Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Need an Inspiration? I've Got One for You!

My Inspiration For You: Genae Lanier, my sister-in-law and kindred spirit

A little over two and 1/2 years ago, I was lucky enough to meet my future husband and find out that he had a sister my age.  I was lucky that his sister was the kind of girl who would share her bedroom and clothes with me.  I was lucky that she, Genae, liked me (or at least she acted like it) and welcomed me into her family with no questions asked. Now, I am lucky to share my initials (MGL) with Genae and have a sister-in-law that I would have picked to be in my life even if I had never met her brother.

Not just any friend or family member would lay around in their sweats and watch girly movies and chomp on smoothies with me. Not just anyone would accompany me to a tear jerker movie (see my previous blog to read about my need for Genae's sleeves). And most of all, not just anyone would share their hardships and triumphs with me and let me share mine with them.  But, Genae does all the above and I am always excited to spend time with her. I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

HOWEVER, there will not be a lot of time to spend with Genae in the next year.  You see, Genae will be leaving for The World Race on January 5th and will return a year from now.  She will spend 11 months serving Christ and His people in 11 different countries.  If you keep up with my blog, you have heard me speak of The World Race and the way it impacted my life through my friend Halley (who just returned from her journey in July).  After missing my friend dearly while she adventured, I now prepare to support Genae as she does the same.  Wow, right?!  Who knew I would be connected to such great ladies who are so willing to serve our Savior in a BIG way?!

I can't help but be anxious for Genae as she prepares and, to be honest, part of me wishes I could go too.
It will be a different feeling to have a family member serving in such a capacity and wanting so much to be a part of the work she will be doing.  So, while Genae is gone, I will settle for stalking her online and crossing my fingers for a Skype call.  I will pray for her faithfully and do my best to support her financially until she returns.

I often wonder what Genae will feel and go trough while she is serving?
I wonder what lives she will impact and what impacts will be made on her life?
I wonder what will change in my life while she is gone?
I wonder what I will do when I am dying to talk to her and she is in Timbucktoo?
I wonder how the family will hold up without a fundamental part of the unit around to hug and laugh with?

But, do you what to know what I DON'T wonder about?
I don't wonder if Genae will raise enough money to finish her mission with The World Race. I know she will (and you can help)!
I don't wonder if Genae will change the World.  She will!
I don't wonder if Genae will come back and use her experienes to continue to shape lives.  I am positive that will happen too!
And, I don't wonder if Genae will be ushered through this experience by God.  He already is and He's not one to give up!

So, would you like to stalk Genae's blog with me while she is gone? If so, it can be found here:

Would you like to join me in praying for Genae, everyone traveling with her and those she will meet? You can. Start Now!

Would you like to support Genae to assure God's plan is carried out throughout the Nations? Do it:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Aren't you glad you aren't a turkey? I sure am!

I love Thanksgiving. Not only do I get to spend time with friends and family but I get to eat like food is a new discovery on this planet, and for that one day only, no one looks at my like I'm a crazy person when I go back for a 3rd plate (I tend to eat like a mad woman the rest of the year but the looks aren't as accepting outside of the Holiday season)! I must admit, though, Thanksgiving preparations tend to stress me out a little. I know when it comes down to it that my family won't lose their minds if there is a little dirt on the floor or a spot in the kitchen but I want it to look perfect for them. I like things to be in their place and shine. It isn't like Evan and I have the most exquisite furniture or dinnerware and our floors certainly don't go unstained or unscratched but I like to take pride in what we have and where we live. I never want my OCDness (yes, I am making that a word) of our home to take precedence over the love for the people in it but I want it detailed enough so the conversation can flow easily and never be hindered by something I didn't get done.

When our home is at its best, I feel at my best. When things are in order and ready to welcome anyone who may venture through the doors, I feel confidant and welcoming myself. The only problem in getting to that point, is the stress it takes to get there. When the cooking and cleaning begins, I am eager and ready to get it all knocked out but it is hard to keep up with all the chores that seem to magically appear once I get started. Why is it that the dust bunnies have such a great relationship with the mud tracked on the floor and the dirty toilets? It's like they talk to each other and demand a multiplication movement just as I begin to tackle the first order of business!

Anyway, I eventually overcome these pesky chores (ha! I am a winner after all) and tell myself to chill out so the hosting can begin. It has been a joy (once all that previous stuff is taken care of) to host Thanksgiving at our house the last few years. I was especially thrilled this year to share one table with our family. I truly wanted the group of us to sit around one dinner table and enjoy each others company so we could take time to look into the faces of those in which share our lives with. Thanks to the weather, and our great God, we were able to do that this year. My faithful husband helped me move the front porch furniture and a dinning room was assembled just in-front of my favorite red swing! With two 8ft tables, end to end, the 20 of us were able to gather in one spot to dine, laugh and have conversation. What a joy!

It was especially great to look down the full table and see the different generations that currently help shape my life. I was fortunate to spend this Holiday with my grandparents and Evan's grandfather. How lucky I am to still have them in my life! Also in attendance were mine and Evan's parents, my sister-in-law and cousins. What a blessing to have families that can get along and are willing to share their traditions and celebrations with each other. Beyond these generations, it was pure bliss to pass around the new baby of the family and share in Madison's very first Thanksgiving.

As we all sat together, stuffing ourselves to the bone and laughing, all the worries about the house, dinning table and serving dishes went away. Now, this feeling of anxiousness only left me for a little while but it was nice nonetheless. While seeing the family together, all the craziness of taking care of the house was more than worth it. I think my madness of preparation is part of what makes me enjoy the Thanksgiving lunch with everyone so much. It makes it stick out like no other day in the year. I love to share my home with my family and I hope they feel at home here too. I am unsure of how many more Thanksgiving we will all be able to attend together or how many times we will all sit around one table, but I no matter the number, this year was a win. Take that dust bunnies! And, Mr. Turkey: I'm sorry, but you sure were delicious!

2010 Thanksgiving Video (thank you Evan for your random video making skills)


Table Ready for the Family:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Am My Mother

After too long of a break, I have been itching to blog! Sumatanga hasn't stopped buzzing with people and excitement since Summer Camp ended, so needless to say, life has been fast and crazy with little time for simple pleasures like blogging. I plan to write soon about the ins and outs of what is going on here, but until then, how about the subject...


I recall time after time growing up (especially in my teenage years) jabbing and laughing at my mom while she cried over sermons, movies, TV shows, songs and even commercials. I mean seriously, what was wrong with this woman? Where were all those tears coming from and how could she be so silly to let them spill so easily?! I am sure you can guess that she was NOT thrilled with me when my laughter and smart-alec comments started going her way. My gracious mother, however, would simple say "Meagan, you just wait and see. You've got it coming to you one of these days." And of course, I would follow that comment with a bout of rolled eyes and something sophisticated and grown up like sticking out my tung or making a beautiful face that would "get stuck like that" if I held it for too long.

Well guess what? Mom was right (yeah yeah, I know, moms are always right). I did, indeed, have it coming to me and it has caught me BIG TIME. I now not only cry over sermons, movies, TV shows, songs and commercials but I cry at the THOUGHT of them! Geeze Louise, I am a nut case of tears. When the heart starts going, the tears start flowing.

I obviously owe my mother many years of apologies for the finger pointing and giggles, but I also owe her quite a bit of thanks. Although I have been known to use both of my sleeves and the sleeves of my sister-in-law in a public theatre while watching "The Time Travelers Wife," the humiliation is worth it. I think I would feel like I was missing a part of me if my tears didn't join my emotions so often.

I get a lot of weird looks from my husband (and people at red lights when inspirational radio starts rolling in the car) when my face starts squinting and the water works get started, but I've decided that is OK. I may be an emotional roller coaster that can't hold it together when Jesus shows up or when songs start playing but I love that I get to feel connected. Is that weird? After I cry, I feel like I've been part of something real (bear with the cheesiness here). Seriously, after I get so caught up in someone else's character or story that I can't hold back the tears, I feel that I have experienced their circumstance too.

Now I find myself wondering how many times my mom cried not only for the stories found in the media but for mine and my sister's stories as well. I wonder how many times the only way she could experience our joys and fears was to cry too. I am sure our graduations and weddings were almost too much for mom's tear ducts to handle. I can now understand why mom was "mrs cries a lot" when I was growing up. The commercials on TV are tough but real life is almost too much emotion to handle. I don't know how I'll hold it together when I have kids that make fun of me for crying, or how I'll hold back the tears when they hurt or shout for joy, but I do know I'm glad that I'll have the tears to join with them. So here is a shout out of thanks to mom for crying and caring and making me someone who cares too. Here is to all the tears that make me one step closer to becoming my mother.