Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review: A Life That Says Welcome...and an update :)

Well, we spent the month of January and some of February with my family in VA.  We had a wonderful visit and we were even able to bring a little someone special back with us...that's right, I'm expecting baby #2!!!  We're so excited and can't wait to meet this new blessing sometime in early October 2016!  Anyway, I say all that to say that I didn't really have a chance to write out my goals for the year until we got home.  One of my biggest goals for this year is to read a new book every month (or review an old one :d).  This book was the first of many (I hope) in 2016!

A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman is a wonderful reminder on the importance of hospitality, especially as Christians, and includes some practical ways to prepare your home and heart for guests!  Karen starts out by giving you a little bit of background into her own life and journey from clueless cook to welcoming hostess.  Turning to the Scriptures she presents examples of hospitality and the importance of making sure your heart is right first before you open your home to others.  Also she shares "Our families need to come first as the recipients of love, creativity, and handiwork."pg.44.  Its so easy to get into the mode of serving and impressing others that we forget about our own little brood and how to serve and bless them.  What a great reminder!  From there the book proceeds to cover practical ways to stay on top of dirt and clutter, ideas to decorate your home, recipes for big crowds or picky eaters, and how to take hospitality on the road.  All together I was inspired to become more hospitable to the people around me and to be open to however the Lord may want to use me in this way!

I hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Sunday celebrating the victory our Lord had over death, hell and the grave!  All glory to Him!  What a joy to be His child!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thoughts...on love and marriage :)

"I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases."
Song of Songs 3:5

Well, I'm doing well!  The Lord has blessed our family abundantly and I'm so grateful for my amazing husband and my precious baby girl.  Adelyn is growing up too fast but we're enjoying this new season of life as parents.  God is so good!

I've had some thoughts floating around in my head...mainly regarding the above verse.  For the past 2 months I've been blessed to be able to meet with a godly older woman and be encouraged in my journey as a wife and mother.  Just today we were talking about some of the challenges marriage can bring.  Marriage is not always bright and rosy and that's not necessarily a bad thing :).  In fact, marriage is wonderful at showing me my pride, selfishness, and hardheadedness (is that a word?).  Its one of God's greatest tools in perfecting me into what He desires in my heart and life :)!

Something we talked about today (and I remember my daddy teaching me this) is that I can never change another person.  That's not my responsibility...that's God's!  I can pray for my husband, I can support him and encourage him but I'm not responsible for changing him into what I want in a spouse.  Now granted, if you are both seeking the Lord you will hopefully desire to change in certain areas that are particularly troublesome to your "better half".  The point though is that what your husband does or does not do should not determine how you act or respond.  That's really hard!  It's so easy for Mr. Flesh to step in and begin to make excuses for my ugly attitude or sinful thoughts.  Instead I should respond as Jesus did, humbly.

To get back to the above verse though it says "...do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases."  God is great at arranging marriages...He's been doing it for quite sometime :)!  Don't rush into marriage but do allow the Lord to lead.  Be sensitive to what He's showing you about this person.  Try to see the good and the bad BEFORE you're married.  Have a realistic view of marriage.  Prepare yourself.  Read good books on love and marriage before you're married.  Ask questions of married couples.  Research your role according to Scripture and what a godly man should look like.  If you are blessed with godly parents seek wisdom and counsel from them.  Pray A LOT!  I know its hard but be patient in waiting :).
Marriage is wonderful!  It can be gloriously amazing some days and downright difficult others but SO worth it!  I think marriage is one of God's biggest blessings to human beings.  No other created thing has the closeness, friendship, and oneness that we humans get to have with our spouse...how special!  "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to wrath." James 1:19...what a great verse for married people!

I don't know if any of this makes sense as I'm just jotting down what's in my head ;)...I do need to go get the baby tucked in now so if you have any questions about what I said please feel free to comment :D!

God bless and I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Learning to be more like Jesus,
Hannah :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lessons I've learned in being a wife :)

My apologies for the lack of activity here on the blog...but I can assure you that things have been pretty active elsewhere :)!  Dylan and I are in the processing of buying a lawn business and he's running the whole thing and I'm taking care of all the book work.  So, with this being our first official lawn season we're staying busy!

But that's not what I got on here to post about.  I am so grateful for the past 15 1/2 months as Dylan's wife.  I continue to learn new things every day and hopefully change to look more and more like Jesus in the way I treat and support my husband.  I wanted to share some things that I've learned (and am learning) with you all.

New daddy!!

1. Being submissive on the outside doesn't necessarily mean you're submissive on the inside.
It took me a little while but I've realized that often times I would manipulate our conversations so that I got what I wanted.  Now, this wasn't always in an outward rebellious behavior but it would occur when I put things a certain way or convinced him to think like I was thinking instead of humbling myself and following him (even if I was sure I was right).  This sort of attitude is not honoring to my husband or to Jesus and its something I still need to work on.

4th of July!

2. Its very important that I support my husband in front of others and especially our children, even if I disagree.
I realize now more than ever how important this is.  People will form an opinion of my husband based on what I say and how I act towards him...wow.  That's a lot of responsibility. Not only that but my children will begin to form an opinion about daddy based on how mommy talks to and treats him.

But, boy is this hard to do when I disagree with either how he's doing something or what he would like me to do.  That ugly sin nature begins to rear its head and "self" and "me" begin to fight a battle in your head (or at least they do in mine :d).  You start to think of all the things you could say about why you either agree or disagree and.... that's where we have a choice.  I have a choice to either continue to allow those negative thoughts to overflow my brain and spill out my mouth or I can stop right there...pray for the Lord's strength to support and love my husband and trust that He is in control.  And honestly knowing that your husband is a Christian and desires to please the Lord does make this easier.  I have to trust that Jesus will speak to Dylan and continue to work through him and change him from the inside out (just like I'm sure Dylan has to do for me too!).

Love these two SO much!!

3. Learn to relax and allow him to control his day.
This has been another one of those areas that has been a struggle for me to embrace.  I come from a very scheduled household (which is, I believe necessary when you have so many people in the house :)) and my personality is the type that likes to accomplish everything I know that needs to get done as soon as possible so I can then sit back and relax.  However my husband has a much more laid back personality and prefers to enjoy some quality time with Adelyn and I in the morning before he leaves for work.  This really used to bug me (and sometimes I still let it) but I've learned a couple things.
First, don't look at the clock!  This little trick has really helped me to stay relaxed and enjoy the time I have with him.
Second, don't try to schedule his day.  If I think he should leave by 10AM I become disappointed, frustrated, and moody when he doesn't leave right when I want him to.  Instead of embracing his timing and trusting that he is fully capable of ordering his day without my assistance (which he is) I ruin the minutes I have with him because of my negative thinking and grouchy attitude.

Well, that's a brief look into my wifely walk lately :).  I'm definitely still learning and the Lord is continuing to chisel me into the wife and mother He's called me to be.  So thankful for His guidance and strength in this amazing journey.  I couldn't be more blessed!

God bless you all.  Until next time...
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah ;)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us LAY ASIDE every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us RUN WITH ENDURANCE the race that is set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS...."
Hebrews 13:1-2a

My husband and I read this chapter for devotions recently and I was reviewing it again today as it really convicted me then.

Lately I've been very busy worrying and being selfish and lets just say that doesn't make a great person to get around with.
The first thing that convicted me was that I was not laying aside EVERY weight and EVERY sin that was ensnaring me.  Instead I was trying to fix things in my own strength and ignoring the sins in my life.   I would give my burdens up to the Lord and almost instantly try to bear them again in my own strength.  I would be upset and know that the battle between the flesh and the spirit was raging but would refuse to humble myself and be corrected by the Lord.  Pride, the biggest weed in the garden of my heart, has made it difficult to see what exactly Jesus has been trying to show me and perfect in me.  I've been so busy with "life" and "me" that I've forgotten to walk in the Spirit (or have been ignoring the gentle corrections of the Spirit).

Why is it so important to lay aside every weight and sin?  Because we have a race to run and it requires endurance.  This race is oftentimes hard, long, and tiring; its the race of life, the life Jesus has for each and ever one of us (and it'll look different for each and every one of us).  This race has its hills and valleys, its dark times and its glory but its impossible to truly run it for the glory of the Lord unless we're unencumbered by the stresses of life and the sins of our hearts.  That's why we must first lay everything aside and THEN look to Jesus!  We cannot run this race alone...and we don't have to!  We, I, must keep my eyes on Him, "the author and finisher of my faith".  Without Him I am nothing...truly!  I am so thankful for His grace and forgiveness, even when I've strayed from the path He has wanted me on!!

So that's the latest thing the Lord's been teaching me...what has He been doing in your life?

Learning to delight in Jesus, every moment of every day!
Hannah :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

The goodness of God

Why do we have the pleasures of life, if God is not good?
Why do we have the joy of watching a newborn baby smile and coo, if God is not good?
Why do we have the honor of watching the frozen wonderland of winter melt into the warm vibrant colors of spring , if God is not good?
Why do we have the beauty of a sunrise every morning and the splendor of a sunset every night, if God is not good?
Why do we get to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the magnificence of a starry night, if God is not good?
Why do we have the privilege of enduring love and God-centered marriage, if God is not good?
Why do we have a warm home, a comfy bed, good food and clothing, if God is not good?
Why do we have the benefit of listening to the happy melody of birds and the noisy songs of crickets, if God is not good?
Why does the sea abound with creatures great and small for us to admire and appreciate, if God is not good?
Why does the land  also hold many animals, each uniquely and wonderfully made, if God is not good?
Why do we get the value of close relationships with people in this lost world, if God is not good?

But even if we did not have these pleasures,
The joy of a newborn child,
The changing of seasons,
The glory of the sunrise and sunset,
The splendor of the skies,
The beauty of love and marriage,
The comforts of life,
The  creativity of each insect and animal,
And the honor of relationships,
God would still be good.

His goodness is not based on what He’s created or blessed us with.; God’s goodness is who He is.  God IS good, its part of His nature; just as much as chocolate is to chocolate cake (yes, I‘m hungry J)!  The key is remembering this when times get tough.  Its so easy for me to base the goodness of God on what I have or don’t have, but in reality that doesn’t change a thing.  God is good ALL the time and ALL the time God is good!  Since we’ve established this fact we should have no fear because we know “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
And it is this very goodness of God that drew us to Himself so that we might be saved (Romans 2:4).  Wow!  What a glimpse into the character and awesomeness of our God!
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is GOOD!  For His mercy endures forever!”
Psalm 118:1

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah  ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My sister and her adventure

For years my sister, Alexis, has grown and developed a love for music.  She has been gifted with a beautiful voice and the ability to create amazing songs on the piano!  I too am a pianist but playing by ear is not my thing :).  Lexi, on the other hand prefers to not look at sheet music and just go off of what sounds right...and she does a great job!  This has enabled her to also pick up a little bit of fiddle (I say a little bit but she can play quite well!) and guitar but that's another story.

At the beginning of this year Lexi felt led to try out for something called Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ.  I don't know all the details but she explains more about it on her blog.  Anyway, she tried out in the music division and was accepted!!  She now is undergoing a couple months of training to refine her skills and then at the end of this year she'll be participating in a huge conference down in Florida.  At this conference she will perform the songs she's been working on all year in front of movie producers, recording agents, big time music artists, etc.  They will then have the ability to contact her and possibly use her professionally in the near future.

Her goal in all of this is to be used for the glory of God in whatever way He sees fit.  This training and conference is not free however and so she's looking to raise support.  If you feel so led please look her up on her blog: 2alexisnoel.blogspot.com

Also, please check out her blog, for more information and updates as the year progresses!
I'm so proud of you, Lex and I know the Lord will use You for His purposes if you stay close to Him.  Don't give up.  Don't give in.  I'm praying for you!

I love you bunches!
Hannah :) 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Adelyn Grace

Well, I've always loved reading birth stories and its still very surreal to know I now have one to share :)!  Its been three weeks since the start of it all and the arrival of our precious daughter.  I want to remember her story for my own sake and for hers.  Only an awesome, living God could create such a beautiful perfect gift!

I'll start at the very beginning....we'd only been in our home 3 weeks when I had a suspicion that I was pregnant.  I told Dylan I thought I might be but it was too early to be sure.  He talked to his brother who gave us some pregnancy tests that his wife had on hand.  After a fun-filled evening over at the Wagner's we arrived home around 11:30pm.  I was so anxious to know if my feelings were right that I took a pregnancy test...not really expecting it to come back positive because I was so early.  Well, after waiting the 10 minutes I came back to check the test and was pleasantly surprised to see two pink lines!  I took another test in the morning just to be sure and that too came back positive; we were going to have a baby (an answer to my prayers)!!

The pregnancy was a breeze!  I had barely any morning sickness and once the first trimester was done I felt great!  I was able to help Dylan with the lawn business a little during the summer and fall as well as keep up an exercise routine.  I think staying active really kept me from becoming too uncomfortable...even the last few weeks.  We found a like minded Christian midwife (Sara) in KS, about 3 hours from our home, who had a beautiful birthing suite that we were told we could use (she does not deliver in our state due to the strict laws regarding midwives and home birth).

My family arrived on Friday, January 16th to visit and hopefully have a chance to see their new grandchild/niece!  I was having a good amount of Braxton Hicks that week but nothing painful or really noticeable.  I knew my body was prepping and I was excited!

Wednesday night, January 21st, Dylan arrived home late and was taking a shower while I was relaxing on the bed reading a good book.  I sat up to readjust my position and felt a squirt of fluid.  I thought I had accidentally gone to the bathroom on myself so I hurried to the restroom to change my underwear.  I waited a couple minutes but nothing really happened so I went to stand up when another squirt of fluid convinced me that I wasn't having problems "holding it" but rather was leaking amniotic fluid!  It was around 11PM Wednesday night.  I got myself situated with a towel between my legs and then let my mom know (as she was coming with us) and called the midwife.  She said we could come over right now or wait until contractions started.  Thinking I would be more comfortable at home, we opted to wait a little while.  Well, around midnight I started having some contractions on and off but nothing really consistent.  Around 3 am I decided I wanted to go ahead and go just in case.  After collecting all of our birthing supplies, pillows, and food we climbed into my dad's Chevy truck and headed down the road.  Fortunately we only had to turn around once to get the baby car seat we almost forgot :)!

On the way there my contractions were pretty consistent; every 6-8 minutes.  I breathed through them but they weren't hard.  Once we got there the midwife encouraged us to rest so we laid down for a few hours.  I didn't really sleep though.  I was just too excited and nervous.

The contractions really slowed while we were resting so Sara encouraged us to walk around, take an herbal concoction to help start labor, smell essential oils, etc.  Around 3 PM Dylan, Momma, Mom Wagner (she arrived while we were napping), and I decided to walk around the park in town (about 20 minutes away).  Almost as soon as we arrived back at the midwife's an hour or so later, the contractions really picked up and active labor began.  The toilet was a relaxing spot in early labor but soon I was pacing the rooms, stopping to lean on something during contractions, and moaning softly.  At 7:30PM Sara offered to check me and I was pleasantly surprised that I was already at 5 cm and 95% effaced!  Yay...halfway through!

Well, honestly after that details become really blurred in my memory.  I decided to get in the tub and things really picked up.  Unfortunately Adelyn's heart rate would drop pretty low through contractions but then would go back up to a normal range in between.  However it was low enough that I had to be on oxygen during contractions.  That wasn't fun...especially since I was feeling like I couldn't do it.  Dylan was a great help and support through the entire labor and stayed attentively by my side. What a great husband I have!  Sara checked me again at 10:45 PM and I was 7 1/2 cm with baby's head REALLY low.   I labored a little while longer in the tub but was really uncomfortable and having really bad back pain during contractions.  Because of Adelyn's fluctuating heart I had to stay in certain positions so she could get the most oxygen possible.  That really limited my maneuverability and I wish now that I could've moved around more.
Finally it was time to push but Sara moved me to the bed to deliver.  I laid on my left side and began pushing.  Only about 15 minutes of pushing (which actually didn't hurt as much as I thought) Adelyn Grace joined our little family!  I had one small tear above my perineum but other than that I was good!

Its been an amazing three weeks since I became a mommy!  God is so good and He has blessed me with the fulfillment of this my biggest dream...to be a wife and a mom!  I'm looking forward to the future and what He wants to do with this little life that He's given us for a time.  My prayer is that she would come to know Jesus at a young age and be used for His glory!

Hope to post again soon! :)
Learning more about Jesus every day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What a joy!

Once again, my apologies for the length of time that passes between posts!  First a little update and then a little encouragement :).

Dylan and I are doing very well.  My husband has a lawn business with his dad and brother so things have been staying very busy!  They recently took over another lawn business so we've been adjusting to all the new customers and all the book work :).  I'm so grateful for the training I had doing the billing for my dad's business because now I get to assist with my husbands!  I never would've dreamed that I would marry a lawn care worker but its neat to see how the Lord prepares you for the future...without you even realizing it!
Anyway, other than the craziness that always tends to come with summers things have been pretty peaceful.  I'm still enjoying my quiet time when I'm at home but really looking forward to having a baby in the house in just 25ish weeks!  The pregnancy is going very well and I've been blessed with little to no morning sickness.  We recently met with our midwife for the first time and we really liked her!  Our preference is to have the birth as natural as possible.  After watching my mom have 3 homebirths, I would've loved to have had one but unfortunately in NE its illegal to have a midwife at your home birth (you can have a homebirth, just no knowledgeable person is allowed to be present....).  Being this is our first baby we decided to go with a midwife in KS who not only does homebirths for those in the state but also allows couples to come and birth in her office.  I wasn't really certain I would like that idea but after seeing the place and meeting the people both Dylan and I were pretty excited!  They have a great set up and a relationship with some people at the hospital nearby if we needed to transfer.  Plus, our midwife is a Christian and I'm really looking forward to getting to know her and her family better! 
Some of my family recently came out for a week long visit which was wonderful (you can check out my family's blog for pictures and more info)!  I've really missed them but I'm so glad to have most of Dylan's family nearby.  The Lord has truly blessed me with a great extended family...I feel right at home!
We're still enjoying our little country church and a couple weekends ago enjoyed an ice-cream social with most of the members.  Ice-cream in summer time is amazing (well, ice cream anytime is :D)...and so is chicken nuggets and fries, and burgers, and pizza, and salad, and chocolate chip cookies, and...sorry, pregnancy stomach talking here...where was I? :)  We're very thankful to have a godly, Bible-based church to attend and be encouraged in!
Well, I think that pretty much sums up where things are at currently.  The Lord is constantly changing and molding us and we're so grateful that we get to go through the rest of this life together! 

I just want to say to all you young ladies waiting and dreaming of your future homes, its as great as it sounds!  I LOVE being a wife and while yes, at times it is difficult to put my husband first (after the Lord, of course) it is better than I dreamed.  And knowing that you are being used to hold and nurture a precious new life is so exciting and amazing!!  The number one thing to remember is to keep the Lord first and central in your life (which becomes a little more difficult once you have a family to attend to but the Lord is teaching me).  If you do that and you have a realistic view of marriage and what He says about it, you won't be disappointed!  Read up on marriage now.  Prepare for being a wife and mother NOW.  Anticipate the ups and downs of marriage.  It isn't always like a fairy tale but it can be if you are especially willing to put these verses into practice:
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
Philippians 2:3-4
Its hard, yes but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" and it is so worth it!  Pray for your husbands now.  Learn from godly couples now.  Don't wait...prepare in Christ's strength and your marriage can indeed be wonderful, dreamy, amazing, outstanding, and beyond your wildest dreams!

I pray the Lord will continue to teach and grow me in this season of my life (as He's so good at doing, if we just allow Him :D)!
Hopefully the baby won't be born by the next time I post :)!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
"Oh, how great is Your goodness which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!"
Psalm 31:19

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1 Month

On Monday, Dylan and I celebrated our one month anniversary...crazy!  It seems like forever long ago that we got married and honestly that day is a little blurry in my memory.  Hard to believe it actually happened but so glad it did!

We didn't do anything really special due to the fact that I had a fresh cold so we just enjoyed the day off and did some shopping a little later in the day.  We do have a very special one month anniversary gift from God though :).....we're gonna have a baby!!!  Yep!  I'm currently a little over four weeks pregnant with this little one due in late January!  We're so excited and so thankful for this blessing!  God has been so good to us!!

For those of you wondering if we meant to have a baby so soon, I'm here to put you at ease :).  No, we weren't "planning" on having a baby but we were content with God's timing, whether that was now or years from now.  The Lord is the one who opens and closes the womb so who are we to try and control it?  Dylan and I believe children are a gift and an inheritance from the Lord (Psalm 127-128) and we're so honored to have been trusted to raise this precious life!  Please understand this is a personal conviction for our family and is not meant to judge any other family's decision regarding this area.

That being said, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am!!  For as long as I can remember I've dreamed of being a wife and a mom and the Lord has so graciously given me the desires of my heart...wow!!  I shall try to keep you all posted on this pregnancy and whatever else our life may hold together!

Hopefully next time I'll have some pictures too :)!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Update...finally :)

Wow!  Its hard to believe it'll be a month since we got married in five days!!  Time flies way too fast!

There have been a lot of changes in the last month; all good, some hard but good.  We had a very pleasant honeymoon and really just enjoyed being together and learning more about each other!  We came back to my parents home for a day and then flew back to our new home...1400 miles away. The goodbyes were tough as we knew it would be a while before we saw each other again but thankfully the Lord has truly blessed me with the man I can now call my husband.  He is so gentle and kind, such a strength to me in this transition.  I couldn't ask for a better  lifelong partner!  Every night he comes home from working very hard in the lawn business and wraps me in his strong arms and kisses me quite passionately...wow, am I blessed or what?! :)

Honestly, I've really fallen in love with my small town!  I'm only about half a mile from our bank, a grocery store (which has an excellent selection at pretty decent prices), a flower shop, city hall, the courthouse, auto mechanics, and thrift store.  I have had some adjusting to do with small town life (like going up to the courthouse where our local DMV was supposed to be and learning they're only there twice a month :D) but overall its been a very positive experience!  A big plus is that my brother and sister in love live only 2 miles away with two absolutely adorable kids who now call me Aunt Hannah.  Also Mom and Dad W live only 15-20 minutes away, which has been nice!

We've been settling in as the newest married couple at our church and I've really enjoyed the preaching!  Its a small country church where almost everybody except Dylan's family is related :).  They welcome you like family though and are all very kind!

As far as actual wifehood goes I'm loving it!!! Being a wife is one of those things I always dreamed about and now that its finally happened its better than I imagined!  I would say to all of you unmarried girls out there hoping/praying the Lord will bring the right one to you, have realistic expectations.  Remember you are just a sinner saved by grace marrying another sinner saved by grace.  But the awesome thing is that when Christ is in the center of both of your lives and your marriage He does some pretty amazing things!!  So don't stress, sit back and relax through the journey of life and let Christ be your Captain (preaching to myself here!)...He knows what He's doing!!

Hopefully it won't be too terribly long before I post again but I'm not making any promises :)!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Mrs. W :)