Sunday, May 25, 2014

i sat down to write this blog post and decided to listen to Sandra McCracken which i don't ever do and the first song that played is called Grace Upon Grace and that's what this is all about. Guess it was meant to be. this week has been full of blessings on blessings on blessings on provision. it started out with a lot of anxiety and worries and fears. i have been anxiously seeking housing for when i move to richmond in 6 little weeks. i replied to dozens of craigslist ads and weighed my options. this meant i weighed Casual pot smoker vs roommate with no job vs smokes pot every day but made me laugh in emails exchanged. needless to say, not many great options. some great ones though. then, megan asked me if i would seriously want to live with her and noah in a 4 bedroom house. i still thought she was kidding. then we had a skype meeting where we actually talked about it. then after an hour of conversation we all put our hands in and shouted roommates and that was that. instead of Roommate Wanted ads on craigslist I switched to 4 bedroom house available. I like those ads better. so, all at once i had a roommate. more than one. that i already knew and who probably won't turn out to be axe murderers. so that's a plus. the next day i had a little freak out anyway. at about 3 am i woke up and couldn't go back to sleep thinking it was too fast and wondering if i had made the wrong choice and thinking that all my dreams of living in a house of sweet girls was gone and i would never make any friends in richmond. then around 3:38 i remembered that God is really really good and that he desires good things for us and that this was not as shocking to him as it was to me. he knew that i would live with noah and megan. he knows the house we will have. he is not looking at me shaking his head saying oh crap hannah messed this up real bad. so then around 3:43 i went to sleep and my stupid fears were gone. the next morning i was telling chelsea all this and she happened to remember her pal zippy is moving to richmond to work at a church. i told her this was a fine time to tell me this. then she also remembers it is northside church where sam and kelly and christine go. so that is real nice too. i message zippy and it turns out we are actually the same person her skin is just a little more brown than mine and she can have dreads and it doesn't look stupid on her like it would on me. we laugh and confide in each other that we both are nervous about moving to richmond and want to make friends and she will live in a house of girls that i can hang out at often. so god provided friends for me less than 12 hours after i had laid awake scared i wouldn't make any friends. some of the craigslist potential roommates have turned out to be cool too and have become friends so life is good.

on thursday 4 interns came (see previous post about girl named taylor) and 2 are living with me. Baily and Taylor. and they are great. thursday morning the power was out so i couldn't do any office work so i hung out in Diana's house and got some quality time with sweet girls and asked if they would still love me that night after taylor arrived. they promised the would. i was almost sick with worry and anxiousness and probably lingering jealousy and the past 4.5 months have lead up to them coming! then they arrived. and we hugged and breathed sighs of relief together and it was so good. i am so happy they are here. it's been great. god is so good. i don't get to live in a house of girls in richmond, i get to live with my family, but the next 6 weeks i get to live in a house of girls and serve and love deep and laugh together with them and that is good. friday night we all cooked dinner and watched modern family and it was the best and most normal friday night i've had in over 4 months. praise the lord.

extra provisions from this week:
-getting to pray with and cry with Diana because sometimes life doesn't make sense and she let me carry some burdens for her and i am so grateful
-Yasmin wrote me a letter and gave me a pencil case covered in cats
-I ate some good cake on tuesday and my favorite little buddy Joao came to the office and wrote me letters and then ate my cake
-chelsea prayed for me a lot this week
-my family is still always really funny and great
-i learned how to make tapioca and it was really fun
-i get to do dishes, write notes, and buy treats for people all in ENGLISH and not portuguese.
-my dad mailed me a vegetable peeler so making v8 juice this week only took like 40 minutes instead of 3 hours.

i'm so grateful. week 18 was good ya'll.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

comparison is the thief of joy--right? yes. it is. ever since i arrived in brasil i have been comparing myself to others. first to melissa, that i wasn't doing a good job at teaching english or that i wasn't discipling girls or that i was just the worst. then i started hearing about this girl who has been coming to the lar for years with her family and she's better than sliced bread. for four months now i have heard about how great taylor is and how great it is when she is here and on and on on and on. and i got insecure. really really really insecure. and insecurities led to jealousy. and jealousy led to ill thoughts. towards a girl I DIDNT EVEN KNOW. so...i messaged her. we started having friendly conversations as her arrival date approached. i prayed daily for her. i prayed that god would remove these insecurities from my heart. the ill thoughts i had were nothing more than bandaids i tried to hide my insecurities behind. even as we messaged more and my heart softened and i got to see that she lives up to the hype that proceeds her. i have been preparing my apartment for her arrival. i continually prepare my heart for her (and another girl) to live in this tiny apartment with me and share life with me. i have grown more and more excited for her arrival. I have longed for a friend since being here and God is sending two cool girls to live in the room next to mine. I am grateful.

last night i was laying in my hammock and just knew i had to tell her these things. i wrote her a long message confessing my insecurities and jealous thoughts and telling her i had moved on from them but i couldn't stand to have her arrive without having confessed them first. i longed for her to assuage any rements of fears i had. she did. she was gentle and kind and i am so grateful. she reminded me that we are in this ministry together. 

how often do i forget that. i am doing work for the kingdom. she is doing work for the kingdom. if a 12 year old girl hugs her more than she hugs me in a will go on. if i get hung up on that i am hindering the kingdom and not furthering it. lord help me remember that. i don't know where these insecurities and fears come from other than from sin. its so ugly. 

my friend diana posted a picture on instagram today that said "I'm not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it" - erica cook. I'm all about that. I  want to root for people more. I want to hope and pray that she can connect with girls better than i can. i pray that god uses things in her life to reveal more of himself to girls. i pray that god uses things in my life to reveal more of himself to girls. sometimes michael scott is right and life is a win win win situation. i pray i can root more for the win win win's. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

i am spending the day at mark and paige's beach house all by myself. life is glorious. and i am so grateful. i laid in the sand for a long time this morning trying to be still and quiet and telling God i was ready to hear from him. instead i got the song Body Language by Jesse McCartney stuck in my head. Last night at diner Paige was advising me on how to treat some girls here who I have had issues with and she said "you only have a limited amount of time left to plant love them as best you can". Inbetween singing Body Language and the ocean lapping at my toes I thought about where Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep. I turned that into my prayer. It wasn't too hard because it wasn't like I heard or even thought God said "pull the toenails off a girl" so it wasn't like I had to really question whether feeding his sheep was a good idea or not. I prayed that in the 9.5 weeks I have left that I would be able to do that. then I got insecure. I've been battling in my mind the concept or thoughts that I am a bad missionary. I do not lead bible study. I do not constantly talk to girls about jesus or pray with them or lead them in spiritual matters. I've been insecure that my time here will be a waste if i do not lead a girl to Christ or see active fruit in a girls life due to something I told her or did for her or with her. All these things are really stupid things to think about because they all revolve around me. 

i do not do all the aforementioned things. i do however-love these girls, laugh with them, stroke their arms when they are crying, play incessant games of uno with them, lend them my nailpolish, cook scrambled eggs with them, have my quiet time on my porch every morning and wave as girls walk by my house, and live a lot of life with them. 

i've been remembering lately that my everyday life is my testimony and that all these things can be holy and saturated with the gospel if my heart is in the right place. so, i think that is good. but i can be encouraged and remember to carry on and to not become weary which lately i have been. 

as i jumped the waves and continued thinking i also thought that i need to seriously change my vocabulary. my friend heather last summer taught me the value of changing the atmosphere sometimes. in your heart, in your room, in your life. sometimes you really just have to change the atmosphere. you can't always change the situations or circumstances but you can change the atmosphere. i've been needing to change my vocabulary though. i have been so accustomed to saying things are hard or just okay or sucky or whatever and i decided that that probably makes god pretty sad. every day he gives me a day and tries to give me things that will bring me joy, if nothing else--himself should bring me enough joy--and every day i get sad or lonely or frustrated and give up hope. i try to reclaim joy, i read books about hope. i try to love girls out of my own heart and every day i feel weary. i think if i stopped being such a selfish idiot for a minute though i could really think of some great things. like today. like a gracious day at the beach all alone. girls telling diana to tell me to come home soon because they miss me. the excitement i have about having two cool girls live with me soon so i don't have to be all alone forever now. also, enjoying my last few weeks of solitude in the apt. life is good. i hate that i'm so slow to realize that and be okay with it. i hope my vocabulary can change and that when i leave this place i can remember the good and not just say...that was hard as shit for 6 months. 

good thing God is in the buisness of redemption and is already redeeming this time and will continue to do so.

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