It Was the Best of Times..

It sure has been a long time since I have written on this thing! It's funny how life can sneak up on you and begin to take all your time and store it away in a back pocket that you forget to check. Time is a mysterious thing to me. It goes by fast and it takes so long to pass. It's one of those love-hate-relationship things. When you want the time to pass, it likes to creep along, and when you want time to stand still, it likes to get all crazy and before you know it, it's gone.

Time so often likes to bat for the opposing team. It leaves you scrambling to figure out how you feel. It keeps you on your toes.

In the end, I think the joke is actually on us. I know I spend so much time trying to tell time what to do, when in all reality time hasn't given it one thought, and it likely never will. Time cannot change its agenda because of my desires or anyone else's for that matter.

I have come to realize over the past months how much I have focussed all of my energy and attention and expectation and (dare I say it) my affection on the time. "I can't wait for this time of life." or "I wish this relationship would last forever." or "This season better be over soon." or "Why does it take so long." The list goes on.

Jesus has began to reveal to me another area of my life that is both yes and no. Another paradox that seems to bring the tug of war rope to a complete stand still. It's not gonna budge. However, the tension felt by the two seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum create a beautiful revelation.

It's not really about time at all and it's also all about time, or rather the One who holds all of time in his hand.

The message a couple weekends ago at our church was incredible, look it up at thecity.org. Pastor Judah talked about how it is biblical and Gods desire for us to look into the future with expectation and excitement. I feel like I'm pretty good at this, if you even know me a little bit, I am always excited about what's coming next and what life will bring in the future.

The other end of this brilliant spectrum is God's desire for us to be content and thankful for where we are and where he has us. This is the part that I'm not as good at. I'm sure there are many people who find themselves in the same boat.

So what now?

It's in His hands.

All I know is that I'm so thankful for where I'm at and someday I want to get better at always being that way.

With much love from this rainy, rainy, RAINY city,


One Year.

One year ago, this week, I made the 7 hour trek up to Seattle, Washington. I can barely believe that it's already been a year. I am sitting here at one of my favorite spots (Backporch, at MY table mind you) thinking about all that I have done, all that God has done in the last 365 days. The only word that can scratch the surface of what I'm feeling at the moment is Thankful. I am so thankful that Jesus called me to Seattle. I am so thankful that he didn't hang me out to dry when I got there, but He has taught me about life and love and most important of all, he has taught me more about himself.

I think back to every time I have walked on the heights this year, and I feel the lingering sorrow of the times spent in the depths. I remember all the laughter, and I remember every tear. I recall every moment in Gods presence, and I bring to mind every word he spoke to me.

It's funny how I am entering a new season, even as the leaves are beginning to turn, and I feel myself longing to return to the adventure and uncertainty of this last year of my life. I have seen the pattern of my own humanity that is constantly looking back at what I had, wishing with every cell in my body that I could return for a moment to those days.

I have found that not only I, but all of my best friends, have come to that ledge between our childhood and finally being released to passionately pursue the dreams God has placed in our hearts... and we get to watch each other jump off that ledge. We each get to see the others experience the thrill of leaving comfort and security and feel the rush of free falling. We get to experience it for ourselves.

The ledge I find myself upon today is causing me to make a decision. Sure I have jumped before, but this one seems a bit more scary. It's hard to capture the exact emotions that have risen in my heart with this jump. I have driven back and forth between Bend and Seattle over 10 times in the past year. That's roughly 7,000 miles of trying to figure out where I belong. That's over 130 hours of trying to make a decision about who I think I am and who I think God has called me to be. I never realized before how much weight your location carries when it comes to your identity, or your perceived identity at least.

Tomorrow I drive back to Seattle once again. However, this time I'm gonna take a jump. This jump is unlike the other jumps I have taken. For too long I have let fear and my flesh cause me to hesitate when I'm trying to move forward. I have allowed my past to become this thing on a pedestal, rather than recognizing and appreciating it for what it was. For a year, I have lived FOR my past, not BECAUSE of it. Today I am approaching the ledge and tomorrow I will jump.

I am so excited. I am so THANKFUL that Jesus loves me the way he does. That he 's holding my hand, and that he has never expected me to go anywhere or jump off any edge by myself. I can say with all honesty that I believe that this next year is going to be better than any I've experienced, not because of my job or even my church, but because with every step I take toward Jesus, He's gonna take a million towards me.

I can't wait to see the strides my friends and I make this year, even as most of us are hundreds of miles apart. I know that God is working us into something bigger than we can even imagine. This year is going to be one for the books.

God is so good.

With all the love in my heart for my friends and my family,


Hannah and Samuel.

Bend has never been so beautiful! I am so thankful for this time I have here to refocus and be refreshed. God is so faithful and so good!

With that said, I have been thinking a lot about these past 10 months in Seattle. I have asked myself a lot of questions. I have asked God even more questions. I know that Jesus has a plan in everything and that he always works all things together for good. So my petition to God right now is this: Show me. I need him to show me some why's. Not for the sake of knowing for my own simple desires, but because he has put it in my heart to ask him. I'm completely rested in the fact that he will answer my questions.

Today, I sat aside the seemingly large-scale questions and simply asked God to give me something new from his word... and boy, did he.

1 Samuel 1 is full of treasure of all sorts and I cannot count the number of times I have read through this passage, knowing that it is for me, in this season and in my life as a whole.

I don't know if you do this, but when I read passages from the bible, I try to figure out where I fit in the story. Am I the sinner, the saint, the crazy person, the brave person, the anointed person, the one who doesn't quite hit the mark... the list goes on. So as I delved into this story once again, I asked the question, 'Who am I?'

Am I Hannah, am I Samuel, am I Eli? I think the answer in Jesus is 'Yes, you are!' The season I'm in, coupled with the way God desires to use me could easily put me in any one of these people's shoes. So my next question was, 'God, which one am I right now?'

There's something significant that happens when you live your life for the moment God has given you, right then.

Immediately, I got a little ahead of myself and assumed that I was the Hannah in this story. She's a girl, I'm a girl. She was waiting on the promise and favor of God, I'm waiting on the promise and favor of God.. it made sense.

I asked God, 'What is my Samuel then?'

If I'm Hannah, there must be a Samuel. Right away I started flipping through the scrapbook of my mind, looking through pages of promises and words from the Lord that had not come to pass, yet. There were many things that I began to assume. Well certainly it must be this, or that. It probably has to do with that situation. It seems like this place or that place would fit in here. I assumed so many things!!

Then, clear as day, God made this simple suggestion:

Before you can have a Samuel of your own, you must learn to be a Samuel at my feet.

This, very quickly, caused me frantically to begin searching again through the first chapter of Samuel.

The reasonableness of my own mind again decided to pitch in it's two-sense. How can I be the Samuel we see in chapter one? He's a baby, and at most a kid by the end of the chapter. Everyone wants the Samuel we see in chapter 3,

"And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground."

But the Samuel of chapter one? Literally the only things mentioned in regards to Samuel is that he was conceived, born, weaned, and then brought to the house of the Lord.

(As if the fact that his conception and birth was not a miracle enough in and of itself.)

I continued to read and reread this chapter, searching for some clue as to why God had said what he said.

I did a little research, and this is what I found:
Hannah was the first to call God the Lord of Hosts.

Lord of Hosts calls to the idea of the Lord of the Battle and the Army. Lord of the Appointed Time. It ropes in words like warfare, service, soldiers, to wage war, a campaign, to assemble, fight, perform, muster, and wait upon.

Samuel was to be a Nazarite. A Nazarite vow ensued 3 things: No cutting your hair, no drinking strong drink (wine), and no touching anything dead. However, only one of these things were mentioned; in v.11, 'No razor shall touch his head.'

No razor to come upon his head gives way to the idea that no fear of man shall come upon him.

The idea of weaning in this specific situation was to allow Samuel to grow in maturity until he had the capacity and ability to serve in the house of the Lord.

Back then, weaning typically had 3 stages: from the mothers milk (at 3 years old), from their tender age (at 7 years old) , and from childish manners (at 12 years old).

As I read these things, God started speaking to my heart.

I found myself in much frustration this past year as I have struggled and strived trying to figure out what God wanted for me and what he was trying to speak to me and how he wanted to use me. I was trying to not only figure out what my Samuel's were, but was subconsciously trying to skip the chapter one version of Samuel in order to get to the chapter 3 version.

Even as I'm typing this, God is showing me how he has faithfully spoken this very thing to me day in and day out up in Seattle, in various ways and forms.

Before you can have a Samuel of your own, you must learn to be a Samuel at my feet.

Samuel grew up, most likely until the age of 12, with his mother Hannah. He sat under her care. She was the one to bring him out of childish ways and into a place where he was capable of walking out and fulfilling the vow that was over his life, to serve the Lord all the days of his life,without the fear of man..

I know that nothing in the bible is there by accident, so I can't help but conclude that the Lord of Hosts is in there on purpose.

In times where I find myself like Hannah, afraid and wondering if God will ever answer my prayers or give me victory, I remember that He is the Lord of the Battle and the Appointed Time.

There are so many gems in this chapter and I am completely overwhelmed and find it difficult to even begin to describe all of the things that Jesus has shown me.

I wrote this down as I was reading,

Jesus is keeping me in his arms and close to him, teaching me and bringing me up, in him, so that when I am ready, he can take me into the house of the Lord and bring a release over my life so that I can be the Samuel whom the Lord was with, whose words never fell to the ground.

I love when Jesus gives me greater revelation of who he is. It's the best in the whole world..

Loving the sunshine,


He Has A Plan!

These are two amazing sermons that were spoke at my church, The City Church, that if you allow them, could most definitely change your life.

I just listened to these two back to back and it packs a powerful punch of Jesus awesomeness. :)

The first is a message titled Jesus Is The All Powerful One, preached this past October by Pastor Judah.

The second is a message titled Getting A Vision For Your Life, preached just a month ago, in May. Perry Noble is hilarious and anointed by God.

You will not regret listening to either or both of them. So good!

Be blessed on this day!


With Summer Comes The Sun!

Well, where to start? I find myself on this partly cloudy Saturday at a Starbucks in Issaquah Washington. I'm having a mostly good hair day. My fabulous red TOM'S arrived in the mail this week and I've worn them for 4 days straight. I'm drinking a chai. I'm really really sore from starting my workouts this week. The seat I'm sitting in is pretty hard, but I have a good view.

But mostly, right this moment, I miss my life in Bend. I miss the people in Bend. I miss being comfortable. I miss things being easy.

I've found myself in this predicament and I find myself wondering why and how..

I've got to get honest somewhere to someone, so right now this is what I have, here and you.. whoever you may be and wherever you may be.

There's something that happens when you suddenly become aware of your surroundings and that you are alone in them, or so it feels like. That's where I am now. That dirty, rotten devil has yet again tried to persuade me that I am alone.

For nine months now, I have lived in an unfamiliar place (a little more familiar than at first, but still unfamiliar) and I have tried to figure out how to live a grown-up life and make grown-up decisions. Before I moved, I thought that it would be somehow fulfilling, to be in an unknown place with nothing but the future ahead of me. But right now, with brutal honesty, I have to admit that I only feel alone and unfulfilled.

I've been through any and every class I can take that teaches me about God and I've read my bible, a lot, and I know how it "works". If I look to Jesus to find all of my fulfillment and not to anything in this world, I will be fulfilled. That's the bible right there.

So the question going through my mind right now is this, "I thought I was looking to Jesus, so why do I feel this way?"

"I don't know"'s are all that is going my mind right now.

That's really all I can make out at the moment, is "I don't know."

But I do know that God absolutely does. I do know that He loves me. I do know that He's sitting with me here at this Starbucks. I do know that He's holding my hand and my heart.

I have no idea who reads my blog, but if you happen to read this semi-long and maybe even downer-esque post, I would love and absolutely appreciate any small prayers you may send up for me or any encouraging verses you could leave in the comment link.

Lastly, you may be wondering the reason for the title on this post. It's simple really. I'm just believing that with summer, sunshine will come, and that with that a little bit of breakthrough.
That's about it. :)

I can do this,


"When the whirlwind passes, the wicked are no more, but the uncompromisingly righteous have an everlasting foundation."
Proverbs 10:25

God you are my strength, Jesus you are the joy set before me. Not once have you gone out from underneath me. Not once have you left me to fend for myself. You have surrounded me and covered me. You have brought me to know your goodness. You have taught me to endure your silence, and not only endure it, but press through it. You have shown me that there is always breakthrough coming, it's constantly on its way. Every surge of my own resistance is met by a typhonic flood of your grace. The winds of this life, both uncontrollable and ones created by the fan of my own desires, cannot endure the strength of your love. The seas of inescapable emotion that wear on my soul, they are silenced by you alone. You have shown me that the whirlwind, when endured by a righteous person, produces only an everlasting foundation for them to stand on.
I have wandered in out and of your presence, and as sure as the tides of the ocean, have wandered to and fro amongst many shifting shores. Will I serve you with my whole heart. Will I love you even when I feel forgotten.
Forgetfulness, a word not in your vocabulary, except in the wondrous way of your forgiveness. You forget my sin, and bring to life every fiber of my being. You are not capable of forgetting a single cell in my body.
I've seen my worth through many lenses, but all these have been shattered. The image of your Son has come into clearer focus. The colors have began to brighten, after countless days spent relying on black and white images, strung together to embody a motion picture that I thought was my life. Whether I jumped backwards or looked ahead, it was still only greyscale living. You are stripping my mind of the memories of colorless living. You are painting new dreams upon my heart, using the red of your blood and redemption, the yellow of your glory, heaps of blue that bring your eternal presence into my life, lacing it with the purple of your majesty, and highlighting it all with the purest white. You are my creator. I often stumble backwards in awe of the beauty of your masterpiece.
Day by day, You give to me more of the promise. The hues of color come alive to me! You're teaching me to see again. You're teaching me that without contrast, and saturation, and exposure, there is no perfection! You bring to the table what I cannot.
So what have I left, if not you alone? I'm seeing the hand of the painter, the strong right hand of the one who calms the storm.
Jesus, in light of all of this...in light of you, the only reasonable response I can conjure is to allow you to use every storm, every heartache, every pain and trouble to reinforce the foundation I have in you. I'm sure in the end, it will not matter the things I do for you or the things I don't do for you. What will matter is whether or not I loved you more than I ever thought I could, and this only by your grace.
Jesus I am amazed by you.



You Hold My Hand

"But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, 'You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off'; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand... For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'"

I came across this scripture yesterday as I was flipping through my bible. It was one of those moments when you feel God whisper in your ear, you know those moments. It was one of those moments that you wish would last for the rest of your life. It was one of those moments that you don't want to leave, ever. You dont want to disturb it with your thoughts or plans for the day. You just want to keep it perfect. The thing that makes it perfect, the only perfection I can vaguely experience on this earth... Jesus. In moments like that, you feel like you get to take off your earth suit, and you get to simply be in the presence of Jesus... no limitations, you find yourself free.
There is something astoundingly freeing knowing that the words of the Bible are true, and not only that, but they are being displayed in my life, day in and day out, and to go even further, they are living inside me.

This scripture puts me at ease, when everything around me wants to tell me the opposite of who God is and what he has said about me. He is the one who called me, He took me from the farthest places, He will not cast me away, He is with me, He is my God, He will strengthen me, He will help me, He will uphold me with His righteous right hand, He will hold my hand, He will surely help me.

Despite anything and all that I do, he is the One who sustains me. This new season in Seattle has been life changing and God has been so good, but I'm learning that its not so much about seasons as it is about the person of Jesus Christ. The personification of Grace and Love, Mercy and Hope, in and through my life... even despite my life.
I feel like I'm on the threshold of breakthrough, personally and spiritually. I'm reminded in times of waiting, like right now, that it is indeed God who is strengthening me and taking me from glory to glory. He's holding my hand, and he's got my back. I love him so much.

A waiting heart,


Seattle: Day 190

Im sitting here, on a rainy Tuesday night in Seattle, and the only thing I can think about is how good God is and how much he's blessed my life, in incredible ways and with incredible people. Seattle has been an amazing adventure so far. I love life here, so so much! God has taught me so much and has brought me closer and closer to him. I recently looked back at some prophetic words that I recieved concerning my time here in Seattle and I was literally speechless. It took a lot not to burst into tears as I read through all of these things and realized that God was actually doing them. I believed that God would do them, but somewhere in the back of my mind I assumed that it would be a long time until I began to see fruit after moving here. Thank goodness I was wrong, and God is a gracious God. It brings me so much satisfaction knowing that I'm smack-dab in the middle of what God has for me, right now, and that He has given me a specific grace for this very season. Don't get me wrong, I have definitely sown many tears, but JOY comes in the morning... I feel like the dawn is finally breaking. Praise the Lord. Looking at my life with my eyes alone, it feels a bit normal. However, God has been revealing to me his vantage point. My life here is nothing short of supernatural. Every day is a tool in my hand. Pastor Brian Houston from Hillsong preached at our church this past weekend and his word confirmed so many things in my heart. He spoke about how we cannot discount the day at hand because it's not where we want to be. It's God's gift to us that we can dream and hope for the future, yet it is also His will that we understand that life is short and living for today is one of the most effective ways we can advance the Kingdom of God. I can't let the dreams that God's given me for my future rob the gift that he's placed in my hands for today. The power of what I am doing right now is more effective for right now than just waiting around for the day that something "big" will happen. God is looking for chasers of his will and purpose, not people who sit back and wait for the call of God to come smack them in the face. God has definitely shown me what it is he has for me to do right now, so I have determined to do it with all my might. I don't want to miss what God has for me now, because of what I think I should be doing now or in the future. I have set my heart on the fact that God is my promoter- I don't have to make a way for myself and I don't have to prove myself. I focus on God, I get closer to God, He uses me, He gets the glory. That's the simple truth of it.
There's not time to even begin to scratch the surface of all that God has been doing in me. I'm falling more in love with him, by his grace. I realized that I came up here thinking I knew enough about God, for then at least, and wanted to figure out who I was. But I think my thinker was a little backwards. I'm finding that the more I try to figure out who I am, I get lost and find my eyes wandering from where I should be going. But the more I look to the Rock of the Ages, the Sure Foundation, the One from whom my help comes from, the Faithful One, the only Constant, Neverchanging, Everloving, God, full of Truth and Grace, when I look at him, then and only then, do I know who I am.

I justed passed my 6 month anniversary of living up here, and in about a week will be the one year anniversary of my first visit to Seattle and the church I now call home, The City Church. It has been the best experience of my life so far! I do not regret a thing.

And I would like to thank my mom, for always loving me and supporting me and sending me home with amazing food every time I come home for a visit. :) Love ya Momma!



Wide, Open Spaces...

I once knew a girl who was bound up inside. Years of building walls had proved to do the exact opposite of what she had hoped for. Instead of offering protection, these walls served as the bars of a jail cell. She knew there was life available and willingly ready for her to step into, any day she chose. Yet the walls were strong. On one side, she was hemmed in by fear... fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being hurt again. Another wall was titled pride. She thought to herself, "If I break through this wall, I'll have to admit that I don't have it all together..." What if people thought badly of her. Behind, a wall of unforgiveness taunted her. How could she move beyond what these people had done to her. Memories echoed loudly in her head. Abuse. Abandonment. They walked on her. They overlooked her. They held her back. She wasn't worth it to them.

However, all of these walls failed to compare with the wall that was in front of her. This wall had many names. Faithlessness. Disbelief. Mistrust. Doubt. Anger. These things had crept together to form a monster that she wasn't prepared to deal with. The worst part of this creature was that it was staking its flag on the plot of land called God. She was angry with God for bringing her to this point in her life. She had lost faith that he wanted to take care of her. She didn't believe that he had good things for her. She didn't trust him to heal her. She doubted that he even wanted to.

The girl had taken jewelry and makeup to decorate these walls, maybe they wouldn't look as ugly on the outside as they did on the inside. She hoped no one would notice.

Although the walls screamed at her everyday, pushing her down into deeper despair, something in her heart wouldn't let her go under. There was a dream in the depths of her heart that hoped that the small voice that whispered, "Come to Me", was indeed real and true. What was she supposed to do. Her hands couldn't fit between the jail bars, they were too close together. She wasn't strong enough the break them. She didn't have the authority to have them unlocked.
She had had enough. Quietly at first, but growing louder with each call, she cried out for help. "Help! Help!"

She was startled as a crack shot through the wall on her left. Crumbling to the ground, the wall began to disintegrate. The jail bars began to fall out of place, clanking loudly against the hard concrete ground. She yelled all the more loudly, calling out to be rescued. Fear of being buried in the rubbish overtook her as she fell to her knees, crying, wondering if she would make it out alive. Sounds of destruction and violence whirled around her like a tempest. She closed her eyes. And then, silence.

"We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."
Romans 5:1-2

She had never seen such beauty.
She had never stood so tall.
She had never been so free.
She had never felt so loved.

Who is this Jesus? He is grace and acceptance, life and joy, forgiveness and hope.

I am so thankful this girl now knows new freedom.

Standing where I always hoped I would,


Jesus Is _________.

Well, where to start, that's the real question! I have lived here in Seattle for a little over a month and I am absolutely blown away by Jesus. Words cannot give justice to the way that God has loved me and how he's changed me and grown me... I am truly in awe of him! The week after I moved here The City Church started a series called Jesus Is____. In this series, we have been traveling through the book of Mathew to figure out what the Word of God says about Jesus. Lots of people have their own definition of who Jesus is, whether negative or positive. (visit jesus-is.org if you want to see what people all around the world have to say about Jesus). I believe that Jesus knew that I needed to know more of who he is when I moved here... which I do! :) Moving here has been one of the most challenging but rewarding steps that I've taken in my life so far. I've only been here a month and I'm already starting to see fruit that comes from obedience. Jesus has revealed himself in so many ways, and I have found myself falling more and more in love with him... it's exhilarating! This weekend, in our Jesus Is series, Pastor Judah preached a message called Jesus Is the All Powerful One. He shared the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and the 4,000 in Mathew 14 and 15. I am constantly amazed as I read and learn more about this God-Man that came to earth to die for me. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. His name is so powerful. In chapter 14, the word says that the people were with Jesus till late in the day in a deserted place. In chapter 15, it says that the people followed Jesus for 3 days. Obviously, if you followed someone around for a whole day, let alone three whole days, you would probably be hungry and tired. It says that Jesus had compassion on them and when he saw that they were tired and fatigued, he asked his disciples to feed them. They brought the little they had and Jesus multiplied it. It says that ALL were fed and that there were even baskets of left-overs. Jesus did not turn the people away and tell them to go find food on their own... he understood that because of the time and place they were in, they were hungry. Jesus is powerful enough to overcome the time and place I'm in, and I am so thankful for that! God's love and the measure with which he cares is totally and completely out of control. I was challenged tonight as I heard this message... have I let time and circumstance be the preacher I hear? Have I allowed my past experiences, my present problems, and my current circumstances to convince me that they are more powerful than God?? No matter where I am or how long I've been there, Jesus is more powerful than anything I face. That's the truth of it. Jesus is working something wonderful together in my life, I just need to understand his position and my own. Jesus is the all powerful one.
Sometimes I wonder when I'll figure it out or if I ever will, but Jesus is so good to quiet me with his love. I have found that since moving here, if I don't make an active, conscious choice to let God's peace have rule over my heart, I become a crazy lady! There are so many things in the practical that I could be stressed about and so many things I see in myself that I want to change... but I have to wait on God. It's a day by day thing here. I can't get away with what I used to in Bend, and I like it that way. If I skip a day and don't center myself in Jesus, I feel it. (and the poor people in traffic have to deal with me too... I HATE traffic, and Lord help me when I get into traffic without my Jesus.) As the season is changing, I have a hope in God that I don't know that I've had before... It truly is amazing! I am so thankful for what God is doing and am so excited to see what he's gonna do with this new season!
Maybe sometime I'll actually take some pictures and eventually get them on here too :)

twitterpated and in love with Jesus,