Leave Room For the Unexpected.

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Something I do a lot is make lists. I like to write things down in ink, making them permanent in my mind. Last year I started this thing that I think I’ll continue doing for years to come. You see I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I think you should continuously be improving yourself and your life for the better. Instead, I make goals and dreams for myself for the next year of my life. So right before my twentieth birthday, I started thinking and praying about what I wanted out of the next year of my life. I wrote all of these things down in my Notes app on my phone. This way I could look at it, and cross them off once I have accomplished them to my own satisfaction. I had a list of about fifteen things for my year twenty. As I’m about to turn twenty one, I’ve been thinking about what I have and haven’t accomplished throughout year twenty. The majority of my list has been checked off, and I’d say I’m pretty satisfied with the blessings of this year. One thing I think has been potently alive in my life throughout this last year that I nowhere near anticipated was this: change.

The entire last year of my life has been in a constant spiral, a never ending circle of change. The majority of the things that have changed are things I never thought would happen-but well, here we are.

-I fell in love. Going along with this trend, this is the number one thing I absolutely never expected. I met a guy-a God fearing, genuine man. He absolutely, completely, and has forever changed my life.

-I moved twice, and will be moving again in just a few short weeks. This is crazy to me. It’s crazy, and stressful, and I so deeply look forward to this being the last big move I make for quite some time to come. I am so very much the person to follow her heart wherever it takes me. Sometimes though, that can be interpreted as unwise to some people. Sometimes I think the same, but I know I’ll never be fully satisfied unless I follow my heart and where I feel called to be.

-I served the Lord both in the states, and internationally. I was really against my international mission trip at first. Mainly just because I was terrified-but the Lord called, and I followed. Not for one moment during or since have I ever regretted putting myself where He asked me to go.

All of these things have been crazy, but they’ve each been amazing in their own special ways. In all reality though, my heart has been craving something different for a while now. I’m hoping and praying whole heartedly that this year, my change slows to a steady limited pace. It’s just exhausting you know? Having to pack up your life, unpack it all, try to nest your new location of ‘home’ into your life…just to do it all again maybe three months later in the most. I understand to a certain extent that this is what college is like. But it’s just different for me. I have never been the kind of woman that fits in with this college life regularly. The point where my life is, is that I’m ready for my heart to settle down a bit. I’d like to be in one place, with my one person, and keep myself there and steady.

Hopefully, this will be something to happen throughout my twenty one. I’m getting closer, so I guess we’ll see.

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Madhat Musicianry.

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Throughout these past few wild and beautiful weeks, I have learned some important things. These weeks have been absolutely insane-like trying to run straight forward after your nephew wrecks the world of your boyfriend and you on the tilt a whirl ride at Navy Pier insane. Each day has been busy, a whole new set of little bitty hiccups along for the ride in this episode of Hannah’s Life. Gratefully so, quiet time and long car rides have given me time to digest all that has happened and changed so drastically. A penny for my thoughts they say…


 

>> What even is beautiful?

Serving as a missionary in Romania changed a lot of things within my life and my heart. One of the most significant changes is found in my overall self image. Just as any other young woman, I used to spend way too much time obsessing over the way I looked. I was guilty as charged in wasting a lot of money on my outward appearance. I was absolutely obsessed with shopping for new clothes, accessories and especially shoes. I changed my hair color a tremendous amount of times from the spring of eighth grade on. I got my nails done up all fancy all the time. There came to a point where I felt my confidence depend on whether or not I was ‘put together’ for the day. People would always always always reiterate to me that I was so beautiful and so natural. When in all reality, I couldn’t feel further from that truth.

From July 2k15 on, I had a REALLY hard time with what beautiful was ‘supposed’ to be. I talked to an enormous amount of women about their own experiences with this area of femininity. Everyone has repeatedly encouraged me to continue on with outward adornment-so long as I don’t feel it is Needed in order for me to feel beautiful. It just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me though. I looked at my boyfriend, and I think he’s beautiful. Actually, I think he is just the most studliest handsome schmexy fox that I’ve ever laid eyes on, but you know, semantics. 😉 He doesn’t wear makeup, dye his hair, obsess about the clothes he wears [unless it’s camo/blaze orange]…and I still find him absolutely breath taking everytime I look his way. I look at him a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Whenever he isn’t looking at me, I stare at the features of his adorable face. The curvatures in his hand movements. The way he raises his eyebrows when he smiles, just like I do. I see all of these things, and I think they’re beautiful. So why would I think I need all of these ridiculous worldly things in order for me to be beautiful too?

Exactly, I don’t. So I stopped. For a long time, I stopped wearing any makeup all together. I stopped dying my hair at all. I stopped shopping for anything except groceries and boyfriend trinkets. And I’m so content with that, but I wasn’t at first. I was shocked at how much I compared myself to others, everything about others. I’d complain to my boyfriend about indecision on makeup and hair dye, and what it all means. Being his supportive self, he’d try his best to hone in on the wondrous mind of a confused woman. Nowadays, I am slowly finding the balance of both worlds. I put on makeup when I specially get ready, but that doesn’t happen everyday. I still, and forever hope to, find comfort in my own natural beauty just as God made me. I haven’t and won’t dye my hair, but it’s still nice to know I can make that decision based on my own discernment.


 

>>The heart wants what it wants.

My mother calls me her tattooed gypsy daughter. I am infamous within my family and friends group for moving around a lot. I do move around more than the average bear; but I almost never share the intimate details with anyone why I put myself exactly where I do. The truth of the matter, is that I follow my heart and what I feel called to do. Back in the good ‘ol days, I was a little more irrational in my life choices. I would make snap decisions, or peripheral plans as my Persuasion Comm Professor would say [I really like Comm Studies, nerdy]. At that point, I never argued back when people were beyond shocked with the ‘new scandal of Hannah’s life changing event.’ Coming up to recent however, I am not nearly as impulsive as I once was. From the outside, my decisions probably do seem irrational and sudden. But that’s mainly because I keep about 98% of the world on the outside of my own private world-for very good reason.

What the 98% don’t know, is that I put a lot of thought into the decisions of my life. I take my time, actually way too much time, overanalyzing options. I make list after list, and think of every possible scenario that could play out. I pray beyond belief, knowing that ultimately God’s plan will pull heavy rank over any of my own. And then finally, I either act or I don’t. This time, I acted. I followed my heart, jumped off that cliff, and leapt in faith knowing full well God would catch me. This tattooed gypsy is at it again, figuring out the next adventure life has to throw at me, one day at a time.


 

>>The past passed away, rest in pieces.

When faced with thoughts of the past, you WILL get just as sick to your stomach as you did while you lived through it. The good part? You had a choice then, you acted on that choice then, and you have a choice now. Now, you can choose not to care about the ‘talk’ that people will absolutely do behind your back. You can choose joy, happiness and humility in the name of the Lord. You get to choose to be thankful for all of the amazing and life changing blessings that have been bestowed upon you. You get to continue doing what you’ve been doing; living your life for Jesus alone, and doing the best you can for yourself. You don’t have to answer to anyone but God, Himself. And if anyone tries to make you feel otherwise, tell them to have a convo with the one who loved you enough to put you exactly where you are. Long ago, you left the past and joined in a new realm of meaning for your life. So snap off the rearview mirror and drive on beautiful. That past is someone else’s mistake to learn now.

Dueces, applejuices.

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One a Promise, Two a Promise.

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Love’s a scary thing when you step back from it. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You’d give absolutely anything and everything for this one human. This perfectly imperfect, just as flawed as you human. Who could at any given moment-and potentially would in our messed up society-choose to no longer love you and walk away. And yet, we do everything for them day in and day out. Constantly trying to shove down that little blurp of fear that’s constantly whispering in your ear..telling you maybe, just maybe you won’t get your happily ever after. Despite the fear,  I look around my life and  see others constantly making all of these sacrifices for love. I see them giving up things they once dreamt of to pull them closer to the person they could’ve never imagined up on their own. It’s then that I realize I’m just as guilty of the societal ‘YOU’RE CRAZY’ reactions. When in all reality, I’d give anything to be doing what they’re doing.

So tell me-if love in this world is so unsure, why do we lean on it with our whole hearts?

Well, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I know a little bit about my own heart. My answer is simple, it’s you.

It’s the way I’ve fallen in love with you, like I never have before. It’s consumed in the one big thing, Christ.

It’s followed by the million little things. The way you hold my hand. The way you pull me in and curl me up next to you. The screenshot from every ‘date before she says i do.’ The beautiful conversations about our Father and the blessings given to us. The morning encouragements. The way I miss you every minute of every single day. The way my heart stops when you tell me you love me, no matter how many times you’ve said it before. The feeling of seeing you for the first time in a week. How I know you don’t ever want to let me go, ‘nope, I’m not done holding you yet.’ The support in every split second mind change I come up with in a day. The spontaneity of our forever young hearts. The respect of waiting as patiently as possible. The confused looks from others and tried definitions of courting. Our beautiful devotional times. Every glamorous moment I get to spend being picked on by you, and fighting you back twice as much. The moments you pull me back from shutting down. The prayers we pray, each and every day. The transitional times from perfect to heart wrenching and back again. The struggles of loving from a distance, and realizing repeatedly that we’re so blessed to do so. The Mickey Mouse sandwiches. The ten squats a day. The times we get lost in corn mazes and you secretly resent me for making you think I’ve been stolen. The push you give me to be amazing at anything I attempt. Making me scrambies the morning of my half marathon. The way you sleep endlessly and I never do, even through all of the times I should be the one exhausted. The way you make me fall out of the car in Family Dollar parking lots. The way we get our fat girl on, only increasing our dad bod, helloooooo Culvers. The way you look at me laughing about our green paint issues. The way you try to handle me just the right amount, while standing back to let me shine the rest of the time. The way you miss me and worry about me when I’m away. How you always leave me voicemails because I like to listen to them on repeat when I’m longing to hear your voice. All of the notes you keep, showing me again and again that you want to know everything about me. The way you’re my safe haven, loving me so genuinely. A girl could go on forever…that’s the plan anyway.

You are simply beautiful. One of the most amazing, selfless, stubborn, goofy, Christ loving people I have ever met. You absolutely make my life shine like the diamond that you are. Our love story cracks me up. It’s the kind of story that people think you’re making up when you answer to them ‘So how did you two lovebirds meet?’

Being in your arms in this crazy world through this wild life, it’s like standing outside in the middle of a storm. It’s chaotic-everything near us is swirling in the wind, the rain comes down hard all around. Despite the raindrops, I look up, into your beautiful blues. The world gets blurry, fades away, and all I see is love. The rain freezes forming droplets stilled in midair, the air from the storm freezes me, my eyes freeze to yours. You put your hand on my heart and it bursts for you, melting the leftover ice from the past.

So if I’m going to be ‘stupid’ like society says, let me be stupid for believing in us. For being completely blissed out and madly in love with you. Let me be stupid for having a faith that is stronger than the weight the world puts on a halfway young couple in love. Let me be stupid for loving you.

Someday, forever.

Thank you Jesus.

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The Constant Fight or Flight

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Along with many, I’ve lost a lot of amazing people in my life. Loss to death, selfishness, heartache and so many more non-comprehendible aches. I’ve lost my grandmothers, an absolute beauty of an aunt, my very own brother, numerous people I thought were best friends, and the person I thought I’d spend my life with-my first true love (besides Jesus, preach it up). Getting back up after being knocked down so hard, so many times is the challenge I face daily. Thankfully, I have the Creator of the Universe to brush me off and wipe away the tears. People get frustrated at me sometimes because I’ve become somewhat of a live in the moment type of girl. Although it doesn’t seem like the typical me who always has plan for everything laid out, I like it. I like it because it’s started opening doors for my life. Truth be told, we aren’t ever promised a tomorrow, another hour, another second. So how do you want to spend yours?

Do you want to be that person that leaves things unfinished? Do you want to always wonder what could have been in your life? Do you want to regret not opening up your heart and being a part of the world around you? I can tell you that I don’t. I don’t want any of that. If there’s one piece of wisdom I’ve learned from losing so many great people, it’s simple–it’s love.

I’ve learned that love is messy. It’s just a big blob of emotion that rolls around in your heart until your head can’t see straight. And sometimes, love is the deepest hurt we can feel, and that’s when you know it was filled with the most truth. Sometimes, love is staring up at your ceiling choking back tears while you’re listening to the same dark song for the four hundred and eighty second time straight. And sometimes love is letting go of the tears, and feeling the ocean tide wash over your cheeks. Sometimes, the most painful and humbling kind of love is sacrifice. It’s letting go peacefully, allowing someone else to experience what you’ve lived out through them. Allowing someone else to bless them with the love only you can understand. Sometimes, love is goodbye; and sometimes love hurts.

The other side of love is like your very first kiss on those beautiful lips. Love is confident and bold, love harbors no fears or doubts. Love is like looking at him while he concentrates and having to hold back a giggle so you don’t break into his mind. Love is like finding home in his arms wrapping soundly around you. Love is filled with such peace as the silent waves crashing to shore over and over. Love never ceases to exist; once it’s there, it’s always there. An unspoken connection shared now with just a smile and the wink of an eye. Love is sticking it out through it all, the highest of highs and the lowest of the lows. Love is thinking about what it would be like marrying him, talking about marrying him, talking about a family. Love is your head saying it’s still unsure but your heart’s already at the finish line. Love is like nothing else in this world. It’s beautiful, and it should consume your entire world. Love should absolutely change your life, and I promise you it will.

I love to love. I always say it and I hope I can say it for the rest of my life. I love being lost in another person, intoxicated by the emotions they flood my life with. I love holding someone close to my heart, being comfortable being vulnerable. I love finding beauty in the small details written intricately through the world’s scenery. This life is insane, there’s no doubt about it. But if you’ve got love, you’ve got it all. Even better is having someone who loves you back, there’s truly nothing like it.


People keep telling me that I’m indecisive, that I’m confused. Please understand, it’s not that I don’t know what I want. I know what I want. It’s that nobody will ever give it to me or make it happen. I want to be out of this world happy. I want to be cherished. I want to have someone’s heart and attention the way I give mine out. I want someone to truly love, adore, and honor me so much they couldn’t stand seeing me hurt. I want someone to fricking sweep me off my feet and love the crap out of me!! I do deserve it. I have this one heart, this one heart with all of this joy, happiness, and love festering up and its ready to just explode. And nobody makes it worth giving it all to. I want to get married. I want to start and raise a family with someone. I’m ready for that life. I have been for a while. But my other half, whomever he may be (poor soul), he isn’t ready. And sometimes it feels like there is no other half to finally make me whole. Like there’s nobody else on this planet ready to love me back. Ready to take control and be my stinkin person! Nobody can do that! And so apparently it’s just impossible to love me. When are you going to just stop and notice me?

So this is my question: is it you, me, or something else?

I’ve had this feeling for a little bit that it’s me. That there must be something wrong with me to where it just hasn’t worked out by now. I know, I know, I’m still so young. Yes, I’m young, I’m very young. But there should really be no excuse when the opportunities have more than presented themselves to be loved. To be adored, to be to love someone who loves me back so deeply. So it comes down to something else, something I guess I just don’t understand. It could be you. But if it’s you, it’s you like four times over. What are the odds of that one happening? So then what? What else could it be? Why don’t I get to feel as treasured as the person I seek?

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Where Are All the Hidden Cameras?

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If I’m not being punked, I truly don’t even know what to make of my life. There are so many beautiful things. Things I know I don’t deserve, but am lucky enough to be able to cherish anyways.

friends.

If I have learned anything in being out of high school for the past year and a half, it’s who my true friends are. It always comes out in the wash doesn’t it? People will forever ‘be there’ for you, but when you’re keeling over in despair, where’d they disappear to this time. Convenience. Sadly, most of the people around you are only there for themselves. Heck I’ve come to know that even some Christians, who claim to shine with such a different light, still walk through the dark selfish alleys sometimes. And that’s sad, because being an over emotional and sensitive girl, you care. You care about the good people, the wrong people, and the terrible people all the same. It’s in your character and you’ll just have to deal with it because that girl is never going to go away. No matter what.

But then you have the AMAZING friends. The ones that will be your Maid of Honor, the God Mother of your children, the milk to your cereal. If you don’t have a wife…I simply feel bad for you. There’s nobody who will ever take the spot of your wife. She’s the definition of the best friend you will ever have. She’s the laugh behind every silly crazy whacko idea you two can come with today. You go through all of your troubles and life’s ridiculous issues together. Because sometimes, and when I say sometimes I mean all the time, you just need a wife. So you spend your last semester far away driving home at midnight because nobody else will ever understand.

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food.

Seriously, where my burg girls at? Thigh gaps? Size double zero? Last time I checked I’m not a Barbie Doll and God created me with a hearty appetite. So let’s put that puppy to use, right?? I mean honestly? Some of these girls out there will never understand what it means to love their bodies. That’s such a morose thought to me. We’re supposed to be over here allowing our bodies to prepare themselves for womanhood. Starving yourself and restricting such sweet deliciousness will not accomplish anything except a cruel internal head game. So grab a hammer, bash the scale in, and pick up a cheeseburger. Noms.

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family.

This one can be tricky. When you grow up without the ‘ideal’ family, family isn’t always the best institute to count on. But hey, gotta love em right? At the end of the day, whether the feelings are reciprocated or not, my family is my rock.

Mom: That woman is the definition of something else. She’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. A scarred heart wrapped up in every sense of comfort and beauty; a sense of the world so full of laughter and helping others find the happiness she may still seek.

Dad: There hasn’t been a day on this Earth I haven’t been the biggest ‘Daddy’s Girl’ around. I love my mom to pieces, but my dad will forever be my biggest supporter, my biggest fan. He knows the things I’m capable of being and doing before I’m even shown sometimes. I swear to it. No other person or combination of people could be more protective of me. As a teenager I resented that factor. As an adult, there is not a more comforting aspect in the world…I only hope and pray the man God places as my husband and the father of my children will have such a tender heart.

My Siblings: It still baffles me that I’m the baby of six other magnificent people. When people meet me they always assume I’m an only child. How that is I could never understand. Where else would I look to to learn such valuable life lessons? Doing what you want with your life is the most important. Life is short, so don’t take it for granted. Forgiveness is one of the most humbling and important traits you could encompass. There’s nothing out there that could ever turn the Lord and His love away from you. And no amount of disaster or a bad gene can hold you back from the ones who love you. I cherish them more than they can even understand..Hannah 9

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love.

We all love to be in love, don’t we? There’s truly nothing like it. Those butterflies that, if you’re lucky, will never go away. That feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve been waiting a week and you finally see him. He’s right there in front of you for you to run and grab and hug like it’s the last time you’ll ever do it. It’s beautiful, and it’s absolutely terrifying, and it’s honorable, and it’s God centered, and there is nothing and no one that can fill that part of your heart. It’s him. And you just want to cling onto him for all of eternity. You find him in the scent of hand soaps, the way the songs sound, the piles of leaves you walk by on your way to class, the way you see yourself when you glance in a passing window, and in your rearview mirror as you depart for another week back to reality of school. Word vomit. It’s love. It’s our most basic human emotion, it’s what we’re generated to do. So what are we so afraid of?

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