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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Lectures are Blogging Your Heart Out.

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I remember when I was little my mom was sad. I never knew the underlying reasons really, because little kids ‘aren’t supposed to worry about adult type things.’ At a certain point, I was old enough to go through the really hard stuff with my family. From then on I felt it, no longer just be a bystander on the outside of the pain. As an adult I know when my mom is sad. If I’m being honest, it would always make me really anxious to see. Partly because I’m really protective and I don’t like when things are hurting the ones I love. The other part is the selfish and jarred edge part that I don’t proclaim proudly. The other part is continuously angry when I see this sadness in her. It’s just a sadness I thought I never understood. I looked at her life, the parts of her life I was familiar with at least, and saw no reason to be sad. I saw five children, a husband, a job in a field she loves, and plenty of reasons to be happy. I saw the things my oblivious mind has been trained to see over the years-I saw her depravities. Now as an adult, I realize that I’m sad. I’m sad a lot, and I don’t know if I’ll ever understand that.

The same as I did with my own mom, I look at my life and give myself no reason to feel sad. I know that I am well privileged, and that I should almost feel ashamed for the pity party that happens in my mind sometimes. [Sometimes is so much more than I ever want to happen..] I have a great God that watches over me-where I could be faithless and bitter. I have a loving and genuine family-I could continuously suffer from loneliness without them. I have the most amazing boyfriend-SO many life events could have led me away from him instead of God bringing us together. I am a ridiculously broke college student-BECAUSE I’m gaining an education that you’re not supposed to be able to price. I have a car, it runs, and I’m not ever without the ability to get where I need to go-I could be walking, stranded, or unable to afford a car at all. I am about to start an amazing new job-where I truly have no idea how I was blessed enough to be the chosen one..

I look at my life and I know I should be happy, I know I shouldn’t be able to even complain about the most tedious things in my life. However sometimes, I’m just not the happiest Hannah I could be. That sentence in itself literally makes my heart ache. It’s just something I don’t understand.

If there are so many beautiful amazing things in my life, what am I so sad for? Is it because I think the future is immense, with too many options and paths for me to choose from? Am I sad because I live in the frozen tundra, where I get angry when I walk from class to class not feeling the limbs on my body? Is it because I don’t feel absolutely stunning like the rest of the world seems to be? Is it because I don’t have a strong enough faith and relationship with my God? Or maybe it’s because I am waiting for the rest of my forever to finally start…I have given many speculations to myself for the questions in my mind.

Most days, I am great. I’m happy and I know how continuously blessed I am and always have been. I relate these kinds of days with the color yellow. It just makes you think of happiness and positive thoughts. Honestly I don’t think I even really like the color yellow. Maybe because it reminds me of all the happiness I think I lack deep down. Maybe just because it doesn’t go well with my golden streaked hair. I don’t know, you decide-but what goes wrong when the color yellow is involved, right? These kinds of days make me think back to my mornings of getting ready before school. I remember looking out the dining room window to the east. I’d watch the sun come up across the table, streaking the floor vibrantly without fear of the darkness. Those mornings I just knew it was going to be great, like I was unstoppable.

Then there are the dark days. I don’t even know what words to use to describe them. Kind of like in Harry Potter, when the dementors are able to suck every ounce of light and soul from people? #nerd. These kinds of days make me contemplate everything. They make me have doubt in my abilities as a student, a girlfriend, a daughter and sister. The darkness seeps in and reminds me of the pitch black I’ve seen. You would think that after you go through it all, heal, and move forward, that would be it. That’s not what the darkness says though. It tells you that you’ll always be haunted by the scars that you have. No. Matter. What.

Some people can’t understand that because they haven’t seen the darkness I have. But then again, my darkness could be light compared to other people’s pitch black. Don’t think I don’t think about that. I do, I’m very aware of this theory.

It’s like insanity though. Trying something over and over again the same exact way, and still forever expecting the results to be different. Some dark days feel like that. I wake up and I can just feel the chip on my shoulder. I know that my day is destined to be rough. I can tell in my demeanor that I’m going to end up unintentionally taking out this sadness on the people around me. If I don’t take steps to prevent the hurt from taking over, it will dominate my heart.

So how am I supposed to make sense of this? This angel vs devil consciousness splitting my heart. How do I take hold of the angel and see to it that her light outshines anything else? Does the girl that refuses to take any medicine ever resort to taking happy pills? Talking herself into happiness through straightening out her chemical imbalance that way? Does she constantly surround herself with the people that offset her sadness well? With her boyfriend that might not even realize how sad she really is sometimes? I mean it could work, because he just doesn’t accept it. He pushes her, reminding her that she is more-she was God destined to be more-and we will get through this. Because #teamhaven that’s why. Or does she simply just take the time each and every difficult dark moment to pray her way out of the warped shadows?

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what she would do. But I can tell you that on these dark days, I don’t like being her. That I don’t like thinking I allow these hard days and moments and thoughts to take me over. But it happens, I understand that. I read it all the time on those regurgitated Pinterest block quotes. ‘Sometimes it’s the people that smile the most that are the saddest.’ I crinkle my nose at quotes like that but yet I can’t help but feel there’s some kind of truth behind them. I don’t know. I know I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and I’ll probably be twelve thousand times better than I was today. The odds of that are forever in my favor.

But today, and tonight, I’m just not up to being her. God help me.

2.11.16

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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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Tightrope Crawl.

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“How’s school going for you?”

Probably my absolute least favorite question in the history of foreverdome. As a college student, I get this question literally all the time.

My typical response?

Inside– “College is terrible. I hate commuting. I hate the stress. I love the stress. I can’t handle this. Pile more on my shoulders. I’m not doing enough. I’m about 25% sure I failed two classes this semester. I hate it. Hate’s a terrible word, but right now I hate college. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I don’t know why I do this to myself. Is it this hard for everyone else? Why can’t my experiences be as great as everyone else’s? Why do I have to put myself through school. WOW I complain a lot! Blame certain professors. Take the blame upon yourself. Stop! Just, stop. God’s got a plan. You know this. In the end, He puts you through what you go through for a reason. You know this. Stop. Just breath. You’re OK! We’re going to make it through this. Breath.”

Outside– *Smile and tilt head* “College is college.”

It’s so complicated and yet so simple at the same time. I can’t really fully understand it all, but I am putting my faith in Christ. When I was in high school, I didn’t have to try hard. I got a near 4.0, and I didn’t have to put in millions of studying hours to get there. I guess you could say I was blessed by this. A lot of people wish they had that capability. But now? Now, I feel it’s more of a curse than anything. I never learned the techniques I needed to in high school to be able to be somewhat naturally ready for college success. On top of making the millions of daily adjustments it takes to make this huge transition, I have to learn of this as well. I have to learn how to study, how to really apply myself, how to stay motivated, how to cope with all of it. Tomorrow, I’m officially done with my sophomore year of college, I’m headed off to juniorland. I’m headed off to be a junior, and I have absolutely no idea how I got here. Throughout my four previous semesters of college, I can distinctly remember one of them where I felt I did as well as I wanted. Where I was actually proud to answer the forbidden question, ‘How’s school going for you?’ The rest of the time? I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in my efforts [or extreme lack there of] for numerous classes. I’m highly disappointed in myself for not being the shining student I was throughout my first twelve primary years of my education. Twelve years of being known for being bright, intelligent, and applying myself more than most. Two years of having the absolute most difficult time doing literally anything right when it comes to school.

Within the last two years, I have grown and changed more than I ever thought was possible in what seems like such a short time. It will never fail to surprise me how in a day, the various paths my life is headed on change and shift around so much. Nothing is constant. Change, is constant. And God, is constant. Nothing else is ever going to be constant. There’s just no absolutes in this life other than Christ. Huge revelation. Something I am reminded of so often. Throughout my first two years of college, my heart has gone through so much. There have been literally endless struggles when it comes to family issues, relationship issues, self identity issues, and the list goes on. One thing after another, I have struggled. I have been tempted and tried. I have succeeded in some areas, and fell completely flat on my face in others. Most definitely though, I’ve done more of the falling flat than the rising up. At least that’s what it feels like anyways. But that’s not to say I haven’t grown. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. At least I can take security in the fact that all of my struggles, all of my hardships, have grown me in some way or another. From each tough time I was put into or I put myself into, I learned. I’m still learning. Always. Every new day brings me endless opportunities to grow, learn, and show the same capabilities to others around me.

Some days, are just always going to be a little more tough to get through than others. Today, wrapping up my semester, is one of those days. Reflecting back on this past semester is kind of tough. I came into it completely new-eager and excited for a new start I knew was a long time coming in my life. Yes, my past, my old ways, and my memories will always carry with me. But I’m nothing of who I used to be. I was changed drastically, I was reshaped and molded into a new version of myself. I was metamorphosed. [Yes, that is a real word, I looked it up.] This transfer home, was the outward expression of an inward emotion. To me, it signified moving on with my life from the things of the past, and becoming more of who I have been called to be. So I got the move home part down, that was simple-ish. It’s the rest of it that falls into blurry details of the background. I don’t really know yet if I became more of who I feel I’m called to be, or if it’s just all in my head that I’ve grown and changed over the last half year. In certain aspects, I feel growth. I feel different. I feel like I can distinctly see the areas of impact on my life and my heart that will never go back. Really I guess, the only place I don’t really feel the growth is in school. The community of school? Definitely. Knowing my major is where I belong and feel I can excel? Still pretty sure. Pressing forward and being a kick butt student that is like, smart, and stuff? Definitely not. Which is quite unfortunate.

But you know what? I know God’s got it. He’s seen this. This disappointment and self-loathing type feeling I feel deep inside? He knows. He knows the certain ways I mourn for this semester. For the person I want to be. For the person I used to be. He knows the internal battle I fight every day. The well known fight against the flesh. He knows. And He will honor me, as I continue to honor Him.

So today, it kind of sucks. Today I’m sad that I’m not better than I am. Today I’m a lot disappointed in the student that I have been. But, repentance, mercy and grace are beautifully crafted in the hand of the Father.

And tomorrow is a new day.

Thank God for that.

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:5-8

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The Odds Of Being My Life.

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Alright, So it turns out the second week of year twenty was way more eventful and lesson filled than the first. First of all, basically it’s been decided that the answer to just about any question I could have is about as simple as ‘Jesus.’ Literally, like why is ice cream amazing? Jesus. Why do I love to sleep so much, but function so well on so little? Jesus. More importantly, who alone should you run to when you’re lonely? Yea, Jesus.

The first moral of this week, is a very simple mantra of mine:

Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT reach out to any exes when you’re lonely. Not an ex boyfriend, not an ex fling, not an ex crush.

I don’t care if it’s an ex-treme situation. Or an ex-citing story to tell them about only they would understand. Don’t even try to tell me any kind of ex-cuse. Because honey, my mind has used them all. Instead, remind yourself of who they really turned out to be in your life. Use them as an ex-ample of what you don’t want to let your heart settle for. If you don’t protect your own heart, nobody else will. And it’s beyond ex-hausting to continously bandage up your still gushing wounds.

So yea, just don’t do it. Simple.

Instead, reach out to Jesus. Seriously? I don’t even need to go on. Y’allready know how amazing He is. How He fills every void we think is too low inside ourselves for anyone to reach? Welp, guess what? Jesus is everywhere. And only His love can touch the untouchable broken parts within you.

Secondly, don’t let your frightening exes take control of your actions/emotions.

I have spent literally far too long avoiding. I avoid exes to reduce drama and reduce any chance of awkward conflicts I don’t deem necessary in my life. It’s gotten to be more stressful to try and avoid the conflicts, than I think the conflicts would actually be at this point. I spend so much time constantly checking over my shoulders. Making sure in certain situations that I’m safe, that I’ve got my own back. Literally seems insane, but you just never know….especially not with you two. Not with the things you do to get ahold of me. Really though, seems like both of you need to get ahold of your own realities, and steer clear from mine, of which you think is yours. Confusing, huh? I literally avoid places that I am supposed to feel the absolute most comfortable and safe…just because I don’t want to be targeted by you. I avoid my old friends because I don’t want you to be around, I don’t want you to be brought up. I simply just want to be left alone.

Talk about a cry for help.

Anyway, onwards. My lesson this week, has been to screw the rule book on avoidance. You want to be creepy and confrontational? Whatever. Bring it. Just prepare yourself for a thoroughly peeved off version of Hannah that won’t hold back. Example A: this blog. I’m done hiding and shying away from anything in my life, because I’m scared of you. I’ve got the absolute Greatest Protector, and He’s got my best interest at heart. So, there’s that.

Last but not least, my lesson is my own happiness.

I literally love so much to be happy. I am really taking advantage of any opportunity I can to just find the best in things. Certain aspects of life are always going to be unideal. That’s why it’s life. However, that doesn’t mean at all that I have to be down, blue, or a grumpasaurus because of conditional things. Of course, I’m a full on supporter of the ice cream, romance movie, cry-your-eyes-out-into-your-pillow kind of night. But grieve it out, get up, and push forward. Life is precious. Every second deserves to be cherished, and through it all God more than deserves to be honored.

Ah, brain knowledge…

Week too.

Weak two.

Weak too.

Week two.

[May 2-May9]

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Don’t Leave Me With My Thoughts–It’s Dangerous.

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You know those painful days? Those days where you feel as if you are constantly walking around outside your own body. When your mind is not your own, accompanied with nothing but unwanted thoughts? Those days are full of hurt. You’re constantly reminded of every bad thing or poor decision you’ve ever made in your life. Your days of sadness only come along every once in a great while. But when they do, they wash you over like a tidal wave. Completely stripping you of every comfort you’ve ever had-both in yourself and in others.

Your life will not be perfect. It will be filled with a million bad days. Both because of you getting inside your own head, and others trying to pry in. They think they know you. They speak words over your life, claiming to hold all of the knowledge in the world to ‘fix you.’ Who said you were broken in the first place? Well, apparently they do. And apparently they know you better than you know yourself. Silly you.

So here’s to you.

Have you ever thought they maybe YOU have the millions of issues you try pushing down other people’s throats? Do you ever think about the way the simple words you say break the hearts of the people around you? How does it feel to turn so many people away from you? Do you even care? How does it feel to know that sometimes I wish I had never even known you? That sometimes, I want to tell you that I hate you. And that’s terrible because truly I don’t think we should hate anyone. We weren’t made for that, that’s not of us, or the Lord. But honestly, you’re probably the person that makes that word flow into my mind more than anyone. Honestly, I’m really disappointed in who you turned out to be. You’re cruel and cynical-constantly acting like you know what’s best for everyone. Well I’d like to let you in on a little secret. Everyone has a you. Everyone has a bully in their life that is a threat to the happiness they have surely succumed. Unfortunate for you, I am bound and determined to protect my happiness with everything I’ve got. So honestly, screw you. Screw your family, screw your filthy, hurtful words and screw any opinions you may ever have again. I don’t wish you well. I don’t wish you anything at all.


Whew! Who knew, certain people could be the reason for your dark days. They could be the cause of the pain in your heart. The reason that sometimes you start to dislike yourself, you start to believe in the things they speak over you. Your mind gets overtaken and it isn’t of you. It’s pure torture. There is absolutely nothing okay with it and at some point, it needs to end. People won’t have power over you unless you give it to them.

So instead, control your mind, hold your heart close and hang on. c14c3ec278a163b6b89b97f131de0291 900e18005a09a7e30882947aef3f17e1 a7f4587bd176f643df12161f2fbfca2f