Friday, November 6, 2015

| hello twenty. |




Mateo, despite your various brutalities, you are a good soul.





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Photos are the fruit of sifting once again through the clogged files on my computer, stalking my friends' social media and then nagging them for permission to pilfer their pictures, and succumbing to the cravings to display a *small* fraction of my enthusiasm for quotes.

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"Does it feel any different, your not being a teenager anymore?"
I think I told the first person who asked me said cute little question that it stank. It was a pre-caffeine comment, so I enjoy imagining that they pardoned my negativity. After hearing that question about a dozen times, I found a corner of solitude and mentally scrutinized the new digits for about five minutes, then crept back to reality feeling freshly humbled and carrying on my shoulders yet another resolution to emulate maturity. One more objective I can't claim to have achieved yet.


Every time I finally believe I've grasped the definition of a mature adult, and maybe (in my more egotistic moments) even begun producing it more than just on occasion, one of those moments rears its foul head. Some human out there in cyber universe, please permit yourself some honesty and acknowledge that you've been there, felt that. One of those things that suction sentences out of you that you wish you had never said, actions you'd barter your eyeteeth for a chance to erase when said actions are mere seconds old. And maturity looks a thousand mocking miles beyond your reach.

I offer this theory that if maturity, like all of those other platinum traits that Christian young people pursue, were obtained as easily as oxygen, we wouldn't need Jesus more than we need our next breath. When I ponder the gravity of my age married to the number of occasions I still play the child, I taste that need even more than I did as a teenager.



                                                              ~ Photo credits belong to Erin Martin ~

The past year has been cluttered with a thousand firsts, dozens of panic-saturated moments where parroting composure only worked on occasion, dozens more evenings industriously redeemed in a blanket fort eating desserts from a paper plate and texting satisfyingly stupid messages to delightfully ridiculous people, playing Tonka, Little Tykes and Melissa & Doug with toddlers and adoring almost every second of it, moving from Vermont to Texas and from Texas to New Mexico, purchasing a Pomeranian, watching a herd of mustangs gallop through the hills (for real), finally obtaining some sense of order and discipline now that I am twenty (not for real), learning to live at an elevation of over seven thousand feet, consuming ungodly quantities of Mexican food, going to Washington, D.C., acquiring a southern drawl and losing it again, weeping over desperately emotional songs (instigated by a frequent and general shortage of sleep, coffee, and common sense) falling in love, driving an old blue Subaru over forgotten red clay roads (with more or less success) attending the Winter JAM 2015 in Dallas, feeling spiritual blazes ignite at the scenes of revival meetings, seeing Grand Canyon, consuming thousands of calories' worth of Hawaiian pizza and root beer with more delightfully ridiculous people, refining my natural  talent for the mandolin (I wish) squandering my sweat-blood-and-tears-stained-paychecks on white chocolate mocha Starbucks lattes (I'm not going to lie, I don't regret even one of them) eating gelato in a NYC airport and feeling like a hipster, sleeping in a camper for a week with my bestie and half a dozen bags of candy, flying all over creation, complaining about my insane life and then feeling properly chastened upon the realization that, while not even attempting to be flawless, it is nothing less than beautiful, and dreading the big 2-0.

Okay, twenty, you're a force to be reckoned with. And I'm ready to take you on.

Actually, not even.

I need Jesus in my life. Now more than yesterday, or three and a half weeks ago, or six years ago, or the day I turned ten or thirteen.

And the good news is- He's been waiting for me, all this time. Every time I permit arrogance and self-importance a corner of lodging in my heart, that same heart is brutally swift in producing thoughts and responses that demonstrate how illegitimate that arrogance is. More often than not my own anger or spite (oh, why do those two words have to sound so repulsive?) are the convenient tools that God uses to reveal to me just what a sinner I am. God has drenched the past fifteen months with blessings upon blessing, but how swiftly my flesh crosses its arms and whines about all it doesn't clutch between its already laden hands at the moment. On occasion my honest mama has looked me in the eye and politely spoken her mind. "Hannah, you're being a brat." And the arrogance embedded in my human nature shrieks that such is not even possible.
Which merely serves to prove that duh, of course it is.

If life has taught me anything, it would be that 1) fabricated perfection is a waste of time and energy and a variety of dishonesty, and 2) that people who are only attracted to manufactured faultlessness exist in nirvanas of their own devising. I'm not going to offer you a cyber resume of my spiritual gifts, my various talents, my sundry accomplishments, my charming personality (hah), my cool friends, my exemplary self-portrait of a Christain young woman. Hello, my name is stubborn and moody and cynical and oh, so faithless, and instead of lamely attempting to convince God, myself, and humanity that I am by nature anything otherwise, I prefer the relief that comes by painfully whispering to the Lord every time I blow it, "I know I'm rotten to the core, and more than that, I know You still love me."

And that's where September 2015 found me. Still failing, still loved, and (hopefully) still learning.

Hello, twenty. Let's do this.

"No matter how far you are,
No matter how dark your past
His arms are always open
There is a home for the broken
All the words that He has spoken are true . . .
You are fully known by the Author of space and time
He won't let you go and He won't change His mind . . .
No, He cannot change His mind."

"Fully Known" ~ JJ Heller

 P.S. How in the world did this get so long?



  1. Well, happy birthday!! I hope twenty is an amazing year for you. I really admire and appreciate your honesty and genuineness here in the perfect internet world too. Also, those lyrics at the end sound really good - I'm going to look up the song now!

    1. Thank you! And, it is a really great song- one of my favorites at the moment.

  2. What a fun post!!!!! Okay, I'm not going to lie, those girls in the top picture are two of the sweetest looking girls I have ever seen!!! The part about the sleeping in a camper with your bestie and half a dozen bags of candy, Haha! I did the same thing recently! It was a bit embarrassing the amount of candy wrappers I found under my bed while cleaning.:(
    Okay this got to be a long comment, sorry about that!
    P.S. I had fun when you were visiting.;)

    1. Yikes! But, at least the duck survived my presence, right? :D

    2. Oh, yeah.;) That was a miracle I think. Just kidding.;)

    3. And just so you know, the picture would have been greatly improved by the presence of one more girl I happen to be thinking of. ♡

  3. Twenty!!!!! :) We love you Hannah! We are so thankful for the grace of God and giving us a new start each day. :) Your twentieth year has seen lots of firsts. :0 I have never had a Starbucks coffee but one of these days I will. :) Thanks for offering me one. Now I know what to order. :)

    1. They are delicious! And, we all love and miss you all. :)

  4. Happiest of birthdays to you, dearest Hannah! What a lovely collection of are so beautiful! Blessings to you, sweet friend! And may I say how delighted I am to hear your special news...exciting times for you, Hannah!
    Hugs and love...

  5. I LOVED this post!!! And am always amazed with your sweet way with words!!! You are such a DEAR and I love and miss you soooo much and feel blessed to have you for a friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Annette! I miss you and ♡ you too!

  6. Happy Birthday, Hannah! Isn't it amazing to reflect back over the past year of our lives and see what God has done?! God is so good!

    1. It definitely is. I'm sure you feel the same way with all of the changes that this year has carried into your life. I hope that God provides grace and blessing with your wedding and upcoming marriage! ♡


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