Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the past month has been hard. you are tired of me saying my days are hard. i am tired of them being hard. i was really sick and in the hospital a month ago, then i got better, then i went home for sam and kelly's wedding, then my parents came back to brasil with me for a week, and just now i feel like i am back in a good routine and enjoying life again. sam and i remind eachother a lot that we don't do well with change. we are both terrible at it. so i think the past month of each week different things happening made life a little harder. there were insanely great things in those weeks, i'm not saying things were bad every day all the time but it made it hard for my joy to be steady because it was so up and down. coming home and leaving again, my parents coming and leaving again.

today right now i love brasil again. my fan is the perfect temp. i am listening to my spring 2013 playlist as loud as i can and it is good. reminds me of last spring and drinking a lot of slushees and loving the 8 other people i lived with deeply and having really great car rides. i am thankful.

today started off good, got really bad because teenagers are teenagers and they are sneaky tricksters and get mad when you catch them being sneaky and then they sulk. but i took a break and walked to the store and felt a little down but then the local hang out spot for drunks was blasting samba music and all the drunk men were singing along and i thought Wow they are really into Wednesday afternoons. and that made me smile. because, even though they were drunk at 2:30 in the afternoon they were still enjoying life. so i decided to celebrate wednesday afternoons as well. i noticed the pretty blue sky. i happily went back to work. i had funny conversations and shared secrets with one of my best friends shannon. i laughed with chelsea. i had a funny team vaughn text thread. i did couch to 5k with tia Nova. i rejoiced with her and talked to her and told her about my day and halfway through our conversation and walk/run she grabbed my arm and said WE ARE HAVING A CONVERSATION and we rejoiced that i can speak portuguese. alice ate all her dinner and didn't even cry and that is worth rejoicing in too. i did some interpretive dance in Diana's bedroom and laughed deeply. i've been laughing more. that is nice.

i went to church by myself. i carried a knife in my bra. someday i won't have to carry a knife in my bra everywhere i go but for now i do. that's okay too. the pastor talked about how important it is to read your bible. i get it. i appreciate it though. then he prayed for me and i understood most of it but this stuck out to me: god i pray you give hannah more opportunities to trust and believe in you. then i picked all my fingernail polish off and went home. i killed some tarantulas, i danced in my kitchen, and i loved brasil again. it feels so good. i am so grateful. i am grateful for people who are in tune with the Spirit and can share that with me. I am grateful for gchat and texting and best friends who share their normal day to day life with me. I am thankful that God is good and desires to give me good things and promises to provide for me if i am obedient to his call, which I think I am. I am grateful for a new really funny sister who thrives on making my family members feel awkward and laugh a lot. I am thankful for cool evenings and even cooler portable fans. I am grateful for friends who can point out things that are happening in my life that seem too close for me to notice, I am thankful that i get to stay in this country for 12 more weeks because yesterday the police told me i had to leave the country immediately (they changed their minds), i am grateful for funny moments like salamanders crawling out of my laundry that hangs on the line. i am grateful for hugs and girls that rejoice in seeing me after a long day in the office. i am grateful for encouragement and words of affirmation. i am grateful for my brain that learns portuguese. i am grateful for cold water that probably has parasites in it but i drink it anyway. i am grateful for really cool people that produce really cool music that i love a lot.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

i am in the united states of america. i am in the bed i have slept in since i left my crib. i am in the room i have lived in since high school. this is all a little astounding to me. three days ago i was in brasil. in a house that i have come to mostly love. in a bed that is covered with a mosquito net to protect me from tarantulas and scorpions and less importantly, mosquitos. i got home tuesday afternoon. the miami airport was my first step into america. i was tired and confused. when asked if i was a us citizen i responded yes in portuguese. i thanked people i saw in portuguese. america has fast internet. this was shocking to me. my dad picked me up and he was the same. 10 pounds lighter. go him. my mama hugged me in the middle of her classroom and cried and squeezed me too tight. the air outside doesn't smell like poop. it is crisp and clean and cold and wonderful. my house that i have lived in for 23 years seems brighter and softer and nicer than ever before. couches are soft. my bed is wonderful. i know what drawer the tape is in. i know where to find the cash jar i hid before i left. i drove these streets i've driven since i got my license when i was 15. this town is the same (except they tore down taco-bell which is a little travesty) walmart was overwhelming and too much but quickly i found things i wanted to buy just to buy. i bought a bowl of candy at sweet frog and fries at mcdonalds. i stopped to smell the daffodils. i delighted in a closet full of clean clothes. i reveled in the amount of THINGS i have lived without for three months and have not missed. how did i ever live without these 7 mason jar mugs?

home is the same. my mama said it's like i never left but the minute i leave again there is a huge hole that doesn't get filled until i come back. i have wondered over the past 36 hours if i am the same. have i changed? has three months overseas impacted me? in walmart i reached for scarves, earrings, clothes, things that i have not had the luxury of seeing or touching or buying in three months. immediately my consumerism took over. i didn't give into it but it was there. i thought about the kids at the Lar who will never know a walmart. who will probably maybe never live a lifestyle of walking into a store and buying things to just buy them. i reminded myself that i have lived in a dirt town for three months without needing more things. i buy food once a week and snacks to treat myself but i am never in need of new clothes, new shoes, new things. i've bought one cd on amazon in the past three months which is actually amazing because usually i buy like one a week.

is my heart different though? it's cool that i can not buy things. that's a step. but really--i hope i am changed on the inside. deep in my heart. that i can love others better. that i am more compassionate. that i am more flexible and have learned that my life and my plans are not my own or probably not even that good of plans and i shouldn't hold onto them too tightly. this is a weird thing to come back to the us for six days and go back to brasil. it is wonderful and soft and nice but also weird to feel these conflicts in my heart. i am glad to feel uncomfortable though. I think if i was compltely comfortable here or completely comfortable in brasil i wouldn't be changing or being molded by the Lord so i am thankful for the weirdness and being able to pray though it and learning through it.

i am 12 days into being a married woman and i am finding more joy and more mourning than i expected. i changed my name last week and cri...