Monday, May 9, 2016

Entertaining Angels

I am so thankful for mothers all over the world... the ones I've been blessed to know and the ones I've never met before. Last Sunday night at church we remembered the mother of Jesus, Mary, and how an angel appeared to her and gave her a purpose. I walked out of church that night and made the statement, 'I sure wish an angel would appear to me and tell me exactly what I need to do sometimes!' 

My grandmother, Mamaw, told me the coolest story today. Last Sunday night she was sleeping so sound, and she woke up to a noise she couldn't even describe in words. She said it was loud, and at first, she thought it was something happening down the street, but then she realized whatever it was was in the room with her. It was 2:15 in the morning, and she looked up to see an angel that she knew without a shadow of a doubt was real and from the Lord. Of course my first response was 'And you weren't dreaming?' only to be answered with a gentle but firm 'No.' She said the angel's face was a little blurry, but she knew she was looking down at her and Mamaw was looking right back. She remembered details about her from the neck down that could only be told by someone who had seen her. Her wings were made of silver and she wanted to tell her to have a seat on the bed, but she couldn't say anything at all. In her words... 'After about a minute, she just vanished, and you couldn't tell which part of her left first. She left just as she came, and it definitely wasn't through the door.' She told me she can't describe how she felt. She was startled at first because she thought the angel had come to take her to heaven, but then she also felt peace. She never went back to sleep that night, and after checking on Papaw, she thought about that angel the entire day. 

Mamaw has always been so close to the Lord and has taught me so much about Him, and she told me she didn't know why the angel appeared to her if she didn't say anything. I said... 'Probably just to let you know angels are real.' She replied, 'Well, I already knew that.' 😂 

I love God's ways. He is mysterious and yet so kind to us. We will never know why some events happen here on earth but we will one day in heaven. I still haven't gotten my angel encounter, but my grandmother did that night, and that is just fine by me. 

When I think of angels, I think of protection, and I also think of mothers. 'A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,' and I am so blessed to have been loved by my mother and grandmothers who have selflessly given and taught me the true meaning of love and how to listen for the voice of our Father who calls us to a life that's better than any dream.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Light

I can see both sides in this whole debate. I usually try not to comment when it comes to politics, but for some reason I'm just really feeling the need to speak out. 

I believe in showing the love of Jesus to everyone and I also believe in common sense. There are people here that need just as much help and protection as the refugees do. I never want to be more concerned with 'me and my own' than my mission as a Christian... to show people Jesus. If our mindset is always on ourselves and protecting ourselves as a nation, I feel like it's pointing inward when our focus needs to be outward... on people near AND far. 

I am so proud to be an American, and I love this country and my people. But I love Jesus more. And while I have no idea what the answer should be, I know the One who does. I also know His ways are many times less comfortable than the ways we would have chosen. 

Our lives are not our own, and our mission is clear: to take the message to the world. We were bought with a great price, and because of His sacrifice, we sacrifice too... knowing that in the end, it will be worth it. 

We're not fighting against each other. We are the light fighting against the darkness, and the Light always wins. Whether it's our next door neighbor (who is so important!) or a Syrian refugee (who is just as important!), let's rescue and love people where they are in the place God's placed us. As one person I can't do everything, but I CAN do something.

Let's be strong and courageous! Perfect love casts out all fear.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Treasure Friday

Some days I can go antiquing and not find a thing. On days like today, I go and find the world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gypsy Queen

This past week my husband and I started talking about possibilities for the future... which lead to me putting in my two-week notice at Intercall today. I honestly can't say anything bad about Intercall and it has been a great job for me for nearly a year, but I am just ready to explore more options and try something new.

I guess I am just a gypsy after all. But as I remind myself... not all who wander are lost.

Funny I say that... because this morning BEFORE I put in my two-week notice, a part-time teaching job just kind of fell in my lap.

7th grade English and 9th grade Government. And yes, I'm laughing too.

I don't have a teaching certificate or a teaching degree. And I can't say I know the first think about teaching in a classroom or lesson plans or even grading an essay. (I mean, how many points do you take away for a comma splice or a run-on sentence?) And I was sure to tell the headmaster. The only thing I know about government is to never write 17 pages front and back on an essay test. In the words of Ferris Hall during my senior year as he's holding my wad of handwritten pages and shaking it at me... "Hey Hill, don't ever do this to me again!"

I'm excited and terrified rolled up into one. I have the freedom to observe for one week and then teach for one week without committing before I make a definite decision. How is this even real?

Oh, and the job is at the school Kev graduated from and he's started calling me 'Mrs. Hanner' around the house. I guess it would be all cutesy if I wasn't still imagining all of these little junior high faces staring at me and waiting for me to teach them how to form a satisfactory paragraph. My greatest fear is that I'll just stand there with my mouth hanging open for the whole 50 minute period or just up and split.

...That reminds me of the time I grabbed my backpack during my sorority retreat at Auburn, walked out the door, and drove off never to return or be heard from again. But that's another story for another day.

It's just so funny the adventures the Lord takes us on, and if we really want a wild ride, we just have to jump on board with Him and hold on tight.

So... cheers to venturing out into the world and doing something I've never done and a room full of kids looking at me all crazy (...because that's a promise!) and leaning on the only One I can't do anything without.

As in the words of Kimberly, you just can't make this stuff up.

Friday, July 31, 2015

my dream

I hear so many people talking about dreams and destiny, and those are two words I love. I do. I've always been a dreamer, and we are all called to do something big. I used to dream about finding a man who loves me for me. I used to dream of traveling the world and seeing all the beautiful places. I used to dream of being a doctor because... 'a girl with canes being told she can't CAN!' I used to dream of proving myself.. of being known by others as selfless while sacrificing all I have to give.

But my dream has changed. My something big IS big, but it's way different than what I once thought. It's loving my husband for my whole life while serving the Lord with him and someday having a little boy or girl or both and learning and growing while I watch them learn and grow. It's enjoying the simple things in life and being completely present. It's soaking up the process and not being so focused on the end result. And it's being completely content with what I have because the Lord has been so good to me. If I live out these dreams that may look small typed out on this page, I will change the world.

I was told a few months ago that I can't currently lead worship through singing because they couldn't see any room for a stool on stage in such a high energy environment, and I'll be honest, this completely hurt my feelings. My mind gave in to the offended mentality for awhile, but I'm not offended anymore. I have no doubt that I'm meant for a different purpose during this time, and if the Lord never wants me to sing on a stage again, that's fine by me.

Because it's not about a stage. It's not about me. 

And just as a disclaimer, I'm not using this blog as a way to vent any ill feelings toward anyone. I don't have any ill feelings because the Lord has changed my perspective. He can find purpose in it all.

See... the Lord wanted me to learn more about his heart for people, and he wanted me to understand how to identify with him more. Jesus knows about the whole rejection thing, and He is filled with so much compassion. If we were never rejected, we would never be able to experience the irresistible love of Jesus. He has come to save us over and over again from ourselves, because that's the real problem anyway. Ourselves.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us new dreams. It really is true that your ways are higher than ours. These words are just words until you make them alive in our hearts. 

And we are never the same.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

double-standards and marriage and such

I am as flawed as anyone. I have shortcoming and imperfections and am asking the Lord daily to refine me and make me more like Him. Because I'm a thinker, I think about certain things probably way too much... what I've possibly done to hurt someone, what I could have done better in a given situation, etc. And I know I've done my part in hurting plenty.

I've had conversations with several people in the last week or so about something I really, really, really, really, really, really hate. Curious now?

Double-standards. I reaaaaally hate these. I mean, like, really hate them. The things that people get mad at you for but do themselves every single day. The things that cause a friend to not text for weeks or to be short in responses due to feeling like you're not putting in enough effort. (Who wants to talk to a wall?) The things that cause you to feel like you're more privileged than someone else and should be held a little higher.

Here's the fact: we should never expect something from someone that we're not delivering ourselves. Honestly, we don't need to expect things from people period. We just need to give selflessly... wholeheartedly. I know it's hard to give to and spend time with people who are so wrapped up in their own lives they can't even ask about your day, but give and spend anyway. Maybe some people are so scared of getting hurt they close themselves off, but I choose to be open and not closed. I choose to not get mad but to love even when love is not shown in return.

I've learned a lot about friendships because I've been blessed with some great ones in my life, and this is one thing I know. When you have a friend, you know it. A true friend is happy for you, encourages you, prays for you, isn't jealous of you, and doesn't put restrictions on what you can say. A friend loves you and doesn't keep a record of your wrongs. It really is true that miserable company leads to a miserable life and good company leads to a great one.

One other important thing to remember... we always need to check ourselves, but we can't always blame ourselves. We can't control other people, and when we really come to grips with this, the freedom we find is so sweet.

So please, if you're prioritizing your life, don't get mad at me for prioritizing mine too. Deal?


In other (much happier sounding!) news, I'M GETTING MARRIED TO MY VERY BEST FRIEND IN 17 DAYS!!!!!!!!

I am beyond thrilled to start my life with Kevin as a Hanner. Every day, the Lord shows me something new about him that complements me, and I just really love Him for giving Kevin to me. He has been so faithful to hear my prayers for Kevin and for our relationship, and He has really been working in both of us these last several weeks. I see more and more of His will being fulfilled, and He's given me joy unspeakable!

I wish the best for every single marriage out there, and it would make me SO happy to know people around the world are experiencing this love and joy I've found.