What God has to say about timing

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Let's just have fun

What is fun?
Well, let me tell you...

Family is fun.
Puppies are fun.
Going fast is fun.
Crashing is [not] fun.
The beach is fun.
Reggae is fun.
Traveling is fun.
Dancing is fun.
Crocheting is fun.
Eating is super fun.
Running is fun.
Sunshine is fun.
Spanish is fun.
Fires are fun (the contained ones).
Old books are fun.
Jack Johnson is fun.
Staying up late is fun.
Crossing streets is fun.
Mopeds are fun.
Rock climbing is fun.
Helping people is fun.
Cooking is fun.
Singing off-tune is fun.
Playing games is fun.
Friends are fun.
Mud puddle sliding is fun.
Making tunes with a lot of people is fun.
Subway is fun.
Sandals are fun.
Dreads are fun.
So are beards.
Scribbling is fun.
Cool furniture is fun.
Pretending to do yoga is fun.
Small children are fun.
Goodwill is fun.
The Shins are fun.
Hedgehogs are fun.
Driving with the windows down is fun.
Holding hands is fun.
Taking walks is fun.
Taking walks and holding hands is fun.
Libraries are fun.
Decorating is fun.
Longboarding is fun.
Wood floors are fun.
Shel Silverstein is fun.
Water is fun.
Making brunch is fun.
Making lists is fun.
Surfing is fun.

Wild goose chases are fun.
Incense is fun.
Yarn is fun.
The Bible is fun.
Flower shops are fun.
Hiking is fun.
My roommate is fun.
Graphic design magazines are fun.
Volleyball is fun.
Breathing is fun.
Writing is fun.
Adventures are fun.
Secret notes are fun.
Sushi is fun.
Sewing is fun.
Christmas lights are fun.
Clarinets are fun.
Nick Livanos is fun.

Basically, being alive is fun.


All crumpled up

If my life were represented by a piece of paper, it would have been pretty smooth. Maybe a few crinkles and a tear here or there, but for the most part - quality. Yesterday, I feel like I got all crumpled up. I know it's for the best, but it just hurts right now. I got a phone call from the organization sending me to Turkey saying that they were no longer sending me to Turkey. Just like that. In one phone call, everything you had been planning? Gone. The woman on the phone continued to happily babble to me about another homeschooling mission opportunity in the Philippines. In the jungle. A 3 hour hike from any sort of civilization. To live in a grass hut. With no running water or electricity. As I was trying to still process what she had just told me about not spending next year in Turkey, she asked me what I thought. About what? Oh yes, the Philippines. Well, to be honest, I hadn't been thinking about the Philippines. I had been trying to formulate some words. Any words. But none were coming out. She told me to think about it and get back to her as soon as I could because they're in the process of considering other people for this call. When I hung up the phone, I was still stunned. I went straight to my room to pray. And then called my dad and told him. He has a way of always being able to make me feel better. He just said it was all in God's hands and that He had a place just for me. I proceeded to go to the cafe, get a quick lunch, and then ate in Tiffany's room. She also, has a gift for making me feel better. I was kind of surprised that I was taking the news as well as I was. I hadn't cried. Nothing. The waterworks did come. In their own time. I turn into a slobbery mess when I cry. I can't talk. Only animal noises come out of my mouth. It's really great.
So now what, God? I don't know why this call didn't go through, but that can only mean that You have something better planned. I did really feel like You were calling me to Turkey, and maybe You were. Just not yet.
I'm back at square one now. The whole world needs to hear The Good News. The whole world needs help. Just put me where You want me and I will serve with my whole heart.



I miss this dumb cat. Every time I come back home she's fatter. She's cute, though.
This weekend was so busy. I opened the Sabbath with the kind folks down at the Yellow Deli. I'm glad for that experience. It was very eye-opening. It's always nice to step outside of what you're used to and experience something new. All the dancing and singing. It was a celebration. A real Sabbath. I also shot my first BB gun this weekend. I screamed. How embarrassing. I don't really like guns. Strawberry Fest took place tonight. I can now say that yearbook is officially over. Now, let's bring on the final projects. This week will require a lot of praying. And late nights. Ah, the joys of wrapping everything up at school. Only one week left. It can be done.



In 5th grade, I was in love. His name was Aaron Townsley. He had blond hair, blue eyes and was skinny as a beanstalk. I just knew it was meant to be. He asked me to be his girlfriend through a note left in my desk. It was carefully colored with red, blue, and green crayons. I remember his handwriting was very small and slanted. "Will you be my girlfriend? Circle yes or no." I circled yes. We probably talked a grand total of three times because we were both too chicken. I think I shared some food with him once and stood behind him in line. I remember feeling nervous when I was around him, so I pretty much avoided him. By today's standards, I was probably what you would call the worst girlfriend ever. I was too concerned with practicing my free-throws so I could beat all the boys at Bump-Out, making Indian villages out of sticks, playing football, and just running around like a hooligan. I remember after a couple weeks he tried to give me a stuffed Easter bunny for some holiday. Probably Easter. I thought it was ugly so I gave it back and broke up with him. Looking back, I probably could have had a little more tact.
I'm definitely no expert on love or relationships. But I'd like to think I know a lot more than I did back then. I know what I want. I know what I don't want. I've been in love. I've had my heart broken. I've laughed. I've cried. I've cared. I've been selfish. I've made mistakes and grown. I'm just so glad for second chances. If we only had one shot at relationships, we'd all still be with our elementary school crushes. Thank God that's not the case.
I believe that God leads different people into our lives at different times for specific purposes. We can each touch anothers life in ways completely unique than another person can. A lot of learning is done through relationships. Both the ones that work out and the ones that don't. I wouldn't trade my past relationships in for anything - even though I've made mistakes, even though now I realize I could've done better. I can rejoice even in the break-ups. Yes, rejoice. Easier said than done. I serve a very awesome and very patient God. He's revealed to me the reasons for my relationships and the lessons He wanted me to learn.
One of my devotional books contains this list. It's so beautiful. The second I read it I had to underline it and just keep rereading it. On tough days I come back to it and I feel instantly better. This is true happiness.

1. Make your moments really count and be profusely and profoundly grateful for every one of them.
2. Give away to others - with reckless abandon - all the love and affirmation you possibly can.
3. De-invest in this short life - build your portfolio for the next one.


Things I have learned

These last few weeks have been especially trying ones. I'm not going to go into detail, you can just trust me. They've been rough. I've realized a number of things about myself through it all. For a girl, I'm not very good at dealing with my emotions. Also, I take a while to process my thoughts. And I tend to keep my mouth shut in situations where I should probably be saying something. I just freeze. My mind is screaming and racing at lightning speed with all these comments and questions, but the synapses connecting my brain to my mouth, my thoughts to my tongue, well, they just become invisible. I hate it when I've just had a really intense conversation with someone and only after it's done do I think of all the things I really wanted to say. All the things I could've said. Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda. What can you do? All I know is right now, at this very moment, I am at rest. My soul is quiet. And I feel like I have finally let it all go. Now I can hear the Voice that really matters. And I will follow that Voice to the ends of the earth.
Our Typography II class (taught by none other than the great and acclaimed graphic designer, Ed Guthro), took a field trip today. I haven't been on a field trip in a long time. Memories came flooding back of fifth grade visiting the Arizona Science Center with my colorblind teacher. Good times. Anyways, Ed wanted to personally take us to the library and show us all of the awesome resources we have available to us as designers. It's like a little slice of inspiration heaven. All those Publication Design Annuals, magazines, Illustrator Annuals, and kooky designers make me giddy. I could spend hours up there flipping through all of the pretty pictures and daydreaming of maybe one day appearing in one of those books. I was immediately drawn to a book called Things I Have Learned by Stefan Sagmeister. Check him out. He's amazing. I can't even describe this book to you. At least not with words. We'd have to be talking in person so I could use my hands and arms with excitement. In this book he takes his list of all the things he has learned in his life and makes them into tangible, wacky art. I found his list very interesting. And I'm attempting at making my own, although I don't have the brain power to do it right now.
This is Stefan:

1. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
2. Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now.
3. Being not truthful works against me.
4. Helping other people helps me.
5. Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
6. Everything I do always comes back to me.
7. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
8. Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted.
9. Money does not make me happy.
10. Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
11. Assuming is stifling.
12. Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
13. Trying to look good limits my life.
14. Worrying solves nothing.
15. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doeses.
16. Having guts always works out for me.

In my opinion, this guy has got a pretty cool head on his shoulders. Except for maybe number 7. I've personally chosen not to dabble in drugs.


The Kill Hill

There is this road. Sunkist Boulevard. Excuse my language, but this hill is a bitch. I have appropriately named it Kill Hill. A new-found like (I'm not quite at love, yet) of road running and perhaps more so a desperation for Personal Fitness for Life puntos led me to this place. I had walked up this Boulevard a few times, so why not try running? Let me tell you, friend, if walking up a hill gets your ticker going hard, running will make you feel like you are going to die. First attempt: not pretty. I had to stop and walk about a third of the way up. I thought my heart was about to leap out of my throat. I was sweaty - it was gross. Side note: I think I'm stronger than I actually am. When it hit me that I thought I could do something, but clearly couldn't I got frustrated. This hill will have to be conquered another day. So when the time came (the next day) for me to go back, I did so with my head held high. And my butt cheeks in severe pain. Running with a friend always helps. I like running with someone who is at or above my level so I can push myself. Since my second attempt at Kill Hill was during class, I took my friend Jordan The with me to check it out. I made it up farther this time, but still had to walk. But that was because we were doing I.T. Training. It was funny though, my heart rate would shoot up even when I was just walking up that dang hill. I did it though. Three times. Running down steep hills is so fun because you can just let everything go and look like a complete fool. Clomping down like a stampede of beasts. Anyways, yesterday Tiffy and I gave ol' Kill Hill another go. We made a goal to run all the way to the top without stopping. And we did it! After a couple tries. I don't know if you would exactly call it running, though. More like huffing and puffing and tippy-toeing like 90 year-olds. But it felt so good. To see the finish, reach it and just laugh it off at the top.

Dear Kill Hill,

I'm not finished with you just yet. This is only the beginning of our relationship, seeing as you are a quality place to pound out frustration. I'll be back soon. And I will conquer - without so much huffing and puffing this time.

- Hanna


April fool + inspiration

The origins of this holiday trace all the way back to the 1500's. And that's the extent of my Google, I mean Topeka, sleuthing for now. That's quite a long time to have an entire holiday devoted to playing pranks on poor unsuspecting gullibles. I feel like a pretty big fool sometimes. But that's okay. Everyone has their own moments. And it can be fun. I know of a couple that got married on April Foo's Day. I can see it now.
"Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?" the priest would say.
"I do...wait. No. Just kidding. No really, I do. April Fools?"
No, that was a made up story.
April 1 is just another day. A beautiful day, at that. Spring has definitely sprung in Collegedale, Tennessee. The flowers on the trees are fully abloom, and producing quite a ghastly stench. They really do stink. Quite badly.
It's crazy how quickly things can change. Like the weather. And feelings. And plans. I thank God for change. But I guess too much of anything can be bad.
I read something last night that really caught my attention. I was reading in the book of Hosea, which I have to admit, I haven't spent a lot of time in. Or any of the minor prophets, to be precise. But I know that all scripture was inspired by God, so there is something valuable to learn in all of it. Even the genealogies.
Anyways, Hosea 14:4 says this: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him." Check that out! God says right there that in the midst of Israel's backsliding, their constant turning away, God is promising to restore them and love them. But not just any way. He's loving them freely. I had to keep reading that verse over and over again because it was just so beautiful. God loves me freely. And He loves you freely too. Amidst your backsliding. That's perfect love.
One more thing. I'm in the process of planning a stop-motion video for my Interactive Media class. In my research I stumbled across this video. I just think it's so beautifully made. Love the song, too. Check it out.