Saturday, December 11, 2010

written by Erica Christensen!

Dear Hannah, I love you. One day, there was a lemur named Theodore. Theodore wanted to meet the elusive unicorn named Hannah. Hannah liked to fly around on pink clouds and sing Christmas carols. Though everyone knows about Hannah, no one actually can slow her down enough to talk to her. Theodore watched her fly by everyday. He really wanted to meet her. So one day when Hannah flew by, and Theodore took a running jump and started to fly. It was so exciting to feel the wind rushing past his face. He was flying! And then, CRASH! He crashed right into a muddy puddle. Oh, no!!! The next day, Theodore tried again to catch up with Hannah. He tried again and again and again, to no avail. One day, he had a sudden burst of inspiration. He would raise up a giant flag and tell Hannah to come down there. He worked all day and all night and all the next day on this giant flag. He labored over it and then he finally finished! He was ready the next day. Hannah flew by, and Theodore put the flag up. Hannah saw it out of the corner of her eye, and decided that it was a very pretty sign. She flew in that direction, and before she knew what she was doing, she was flying towards a funny looking lemur. She landed, because now that she had seen him, it would be rude to run away. They started talking, and talking and talking. They laughed and laughed. They had the best time together! They decided to be best friends and lived happily ever after being BFF’s.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

re·deem

–verb (used with object)
1.
to buy or pay off; clear by payment: to redeem a mortgage.
2.
to buy back, as after a tax sale or a mortgage foreclosure.
3.
to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment orother satisfaction: to redeem a pawned watch.
4.
to exchange (bonds, trading stamps, etc.) for money orgoods.
5.
to convert (paper money) into specie.
6.
to discharge or fulfill (a pledge, promise, etc.).
7.
to make up for; make amends for; offset (some fault,shortcoming, etc.): His bravery redeemed his youthfulidleness.
8.
to obtain the release or restoration of, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.


i am redeemed. and i didn't have to pay the ransom.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the summer after my sophomore year of high school I became a Christian. Here is my xanga post from after camp. Yeah, I had a xanga.

I got on the bus to come home and finally got my mp3 player back and turned it on and smiled at Nick then clicked on Play Any Track and this song came on and I started to cry. Anna&Zoe&Em might agree, it's exactly how I'm feeling.
Side Note---A longggg time ago Katie Carson was giving a sermon at church and she said "Love is the answer you've been looking for." and that quote has stuck with me since then and has been in my profiles and probably in here too but one of the talks this week was about love. and I found it. I just got home 2 hours ago and at 930ish came upstairs and turned on my computer and pulled up iTunes and the first song that played is this song. And its so true.
" I found love, didn’t even know I needed it
But I found love, never even crossed my mind
I found love, had a garden never weeded it
But I found love, took an apple just in time"

Four years ago I found love. Four years later after my sophomore year of college my faith got rocked at discipleship focus in tennessee. This is what I learned.

The moon is round
our purpose in life is to love the Lord.
everyone's needs are: security, significance, and purpose
I am unconditionally loved and that God's purpose is good and he is always in control.
sin makes us desperately dependent on God
we are children of God because of the fall
we must be desperately dependent on Him.
i need to pray for God's attitudes and emotions and for His heart towards situations and people
my circumstances won't change but if I find my joy from the Lord it doesn't matter
my salvation is not dependent on the lack of sin in my life
i am the branch, he is the vine.
we must remain & abide in Him always.
God can use pain for good.
we need to present everything to Him.
God transforms and conforms us. we don't have to do it.
we are commanded to not be anxious
i don't have to feel free to know i am free.
we can't even be Christians without God.
present circumstances, emotions, attitudes
when facing a decision we should ask if we really even trust and want Gods will for us.
i am more controlling than i ever knew.
i cannot do anything on my own
exodus 16 is true.
my sin, not in part, but in whole is nailed to the cross and i bear it no more.


i'm free.

four years ago I found love and stumbled through life. i was dictated by my feelings, my friends feelings, feelings boys had towards me. i found worth in my appearance (i had a classy mirror picture as my profile picture on my xanga), found worth in boys, and found worth in being different than everyone else. i knew nothing about sin.

now my life is dictated by the lord, what he says about me, and what i know to be true. i find my worth in Him, and still too often in myself and in boys. i know entirely too much what sin looks like in my life. i also know that i'm set free and i don't have to be shameful or guilty or have a heavy heart about it. i knew a lot about pain four years ago and know a ton more about it now. i also know that God really does cause all things for good, and i'm finally okay not knowing why but with trusting Him.

that's a part of my summer. This post secret from 4 years ago is still true.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

this is seriously the last post i'll post for a long time

thinking about it a lot, I think at the end of the day Donald Miller is a dude and not the Lord. I think we can definitely make decisions in the spectrum in God's promises. But I don't know how Psalm 139 exists and Jeremiah 29:11 exist if God didn't have a plan. Jeremiah got his call to be a prophet at like age 8, and he was so reluctant. I think that kind of stuff is bigger than us.

I still have NO idea about life and that's okay.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

bloggy blog blog, this is annoying I know.

Tonight Brittany and I had a sweet convo and sometimes really wise things come out of my mouth. (or I'd like to think s0)

I've been thinking about Donald Millers blog all day and how cool it is. Brittany asked me what the point of praying was if God had a plan and I said well, he probably doesn't. I was like I think God legit tells us of promises he has for us like freedom, love, grace, and mercy in abundance and we can make our decisions that fit into those paths or choose not love and do whatever. I also said that I don't think it's as much of following God's path as it is that God promises to follow OURS.


Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21.

I don't think that can be abused to do what we want and go kill people but I think if we are truly seeking God's will then decisions can be made. I don't think God knows where I will put my foot down first thing when I get out of bed tomorrow but I know his mercy will be new and his love will be bigger than I can know.

Maybe I'm all wrong and I'm totally limiting God in all of this. I don't know. But I'm good living in those promises, especially in his love.
After writing all that and being lame and crying some more I'm better now.

1 Chronicles 28:9-10-- And Solomon my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you will seek him you will find him.

Check. I know it's true.

On another hand- I happen to commune with nature quite often and have labeled myself the Nature Whisperer. Soon I will be on Discovery I'm sure.

I kicked a squirrel once
I caught a fish with my bare hands
I try to make friends with the ducks and geese all the time
Chelsea and I saw 2 snakes, 4 turkeys, and caught a turtle named Turty all in a one hour period
I saw two cats doing it on the quad last night
I saw a squirrel dig a hole in the grass and stick his head in it then pull his head out to look at me and stick it back down, like an ostrich.
A puppy on the quad ran away from it's owner to run to me because I'm irresistible to animals

I'm sure there are more. But basically I'm Eliza Thornberry from the Wild Thornberrys and can pretty much talk to animals.

My friend Brittany just texted me and told me to remind her of an encounter she had with a squirrel today...clearly it's common knowledge that all animal things should be brought to me to handle.

Last Tuesday night I went to hear a lady speak on her two trips hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Last week I finished reading Into The Wild for the 1000th time in my life.
Last week I ended up crying my eyes out at the end of the Verge because of how alone I felt.

I never think of myself as different, I really don't. I'm 19 and I should be in college and am. I have everything I need to do life. I'm livin and loving it. Except for last week.

There is so much I want to do in life and my heart is so big and I felt so shot down last week. I am more than okay with the idea of moving to another country when I graduate. Too bad I can't just go into the African wilderness and eat some berries or hike the App trail and eat a pack of granola as I walk. 6 months of food for me is 1,080 cans of Ensure. Let me just carry that on my back. No big deal. I couldn't even go to Guatemala for a week and carry my own food, everyone had to put cans in their suitcases for me. I am too independent for my own good sometimes and hate relying on people. I told my friend Amy how I was feeling and she was like Hannah there is PLENTY of people in your life now and that will be in your life that would help you make your dreams come true whatever they are. That's cool and all but I wouldn't want to.

I shouldn't be alive and I am. No one thought I was going to live. I'm totally confident in the Lord and his plans for me but it's so unfathomable. Maybe I'm not confident. I don't know. I posted last week about desires of the heart and how God grants them to you. I guess I'm not satisfied still and thats why they aren't granted to me. I know he's still working stuff out in my heart and that's appreciated.

I'm addicted to the song Something Beautiful by Needtobreathe.

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful


I just feel like I know where I need to be and I don't feel like it's here and I don't want to drown. I just am so scared of wasting my life away. I don't want all these passions to go to waste.

My friend Maura sent me this last week

living life in christ is an adventure. listen to gods voice. the "still small voice" as allison calls it. if he's telling you, preparing you to go, then don't let our worldly world hinder you. shake the dust off your sandals.
if god's holy spirit is calling you, tugging your heart towards whatever it may be that seems impossible, in god, in his promised holy spirit, it is not. nothing is impossible for god.

--all these feelings were redeemed last thursday by reading Ecclesiastes all day and it just made sense to me. i keep beating myself up about having money and having things and it was like no enjoy the gifts god gives you and drink and be merry and enjoy life in the sun

but know that everything is meaningless

which is kinda

depressing

but focus on the lord and his work

and just live

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Psalm 20:4 (New International Version)

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

Psalm 37:3-7

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

"As you delight yourself in the Lord in these and other ways, God adjusts your heart to be in tune with His. Then the longings that grow in your hearts --- the seeds of which are sown during your time with your heavenly Father --- will be His desires for you. And of course He will satisfy that godly hunger. "


here is my hearts cry. still.


i'm not satisfied.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

my heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. psalm 57:7

last year when I broke with Travis (part one) I found this verse and wrote it on my foot as a constant reminder that God was present in my life and I was confident in His plans. I wrote it daily. I'm reading through the bible and yesterday I got to psalm 57:7. Memories came back to me big time. I wrote it on my foot again and it's still true and solid. My heart is just joyful and confident in him right now in life. His plans still reign.

I'm writing a passage analysis paper on Psalm 139 for Old Testament. This semester has been a lot about finding God's promises for me and holding tightly to them and not wavering for anything. It's an infinitely better semester than last where I lost sight of the Lord in all aspects of life. So psalm 139 is my jam currently so I decided to live in it all semester while doing this paper. One of the steps is to write it in your own words. I sat on my floor listening to Nickel Creek Sunday afternoon and read countless translations of this psalm and thought about what it really meant. I finally got to writing

Psalm 139- Hannah Version

1 God you’ve seen me and you know me
2 You know when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake; You know my thoughts from far away
3 You watch my sitting and standing, you know all my ways
4 Before I say a word, You know it completely God
5 You follow me and lead me behind and in front, You guide me with your hands
6 This knowledge is so wonderful to me, I can barely understand it
7 Where can I go from you God? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go to heaven you are there; if I go deep in the grave you are there
9 If I fly to the ends of the seas and settle there
10 your hands would be leading me and holding me tight
11 If I say, “Surely the dark can hide me, and the sun will become dark”
12 I could still not hide from you for darkness is not dark; night is bright as day and darkness is light.
13 You formed my inmost parts, you knit me together in my mother.
14 I give you praise because I am fearfully and incredibly made. Your work is wonderful, this I know.
15 Nothing was hidden from you when I was being made in the dark and knit together from the depths of the earth
16 You saw my cells in my mothers womb. You already had planned every day of my life before they started
17 How hard it is for me to comprehend your love and thoughts for me Father. They are so numerous.
18 I try to count them- there are more than grains of sand; even if I came to the end you would still be with me
19 God please kill the wicked, get the evil away from me.
20 They act with the world against you and resist you.
21 Lord I hate those who hate you, I loathe those who resist you
22 I can’t stand them, they become my enemies
23 Search me Lord and know my heart. Test me and know all my thoughts
24 See if there is any sin in me, and lead me in Your way.


this step was incredible to me. Putting truths of the Lord in my own words and my own heart. Knowing that he made them for me. Knowing all those You's in the psalm were really for me. Since most people that read this are writers, try it out. Write this verse in your own words and see the truths God has for you. It's awesome.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

habakkuk 3:17-19

these people's lives were at stake and they were still rejoicing in the Lord. I'm learning to be content with what I have. (sup Keith). Actually I am content with what I have. Overly content and I still don't want all the junk I have.

I'm not content with the world though. I'm not content that so many companies use sweatshops. I'm not content with the chocolate industry. I'm not content at all with Nike. I'm not content that I own Nike shorts. To trash, or not to trash? They already got my ten dollars, I can't do anything about it now. I give up shopping.

I am content drinking kool-aid out of a mason jar and wearing cut off jean shorts though.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm restless. Big time.

There Ain't no reason things are this way.
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I don’t know why I say the things I say, but I say them anyway.
But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free,I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes.
-Ain't No Reason by Brett Dennen.

I'm not content to sit in my dorm room. I'm not content to just look at all my Guatemala pictures a hundred times a day and cry. I'm itching to go back. I'm itching to travel. I'm itching to make a difference. I fully know you don't have to go to a third world country to make a difference in life. Trust me. I know. I think that's the path some people do have to take though.

I know it's kinda a trendy thing to love Africa (Stuff Young Lifers Like) but for the past three years I've been obsessed with going there. I just want to travel. My friend Annie studied abroad in South Africa a few semesters ago and I'm still obsessed with her pictures. I want to go!

I'm also not content with America. I'm not content owning over thirty pairs of shoes. I'm not content owning over 40 tshirts (I cut that number in half and gave away 20 earlier this week). I'm not content owning stuff. I get in this mood a lot of times in my life but coming back from Guatemala it's in full force. I know we should be in the world but not of it and in the spiritual sense that's fine. I'm struggling with how to live in this world where society tells you to have stuff, to get the latest, to get the new summer outfits for every summer. I can't stand it. We talked about Amos today in Old Testament and Amos 4:1 says
1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy
and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!"

He called them (the wealthy) cows of Bashan. I feel like this is me. I have too much. One of the prayers for Yohanna (a girl at Agua Viva) was that she and her family would want for nothing and grow closer to Christ.

I'm really aware of what I say I want and need and how much I complain. I'm also really aware of how much everyone around me does it too. Plank in my own eye, got it.

I don't know why God gave me a heart and a desire to travel and for others if it can't happen. Right now imaging how I would take 10 cases of Ensure to the African jungle so I could live for a month doesn't really seem possible. I'm living in the fact that it'll happen how he wants it to.

I'm currently addicted to the song Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root. So here you go God,

Send me on my way, on my way Send me on my way, on my way Send me on my way, on my way Send me on my way, on my way.

I'm ready.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

i love my life. I'm still processing a lot of Guatemala and processing life so this may not be easy to follow. I don't know. I was listening to snow patrol today while reading for old testament and the song Hands Open came on and I love the song but really listened to it today. Check it.

Hands open, and my eyes open
I just keep hoping
That your heart opens

It's not as easy as willing it all to be right
Gotta be more than hoping it's right
I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it
Collapse into me, tired with joy

Prob not a Christian band but hello, sweet lyrics. God's up in heaven waiting with arms open for us to run to him and our heart to open and wants us to come with him so joyful we are tired. I'm down for that kind of love.

The babies in Guatemala are probably the most precious babies I've ever known. Unlike most of the older kids, the babies don't know english at all. So if you don't know Spanish you're kind out of luck. Except for the fact that love doesn't need words. If you smile at those babies and open your arms they run to you and want to be picked up. They just will sit on your lap or are willing to be tossed up and down until your arms or lap is tired. Tired with joy though.

Thursday afternoon (our last day) I spent the afternoon hand washing some clothes with some girls from our team and this girl Louisa who showed us all how it's done. Then I passed by Casa Esther (the little girls house) and my favorite little girl Yuli popped down from the window hiding from me. Then I chased her and Lea around on my knees pretending to be a lion and then another 3 hours taking pictures, reading books in spanish, chasing them, and pretending to take naps. Then I chased around 5 of the babies for half an hour before dinner. Tired with joy. I would of chased them around the rest of my life if I could of.

I learned a lot from those babies. I don't always need to talk to people to love them. I need to rest in God's arms sometimes. I need to be inexpressibly happy because someone smiled at me. I need to be a little kid sometimes. I need to be free.

Tonight as I was lying on the prayer room floor (really this is all I do in life) I saw a sign someone made that said Be Intentional but half of it was folded over and I don't read very well and I thought it said Be Infinite. So do it. Don't be defined by this world. Don't be tired just because you've done something that says you should be tired. People asked me thursday night if I was tired and I said yeah duh I just chased babies all day but really I wasn't. Tired with joy. Be infinite and rest in God's ability to be so much more infinite.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

God and I just took a sweet walk. I had been hanging out laying on the chapel floor, the usual, praying and thinking about how I want desperately to be known by God. Actually, how I want to feel known by God because I know he does know me. And how much energy I put into being known by other people and having the desire to be known but I don't actively seek God's presence or enjoy being pursued by Him which I know I am. So we had this good talk and then I left the chapel and put my ipod in and hit shuffle and Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch came on and I cried a little and walked all around campus listening to it on repeat.. It's from the OC soundtrack so I doubt it's at all christian but these are the lyrics:

When I am alone
When I've thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
When I've lost all care for the things I own
That's when I miss you, that's when I miss you, that's when I miss you
You who are my home
You who are my home
And here is what I know now
Here is what I know now
Goes like this..
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, in your love, in your love

hello. yes. My salvation is in His love. So I felt a little God action going on and divine intervention with that song business. Appreciated.

I don't really know how to blog. Keith said to write about what God's doing in my life. He's calling me to Him. I know that. Sometimes I decide to do these little challenges in my head, not to let go of things to grow closer to God but just because I like challenges. Like opening my backpack before a teacher calls my whole name or like biting my teeth in time with the music in the car. Or like not buying clothes for 6 months or not texting for Lent.

Last week I didn't listen to music for a whole day. It was really quiet. At the verge the previous night we had talked about silence and distractions. I got a lot of those going on. A lot of the time I listen to my ipod while walking to classes. Sometimes it's real intentional because I don't want to talk to people. But most of the time it's because I just LOVE and breathe music. I grew up going to shows, listening to classic rock with my Dad, showtunes with my mom, death metal with my brothers and my first cd I bought was No Doubt's Return of Saturn. I love music. It was hard last week. I laid on my floor a lot of the day in silence. I didn't really hear much but I talked to God more so I guess that was fruitful. I just like challenges. I did it just to do it really. But it was nice to lie on my floor and hang with God more than I usually would, I don't know how music changes that but that's just how the day went.

I'm going to Guatemala in 30 hours. I haven't packed yet. I got an infection on monday. I'm so scared I'm going to get sick bad in Guatemala. I'm praying big.

Listen to Orange Sky, it's beautiful. Lie down somewhere and chill.

i think life is a little hard right now. i have felt more materialistic than i maybe ever have. pretty much daily i am buying something, or ...