Thursday, October 27, 2011

freedom in submission.

Did you cringe a little at that title? It's ok if you did. I'll admit it's a scary word.
Inclined or ready to submit; unresistant or humbly obedient. 
I often resist.
My heart rarely holds the humility it should.
I ignore and disobey and fight for my way almost daily. 
I'm far from submissive. Let's make that perfectly clear. 
I am learning, though, that submission doesn't mean subjecting myself to chains. Oh no. Quite the opposite. 
When I submit, I'm free. 
When I release control of my life, I'm liberated to live life with open hands, equally grateful for what the Lord brings and what He takes away.
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21 
When I come humbly before the Lord, I can trust that He will provide for me in His time and according to His goodness.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." I Peter 5:6
When my desire is to be obedient, He will make the way clear to me.
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
And there is an overwhelming and invariable joy in obedience. This I've come to know well.
But there are two big places in my life where obedience has been lacking...and I can't fight God on them anymore. 
My hands are open.
I want to obey.
I long to submit.     

I'm writing a book.
I want to write. Many of you are aware of that. Hence...a blog. It wouldn't appear that I'm necessarily being disobedient in this area. However, I'm fully cognizant of the stories God has put in my heart that I've been refusing to tell.   
Because of insecurity. 
Because of doubt.
Because of fear. 
None of which have any place in my life if I'm hidden in the Lord. And I am. Make no mistake.
I've resisted because it's scary, and choosing to be obedient doesn't scatter that fear. It's intimidating to walk through a bookstore and feel like my name doesn't belong on those shelves. It's discouraging to think that a story I pour my heart into may never be anything more than a manuscript--a stack of copy paper that's never read or understood or experienced. It's just as horrifying to think that people may actually read it. Autobiographical or not, my heart will be all over those pages. It's nerve-wracking.
But, I'll write it. And I'll trust that the God who authored salvation is the same God who was gracious to put these stories in my heart...and He'll be faithful to carry them where He wills.
I'm embracing the gifts God's given me to work with children in ministry.  
(I'm bragging on the Lord here, y'all. Not myself by any means.)
I've been passively saying "no" in this area for years. Long years, mind you. 
But I love little hearts, and it's about time I owned up to it. Life is better and faith is sweeter when you sit in a circle on the floor and listen, wide-eyed, to the stories of Christ. Seeing a little girl begin to develop a gentle, but valiant faith or a little man learn early that he has infinite strength and courage in the Lord challenges me like nothing else. 
No one is more receptive to the beauty of the Gospel. 
No one teaches me more about having full, joy-filled faith. 
I want to love and serve little hearts...however and wherever God will have me do it. 
I'm grateful for what He's placed in my hands.
I want to humbly please the Lord.
I pray that I submit to Him well.
"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Have you experienced stepping out in obedience? How did you trust? 
Are there areas where you need to make that choice to submit?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Psalm 38:9

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. (ESV)

All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. (NIV)

Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. (Amplified)

Yesterday, in the middle of between-classes hustle and bustle, I sat on a bench with a new friend and she asked questions: How did you get here? How do you hear the Lord? Who is your family? They're simple questions that are rarely asked; and as I walked away from her, I felt so refreshed. Some encounters feel like a deep breath in, but this one felt like a deep breath let out. Like I got to let a little part of me out where it matters. Out where someone can hear it. Out where someone can know it. 

It was a moment of conviction for me. How often do I stop in my whirlwind of a week to learn something new about a friend, let alone a stranger? How often do I ask those questions that trigger that heart feeling--that feeling that says, "This person is safe. This person wants to know you"? Rarely, to be honest. It's a thing I plan to work on, an area I want to grow. I want to be a story collector.

As I went through the rest of my day, I kept thinking, "Thank you, Lord. Thank you for that sweet moment of feeling known." But in an instant, I felt:

I know you. Have you forgotten that?

And the reality and truth of it sat me down for a moment. Because I had forgotten. This little, heavily significant truth had slipped from my mind and heart...and the absence of it was devastating. 

The awakening was dizzying. 

Our Father knows us. He formed us. He loves us. He hears us. He guides us. He saved us. He knows us. 

What a sweet privilege that is. What a gift to be known and still loved by a God who is holy, loved by a God who is so unlike us--so infinitely above.

The past few seasons have (not actually been, but) felt empty for me. I felt left out of great things I was seeing the Lord do. I saw, what I thought were, perfect opportunities for the Lord to use gifts He gave me, but I was still left on the sideline. I watched as others served God the way I wanted to. It took a lot of prayer, a lot of redirected focus, and a lot of faith to get through those seasons. A lot of faith that my desires wouldn't be forgotten, that, when He saw fit, He'd call me into the game. 

For one thing, I realized that I wasn't on the bench. I wasn't serving Him the way I thought I should have been, but He had places for me to work out my faith in other ways--ways I never would have dreamed; and I'm grateful for that. But...

In the past week, God has placed opportunities before me that I was not expecting. At all. Opportunities that are similar to the capacities I longed to be a part of before, only better. Only more perfect for me and where I am. Our Father is good like that, is he not? 

I've found myself thinking, over and over, "How sweet that You know me, Father...that You remind me how deeply I'm known." I'm just about bursting with gratitude. It's bubbling over all over the place. There's a sweet little children's song that sings: Jesus knows me, this I love. Yes, Jesus. This I love. 

*Below is a song that's so beautiful it makes me hurt. Almost literally. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

winning team.

I don't think there's any greater comfort than knowing you've got a team.

team: (n) definition in specific Hannah language: a core of people who provide constant support, be it encouraging, needfully critical, honest, or fun; the supporting actors in the movie of your life; the gems who, at the heart of it, you do your life with. syn: family, best friends, mentors, sisters, brothers, fabulous aunts, kindred spirits found on twitter, random girls found on a roommate listing who I couldn't do without

Ex: A. My momma told me on the phone a few nights ago, "Wherever you are, that's where I am with you." She didn't mean that wherever I was, whatever I was thinking, she would automatically agree and tell me I was right. She meant that wherever I was, whatever I was thinking or feeling, she'll meet me there.
       B. My sweet sister sent me a text and said, "Pumpkin, I'm so sorry." Not hmm...get over it. Even if maybe I should have. Not sorry I'm busy. Although I can guarantee you she was. Instead she gave me room to feel and process and be hurt for a little bit, because sometimes that's just what a girl needs.

See what I mean?

I don't have a huge team, but I have a great one.
I wouldn't trade a single one of them.

Who's on your team? How have they ministered to you lately?!

Friday, September 9, 2011

all who are thirsty.

Two weeks in Tanzania changed my life.


Because two weeks in Tanzania broke my heart for lost people.

I grew up being taught (taught very well, in fact) to have a heart for the lost. And I did--I thought.

I sold cookies to raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering just as well as the next GA...ok...better ;) I knew it was good to tell people about Jesus. I celebrated when people came to know Him.

But I didn't need them to know God.
It didn't make me physically hurt to hear someone tell Him no.

But all that's changed.

My daddy and I came home from our two-week stint in Dar es Salaam exactly one month ago. There's a reason I haven't posted anything about the trip until now. I wanted to be sure that what I was experiencing wasn't just a high. I didn't want to get on here, blog from my measly little soapbox, and then have digital, eternal proof that I hadn't meant what I said. That I wasn't serious. That I was just as selfish as before, if not more.

Disclaimer--I did experience a spiritual high. You can't walk away from close to 3,000 salvations in two weeks and not be a little Jesus-drunk. To say the least. And I am still selfish. Let's just clear that up, in case you were confused ;)

But the heart shift is still here. The change stuck. The veil came off--and stayed off. I didn't pick it back up and hide behind it. It's still on a dirt road in Kisiwani. Figuratively, of course.

So, now.....*grin* I can tell you.

Tuesday morning, a little over a month ago, it was my first day to be left at my assigned church by myself. Alone. In Africa.

I was excited and anxious to see what the day would bring. I had spent the past few months begging the Lord to prepare hearts. I prayed that when people heard His name--just His name--that they would know He was the One they needed. He was what they'd been searching for.

My interpreter, Emmanuel, a church member named Ottoman ( the thing you put your feet on.), and I set out for the day. We walked a couple miles to a different part of the village. Ottoman guaranteed me, in broken, slow, beautiful English that there would be people there ready to hear the Gospel. The first 5 or 6 people we spoke to, told us no. Flat out no. They pointed us in the direction of people who might listen, but they themselves just wouldn't have it.

I was discouraged. I was sure this day would be a bust. All that anticipation for nothing. I was trying to talk myself out of my full-on pity party, when we turned a corner and headed down a long, empty, dirt street. I looked up and scared my poor interpreter with how quickly I gasped.

A year ago, I read the book Thirsty by Amy Nappa, an in depth look at Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. When I was packing for the trip, I saw this book on my shelf and decided (for reasons I, of course, didn't realize then) to take it with me. I read it a bit on the plane. I read it the first few nights to decompress before I went to sleep. I read it and remembered how desperately the woman needed Jesus, how He met her where she needed Him most. She was thirsty.

I looked up that Tuesday morning and saw, right in front of me, in the middle of the street, five women gathering water at the well.

It took everything in me not to cry.
Alright, so I cried. But just a little.

We approached and I told them the story of Jesus speaking to the woman. I told them that He knew everything about her. I told them that He gave her the only thing she really needed.

As they listened, more people gathered. Our little group of five turned into fifty. The white girl who likes to stay quiet stuck right there in the middle.

I asked if they believed in God. The older woman who spoke for all of them said that yes, they believe in God.
I asked if they believed that Jesus is God's Son. She answered no.

We went back and forth on that for a while. I mean, a while. She gave me her "logic", I gave her Scripture. She argued and I pleaded. In a final attempt, I asked, "So none of you believe? None of you believe that Jesus is God's Son?"

She shook her head to say no, but four hands shot up around the circle. I pointed to a woman standing near me and asked, "You believe that Jesus is God's Son?!" Before she could even respond, the older woman--bless her heart--started babbling at me. Emmanuel explained that she was telling me again that she did not believe. In that moment, I had, graciously I hope, had enough. With every bit of fight I had in me, I looked right at her and said, "I know you do not believe. You told me that, and I will pray that you will believe--because unless you do, you can never receive His forgiveness. You can never be with God. But this woman believes, and I am talking to her. I am finished talking to you."

I could have fought with her and fought with her, but there was a choice in that moment. I could fight, or I could walk away from her and be a part of the work God was doing in those four young women. You may not like it, but I went with the latter.

I pray for that woman. Every day I pray for her. My heart literally aches that she stood face to face with the hope she needed and the security she lacked and still chose to say no. She is the Lord's and His truth has been planted in her.

Whether she likes it or not....*wink. He will not give up on her.

There were dozens and dozens like her. They just would not say yes to the Lord.
They were dying of thirst...and refused to drink.

And far more than I imagined, it physically hurt me to leave them.
I ache for them to know the God I know.
I need them to love the Lord I love.
I want them to find joy and delight in knowing they are His. 

Many of you prayed for those two weeks in Tanzania, and I'm so thankful that you did. Your prayers were felt and realized constantly, but--dare I ask it? Please keep praying. Pray that the Lord will not let them forget the Truth they have heard. Pray that they will, at some point, see Jesus for the reality of what He is:

The only One who can quench their thirst.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

love her when she's got your happy.

It's been a tearful kind of day. Some days are like that--you just need a good cry.

I cried watching a tivo'd episode of The Bachelorette if that tells you anything. It should at least tell you that my tearful day has, perhaps, gone a little extreme.

The tears on my cheeks now, though, aren't the sappy kind. They aren't the hurt feeling kind or the angry kind.

They're the learning kind. The kind that say, "We're here to stain this moment on your memory. You won't soon forget this truth." The kind that roll down your cheeks as you nod and think, "It hurts, but it's so good to know." 

Girls are mean to each other. So often. For the summer, I'm teaching third through sixth grade girls on Wednesday nights. A few weeks ago our lesson was: A girl after God's own heart...loves her friends at all times. It was the hardest lesson I've had to teach them. It's easy to say "Obey your parents" or "Serve your family", "Read your Bible" or "Share that you love Jesus"; but friends?...where could I even start?

Friendships have never been easy things for me. They're not easy any of us, I know, but in my life, they've been one of my biggest areas of hurt. How could I tell them the truth? How, with sparkly butterflies and zebra print walls, could I explain to them that their friends would hurt them? That the girls to whom they handed their secrets could possibly stab them in the back, use their weaknesses to hurt them, and worst of all--they could walk away, leaving them lonely, wounded, and vulnerable. How could I tell them that with all of that, they still need to love them?

Most of all, how could I tell them any of it...when I knew I'd never really been that friend?

We struggled through that lesson. I'm grateful beyond words that it's the Spirit who speaks--and not me--when it comes to those little girl hearts. The truths that we poured over have been sticking with me since that night weeks ago.

Tonight I was curled up on the couch, listening to a friend express her hurt feelings. A happy thing showed up in her life, a thing she really wanted, and another friend's jealousy was ruining it for her. That other friend's insecurities were making this sweet girl wonder if her happy thing was worth it...or if she should forget about it all together. I reminded her that this was a good thing--that she is allowed to be happy. We talked about being considerate of her friend's feelings, but that, honestly....the truth was, her friend was jealous. Her friend was insecure. Her friend was ruining this happy thing, because it was what she so desperately wanted.

The tears are with me now, because halfway through me boosting my friend's stomped feelings, I realized that I had the same attitude as her happy-killing friend. I hadn't voiced it. I hadn't said a word about it, but I wanted the happy thing. I didn't want her to have it. I was just as guilty of letting my jealousy and insecurity get in the way of her happy.

And there I heard it- the Truth in the moment.

"This is it, Hannah. This is where you love her. Not because it's fair. Not because you have your happy or you'll get your happy, but because this is your friend and she has her happy now...because you hurt when she hurts, and rejoice when she rejoices...because you choose to see her as more important than yourself." 

I'm nodding. Tears streaming and eyes swelling. It hurts. It's true...and it's so good to know.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

where are the words?

I'd tell you all about how great Passion was....if I could.

But I can't.
I can't put it into words yet.
I've even opened my journal at least a dozen times...then closed it with yet another empty page, but a full heart.

Trust me. As soon as I can clearly explain'll know!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

perfectly lonely.

I was doing so well.... :)
and then fell of the blogwagon. Seriously. Like deadweight. 

To be completely honest, I've been spending a lot of time writing alone lately, a lot of time alone with the Lord, and, well....just a lot of time alone.

I've had an abundance of things to pray through as of late...things I've desperately wanted some guidance in. If I were in Houston, I could name off about 15 women - all ages - that I could call up. They'd drop whatever and meet me for coffee and there, over white coffee cups with designs swirled in the cream, we'd jump straight to the real talk. The deep stuff. The sometimes hard, but always good and rewarding stuff. We'd talk about our Father and His faithfulness. We'd talk about the hope and assurance we have in Him. We'd walk away, stepping forward in faith, not knowing all the answers, but being reminded that we never walk alone when we walk with our God. 

But those women aren't here. 
And I'm aching for them. 

I like girl talk just as much as the next Bachelor junkie...but there's only so much shallow, he said/she said talk I can take. 

I've met a lot of people. I haven't made a lot of friends. 
In a letter my daddy sent me a couple years ago he said, "look for the one who needs a friend." He was's better to seek and befriend than we weep and be friendless. 
I've met countless girls who are opportunities to invest, to love, to encourage. They are open doors...and trust me, I'm going through......

But I'm missing the community. I'm missing the trust. I'm missing the talk.

The good kind.
The deep kind.
The hard kind.
The true kind.
The kind that's about Him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

He's doing a new thang.

“Look at the nations and watch— 
   and be utterly amazed. 
For I am going to do something in your days 
   that you would not believe, 
   even if you were told." 
Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV) 

He's doing a new thang.
What exactly? Well I'll tell you. 

The Lord is using college students to do big things in His name. 
Passion conferences. Missions. Campus revivals. 


raising money with Breakaway to free children in India and Haiti. 
If you read my last post you know the goal was $27,300. 
As of Tuesday...with 2 more weeks to go...the current raised total is:

are you ready?

drumroll please....

hang in there...

it's worth it...................



Yes. That much. $10,000 away from doubling the original goal.
This little bitty blog played a little part in that, and that makes me proud; because I'd hate for you to just read any of this and never be moved to action.

I'm so grateful to those who gave.
You've been a part of a new "something" God is doing.
What a blessing to give in His name!

**If anyone would still like to donate, go to Breakaway Ministries**

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In Haiti. In India. In His name.

Last night at Breakaway, Ben Stuart called our hearts and attention to two ministries:

As Our Own and Restavek Freedom Foundation.
(**you can also find more about As Our Own on their Facebook page**)

If you're unfamiliar with one or both of these great organizations, here's a little background.

As Our Own is an organization whose heart is to rescue girls who are born into the sex trade in the red light districts of India. The founder of As Our Own, Ralph Borde, along with his team, have followed the Lord's call to rescue these girls and raise them as their own, giving them an education, leading them to the Lord, protecting them....loving them.

For just $3,300 a girl can be rescued from a life of prostitution. For just $3,300 she can be free for life.

Our goal through Breakaway is to raise enough to offer freedom and a life of joy to five girls.

Restavek Freedom Foundation is committed to freeing as many of the close to 300,000 children enslaved in child labor in Haiti as possible.

Restavek: {noun}
a child who stays with a person other than a biological parent; a domestic servant or slave; a border who is mistreated; a poor child from the country

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Haiti, many families, overwhelmed by poverty and the impossible need to provide for their children, have had to give their children away...either to other family members or other people in their communities. Unfortunately, this has led to an exorbitant number of children being used as slaves in Haiti. Restavek Freedom Foundation has committed to finding these children and fighting for their freedom and a chance at a better life. One of the biggest ways they can achieve this is by insuring that the children are able to attend schools...most of which are owned and operated by pastors and churches. These children are offered freedom from slavery...and introduced to true freedom from the captivity of the Enemy.

For just $360, one of these children can be freed

Our goal through Breakaway is to raise enough for 30 of these children to be free.


That's a collective goal of $27,300. 
For 35 children to be free.
For 35 children to be loved.
For 35 children to encounter the Lord.

We have about one month to raise these funds. 
According to my site meter, there's around 700 of you on this blog in a month....and I'm thinking that together we can put at least a little dent in that $27,300. 

I'm not asking you to leave a comment. Heaven forbid. ;) If I've ever asked you to come out of blurking and make your presence on this blog known, I am begging you now. 
I'm not asking this for me. I'm asking for them
And I'm asking for you. 

At the end of this, at least 35 precious littles are going to be free, and you can be a part of that. 
I know so many people who want to help...want to serve, want to give of themselves, but they just don't know where to do it. I'm wondering...if maybe you're one of those people. And if you are, this is the perfect place. Every cent that is sent in is going straight to rescuing these children, to offering them freedom, hope, and Life

If there's anything I've learned, it's that God doesn't need me. He doesn't need my money, He doesn't need my talents. He does not need me. But. He wants me. He wants me to be a part of the work He is doing. And He wants you

$200. $20. $2. It doesn't matter. The widow's mite was offering enough.
Pray about this. Pray for these children.
If the Lord is speaking to you to give towards our goal, there's an easy and convenient paypal donation button at the top, right-hand corner of this page.  

I truly believe we can do some damage on this goal. 
I dare you to show me--show YOU--how much you can really do! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Thirty. Don't judge me for my favorite song.

Laugh if you must :)
The instructions said to post my favorite song...and this is the only one I've always loved. Since childhood. Seriously.

The Great Adventure
by Steven Curtis Chapman

Saddle up your horses

Started out this morning in the usual way
Chasing thoughts inside my head of all I had to do today
Another time around the circle try to make it better than the last

I opened up the Bible and I read about me
Said I'd been a prisoner and God's grace had set me free
And somewhere between the pages it hit me like a lightning bolt
I saw a big frontier in front of me and I heard somebody say "let's go"!

Saddle up your horses we've got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace
Let's follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other - this is The Great Adventure

Come on get ready for the ride of your life
Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind
And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored
This is what we were created for

We'll travel over, over mountains so high
We'll go through valleys below
Still through it all we'll find that
This is the greatest journey that the human heart will ever see
The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams

Yeah... oh saddle up your horses... come on get ready to ride

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Challenge. Days Twenty-One through Twenty-Eight. I know, I know...

In the past eight days, I remembered why I don't do blog challenges or Bible reading plans or one consistent devotional book. 

I'm stubborn.
I don't like being told what to do. ;)

So twenty consecutive days of me following that blog challenge to a "t"...was impressive. Trust me.

But I'll make it up to you!

Day Twenty-One: A picture of something that makes you happy.

Going to get ice cream makes me oh so happy :)

Day Twenty-Two: What makes you different from someone else?

I cry way more than most people...and it's ok. It makes me, me.
Usually, I'd rather be alone than with other people.
I tell my family everything...way more than I tell anyone else.
I can remember everything. It's good and bad.

Day Twenty-Three: Something you crave a lot.

Ice. Cream. :)
And spaghetti.
There are lots of things I could live without...but those two have to stay!

Day Twenty-Four: A letter to your parents.

oh goodness...did I tell you I cry more than most? :)

Dear Daddy and Momma,
I love you both more than you know, more than I could adequately tell you. Thank you for being parents, so that now you're two of my best friends. You've taught me that faith means walking in obedience even without any answers. You've taught me to do what I know is right even when everyone thinks the wrong thing is acceptable. You taught me to give and not take: to look for people who need friends instead of waiting to be befriended, to look for a church where I can serve instead of one that caters to my needs. You listen and give wisdom. We have fun and laugh together. You want me to be myself....but the best way. Love you both! So much.

Day Twenty-Five: What you would find in my bag.

What wouldn't you find in my bag?

Wallet. Phone. Three kinds of gum. 19 bobby pins. 6 ponytail holders. 8 movie ticket stubs. An ESV pocket Bible. Headphones. 2 post-it stacks. 7 pens. Hand sanitizer. Lotion. Flossers. Water bottle. Random gift cards with unknown balances. Camera. Bandaids. And more...but that list is long enough :)

Day Twenty-Six: What do you think about your friends?

Well that's a stupid question. I love them!

I think my friends are beautiful. They're smart--they have good heads on their shoulders. They're more stunning than they realize and stronger than they give themselves credit for. They're dependable. They're fun. They listen well and love BIG.

Day Twenty-Seven: There is no day twenty-seven.....I guess that makes this a 29 day challenge :)

Day Twenty-Eight: A picture of you from last year, and one from this year. What's changed since then?

Last year.

This year.

Graduated. New school. New town. 
I've learned how it feels to be really hurt....and how to better stand up for myself. I'm learning how to slow down, how to work hard and still have fun.
Pretty much, everything's changed. 
Except for my hair. 

Day Twenty-Nine: In this past month, what have you learned? 

In the past month, I've re-learned why I love new starts. I've learned that a lot of what I've heard people tell me about myself lately...are all lies...and that distance from those people is a really good thing. 

In the past month, I've learned that sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you look for a job, it's just going to take longer than expected to find one. 

In the past month, I've learned my way around Texas A&M. I've learned that, with my new roommates, God blessed me far beyond what I asked of Him. 

Next month should be good. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Twenty. Where do I begin?

And by where do I begin...I mean where do I begin explaining how utterly stupid this day of the challenge is.


"Someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future."

Well, since he's single now, can I go with Ryan Reynolds?


I'm not going to pretend like I don't have a box of letters to "Mr. Hannah", as my sister affectionately calls him, but they're for him. And not for you ;)

Really though, I don't know who he is...or if he is. And I don't need to worry about it right now. Or bore you with it :)

I will leave you with this though: one of my favorite quotes from one of my heroes Anne Shirley. I'll claim this for my someday, one day man ;)

"Well, I wouldn't marry anyone who was really wicked, but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't." 

Watch Anne of Green Gables...and the Sequel/Anne of Avonlea....and the Continuing Story. 
They're not by the books but they will change your life. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Nineteen. What did you just call me?

My Pa always called me Hannah Banana...and he had a poem that went with it.
After he passed away...I didn't like anyone calling me that, but it's a force that's difficult to stop, so I've gotten used to it.

My favorite littles call me Aunt Hannah. 

Han. It's easy.

Just  call me Bear. Or Hannah Bear. But Bear is shorter. I don't really know where that came from, but that's my name at home. :)

I love hearing sweet kiddos call me Miss Hannah.

And my daddy calls me Pumpkin when he's really in his daddy voice....that one's off limits.

Monday, January 17, 2011

100 things for 100 posts

In 20--make that 19--posts, I will have done 100 posts!

As a celebration of this little blog and my little achievement, I'm doing a giveaway!!!

And trust me, you will want to be in on this. All you blurkers (blog+lurkers) are going to have to come out of hiding! ;)

I'm doing a box of 100. one hundred. Yes, one hundred things.

Some will be silly. Some will be flat out great. kind of a lot, so I need your help.

What do you want to see in this 100 posts box of amazing?!

Blog Challenge. Day Seventeen. Trade me spots?

I would like- for a day- to trade spots with my *almost 2 yr old* nephew, Caleb.

The other day, I watched him roll around the floor, touch his nose to his knees, and laugh for absolutely no reason at all.

He gets to wear a t-shirt and diaper...and no one thinks it's weird.

He's a good-lookin' little baby.

He has an itty bitty dachshund puppy that follows him around.

It's a good life. ;)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Team!

My verse #1 was:

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 10:35 (ESV)

My verse #2 is:

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:2 (The Message)

And I finally caved and ordered my Siesta spiral.
Yes, I do have three empty index spirals, but it was only 5 dollars including shipping. And it's cute.
Biblical Bargain. How could I keep saying no?

For more information about joining SSMT, click here!

Blog Challenge. Day Fifteen. It's your turn to shuffle.

First 10 songs shuffling through my iPod.

1. Cry Me A River...Michael Buble
2. He Would Tell You...Jonny Diaz
3. Your Love Is a Song...Switchfoot
4. Baby...Justin Bieber
5. Everytime We Touch...CASCADA
6. Moment Made For Worshipping...Steven Curtis Chapman
7. Cinderella...Steven Curtis Chapman
8. Hello Seattle...Owl City
9. Every Day...Rascal Flatts
10. The Things We Can and Cannot Keep...Alli Rogers

hm. there you go.

Halfway through this challenge!
I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty proud of myself.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Thirteen. Dear, someone who hurt me recently.

Dear Unmentionable,

I was so upset.

Turns out, it's better this way.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm about to be real.

Can I get....just, really honest with you? I mean...can I just be real? Not cute or funny or witty. Not clever in hopes that you leave me an ego-boosting comment. Just stinkin' real? Because I need to.

So here goes....just know, I'm about to get really honest. If you don't think you can handle it, close the window now. Leave this blog and don't come back, because this is probably going to become a regular event.

Anyone still with me?

I really struggle with hearing talks from/ reading blogs of/ hearing about young women who talk endlessly about their singleness. 

That sounds so mean. Doesn't it?

Honestly, it partly is mean. But let me try to explain the other part.

I am single. I have always been single. I have no reason to believe that I will be "un-single" any time soon.

Do I love that? No.
Is that the way I would choose my life to be going? No.
Am I disappointed by it frequently? Oh yes.

But it's ok. 
I am ok.

I don't feel cheated because I don't have a boyfriend. I don't feel like God's obligated to bring me a man or take away my desire for a relationship. I get jealous. I get lonely. I pout around Valentine's as much as the next single girl...

But I am ok.

I guess my struggle comes in not understanding the need to broadcast it. (I get that I just told you, trust me....I almost didn't; but I couldn't be vague and really explain this.) So when I see/hear/read about it, I don't know....I get frustrated. But I hurt for them too. I don't understand why they need to bring attention to it. I hurt that they need to bring attention to it.

Does that make any sense? At all?

The point of all of this...I promise there is one.

I found a precious blog today. I'm not linking you to it because there were a couple of inappropriate posts...if you want to search for it, go ahead. But I won't own that. This blog, though, is a guy making short little posts of notes to his future wife. And it's darling.

So I googled to find a girl one...because of course there must be a blog of notes to a future husband...right?

Instead I found a blog called "My Husband is Annoying".

Sweet notes to his future mrs.
My husband is annoying.

What's going on?
That's not fair.

So what I really don't with this aching that women have to be dated and loved and married...and then there's blogs titled "My Husband is Annoying"...that's not right.

Can we agree to be women who are grateful for where we are?
Can we be grateful for our singleness? Grateful for our husbands?

Can we speak well of our men? And well of our time we spend beautifully alone with the Lord?

Did I lose you in my honesty?...I'm afraid I may have. But if you're still with me, what do think?
Are we confused together?

Blog Challenge. Day Twelve. What am I doing here?

My friend Becky, who if you've been reading this blog for any time at all, you already know, told me one day that I needed a blog. I love to write and I want to write. I am a writer (you can't tell me any different), so she insisted that I needed a blog.

And she was right.

Blogging gives me the opportunity to test out my writing and get some feedback. It also keeps me in the writing habit...which I could so dreadfully fall out of if I weren't careful.

So that's why I'm here. What about you? Why do you blog?

And just because I'm curious ;) why are you reading?
How did you find this blog?

I'll meet you in the comments! ;)

(and for anyone that cares....I'm almost to twenty job applications. I'm not crying yet...but it's coming.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Eleven. Maybe I should take more pictures.

how about a picture of some of my favorite little friends? 

there are too many things that I love about that picture. 

and look at that, unpacking, organizing my room, and 9 job applications later, I'm all caught up on this blog challenge with time to spare! Whew! ;) 

Blog Challenge. Day Ten. Play that music.

the songs my heart sing when I'm:

Revolutionaries by Bethany Dillon.
"...dreaming all the time, it's not foolish. Your flood of life giving words, they will refresh..."
*when I'm at my absolute happiest, I feel like I can do anything...and this song so encourages that.

The Heart of Life by John Mayer.
"...there's things you need to hear, so turn off your tears and listen. pain throws your heart to the ground. love turns the whole thing around."
*sigh* so good.

Tracing by John Mayer
"...and if you want to know the moment I knew that I was still alone, I found I never learned your number, I'd only stored it in my phone. You'd think by now...I'd know the shape of calling home..."
*when I'm bored, I get to thinking. And this song gets me thinking.

(I've Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
"....'cause I've had the time of my life, and I've searched through every open door...'til I found the truth, and I owe it all to you..."
*do I really need to say more? ;)

Ordinary People by Asher Book (from the Fame remake soundtrack)
"...We're just ordinary people and we don't know which way to go. We're just ordinary people...and maybe we should take it slow..."
*because his voice is fluid gorgeous...who could stay mad? ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

don't turn me in!!!

I'm not neglecting day ten of the blog challenge...I'm doing it!!


Because today, I moved into my new home (so tired I just combined new and home and typed hew. wow.) in College Station and I am exhausted. Clearly.

I was all ready for bed and realized that I lost a very special (to me) necklace that my daddy brought me from Africa. I racked my brain....I had thrown it away.

So I called home. At 11:30. I called my parents who were--for sure--asleep and begged them to look threw the bag of trash I'd put in the dumpster yesterday. I hung up. Five minutes later? My daddy called me back. He found it. He got up and went threw the trash. So that I could go to sleep.

I'm drained. So this is making me cry even more than normal.

I need sleep. Not blogging. Deep, sweet, new room sleep.
Goodnight, sweet friends. Sleep sweet. I'll see you tomorrow...but I'll leave you with my highs/lows from today.

Load and unload. Gross.
That awful moment when I closed the front door after telling my parents goodbye, knowing they were going to get in the car and drive away.

High (but let's face it, emotional low):
Calling home to say goodnight and hearing my daddy say: (referring to my new room/apt) "I liked it....I didn't like leaving you in it."
And then I bawled. Like the 21yr old, hopelessly daddy's girl, baby that I am.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Nine. Baby, take a bow.

Something I'm proud of in the past few days.

I'm proud of my nephew, Gideon. Who has the biggest heart and the best dance moves.
His heart of gold showed some serious love to a little boy at school this week...and this aunt's heart is so proud I could nearly bust.

I'm proud of me for forcing myself to be a logical thinker. Even when my natural self thinks anything but logically. I'll think emotionally next week, probably, but for now, a baby step is worth a bow.

How are you doing this week? Give yourself a little credit and brag some in the comments...go ahead, baby, take a bow ;)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Eight.: 3-pointers and Free Throws.

My "Free Throw" goal for this month is to be a good student. I'm starting graduate school next Tuesday, so I think it's a little implied. Nevertheless, I want to do this with excellence; and it won't happen if I don't make a conscious decision to do it well.

My "2-pointer"...find a job. Next week. One that fits into my college student schedule but doesn't terribly wound my college graduate pride. Don't give me that look. It can happen. (Maybe taking on some humility would have been a better choice?)

"3-pointer"...Turn off the Houston's First Baptist webcast and find a College Station church. Realizing my overwhelming love for my home church also revealed how easy it would be for me to sit in my room, watch church on my computer, and miss out on real life, in person, 'let me hug you' community. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but it's a definite 3-pointer for me.

Buzzer shot. I want to be intentional in the relationships I'm about to start. I'm going to meet new people, have new roommates, new coworkers, new faces on the bus...and I want to be intentional with them. This. Month....not next semester. Now.

I like that these are short-term, month goals...and not a vision-cast for the whole year. That's too much for my head.
What are you hoping to accomplish this month? Let's help each other out!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Seven.: Would you take a word picture?

Today is a picture of a person or place that has impacted your life.

But I don't have a picture of her.
So I'll paint her for you.

She had the shortest, poofiest, blondest old lady hair you'd ever seen.
She smiled so big that you could never see her eyes.
She was a public school teacher (granted our po-dunk jr. high was more like private school) but would pull me into her room between classes and pray for me when I was having a bad day.
When we read Jabberwocky, she had a giant costume head she would stick on the end of a yardstick and run around the room waving it in the air.
She had the sweetest, most gentle voice. But could raise it to deafening decibels when necessary.
She told us she'd missed class because she'd been diagnosed with leukemia like she'd been at a hair appointment.
When she passed away a year later, she was most upset that we would hurt for her....when she wouldn't be hurting at all.
She called us her babies, and at her funeral...her husband hugged us each so tightly that we knew he felt the same way.

She was magical.
She told me I could write. She was the very first one.
She was the kind of crazy-beautiful English teacher I long to be.

Can you see her? Oh, I hope you can.
She was beautiful.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I heart Houston's First.

On August 26, 2007, as I walked through the doors of Houston's First Baptist Church for the very first time, I never could have known what enormous things He would do in me there. Really. Never could have dreamt it.

I'd woken up on my first Sunday in my dorm room at Houston Baptist University and, having never missed a Sunday of church unless death were possibly impending, I had to go. I just didn't know where.

My sister went to Texas A&M (whoop!) while Gregg Matte (pastor at HFBC) was leading Breakaway Ministries, so she had suggested that I try out Houston's First. I got online, wrote down directions, Sunday Bible Study information, got ready, and went.

I got overwhelmed. I drove there, parked, and got out of my car, but had no clue how to get to my class after that. Someone else probably would have thought, "Find the visitor's desk...find someone that looks like they work here...find a map." Those were not my thoughts.

I went to find a little old lady.

She was walking down the hall with a group of her little old friends, and when she looked at me and smiled, I smiled back and quickly said, "I'm lost." She waved goodbye to her group and took me right where I needed to go. Bless her...whoever she was. She took me to my family.

The HFBC College Community was my home for the next two years. I was stretched and asked tough questions there. I was pushed to pursue my relationship with Christ. Not my parents', not my pastor's...mine. I found friendships. I found a place to serve. I got my first job through that community. Through that job I met the Godly woman who would walk with me and shepherd(ess) me the through some rough growing up times and become so influential in my life. One Sunday morning led to so much more than I thought possible.

August 26, 2007, walking alone and overwhelmed into that big building, I never would have dreamt that on December 17, 2010, navigating through crowds with my friend Brianna, bumping into a dozen people who hugged me and exchanged quick conversation on our way to our seats for the Christmas Celebration, she would say, "Girl. You are loved here."

I had to think about that....because she was right. I had walked in the door and not known a soul....but 3 1/2 years later, I was loved. I had a family away from my family. I had countless people, of all ages, who loved and cared for me and desired to see me make much of the Lord.

I am so grateful for each of them. I love them in my life. I love living alongside them and encouraging each other. Oh, I love them so.

And I'm leaving them. Not forever. But for a season. My heart hurts at just the thought.

Making plans for A&M, I was so excited and ready to go that I never even thought about the fact that I won't be here. I'm not sure when it hit...or how, but it came in full force.

Hopefully, I'll be back in less than two years. I'll be home and back with my family. In the meantime, I'm  praying that I find a temporary home I love just as much.

As a parting farewell see you later, and to help you understand just why my love for HFBC is so great, here's some of my favorite things ;)

Hurt is welcome. One of my favorite things is that people are welcome and encouraged to talk about their hurts. Not in a pity party kind of way, but a "this is what's in my heart. these are my questions about it. this is what's causing me pain" kind of way. We're broken. We have hurts. We don't have to act like we've got it all together. We share our hurts...we share in each other's hurts...and healing comes.

Only Truth. You will not hear opinion taught from that pulpit. You will hear God's Word. No one else's.

Unmatched love for missions. Overseas. Homeless. Next door. Next state. Any missions.

Sunday Bible Study. Your Sunday Bible Study group is like your church within the's the people you live life with and pray with and grow with and serve with and love.

The Houston Project. Every summer, we all participate in one great big, churchwide mission project right in our city. With HP sites at around 15 churches around Houston (with more sites added regularly), we come alongside churches around our city to help them facilitate Vacation Bible Schools, sports camps, youth programs and adult Bible studies. Then through the year, the Sunday Bible Study groups keep up with their HP church site to continue meeting needs and serving with that church. It's one big reach out to our community, but such a huge time of growth and unity within our own family. So. Good.

Open doors. Anyone is welcome. And welcomed. With open arms...literally. We're a huggy bunch.

Nothing is off limits. Any questions, any issues...are open for discussion. Bible Study leaders...ministers...small groups...certified Christian matter what the topic, there's someone to listen and help you work through the issue and sort through the questions.

Same heart. Same mind. The staff, the leaders, the people.


First Family. It really is a family. I have brothers, sisters, spiritual mothers and fathers. We are for the Lord and for each other.

Itunes. Podcasts. Christmas Celebration albums. Live webcasts. So even if I'm not there...or you can't get there, we can still be a part.

Relevant. HFBC rightfully claims to be a Relevant, Biblical Community. Still sticking solely to truth in Scripture, we believe in meeting people where they are.

Swell. And by swell I mean fun. (Because I didn't have another 'F') We have fun together. And lots of it.

Tears. Are a regular event. I said we're a huggy bunch...but we're a tearful bunch too. And I LOVE that!


So what do you love about your church? I'd love to hear about your home, your family.
And if you're in the Houston area and you need one...well, you know where I'd recommend. ;)

Blog Challenge. Day Six.: What's a superhero?

Not seriously. I know what superheroes are.

But I don't know who they are.

I've never been one to get into superheroes...or video games...I read books. Non-comic books.

In high school, a friend and I always said that our favorite superhero was Spiderman. Why you may ask?

Probably his crime-fighting vengeance or ability to climb walls or swing from skyscrapers, right?


Because Spiderman could kiss upside down.


Today, I'm throwing that away. I'm claiming that my favorite superhero is....

drumroll, please...

dun, duh, dun, DuuuUUUUUUun!!!

Bionic Bunny.

From Arthur....I went there.

The nerd that I am needed an equally nerdy superhero, and so I have found him. Oh, Bionic Bunny, where have you been all my life? (hehe *wink*)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Blog Challenge. Day Five.: Where have I been?

I haven't been many places...but I have been to:

A teeny-tiny country nestled between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is the most centralized and concentrated hub for child trafficking. In a country that you can-and we did- drive across in one day, there are 69 registered orphanages. Partnering with Children's Emergency Relief International, in 2008 I served on a team from HBU to take winter boots for those sweet kids' feet and some Jesus love for their broken hearts. Between all of the teams, every orphanage was covered. Our team visited 12. 

This is Maria. The day we visited her orphanage, there was a terrible ice storm. It took us most of the day just to drive. By the time we arrived, all of the children were asleep and we had to wake them all up to size them for shoes. She was so excited. 

Bodan was my favorite. Out of the whole trip. If I could have just met one kid, it would have been him. He was at the same house as Maria. When I got to him, he was still half-asleep. I handed him his new socks to hold while I took off his old, worn-out shoes and holey socks. I took a pair of the new ones from his hands (they each got two) to put on his feet. He kept trying to give me the other pair, and when I finally helped him understand that they were his to keep, he got big tears in his sleepy eyes and gave me the biggest hug I've ever gotten. He was beside himself when he got his boots. 

I haven't been many places...but Moldova was a good place to go. It was dirty and smelled horrible. I got a huge wart on my hand from touching all those feet. I got so sick halfway through and would jump out of bed in the morning and get dressed and be at the breakfast table before my team leader could tell me to go back to sleep. My eyes were opened to what it means to be the hands of Jesus. He is not physically, in-the-flesh on this earth. But He is in our flesh. His acts of washing feet and caring for the oppressed should not be lessened...but continued in exponential, far-reaching ways. I saw God provide boots in the perfect size.....when he had gone through our truck and counted our inventory so many times. He kept our van on the road when we spun out on the side of a mountain. 
He did miracles for us. He did miracles in us.