Thursday, March 12, 2015

Back to the Mountains

On June 13th, 2013, I got a phone call with the news that in exactly three days I would begin my summer at camp. Three days to prepare, pack, and wrap my head around the fact that I was leaving for eight weeks on such short notice. My father cried, my mom and I did last-minute shopping, I graduated from community college, and then...I went. Up to the mountains, where I spent the most difficult yet rewarding summer of my life.
I was introduced to hobo stew...

Rocked the pioneer bonnet...

Learned how to hula hoop (my goodness, was I skinny!)

Became more than comfortable in the treetops...

And that was only in the first week!

And now...
I get to do it all again.
Fourteen long weeks up in the mountains, this time with my dear husband by my side! 
We're so ridiculously excited for this. I can't wait to go back to my old second home with JL and show him all my favorite places, some of my favorite people, fond memories, and overall share one of the best experiences with the very best person. 
Just thought I would share this with y'all!

Blessings,
Hannah =)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When God Says "Go"

We made a promise years ago, first separately and then together, to always say "yes" to God's calling.
Big or small, sensical or absolutely insane, we would always answer the call.
Over the last couple of months, God's been nudging us that it's time to leap again. What? Where? We didn't know. All we knew was that it was going to involve getting rid of almost all of our posessions, would have something to do with our calling to worship ministry, and would be the most difficult yet blessed experience in our lives yet. 

After weeks of the whisper in our ear, "Go," we finally know where we are going.

Over the next seven and a half months, we're getting rid of almost everything we own to move across the country in our little car.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is beckoning, as is a very special school that will train and equip us as worship leaders. 
It is going to be the biggest leap yet, the hardest financial journey yet,
yet...
I have no fear. We haven't even been accepted yet and we certainly don't have enought money yet, but we are so confident this is what God has for us. 
This is going to stretch and strengthen our marriage in beautiful ways. We'll be all the way across the country, just the two of us and God (and a great school community, of course.) None of our friends clsoe by, none of our family...we'll learn to lean on each other and God like never before.


My sweet nerdy husband with his Link hat that I crocheted. This was taken a few days after my birthday when we were celebrating with my parents.

JL's grandma gave all the girls scarves for Christmas, so naturally silly pictures ensued. The girl in the white scarf has been my dear friend for over ten years and this May she will be my sister-in-law! :D

There have been two major changes in my health the last couple of months (JL has the most perfect health ever and it's not particularly fair, but that doesn't make me less thankful!). First, PRAISE GOD that my plethora of food allergies I've been dealing with for years have been suddenly and miraculously healed! 
The less happy to deal with are the multiple ovarian cysts that have been deciding to rupture, one after the other, over the last couple months. I've been in a lot of pain, but my doctor has me on medication and it *should* be starting to get better soon. God knows what he's doing--it's a good thing babies were going to have to wait until after school anyway, though. :(

I don't know who all actually reads this anymore, but I hope everyone is having a blessed January and knows the power of trusting and living under the wing of God. May He enrich your lives as He has mine :)
Blessings,
Hannah

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fantasy.

God has been speaking crazy, insane, unthinkable things over Jean-Luc and I over the last couple months. He's calling us to big things. And while we wait for those things to come to fruition, He is revealing some things we need to do. Why? We're not entirely sure yet.

(Can I get an amen?)

Minimalism. Being free of all the stuff, the clutter and attachment to things. That's the current project for us. God is telling us to be ready to go, whether that ends up being across town or across the world, and to not be tied down by our possessions. 

Because of all this, I'm reading a lot about minimalism. This article really spoke to me; it's about identifying our "fantasy self" and getting rid of the things we've collected for who we thought we should be rather than for who we are. Some people's fantasy selves are fashionistas even though they'd rather wear sweats, etc. etc.

Lately I've been starting to recognize my fantasy self and to start turning into myself, not who I think I should be.


My real self never paints her nails (I didn't even do them for my own wedding), has maybe two pieces of jewelry she wears, rocks a coat of mascara and no other makeup, and owns maybe three pairs of shoes and one purse. 
...why do I still own nail polish, a bunch of pairs of high heels, and a pouch full of different eyeliners?
My real self doesn't cook with recipes. Ever. And it works out great. Why do I have a shelf of cookbooks and a Pinterest board full of inspiration?
I'm a knitter, not a seamstress. Once my small wall-hanging quilt is done, it will be just cloth napkins and yarn from here on out.
My real self doesn't like flowers. Or football. Or "Christian" music (not to be confused with worship music!). Or...secular music, for that matter.
I am obsessed with the color turquoise, cute sweaters, sugary deliciousnesses and 1940s music. Simple cooking, non-stop knitting, and singing my heart out are some of my favorite things.
(I haven't stopped singing since!)

I don't believe in safe. I believe in the full glory of following God.
How can I live with reckless abandon if I'm trying to please others?


Just some thoughts for the afternoon. I'm off to my old bedroom at my mother's house to throw some heels and makeup into a donation bag.
Blessings,
Hannah =)



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lifeline.

"And He has said to me,
'My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is perfected
in weakness.'



Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses,
So that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Therefore I am well content with
weaknesses, with
insults, with
distresses, with
persecutions, with
difficulties, for Christ's sake;

for when I am weak,
then I am strong."

2 Corinthians 12:9-10


I just sent these verses to my husband, who is struggling to make it through one more day at his horrible job.
It's 7 am and it's already so bad.

This passage has been a lifeline to me. When I am weak, then I am strong.
God's power shows through my weaknesses.
Thank You God for that today.

This is the face of a weak, terrified woman made strong in the arms of her Savior.
This is just one more day for God to teach me to smile through pain.
There is no trial so great that He cannot overcome.

Blessings,
Hannah

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tutorial: Removable Wall Art

It's Tutorial Time again! 
JL and I are renting our tiny little apartment, and the only strict strict rules our landlord laid out for us were "NO PAINTING, and for the love of all that's holy NO CATS." (Poor guy...we heard some stories.) 
We hate cats, so that won't be a problem. However, the white walls were just beckoning, turn me into art!!! 
Here is part one of the solution. The secret: black contact paper!
(Excuse the embarassingly overflowing drawer.)

Our bedroom is music-themed (okay, who are we kidding, our whole lives are music themed) with a color scheme of black, white, and red.

(Photos taken with my phone...sorry.)

Contact Paper Wall Art
You will need:
--Good scissor skills (or very simple shapes)
--Contact paper of desired color (can be purchased just about anywhere for maybe $5-10, and is also called something like "adhesive shelf liner")
--Stencils of your desired shape(s)--I freehanded some on index cards and cut them out, and others I took silhouette images from the internet and cut them out. Whatever suits you :)
My shapes, clockwise from top: Eighth rest, sharp symbol, treble clef, natural sign, eighth note, whole note. The half/whole rest and bass clef didn't make it in the picture somehow.
--Scissors
--Craft knife (or a regular knife and a cutting board)
--Pencil or pen
--Good music

Step 1: Trace shapes onto contact paper.
It's very important to remember to trace your shapes backwards, so that they will appear the correct way when you are looking at the right side.
To begin, choose a shape and cut a strip of contact paper that is wide enough for it (or wider). Cutting strips of paper will make it easier to manage and less likely to crease, but it's not essential.


Trace your shape (backwards!!) onto the wrong side of the contact paper.

Tetris time! Get creative with how you place your shapes to maximize paper space.


Fill up dead space with other shapes.
I used 7-9 of each of my shapes for the wall stripe.

Step 2: Cut outlines.
I like to do a general cut around each piece before doing detail work:


Then go around and cut out on the exact lines.


Turn it to the right side, et voila!


Step 3: Cut out intricate details, if applicable.
Some shapes are not just one solid block. If you have a craft knife, more power to you, but all I had was a dollar store paring knife and a little plastic cutting board. Lay the piece out:


And use the tip of the knife to cut out an X


This makes it a lot easier to access the corners and get a good cut without creasing the contact paper.


For more complicated pieces like the treble clef, follow the same idea, but with caution. It's very easy to slip and cut out too much with the knife.

Step 4: Mark off your area, peel, stick, and celebrate!
I used pieces of masking tape to mark off the bottom border of my design. You could do the same on the top, or not at all. If you have a large design centered on a wall, marking off would save a lot of frustration.

When you're ready, carefully peel off the adhesive backings and stick piece by piece on the wall. Watch your design grow...






...until it's done!
It looks great up close as well as far away, and will take all of eight minutes to take down when we have to move. However, it is not re-usable.

There you have it! A couple dollars, (quite) a few hours of grunt work, a huge pile of little black sticky paper shavings, and several darnit-I-forgot-to-trace-it-backwards exclamations later, and art is born!

Let me know what you think of this tutorial! Questions and comments are more than welcome. Would you like more? Less? I love sharing my projects with you all. 

Blessings,
Hannah =)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

To Dream.

This is my first full afternoon spent in a coffee shop. My caramel macchiato was finished some time ago. There is no internet at our apartment, so several hours of wifi and deliciousness are always so much appreciated. My dear husband is out playing airsoft with some friends from church, so it's just little old me.


Today Jean-Luc and I went to our first marriage ministry event/class at church. We sat at a table with couples who have been married for decades and are still going strong--so encouraging! 
It's been almost two months for us.
We've got some catching up to do!

One thing I know for sure: there will never be a dull moment with this man. This was my view from the mirror as I put on my mascara this morning!

A couple weeks before we got married, we made the decision to take a year off of commitment to serving in most ministry--a big, tough decision for both of us! We had been really involved in the junior high youth group with both worship and small groups. The only thing we're keeping for now is the occasional Sunday morning band participation.

God has so clearly placed the call on both our lives to worship ministry. It can be difficult to press the pause button on something we're so passionate about, and to wait patiently for God to beckon us to the next step. Maybe this year will teach us to be content in the off season.
Still, it's exciting to imagine, dream for and pray about the future.
My parents won me recording time at a ministry auction last year, and I have to use it by the end of October. Better polish that song...

Blessings,
Hannah =)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

At my Mother's House.

Mooching internet,
doing laundry,
catching up on Hulu,
sipping coffee and nibbling cookies,
looking for my camera in my old room,
laughing at this picture.

Hmmmmm...

Happy Tuesday.

Blessings,
Hannah =)