Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Advent Services and How Hannah's Not Ready for Children

Just got back from our advent lunch service (we're doing this cool "Blues of Christmas" service lunch thingy during the noon lunch hour so business people in our church and the seniors and everyone can come. We've had a jazz pianist, a brass ensemble, the school kids --and pastor does a devo all the while you can eat your lunch... it's pretty nifty)

Today we were doing a Christmas Carol sing-a-long and along with that learned the history of some of our most popular songs. Two guitar players from our praise team were along to accompany.

Enter child--who will remain nameless to protect his identity--we'll just say his name is JA. JA is 5 years old and the son of one of the guitar players--he also goes to kindergarten here and has been known to make the Kindergarten teacher cry. Anyway, his dad asks if JA can sit by me during lunch and while we sing. I say sure, I mean how hard can it be?

Apparently, pretty hard. This child is busy! As soon as he sat down he attempted to light candles, himself, and the church on fire-not intentionally of course--he just wanted to light his individual candle. During the hour that followed was the most taxing hour of my life "no JA don't cut the table with your knife" "No you may not have a second bag of cheetos" "Please don't play the piano while they're playing guitar" "please stay out of the kitchen" "please don't light yourself on fire" etc and all the while the LWML ladies were giggling and laughing and teasing me about "not wanting children" (to which I replied "not yet").

I must say I was glad to return the child to his father (after he ran off with 4 more cans of coke).

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Grass Looks Greener

Ever heard that phrase "you always want what you can't have"? I think I have it. I have the alwayswantwhatyoucan'thave-itis (also commonly known as AWWYCH) How is AWWYCH diagnosed? Symptoms vary but can include complaining, moping, jealousy, ear aches, and lack of sleep.

Ok, I don't know about ear aches, but I do know that AWWYCH can be very dangerous--especially spiritually.

How is one diagnosed? Well, I noticed it the other evening when I first started this blog. My roommate has been saying lately that we "don't have lives". Well, having come from last year, quite easily the loneliest year of my life, having any friends at all with which to hang out with (even just watching tv at someone's apartment or having the ability to go to movies with more than just myself on a friday night) seems like such a major feat (and a major answered prayer) that hearing "I don't have a life" hits me hard because this "non life" is 100 x more than what I had last year.

Life in churchwork demands a lot of hours-- strange hours-- and on average I have 2 meetings a week plus wednesday night activities. Let's also not forget that weekends=nonexistent in church work, particularly youth ministry. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my work, my calling... because I do love youth ministry, it just makes me pretty darn busy. It also makes me pretty protective of my time off and insanely jealous of my roomie who has (for the most part) her evenings and weekends free (and apparently, is a cell phone... free nights and weekends!). I turn a little green with envy when she can hang out and watch tv at Jess's when I'm sitting through meetings.

Thinking about it though and praying about it led to some revelations. I'm happy, for the most part, with work, with my friends (i know they love me and want to see more of me--unless they're lying--jess don't answer), with my roommate, with life in general. AWWYCH is discontent disguised in a seemingly less harmful package, but it's effects on my spiritual life are just as taxing.

To me it seems like throwing all the blessings God has given me and throwing them back in His face. No, things aren't ideal, but no situation is. I would like more free time, but I knew what I was signing up for by staying at Messiah (and for that matter, Messiah has been such a huge blessing to me that the positives far out-weigh the negatives).

I also know that God has been good to this child and instead of complaining about what isn't happening, I should turn and praise the God who gives me a "storehouse full".

Good News!

"Late on a sleepy, star-spangled night, those angels peeled back the sky just like you would tear open a sparkling Christmas present. Then, with light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, they began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angels called it "Good News," and it was."

Larry Libby

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Open mouth, insert foot.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Genie in a Bottle

How many of you watched the Weavers on The Amazing Race this season? If you have, I think you'll understand my incessant need to apologize for their "praciticing" of the "Christian" faith. They upset me to the point of yelling "shut-up! shut-up! shut-up!" at the tv screen. Why? They use their faith in God as a pity card (ex. "they just hate us because we're Christian" "we'll get our reward in heaven and those cows over there will just suffer"), they use prayer like it's a Genie in a bottle "Dear Lord please let us beat this team" "dear lord let us find this so we can beat the despearate housewives"), and they twist and turn the idea of "thy will be done" into "It's God's will that we're in this race and that we're winning".

So, where am I going beyond this ranting about the Weavers? Well, seeing them in action and some other discussion over one of my past posts about prayer has got me to thinking about what I believe about the power of prayer. So, before you read on...

DISCLAIMER: You may not agree, you may think that I'm blaspheming (though I hope not), but I hope that I have some valid points about where I stand (and don't forget that it may change as I learn and grow in my faith) that being said....

On Prayer:
Apparently a little ... makes for a little controversy. This I did not know. I'll also admit that I don't know exactly how God works and why He works the way He does.

I DO KNOW however, that God has answered my prayers. Does this mean that I think God is a Genie in a bottle bent on fulfilling every whim and fancy of my heart? Of course not. Sometimes God answers the way I want. Most of the time he answers in a way that is far better for me.

I do however, think God notices passion and that he notices those who pray fervently for something. (Matthew 26:53, Matthew 21:21-22, Ephesians 3:14, Hebrews 4:15) God has been noted for changing his mind in the Bible. :) (Isaiah 38:2-5)

Example: A child asks his father for a puppy. The dad says no... that it's too much work. The child continues asking and asking, and checks out a book from the school library about puppy care. The father notices and even though he knows it isn't the right time, he gives the child a puppy. Was the father planning on giving the child a puppy? Maybe not then. But he did it because the child asked and because the child was passionate and persistent.

I think God is like that father and will give us what we ask for even if it's not what He had in mind for us. Let me make this distinction however, I still believe that it is God in His grace and love for us that had mercy and said yes to our prayer. He says "I know that this isn't the right time for this, but becase I love you, because you are asking, I will give it to you".

When the child has to hunt for the puppy that ran off in the middle of the night because they forgot to close the kennel they'll realize "Dad was right... maybe I'm not ready for a puppy".

The same is with us.

We can pray for a porsche, a gorgeous spouse and three perfect children, BUT, when we're making $700 million car payments a month or bemoaning the lack of time that we want to spend with Mr. McDreamy or missing out on our children's first step, I think we'll realize that "hmmm, maybe God was right about this not being the right time."

I know that it's not because I pray that I get what I want. It's because God loves me He gives me more than I need.

I do know that we are called to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I do know that as we mature in our walk with God our prayers will mature as well--that we will begin to pray that God does his will in our lives. (What's God's will for my life? That's another post another time)

I do know that we are called to pray. I will continue to do just that and that I will continue to "pray passionately and keep knocking"; resting comfortably in the fact that God hears, that he answers, and that it's in His grace and in His mercy that he does both.

Thanks to the very lovely spoda who helped me sort through the mess in my head as well as B, Mike and Kristi ;).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

another picture (jess lindz, me bekah and b) :) Posted by Picasa

lindsey, jess, me, bekah and bethany at ajanta cuisine of india Posted by Picasa

me and my beautiful college roomie bethany!  Posted by Picasa

It's National Hug Your Youth Worker Day!

It's not really, but I won't turn down free hugs :)

When any of you walk into my office you'll see that it isn't very clean. My youth tease me about it, so does our church administrator. It's actually quite embarrassing b/c I'm a clean person, I really am (my office just doesn't reflect that... I don't have time to pick it up everyday and piles represent stuff that I'm currently working on). Anyway, so today, one of the pastor's from another church comes in to say hi before a meeting he has at our church. He walks in and says "Wow" and me assuming the worst say apologetically "I know, it's messy" and he replied "no, I was just going to say that you must be really busy." I felt totally wrong-footed, but felt understood. Yes, I am busy... That's why my office is messy, that's why there are piles and it was nice to have someone understand that.

It's amazing how much sincere praise (like someone noticing my messy desk and assuming I'm working hard instead of that I'm simply a slob) can affect my day . Sometimes this is a thankless job. Sometimes I feel totally bogged down by the tedium that can be youth ministry (all the paperwork!). Sometimes it is hard to work and work well, but when someone takes the time to offer sincere praise (like one of my girls who told me I make the Bible come alive to them) I can live on it for months... and it's sincere praise that reminds me that why I'm doing what I am in the first place.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Our group at Ok'd! :) Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 02, 2005

Lindsey's Birthday! (From left Me, Jess, Bekah and Lindsey--wearing the crown)Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Emergent Ministry

Confession: I'm addicted to reading other people's blogs and as I was blog-surfing today through blogs of my friends and blogs of old classmates I had an epiphany. Recorded on the internet is the early work of what is a powerful and emergent generation of pastors, dces, teachers, missionaries, and deaconesses (deaconi?).

As I was reading these blogs I was thinking about their owners and realized that the face of ministry is changing in the LCMS.... and it's just beginning.

We're not the same as our predecessors... give us 20 years and you'll see a very different Lutheran church than the one here today.

Monday, November 21, 2005

It's All About You!

Ok'd is over! It's crazy to believe that after 10 months of planning and praying, ok'd is over! It seemed very well received--even if there were bad bad actors acting the drama i wrote. Below are some highs and lows of the weekend.

1. Messiah youth--thanks to all my youth that went and for making my weekend great. you don't know how blessed I am b/c of you.
2. Listening to the Now music collection (5-19) on the way back from Ok'd. Can we say flashback to high school? (or when my kids were 6!). Of particular significance is that HD knew EVERY WORD of every song. impressive. 3 stars :)
3. I heart Todd. The end :)
4. Hanging out with the lovely Jessica W. and lunching with her and her adhd friend Carl. "look there's a --look over there at the--I'm hungry!" lol.
5. Seeing the drama i wrote come to life. (though we could have had better actors. note to self for next year)
6. Dinner at Chili's (and taking up the full length of the building) and free spinach dip and seeing Chester order a blooming onion and strawberry margarita cheesecake.
7. Tim Woolery as a counselor. He's great. I heart tim.
8. Panic Squad and winning scottish jeopardy. It's great.
9. QT to get milkshakes in the middle of november.
10. Hanging out in the halls saturday night. (even though it was a fired hazard and jenny kept was fun)
11. "do you think that the top part of the glass ever feels neglected? It never gets used! It's not fulfilling it's purpose!"
12. Seeing my group grow closer to each other.
13. Amy L up on stage with panic squad.
14. Zach S. sharing in small group time.
15. The song Journey by one of the high school speakers
16. "that's a good idea--force other christians to lie to you:)" Lacey on the way to ok'd
17. Drummer jokes over the walkie-talkie

1. not spending as much time with my youth as i would have liked.
2. bad attitudes
3. psycho driver on the way
4. having the spare stolen sometime during the weekend and having to pay $450! to replace it.
5. Zach M. getting sick. :( poor guy.

Overall--there were more highs than lows and I think that it was a good weekend. i heart my kids and the oklahoma district :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Spoda's revelations

Ok, so spode had some good revelations on my last post:

*there is a thin line to walk between praying passionately for the things your heart desires and asking God for a brand new car. Go ahead and pray for your heart's desire

*eli was touched by hannah's passion that's why he said "God give you what you ask" and sent her off in peace... not necessariy b/c her desires matched Gods.

*the idea that God will give you what you ask if it's in line with his desires at the right time isn't exactly biblical... So spode concluded that we should pray passionately and keep knocking :)

*Ive done a lot of praying (complaining maybe) about certain things, but I dont know that I've ever directly asked. so maybe I'll try that and see what happens. the worst thing God can say is no and that usually turns out for the better.

* other thoughts: God's answered most of my requests before. case in point: I asked for a non-lutheran christian friend that was involved in church and that seeked to please God with their lifestyel (but one that wasn't too "goody goody" to go out to the bars with me:))and God gave me my friend lindsey (and answered my somewhat selfish prayers for a roommate and for jess to live in the city). So... there ya have it folks. God does answer prayer.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Untitled--feeling pensive

I'm giving you my heart
All that is within
Lay it all down
For the sake of you my king
I'm giving you my dreams
Laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride
For the promise of new life

And I surrender
All to you
All to you

I'm singing you this song
Waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear
Count it all as loss
The sake of knowing you
Glory of your name
Know the lasting joy
Even sharing in your pain

And I surrender
All to you
All to you

We sang this song a couple of times at pRAISE at concordia. Oh how i miss pRAISE and the fellowship and the worship there. I really think I truly understood what Christian community was during pRAISE and during the Bible study that I went to my freshman and sophomore year. God prepared me in ways i don't understand and for a future I can't see during those events.

I think that God is trying to get my attention and has been for the past couple of weeks and He hasn't been terribly subtle. How, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. :) In the past two weeks I have used the story of Hannah as an example for prayer in two bible studies (once my choice, once not my choice), led a chapel message on it, heard it in confirmation on Wednesday night and am teaching the story to the 4-6th grade religion class on Tuesday. Crazy. God couldn't be more obvious if he was holding up a flashing sign that said "Hannah Louise I'm talking to you". So, the Hannah of the bible has always been a role model for me (and not just because she has a great name) but because of her amazing story. And for those of you that haven't heard the story in a while, I'll recap it for you and then I'll get back to the song up there. I promise :).

So hannah's married to this guy and he has another wife. The other wife Peninnah (your guess on pronunciation is as good as mine) has kids, which is great, but Hannah can't have kids... but her husband loves her more. Every year they all go to the temple and after the sacrifice they have a big meal. Hannah's husband gives her a double portion of the food b/c he loves her so much and b/c she can't have children. Well this ticks Peninnnah off so she pokes and pokes at Hannah and makes her cry and she has no appetite. Then... quoted from the message version,

" 8Her husband Elkanah said, "Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren't you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?"
9So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to GOD's Temple in the customary seat. 10Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to GOD and cried and cried--inconsolably. 11Then she made a vow:
Oh, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you'll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you'll quit neglecting me and go into action for me
By giving me a son,
I'll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I'll set him apart for a life of holy discipline."

As she is praying, the priest eli comes up and sees her weeping and praying and thinks she's drunk. When he confronts her, she says that she is not drunk, she is pouring her soul to the Lord. Eli, touched by her honesty blesses her and says "may God give you what you ask for" and sends her off in peace.

Not long later, Hannah becomes pregnant and she keeps her promise and brings young Samuel to the temple so he may begin his service. Samuel may have only been 2 or 3 years old!

Moral of the story and moral for my life? Hannah wasn't afraid to ask God for what she truly wanted. However, it doesn't stop there. Not only is Hannah not afraid to ask for her heart's desire, she's unafraid to give it back to God. Can you imagine. This child she is asking for is not only her "first fruit" (as abel offered in Genesis) but may very well be her only. Solamente. yet she makes the offer to God and she keeps her bargain.

Moral for my life? I think that God is like Elkanah, like a faithful loving husband giving me double portions of a feast I cannot eat, because I am looking at what I do not have and now He is saying to me " why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than your selfish desires?"

The answer should be yes, but this willful child gets lost in the things I think i need and the things I think I want but God is reminding me that He should be all I want, all I need. That's where the song comes in. I want to surrender. I want to give God my dreams and lay down the rights I have to this life and let him work through them and mold them so that they match his own. But I have to be willing to surrender. Am I?

I mentioned two blogs ago that I need a recommitment and I think this not so subtle message from God is exactly what I need.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chris Tomlin--Indescribable

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and
You love me the same
You are amazing God You are amazing God

Monday, November 07, 2005


for a while now, I've been wrestling with contentedness.

i'm not sure why its hitting now or its a yearly thing about this time of year (b/c I'm sure that if I look back at old blogs that I moped about the same things about this time a year ago), but contentedness escapes me.

Stuff at work is fine, i think, and I'm not sure if I'm doing what I'm supposed to. i'm not really getting much feedback if I'm doing a good job or if I'm doing anything. There are things I know that i can do better and I face my toughest critics sometime next week when i have my staff review. I'm nervous b/c I just feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel frustrated. I feel tired. I feel like there aren't enough hours that I'm working to get it all done.

My social life is there and thanks to Jess moving to Oklahoma City, I now have another buddy around. yay! im so glad she's here. i feel blessed that God continues to answer the prayers of his child that hasn't been that intent on spending time with him. So to my friends and my roommate--thanks for the blessing you've been in my life these past months. Another thanks is due to my wonderful friends from college--for sticking with me even if we disagree.

I've been longing for my future husband mightily these past couple weeks, wishing he were here, wishing that on my drives home that it was him i was driving home to. In my moments of weakness and loneliness, I keep thinking I should call or email a certain someone who resides in the great city of topeka (the place from which my lovely spoda hails), but in the words of Chandler there might be a "can open, worms all over the place"--and I don't really want an open can of worms to clean up. (which, when you think about it, makes no sense to me. who carries around a can of worms? ewww)

More importantly, my spiritual life is pretty..... well it's sucky. I've only half-heartedly attempted to crack my bible open and to journal my prayers, and when i pray aloud it feels stilted... like I'm talking to a stranger or to a friend I've lost contact with and am wondering what to talk about.... which is great for someone who works in the church.

More than anything I need a recommitment in my life to God, to my work, to my youth, to myself, friends and yes even my future husband. I am only as strong and as capable as the power of Christ in me....

In other news, Leon the neon is no longer. He has been traded off to the big parts business in the sky. I now drive a 2003 VW Bug (dark gray with cute little pink flowers in the vase):) it's waay cute and i'm thinking of naming it betty or bob. I'm leaning towards betty, but will take any suggestions of cute b names. :) (i dont think i can name it bethany though.. it would be weird to have a car and a friend both named bethany...thats kind of like naming your dog the same thing as your child)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Part 2

i think that us girls all have a boy to which we are addicted, to which we will keep going back to.
Without naming names, we know who they are, we know what they do to us, and why it's not a good idea to go back to them, yet we go back.

Why? I'm don't really have an answer other than the fact that they know us. They know our faults and our flaws and still like us, still want to be with us. and that's addictive. For whatever reason, we let them have our hearts and they can take them and stomp all over them, yet given the chance, we still would give our hearts to them again and again and again.

Why? I don't know. I do know that I think we deserve better.

Grr I say.. grr to boys

Ok, so a second title for this post could be. Questions to ask yourself regarding dumb boys.

I was up and restless all night thinking about a friend of mine. And without going into the specifics, I'm upset at the boy in her life. And there's nothing I can do about it. So I'm going to journal. Questions to ask yourself before getting involved (or getting involved again).

1.What will be different this time that will make it worth you spending your time/energy/trust on this person?

Ok there's really only one question on there, but I can't type the rest without sounding mean and judgmental. So grrr I say grr to boys.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Ok, so there's been some confusion from my last post. It was not, repeat not, meant to say that I'm being left behind while all my friends are hooking up. I don't feel left behind by those of you that are dating, getting married, having babies. It just seems like those things are events that happen to people who are old, mature and when there are people my age who are doing those things, and I'm still single, it just seems surreal. read carefully: I'm very happy for you who are dating, engaged, married, pregnant, buy a house and pets and I value the wisdom and experience that ya'll have when my day comes.

I just wish it would come a bit sooner. :) I don't want to be the only person changing diapers when everyone else's kids are in college :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ladder Climber

I want to be a ladder climber but I think my first rung is broken :)

Anyway, so my friend lindsey and I were talking the other night about levels that people are on relationally. We both agree that we do well with the people who are single--people on our level.

Then comes the people who are dating--on a separate level, but we can relate to them b/c 1)they still stress about boys--though its usually the same one and 2) they haven't climbed another rung. It's just one rung ahead of us.

Then there's the engaged people... another level b/c it implies commitment, but really not so far off that it changes things, and there's still the hope that we can catch up.

then comes marriage. This is the point where I stop relating because I don't understand it, I haven't been to the point where I say "I want to marry this man". And I'm not just talking about the wedding itself, because quite honestly, I can dress myself up in a white dress and pick 6 friends to dress up in the same dress, but i dont have the guy that made the commitment that makes me want to wear a white dress and pick 6 friends to dress up in the same dresses. I don't have the guy that wants to spend forever with me. I can't imagine the benefits of marriage having never experienced the benefits of a real relationship. That's like 5 ladder rungs ahead of me. I can't climb that fast and really, I'd probably displace a hip trying.

After marriage things change. Priorities shift, and people start to grow up. They start thinking in pairs, start finding couples to be friends with, start having babies (another level I dont even want to think about!) and start hanging out with families! It amazes me that there are people my age who have babies (people who i knew single, dating, engaged, married, and now parents) and all this time I have been single, single, single, single. I'm not complaining, b/c God has taught me patience and has taught me the blessing of friends I might not have learned if I had been married with babies by now. However, it does seem like I'm stuck in level one while friends are moving up to levels 6 and 7 and then it gets harder to hold close to them.

So to all my first ladder rung level friends--thanks for sticking it out on the bottom rung :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I've been everywhere man...

Well I haven't been everywhere, but I definately have been to North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas this past weekend.

My friend Jen just got married and I caught the bouquet at the reception! YES! that means I'm next in line. Next in line with whom and when is still a mystery. It was really nice to see some Concordia friends again, including the lovable, rational spoda. Once again we had to convince her that she is NOT (read this carefully spoda) wearing pants to her wedding. Other items of interest were meeting the groom, the man that jen will spend the rest of her life with. He seems like a really nice guy and they seem (for what little time I saw of them) to be a good match for each other. Jen was beautiful and her sister gave a really nice speech. My favorite line was "now I know that Jen got way more than the perfect ken for her" awww.

What else is going on? Well lots of things have happened in the past couple weeks, not that I've been around really to process any of it. we had fall camp with our 8th grade confirmands (we do a high ropes course with them) and it's really cool to see the growth from the beginning of the weekend to the end of the weekend. After that I was wisked away to the lovely land of watonga oklahoma for our churchworker conference. I didn't go to a single session (And before you yell and say I'm a bad churchworker, would YOU want to learn how to write advent sermon texts bases on the greek and hebrew--bethany don't answer that). Instead we dce's hung out and did district gathering business (t minus 3 weeks!) and other such things. My roommate Zeal (yes first name zeal, last name beale... another story another time) is an intern at a church in tulsa. I really like her. She's got lots of passion for her job and for Christ and the ministry that he's doing through her. I'm glad she was around and was my roommate.

After watonga, I headed back to okc and then it was up to the snowy north (yes it snowed... yuck... I'm such a southerner now). And now I'm back. So, overall, since my last post, life has been busy, but good. I did have a lunch date set up a couple weeks ago which was fine, but really nothing terribly exciting happened. no sparks.

Before I sign off here, I want to share a true story from youth ministry...

sunday night hannah is watching desperate housewives:
phone rings

Hannah: hello?
Zach ming: (youth who is always right... just ask him he'll tell you and give you a three fold reason... tried to pick up boys for me at the mall) HANNAH!
Hannah: ZACH!
Zach: I have a question. Remember how we were talking about harry potter before sunday school the other day and you agreed that dumbledore's death was a conspiracy? Well, I'm trying to convince my friend I'm right. In the book there's a part where snape and dumbledore were arguing. Do you know what page thats on?
Hannah: umm no Zach I don't
Zach: well don't you have your book?
Hannah: not right this second
Zach: well find it. Ok bye

10 minutes later the phone rings again.
Zach: Hannah its on page 404 if you're ever curious. bye.

gotta love that kid.

Well that's all of my post for today! More later when I'm not too tired to be insightful! ;)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Feels like fall, feels like love

I think there's something in air when the weather gets cooler. Fall reminds me of raking leaves, long walks, hot chocolate, hay rides, campfires, big bulky sweaters, new blue jeans, and for some strange reason, love. Maybe it's because it gets dark sooner and the weather holds a chill I want to be spending that time indoors with someone I love.

I think fall creates in me this feeling of longing for my hand to be held by my future husband.
I was talking to Bekah about it tonight as we walked around our apartment complex and we both agree that we're ready to settle. About how we want our next relationship to be spent with the men we will marry.

Related but random story: (it does have a point I promise) I made a promise to my dear pot that this kettle would not gratuitously make out with a boy unless he took me out on a date. A real, dinner date. Why? well, you see I've had a lot of first kisses but never seconds and that's because I've never kissed a boy I've been in a relationship with. I want that guy thats worth a second kiss to be the boy I marry. I'm ready for fall nights such as these to be spent with my husband and my kids.

So it comes back down to trust and patience. Patience in the God that makes the seasons, and trust that the God that creates a time and season for everything will create a time and season for my heart to love. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Piss and Moan

I realized yesterday that I have done an overabundance of complaining about my single situation. Well here is my resolution.

No longer will I piss and moan about my single state! I will be content!

In all seriousness, I hate whiners and that's what I've been this past month. So things didn't work out like I wanted. I got rejected. Yes, it sucks, and yes, boys can be retarded, and yes they can make you want to tear your hair out, but I'm done complaining about it. I'm done! It is my prayer that God teaches me how to be content and focused on the ministry before me at Messiah.

Confession: I made a "deal" with God back in June, after I had a bit of a meltdown (it's recorded here) I said "OK God, I'll focus on youth ministry really whole-hearterdly until October and then you can give me a man. Silly. It's almost October and I haven't kept up my end of the bargain. "Focused" may be the last word to describe my work ethic. Why should God keep up his end of the bargain?

At the beginning of Junior year at Concordia, I really felt that God asked me to give up the idea of dating boys, of looking for a boyfriend (I sound like I'm on the prowl don't I) for a year. Well, I sort of did that... with the full expectation that God would drop mr. future husband in my lap August 28, 2003 (the day my no boy year was up). Silly.

I've learned, and am continuing to learn that I just need to trust. Lack of trust is a lack of faith one of my professors once told me and my unfaith in God's ability to work is astounding. "oh you of little faith" Do I not trust that God will work in my life? Why not? Hasn't he worked before? Hasn't he answered your prayers? Are you afraid of a no? Do you not trust that God's ways are higher than yours? That in his "no" he may bless more than in his "yes?" You of little faith, why don't you trust?

You out there in blog-land, hold me to my challenge to not piss and moan about my single state as of today September 29, 2005. This does not mean that I'm not going to take opportunities to change it, but I'm not going to complain or worry about it. God's got it. Remind me of that.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Just got back from Dallas. I love the newlyweds. They should have their own sitcom. Here is a true account from my adventures wtih Laura and Josh.

(laura is sitting on floor by couch playing with Josh's army hatchet)
Laura: (hitting hatchet on leg) wow this is really sharp. I bet I could chop off my leg or at least my toe. I'm really tempted to try it!
Josh: Give me the hatchet so you don't hurt yourself. It's not a toy
Laura hands hatchet to Josh. Josh takes hatchet and hits it on the wooden arm of the couch and cracks it.
Josh: (Looks up suprised) Wow this really is sharp!

Ahh the newlyweds. I thought this was hilarious.

I suppose you're wondering about the title of my blog. Well I'll tell you. Everyone once in a while... just every once in a while, I start to wonder if there is something inherently wrong with me, something profoundly undateable. Normally I am content. This weekend brought up some weird emotions.

I usually just think of myself as just me and see people as individuals. When I'm around a couple, I see people as with or without. Last night I felt deeply without. I wanted someone to hold my hand at the movies, someone to do the million little things that mean nothing and something all at once, wished a boy would simply return my email. It was so frustrating. And, confession: I cried. Not a lot and not for a real reason, but I did. Because I was without.

Sorry i don't have a happier post. More another time.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Well after another rousing OU loss yesterday and a lazy evening watching property ladder and other such programming with linz and bekah, I was feeling kind of pensive, I guess. So, I hopped in leon the neon and after ordering a venti mocha rasberry frappucino, I headed back hom. I think it was just one of those saturdays where you need a cup of coffee and a friend more familiar and more comforting than a good book. So, I called Jamie and we talked. It's nights like those where I miss the familiar haunts of seward where a friend is only a few blocks (instead of a few states and canadian provinces) away. I miss the habit of wandering seward streets till 1-2-3 in the morning and talking about nothing and everything, looking at stars, and having the feeling that you owned the town, if only for that night. Walking was what you did when you couldn't sleep, were mad at someone, interested in someone, needed to talk something out, needed to cry, needed a laugh, needed to be there for someone else. Some of my favorite memories happened on walks.

Last night was one of those seward night walks, but not being in seward, I grabbed my phone and called my Jamie and we talked about nothing and everything and laughed and i felt like I owned the balcony on which I sat, if only for the moment.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hannah-lysis No. 4

Hannah-lysis is the name of my blog when I can't think of a more creative title.

Well another week has flown by (my week officially ends on thursday in the churchworker world, b/c my day off for the week are fridays... so my weekend is thursday through saturday)

Tomorrow night Lindz, Bekah and I are going to go see Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon. Yay I'm pumped

My friend Jamie says that she's a girly girl when it comes to guys (well ONE guy in particular) but I think that we all are, aren't we? Even girls with vulcan logic and a deathgrip on reality like my "more sarcastic than House" friend julianna gets "GIRLY" when it comes to boys (she'll deny it but it's a true story. Ask her about the email that she didn't have the guts to respond to ;)) It's one thing to look at someone else's relationship and say "well you obviously need to do this" but when your own hearts involved or has the potential to get involved it gets a lot messier.

Confession: I'm usually good at not overreacting but, I'm totally guilty of overanalyzing most boy situations till it's blown out of proportion or until my friends have to say "HANNAH JUST SHUT UP" (usually its vulcan jules that comes out with that one--jamie and I just overanalyze together). Why do the right boys have the capability to turn normal sensical girls into puddles of mush?

I'm not any closer to finding the answer to this, but if you know it please tell me :)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I fought the drums...

And the drums won :)

This past weekend was the annual middle school retreat at Camp Lutherhoma in Tahlequah. I'm exhausted but I had a blast. This was one of the big events that I went on last year as a brand new baby intern and it is amazing what can happen in one year, in my life, in other's lives. I have been blessed beyond belief here in Oklahoma when I stop to think about it. God has blessed me with an amazing church, good friends, and great kids with which to spend my weekend.

As much fun as the kids had this weekend, it is my prayer that they took some of the Bible study stuff to heart. The theme this weekend was "Be all you can be--in God's army" And Steve another DCE in the district talked about putting on the full armor of God and how we can be soldiers of the light, fitted for battle. One of the things that really hit me and I hope it hit the middle schoolers too was that we're witnesses and that there is someone in our lives already that God is calling us to witness to. Well that got me. For those of you that know me, you know this last month has been an exercise in the patience I prayed for last year. It's been hard and I admit that I feel a little lost about what do now. The story didn't play out like I thought it would, but I'm not giving up hope... Instead, I can continue to pray. I dont feel like God's closed the door, but I may not get the answer I want. That's frustrating, but it's ok. I hope that God can use this to open doors for me to be a witness. We'll see what happens.

Other things from this weekend. I had to be mean Hannah (yes she does exist and I don't really like her, but sometimes she's necessary) to some snotty kids who tested my authority all Saturday afternoon. Not only mine, but Bekah and Jess's too. WITH THEIR ADULTS AROUND. Anyway. I was glad crisis was adverted when mean hannah reared her ugly head. Other than that mean Hannah had to appear this morning to break up a fight between sisters in my group when they resulted to kicking each other lol. It was kind of funny. The rest of the weekend was great though. So thanks to Erin, Ashlee, Brennah , Devin, Sutton, Philip, Sam and Carol Ann for a great time. Thanks to Joe and Bekah for the adult help. :)

I realized more fully that I am NOT A CAMP PERSON. I heart lutherhoma, but it was not as posh as Heits point in missouri where laura and josh got married. Anyway, Ill be ready to head back out there 2 more times this fall and once in January after I recouperate from this weekend.

I hope you enjoyed the ramblings! More later! Night!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


This is on the new Casting Crowns CD called "Life song"


empty hands held high
such small sacrifice
if not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

may the words I say
and the things I do
make my lifesong sing
bring a smile to you

let my lifesong sing to you
let my lifesong sing to you
i want to sign your name to the end of each day
knowing that my heart was true
let my lifesong sing to you

Lord I give my life
a living sacrifice
to reach a world in need
bring a smile to you

so may the words I say
and the things I do
make my lifesong sing to you


Ok, well, it's been a rather hectic two weeks in my life.

This whole youth ministry thing has been a rollercoaster ride and I feel like I may be getting sick from the twists and turns. It seems like there have been more downs than ups and I'm feeling a little discouraged by that. Alot of it is my fault though. I don't know what the deal is. I feel like real DCE-dom is not as great as internship. I know it's not a numbers game but I can't help but feel responsible when only 4 kids show up to something... maybe it's my lack of communication, but I know info has been out there. I feel like I'm making the same mistakes because of the same reasons that get me all the time.

Anyway enough with the ranting, that really only is a part of the title of the blog. The honorable President of our district, Paul Hartmann, says that his life and ministry are based on three P's Prayer, Persistence, Patience. To me, they're all inter-related. For example, I want to get married someday, however, I'm not seeing anyone, and I don't really think there are any serious prospects out there (unless you dear blog reader are one,in which case you should leave me a comment :)), so I pray. I pray for my singleness, for my future husband, for patience. I pray with persistence. During this time that I'm praying, I see God work, b/c he's given me the hope of my future husband and he's building in me patience.

Back to them being inter-related. I dont think you can pray without persistence if it's something you really want or something you think God has placed on your heart. By praying for something that persistently, God's going to develop in you the patience and the persistence to keep praying. see how that goes full circle? cool huh?

Ok kids, it's dinner time. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Deadened by Destruction

5"Look around at the godless nations. Look long and hard. Brace yourself for a shock. Something's about to take place and you're going to find it hard to believe."
Habakkuk 1:5 (The message)

How much destruction can you see before you simply stop feeling? As I continue to watch the news coverage of things happening in New Orleans I cannot tear my eyes away, but at the same time, I wonder why don't I feel anything? When 9/11 happened I had emotions all over the place: anger, sadness, hope, fear and more. I watched anxiously when Florida was hit by hurricane after hurricane, cried when the tsunami hit, watched in grief as the Israelies were evacuated from their homes in gaza... but this,as we watch New Orleans sink into the sea like Atlantis, I only watch in shock and awe and wonder what next? My prayer today is "How much can we handle God before we break? Before we turn to You and ask for help?" It feels like the end times, but maybe it's just a bad year.

God, come to our aide.

And then some...

Hello blog, it's been awhile.

I really don't have anything profound to write, but feel the need, so here are some updates on my life and then some... (hence the title:)).

Life as full-time DCE & Y at Messiah is different. I feel alternately excited and terrified of the job I've been called to do and some days feel so terribly unqualified I think that I might just fail. I have however, seen some of the good things that God has done through me in the past year, but it's all about the baby steps.

Life is different and the same here. Different in the fact that Kristy has moved, I have a roommate, and I've moved apartments. Life is same in the fact that Oklahoma City has crept up behind me and made itself my home in this past year, same in the fact that I am working with people I have grown to love, and same that I am able to continue to minister to those that I have worked with in the past.

I've learned alot this past month as a "called and commissioned" DCE (ask Jamie to do the hand symbols we made up sophomore year) :), but maybe the thing I've learned the most is that God is still teaching me patience.

Patience as I learn this new role, patience as I grow up, patience as I wait for my future husband. The waiting for that last part is getting harder as I watch more of my friends get married and I am still here single, hoping God will answer that prayer. BUT... God has never let me down in the past, so I trust he's got that under control.

I've also gained an acute awareness and pain on my heart--Bill Hybels of Willow Creek calls it Holy Discontent: Something that wrecks your heart so much so that it sets a fire in you to fix it. Mine is this: the fact that there are people that turn away from the church because they've been told they're not holy enough, nice enough, they don't give enough, dress correctly, pray correctly, commune correctly, behave nicely. I hurt for the people that have never and may never experience a loving Christian community built on true compassion and care. The church is not a museum for the saints it's a hosptital for sinners (shout-out to mollie j fisher from whom I stole that phrase) and it breaks my heart that there are those people out there that will never see church as a place where they can go and be healed and forgiven in Christ's name. Bill Hybels (who talked about his at a leadership summit I was at) said that chances are that if this hurts me, then this wrecks God as well and he's placed this burden on my heart because he's gifted me to use me and make some changes.

How awesome, how humbling, that God burdens and blesses with the same thing.

And maybe that's the moral of this blog. Through each burden comes a blessing, in each burden there is blessing.

"sometimes you pray for God to act, knowing that his answer may be no"
(one of the ladies from my congregation said this regarding her husband who died from his 2 month battle with cancer)

I pray that God can use me in His "no", His "yes", His "later"

Well that's all for tonight... This definately included the "and then some" :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hannah-lysis: part 3

This is going to be the title of my blog from now on me thinks. :) I haven't written in a heap long time.

What's new? well I'm glad you asked. As of July 15, I'm the new official DCE & Y at Messiah Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City Oklahoma... yes, the girl who cried when she found out that she was going to OK is staying. I also moved apartments, have a roommate and am adjusting to the full-time permanence of my job. More on that another time. It's been up and down, but I think it's starting to level out.

Praise the Lord

That's my thought. I stumbled on the Psalms today for something I'm working on for Water-ski weekend and I noticed something I hadn't noticed before about Psalms 146-150. They all start and end with Praise the Lord. I started reading them, then realized that yeah, they still dealt with crap in the middle, like being defeated and going to war and such, but the psalms never failed to end with Praise the Lord.

It hit me then that David's got it figured out. Life isn't perfect, but that shouldn't give us an excuse not to praise. It's easy for me to complain and be annoyed about lots of stuff, but if I were to make this change in attitude, this "praise the lord" change of heart wouldn't life be more joyous? wouldn't i have less reason to complain?

My goal and challenge for myself this week and for you all too, is to remember that no matter what happens in your week, good or bad, we still have a reason to praise.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."
Praise the Lord

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Grace Like Rain

I love the image of God's grace falling like rain washing us clean inside and out. There is something quite beautiful about it.

It's been quite a while since I've posted and a lot has happened since then. It seems like God is still teaching me that He's got things figured out and I need to let him take control of my life so He can do the things He wants with me.

For those of you that know me, you know that May was quite a month, namely because of my acceptance of the call to serve as DCEY at Messiah. Yay!

Back to the title of the blog. It's comforting to know that through all the times I struggle, God's grace overflows in my life and washes away doubt, fear, loneliness and pain. This past month has been a rollercoaster. My best friend here is moving away and since she's mentioned it, I've dealt with this incredible loneliness--in a deep way like I've not experienced before. I've also really really struggled with feelings of regret and loss over a friendship and possible relationship i willingly walked away from. I have been second guessing myself (mainly out of the loneliness I wrote about already) Did I make the right choice? Was I listening for God to speak in this or was I simply afraid to take the chance?

I'm also struggling with my singleness more than i have this year. I worry that I'll never get married, that I've missed my chance, that God never has had marriage in his plans for me. This has been an out and out battle this week including me telling God, in tears, "God this is a desire of my heart, why aren't you answering?"

Ahh, but here's the catch, as reminded by my friend Kristy. GOD IS ANSWERING... just not the way I want him to. She said this, "Maybe its God's plan for you to be single right now because he wants to use you to the best of his ability, because he knows that when you meet your future husband it'll happen so fast, things at your church will need to be able to run on their own so that you can be distracted by him"

I'm ok with that answer. It's not the typical cliche of "nows not the right time" and I can wait and let God use me, let Him live his dreams through me in a more intense way while he readies my husband for me.

I want to be that clay that God can mold and use.

I also feel God telling me to wait, to be patient for a little while longer. I know that God wants to bless every aspect of my life, especially my ministry, and to be honest, I want that to grow and flourish and have blessing upon blessing poured out upon that. I want to be a witness to the youth I encounter of God's grace in my life, so I have to start acting and living and believing that he is actively working in my life.... even if I cannot see it.

So, that's where I am right now. happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Our dentist's clinic, nurse's office and church all rolled into one tiny casa! Posted by Hello

The view from Patrita and Beto's roof Posted by Hello

Playing Ball while waiting for the dentista.  Posted by Hello

Me and Nora (pronounced Norda) isn't she cute? Posted by Hello

The group outside Patrita and Beto's house in El Manto  Posted by Hello

Margy and I with one of the ladies we helped while in Mexico. She was my favorite! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Vending Machine Theory

My dear friend Julianna Shults (dutch, not german) has this theory that a relationship is like one big vending machine, and I think it has a lot of value. Let's take a look at the rules of the vending machine that I'm learning and have learned.

1. Don't put in crumpled up dollar bills. When investing in a vending machine you want to make sure that your dollar bills are crisp. If you keep trying to shove that crumpled up wad it's going to get rejected. How does this relate to dating? Take time to straighten yourself out before looking for that special candy bar. If you're all crumpled and messed up, the boy that you attract will be too... or he'll just reject you. So use the corner of the vending machine to iron out that dollar bill. You'll be appreciated a lot more.

2. Don't pay $1.00 for something that costs $.65. If you want a 65 cent bag of skittles that's all you need to pay to get your bag of skittles. If you keep investing your money you lose it and the candy is gone pretty quick. Disclosure alert: don't invest so much into a new relationship that you are completely lost if it goes anywhere (how much is too much? you need to have physical boundaries and seriously, don't tell someone on your first date about your foot fungus). The boys will panic and run in the other direction. Skittles all over the floor... that's a mess.

3. Don't shake the vending machine. I know it's tempting to shake the vending machine to get some free goodies, but you could end up with lemon heads or worse beechnuts (you know that $.25 stuff at the bottom? There's a reason that it's there and it's cheap. All the good stuff is at the top) Don't try to stick your hand into the vending machine as you will surely need amputation to save your arm. Wait on God's timing. He'll make it clear to you when it's time to grab that piece of candy.

4. Don't settle for the bottom row of snacks. Why settle for beechnuts when you can go for the quality potato skins at the top? You deserve the best and don't think that 3 packs of beechnuts equals one bag of potato skins. Go for quality, not quantity. It may cost a little bit more money, but you won't get sick from candy that's been sitting around the vending machine for 11 years. Bottom line. You deserve someone who will treat you well. Don't settle.

5.Sometimes the vending machine won't give you candy, no matter how much change you put in. The vending machine won't always yield returns, whether it be a bag of lay's sour cream and onion chips that gets stuck on the wheel or the change that is eaten by the machine. In this case, leave the vending machine alone for a while. Maybe it's time for a fast from junk food. Chips can be unhealthy and make you bloated. Coincidentally so can the opposite sex. Maybe it's not the right time to be dating, which leads into tip #6.

6. Don't select something until you know what you want. There's nothing more annoying than someone going up to the vending machine and having no clue what they want to eat. They stand there and ponder and fret about the right decision. Am I hungry for salt or for sugar? Fruit snacks or chex mix? Am I hungry for chocolate or for jolly ranchers? If you know what you are craving you can hit the vending machine with confidence that you've made the right decision. Don't get into something until you know what you want and what you can bring to the relationship. If you don't know what you have to offer or what you're looking for you'll make a lot of bad decisions. Make your choice and move on.

7.Sometimes you make the wrong choice so don't continue to eat the candy. Sometimes it seems like you have made the perfect choice. You were hungry for animal crackers so you put in your 50 cents and open the bag and are about to sample the elephant when you realize what you really want are the animal crackers with sprinkles and frosting. Do you continue to munch on plain lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) simply because it's close to what you want? NO. If what you want are the frosted and sprinkled animal crackers go for those. Someone else may want the regular crackers. Just because someone is close to what you want doesn't mean he or she is. Regular animal crackers can never be frosted animal crackers, just like crem brulee can never be jello (name that movie!) It's best for both if you can set the bag down before you finish it and move on so there are less animals running around without heads for the next person. Chances are that what you're casually munching on is someone else's snack of preference and you want to leave it intact for them. They deserve it as much as you do. Seriously, how would you like it if your bag of goldfish crackers that you had wanted for so long was smashed into pieces?

8. Don't eat too fast or you'll get sick. So you've finally selected the perfect piece of candy. Don't scarf it down! Take time and enjoy that candy so that you can have a lasting relationship. Don't rush ceratin parts unless you know that the candy is ok with it. Make the choice with your partner to talk about your relationship and the speed you want it to go. If you go too fast you'll end up with heartburn and you'll just get burned. Be honest with the person you're seeing. Don't talk about marriage unless you're both ready. Set physical limits (only one m & m at a time folks!). To be honest, what's fast for some people is slow for others, but make sure you are both on the same page. But this I know for sure: if you devour the candy too quickly it sets you up for heartbreak especially if you haven't taken the time to examine the bag. There may be a sweepstakes you could win that you miss if you're devouring the candy too quickly.

9. Enjoy it! God has created us to share this life with someone else, so know that the right candy will come along so when it does, enjoy it!

Does anybody have $.50 I can borrow? :)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

hannah-lysis: part 2

"it's ok.. she's a growing girl!" I got that every so often when I was little. I always took pride in the fact that I was growing. Just now I realized that not only applies to physical growth but to every aspect of my life.

Right now, God is growing me. I can feel it in my bones that God has been using this year to shape me into a more Godly woman. The more this year passes, the more I realize who I am as God's child, and it's comforting to know that God is my father no matter the circumstance.

By learning who I am as God's child, I've also been blessed with learning what I want and what I don't want. I am learning more and more of what I would expect from a future spouse by being able to look at my weaknesses and gifts and saying, "this is where my husband will balance me out." I also know what I will bring to a relationship: I am aware of my faults, yes, but also more aware of my strengths.

I'm learning that as this growing child of God I experience growing pains: things that hurt and stretch and test you in ways you never think possible. However, without the growing pains I could never experience pleasure in the ways I've grown. I would not appreciate the patience I prayed for without it being tested. I wouldn't be able to trust God's hand in all circumstances if there weren't times where I didn't see him working. I'm learning to trust God in the silence as much as I trust him in times where His path is clear for me. I wouldn't grasp the beauty of God's timing and his will for me if I hadn't had to wait for him to reveal it to me. I've learned that the love of God is a quieter and stronger kind of love than I realized and that love will continue to grow and evolve.

What can I say? I'm a growing girl!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Hehe.. Julianna calls my rationalizing hannahlysis... like analysis, and here are some of my latest:

1. ok to be honest, I have nothing. have a good day

Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm weird when it comes to boys

Thought for the day/week:

Most of the time, when it comes to guys, I don't know what the heck I'm doing. Maybe that's normal for most women to be awkward around guys, or maybe it's the fact that I've never had a real boyfriend.

I think maybe for me (a person who likes things to have order and structure, to have a CLEAR definition of what something is and what it is not) boys leave too much open for me to feel truly comfortable. Case in point: a couple weeks ago at LEA I ran into an old friend and I acted like myself--but there was no pressure--it was clearly defined that nothing was going to happen there so it was safe for me to be myself--I didn't really care what this guy thought.

When the stakes are higher though--when I'm interested in a guy or there's someone interested in me, I don't know how to handle the situation-- the real me goes into hiding and I become this shy, awkward creature that forgets how to converse. It's so frustrating, and it happens unintentionally--it's almost like I don't trust myself to be myself around anyone--especially a boy until I know exactly what's going on and how I want to handle it and even then, it's usually only after the moment fades that I feel like I can truly show my true self. It really annoys my friends... they tell me "just be yourself!" "don't be so shy! let them see the hannah we know" and I don't know how to tell them I can't... for some odd reason, no matter how hard I try, I can't, and if I force it, I come off as fake and shallow or worse snotty and mean. Great. that's exactly the impression I want to put forward.

This whole thing confuses me--I don't even know why I act this way, maybe it's a lack of trust, a lack of self-confidence, a fear of getting hurt or used--who knows.

Anyway, my main point is this: I don't know how to act around boys.

ps. check out (it puts my musings to shame!)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

(Im)Patiently Waiting

Well, it's good ole fashioned call day here at Messiah and I'm nervous and it's the longest 20 minutes of my life thus far. Oftentimes, people can express in better ways what i feel and believe... so here are my words, found in the type of other people

Patience: noun

Synonyms: patience, long-suffering, resignation, forbearance. These nouns denote the capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint. Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay: Our patience will achieve more than our force (Edmund Burke).

God, there's a reason the Bible and the hymnals call you shepherd and us sheep. We get lost easily. We wander away without thinking. We follow the path with the greener grass, even if it takes us away from you. Sheep are born followers. What one does, they all do. We follow the ones with the loudest voices and we think we're on the path to happiness. YOU ARE THE SHEPHERD. You bring us back to the path even though we know it isn't the easiest way go. We get lost, and you will leave the flock and come and find us again and again. You know us better than anyone. We know that all we must do is listen for your voice and follow your call. Watch over us, God. Keep us on the path. Amen.
~From The Uncommon Book of Prayer by Steven L. Case

Developing Patience
Romans 5:1-5 (The Message)
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us--set us right with him, make us fit for him--we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand--out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary--we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Love is....

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.

~thanks Anna Meyer!

Monday, March 21, 2005


I can now say that I've traveled to another country, even it if is just to mexico (but this was deep in the heart of mexico so it counts more I think). This past week I was blessed to be able to go on a mission trip with 5 of my youthand 5 adults to Hidaldo Del Manto Mexico (El Manto for short) to do a dental clinic and nurses clinic for the residents in this village. I've never had a more frustrating yet more fulfilling time. Here's what i learned from my week there.

1) Language barriers suck, but you can, with any luck, find ways to communicate around them. I screened patients in espanol from this health screening sheet that was bilingual--praise God. (My espanol is muy mal--spanish 1 was a mucho grande long time ago), I did ok asking questions, but when they didn't understand or when they tried to further explain, I was lost and got easily frustrated. By the end of the week, I found it easier to converse.

2) Gratitude overflows and people want to share theirs even when they have nothing. The people in El Manto had no money, no jobs, but they opened their homes to us and fed us... oh it was soooo good--that was the way they showed gratitude--even though they had nothing.

3) Our leftovers were their first pickings. We only took our excess and left behind what we didn't need, but it was like a precious commodity to them.

4) I sat in a catholic cathedral in durango (the city we flew out of) and realized that God is present in all times and in all countries and that there is beauty being able to sit in the silence and presence of God and listen to his people worship in a language you can't understand.


I learned a lot more and saw a lot more and grew more than I expected so talk to me about it and I'll tell you :)


Now it seems that I'm waiting for April for more than one reason.. and i'm not sure what to do with it. Not only am I waiting on my future, but I have the possibility on waiting on someone else's as well. Here's to the month of April.

Have a great evening folks! I'm gonna go sleep off mexico

Monday, March 07, 2005

When it rains...

To say exactly what I'm feeling right now is hard to do.... maybe the best way to describe it is numb.

I feel like whatever decision I make, it's the wrong one. As of now, I'm getting more and more spread out to different areas, but I need the experience, however, the more things I do, the less time I have to do other things and invariably, I have to make a choice... to do the one thing and sacrifice the other. It's even more frustrating when I have to sacrifice the thing I want to do to do the thing I should do. But on the other hand, I feel guilty when I do the thing I want to do and don't go to the thing I should go to. There has to be a balance, somewhere, right?

I also feel like I have no idea where to go. I'd love to start putting together a youth board for next year and start working on planning events, but since I don't know where I'll be next year, if I'll be here or in Timbuktu I feel paralyzed. I can't plan my future anywhere, I can't even NOT plan my future here. If I knew I was leaving I could at least begin to say goodbyes or have some sort of closure, but right now I'm just waiting....

I also wonder why I want the things I've been praying for. This waiting for a call from anywhere is hard, and I want it to be from Messiah, but I have to ask why? Why do I want it from Messiah? Because I truly feel I can serve effectively? Because right now there are no other options? Becuase God is calling me here? why? what do I want? who am I?

Overall, life seems to be picking up... I can say that I have met some great people through the young adult Bible study that I'm going to and that there will be some great teachers here next year (if I'm here), but at the same time, I feel like i'm losing friends. People that I thought would be life-long friends are slowly losing touch, getting boyfriends and saying goodbye alltogether. Yes, things change and life changes, but you can't have a future without having a past can you?

All the things I've been blogging about are weighing me down like bricks and each paragraph I write brings me closer and closer to tears. I guess numbness is the best alternative, because if I felt as much as I do right now, I wouldn't be able to function at all. So I move on. Exhuausted, praying for God to deliver me out of this mess that I'm making of myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Sunny with a high of 75...

I wish that I had some profound wisdom or could see where God is leading me with my life.

I know that I've been called to do professional ministry (everyone is a minister, I'm just getting paid to do it), and I think that I'm being called to do that ministry here; at Messiah. I have been so blessed to have a chance to do what I do and it's because of this church, these wonderful people. No, it's not a perfect job, and yes, there are days when I think "God... why?" but then I am (almost immediately) reminded of his care of me.

I think that's the theme of this year of my life moreso than in past years. When the protective bubble of friends, family, concordia is stripped away, God is what I'm left with... and it should be who I start with, but in the busy-ness of semesters and breaks and finals, God got pushed to the back to the "if I have time, I'll look to you God". At my time at concordia, the more I learned how to do God's work in the church, I forgot who I was as God's child, his beloved. It took this time here; with its challenges and joys that made me realize that God has never failed in his care for me, even though I doubted, even though I fought him, ignored him, forgot him. God has never wavered in his love, his devotion for me. Never.

Valentines Day was yesterday and it was a good, ordinary day. Last week I complained about my state of singleness and it was only because I was lonely. I was lonely because I hadn't taken the time to connect with friends or connect with my savior--the guy who knows the guy I may someday marry. It's amazing how the simple act of worship, of spending time with God can refresh and renew my attitude.

"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first, Doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything,trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; the message)

Take comfort in the fact that on this day and every day, you are loved more fully, more deeply, more profoundly by a God than any human ever could.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What a week

what a month really. Life has been nonstop since Christmas and seems to be picking up speed each day. I think I need a vacation because I've been stressed and irritable ALL week long. I think that I'm really tired and have lost all sense of routine because (suprise!) there hasn't been one.

I'm not sure what happened to January, but my February's spent and March is half planned. There seems to be no "slow" month in the church world, and while that's great it wears me out. Maybe once I've been somewhere a full year life will get better and I'll have a better handle on a schedule.

I ask for your prayers. Things aren't turning out like I thought they might and that's frustrating and exhausting and has been wreaking havoc on my spiritual life as well as work life. I'm praying for April. I hope it comes quickly. This is probably why I've been praying for patience since November.

And then there's my social life. While there is a glimmer of hope for it, i realize that it has to be MY initiative and that's scary. What if people don't like me?

And then there's the fact of my singleness... and perhaps it's because valentine's day is near by and I'm single, or maybe it's because God's trying to tell me marriage isn't for me and I won't give it up.

Sorry to be so depressing, but everyone needs to complain sometimes right?

I think that I need a few days off where I don't do anything but sleep and read my Bible and catch up on "me time," but I don't know if that will happen... but oh well, that's life, right?

Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm an adult?

I went back for midyear this past week (and had a great time with my friends Jamie and Julianna before and after) and it was kind of nice to have the "shoe on the other foot". Instead of being the learners, we were the teachers, instead of the rookie, we were the professionals.

It was also nice being back in the place of having people that know me. Equals, I guess. Being a churchworker means that my life is under scrutiny (which is fine, its just a higher standard) and being back with fellow churchworkers is a great chance to just be a normal sinner. I also realized that I'm beginning the life of goodbyes. Now that my best friends are spread to the four corners of the US (and not even the contintental US--I've got a friend in Alaska!)--the times we hang out will consist of preparing to say goodbye. Midyear's the last time we can really gather as students, with no responsibilities (for the most part). The next time we see our friends we'll be using vacation time, or we'll be at work type things. It's just a new definition of friendship. Thank God for the four years we had to develop those friendships.

Being back in Seward also helped clarify things about my personal life. For those of you that know me well, you know I've been praying for something for the last 4 months or so, and being in Seward with friends my age and friends that are boys (you wouldn't think it would make a difference but it DOES) better helped me understand myself and what I want in a relationship and in friendships. and thats a good thing.

However, I was ready to come back to OKC--the place where I seem to fit the best now--its home to me. and thats a good thing.

Attached is the song "painting pictures of egypt" by sara groves: it's a truly beautiful song that kind of tells where I am right now.

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me
Either way
And the places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling out to me
Like a long lost friend
It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
And the place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
And it wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacks
The future feels so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy
To discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
I am caught between the Promise
And the things I know

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacks
The future feels so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned

If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
And if it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?