[quote] be broken.

I have a devotional by The Ransomed Heart emailed to me daily. To be honest, I have gotten into a pattern where I don’t even read them daily. Sometimes I’ll skim them, sometimes I’ll file them away under my Daily Devotional category in my gmail and sometimes, if the title doesn’t seem like it “applies to me”, I’ll even just delete it without thought. It only takes a couple of minutes to read and think about the short message sent each day and I really want to be better at taking that time to just hit pause on my day and read them. Today, I did just that. The message really hit me too. I want to share the devotional I received today and I pray that you guys can get something out of like I did.

Until We Are Broken, Our Lives Will Be Self-Centered

True strength does not come out of bravado. Until we are broken, our life will be self-centered, self-reliant; our strength will be our own. So long as you think you are really something in and of yourself, what will you need God for? I don’t trust a man who hasn’t suffered; I don’t let a man get close to me who hasn’t faced his wound. Think of the posers you know-are they the kind of man you would call at 2:00 A.M., when life is collapsing around you? Not me. I don’t want clich?s; I want deep, soulful truth, and that only comes when a man has walked the road I’ve been talking about. As Frederick Buechner says,

To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do-to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst-is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed. (The Sacred Journey)

Only when we enter our wound will we discover our true glory. As Robert Bly says, “Where a man’s wound is, that is where his genius will be.” There are two reasons for this. First, the wound was given in the place of your true strength, as an effort to take you out. Until you go there you are still posing, offering something more shallow and insubstantial. And therefore, second, it is out of your brokenness that you discover what you have to offer the community. The false self is never wholly false. Those gifts we’ve been using are often quite true about us, but we’ve used them to hide behind. We thought that the power of our life was in the golden bat, but the power is in us. When we begin to offer not merely our gifts but our true selves, that is when we become powerful.

(Wild at Heart , 137-38)

I love that last line. “When we begin to offer not merely our gifts but our true selves, that is when we become powerful.”

How true is that? I for one can say I have often tried to hard to display what I feel my gifts and talents are and fall short of just being ME.

This week I’m going to work on embracing me and letting my comfort, power, and confidence stem from that.

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[quote] fall in love.

Sorry that I have been lacking in [craft] posts, friends! I just moved and have been super busy getting settled and working at a new job, so unfortunately spending time and money crafting was put on the backburner! I do have a few ideas up my sleeve though, so when the time and money comes, I will have lots to share! I’ll keep you posted and hopefully have a little somethin’ somethin’ to share pretty soon that is quick and easy.

In a few days, I’ll be celebrating one year with my amazing boyfriend, so today I’m going to share a quote about loooooooveeee. I have a really fun week planned between this weekend and next weekend! Hope everyone else does, too! If it’s sunny where you are, enjoy the rays and if it’s raining, dance in it!

what you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. it will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you. fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.   -pedro arrupe

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[quote] holding hands.

“One of the best tools for longevity and good health is not just taking a walk outdoors but taking your walk while holding the hand of God. When we walk in gratitude for each and every moment, we empower ourselves by empowering our spirits. When we breathe in nature through our eyes, ears, and lips, we become certain that not only are our souls eternal, but that God knows how to manage our lives, our troubles, our worries and our days better than we do. So, today and everyday, “let go and let God.” “

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[crafts] wooden letters.

As promised (albeit a few days later than anticipated) I would love to show you my most favorite craft. It’s cheap, easy, and not a time killer! I started dabbling with decoupage a few years back, but last summer came up with the idea to make a decoupaged letter. I was extremely satisfied with the result and from there the letters took off.

To make my decoupaged letters, I pick up wooden letters (available at any craft stores, some personal favorites are Hobby Lobby or Michaels). One of the letters I did was a lowercase ‘h’ and I have not had an luck finding lowercase wooden letters instores, so that one I special ordered online. This isn’t the cheapest option but it is very easy to find online stores that can cut wooden letters in any size or font.

Once I’ve picked up my letter of choice, the next step is paper. I usually stick with 3 prints per letter as to keep it from having too much pattern going on. The easiest way to pick is to choose a main color and than choose paper that incorporates that color with differing colors. While you’re at the craft store, pick up some Mod Podge for gluing the paper onto the letter. I trace the letters on the paper to make cuts. This process could be done in a number of ways. Just experiment and find a way that you are most comfortable with!

Once I’ve picked up my letter of choice, the next step is paper. I usually stick with 3 prints per letter as to keep it from having too much pattern going on. The easiest way to pick is to choose a main color and than choose paper that incorporates that color with differing colors. While you’re at the craft store, pick up some Mod Podge for gluing the paper onto the letter. I trace the letters on the paper to make cuts. This process could be done in a number of ways. Just experiment and find a way that you are most comfortable with!

I made these letters with one pattern each for a bathroom in my townhouse. The layout on the wall is as pictured. I love them!

I made these letters for my niece's nursery. Her name is Hazel and the first letter H was given as a baby shower gift--these letters were to follow after she was born.

Those are most of the ones I’ve done so far, minus some that haven’t gotten the chance to be photographed. It’s so easy and fun! I recommend it to anyone for a rainy day activity. Hope you enjoyed and please share your own letters with me if you feel so inclined to get crafty yourself. 🙂

Happy Monday, all!

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[inbetween] I’m home.

Sorry it took me so long–but thank you for your patience with me during this time of moving (and what an experience it was!) This past weekend, as I moved in, Nashville received over 13 inches of rain. The average rainfall for the month of May total is 4 inches, and unable to handle this mass amount of water, the city flooded… flooded everywhere. They have compared the flooding in this city right now to the flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. The Grand Ole Opry is completely devastated, most of the prominent tourist attractions downtown are under water. 18 people have drown (that they know of so far) and thousands lost their homes and lost everything of their possessions.

I’d like to share an article that has been passed around throughout many Nashville residents because of what it says and what it means for the city of Nashville. It can be found here and was written by Patton Fuqua on May 4, 2010. He says:

“If you live outside of Nashville, you may not be aware, but our city was hit by a 500-year flood over the last few days. The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While both are clearly important stories, was that any reason to ignore our story? It may not be as terror-sexy as a failed car bomb or as eco-sexy as an oil spill, but that’s no reason to be ignored.

The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.

Does it really matter? Eventually, it will…as I mentioned, there are billions of dollars in damage. It seems bizarre that no one seems to be aware that we just experienced what is quite possibly the costliest non-hurricane disaster in American history. The funds to rebuild will have to come from somewhere, which is why people need to know. It’s hard to believe that we will receive much relief if there isn’t a perception that we need it.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, “Don’t play in the floodwater.” When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.

Some will be quick to find fault in the way rescue operations were handled, but the fact of the matter is that the catastrophe could not have been prevented and it is simply ignorant beyond all reason to suggest otherwise. It is a flood. It was caused by rain. You can try to find a face to stick this tragedy to, but you’ll be wrong.

Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I’m still having trouble comprehending all of it.

And yet…life will go on. We’ll go back to work, to school, to our lives…and we’ll carry on. In a little over a month, I’ll be on this website talking about the draft. In October, we’ll be discussing the new Predators’ season with nary a thought of these past few days. But in a way, they changed everyone in this town. We now know that that it can happen to us…but also know that we can handle it.

Because we are Nashville.”

I have lived here for four days. 4 days! That’s it! During that 4 days, I have come to realize those things in that article said about Nashville to be SO TRUE. I already feel a strong connection to this city, to its’ people. There is no reason I should feel devastated and sad for this city, for it’s nothing I know… it isn’t my memories and I haven’t even been downtown ever. But I do. My heart cries out for those who have lost everything, those without homes, those who have lost family members and those with family and friends still missing. My heart goes out to those businesses who have experienced total loss and are unsure of how to get started again. My heart goes out to this place because I feel it is my home. I know that I am home.

I couldn’t be happier to be in Nashville and I will never forget the weekend I moved here. Here are some pictures of the city. If you are interested in donating to Nashville relief and rebuilding, please visit here. And PLEASE keep this city in your thoughts and prayers, and share the news of this loss with your friends and family as many are completely unaware of the tragedy that struck us this past weekend.

Coming up this week: Decoupaged letters! I’m a BIG fan of letters, more specifically initials. I can’t wait to share with you how I incorporate that into a fun, cheap, and easy craft! Stay tuned 🙂

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[inbetween] pause.

Tomorrow is the start of what is going to be a pretty busy week for me (hopefully busy enough that is FLIES by!!!) So, please be patient with me as I won’t get around to posting until next week. BUT I promise to start posting pictures of my crafty endeavers and begin my [craft] posts come May (which is next week already. How!?) I hope you all have marvelous weeks and I’ll be back as soon as I can!!

With all my love :),

Hannah

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[quote] stop and smell the roses.

This rings so true in my life right now. I have this horrible tendency to get into “survival mode” and just try to make it through X amount of minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years until “life” will start or until whatever I’m trying to get through is over… but the thing is, those minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years are all life–every one of them. If  don’t stop and appreciate each of those as they come, one day I’ll look back and wonder where the time went. that’s one of my biggest struggles… to take each day as it comes and be thankful for each of them. So that is part of why I love this so much. It is kind of a slap in the face to me and reminds me to be real about things!

I hope this post finds everyone enjoying their Friday nights! Have a happy weekend, blogland!

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“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” (Souza)

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