YEAR 2013: the Dub Club, Africa & Adventure.

YEAR 2013: the Dub Club, Africa & Adventure.

January 1st is tomorrow. What?! Normally by this time each year I have created my new resolutions, made my New Years Eve plans & am counting down the seconds to ring in the New Year! (Champagne anyone?)… But somehow I find myself this year sitting on a couch, with no resolutions made, no plans & no champagne.. yet. :)

I love the difference one year makes.

We say it goes by so fast until we look back and realize so much happened in those 365 days. This year was one for the books: I graduated college, I got my first real job, I changed my first real job, I got baptized and I went to Africa. That’s only the short list. But while looking back, the greatest thing I noticed was that almost everything that happened was not orchestrated by me, it was all God. Challenging me, renewing me, breaking me, exciting me — it was Him making the plans the whole time. So for this year, I want to take the day to be grateful for the things  the Lord has done for me… New years resolutions can wait a day, right?

So Year 2013, I am grateful for:

1. A COLLEGE DEGREE! … and the bonus package of not having to study anymore that goes along with it! Can I get an Amen Sara Simpson?

2. I went to AFRICA! For 2 weeks. It was incredible. I fell in love. I am also grateful for my job, at the time, to allow me to take off work for 3 weeks to pursue my dream in going.

3. I HAVE MY DREAM JOB! I just switched from working as a Sales Coordinator at a hotel to working for the group I went to Africa with. The organization is James127 Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that brings God’s hope to widows and orphans by providing free sewing & jewelry training to vulnerable women in Kenya. God is so faithful in how He brought me to this point & I am excited to see where He leads us. MARKETING PLUG: Go check us out at http://www.j127foundation.com. No shame in this game.

4. The Dub Club: a house that holds my favorite memories from senior year.  From finding a snake in our house to cleaning up our leaking brown kitchen floors to my sauna of a room to bugs in the bathroom, that was the greatest gem of a house that I could have ever lived in. More importantly, I am grateful for the 3 best friends I lived with (pretty sure we are the only 4 who could have handled living in that beautiful dump) and the hilarious memories that came with it. LONG LIVE THE DUB CLUB!

5. Parents and a family that loves to exercise and craves adventure. I wouldn’t hike near as many mountains or ride any bike trails without their passion to want to do it all! You go, fit Mom and Dad!

6. A bible study group that challenges each other, encourages each other and laughs (ALOT) with each other. Love those gals.

7. The Summer of Discipline: definition – the time of newness, no job & no set plans in which the Lord used to break me and challenge me so all I could do was run to Him. He taught me discipline. He taught me what it means to trust in obedience. This was the one of the toughest, yet best moments I have experienced with the Lord.

8. A YL Timber Wolf Lake Reunion happened: We got to watch our best friend, Winston Ly, get married to the love of his life Ali in Nashville.

9. Speaking of Nashville, Nashville food. YUM. Thankful for SatCo, food trucks, Pfunky Griddle & many more.

10. Getting baptized by my first ministry leader/friend I had during college and having my family  in the crowd to watch.

Yep, this year has been a great one. I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring!

xx

Hannah

Book Club: Follow Me by David Platt

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“Christianity does not begin with our pursuit of Christ, but with Christ’s pursuit of us. Christianity does not start with an invitation we offer to Jesus, but with an invitation Jesus offers to us.” – David Platt

Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. – Matthew 4:19

Last night my bible study group finished for the year. I have been in my group for 3 years and God has led us down many different ways to discover his word; however, I believe our group would agree that this time has been the most challenging yet. Our group read through Follow Me by David Platt. We did not do the videos or the bible study, but chose to simply read and dive into the book to see what God would reveal to us. It. Was. Incredible! We were stretched, broken, lifted, & questioned weekly. We wanted to hold ourselves to a high standard of accountability and honesty, and the Lord poured His grace and love over us as we read words that were sometimes tough to read. If you want to be challenged deeply, read this book. Read it with friends. See what the Lord can reveal to you day by day.

Just a few of my favorite passages: (spoiler alert!)

“Faith is the anti-work. It’s the realization that there is nothing you can do but trust in what has been done for you in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Faith is the realization that God’s pleasure in you will never be based upon your performance for him. Instead, God’s pleasure in you will always be based upon Christ’s performance for you.”

“When you come to Jesus, his Spirit fill yours spirit. His love becomes your love. His desires become your desires. His will becomes your will. His purpose becomes your purpose. His power becomes your power. The Christian life thus becomes nothing less than the outliving of the indwelling Christ.

“Forgiveness is God’s greatest gift because it meets our greatest need.”

“Jesus is worthy of far more than intellectual belief, and there is so much more to following him than monotonous spirituality. There is indescribable joy to be found, deep satisfaction to be felt, and an eternal purpose to be fulfilled in dying to ourselves and living for him…. For the few who choose to abandon themselves to the will of God and put their trust in the character of God, following Jesus wherever he leads, no matter the cost, is the only thing that makes sense.”

Jesus, we will follow you. Make us fishers of men.

xx

Hannah

p.s. Shout out to my bible study gals! Thankful for another fun, hilarious, challenging & truthful time together. Thank you for sharing life with me weekly. I am encouraged daily by the way y’all live, speak, & strive to know  the Lord more. Love you all! (Kisses & Cookies)

My Head & My Hands as Well

If you have been watching the Voice and loved Matthew Schuler — you haven’t seen anything compared to this video he made before joining the show. Matthew wrote this song about His love for Christ and the desire to know Him more. The song opens with “Saturate the deepest parts of my soul, let your ways shape the paths that I take.” What a prayer. These words have stuck with my since I first heard them and have been my prayer since.

Then He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter,” you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answer, “Unless I was you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied,” not just my feet but my hands and my head as well.” John 13:6-9

Peter – his eagerness. He wanted all of Jesus. Not later, but then. He didn’t want Jesus to just wash his feet, but he wanted Jesus to wash his his heart, mind, soul. Just like Matthew and myself, Peter was asking Jesus to saturate the deepest parts of his soul. May we jump to this prayer every single day as quickly as Peter responded to Jesus that night.

Go listen to the video! It will blow you away.

xx
Hannah