, and exercising….I’m to a point where my body is getting back in line, and I could eat anything that’s not nailed down in this house. I’m getting used to a certain number of calories again….but I feel GOOD!

6.) Tonight, I am (finally) going to go see Les Mis. I have been waiting a long time for this one, and I can’t wait!

7.) I wrote a little bit last week about the youth retreat that I am chaperoning, please continue to pray for as as we plan for this weekend. Pray for the kids as they prepare, and pray that God would ready their hearts for what’s in store. Pray also for Jen, as she continues to heal, pray that God will work in her, and bring a swift recovery.

Blessings,
Megan

7 Quick Takes: 1/4/13

Linking up for another Quick takes post….Jen, the usual host, has recently been hospitalized…please keep her in your prayers!

Instead of linking up at Conversion Diary, the link up is taking place at Moxie Wife

 So, let’s get to it, shall we?!

1.) For the life of me I have not been able to write 2013 on anything these last few days! Sometimes I can start the year off remembering to write the new year, and some years I can go until February writing the old year. The way things are going now, I have a feeling I’ll be writing 2012 for a while….but hey at least I remembered it for this post!

2.) On New Year’s Eve, we had some friends over for dinner, and played some games, and by 10:30 I was zonked out in bed….in my defense, it had been a long weekend and I haven’t been sleeping well….I did wake up briefly to (what I hope was) the sound of fireworks being set off a few houses down….yeah, happy new year to you too buddy!!

3.) New Year’s Day, we go to a friend’s house, where they host sometimes up to 30 people; and the men watched football, the women sit around and  knit/crochet/cross stitch/eat for the whole day.

4.) My Wolverines offered up nothing but disappointment…..once again.

5.) I was back to work on Wednesday, and enjoyed being back. I like having a break, but I also like my schedule, and structure, and it’s nice to get back to that. I’m starting my winter (most of spring) semester in about a week and am really looking forward to it.

6.) From January 18 -20 I will be a college sponsor on our church youth group’s annual discipleship retreat. If you think about it between now and then please pray…

pray for:

  • The Students; Grades 7-12
  • The Sponsors; College Students 
  • The Host Families; Brave men and women opening their homes to us
  • and last but not least, our youth pastors who have worked so hard to plan this weekend, and make it a wonderful worship experience for these kids. 

Most importantly, pray for God’s presence, and for the kids to just open themselves up to the amazing things that God can do in their lives. I will let you all know how the weekend goes after it’s over….look for that post in a few weeks.

7.) I will be leading the 8th grade girls for that weekend….I was one ( a long time ago) and I know how they can be, so please pray for me to be able to offer them some guidance, pray for the family opening their home to us, and pray for the girls. Please just keep that weekend in your prayers. I remember being a student years ago, and having my life changed on this retreat, I know that if we open ourselves to the Lord he can do great things. I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of things, as a leader to these kids! I’m so excited to see what God has in store for all of us!

Happy New Year to you all!
Blessings,

Megan

Heartbreak

I can’t even begin to fathom what the parents and families of the 18 young students at feeling. It is heartbreaking to think that someone would walk into a school and open fire on a kindergarten class and open fire.

Hold your kids close tonight, and pray for these families.

There is really nothing more that I can say, other than pray.

Blessings,
Megan