April 13th, 2016

Excited about the future and all the p o s s i b i l i t i e s.

There’s so much I don’t know, so much I can’t guess. But I’m ready to try.
I think that one of the beautiful things about living is we get to choose to experience things. We get to choose to pursue people. We get to choose where we live, and how we feel about it. We get to choose to be.

For awhile I was beginning to think I had no choice in anything, but that was a lie.

I get to choose to live happily

What a blessing it is to be alive.

I don’t know about you, but looking back and reading what I wrote in the past sometimes brings me so much encouragement.

I could have written this yesterday and it would have been equally relevant. On the one hand, it’s exciting that life is always changing. On the other hand, it’s silly how often I have to relearn the same things.

This is a season of taking new steps, finishing chapters, and lots of unknowns. If April 13th, 2016 Hannah were to see me now, I think she’d be surprised at how much joy those changes brought. Maybe that’s what Jesus wants me to remember, after all.

He is always faithful, patient, and good. So, I’ll say it again:

What a blessing it is to be alive.

I Know God is With Me

Today I am thankful for God’s little gifts throughout the day, at the moments I needed them most, reminding me that no matter what is happening around me: following Him is the way to perfect peace.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” -Isaiah 26:3 NIV

When a wise, encouraging friend shows up at the perfect time to listen when I need an ear, and then says exactly what I need to hear, I know God is with me.

When my mom walks into my workplace at the exact time I’m taking my lunch break, and it’s 2:30pm, I know God is with me.

When I took a shaky step of obedience the day before a door was shut, I know God is with me.

Some days it feels like everything falls apart at once and your left with your mouth wide open and your insides shaken.

But then you remember that every day is new, and nothing happens outside of His gaze, and everything works out for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8).

My God is a God who speaks life into things that are dead and calls into being things that are not (Romans 4:17) and I started this journey by faith, and so by faith I will press on.

Because I love Him, I trust Him, and I know God is with me.

Because I’ve been reading His word and I know He is not surprised by anything, I know He is worth more than everything.

I know God is with me, and there’s nowhere else I want to be.

What I do when I’m losing my mind.

You’ve been stuck inside your house for so long you can’t remember what the sun feels like. Everything starts feeling really heavy.
You want to sleep, but you also don’t, you feel like everything’s falling apart.

Do you know what I mean?

Suddenly it makes sense to throw a 3 year old style tantrum and curl up on the floor until you find motivation to get up.
You just want to scream or cry or run away, but also do none of those things at the same time.

Anybody out there hearing this?

If you live in the Northeast, or know anyone who does, you probably know that we got a typical March Northeastern Storm this weekend. Upstate NY is used to it, but we still got hit with a solid 20 inches of snow, and it was heavy and wet enough to cause large-scale power outages across the state.

I took these pictures today, so things are already starting to melt and clear up. But yesterday went from being an exciting, novelty snow-day where my husband and I got to hangout together and be cozy in our apartment, to me feeling like I was trapped inside of a cell and I couldn’t get out.

Dramatic, I know. The brain is weird.

I had such great plans of getting my homework done early, spending time in the Word, finishing up a few projects, and watching a movie with my husband.

But then the power went out and I couldn’t do anything:

  • no homework
  • no projects
  • no productivity

As the sun went down, so did my attitude.

Even the next morning I had such a weight over me that I wanted to just give up (that was after a sweet hangout with my family and their generator, and my husband’s tireless love, praise God).

So, what could I do? I wanted to scream and cry and hide in my bed until I hated myself so much I slept for days. Real talk here.

But I didn’t. Instead, I did these 3 things:

1. I opened my blinds and let the sunshine in.

Honestly, I know myself, and when I can’t go outside and get fresh air or sunlight, I start to lose it. Yesterday proved that in a real way. SAD is a real thing, people. Just opening my blinds and feeling those rays made me realize I wasn’t completely dead yet.

2. I cleaned my kitchen table.

It wasn’t like my house was a disaster, but to me it felt like a disaster. So I cleaned my kitchen table off and made it look nice. Just that simple action of clearing a space and throwing away some trash made me feel so much lighter. I was reminded that I had today, a fresh, clean start to be productive and to get things done. Yesterday may have been a wash, but today was clean and new.

3. I turned on some worship music.

Classic spiritual warfare. I knew that a lot of my struggle was that I wasn’t reaching out for help. Instead, I was letting my negative emotions spill over and pour out on my husband (and it got kinda messy, yikes). I needed to change the atmosphere, and after doing the first two things I mentioned above, it was easier to focus on what was really necessary.

Turning on these songs helped me to remember that my struggle is not my own. It was like a baby step of obedience; by changing the atmosphere in my apartment, I was saying: “Jesus, I know You’re the One who can help me the most.


None of these ideas are new or revolutionary, nor do I consider this an exhaustive list. But, sharing my real struggle this weekend might resonate with someone. I don’t always have it all together, and multiple times I have to say, “Josh, I’m struggling”.

I realize that I am surrounded by grace, and I have a God that is so loving and patient with me. I’m thankful that my bad days aren’t who I am, nor are they the whole story.

Sometimes taking a tiny thread of motivation and doing something simple will help you remember that you’re not finished yet.

Finally, here’s a beautiful song that I feel sums this up completely; give it a listen if you want to be inspired.


Thanks for reading, you are dearly loved.


I’m sitting in the cold church, with my laptop, on an office chair, at the table that usually holds snacks on Sunday mornings and chatting teens on Friday nights; my husband is painting the nursery just down the hall. It’s 8:46 pm and I’m working on theology homework, thinking about curriculum within ministry, pondering what tomorrow’s youth group will look like, praying for direction, and sipping cold LaCroix while I’m still wearing my coat over-top of my jacket because it’s colder in here than outside.

Isn’t this the life I dreamed of having? Aren’t these little moments the ones I lived for?

I remember being 17-ish and hearing God say something along the lines of “your life is not going to be normal.

At first I thought that meant a million exciting things, and I was ready to sell everything I had and give my last dollar away to the poor. I was fired up and nothing felt more worthy than the King of Kings, Jesus, and whatever plans He had for me. But “abnormal” doesn’t always mean “special”, unless you look at it that way.

Now I realize, when I’m staying up until midnight every night pulling together all the loose ends of my days that are full of a thousand things:

maybe not being normal means saying “no” to things that most would say “Yes, yes!” to.

maybe not being normal means giving away every extra minute to try and show love to people who don’t receive it.

maybe not being normal means giving away the things that feel comfortable.

maybe not being normal means taking the risks that don’t have explanations.

In 2011 we drove over the river to bring a friend home and I heard Him so clearly,

“Do you want to walk on water?”

I said, “yes!” and thus began the greatest summer of growth I’ve ever had. It doesn’t make sense to the human mind, I can’t explain it through science or logic or simple terms. But I know Him, I trust Him, and each step I take in faith brings more joy than I can explain.

So, this week as I walked over the river, again and for the thousandth time, I felt this same sense of asking:

“Will you follow Me, no matter what?”

How can I say anything but yes?

Stay tuned, friends.

May 9th, 2016

Wanting so desperately to be heard in a world full of voices speaking so loudly, I find myself wondering: How can I speak loudly enough to be heard? How can I move mountains with a faith that is so small? How is God so backwards, and still my soul longs after His ways? What in the world has made my longings so opposite from the rest of the world?

In the midst of all the noises and rushing and striving and wondering,
I hope that there is growing and stretching and strengthening and surviving.

Because what I’m more afraid of than anything is wasting my life.

I still believe I have a fire inside.

Not much has changed, and I am okay with that.

A New Voice

We all have a story to tell.

Mine may not seem to be anything wild or exciting from the outside. But when I look deeper, I see a thread of grace being woven through my story and ultimately connecting me to the Great Story of all time.

I’ve written a lot in my past, gone through seasons of silence, and then put down words again. This time I’m deciding to actively share.

Because what I have to say doesn’t make me any better, but it does often bring some attention to Jesus.

He called me to gentleness.

He called me His Lioness.

Those things don’t automatically seem to make sense together: but then again, not a lot about Jesus makes sense to us.

So, here we go! Thanks for peeking in on my journey, I pray that whatever you happen to see here brings you closer to the Lover of all people: Jesus.

Isaiah 61.