Friday, December 6, 2013


I'm back!  Sorry for the delay between posts but I just got back from a wonderful 13 days with my new extended family-to-be Wednesday.  I wanted to fill you guys in on the details of the engagement and the time since then.

It all started 2 weeks ago today....I had just gotten off of my plane and was headed towards the baggage claim area when off in the distance I saw the face of the one I loved and in his hands was a dozen red roses.  We met somewhere in the middle and said "hello".  He handed me the roses and I said my thanks before we headed down the escalator to pick up my obnoxious pink and purple bag :)!  The bag soon arrived and Dylan then picked it up and led me back up the escalator.  I wondered at this but figured he was just going to lead me over the covered walkway to the parking deck since it was snowing/sleeting outside (he's very considerate like that).  We began to walk over when he paused in the middle of the bridge.  I turned and asked if his car was this way.  He responded, "No".  At that point I was like "then why are we headed this way?", but before I could say anything he said, "I have something else for you."  I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat :)!  He then told me the words every woman wants to here "Hannah, I love you.".  I acknowledged that I loved him too and then he pulled a box out of his pocket, got down on one knee, and said, "Will you marry me?".  And I said "Yes!!".

Now, you have to understand the preciousness of this moment.  We had never said that we loved each other before (we had agreed to wait until we were engaged and committed), we had been serious in protecting each others hearts from the very beginning and had allowed ourselves very little romantic expressions.  Why?
The courtship process is different for everyone, but for us it was a time to pursue the possibility of marriage.  Since we did not know for sure whether or not we would be married, we endeavored to get to know each other as best as we could while still guarding each others hearts in case we weren't meant to be together.  Another guideline we had set is that we would not touch until we were married.  To most people this is crazy and over the top but our reasoning is this; I am not yet his.  Physical touch is an amazing gift from God to a married couple but unfortunately in today's dating culture physical touch is undervalued and overused.  We want it to be a special moment when we first hold hands in preparation for pledging ourselves to each other until "death do us part".  The Scripture warns "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." (1 Corinthians 7:1), so this is one of those areas we decided to be extra careful in :).

And thus ends our engagement story!  The Lord has been so good and it has been so obvious to both of us that He truly is the one that orchestrated our relationship.  We enjoyed our 13 days together and are so grateful for that time to draw closer to each other and to the Lord!  Please continue to pray for us as we begin planning for an April 19th, 2014 wedding.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you would like!  We want others to learn and be encouraged by all that the Lord has done!

In His love,

P.S.- I hope to have a couple of posts in the near future detailing our courtship process!  So be prepared! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Review: Let Me Be A Woman

Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroes of the faith!  Not only did she minister alongside her husband, Jim Elliot, to the Auca Indians, but she continued to minister to them even after they killed him.  She has written several books on the topic and on Jim's life.  She also has written several books on men and women and their relationships.  This was one of those books :)!
Let Me Be a WomanMrs. Elliot wrote this book to her daughter who was getting ready to be married.  It reads more like a letter then a book and contains pages of motherly advice and wisdom.  She starts out by contrasting the differences between men and women.  Grounded in Scripture, she points out that a woman cannot find true joy unless she is a woman.   In today's society, thanks to the radical growth of the feminist movement, it has become hard to discern what our role is as women.  Only when we turn to the Bible can we attain a proper perspective on who we should be as women.  Mrs. Elliot points out that woman was made for man.  Now in today's culture that is almost instantaneously attacked.  But that's because our culture is no longer looking at things through a Biblical perspective.  In Genesis 2 it clearly states that woman was made to be man's helpmeet.  That's why it is a beautiful thing when two people, a man and a woman, choose to join their lives together and become one flesh.  But marriage is not the end of the story.  Mrs. Elliot covers the realities of married life.  In other words its not always going to be easy.  But if two people, under the authority of Jesus Christ, are willing to live out the roles assigned to them by God, it can be a beautiful thing!

Mrs. Elliot covers the four things you will receive when you marry a man:
~ A Sinner
~ A Man
~ A Husband
~ A Person

She also covers the topics of submission, obedience, humility, what makes marriage work, love (in both the physical and spiritual), and so much more!

I highly recommend this book for anyone preparing for, looking forward to, or getting ready for marriage!
Ages 16 and up or as directed by your parents :)

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Adventure Expanded

Hello Everyone,

I am so glad that I can now share a little bit more about the "adventure"!!

Last November I joined a homeschoolers alumni website ( per daddy's request.  I set up a profile and had the opportunity to post my convictions on a couple of forums on the website.  Then in February of this year a young man, who also was on the website, asked if he could send messages to me every-now-and-again.  Now I was not on this website to collect a large "friend" circle and I was especially careful about communicating online with a guy I didn't even know.  But after consulting with my father I agreed to write him back and forth.  I honestly didn't think anything of it.  I did not like the idea of online relationships and I had pretty much blocked that area off in my mind as an unrealistic way to get to know someone.  I did like what this guy had to say and appreciated his convictions but I was not romantically attached to him.  This is when the Lord started His plans :)!

Near the end of July this young man contacted my father and asked to start a courtship with me.  After 3-4 weeks of intense questioning regarding theology and convictions on both email and the phone, we were at the point where we needed to meet each other in person.  Dylan flew out here from Nebraska (where he lives) to stay with us for two weeks in the middle of September.  Our first meeting was a little awkward and we had a couple of things we needed to work out.  When he left to go back home I wasn't positive that we were going to continue the relationship.  So I handed that dream over to the Lord and waited.  Only a few days after Dylan had left he contacted me and asked me if I would fly out to Nebraska to stay with his family for 10 days.  I had complete peace with going and surprisingly (for me, anyway) I wasn't even nervous.  :)

I just got back from a wonderful 10 days with Dylan's family and with him.  I enjoyed the time we had to truly get to know each other and begin to give our hearts to each other.  He will be visiting us again next week and I hope to keep you all posted on this wonderful season in my life.  The Lord works in mysterious ways and when God writes your love story you must learn to expect the unexpected :)!

Prayers I know would be appreciated for the both of us as we continue to pursue the possibility of a lifetime together!

Please feel free to ask questions!  I want others to learn too!!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Friday, October 4, 2013

An Adventure

Tomorrow, dear friends, I start out on an adventure.  It should be fun, encouraging, and maybe even challenging but God will be with me all the while.  I've never done anything like this before and yet God's peace that passes all understanding has been my constant shield during this past year.  "Faith, have faith," those are the words God has placed on my heart.  Along with these verses from Psalm 40:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  
He has put a new song in my mouth- praise to our God; 
Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.  
Blessed is that man [or woman] who makes the Lord his [or her] trust.  
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; 
And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; 
If I would declare and speak of them, 
They are more than can be numbered.  
I delight to do Your will, O my God.  
And Your law is within my heart."

These verses have been the cry of my heart lately!
Prayers would be much appreciated as I embark on this adventure.  I hope when I return to share a little bit more of what God has been doing in my life!

Have a blessed week!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Wow- time flies by a lot faster when you're older!  I can't believe it has been 2 months since my last post- you have my most sincere apologies.

The past two months have been above normal crazy.  The Lord has been working in a special way in my life and its been a time of ups and downs.  One minute I think I've got this contentment and waiting thing all under control and the next I'm wondering what His will is and when He's going to reveal it!  One second I'm super excited about all He's doing in my life and the next it seems like nothing is going as planned.  I'm learning to expect the unexpected with God.  His thoughts and plans are so above mine and I know they're so much better but sometimes I would like a little heads up ;).  Below is a section of Scripture that has encouraged and strengthened me during the past couple of months.

"I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
   my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
   because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
   my flesh also shall rest in hope.
You will show me the path of life;
   in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 16:7-9,11

What a comfort to know that God has my whole life in the palm of His hands and that He is in complete control!  Over the past couple of weeks I've had to learn to continually place all of my ambitions, hopes, and plans in His hands.  I've had to learn to surrender my dreams and desires for His dreams and desires for me.  It has been a learning process but also a process full of joy as I draw closer to my Savior every day!  In Bright Lights last week I taught on contentment without even realizing how much I would need to learn from that lesson :)!  But God has been patient with me and He continues to love and gently guide me along His paths.  What an amazing God I serve!

May the Lord's blessings be with you all this week!
Until next time..... :)
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I was in a pit, all dirty and bruised
And nothing I did could bring me to You.
No method of mine or work of my own,
Could bring me before Your holy throne.

I thought I was stuck, condemned for life
Until I saw Your sacrifice.
You jumped in beside me and said with a smile,
"Can I help you up, my little child?"

With a prayer and a nod You hoisted me up.
Now I was no longer stuck in that muck!
Through my tears I could see my new heavenly home,
In the midst of which dwelt Your holy throne.

I was clothed with a gown as white as snow,
And given a crown so that all would know;
That I had been saved from a life of sin,
By He who had come to dwell with men.

Now I am free, not stuck anymore.
And what can I say but "Thank You, Lord!"
For without Your help I would still be there
All stuck in the muck, with none who care.

This freedom's for all who simply ask
For none but God can accomplish this task;
To save and rescue sinners who are damned,
And present them faultless before the Great I AM!

"For when we were still without strength,
in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
Romans 5:6

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 4th of July

I picked up a "new" book on our bookshelf last week called "American History Stories" by Mara Pratt.  I thought it might be rather boring but it was actually incredibly factual and interesting.  There were several things that I didn't know about the American Revolution that I discovered in this book. One thing I discovered was this poem which celebrates when the Liberty Bell was rung for the very first time.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

There was tumult in the city,
In the quaint old Quaker town,
And the streets were rife with people,
Pacing restless up and down;
People gathering at corners,
Where they whispered each to each,
And the sweat stood on their temples,
With the earnestness of speech.

"Will they do it?"  "Dare they do it?"
"Who is speaking?"  "What's the news?"
"What of Adams?"  "What of Sherman?"

"Oh, God grant they won't refuse!"
"Make some way there!"  "Let me nearer!"
"I am stifling!"  "Stifle then!

When a nation's life's at hazard,
We've not time to think of men!"

So they beat against the portal,
Man and woman, maid and child;
And the July sun in heaven 
On the scene looked down and smiled,
The same sun that saw the Spartan
Shed his patriot blood in vain,
Now beheld the soul of freedom
All unconquer'd rise again.

See!  See!  The dense crowd quivers
Through all its lengthy line,
As the boy beside the portal
Looks forth to give the sign!
With his small hands upward lifted,
Breezes dallying with his hair,
Hark! with deep, clear intonation,
Breaks his young voice on the air.

Hushed the people's swelling murmur,
List, the boy's exultant cry!
"Ring!" he shouts, "Ring, Grandpa,
Ring, O, ring for Liberty!"
And straightway at the signal,

The old bellman lifts his hand,
And sends the good news, making
Iron music through the land.

How they shouted!  What rejoicing!
How the old bell shook the air,
'Till the clang of freedom ruffled
The calm gliding Delaware!
How the bonfires and the torches
Illumed the night's repose,
And from the flames like fabled Phoenix,
Our glorious Liberty arose!

That old bell now is silent,
And hushed its iron tongue,
But the spirit it awakened,
Still lives- forever young.
And when we greet the smiling sunlight,
On the fourth of each July,
We'll ne'er forget the bellman,
Who, betwixt the earth and sky,
Rang out Our Independence,
Which, please God, shall never die!

Amen!  This poem brings tears to my eyes.  We've strayed so far from the liberty our forefathers gave their lives for.  Only after reading something like this can we truly appreciate what we are now trying to preserve...our liberty.

May your 4th be blessed and during the festivities of the day may we remember the true meaning behind the what we celebrate.  "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!"

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


*Once again a little preview of last night's Bright Lights lesson*

As we grow in our walks with the Lord we will desire to serve Him as an outflow of this love we have for Him.  This is ministry.

"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
John 15:8

When we hear the word ministry what do we usually think of?  I know some of my first thoughts include helping orphans, being a pastor in a church, evangelizing in foreign countries, etc.  But in reality ministry begins in the heart.  As we draw closer to Jesus and He becomes a reality in our life, we naturally want others to draw close to Him too.

So, how do we find a ministry to be involved in?  Actually, I firmly believe that God will bring a ministry to us.  Each of us have unique talents and gifts so each of the ministries God calls us to will be different.  But there is one area of ministering that we all can be involved in and that is our families.  Now, this ministry may not be viewed by others as a valid ministry, but I don't think they're right.  When the world sees brothers and sisters loving each other or children honoring and obeying their parents you are being ministers to them.  I would say the the home is the training ground for future ministry opportunities.  Home is where character is developed and where the attitudes of our hearts are truly revealed.  It is the proving ground so-to-speak.

It is important to remember that no ministry that the Lord calls you to is big or small compared to what someone else is involved in.  

"Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:5-11

What a good reminder from Paul (or rather, from the Lord)!  A ministry must have Jesus Christ as the foundation.  If He is not there then we're simply building a house on sand.  We must ask God to show us the ministry He wants us involved in.

One last thing to remember is that we cannot properly minister for God in our own strength.  He gives us a ministry and He gives us the strength to minister.

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Galatians 6:8-10 

If we do become weary while doing good I think we should check our hearts and see if possibly we've taken the reigns from God (it is so easy to do that, you know...sometimes it happens without realizing it).  It truly is simple- simply sit back and relax while He guides us along the narrow way-it is just difficult to allow Him to have access to all of us/me!

Have a great week!
Learning to delight in Jesus,

Monday, June 10, 2013


I've had plenty of thoughts floating around my head lately.  I'll do my best to express them clearly on this blog for both my records and for your entertainment ;).

Thought #1:  My brothers;  they're not little boys anymore.  In fact one of them is already taller than me and the other is closing in.  But I'm learning how to have a relationship with brothers who now are maturing and growing in their manhood.  I truly admire my brothers.  No longer are they my little nuisances (although sometimes they do cause quite a commotion :), but their my fellow laborers, my brothers-in-Christ, and my role models.  I see them daily increasing in the virtues and character qualities that I hope to one day see in my husband.  I do love them very much (:!

Thought #2:  Serving at the PRC.  It is both rewarding and difficult.  I love being there and it sure challenges  me in all areas of my walk with Christ.  The counseling room is an amazing opportunity to present the gospel to those who really are at a crisis in life but it can also be intimidating.  The one fear I have is that I'll miss an opportunity to preach Christ or that my words will not be what they should be.  The staff at the PRC have done their best to prepare me for every situation but in the end, the Lord is the only one with me in that room.  I pray constantly that He'll work through me and keep ME out of the way!

Thought #3:  The homeschool convention.  I love attending HEAV's convention every year.  It lifts me up and encourages me even though I'm no longer a student or a homeschool mom.  The many topics they cover, such as courtship/dating, having a biblical worldview, and learning from those who have graduated, speak to all people in all areas of life.  My sister and I even had a chance to volunteer in preparing food for the 300+ speakers and their families on Saturday morning.  That was a blessing!  I enjoy meeting new people who have a heart for the Lord, a heart for children, and a heart for serving.

Thought #4:  This country.  It seems like every day I hear of something new that wants to undermine and destroy our faith and freedom.  We are so blessed to live in this nation but I'm frequently reminded that freedom isn't free.  We must stand and defend that which our forefathers stood for and defended in this nation.  What my role is in all this....... I'm not so sure but when I know I'll let you know.

Thought #5:  B.R.I.G.H.T. Lights.  I love each and every one of the girls the Lord has brought to these meetings.  I have grown in my walk with the Lord and have been so encouraged to see these young ladies truly desire to honor and serve the Lord right now in their youth.  I'm so grateful for my family, especially my sisters, who help me lead this group.  They help with prep, music, and clean-up afterwards.  Thank you girls, I couldn't do it without you!

Thought #6:  Sin.  How I hate it!  It's a constant struggle to gain the upper-hand and if I start to relax for a second, let my guard down for an instant, it attacks again with a vengeance.  Thankfully I don't have to fight this battle alone...if I only I remember my weapons during the attack!

Thought #7:  It's been officially one year since I've graduated.  I look back at a year ago and I remember the feelings and emotions surrounding graduation and I'm so thankful for where the Lord has brought me now.  Although I didn't see the path He truly did lead me and I pray He continues to do so!

Okay, I think that's all for now!
I leave you with a verse from this past week.
"Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today."
Deuteronomy 8:11

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you for giving your youth for me,
Thank you for living your life selflessly.
Thank you for showing what sacrifice means.
Thank you for doing what you do daily.

Thank you for standing for freedom today
Thank you for being so strong and so brave.
Thank you for demonstrating what Jesus gave
His life so the world He could save!

Indeed today is a day to say "thanks" to all those who are sacrificing or have sacrificed life and limb so I could be free.  I am so blessed to live in this beautiful country.  May God's grace be upon us!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


 jesus in heaven - jesus Photo

What is like when we first get to heaven?  I mean I know that I will see the streets of gold and the crystal sea, the angels and saints of old; but will there be a greeting line to say "hello" to Jesus or will I be able to finally run into His arms and hear those coveted words (well done, good and faithful servant)?  Will I remember what happened here on earth or will the memory be lost when surrounded by such grandeur?

Perhaps unlike most people, death does not scare me.  I know that I'm but a pilgrim on this earth and I'm simply passing through on my way to the home prepared for me by my Savior (John 14:3).  This body really is just a shell used to hold the spirit and soul of someone.  Once someone goes home we wonder why we spend so much wasted time taking care of this, our outward appearance, which is quickly fading away.  Now please, don't think I'm saying you shouldn't take care of this body.  Our body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) and as such we should try to keep it in the best shape possible so as to be of use to our King for as long as we can.  But if the time we spend taking care of this body is longer then the time we devote to checking the inside (by Scripture reading, church, and prayer) we should check our hearts.

Friends, don't let the business of life trick you into thinking this is all there is (I know from personal experience how hard this is).  Eternity is at stake here!  Those of us who are Christians long for the day when we'll be called home to see Jesus face to face.  Every day brings us closer to that moment.  But although we may have friends and relatives up there awaiting our arrival, we are still here for a reason.  God is not done with us yet.  We must stay focused on the mission so that we can "finish our race with joy, and the ministry we have received from the Lord" Acts 20:24.

Those of you who do not yet know the Savior and have a personal relationship with Him, we are praying for you.  God created you for a purpose and He wants to have a relationship with you if only you would open your heart to Him.  This life is not all there is.  Are you prepared for the next?

Those are some of the thoughts floating around in my head this week!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Health and Medicine: Essential Oils Part 1

For Christmas my mom and dad blessed me with the book "The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy" as well as $25 to buy my first essential oils.  I've enjoyed learning about this new way to health and healing very much and wanted to share some of the things I've learned with you all.  The biggest thing I've learned is that a little bit of essential oil goes a long way!  Essentials oils are also most effective through topical application or smelling, not by taking it internally.  So, here we go :).

Peppermint EO: 
Daily Use: Peppermint is a cooling oils which is great to spray (diluted) around your house during the summer time, not to mention it smells amazing!
Around the House: Peppermint is a good natural method to get rid of ants and other obnoxious pests (like mice).  Simply place a couple of drops along your counter and you'll find them disappear overnight (they hate the smell).
For Your Health: Peppermint EO is proven very effective is turning a posterior baby.  Simply add a couple of drops to 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or some other base oil) and apply it to the lower back.  I've also heard that it can be used to turn breech babies but I've never actually tested it.

Lavendar EO:
Daily Use: Lavender EO smells sweet and is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and a natural antidepressant, antiseptic, and antibiotic.  That's a pretty long list!  It's very soothing and relaxing.  Simply place a couple of drops in a bath after a hard days work or if a little one is not feeling well (or having trouble sleeping).
Around the House:  This EO can be placed directly on burns which will aid in the healing process, protect it from infection, and prevent blistering or scarring.
For Your Health:  Lavender essential oil is a great oil to add to some base and rub all over your body after a shower.  It is also very effective through steam inhalation (either through a vaporizer or diffuser).

Thyme EO and Rosemary EO:

Both of these oils are great to use when your sick but they must be used with great care.  Thyme is not recommended for young children and Rosemary should be used sparingly.  They are both very effective is helping to fight the cold, flu, and coughs.  Soak in a bath with these oils (only 4 drops per bath), rub all over after a shower with them (make sure they're in a base oil), or diffuse throughout the sick room.

Sinuse Rub:
I looked up "sinus relief with essential oils" on the internet and I found this blend.  It works very well (I rubbed some on Lydia, my 5 year old sister, when she had a sinus infection and it cleared up in record time... about 24 hours later!) and feels and smells wonderful.  Let me know how you like it!

1 t. olive oil
1 drop Lemon EO
2 drops Eucalyptus EO
3 drops Rosemary EO
2 drops Peppermint EO

I hope to be able to post some more updates on what I'm learning about essential oils as I study them more.
Have a blessed rest of the week!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Life is a vapor!

**I'm preparing this lesson for my Bright Lights group tomorrow and I thought I would share some of the things the Lord has been showing me with you!  Enjoy!**

It's hard to imagine life being short when you're young.  I still have a hard time grasping this concept.  But time and time again the Bible warns us that our time on earth is short.  Why is it so important to realize how short life is?

"So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Psalm 90:12

We must have the right perspective on time so that we'll search for wisdom in this area.  Why is it so important to gain a heart of wisdom?

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,  redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Ephesians 5:15-17

It is so important that we make wise decisions because of the days we live in.  Redeeming the time means (according the Websters 1828 Dictionary) " use more diligence in the improvement of it; to be diligent and active in duty and preparation."
James 4:14 says that life is vapor.  Here today and gone tomorrow.  In the span of eternity we really are just a dot on a number line.  So how can we use our life, which is passing away, wisely for the King's glory?

First, we must give our time to the Lord.  This is yet another area in our lives that I'm realizing must be surrendered to Him.  We can trust Him because, after all, He's the one who created us and knows us better then we know ourselves.  The Lord is the giver of life and He's the One who numbers our days.  I think He knows how to best use our time for His purposes :)!

Second, we must do everything as unto the Lord!
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Colossians 3:17
I found this quote by Charles Spurgeon that I thought was very appropriate for this topic.  He said, 
"Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service."
That sounds like doing "everything as unto the Lord" to me :)!

Lastly, we must try to always keep a heavenly perspective.
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2 
When our mind is in the right place, then our heart will be in the right place, and then our actions will be right.
Quite frequently in Scripture we see the Lord telling us that He is coming soon.  In this day and age it really could be any second!  With this knowledge we should be all the more eager to use our time wisely for His glory (because He deserves it!).  
I think of the story of the 5 wise virgins and the 5 foolish virgins who were waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom.  While they waited the 5 wise virgins prepared their lamps and used their time wisely anticipating the soon arrival of their master.  Unfortunately the 5 foolish did not spend their time wisely and when the bridegroom finally did arrive they had to go out and buy oil for their lamps before they could join him.  Finally prepared, the 5 foolish virgins knocked eagerly on the door of the house where the bridegroom was celebrating asking to be admitted.  And what did the Bridegroom say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'  Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."  Matthew 25:13
Don't let that be you!

Are you ready for the arrival of the King of Kings?  Are we being wise or foolish in the way we spend our time before He comes?  Will we hear the words "Well done, good and faithful servant"?

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21

Learning to delight in Jesus,


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Every Life is Beautiful!

Have you ever truly meditated on the beauty and amazing design of life?!  In only a short 9 months a human being goes from being non-existent, to being a perfectly formed, beautiful baby!  Did you know that in only 3 short weeks after conception a baby's heart beat is noticeable?  When a child is born it is born with the ability to reason, to think, to act, to love, to speak, to learn, to understand, etc.  No other created being has these abilities!  And not only that but we were also the only ones created in God's marvelous image and brought to life by the very breath of the Living God...what a privilege!

Every child is blessing- even the ones considered in the world's eyes to be "imperfect" (according to God's Word we are all imperfect.  "...There is none who does good.  No not one." Psalm 14:3b).  The Bible has plenty to say in regards to children.  In Psalms 127 and 128 He repeatedly states that children are a blessing from above and the "fruit of the womb is His reward."  Do we realize the blessing we're missing out on when we shut up the womb?  While I have not yet received the wonderful gift of children I look forward to that day, Lord willing.  Every baby is a blessing and every life truly is beautiful!

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Update on Me

Hello All,

I apologize for my lack in posting lately!  Things have been busy and I've had other things grabbing my moments of spare time lately.

I would like to give you all a brief update on what is happening in my life currently.  Since graduating high school last June I have found that the Lord's ways are indeed so much higher then ours and His thoughts beyond anything we could ask, think, or imagine.  I am so grateful for the freedom I have currently to truly follow the Lord wherever He leads.
Currently the job part of my life is taking care of a little girl at my church who has Downs Syndrome.  She's precious and has opened my heart for children with special needs.  I go to her house 2-3 times per week and enjoy watching her play, cleaning up her messes :), feeding her, and doing general housework.  It is a job made in heaven just for me! :)  I'm also busy teaching piano to 7 consistent students every Friday.

After much prayer and silent interest, I stepped out in January and began training to serve as a volunteer counselor at our local Pregnancy Resource Center.  I go once a week for my training and I've learned so much already.  I am eager to begin ministering to young ladies who truly just need to know Jesus.  I love everything about babies and I love young women so it seemed like a perfect fit!

Also in January I finally did what the Lord had been leading me to do for about 8 months...I started a B.R.I.G.H.T. Lights group for some local girls!  We meet twice a month and I've been thoroughly enjoying it. I encourage any of you who have thought and prayed about starting one to take that first step.  It will bless and challenge you in more ways then you can imagine.  This is definitely not to be taken lightly, but if God is calling let Him lead and you won't go wrong!

I'm also staying pretty busy at home and am enjoying spending time with my siblings when I can!  Mamma is only 2 weeks away from her due-date and I'm so excited to meet this new little blessing from heaven!
I've been studying essential oils and am thoroughly enjoying my research in this other natural healing method.  It's amazing to me how the Lord has hidden everything we need to live life to the fullest in His awesome creation!  What an amazing God we serve!

Well, I think that about sums it up.  I will continue to attempt to post at least once a week or every two weeks.
May you all be blessed in this new week!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah :)   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Colombia: Day 3 and 4

~Day 3~
Wednesday morning dawned bright early.  After a similar routine of waking up, eating breakfast, getting dressed, etc. we headed down to the hotel lobby to await the arrival of Paula and her Project Director.  

Paula is from Medellin (about 290 miles south of Cartagena) so she flew in the night before and had stayed the night at a local hotel.  This was the first time she had been in an airplane or away from her family (although, I must say it didn't really effect her she was sooo excited!).  She had never seen the beach or played in a pool so we were looking forward to spending a relaxing day together at the hotel.

As soon as she hopped out of the taxi she enveloped us all in one of her huge bear hugs!  Her face was lit with smiles as she handed us a box.  Inside was a beautiful, hand-made sunflower clock.  We have it hanging on our wall in the living room and it matches perfectly!

    After "hello's" were said all around we headed up to our room to discuss the day's activities.  We finally decided to head down to the pool and beach until lunch time and then shop around the local market afterwards.

We all got dressed and Paula led the way down to the water's edge.  She did really good in the water, even though it was her first time.  Her smiles and laughter filled the air!  We enjoyed "riding the waves" and found it humorous that she decided to dive under every wave even if it wasn't that big! 
After an hour or so we headed up to the hotel's pools to "swim".  Unfortunately Paula wasn't able to swim but we still had fun floating around in the shallower pool.

 Frequently she would try to ask us questions or comments only to realize our knowledge of her beautiful language was extremely limited.  We were very blessed to have Darwin, our translator, nearby to help us out!

After about 2 hours in the sun, and a great game of water "monkey-in-the-middle", we decided we were done with the outdoors and ready to wash-up in preparation for lunch.  The men took showers in the outside public showers while we ladies took turns in the shower in our room :).  Everyone was soon clean and we took the elevator down to Level 2, where the hotel's restaurant was located.  It was a buffet syle meal with plenty of delicious choices.

I am ashamed to say it, but I did have an American styled meal in Colombia (I guess I was just missing some of our foods :-) ).
During lunch is when we discovered how much Paula LOVED food!  I have never seen a girl eat that much in my life!!  I'm so glad it was buffet style :-)!
 Paula and her project director, Monica, in the background!
 Paula and her dessert....and her smiles!
 She kept getting plate after plate but as she neared the end of her meal she begin to gather food to take home to her familia.  The waiters were kind enough to get her a box and allow her to take some home.  I don't know how good they tasted after an airplane ride and hotel stay but I'm sure the thought was still appreciated :).
Darwin and Paula both got a strawberry smoothie that was incredibly sour.  Paula would pour 3 or 4 packets of sugar in her cup, taste it, make a puckered-up face and add 3 to 4 more.  I think she ended up putting 10+ in her drink before it suited her taste.  It was a very humorous affair as her project director continually was saying "Paula, Paula!" with a look of astonishment and fun!  Paula would simply laugh and add some more!

With lunch completed we decided to do some shopping as we wanted Paula to take something home with her as a reminder of our trip.  All the shops in the hotel were closed for lunch so we asked a local where we could find a shop with dresses.  He directed us to keep going down the street a little ways, turn left and walk a little more and then you should find it.  I have no idea how long we walked but it felt like 20-30 minutes in the hot 90degree sun, to get to the open market where they were selling everything you could think of!  I took an hour or so for Paula to pick out something for herself and...everyone in her familia before we left :).

Finally back in the hotel we took the elevator up to our room to get her things and say good-bye.  While up there we broke into some of our American chocolate and shared some with her.  She was ecstatic!  We even gave her a baggy full to...guess...take home to her familia :).

The time had arrived for them to go so after several hugs each we sadly said an official "good-bye" before the taxi drove off.
It was only about 3pm so Darwin, Kimber, and Daddy headed back to the open market to get some presents for our family members, while I rested and did some of my devotion time.  Not too long after that they arrived back at the hotel and soon Darwin had to leave also.  We enjoyed a little bit of rest time together watching Facing the Giants before going to get some dinner.

 Sorry for the face :).  They had some delicious chicken on a stick!  I think daddy ate about 10 or so! :)
And a view of our nightly amusements while we ate...the traffic :).  Kimber really just took this picture because of the caballo in the center of it (next to the side walk on the left).

Dinner done with we went back to our room and settled down to eat some snacks while we watched Iron Man.  Not long after that we all feel asleep, exhausted from the sun and business of the day.

~Day 4~
This was to be our last day in Colombia.  Thankfully our plane didn't leave until 2:30 we were able to enjoy a little more time down at the beach and pool until noon!  Kimber didn't take any pictures but we had a great time exploring the waters of Cartagena Bay especially since the water was quite warm and crystal clear.  The sand sparkled like gold and there were plenty of beautiful shells to collect.  But we couldn't stay forever.  We soon had to shower once again, pack up, and find a taxi willing to take us back to the airport.  Below are a couple of pictures Kimber got from the taxi on our way to el aeropuerto.

 One of the many buses around Cartagena.  You can see the beautiful Caribbean in the background.
 Another view of the field where Daddy and Luz played some futbol.
 This motorcyclist was weaving in and out of traffic (like they all do) when we noticed a gallon of something yellow attached to the side of his cycle (right next to his muffler).  Any guesses?  We were thinking gasoline...yea...not too smart :).
   Another view of the water next to the road.

We soon arrived in the airport, passed swiftly through security and sat down to wait about an hour until our departure.  We played some cards and read a little bit while we were waiting.  Finally we were able to load and soon we were up in the air saying good-bye to Colombia.
Only 3 hours later we were back in American territory.

 Fort Lauderdale.
  We were amazed with how swampy Florida was!  No wonder hurricanes are such a big deal down here!

We had a 3 1/2 hour layover in Ft. Lauderdale but we enjoyed our time playing on the ipad (thanks, Grandma), reading, and eating.  Around 10pm we were finally allowed on the plane to complete the final leg of our journey.  Two hours later we landed safely in Baltimore where Grandma picked us up.  We arrived back at her house about 2am and swiftly got in bed and immediately to sleep.

We thoroughly enjoyed our first international trip and are blessed with the many special memories we made while there.  Thank you, Mamma and Daddy, for your many sacrifices so we could go!  Words do not express how thankful we are!

The Lord was with us the whole time and really taught me about what true faith looks like in the lives of these brothers and sisters in Colombia.  I am so blessed to live here and I never want to take that for granted, but I also don't want to forget those of the Body who are in need.  I'm not sure exactly what the Lord wants me to do with this trip but I know He'll show me in His own good time.

May the Lord bless you all this week!
Learning to delight in Jesus,


Monday, March 4, 2013

Colombia: Day 2

~Day 2~
The alarm sounded bright and early Tuesday morning.  We did our devotions and began to dress.  I decided to take out my "adorable" braids as they were giving me a headache!  All who know me know that I have very curly, thick hair and let me just say that taking out little teeny braids all around my head did not help my case!

  Here is your evidence! :)

After I quickly washed my hair to calm it down, we headed up to the executive lounge for some breakfast.  Today we were going to meet the girl Kimber had been writing to for several years.  She lived right in Cartagena so supposedly someone from Compassion was going to come pick us up at the hotel and take us to her project to meet her.  Well, we had set a meeting time of 8:30am before we left the US but ever since we had arrived in Colombia we had been unable to make contact with them.  It was about 8:27am that morning before we received a confirmation call.  We quickly headed downstairs to wait out in the lobby for their arrival.  We were so relieved when about 8:45am a white van pulled up and out hopped the project director and the translator.  After everyone was introduced, we packed up and headed to the project.  It was about a 20 minute drive through the heart of Cartagena to the project.  On the way we chatted with our translator, who we soon learned had also been a sponsored child in Compassion's program.

We finally pulled up in front of a small 2 story building crammed in between other houses.  We walked in and headed to the upper level.  The project director motioned for us to go into the room all the way at the end of the house.  It was dark but as soon as we opened the door 20 or so young girls shouted "welcome".  Once we all had entered the room the crowd parted and Luz (Kimber's girl) came forward and wrapped each of us in a hug I shall never forget.  We were all in tears and you could feel the love surrounding us.  Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures since Kimber had the camara on her neck during the embrace.

Soon they motioned for us to sit down in the plastic chairs they had set out.  One of the teachers then gave us a welcome speech.
Then some of Luz's classmates had prepared a dance for us to watch.  Luz even try to dance with them for a while :).
 Luz is the young lady in the back.

After the dance they did a skit.  Unfortunately it was all in spanish and our translator had a hard time translating fast enough for us to understand.  The main gist was that a mother and her two daughters had come to visit the doctor.  The 12 year old daughter was pregnant (we later learned that it is pretty common in Colombia for girls to have their first baby between the ages of 11-14)and they all were desperate.  A young man visitor came and sat down with them and soon began to explain to them that there was a Doctor who could heal their souls and their bodies.  He then proceeded to share the gospel with them.  In the end the whole family accepted Jesus as their Savior.  It was a touching story of how the gospel is shared in Colombia.

After the skit Luz's pastor came and said a couple of words of thanks and then proceeded to pray over us and thank the Lord for us.  It was another moving moment I shall never forget!

We next got a tour of the facility and brief outline of what a normal day at the project looks like.
 Kimber and Luz in the front!
 Isn't Luz just beautiful!?

The tour over we headed back into the project's van to go visit Luz's home (which was about 10 minutes away).
Our translator.  His smile was the best!  It lit up his whole face!  His love for the Lord and his faith was inspiring and such a blessing to us during the 2 days we got to spend with him.  By the end we felt as if we were leaving a close brother behind.  Amazing how the unity of the Spirit can do that, isn't it?
Kimber and Luz...again :).

We soon pulled up in front of Luz's house.  It was a single story dwelling and contained a small "garage", den/dining room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom.  And it was pink :)! 

Here's a brief look into their kitchen...
I can't say that the poverty really surprised me but what did surprise me was how much this house was worth.  We asked our translator and he said that Luz had a very nice, big house that was worth about $200, American dollars!  Most Colombian's only have a one room dwelling so Luz's house was considered lavish...hard to believe.

After we said "hello" to her mother and looked at some of Luz's prize possessions, we headed to the mall to do some sight seeing and shopping.  The mall was HUGE!  It was 2 levels and looked in every way like an American mall (if not a little bit better).  That was pretty surprising to me.

We soon stopped for lunch.
 While we were eating Daddy tried to teach Luz a trick you can do with your pen or straw.

 She did finally figure it out and I think she had fun!

After lunch and some more shopping we decided to explore the city.  Our first stop was the ancient walls.  These walls were built around the entirety of the old city to protect from invasion on the sea front.  They were massive!
 From below...
 ...on top...
...and above.
 Daddy next to a cannon on the top battlements.
L-R: Hannah, Kimber, Luz, and Luz's project director.
 This is my favorite picture of the day!  It was quite windy up on top.
If you can read Spanish you can find out why this wall was built :).

We descended from the wall and then daddy challenged Luz to a game of "futbol" or soccer.  He borrowed a ball from a young boy playing there and they had a great time (even though it was 90 degrees out).

Now that we were done exploring the wall we decided to take a walk through the streets of Cartagena.  The streets were busy but there was plenty of people on the sidewalks as well.  The architecture in Cartagena is absolutely stunning!  A lot of is left over from when the Spanish ruled and you can definitely tell!
 La puerta.
La calle.

 La ventana.
 La edificio.

We soon came upon a flock of pigeons that had gathered around one of the many statues of a famous figure.  Our translator bought some corn so we could catch, feed, and play with some of them.

 They loved Kimber's blonde hair :).  Not really, they just loved the corn on top of her hair :).
 Daddy and Luz and our pigeon friend.
 This little girl just melts my heart!
 A very large cathedral with a clock on top!
Kimber loved the caballos clip-clopping around although they were extremely old and skinny.  We could have rode in the carriage behind it but decided we preferred walking (you would too if you saw the way they drove in Colombia!).

Well, our day couldn't last forever.  We finally headed back to the hotel and Kimber, Luz, and I went up to our room to grab something to drink while the adults signed all the last minute paper work.  While up there we decided to take down Kimber's braids as well.  She looked just like me so I didn't feel too lonely ;).

We had to go downstairs before too long and say our final goodbyes.  Hugs were mandatory all around :) and then we waved them away.

It was close to dinner time now so we decided to refresh ourselves a bit and then go get some food.
During dinner we enjoyed watching the evening traffic yet again.

  Dinner: empanadas (they had that at every meal), sausages, and some sort of cabbage/shrimp salad thingy (only dad tried that).

We closed the day with Thor and slept peacefully until the alarm went off for day 3 to begin.

Learning to delight in Jesus,