Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Last Six Months.....

I feel I must apologize to those who have been faithful to readers of this blog....because there has been nothing to read!! I have been in a crazy phase of life and have simply not had the time...or the energy... to keep up with the blog. Please forgive me! To give a brief, but concise, update on the last six months of my life, here is part of a letter I recently sent out to my friends and family:
"By nature, I am a planner. I like schedules. I like spread sheets. I end each day by making a checklist for the next. So, you can only imagine my shock and surprise when the Lord placed a calling on my life that did not fit into my carefully orchestrated plans.

After graduating high school I began attending a local community college to get my general education classes and was scheduled to transfer to Liberty University in January of 2012. During the spring and early summer of 2011, as I was preparing for this transfer, something in my spirit began to feel…uneasy. I felt like I had only seen part of what the Lord plans for me were. There was something else for me, and I was missing it.

During the second week of July, I took a position as the Junior High Girl’s counselor at a local church camp.   Towards the end of the week this unease that had been plaguing me for the past few months had reached its peak. In a moment of spiritual desperation I prayed the prayer I had always been afraid of: “Lord, I will go where You want and do what You want. Just tell me what it is!”

A week later I was in a leader meeting for a local house of prayer and we were so blessed to have Lauren and Andy visiting from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. They gave an update about what the Lord was doing in their family and what their role at IHOP was. As they were sharing about their role with the IHOP interns I heard the Lord speak to me so clearly it was as if He was standing right next to me. Much to my surprise that voice within my spirit that I had been hearing for so long said, “Go.”

This was not part of the plan. I of course had nothing against IHOP, but never imagined that the Lord would ever call me there. After that initial calling, followed much prayer and counsel from wise mentors and the support of my family, I know that the Lord is calling me to complete a six month internship with the International House of Prayer. I will be completing the Intro to IHOP-KC internship which focuses on IHOPs values, ministries and structures, as well as gives training on how to succeed long term as an intercessory missionary.
 Because of Him,
Hannah"
I am going to IHOP!!! I could not be more thrilled, or more shocked, by where the Lord is leading me. Hopefully over the next few days[weeks], I will get a chance to describe for you in greater detail what this journey has been like. Check back for updates!

Hannah

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Summer in iPhone Pictures

Things I've been doing for the last two months rather than blog. In no particular order....

I got the opportunity to teach the high school students at my church one wednesday. Julz helped me prepare...

Afterwards Chelsey, Tay and I bonded over milkshakes and cheese fries.


Emma and I visited DQ and enjoyed some ice cream as well. Or in her case a "posicle". (Sorry for the crappy picture)



I decided to take advantage of my free time this summer. My grandparents pool seemed like a fantastic place to start.





Sometimes I even brought the little miss(who will be start preschool on Monday!) with me.

I went to camp this for the first time...as a counselor. Loved my JH Girls.


Of course we made sure to leave plenty of time for the important things....like matching pedicures.



This summer has been a blast. What have you made time for this summer?


Hannah 

Monday, June 20, 2011

On Adoption

I have known from the time that I was about six, that when I grew up, I was going to adopt. God pricked my heart for His children that need an Earthly parent to show them the love of their Heavenly Father. I pray for the mothers of those children. I pray that they know the Savior that I know. I pray that God blesses them. Honestly, sometimes I just don't know what to pray. Adoption is not always pretty. I know that the circumstances surrounding that precious one being given up for adoption will not be pretty. But I do know that my heart is simply broken for those babies and their biological mothers.

On father's day I heard an incredible sermon that touched quite a bit on adoption. God's heart breaks for those children who are not in forever homes. Our hearts need to be broken for the things that break His.

A blogger that I greatly admire shared some interesting articles that I wanted to pass on(along with a few others):

~Is the church ready for the abortion law to change?  Its time for the the church to stop talking and start doing.

~A very honest(and so true) take on adoption

~What I want you to know: Adoption and Assumptions This is plan A.

~The Howerton's Adoption Be prepared to cry. A lot.

~Jaydn's First Word Breathtakingly sweet.

~He Did It This made me ball my eyes out. He did it!

Hannah

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feeding the Spirit

I am incredibly blessed to be a team member of a ministry that is based in my hometown and was started by two of my former youth directors. In our weekly meeting last night one of the directors, Jen, told us about how Saturday night God directed her to make two lists. One list was of things that fed her flesh. The other was a list of things that fed her spirit. She shared how God showed her that the things that fed her spirit were often the exact opposite of what fed her flesh(ex. Confession feeds the spirit where as excuses feed the flesh.). She asked that we take a few minutes spend time in prayer asking God to show us what feeds our flesh and what feeds are spirits.

Even before I began to pray, God started to reveal things to me. Like Jen, I noticed that the things that fed my flesh were often in direct contrast to what fed my spirit. Buying things feeds my flesh. Learning to be content with what I have feeds my spirit. Spending time in prayer, even when its difficult, feeds my spirit. Watching television and browsing the internet feeds my flesh. Reading fun fiction novels feeds my flesh. Reading God's word and books that help me grow spiritually feed my spirit.

After we spent time in prayer asking God to reveal these things to us, Jen made an excellent point. She encouraged us to then go about making the things of the spirit stronger and the things of the spirit weaker. This takes time. I may have a few good days when I spent more time in prayer and reading God's word than I do watching House Hunter's and the Bachelorrete, but that does not mean that I can give up and focus on other things. Sanctification is a life-long process.

Paul says this in Philippians 1:5, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you[and me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." God is ever faithful to us. He does not give up on us. It is so important that we be willing to go the distance with Him.

What feeds your spirit? Your flesh?

Hannah

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dearest blog community(all three of you..hi mom!),

You have been very lonely I'm sure. I promise that I have not forsaken you and given up on my little bloggy home...I have simply been overwhelmed by reality of late. I get up early and go to bed late. I study. I work. I volunteer. I occasionally sleep. There has simply been no time to sit and type a message to you all. Have no fear though, school is almost out for the summer(Praise the Lord!) at which time I will resume(hopefully) a more regular blog posting schedule. Thank you for you patience, and support.

Love dearly,
Hannah

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Magical

You may remember a few months ago when I told you about a few of my favorite things. I introduced you to a mouse that I absolutely loved. For years I have been searching for hair products that make my hair soft and shiny, but also give my curls definition and hold. Not an easy task. Curly hair is super tricky. Then I found this stuff and fell in love. It gave me everything I had been looking for. I had found perfection.

And then I was introduced to this stuff.

photo: source

A customer came into my store last weekend and had Gorgeous hair. Seriously, beautiful. I asked her what she used and that is how I met my little friend. I was a little nervous when I heard it was a gel. I haven't used gels for years because they always left my hair kinda...crunchy. Not a good look.
This gel, however, is in a spray form and is super lightweight. It leaves my hair soft and shiny, but gives me great hold and definition. Seriously magical.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Becoming a victim

Back in the day, it was the cool thing in my junior high to read the Christy Miller book series. The series followed a group of friends, focused on two particular characters, from high school through college and ending at their wedding day. They were a bit, shall I say...corny, but the theology in them was absolutely fantastic. Recently I found a spin off series and may or may not have read the entire series...in three days. That good, y'all.

One concept that was discussed often in the book was the idea of being a victim of grace. Rather than being a "victim" in the traditional sense, you choose instead to be a victim of the grace God has given you. This means that you grant forgiveness where its needed. This means that you do not always win, even when you think you should. This means that you embrace I Corinthians 15:10,"By the grace of God I am what I am..."

I am trying to embrace this idea of being a victim of grace. It takes the weight off of my shoulders, because as I become of a victim of grace I let go of the things that I have held onto.

What do you think of the idea of becoming a victim of grace?

Hannah

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On my lack of patriotism and judging others

I have the misfortunate  condition in which I possess to ability to keep my mouth shut when I ought to. This has led to a few comments via twitter and facebook(bless their hearts) that I 1. do not possess a patriotic spirit and 2. am judgemental. I'm incredibly offended by number, and I would probably agree with number 2. I'm a blogger, however, which means that I get to defend myself.

I am not unpatriotic. My father is a member of the United States Marine Corps. I could not be more proud of him and more grateful of his service. The same is true of all of our service men and women. It is because of their service that I have the ability to own a blog where I get to say this.
In the wake of the recent killing of an evil Man, Osama Bin Laden, I am once again in awe of the Navy Seals who risked their lives to bring that man to justice. I firmly believe that we should celebrate and rejoice in the fact that the justice system worked beautifully. I also think we should be incredibly proud of the way that those who were given the task of bringing him to justice did so not with vengeance, but with dignity. I am incredibly proud to be an American always, and most especially during times such as this.

Now that we've cleared that up, I am also a bit more than disgusted at the way that some have chosen to show their patriotism. Minutes after the death of Bin Laden was announced, someone created a fake twitter account pretending to be Bin Laden 'tweeting from hell.' I'm sorry, this is not patriotic nor is in any way humorous. Be that as it may, whoever created the account has the right to express their freedom of speech anyway they chose. I did not so much have a problem with the person who created the account as I did with the number of Christian's who followed them and then retweeted what they were posting.

As a Believer, I do not rejoice in the death of another human being. Here's the crazy thing, no matter how evil Bin Laden was(and he was) and no matter how senseless his killings were(and they were), Jesus died for him just as much as he died for me. If the Bible is to be believed(and it is) than I have no right to think I am better than he is. I just accepted the salvation of Jesus Christ, where as he wholeheartedly rejected it.
Believe me, I get that this is uncomfortable to think about. I don't like to think that Jesus died for Hitler and Bin Laden and every other evil person to walk the face of the earth, but He did. I can no more deny what the gospel tells me than I can deny the very existence of Jesus Himself.

Please don't think that I disagree with the killing of this evil man. The Bible clearly states that God Himself gave authority to our governmental leaders and they then have the authority to bring those who do evil to justice. My heart rejoices for those who lost loved ones on 9/11. I'm so grateful that their prayers(and my prayers) for justice were not in vain. I celebrate that justice was served. I celebrate the victory of our service men and woman. I celebrate that God protected their lives.

Please share your thoughts on these events. Remember that any comments deemed inappropriate will be deleted.


Hannah

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurfacing

You may remember that back in November, my family was pushed into an incredibly difficult season. For a few months, I was simply surviving. I ate. I slept(very little). I went to school and work. I wasn't living. I was going through the motions of living.

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that I'm starting to live again. I enjoy things again. My laughter isn't forced. My smiles are genuine. I feel as though I am sprouting after a long, dark, cold winter. How ironic that I am literally watching the world around me come alive again after such a long, dark, cold winter.

I have to admit that I desperately missed life. I've missed engaging in conversations. I've missed being present. For a long time I was there physically, but emotionally I was invested elsewhere. I just did not have anything left to give.

I'm so grateful that the Lord saw that this season was coming, and prepared me in advance for it. He placed some incredibly dear people in my life who really carried me through out this season. I can not thank Him, or them, enough for the support.

What is new for you this spring?

Hannah

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chosen

Sometimes, Jesus, I just don't get it. I don't get why you would love me this much. You chose me. Me? Why?

Here's the thing though, You didn't choose the pretty me. You didn't choose me the Bible scholar. You didn't choose me the youth leader. You didn't choose me the Sunday school teacher.

You chose me the sinner. You chose me, the one who looked sin straight in the face...and didn't turn away. You chose me, the one who chose this world over the riches of Your Kingdom.

Why? This makes no sense to me. It baffles my finite little mind.

Today I read what You prayed before you were arrested. You prayed to Your Father, "Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved me before the creation of the world."

You chose me, because You wanted me to be with You? Why?

Lord Jesus, Your ways I higher than mine. You thoughts greater than mine. Though I do not understand Your reasons, I will never be able to express my gratitude. Your love is life to my dying heart.

What is there to say to the One who knew the kind of person I would be, and chose me anyways?

"But I, with a song of thanksgiving, with sacrifice to you." Jonah 2:9

Monday, April 18, 2011

"No, not now." A reflection on fasting

Over and over in the Scriptures, we are encouraged to pray and fast. But what does that mean, exactly? Is fasting just starving yourself? That's certainly what I thought throughout my years as a young Believer. Recently though, I was discussing fasting with a group of friends and my eyes were opened to a whole new idea of what fasting truly is.

Because of sin, we are not controlled by to Holy Spirit, but rather we are controlled by the sinful nature. When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives, the Holy Spirit inhabits us, but we still have to choose to be controlled by the Spirit, rather than by the sinful nature. Romans 8 discusses this topic in length. Verse 8 puts it this way, "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." So how do we change our lives from being sin-nature controlled to being Spirit controlled? Fasting is a big part of gaining control over the sinful nature.

Fasting is not simply starving oneself, fasting is saying to your human(sinful) nature, "No, not now." While fasting, when you body cries out for something that you are choosing not to indulge in, you say to it[your body] "No, not now. I have control." It is taking control over that human nature, because if we are a slave to that human nature, we cannot be fully devoted to Christ. Fasting helps us tap into the strength that we are given through the Holy Spirit and take control over our human nature.

Fasting is by no means easy, but that is why I think it makes such a huge impact in our lives. We are often at a place where we have to rely on God for the strength to get through this period of fasting and that allows us to take the control from our human nature and instead letting ourselves be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Fasting is something that I've really been thinking about lately and reflecting upon. What are you thoughts on fasting? Please share!

Hannah

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I always did love the story of Noah's Ark....

On Wednesday afternoon I pulled a muscle in my leg(no idea how this happened) and had to call off of work for a few days...because I coolant, ya know, stand or anything. I finally got some movement back into my leg yesterday morning and decided that since I was home and couldn't go anywhere I would try tackle my laundry pile-it was getting a little(read:i had no clean clothes) out of hand.

I went into the laundry room and was rather surprised when I found my feet....wet? I looked down and was even more surprised to find about an inch of water standing in the laundry room floor.

Our water heater(which was in the laundry room) had started leaking and flooded the laundry room. Thankfully my Uncle is a plumber so he was quickly called and came out.

The water heater was quickly replaced, as well as the kitchen faucet...but the laundry still needs to be done.


Did you have any surprises this week?

Hannah

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Try not to kill our dog, kthanks.

Last week I had the pleasure of house sitting for a couple at my church. They were going out of town for the week and wanted someone to be at home with their elderly dog. Lucy is 14 years old(about 90 in human years) and is no longer able to go to a boarding house because of some minor health issue. So I got to spend the week with Lucy.

Before Tim and Donna went out of town I met with them to get to know Lucy a little better, pick up keys, ect. They did me a huge favor by typing out a paper with directions on when and how to administer Lucy's medication, how and when she is fed, who to contact in an emergency, ect.

At the bottom of the typed paper I saw this lovely little line:

"Please remember that Lucy is very old. You are here as a comfort to her. Please do not feel bad if she does die while we are away."

Um, excuse me. If I am watching your dog, and she dies, no matter how old or ill....I AM GOING TO FEEL BAD! I do, however, appreciate that they are realistic that Lucy is in the last years of her life.

Thankfully, Lucy and I made it through the week with our lives in tact, and we became good buddies to boot.

Hannah

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm not dead

Hi *waving* remember me? Once upon a time I use to blog here, but then spring break came...and my ability to function went away. I spent all of last week studying for and then taking finals. This week I have just been...exhausted. My friend Jenni put it this way, "Its like, when you finally get to take a rest thats all your body wants to do." Amen. So that's what I've been doing, resting and visiting with people I love. Its been fantastic. I'm planning to get my blogging behind in gear next week, but today I thought I would share a few of the blog posts that I've enjoyed reading this week. Enjoy!

~Emily shares a really fun way to spruce up plain rubber gloves. I'm thinking these would be an adorable shower gift for a bride to be!

~ Beth Moore(yes THE Beth Moore) talks about the ups and downs in this walk.

~Amy Beth reminds us that sometimes, God doesn't our circumstances-He changes us.

~ One of Kristen's readers opened my eyes about Adoption and Assumptions.

~ Have you ever gotten a Shellac manicure? They're fantastic, but a pain in the neck to remove. The Pioneer woman shares her technigue for removing Shellac polish. So helpful!

~ I love just about everything Lindsey writes. Here she talks about her Life as a Journeyer.

Thank you for your patience while I recover from the last quarter!

Hannah.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beauty in the Ashes

Please know there is no pride in the following statement: God has given me a heart that easily forgives. Perhaps it is because I myself have been forgiven so very much, but I can honestly sit here and say(or rather type) that there is no unforgiveness toward another in my heart. While forgiving others is not difficult for me, understanding and accepting the forgiveness Jesus has shown me another thing entirely.

For the longest time I would sin, ask for forgiveness, know that I was forgiven-but still feel incredible and guilt and separation from God. I always thought that when I stumbled and then asked for forgiveness I had to start back at square one with God and start our relationship all over again. Not true.

Right now I am reading what could possibly be the best book I have ever read. "Deep unto Deep" by Dana Candler takes the reader on a journey into a more int imitate relationship with their Beloved. A few days ago, Dana discussed the topic of forgiveness and completely changed my view of God's grace to His bride.

"I am set free by the blood of Jesus, and I can bring nothing to the table to motivate the heart of God into the response of forgiveness. He desires my by His own self-replenishing love that exists within Himself, unaltered by my response(pg.96)." Let me rephrase, God forgives me because of the blood that was shed by His Son on the cross, not because of my guilt or shame or even because I asked Him too. His forgiveness is based completely in the love He has for me, not in anything I do.

How selfish have I been?! Thinking all this time that I had to do something to earn forgiveness.

This next part is the statement that shook my heart to the core: "In these crises experiences we so often allow ourselves the legal position of salvation yet deny ourselves intimacy with Him. Intimacy seems to pleasurable for what we deserve(pg. 96)." "Though we know the cross is about forgiveness of sin, we neglect its provision for Christ's intimacy with believers who still struggle with sin(pg.97)." In essence, just because I have sinned does not mean that once I repent I must start all over again in my relationship with Jesus. He desires intimacy with me, even though I still struggle. It is in my struggle that His strength is made perfect within me.

Think of the prophet Jonah. He was called to a task by God, but decided he didn't want to do it. So he ran. He chartered a ship and God caused a great storm to occur. Jonah realized this was a  consequence of his sin and wanting to save the rest of the crew, he had them throw him overboard where he was promptly swallowed by a giant fish where he stayed for three days. It was within the belly of that fish that he cried out to God. His prayer is outlined in Jonah chapter 2:

 [a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
   “In my distress I called to the LORD,
   and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
   and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
   into the very heart of the seas,
   and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
   swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
   from your sight;
yet I will look again
   toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]
   the deep surrounded me;
   seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
   the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
   brought my life up from the pit.
 7 “When my life was ebbing away,
   I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
   to your holy temple.
 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
   turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
   will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
   I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”

Jonah understood that even when we are in the depth of the pit of our sin, God still desires intimacy with us.

Candler goes on to say in her book that keeping ourselves distant from God is not only unnecessary, it is a sin and a tool of Satan. The longer that the evil one can keep us from God, the longer he has to corrupt us and keep us digging deeper into our pit of sin. Candler says, "When we do this(keep ourselves from intimacy) we agree with the lie that our weakness is greater than Jesus' work of redemption, and we stand in the way of God Himself by counting our own evaluation of our hearts higher than His(pg.97)."

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago and we both remarked how we just wanted to 'get there' in our Christian walks. Wherever 'there' is. We wanted it. We wanted to learn all of the lessons, understand all of the truths, get rid of all of our perfection. Basically, we wanted Heaven on earth.

Dear friend, Jesus is not waiting for us to get 'there' before we come to Him. He is simply waiting for us to come. Stop reaching for your own perfection and reach for Perfection Himself.

Hannah

* All quotes are courtesy of "Deep unto Deep" by Dana Candler.
* Jonah 2 verses courtesy of Bible Gateway.com and the NIV Bible.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ewww

A few weeks ago I took a teeny tiny road trip to visit my cousin Melissa and attend a book signing for one of my favorite bloggers, The Pioneer Woman. My cousin is a fantastic mom to a beautiful little girl, Mia. She adopted Mia about four years ago and could not love her more. She has such a heart for adoption(me too!) and is also a foster parent. About a week before the book signing, Melissa received a new foster daughter, we will call her baby B.

I knew that she was bring both babies to the book signing so I went to Target and put together little gift boxes for them so that they would have something to do while waiting in line. Baby B seemed to take to me quite quickly. She never wanted to be put down! Coincidentally , I took to her as well, so I had no problem holding the little cutie the whole night.

After the signing Melissa and I each picked up a baby and headed across the shopping center to Starbucks. We grabbed some coffee for us and milk boxes for the babies and sat down for a nice long chat. The girls were fantastic. I had worn a lot of bracelets that day and the girls had some much fun playing with them and just climbing all over Melissa and I.

Eventually though, poor Baby B just got tuckered out and climbed up in my lap where she promptly fell asleep. I wrapped her up in my favorite black sweater that I had worn that night and she just snuggled in for a nap.

About 30 minutes into her nap, Baby B woke up and look around for a minute...and promptly started puking. All.Over. She must have thrown up for a good minute. Ewww

Now, Emma, bless her heart, has puked, pooped, peed, ect. on me more times than I can count so I wasn't too freaked out by Baby B's puke. Poor Melissa though, was blessed with a child who just doesn't puke like this. We rushed to the bathroom where we got Baby B and myself cleaned up(sorta) and then headed out to the cars.

Thankfully, Melissa only had about a 15 minute drive. I, on the other hand, had about an hour drive. Ewww I remembered that I had a bag of Goodwill bound clothes in my backseat so I grabbed a sweater and did a quick change in my car.

Baby B is doing much better now and I think Melissa has recovered as well[Love you Melissa! ;)]. Kid's have the best timing don't they?

Hannah

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Tuesday morning list...

1. This past weekend I spent the weekend in upstate New York with the youth group I work with at Snow Camp.

2. Upstate New York is very far away.


3. They also get lots of snow. Lots and lots.

4. A few weeks ago I cut my hair very short. Its finally getting long enough to leave it curly, rather than straightening it everyday. Yay!


5. #4 was pretty pointless.

6. I have a five page paper due tomorrow. I have yet to start it.

7. Spring break is just two weeks away. Why is it the last few weeks before spring/Christmas/summer break are always the busiest???

8. I desperately need a pedicure. Seriously, my poor neglected toes....

9. I still think that October is the craziest month of the year, but I have to admit that March is giving October a run for its money.

10. I'm making a list today, because I just don't have the energy to construct an actual blog post, sorry. Thanks for reading my list!

11. Sara Evans' new album comes out today. I am a HUGE Sara Evans fan. Its a good day....

12. I got some great news the other day... I was accepted to Liberty University! I had received an email telling me this about a week ago, but there's something about getting the letter in the mail, I may or may not have cried... ;)






13. I am almost out of coffee, this is a tragedy.

14. #13 was pointless, but it's my blog so I can post pointless things.

15. I really love that you took the time to read this randomness. Thank you!

Happy Tuesday,

Hannah.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The one who deceives

In the last 3 hours I have read/watched multiple discussions on marriage/faithfulness/cheating. It started when I read this guest post on stuffchristianslike.com about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and how Christian men in particular deal with it. The author(a guest blogger) was basically making fun of how Christian men either try to avoid getting caught with it or how how they avoid it altogether. Personally, I did really appreciate his mockery of a very serious issue, but that's another post for another day.

Later I was watching The View and they had a guest on that was a former madame. At one point she said that married men didn't go to other women because they wanted to leave they, "..strayed to stay." They wanted something that they were not getting from their wives so they went somewhere else to get it. In her skewed logic, apparently this strengthened marriage. So...my husband cheating will make my marriage better? Um ok?

The more I watched and read, the angrier I got. How can they think that these issues are things to be taken lightly? How do they not realize that mindsets like this are ruining marriages and families? Are they just blind?! Actually, they are blind.

They are blinded by the ultimate deceiver. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of thisdark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Satan would like us to think that we are fighting against the publishers of Sports Illustrated or against the sex industry. In reality we are fighting against the powers of evil in this world that want us to fail and follow after the things of this world, rather than the things of God.

I have seen this theme of deception creeping up a lot lately. Honestly, it has been there all along, I was just blind to it. Satan constantly making me think one thing, when reality says another.

Be on guard today. When you find yourself getting angry at the store clerk because you had to stand in line longer than you wanted, remember that it is the prince of darkness who wants you to get angry, but it is the Prince of Peace who urges you to show grace. Remember when you are fighting with your parent/spouse/friend/child today that satan causes us to blow the situation WAY out of proportion. Take a step back, take a breath, and ask God to give you His perspective.

I Samuel 2:9 "He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,..."

Hannah

Monday, February 21, 2011

In Pioneer Country

Long before I started writing my own blog I read blogs. One of my favorite blogs is ThePioneerWoman.com In short, Ree Drummund, the author, was a city girl who met and married a cowboy and her website is all about how she is making her way through life on their ranch with their four children. It's funny, heartfelt and makes me want to marry a cowboy. Ree wrote a cookbook a few years ago called "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" and recently published the story of how she met and married her husband and their first year of marriage. "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" is one of those books that reads like a fiction book, but is a real life tale of love and a few other things.... ;)

Ree is currently on a book tour and was visiting a city about an hour from my hometown. I have a cousin that lives in said city so she and I made plans to meet and attend the book signing together. Seeing as the city of the book signing is quite a bit larger than my tiny town I drove up about three hours before the book signing. This gave me plenty of time to shop around the shopping center a bit(visited Pier One-in love) and then drop by the bookstore to pick up our line letters which told us when we  would be getting our books signed.

The bookstore had a lovely little bistro offering a special Pioneer Woman cooks menu that evening. I found a table for one(my cousin had to work late and then pick up her two girls so she didn't make it til late) and promptly ordered the Pioneer Woman tomato and basil Pizza. And I took a picture of it.
Oh.My.Goodness. This was seriously one of the best meals I have ever had. I only ate half of it at the restaurant...and then ate the other half of the way home. No shame here.

After dinner I grabbed a raspberry smoothie(delish) and waited for the signing to start. Ree came out and stood on the gorgeous staircase of the bookstore and spoke for a few minutes and then took questions. She was hysterical! I loved her humility in openly admitting her nerves. She seemed very down earth and just lovely.

My cousin didn't make it to hear Ree speak, but she did eventually make it just in time...to wait for us to be called to wait in line. Lots of waiting! Melissa brought with her her two girls. I knew that they would get a bit impatient waiting in line so I headed to target on Friday morning and picked up some little gifts and made them these adorable gifts boxes.

Sometimes I just really love the target dollar aisle. They had little coloring things, stickers, a tiny stuffed animal and fruit chewies. Cute! They looooved them! The perfect distraction for little girls.




My cousin's daughter,Mia. Such a sweetie! Mia was adopted from China about four or so years ago and I was actually at the airport when she came home. It has been so sweet to see her become such a fun little lady.



The last time we had our picture taken like this we were in the airport and little Mia was still a baby!
 Well, we finally were called to get in the line to get our books signed. It actually went really quickly and before you knew it we were there! Ree was even sweeter up close. We talked about...her nail polish. Seriously, ya'll. The color was gorgeous! :)




Way to look at the camera, Han.


After getting our books signed we went to Starbucks and talked for a few hours. It was great to spend time with Melissa! The evening ended on a slightly..off note. Tune into later this week to read the rest....


Hannah.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Fashionable Februrary

I have a lot of clothes. Seriously. Two closets. Two dressers. All stuffed. Lots.Of.Clothes. At the end of January I decided that during February I would not buy any new clothes. None. No jeans. No dresses. Nothing.

This is the hardest choice I have ever made. Not really, but at the store I work at-and buy most of my clothes at- we have been getting all of our spring/early summer clothes in. It's killing me.

I have purposely not been walking around the store looking at the new clothes because I know I will just want them all! March 1 can not come soon enough!

I keep telling myself that if I really need something, than it will be there next month. I do not want to be so dependent upon buying new clothes all the time. Honestly, I see it as a form of insecurity in my life. I buy new clothes because I get this idea in my head that if I look a certain way than people will like me more. Forcing myself to be content with what I have is also forcing me to be content with myself. It makes me realize that if someone is only friends with me because of my [rather fabulous] wardrobe, they are probably not someone i want to be friends with for long.

This also goes along with the verse that I am focusing on the last two weeks of February. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep you lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." I am working on being content with what I have and not needing the approval of others to be happy.

Are you trying to build character in your life this month? What are you focusing on?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter Blues...

For those who live in cold, icy, snowy, dark(ish) winter climates we have officially reached the point in the season when we are all sick of it. We're sick of the cold, the ice, the snow, the dark(ish)ness. We just want some sun! Can I get an amen?!

Its at this point in the winter when I am just tired. Exhausted. I drink more coffee than anyone ever should...actually I do that in the summer as well, so never mind.

Everyone is asking right now, "Will winter ever end?!"

Yes. There is always hope in the winter.

photo: source

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace"

Romans 15:13


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The sun will come out....tomorrow?

Breaking news: it is currently 39 degrees outside. I live in Ohio. This.Does.Not.Happen. We Ohioans are pretty tough when it comes to winter, but this one has been bad. It has been soooo cold here. Therefore, this little warm up we've been having this week(yes, 39 is a warm up) has been a blessed relief. I heard on the radio that by Thursday we will be in the MID TO UPPER SIXTIES. Do you hear the angels singing?

Honestly, I'm just so glad to be out of boots and back to wearing my favorite skinny jeans and flats. Praise the Lord. Can I get an amen?

What's the weather like in your area? If you are from O-H-I-O and are always enjoying the warm up, what are you doing to enjoy it?

Hannah

Monday, February 14, 2011

It must be love....

Apparently, I am a terrible single person. Apparently there is this underlying rule that if you are a single female you must hate Valentines Day. I'm sorry, but I don't hate Valentines Day. My dad buys me a mini heart shaped box of chocolate with a teddy bear on the front and my mom buys me Bath and Body Words hand cream...what's to hate?! Even though I am single, I can still love...love. I always have been and always will be a hopeless romantic. I think it is a fabulous idea to set aside a day for celebrating what the very word of God declares to be one of the greatest things in the world. The Lord declares in I Corinthians 13:13,"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

Love is a wonderful thing. It unites. It heals. It protects. It gives. It bring life to the world.

Whether we use Valentines Day to celebrate the love between a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, friend to friend, parent and child-whomever you love today, rejoice in that love. Give thanks for the people in your life that you get love on and who in turn love on you.

Who do you love today? Tell me about who you are celebrating!

Happy Valentines Day!

Hannah

Monday, February 7, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things....

Today I wanted to share with you a few of the things that I use every.single.day and could not live without.

1. I have extremely dry skin. As in, painfully dry skin. For years I've used Olay Beauty Lotion, but this winter has been so cold and dry that I needed something thicker. Welcome Olay Active Hydrating Cream. This cream is thick and hydrating and wonderful. It keeps my skin feeling hydrated all day long, but it does not make it greasy.

Image courtesy of google.com

2. My mom has always emphasized the importance of washing your face every night before bed and using a really good moisturizer to keep your skin healthy. Skin repairs itself at night, so its important to take your make up off and let it breathe. I've used Night of Olay since I was a freshman in high school and I love it for now than I did then. Just like the day cream, it keeps my skin healthy and hydrated.

Image courtesy of google.com



3. I am cold all the time. Seriously, all.the.time. Especially my feet. So I was thrilled to find these wonderful creations at Old Navy. Slipper socks! Call them ugly. Call them dorky. But guess who has warm feet. this girl! I actually bought the last pair at my local Old Navy, just so I would have a back up pair, because my current pair is not going to last forever. 
image courtesy of google.com(My pairs are not this pattern,but the same idea.)

4. I have to carry a HUGE purse because of have so much stuff that I need through out the day. Recently, I got tired of digging through it to find my wallet, glasses, gum,ect. so I started looking for pouches to store things in so I would be able to find them easier. Welcome, zippered pouches from The Pleated Poppy.  These are the perfect size for make up, gum, cell phone-whatever you need to throw in them. Honestly, when I first got it in the mail, I thought it was a little small, but this thing(I only have one so far) hold everything. 
Image courtesy of thepleatedpoppy.com
5. I always said that I would never.never wear jeggings. And then I tried them on. These things are soooo comfortable. I got mine from Old Navy, but I've seen them at just about every store, including Target.

Image courtesy of oldnavy.com

6. Growing up, I had no idea how to take care of my curly hair. Finally, sometime around my sophomore year in high school I learned how to treat my hair so that it would look the way I wanted it to. For years I went from product to product trying to find the perfect one. It wasn't until last summer that I started using John Frieda's Take Charge Curl Boosting Mousse. I fell in love with this stuff after the first use. It provides wonderful structure and hold for my hair, but doesn't weigh it down or leave it feeling crunchy. 
image courtesy of johnfrieda.com


These are just a few of the things that I cannot live without. What about you? What can't you live without. Do share!

Hannah

*It goes without saying, but I will say it anyways: The companies and products I listed above have no idea who I am. I just love their stuff.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Saturday Evening Blog Post

Today I am participating in the Saturday Evening Blog Post on Elizabeth Ester's blog. Basically, bloggers pick their favorite post from their blog in the last month and link to it. Go here to see all of the great entries. Enjoy!

Hannah

Friday, February 4, 2011

I love a good link party

 Today I'm sharing some of my favorite posts from my favorite bloggers. Enjoy!

I love it when a blogger is open and honest about their feelings. Lindsey is talking about feeling left out.

Missy is a mom to five, though one of her babies is still in Ethiopia waiting to be brought home. She let her hubby take the keyboard for this post and ask the question: what's college really worth?

I love cute things and these valentines created by Emily of Jones Design Company fit the bill. Such a great price for something so unique. Guess which one I will be giving this year!

I love Beth Moore, and I'm pretty sure she loves me too. Here she talks about this mixed up world we live in.

 Kristin invites her readers to share what they want others to know about any particular issue and here one of them shares what she wants others to know about being a conservative.

I love love love mason jars. So does Lindsey. She shares her ideas for how to creatively use them here.

Elizabeth talks about living intentionally this year.

Give some of your favorite bloggers some love. Share your favorite post from this week in the comments!

Have a great weekend!
Hannah

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Date Night: The Christmas Gala

When you have nothing to blog about, consult twitter. My friend Jared suggested I tell you about our one and only date. Enjoy!

In high school, we didn't have a school paper. We had a school magazine. And in my high school, the magazine staff didn't have a Christmas party. We had a Christmas Gala. My senior year in high school was my one and only year as a member of the magazine staff. Therefore, this was also my only year to attend the gala. As a rule, everyone had to bring a date. I brought my friend Jared, he writes a blog now which you can read here.


This is Jared and I at my graduation. No pictures from the night of the Gala....

The day of the Gala was my first day at a new job. I got off of work at 6ish and had to be at the Gala by about 7:30. After rushing home from work and quickly changing into a lovely black dress(lbd), I jumped back in the car and went to pick up my date. Now, normally I would be very against picking up my date, especially on the first date, it was high school and he didn't have his license. And now that I think about it I actually also picked up the date of another member of the magazine staff as well....

So, I picked up the boys and headed over to the Editors house for the gala. We didn't really realize that she lived as close to Jared as she did, about five minutes....we had given ourselves 30. Rather than be unfashionably early...we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.

We arrived promptly at 7:05 and the gala began. After a tour of the house and some wonderful horderves, the annual white elephant gift exchange commenced. I think I ended up with a gospel tape, that didn't work(thanks,Jared). We then had a ginger bread men decorating contest. Sadly, we didn't win, but had a fantastic story.

All around it was a lovely evening!...Until I got home and stumbled in my too tall, but oh so cute shoes and tore a muscle in my back and missed the next three days of school. Worth it.

Hannah

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Ice Baby and A Game!

I've been stuck inside for 3 days. You know that big storm that everyone has been freaking out about? Yeah, it visited my neighborhood a few days ago. We have approx. 3/4in. of ice on the ground and no power(without the help of a generator).  Therefore, I have nothing to blog about. So I stalked facebook for inspiration and this is what I found. The alphabet game! You write the first thing you think about each of the following topics. Enjoy!
A
- Age: 19 or 25
- Annoyance: people who don't answer texts, emails, ect.
- Available?: yes
B
- Birthday: June 21
-Body part on opposite sex: Smile.
- Best feeling in the world: contentment.
- Best weather: sunny, 55 degrees(ish), mid-April
- Been on stage?: yes, but not in the last 7 years
- Believe in magic: why would i need magic when my God performs miracles???
- Believe in Santa: Why wouldn't I believe in Santa?




C
- Candy: yes please.
- Color: green and yellow and peach and lilac
- Chocolate/Vanilla: swirl
- Chinese/Mexican: Mexican!
- Cake or pie: cake!
- Continent/Country to visit: Ireland!
- Cheese: I love it, but I'm lactose intolerant so....

D
- Day or Night: depends
- Dance in the rain?: With whom?

E
- Eggs: scrambled dry with salt/pepper and hot sauce
- Eyes: blue
- Everyone's got: a nose
- Ever failed a class? No. A 'D' is passing.

F
- Full name: hannah marie 
- First thoughts waking up: five more minutes...
- Food: i'm a big fan

G
- Greatest fear: having to go on the Bachelor to get married
- Goals: Graduate college, buy a house, never own a cat.
- Gum: i'm addicted
- Get along with your parents: yes

H
- Hair color: Reddish brownish
- Height: 5'1.5ish
- Happy: most of the time
- Holiday: christmas
- How do you want to die: Worst.Question.Ever.

I
- Ice cream: Lactose intolerant....
- Instrument: I played the violin in elementary.
J
- Jewelry: addicted.
- Job: to many to count!

K
- Kids: I would love some
- Kickboxing or karate: shuffle board.

L
- Longest car ride: 16 hours.
- Love: Dunkin Donuts coffee
- Letter: j?
- Laughed so hard you cried: Reading whenparentstext.com




M
- Milk flavor: almond
- Movies: Sense and Sensibility
- Motion sickness?: Yes! Awful!
- McD’s or BK: wendy's

N
- Number of siblings: 2
- Number of piercings: 3
- Number: 37

O
- One wish: A coffee pot that makes my coffee and brings it to me in the morning.

P
- Perfect pizza: green peppers and mushrooms.
- Pepsi/Coke: dr. pepper

Q
- Quail: no

R
- Reason to cry: when i'm tired.
- Reality T.V.:  The Bachelor
- Radio station:depends
- Roll your tongue in a circle: no

S
- Song: Christ is Risen
- Shoe size: 9-9.5
- Salad dressing: Ceasar
- Sushi: It ok.
- Skipped school: yes
- Slept outside: in a tent 
- Shower daily?: 90% of the time.
- Sing well?: haha
- In the shower?: every now and again 
- Strawberries/Blueberries: both
-Sarcasm: .......Hi I'm Hannah I don't believe we've met.

T
- Time for bed?: 11:30
- Thunderstorms: I sleep great in them
-Tattoos: Not yet....
U
- Unpredictable: youth ministry.
V
- Vacation spot: somewhere quiet.


W
- Weakness: a good book
- Worst feeling: guilt.
- Wanted to be a model? not really
- Worst weather?: raining when i don't want it to

X
- X-rays: i have had a few
- Ex's: no thankfully


Y
- Year it is now: 2011
- Yellow: is lovely

Z
- Zoo animal: Manatees

Now you do it! if you're bored and want to waste an hour that is.

*Correction: There is approx. 3in. of ice on the ground in some parts of my town. Seriously, people are playing hockey in the middle of the street. Ice hockey! I'm going to get a blanket....

Monday, January 31, 2011

Comparison is the kiss of death

quick side note: My high school English teacher use to say the phrase in the title all the time. She was such a great woman of God. In case she reads this post: I Rachel! How's ap English going?

This world is so focused on comparisons. We are always striving to be as good as someone else. Whether is sports, academics, beauty, fame, musical abilities...the list goes one. Quite frankly I'm exhausted. I've noticed a rather terrifying trend in my life lately though, not only am I comparing myself to other people in the above areas, I also compare my relationship with God to my close friends relationship with Him.

Sometimes it seems that for every step I take towards God, they take ten. I get so caught up in watching them to see how I measure up, that I lose sight of my own progress. Thankfully, Jesus is still watching and  a few nights ago while praying with friends, I heard that still small voice asking me why I cared so much about what everyone else was doing.

My God is a jealous God. He wants, and deserves, my undivided attention. Focusing on other's relationship with God accomplishes one thing: It makes me crazy. It also takes my focus off of God and puts it on myself.(I guess it accomplishes two things.) The more I focus on me and the less I focus on Him the less I grow. I also start to resent others because they have the relationship with God that I wish I had.

I have a wonderful relationship with my Savior. We've been together for more than a decade now and I don't intend to give up now. Thankfully, He isn't giving me up either. After that gentle question about why I cared so much about what others were doing, I've made a conscious effort to pray that I would stop comparing myself and instead focus on my own growth. Since then, I have seen a difference. Its not that I don't care about the spiritual growth of those I love, I just don't compare my growth to theirs.

How about you? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Let's get a hold on this together!

Hannah

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why I'm not a very good blogger

I love blogs. Seriously, I have a loooonnnnggg list that I read on a daily basis and many more that I read when I have extra time(re:when I'm wasting time and not doing schoolwork or the dishes.). Here's the thing though, I'm not such a great blogger. I love writing here at my little blog home, but I don't write as often as I need too.

Whenever I get blog writing advice from someone they always say,"Write every single day. Even if its about something pointless or mundane, write EVERYDAY!"

I don't write everyday. Sometimes, I forget. A lot of the time though, I'm just lazy. Sorry! Thank you to those out there who keep reading even though I'm not a very good blogger. I'm making a commitment to write more. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner.

Love,
Hannah

Monday, January 24, 2011

One Word 2011

I've been hearing a lot lately about the one word challenge. Simply put, rather than making New Years resolutions, which I never do, you instead choose one word to define your year. You focus on this word all year and try to live by it. Example, you choose the word 'faith' and live by that word all year long. At first I said I wasn't going to do this. I'm doing a lot this year and I didn't feel the need to add something else to my list. But I just couldn't get rid of this idea. It kept popping up everywhere. Online.On blogs.On the radio. Everywhere. I like to think I'm a pretty smart girl, so I got the picture. God and and I then had a conversation which basically consisted of me saying, "Well, if this is what You want, You are just going to have to give me this word." And then He did. My word for 2011 is:

Give
give more:
grace
money
time
love
joy
prayers
hugs
of myself
mercy
compassion
thanks
glory to God.

When I first got the word, I was skeptical. This year has been one that has emptied me. I just didn't think that i had any to give. I still feel that way sometimes, but He is my portion and will keep me from stumbling on this journey.

So, what's your word? Consider joining me and choosing to live intentionally this year.

Hannah
                                                         Psalms 118:1

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What you blog about when you have nothing to blog about

Please enjoy the ramblings in the following post:

*I got my dad an early birthday present....George Strait tickets! My dad is a HUGE fan of George Strait and he(George) is going to be in Cinci this March with Reba and Lee Anne Womack. He and my mom are so excited!(Me too!)

*Speaking of concerts....I'M GOING TO SEE THIRD DAY!!!!! I don't think I've every spoken for my love of Mac Powell Third Day, but let me tell you, I.Love.Them. I'm going with my concert buddy/best friend/former youth leader Diane. She and I are nothing alike, but that's what makes our friendship special.

*I have approx. 3 full days left on my Daniel Fast. Honestly, this week has been the hardest. I thought the first week would be the most difficult, but no. I don't really want food, I want coffee. To be specific: I want a skinny vanilla latte made with soy milk from Starbucks. I don't care what people say about Starbucks, those people can make a soy latte that'll knock your socks off.

*I've decided to bring back phrases such as,'knock your socks off.'

*Another fun event coming soon: the Pioneer Woman will be visiting Cinci next month on her book tour and my cousin Melissa and I are going to meet her!!! I am a huge fan of her blog as well as her cookbook and I have very high hopes for her soon to be released novel. Now all I have to decide is: what to wear! I think this special occasion is just the time to finally get one of these beauties....

*The above post wins the award for Most Links In One Post.Ever.

*I haven't seen Emma in two weeks. #goingthroughwithdraw

*Last week I talked briefly about delurking day. Basically, its a day when those of you*waving hello* who read my blog or any blog and don't comment, comment! Let me tell you something, in the blog world, comments are like Christmas to a blogger. Seriously. They're are favorites. So please, say hello! I think you're awesome. Seriously.

*Finally, I encourage you to check out the blogs listed on the left hand side of my blog. I'm a obsessed big fan of blogs and these are some of favorites. You will find some great ladies on those sites.

*Just kidding, that wasn't the last one. I just thought it would be. I also wanted to let you know that I might be changing the look of my blog over the next few weeks. I haven't made a firm decision, but I'm kinda always changing everything thinking that it might need an update. My little blog home is still pretty new and I'm still testing out paint colors, you understand? Right? hello?....

*Finally,(seriously this time) I love ya'll. Thanks for reading my blog. It means a lot.

Love,
Hannah

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giving Credit Where It's Due...

I love my blog. Really I do. I love the people who read it. I love the people who comment on it. I even love the people who get annoyed when I post links to it on facebook. I also really, really love my blog background. Here's the thing though, I didn't make it. that's right. None of it. Dont' worry I didn't steal it, but I wanted to share with you some of the websites that help beautify by blog. All of the sites that I use are free to everyone. I.Love.Free.Stuff. and apparently they love making it for me. It's a beautiful union. Anyways....

My blog background, header, as well as the little black and white signs that say "follow me","archive", ect. all come from a wonderful website called thecutestblogontheblock.com This site it, like i said, totally free, though I think you can pay them to do a custom design. They also have twitter and myspace backgrounds. It's a great website so go have fun!(Thanks to Melissa for introducing me to them.)

A site that I just recently came across is shabbyblogs.com This site too offers free blog backgrounds, headers, and all kinds of other things to make your block great. This is where I got the sign in the right hand column that says, "If you are here you are awesome."(which you are, btw.) They offer lots of cute stuff for you block. Very vintagey type designs. Check them out!

I don't really get any of my designs from here, but I use the free version of gimp to edit my headers. I have a little bit of a background in design(I was a writer for my schools online magazine and we used gimp, adobe, ect.) but if you've never used an editing program before gimp will be super confusing. They do offer helpful tutorials online.

Thanks to the designers who not only help make my little blog home beautiful and welcoming, but also do it for free. Click on the links to visit their sites and see if they have something to make your blog more beautiful too!

Hannah

Friday, January 14, 2011

A List: The Daniel Fast Edition

Some of you might remember that a few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I was going to be doing the Daniel fast for 21 days in January. I've purposely been silent about it since then because I once had a teacher(I went to a Christian school) tell me that one shouldn't talk about fasting, which is Biblical. That is should be something that is just between yourself and God. I totally agree, but wanted to share with you some of the things that I've learned since starting this fast. Therefore, in no particular order....

1. Vegan food needs more salt.

2. God isn't going to get mad if we accidentally buy vanilla soy milk instead of plain soy milk. He doesn't sweat the small stuff.

3. I can live without coffee.

4. There are only so many combinations of beans and rice....

5. Brown rice is very hard to make.

6. Fruit really does make a lovely dessert on its own.

7. Getting up an hour earlier than normal to pray and read the Word really does make a difference in everyday life.

8. Fasting is really about putting ourselves aside and serving the True God rather than the god of me.

9. Memorizing Scripture makes all the difference when it comes to battling the enemy. If we have the very word of God on our tongues, he(Satan) doesn't stand a chance.

10. Eating the way that God intended us to doesn't just effect ones weight(though that's a nice bonus) you will also sleep better, have better looking skin, and be more alert through out the day.

11. God is good.

I'm only a little more than half way through the fast and I have to say that it has been one of the best experiences of my Christian walk. God is so faithful to His children.

Hannah

I also learned that apparently today is 'delurking day'. So if you've been reading this or any other blog, but have never commented, today is the day! Its really easy and its such a treat for any blogger to receive a comment. So...comment!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Lonely Mitten

We got about five inches of snow on Tuesday. Here's the thing about the snow, my dog, loves it. Seriously, its her favorite thing EVER. So, Tuesday night when I got home from work I unlocked the door and as soon as I opened it, Charlie, my beloved beagle, runs out the door. Another thing about the snow, Charlie loves it so much that she tends to run off more in the winter than any other time of year. So, Charlie darts out past me as soon as I open the door and I immediately went after her. I finally got a hold of her and literally, tackled her in the front yard. I did get her inside and put a leash on her and then take her for a proper walk.

Somehow, during our wrestling match, I lost one of my mittens. I love my mittens. They're beautiful.

They're also white. Do you know how hard it is to find a white mitten in five inches of snow. Yeah. So now I only have one mitten.

One lonely mitten.

Hannah

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Singleness

I had the rare pleasure of sitting down with a friend from high school and having breakfast this morning. We talked for probably two hours. A huge focus of our conversation was singleness. My friend is not single, she has been in a great relationship for about five years with an awesome guy. I, on the other hand, am single. We talked a lot about why otherwise attractive, successful, smart, funny, responsible, ect. women are still single well after the traditional age when most would be married. We asked ourselves, if God says He will give us the desires of hearts and the desire of heart is to be with someone, then why aren't we?

I don't know if there are any easy answers to these questions. I think that this is just one of those situations when God says to us,"Just trust me on this one." Some of us do and some of us go on The Bachelor. The older I get, though, the more I wonder, "If I want to be a woman who passionately follows after God's heart and does Kingdom work in this world, will I be 40 and still single?" I know so many woman who are in this situation. They have committed themselves to following God and are doing so...alone.

I think that God puts us into seasons of singleness for many reason. One of the reasons for me is, I have to be completely okay with just God. I have to be content to live the rest of my life, just the two of us, before I can have a the type of relationship that glorifies God. Honestly, I'm not there. I wish I was. I'm closer than I was last month, but still I fall short of contentment.

This I know for sure though: God loves me. He loves spending time with me. He enjoys our mornings together just as much, if not more, than I do. So, I know I will get there. A day will come when I will be able to wake up and not long for anyone other than my ultimate Bridegroom. How I look forward to that day.

When I begin to get discouraged I remember this, "God is incapable of wasting our time."-Beth Moore. God doesn't waste time with us. He uses every second of every season to our advantage. So this season of singleness is not a time of waiting, but rather a time of growth. Its a time for God to continue to mold me into a woman after His heart.

Hannah

A great fictional book on singleness is "Never the Bride." It's a beautiful portrait of how God loves us.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Disclaimer: I do not make new year's resolutions. Never. No Ma'am. If I want to change something about myself, I just do it. Why should I wait for January first? Now be that as it may....

This year I've decided to make two new year's resolutions. Over the month of December I noticed a few patterns in my life that just did not match up with they way I want to live my life. Normally, I would just change whatever habit that I didn't like. Here's the thing though, December was nuts. Absolutely crazy. I did not want to put pressure on myself to change something when I knew that I was not in a very good place to follow through with the commitment. So I went against a long held conviction that new year's resolutions are dumb and decided to implement these changes starting January 1, 2011. I wanted to share my resolutions with, do you mind? Oh good, I was hoping you wouldn't. Here goes nothing...

1. Get a handle on my bank account. I'm very fortunate to have a job that I love and also make enough money to support my coffee habit. I'm not very good about keeping track of how i spend my money or about saving it. At this point I will likely be paying for part of my college education(which isn't cheap) and I need to be saving money for that. Also, emergencies. Happen. Cars break down. Hospital visits happen. Pedicures happen*wink*. I need to be prepared for that.

I also believe that they way you handle finances is often a reflection of the rest of your life. If they are disorderly and out of control, so goes my life. I want to please God in every aspect of my life. Currently my bank account does not reflect that. I've been blessed, how can I use my finances to bless others if they are out of control?

Therefore, in the coming year, I want to be diligent about keeping a check register. Writing down what I'm spending. I don't like to have to guess how much is in the account. I also will be better about prioritizing my spending. First comes my tithes, then comes my bills and whatever is left over is the money I use for everything else. I've already made some strides in my savings. I've set up through my work to have a percentage of my check go directly into my savings account. The trick is not break into that money when I don't have enough to buy something I want in my checking.

The Bible tells me that I can either serve God or money. I want to serve God with the money that He has blessed me with.

2. My second resolution is to read one book a month. By book I mean a title that will somehow help me grow spiritually. Last year I was blessed to do an internship at a local church. Every single person I met and had the privilege of speaking with had one thing in common: they read. A lot. Everyone was always telling me about the book they were reading, or recommending a book they had read. The emphasized the importance of never being ok with where you are at, but always striving for something better.

Therefore, in 2011 it will be my goal to read one book during the course of a month. I read a lot already, but sometimes it takes me two months to get through a single book. Mostly due to laziness rather than time constraints.  Speaking of time constraints, I'm busy. Really, really busy. I know one book doesn't sound like much, but for me its going to be a challenge, but I"m really excited.

Last year was full of lots of junk. I'm so looking forward to getting out of the pit of last year and stepping into the Light. I want this year to be a beautiful reflection of the grace I have been given.

What about you? What are your goals/resolutions for 2011?

Love and Happy New Year,
Hannah