Wednesday, June 22, 2016

when grass withers

I've had the privilege of going through Angie Smith's bible study Seamless with The Gather Project's Grow girls. So far we're sifting through the Old Testament and it's kind of blowing my mind. But there's this overarching theme I feel God stirring in me. Something He's really pressing into my heart.

I started this study by praying and asking God to show me He's trustworthy. That He's truly loving and kind, and that His word holds true in my soul. Which in turn, I prayed, would make me more confident in my approach of the Bible, in talking with people about His word. Going through Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Ruth… I'm slowly learning, and more importantly, trusting in this Word. So here's this theme again:

HE provides.

Every. Single. Time. HE provided. Sometimes they fully trusted (Abraham with Isaac, Noah with the Ark, Moses' whole journey to the Promised Land, Joshua marching with his people around Jericho), and sometimes they didn't and there were consequences (Lot's wife, Moses disobeying and not getting to go into the promised land after all that time, basically the entire history of the Israelites yo-yo relationship with God) but He provides for His people.

I've been in this period of time with God where I keep asking Him when certain things will happen for me. And you KNOW good and well you've probably asked Him those things too. When will I get to write for a living? Earn an income for the things I feel like you've gifted me in (my own selfish knot rise up in my flesh right there for some honesty), when will I get to take these business ventures, on and on and on. And when I (I won't say we for your conviction's sake ;) ) don't see things happening on my timeline, I [we] start to scramble to just MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, because, well, God isn't working on my schedule daggumit. That scramble is out of distrust. I'm not trusting that God will provide for His will. Just like Sarah wasn't trusting that God was going to give her a baby like Abraham said He would, so she scrambled and had him sleep with her maidservant (hey Ishmael). The Israelites chose not to trust that God would provide the promised land and had to wander around for 40 years as a consequence.

It's super easy to not see it as distrust. To see it from the standpoint of being "proactive". But let's just call it what we know it is. I believe things are not always instantaneous, and somethings take work on our part. But "when the grass withers and the flowers fall, the WORD of our God stands FOREVER" (Isaiah 40:8).

So back to that overarching theme. Provision.

Every time, provision. The Bible is this beautifully woven story that rings boldly true that He will, and does, provide. With Abraham's son, with a chunk of land He said He'd take His people of slavery and into, with the biggest and most beautiful gift of all time HIS OWN SON JESUS to take the place of our sickening sin which separates us from Him. He provides.

You may be thinking, but why? Why does He do that? And it is so dang simple.

Because He loves us. And He is always always always good. To show us we can TRUST Him. We can TRUST He is going to do what He said He would do.

Because, HE loved US first.

Man that felt good to get out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gratitude begets gentleness

It's forever amazing to me that God cares enough to give us the things we ask Him for. He doesn't have to, but He does. So when I notice it, I like to give Him that glory. He surely deserves it.

If you're used to reading here, you might remember that I pray for a purpose each year. I've prayed to be more merciful, more loving, and this year I have been begging God and seeking Him hard after gentleness. I've learned that these fruits are of His spirit, and that I cannot do these things, or be these things, apart from Him. I noticed a pattern of short temper, hot-headedness towards my babies and I HATED IT. Like kinda sorta started hating myself over it. I just felt like the worst mom and like I was constantly creating negative memories for my children. And that's when I realized I was making it about me. The more I made it about me- my time, my clean house, my well behaved quiet perfectly dressed kids, the more I was so quickly abandoning the grace I should be giving them when they fail. So I failed to accept any grace from God because.... I was trying to do it on my own. All I want as a mother is to love my kids deeply, know them deeply, and raise them to know God deeply. But if I'm not leaning into Him to show them those things? Que a whole lot of disappointment. 
I think I've struggled with being gentle towards people my whole life. And the older I've gotten, the clearer I feel like Jesus sinks it into me. When you're grateful for who you have, you tend to be more gentle towards the rest.

I mean this: I am so utterly, undeniably, humbly grateful for Jesus and what He did on the cross for me and everyone else. So when I make that my mindset, I tend to approach everyone else with gentleness. Including my kids.
I look at their beautiful, smiling faces from a stance of gratitude and how thankful I am to have them and raise them, that when things get hard (and they get hard OFTEN) I can seek God's gentleness for discipline and for gauging my reaction to whatever the situation might be. I can choose to be grateful to them instead of hateful. And I can choose that in Jesus name.
And for the times when I do lose my junk- because I'm human and not the best mom there ever has been or will be- then I repent and try to rest in His grace. Every day I'm glad to be their mom. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

when jumping feels more like sliding

I've always heard "where you sit is where you stand" and on this particular subject, I suppose I've sat (and stood) in the skeptic seat. I've said the words "I wouldn't. I couldn't. I'm sick of being asked." But then all of a sudden, I did. 

Two years ago I did an online internship with Ashley and that's when I first heard about Rodan and Fields. I looked up the products because I have horrible acne due to PCOS and uneven skin tone from pregnancies. They were not at all in my budget! I was super let down. I didn't want to sell, but I definitely wanted to try some products that I heard rave reviews about. 

Fast forward to current. I am asked probably twice a week by people I know, and people I don't, to join them in some kind of direct sales. And I always say no. But any time someone would ask me about R+F I would always email ashley with my questions and curiosities. But it always came down to budget. We're trying to get out of debt, I'm sure I've written about that here before. But we're really trying to make strides now. Having three kids so close in age puts me in a hard spot to look for a job because child care is so expensive. So I started praying for God to drop me something. And I am not saying this is how He answered, but I am saying that I am trusting Him with how this turns out for us.

Ashley introduced me to Lindsay and with a little help and birthday money…I am doing this with Lindsay as my coach! If you follow me on snapchat (hannahladd) then you probably already saw my story about all of this. Because y'all already know, IMMA KEEP IT REAL. Fo lyfe. I snapped my awful acne, fresh pimples and all. And because I spare myself nothing.. I took a couple of pics too. I want to give a full honest review, so that way, when(promise to overload) I talk about these products, you'll know you're getting the real deal.

You hear it all the time from people: JUMP IN! Take a risk! Just jump in full force! Live your dreams! 
Well here's where I sit. I am not a jumper. I am an over thinker. I like to weigh all my options and really think things through on practicality. So instead of calling this a "jump" in… I'm feeling it more as a slide in. I'm praying hard that God blesses my business venture, and that some women support it! I'm going to leave the link to my website for good measure. But feel free to email me with any questions!

This is super nerve-wracking for me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Parenting is Weird

I have a lot of friends embarking into parenthood for the first time right now. I also have a lot of friends jumping into multiple children territory. I get a lot of comments like "how do you do it with 3 kids so close in age?" and "how do you stay home with them all the time?" and "is it hard?" "I bet it's so fun having them so close together".

If you have ever read this blog at all, you likely know my answer to any of those questions. But just for fun, I'm gonna throw out some answers because I currently find myself able to type without Hattie pressing keys asking to watch 'BUPPIES'. That's toddler for Bubble Guppies, if you were wondering.

I will start by saying that my motherhood vibes do not typically dwell in Rainbowland. It's not all finger painting and handcrafted snacks. I don't always have my junk together. Coincidentally, I'm writing this beside a folded stack of laundry that I have yet to disperse of in 2 days… I don't say all of that to be like 'we're all drowning in the hot-mess sea!' 'survival mode for all!'. Because there are some moms that feel most like themselves when their homes are neat and tidy, and I don't think that makes them off-putting or judgmental. I feel like we feel like we can only accept people into our tribes if they're just like us, and the handle life like we do. And that isn't right. But we can save that conversation for another post, k?

Having 3 kids close in age is awesome and hard. It's constantly breaking up fights, and then witnessing the sweetest hugs given for no reason. It's not being able to hold everyone's hand or kiss every boo-boo. It's praying that you somehow didn't screw them up by getting knocked up so soon into their childhood. But it's also being so thankful they'll never remember life without each other. It's being proud that you survived the hard part, and happy they can keep each other company.

The question that I get most often, and never really know how to answer, is do I like staying home with my kids..? I went back to school and work when Emma was probably 5 months old. I worked part time until she was 18 months and I got put on bed rest while pregnant with Wyatt. Since then I've been a 'stay at home mom'. This wasn't because I believe it's the most effective way to mother. It wasn't because my husband always wanted a stay at home wife. It wasn't because this was a dream of mine. And for some people it is. DO YOU. I started staying home with our kids because I needed to. I didn't have a job where I would make enough to cover child care. I don't have a degree (GASP). When we got pregnant with Hattie, we were actually making plans for me to find something full time and put the kids in childcare. But that made zero sense once we knew we were having our third. So I settled in to mom life. And you can read my posts over the past couple of years of my emotional ride through all dat.

I love being able to be the one who gets to be with my kids all day. As hard as it is sometimes, I'm glad I'm the one who disciplines them and plays with them. But that's all we've ever really known, so I can form too huge of an opinion. I hate when people act like staying home with your kids is the hardest job in the world because I firmly disagree. It is hard. But it's hard emotionally. There's a difference. 

But the weirdest part of parenting? It's the crazy. Kids make you CRAZY. I should probably have some kind of certificate or something. There's a lot happening around here each day with hormones and feelings and fairness and ninja-ing out of naps. Some days I tell Blake "I CANNOT WAIT TIL BED TIME" and he's informed me on how awful that comes across, so feel free to spare me ;) 
You wanna know what happens when I get them all to bed though? I sit there and drool over their freaking pictures! "Babe look at this snap today when Wyatt did this… Here look at them playing in the tub… This is when we were planting…. " like a durn psycho! 

It is seriously the strangest thing they do to me. No wonder people laugh so hard when I say I want one more. I'm a wreck when it comes to these 3. They can make me want to hide in the pantry and eat mini reester bunnies, then make me want to kiss their faces right off. So odd. But I love it. And you, pregnant with your first kid- or maybe even your second? You will love it too. You will obsess over it from work (if that's what works for your family) or from your porch chair while you watch them soak each other with the water hose. You will definitely obsess over your tiny person that can also make you feel a type of crazy no one else ever has.

So hide yourself a snack for when you feel it bubbling up, and sneak it before you snap. Because being able to enjoy motherhood is so worth it. I'm praying for you, mamas and mamas-to-be. And you best believe I mean that with every fiber of my being. Parenting is weird, we gotta stick together!

All pictures were done by Jenn Johnson . Also check her out on instagram @jennjohnson0305

Monday, March 14, 2016

Why I Quit and If I'll Start Back

My husband tells me it's my biggest downfall. And I know he's right. When things don't go my way, or really when I don't get the results I want, I quit. I like immediate growth. Quick return. Which is the exact opposite of how life usually works. Things take time, experience, and work. None of which happen in the timeline of how I want them to. It's super selfish of me to think that all of my writing is even about me. Because I started it for Him, and for women like me.. who needed to read it like I did (and still do). But the content around here shifted from mainly motherhood, to something deeper. I will always love to keep it real. It's my biggest passion to connect with people and to know their hearts and for them to know mine. I never want all that I do to look like rainbows and butterflies. Because it's not. No one's life is, and that's a hard thing to remember on the internet where people are dressed cute with hip kids and complain about things like being fat when there are so many people who are starving. Real life is hard. And being real about real life stuff is awfully difficult sometimes because it puts you in such a vulnerable position. People do not spare their opinions too much in real life, and especially on the internet.

I felt like I was trying to hold myself to some impossible standard instead of His standard which is grace and not perfection. It's like comparison was strangling the passion out of me. There are so many women saying similar things in more eloquent ways. I will not amount. But thankfully, no one asks me to. Which I'm recently realizing. I like to write these blogs because I want any woman to be able to read it and take away some truth. And that absolute truth is that Jesus loves them and died for them, He wants them. I'm praying for God to direct my words, my purpose for this passion, and help me prioritize if all of this is His plan. Does any of that even make sense? Geez.

I don't know if this is a start or a close of a door. All I know is that God has shown me an immense amount of love through this time of silence. I feel like He is just nodding at me as I inch along in life, unsure but in faith. I love writing, whether people think I'm good at it or not. I love getting to be real about the good stuff and the hard stuff. Encouraging whoever actually reads this thing in their walk with Christ is my actual jam.

Sometimes I get bummed thinking about how much I'd love to have a cute lifestyle blog with recipes and DIY and outfit posts (writing this from my sweatpants). But then God reminds me of who I am, and what He's asked me to say, knowing all along that I'll say it no matter what. And I know that I'm in the right place. It might be an uncomfortable place, but He knows how this all turns out and I don't. So I'll keep trusting I'm in the right lane.

If you read this, would you mind commenting with what you would like to read? I'm considering doing writing series' and I'd love some feedback!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

han does healthy

So first I'd like to throw out a formal apology to the internet. One of my best friends sent me a picture after my post and it said "I think I ovary acted" which is probably the best thing I have seen. Lotta truth there, folks.

Anyways, I'm learning that the problems and frustrations I have with the internet are often rooting from some unresolved feelings I've held back from the Lord. It's not about everyone else. So I'm back to staying in my own lane. SWERVE. (miiiight have just lost all of my 3 followers. it's cool)

My favorite thing about staying in my own lane? Room for improvement. If you follow me on instgram (@aquiverfullblog), you've probably seen my hashtag #handoeshealthy. I started it a little over a year ago maybe? It was a little way of tracking my milestones/changes. I want to do some longer Han Does Healthy posts here, for more in depth stuff like freedom from body image issues, easy healthy recipes, workouts I'm doing, etc. Mainly as a way of keeping myself accountable and seeing my progress.

My friend Courtney (@lifeashappycampers) asked me to help her out with a faith and fitness challenge this month. She gave me some shakeology (I'm hooked) and I'm doing t25. It's been tough but 25 minutes a day and workout complete? SOLD. Here's a fun recipe that I tried today! Let me just say.... DELICIOUS. Obviously I used chocolate chips because I didn't have dried cranberries (judge me), and I used soy milk and peanut butter instead of almond milk and almond butter. I could eat the whole batch... but I won't. That's poor stewardship ;)

Happy healthy thursday!

grace + peace,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Catch up and goals for 2016

I didn't realize how long I've neglected writing until just now! In full disclosure, I'm honestly not too terribly sure where I'm wanting to go with blogging anymore. I'm in a bit of a spat with the internet. I LOVE blogs. And instagram. I really really do. I just want everyday life to be celebrated a bit more. I want to see "perfect" people post grainy, non-curated photos just because it's one that makes them happy. I want to see more people celebrating their lives for what they are, not just for being hip or fancy. I, personally, really just want all of this for myself. I want to care less about what the internet might think or do. I want to be so content with the season God has me in. I want all aspects of my 2016 to feel worshipful. Maybe come January I'll write something about that. Who knows. Not me that's for dang sure.

So obviously I'm in a weird place. I'm just trying to lean in to the Lord and listen to where He wants me.

To catch up a little bit, I posted about The Gather Project last, and I am so proud (but not prideful) to say that we have had TWO gatherings since that post! I love that the women have coined the phrase calling them gatherings. It blesses me big time. The first one was in October, and when I tell you it was words could never do it justice. I truly feel like God blessed us with as much a piece of heaven as you can have on Earth. When I think about the sound of all those women's voices singing praise, it gives me chills. So then we got to do another one in December. It's just been such a huge honor for God to let us do this in our area. It will never get old! December was a hard month for me and Jesus. We've moved, which happened to be the week of The Gather Project. Terrible timing. Not sparing any shame, I truthfully just wasn't in the Word like I like to be. So my attitude and all-around life really reflected that. It was a tough month, and I'm looking forward to a fresh start. I had started, and put on hold, the Open Your Bible study by She Reads Truth (pretty ironic huh?). I'm really excited to pick that back up!

My prayers for 2016 are these:
Contentment- I just want to be thankful and at peace with where I am. I've written that a bunch, and I feel like I'm not wanting for more, I just love to stay in a place of gratitude. (Colossians 3:15-17)
Focus- I feel called to my husband and children before I'm called to serve elsewhere, and sometimes I get that mixed up a bit because everyday life doesn't always seem like service as much as it seems like necessity. But I want to focus on loving my family and serving them biblically and lovingly as much as God allows in 2016.
Gentleness- Bless. Just typing that I'm thinking "Lord are you sure You put gentleness on my prayer list?!" But alas, He did. I feel like I severely lack in gentleness. And those shortcomings are evident in my relationships. I'm not entirely sure how to be more gentle in speech and attitude? But I do know that My Father never lets me down when He calls me up to something. He provides every single time. (1 Peter 3:4)

I feel super thankful for all God has done for me and my family in 2015. It was a year of freedom for me! Which is really cool to see since I prayed for that at the beginning of the year! I want to hem into His Spirit more and more. I want to teach my children what it looks like to love Jesus and live without fear. I got see God give me a huge vision AND fulfill it! Here's to trusting Him to do abundantly more with this next year!