Day 7: This is where the healing begins

Happy Day 7 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
 
Let’s start out with some honesty today.
 
I don’t know what to write about this morning.
 
Primarily because I have no idea how to appropriately address the anger, pain, frustration, confusion, division, and chaos that characterizes our country in the aftermath of the ridiculous events that happened in our nations capital yesterday.
 
Y’all, I don’t even know where to begin.
 
And so, pardon my scattered thoughts and words this morning, and hopefully we’ll make it to the end of this post together.
 
 
As much as I hate to admit it, I am an enneagram nine.
 
For those of you unfamiliar with the enneagram, type nine is “the peacemaker”, with a primary life goal of being at peace.
 
Admittedly, this sounds like a great life goal, however, such peace often comes at the price of silence, numbness, and disengagement with life.
 
As such, I’ve lived most of my life attempting to be ignorant of the struggles of others.
It’s not that I don’t care.
I do.
I just don’t know how to make a difference.
And if I can’t make a difference – if I can’t change the world, or the situation, or the person – I, well, I don’t know how to live with that and still be able to function.
And so, I go numb.
With the current state of the union, it’s admittedly very easy to go numb.
It can, in many ways, feel like the happenings of the world have very little impact on my little bubble.
I work.
I eat.
I sleep.
C’est la vie.
Or, to quote Jeremiah:
 
They have treated my people’s brokenness superficially, claiming, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.  Jeremiah 6:14
And so, the question becomes, is there peace during this time, and where is peace?
 
It would seem that our answer lies in John 14:27, where Jesus says:

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.
 
Peace.
I give you peace.
But not a peace that the world gives.
But, what does that mean?
I don’t have all the answers, but I wonder if the peace that the world gives is the superficial peace that Jeremiah talks about.
The peace of numbness.
The peace of ignorance.
The peace of silence.
The peace that has plagued this nation for centuries, to let the pain of oppression continue, the privilege of wealth run unchecked.
But, this isn’t the peace that we are called to in Christ.
 
The peace that we have is one that is not afraid to stand up to injustice for the sake of righteousness.
The peace that we have is one that does not ignore pain and brokenness, but faces it willingly, even when the situation is so much greater than us.
 
Because Christ is our peace.
When we are in Christ, we have the assurance that we are not alone.
We have the assurance that He is strong, even in our weakness.
And we have the assurance that He hears our prayers.
 
Y’all, right now the prayer of so many is healing for our nation, and I fully believe that God has heard and is answering that prayer.
 
But, as we see division and chaos running rampant, let’s take a moment to remember what healing so often looks like.
Healing is not simply putting a band-aid over the injury and letting everything go on as normal.
Sometimes healing is pulling out the splinters.
Sometimes healing is breaking the bone to set it straight.
Sometimes healing is surgically removing and replacing a part that was damaged.
 
Sometimes healing is tearing off the bandage that has been covering a raging infection – and then fighting that infection tooth and nail until the body is made whole again.
And I don’t know about you, but wholeness? That’s the kind of peace and healing I’m ready for.
‘Til tomorrow,
Hannah
PS: Here’s the link from Day 7 of my 100 Days of Hannah blog for your reading enjoyment.
 
If you like what you’re reading and want a daily dose of Hannah delivered straight to your mailbox, make sure to click the “Subscribe” button at the top of my page!
 
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Day 6: In the Moment

Happy (I think today is) Wednesday, and Day 6 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
(And Day 2 of my blogging before work non-series?)
First things first, I realized as I slid on my blue-blockers to write this post that I have apparently reached the point in the PPE work week where my ears hurt to be touched. Anyone have suggestions for preventing the PPE pain? I’m wearing an earsaver (I think that’s what it’s called?) and using a bobby pin to keep it high enough on my head so that the straps don’t fall on my ears, but somewhere something is still not working.
Okay, now, onto the actual post.
 
Do y’all like working?
Like, really?  Do you actually like your jobs?
I feel like, in general, I like my job.  Yet, I still find myself classifying my day as: before work, work, and after work.
Before work, it’s easy for my mind to go to how I want the day to go… and, honestly, everything that could go wrong.
During work, I’m generally just trying to get done.  Well, sort of.  I take the time necessary with each patient, but as the clock ticks past noon, and I begin to get hungry, and ridiculously sweaty, and a bit tired, I’ll be honest, I’m just ready to head home.
After work, there’s the charting, and then looking ahead to the following day.
 
And, even though I work incredible hours, it begins to feel like all I do is work, and that there is no time in my day for anything else.
 
Anyone else?
 
As I began pondering this last evening after a longer, moderately stressful day, I began to realize the problem.
 
It’s not that my day has too few of hours, or that I work too many.
It’s more that I’ve managed to return to the scarcity mindset that has impacted my life so often before, stealing my present, leaving me greedily longing for something that I already have: time.
 
Friends (can I call y’all that?), it’s true, we are not guaranteed our days, but the one thing we do have is this moment.
 
And you know what?
 
This moment – the present – is powerful.
For in this moment and every moment, we have a choice.
We can chose how we are going to respond.
We can chose what we focus on.
We can chose how to spend our time.
We can even chose who we are.
 
This idea of the moment reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium:
 
Thirty-seven seconds.  Great, well done; now we wait.
 
No, we breathe, we pulse, we regenerate.  Our hearts beat, our minds create, our souls ingest.  Thirty-seven seconds well [spent] is a lifetime. 
Think about it.
This is our beautiful reality, every single moment of every single day.
Each moment, stitched together in a seamless array is creating the fabric of your life.
 
How do you want to spend it?
 
To tie everything back to the main point, y’all, God is in our moments.
He has promised to be with us always.
Even when we don’t see Him.
Even when we don’t feel Him.
He has promised to be there.
 
And you know what?
God always keeps His promises.
 
I don’t know about you, but being reminded that He is with me helps me to find joy in each moment.
Rather than running head first into the world screaming, “YOLO”,  I am freed to enjoy each day, each moment, as it comes, trusting the goodness and grace of a glorious Father who delights to walk beside His children every step of the way.
May you find the Father’s joy in your moments today and every day.
 
Hannah
PS: I’ve decided to include a link from the corresponding day’s post from my 100 Days of Hannah blog for your enjoyment.  Click the link to check it out!
 
 
If you like what you’re reading and want a daily dose of Hannah delivered straight to your mailbox, make sure to click the “Subscribe” button at the top of my page!
 
Have questions, comments, or thoughts on my posts? Please contact me! I’d love to hear from you!! 
 

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Day 5: Schedule

Happy Tuesday and Day 5 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
Question of the morning: Do I have time to blog and still make it out the door by 7:30?
I guess there’s only one way to find out!
As I was thinking about starting this post this morning, my mind wandered to the ideas of schedules.
Are y’all schedule people?
From the outside, I would venture to say that I look like a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person.  Or, at least I hope so.  That’s the appearance I like to portray, and, well, sometimes it’s an accurate depiction of me.
But, sometimes, I feel like the complete opposite.
As I’ve mentioned repeatedly in my blogs, my mornings are somewhat sacred to me.
As is my exercise.
And my sleep.
And my diet.
And so, I can tend to become very regimented with my scheduling.  So much so that when I started my new job, I literally worked on my morning routine for two weeks, trying to perfect it to the minute for everything that I hoped to accomplish in the morning.
Why?
The simplest answer is this: because I was afraid – afraid of being out of control.
 
 
Fun fact that I’ve never disclosed before – mainly because it’s a new diagnosis and I wasn’t sure of the relevance: I’m (apparently) OCD.
 
Most days, I like to deny this fact.  I like to point to how “easy-going” I can be, proving that I can’t be obsessive or compulsive, or arguing that, by definition, my thoughts and behaviors have to cause significant stress in my life, and they don’t.
 
My family, however, daily points out that, as great as this sounds, it’s really not the case.
 
Which can probably be confirmed by the fact that I’m running in place (again) as I’m writing this post.
 
(Yes, it’s still before 7 in the morning.  Yes, I already ran/walked a mile and did yoga. Yes, I’m planning to workout again after I get home from work.  No, this is not a problem.)
Wow, that was a bit of a tangent.
But, to tie it all in, for me, all my OCD behaviors fall back to fears, and at the root?
You guessed it, the fear of being out of control.
My incessant exercise?
It’s a fear of weight gain.
My strict diet?
It’s a fear of feeling sick, or like passing out, or being uncomfortable.
My morning and evening schedules?
They’re a fear of not having enough time.
And my sometimes ridiculously early bedtime?
It’s a fear of waking up tired in the morning and being able to function properly for my job.
 
And while I’d love to justify these fears, at the end of the day, I’m reminded of 1 John 4:18 that reminds us:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
 
When I am afraid, and striving to be in control of every aspect of my life, it is a blatant lack of trust in the goodness, grace, and love of the Father.
 
It’s believing that I know better than He does.
It’s wanting to be god of my life, rather than surrendering and letting Him be in control.
It’s doubting that He genuinely cares about me enough to work all things together for my good.
 
Yikes.
 
But as He reminds me through His word of His promises – to never leave or to forsake, to work all things together for good, of plans to give hope and a future, of an unconditional, unrelenting love that went the length of the cross to know me – I am drawn from my controlling schedule and to His face.
I’ll be honest.
Letting go of my control is hard.
It’s something that I struggle with most moments of most days – especially when I’m tired or stressed.
 
But it’s worth it.
 
Will you find rest with me today?
 
Hannah
 
 
Disclaimer: This post is not meant to dissuade from having schedules.  When used right, schedules are beautiful.  I hope only to encourage you to hold your schedule loosely, releasing your tight control of each day to the one who holds your every moment.
 
 
PS: I’ve decided to include a link to the corresponding day’s post from my 100 Days of Hannah blog for your enjoyment.  Click the link to read more!

 

If you like what you’re reading and want a daily dose of Hannah delivered straight to your mailbox, make sure to click the “Subscribe” button at the top of my page!
 

And finally, if you know someone who you think would like my (often random) words, please share my posts with a friend!

Day 4: Strength

Happy Monday, y’all, and Day 4 of Another 100 Days of Hannah!
 
 
Full disclosure?
I almost forgot about blogging this evening.  Oops.
 
Apparently, when I thought, “oh yeah, I should do this blogging thing again,” I completely forgot about the fact that last time I blogged for 100 days straight was during the COVID lockdown – which meant that I had loads of free-time, despite technically working full-time.
 
This time, however, I’m actually working full-time, which means I get to figure out how to fit a daily blogging habit into my work/life schedule.  We’ll see how it goes!
 
In any case… on to today’s post!
 
Do y’all ever wake up just feeling… well, weak?
Like you’re completely exhausted and it takes all your willpower to get out of bed?
 
Admittedly, that was approximately how I felt this morning.
I was tired.
I felt weak.
And, despite it being only a few minutes after 5a, I was somehow already running late.
All of which felt problematic, considering today was a “drive two hours each way across the state to see patients” day.
 
 
*Aside: For those of you who know me, or who have read my blogs before, you’ll know that 1) mornings are my absolute favorite time of day, so that being exhausted when I get up is an exception, not the rule, and 2) that I am mildly obsessed with working out, which makes it hard for me to prioritize anything over exercise.
 
 
I knew something had to give in my morning routine – I couldn’t spend 15 minutes journaling/in the word, plus work out, do yoga, and still be showered, breakfasted, and out the door by 6:30.  My brain wouldn’t let me skip the workout(s), so I read a quick scripture and went downstairs to run.
 
As I turned on the treadmill, I whispered my heart’s cry of the day to the Father – God, give me strength.  Whatever may come today, God, just give me strength.
  
I wish I could say that I immediately noticed a change.
 
I didn’t.
I still felt weak.
I still felt exhausted.
I still wanted to crawl back in bed and give up on the day and try again tomorrow.
 

But I kept repeating this simple prayer – as I ate my breakfast, as I started driving, as I wound my way across the state.

 
God, just, give me strength.
 
About an hour into my drive, something changed, and, in that moment, I knew that God was with me.  That in my weakness, He was strong.  That He would provide.
 
That’s not to say that the day went on without a hitch.
I felt like passing out almost the entire time that I was seeing patients, and ended the work day with a massive headache.
 
But yet He was there.
 
I don’t have a lot of answers or inspiration, or, well, anything tonight, but, I am grateful.
 
I am grateful for a Father who hears and answers – even the small whispered prayers from a tired little heart.
I am grateful that, regardless of how often I forget and try to rely on my own strength, that it’s not about my abilities – it never has been.  It’s simply about His goodness.
And I’m grateful for the one who promises to walk beside us every step of the way – through the fire, through the storm, and everywhere in between.
 
May you find that His strength is enough for you today!
 
‘Til tomorrow,
 
Hannah 
 
PS: I’ve decided to included a link to the corresponding day’s post from my 100 Days of Hannah blog for your enjoyment.  Check it out!
 
If you like what you’re reading and want a daily dose of Hannah delivered straight to your mailbox, make sure to click the “Subscribe” button at the top of my page!
 
Have questions, comments, or thoughts on my posts? Please contact me! I’d love to hear from you!! 
 

And finally, if you know someone who you think would like my (often random) words, please share my posts with a friend! 

Day 3: Wisdom

Happy Day 3 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
 
Admittedly, I initially wasn’t sure what to write about today, but after listening to a sermon that happened to directly coincide with my quiet time meditations this morning, I guess this is the direction we’re gonna go.  Huzzah.
 
James 1:5 (TPT)
And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom, and He will give it.  He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures, but He will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace (or “with an open hand”).
 
So, first things first.  If y’all haven’t noticed, yes, I’m reading James. And yes, I can only chew on approximately one verse a day, or sometimes one verse a week.  Don’t judge.  It’s how I process.

Second, since The Passion Translation isn’t the most common, or probably even the most accurate translation, I like looking at a second version for the sake of comparison.  So, let’s add in the New King James for good measure.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him.
Do you guys ever have times that you’re made acutely aware of your need for wisdom?
 
For me, this morning was one of those times.  After waking up with my mind racing, I spent the first 10 minutes of my quiet time trying to process feelings, dreams, and desires that, once again, decided to rear their heads.
I thought I had dealt with them all before.
I thought I had come to a decision.
I thought I had made peace with the situation.
 
But yet, here I was again, trying to find calm amidst the raging storm in my mind.
 
And out of that storm, James’ words screamed out:
Ask God for wisdom, and He will give it!
 
Y’all, I need wisdom.
Not just today, but every day.
I need wisdom to follow.
I need wisdom to lead.
I need wisdom as a doctor.
I need wisdom as a daughter.
I need wisdom in my friendships.
I need wisdom in my relationships.
I need wisdom in literally every aspect of my life, that I may glorify God in everything that I do.
But some days?  Some days wisdom feels hard to find.
And, rather than looking to the Savior, who is the power and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24), I tend to look instead to the wisdom that this world may offer.
I look to science and logic.
I look to feelings and pleasure.
I look to friends and advisors.
I look to identity and inspiration.
 
And while these all have their place, for they are all gifts from God, they do not provide the promise of truth that I long for.
In Proverbs, Solomon writes that: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
And so, once again, I am reminded to turn to the cross.
I am reminded to turn to the Savior – fully God, fully man – who, at just the right time, came to our world to redeem what was lost.
And, it is through his glorious death and resurrection, that I am empowered to simply – ask – to ask for wisdom from the one who gives generously, without finding fault, today and every day.
Catch y’all tomorrow.
Hannah
PS: I’ve decided to post a link to the corresponding post from my 100 Days of Hannah blog for your enjoyment.  Check it out!

Day 3

 
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Day 2: Resolutions

Happy Day 2 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, and Day 2 of 2021!
 
 
Resolutions.
Is anyone else terrified by this word?
If I’m honest, a lot of times I have a really hard time with the thought of making New Years resolutions.
Or, any goal really.
Why?
Because, despite what it may look like, I struggle to achieve goals that I set for myself.
Like every good resolution, things start out well.  I have lots of motivation and determination to achieve my goal, until, at some point, I hit a road block.
Sometimes its a physical roadblock, like literally not having enough energy or resources to proceed.
But more often, it’s a mental or emotional roadblock, where my focus wanes or my desires shift.
And so, I often find myself hesitating to set goals – especially publicly, for fear that I will fail in achieving them and therein disappoint those around me.
#enneagramnine
As I think through my inherent distaste for goals, however, I am reminded of my scripture reading from this morning from James (I finally made it through Hebrews!!)
James 1:2-4 (TPT)
 
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested, it stirs up power within you to endure all things.  And then, as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
 
Or, as it is more commonly quoted:
Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 
Endurance.
 
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines endurance: as the ability to withstand hardship or adversity, especially, the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.
 
Endurance.
 
It’s a long haul word.
 
It’s pushing on when the conditions are hard.
It’s staying the course when the road is long.
 
It’s consistency.
It’s stability.
 
It’s being faithful when it would be easier to lose faith.
It’s remaining hopeful when all you see calls for despair.
It’s not fun.
It’s not easy.
 
But the promise?
The promise is completion, wholeness, perfection.
The promise is life.
 
 
From here, the question is begged: how do we endure?
 
In one of my favorite passages from Hebrews, we are exhorted:
 
Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
 
Our endurance in this life is found, not in our own strength, determination, or merit, but in Christ.
 
He alone is our strength and our shield. (Psalm 28:7)
He is our refuge, our fortress. (Psalm 91:2)
He is our song and our salvation. (Exodus 15:2)
 
He is the alpha and the omega, the author and the perfecter (finisher), the beginning and the end. (Revelation 1:8)
And so, while I struggle – immensely – with all things endurance, I can rest, assured that He who began [this] good work…will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)

‘Til tomorrow,

Hannah

If you like what you read, be sure to click the subscribe button at the top to get an email notification every time I write a new post in this blog!  If you’re interested in reading my thoughts on endurance from my first 100DaysofHannah, click the link below!

The Sprint Within the Marathon

PS: I’ve decided to include links to the corresponding day from my 100DaysofHannah blog.  Enjoy!
Day 2

If you like what you’re reading and want a daily dose of Hannah delivered straight to your mailbox, make sure to click the “Subscribe” button at the top of my page!
 
Have questions, comments, or thoughts on my posts? Please contact me! I’d love to hear from you!! 
 

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Day 1: Welcome to 2021

Happy 2021, y’all!
 
Wow. I forgot how hard it can be to start a blog post.
 
In any case, welcome to Another 100 Days of Hannah!
 
For those of you who have been following my writing for a while, you’ll know that I participated in the 100 Days of Blogging challenge that, for me, ran from late April through August (I think?).
 
As someone who enjoys writing, it was a great way for me to get in a consistent blogging habit.. that I have since fallen back out of.
 
However, a new year is for new goals and aspirations, so here I am again, attempting 100 days straight of blogging.
 
Huzzah.
 
 
Okay, notable aspirations aside…  What is there to say on the first day of the new year?
 
Last night, as several hours before 2020 came to a close, I sat down with my journal and began reading some things that I wrote in the early days of this past year.  When I got to this entry from Jan 4th, I was admittedly stunned.
 
Psalm 46:2 (TPT)
So, we will never fear, even if every structure of support were to crumble away.  We will not fear, even when the earth quakes and shakes, moving mountains and casing them into the sea.
 
V3:
For the roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in you.
 
Hannah’s take: The Earth – what we stand on, what we build on -> essentially our core.  Even if this – the essence of our beliefs, the essence of our being – shakes and breaks apart, we are not to be afraid.  Even if everything that we know and love and hold dear is turned upside-down and torn apart, still our faith in God is not eroded.  God, increase my faith!
 
Woah.  As I reflect on the past year, these verses seem so fitting, in ways that I never realized they could be as I pondered them.  In 2020, everything was shaken.
 
Except God. 
 
He stood firm, as the Rock of Ages, never wavering in His steadfast love and tender mercies.  Ever present, ever faithful, no matter the storm.
 
And, beautifully, He remains as we enter this new year – regardless of what these 12 months may hold. May our strength, hope, and peace be found in Him, so that as the next year closes, we may boldly say:
For [even] the roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in you.
‘Til tomorrow,
Hannah
PS: I’ve decided to include links to the corresponding day from my 100DaysofHannah blog.  Enjoy!

Day 1

 
If you like what you’re reading and want a daily dose of Hannah delivered straight to your mailbox, make sure to click the “Subscribe” button at the top of my page!
 
Have questions, comments, or thoughts on my posts? Please contact me! I’d love to hear from you!! 
 

And finally, if you know someone who you think would like my (often random) words, please share my posts with a friend!