Sunday, February 1, 2015

The untitled post of my thoughts this evening.

“Hannah! Come quick!” I left what I was doing to go see whatever it was that was causing the urgency in my boss’ (I’ll call her Audrey) voice. “Look!” she said, “That’s the girl that my husband said he loves. The one in the gray pants.” I looked at the lady she was talking about. She was shorter and fluffier than Audrey “How can he say that?” she asked me. I don’t remember what I said and to my regret I don’t remember saying anything.

That is just one example of the frantic-ness which occurred often in the 4+ months I knew her.
It was a daily occurrence. I would get to work at 7 in the morning and shortly after that Audrey would get there. She usually seemed to be hung over from the night before and it would take about 3 hours for her to come around. When she did start talking she was usually mad at the person above her (the manager of the store where I worked) and there was always a story from her time at the bar the night before or it was a story of how she sat down by the pond fishing till midnight or 1:00 in the morning… and every day there were tears. They usually lasted through the whole day. Many days she spent a good fourth of her day outside on the phone crying.  There was deep hatred inside. And the lies…to customers, to us girls working under her, to the guys above her… lies to everyone about everyone… it was better to just figure something out on your own than trying to ask her because what she would tell you, you would soon discover was not the truth.

The last time I saw her was back in August 2014. She had left work that night muttering hatred and threats aimed mainly at the store manager.

I haven’t ever been able to stop thinking of her. At times I want to but for the most part I don’t. What I do want to forget is the stress that was there for 4 months. What I don’t want to forget is her. I want to remember what God had to teach me about loving the unlovable. I remember so clearly thinking how she is equal to me. Sure, I was raised in a Christian home and at the age of 18 my life was vastly different then hers at 50. Much more ‘good’. While I may have never had abortions, gotten drunk every night, slept with every available man or what have you, I still couldn’t have any pride in thinking God loved me more. Because He doesn’t.

 I wish I could say that she came to know Jesus and that the whole entire situation changed but I can’t. What I can say though is that God showed me a whole different meaning to the word love. And when I see how He loves people like Audrey it’s very squelching to any pride that He would love me more because of how much ‘better’ I am.

I don’t work at that particular store anymore, but it’s interesting the reactions I get when I tell people what I miss the most from my 17 months there. I tell people honestly that the thing I miss the most is working with the people. I miss working right beside them every day. I miss being in on their lives. It was my all time favorite activity of the day to see a co-worker sad and have them laughing and positive till they left that night.

 I know some people think it wasn’t a very good environment to surround myself with. “What terrible company for a young person…” I can almost hear them thinking…  It was dark. But God was also at work there. I felt His Spirit there. Some days when the darkness and stress was so heavy that it felt claustrophobic another worker would tell me how glad they were that I was there. I would give them a hug. Tell them how glad I was to know them…or give them a compliment. It would make their day just hearing words of kindness. Other days it was them giving me a hug. But lest you think I always embraced the stress and every other chance I had to show complete Christlikeness… I didn’t.


All that said…Don’t shy away from loving the ‘unlovable’. After all, who is the unlovable? It’s us just as much as it is them. Open up your life and let Jesus love them through you. You won’t ever regret it. I promise. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Worship.

Without reservations. Because you are loved.

This post is a pile of my thoughts from the last several days. They have been going in all sorts of directions and have been inspired by all sorts of things but I'm finding that they all stem back to one thing.

Worship.

It's Human nature. We were made to worship. Something. We feel the need to devote our life to something. Our energy. Our time. Our worship. What we worship is what we crave. It's what we sacrifice our time for. I don't need to list all the things that could possibly fit in this description. You already know it. Just look inside your self and if you're very honest you probably won't have a hard time of knowing what it is that is the object of your worship. 

But this isn't a post about idolatry. That is a whole 'nother subject...

 Here I'm talking about Jesus. We have grown up being told what our "worship" should look like but is that really truth?

There's more to be discovered about the heart of God.

There are multitudes who have no idea what He really wants. To many of us He is portrayed to be a God whom we are to serve by way of our good deeds and works. As a way of somehow hopefully paying Him back for the suffering He endured when He paid for our sin. Right there you have it. He paid the price because He knew we couldn't. So why do we think we can pay it back?  If Jesus paid our debt because he knew we couldn't..... that's that. He didn't do it to suffice until we could... he did it instead of us. That shows us right there that God is not interested in our works of 'payment'. He wants our worship.

In the past I have had a very shallow understanding of worship. In fact I didn't really know what it was. I felt that there was much more to it than what I saw portrayed. I had this idea that Christ died for me so that I had a reason to serve/give back to Him. I didn't get it that He was actually doing what He did so that I would know that He loved me. That He wanted a relationship with me.

I have grown up singing the song "I Stand Amazed" but it wasn't until recently that the words ...He shed no tears for His own grief but sweat drops of blood for mine... actually sunk in. I was singing the song with a group of others and suddenly my thoughts ran wild like this: "Wait! What are the next words?" and then it was: "Really? I never knew it said that! O Jesus thank you! This changes everything..."  And then there were various other thoughts that I don't remember as exactly.

The main point is this: How we view God determines how we view worship to Him.

If we believe the lie that we must work hard to repay Him -out of love of course- for what He did for us then we will also -most likely- feel as though we are never good enough for Him. Like we will never measure up to what He deserves to have from us. We will feel insecure about offering Him nothing but ourselves. On the flip side when we realize that we can't repay Him and that His whole reason for dying was to bring God closer than ever to man and also to show us just how great His unconditional love is than our response is naturally one of thankfulness, praise, love, worship.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

God in a $0.40 CD

She was at a thrift store with her sisters. She was looking for something exciting. That one thing that had 'her name' on it. She did what she always does first and went to the clearance section of the store. To her left was a gigantic rack of music. She went there next since she can't leave a store without looking through the music. There it was, close to the front. A 14 yr. old CD that was marked 80% off its original price of $1.99! When this particular young lady sees music for $0.40 it just has a way of going into her cart. And most times it doesn't go back on the shelf. Just imagine. 11 songs for $0.40?!

That was me. Hannah, the person writing this. That music was probably the favorite thing I purchased all day. I haven't stopped listening to it since. The whole album is full of God's Spirit. I needed that. I love it when a song has been around for 16 years -a popular song at that- and suddenly you find that version of it that is instantly your favorite. It's anointed. It's different from all the others.

I had specifically been asking God to reveal Himself to me in some way. He did. In a way that I wasn't expecting. It's those little things that cause my belief in God to grow bigger. How do I know that He cares about the very small things? Because He made Himself known to me through a very small thing. It was nothing big and/or sophisticated. Simply bringing to me 11 songs -for practically free- that have blessed me over and over.

How has God made Himself known to you today? Maybe it was a hug from a random friend. Maybe you were going through something difficult or outright hard and that person who had no idea gave you chocolate for no reason at all or maybe they spoke words of life to you right when you needed it the most. Maybe God spoke His love to you through flowers from a child or by simply watching the leaves dance around in the wind. Or the sunset... or who knows, maybe someone posted something on Facebook that was just what you needed for that day. A moment of Light. Truth. Promise.

Look around you. Most times God doesn't throw a big party when He tells us He loves us. A lot of times it's in the small things. The things that make our hearts happy. It's when we realize these things are gifts, that we know. Without a doubt. That He really and truly cares. Because we are His.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jacob & Dorcas - The wedding

And so it was. My sister got married. And it was beautiful! I have so many memories from that day that I could talk for hours about it. But since no body wants to spend hours reading a blog post I shall condense it to these 36 pictures & a few words.

 It was a most lovely wedding. It was beautiful. God was present. It has been marked in my head as one of my favorite weddings ever!  So I shall begin:

We started the day with our cousin bringing us coffee drinks of our choice to drink while the hair and make up was being worked on... It was quite pleasant of her I thought... :)

The flower girls were most adorable I thought. They became friends very fast which was adorable to watch! On the way to the place where pictures were to be taken they sat in the back seat counting each others freckles... It was entertaining.

Dorcas was a stunning bride! Her face says it all!

What's not to like about eating cheesecake for breakfast? 
Especially with that pretty, stripped tea towel bib about your neck....

The front of the church...



Our family. Just us. Somehow we all grew up and it seems as though we're all the same age. Just look at us being all adult and everything... haha! :)

And then there are the rest of us...

These two played beautiful prelude music! Every time I think of it I remember how the bridal party was all down stairs and we could hear the music while being told stories of times when people have fainted while standing up front and we were being mildly instructed on what to do should we began to feel light in our heads and so on... It was a little entertaining. 

Jacob welcomed all the guests..

All of us sisters had a spot in the bridal party along with one of our cousins. Somehow it felt organized to me to be in the middle. I know it sounds weird but it just was that way. It seems to me that Dorcas was probably coming in at this time judging by all our expressions.


There was a wonderful time of worship...




"The Prayer" Let me just say that God totally sang that song for me. Practice did not go well. At rehearsal it went worse yet. I went home and prayed over that song. The next day I felt like it was going to be completely fine. It was. My God is awesome! 

A prayer of blessing.

Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Potsander!! 

The reception was beautiful! It was relaxed and fun...

There were lots of beautiful hydrangeas on the tables...
 

Simple beauty & loveliness...


There was happy music being played...which is always a good thing in any situation.


I love this picture! It captures so much of the joy that was there! 


 
A few random sibling pictures....






 The old car they left in was perfect. Even better than their original plan which is another story that I don't remember all of.... 

So there you have it. And the time has come to end this post.

-the end

Thursday, August 14, 2014

That weekend in June

June? Really? Your still doing a post on something that was way back then? Yes. Because for 2 months now I've been intending to post pictures of when my two sisters were here for a week but I didn't get it done. 

Priority complications? Yes. Probably.

So I'll start. Two of the sisters were coming for a week. The one has 4 kids & the other had just gotten engaged a small while before .. and since she was in the middle of planning her wedding it would be the perfect opportunity to have her Mom and sister make her dress. --This wedding is going to be in just 2 weeks from Saturday and I'm so super excited 'cause I get to have the fun of doing the cake/cupcakes and being a bridesmaid.... and then I will have pictures to post from that as well! ---

 
There were yards of white fabric and beautiful lace...

Sara begins the cutting of the dress....

Some nights we stayed up late to keep her company while she sewed and then Aubrey would get to stay up with us...and we would eat ice cream and other good things 'cause it's just so much fun to have a 7 yr. old niece to have night parties with! :)
 
 The kids were entertained for hours making all kinds of animals out of beads

 Coloring with Grandma...


And the poor baby kitty's got way more attention then they were asking for I believe. They put on a real display of long-suffering through the week!


I made them each their own little cake. the picture is kinda bright so you can't see very well... Kyler had a Thomas cake, Aubrey had one of those that looks like a princess with a big frilly skirt and for Mya's I cut the shape of a kitty face and gave it eyes, ears, a nose and whiskers and whatever else might go on a cat face.... she was pleased as punch and didn't seem to notice that it had pale green eyes and whiskers. :) 
--that was because I wasn't feeling like coloring any more icing. --


Kyler built a Lego 'helicopter' .


And a Lego airplane!

Once we took the kids to feed the fish. $0.88 bread from Walmart works great and is severely cost efficient and Mya seemed to think it was tasty as well. She usually got 1/2 of her slice before the fish got any!  


Colson and his Mommy. 

My current cover photo on Facebook. Just 'cause I like it...

This child has gorgeous blue eyes! 

Kyler found so many little frogs. It was amazing how many he could fit in his hand too! Once he was holding so many that he said they "were sleeping" in his hands. :) Love his imagination!


Stories with Dorcas...

We had an abundance of fresh peas over that time thus they made there appearance at nearly every meal. Looks like Mya stopped for a while to diligently shell them.

Walking along the lake. Gorgeous.



At the end of the week more of the family came. Here it's Jacob & Dorcas and Eric & Naomi

And Wes & Sara...

Us sisters. We worked hard to get a good one of all of us but it wasn't working so well that day. Rhoda has already spoken her dislike & also forgiveness to me for putting this picture on. I like it 'cause it shows her personality so well.

Miss Mya Grace and her Daddy...

Tomorrows Friday. and then it's the weekend.... Have a great one people!