i will survive…

…long as I know how to love I know I’ll be alive.

Michelle Tanner represent!   Run for Our Future on June 20th

Michelle Tanner represent!
Run for Our Future on June 20th

That’s sort of how I feel at the moment.  I started my job with The Bridge last Monday and things are going alright.  I can’t say they’re great because I’m still trying to find my place here and get a grasp of what my job entails.  It’s my first job out of college and it’s not entirely what I though it would be…I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s not this.  But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.  I can tell you right now that I’m going to learn a whole awful lot in the next year and a half.  I’ve gotta get my feet under me and then I can stand…but it’s only my second week on the job, so I’ll get there soon.

My new office...it's pretty cozy.We moved to a new office while I was in New Orleans so when I came back, I didn’t even know where my desk was…that felt a little weird.  We were two weeks into summer by the time I returned so we had seven new summer team members in the office.  I walked into our first meeting having no clue what they were talking about.  After volunteering here for a year and a half, it felt like a completely new organization and that was a bit uncomfortable considering it felt like this was going to be a relatively easy transition from my internship last semester to my new job as administrative assistant.

I’ve struggled this week to develop a schedule for myself.  in the morning, at work, and then when I get home.  Every morning last summer, I sat on the front porch, did devos, read a book, journaled, or wrote letters.  It was glorious.  I ate breakfast or drank my coffee out there and had plenty of time to prepare myself for the day.  I haven’t quite gotten into that habit yet.  I don’t have the time like I did last summer.  At lunch, I’ve been walking to the nearest park by the lake to eat and read/journal.  That’s definitely going to continue.  And then I get home…and am mentally exhausted.  Last week, I sat there for a good hour.  I just sat there and tried to regroup.  People exhaust me and I need to find a decent outlet to introvert and get back to society.

Cooking for myself has been alright.  I don’t have the whole meal plan, grocery list thing down quite yet.  I tried one night and didn’t get very far.  So, I’ll start again on it.  Until then, it’s quick and simple food that I already know how to make.  If you have any easy recipe suggestions, please pass them on, I’ll take anything!  Also, I have a greater appreciation for my mother after last week.  The absolute last thing I wanted to do when I got home was to start cooking…but alas, a girl needs to eat, so I suffered through and made myself dinner.  Mom, thanks for doing that for the last 22 years of my life without much gratitude…I thoroughly appreciated it and miss your cooking.

I’ve been journaling about my new job.  If I never look at it again, that’s okay, but it helps me process things and I honestly think it’ll be good to look back on someday to remember what my first job and experience with life on my own was like.  If nothing, else, I can laugh at myself for the struggles and little things that will seem so normal a few years down the road.

So, if you’re the praying sort, I’d appreciate some of that.  Please and thank you.IMG_1229-crop

  • I’ve had consistent headaches the last couple weeks and I’d love for my brain to get it’s crap together and settle down because it’s hard to work when your head is pounding.
  • I’m a bit nervous about being a grownup and sticking to a budget…oh, and student loans are looming in the near future so there’s that.
  • Forrest (my car) is making strange noises so I don’t know what that’s about…but he still makes it from point A to B and back so that’s a plus.  Pray that he just feels like running for awhile longer.
  • Patience and grace.  I’m not big on loud noises and small children usually produce those.  So pray for that this summer as I help with them twice a week.

I think that’s all I have to say ’bout that.  These all seem like first job struggles most college graduates have so I’m not worried about them.  I’ve just got to get used to life on my own.  It’s different than living with my best friends and going to classes everyday.  That’s okay.  It’s a growth edge for me and that’s something I need right now.

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ministry…not for those with weak stomachs and prone to sunburn.

Ministry.  If you get into this, I hope you’re near a bathroom because all the crap in your life is going to come out one way or another.  You may laugh or cringe at this analogy, but it’s true.  Two weeks alone at the office has shown me how selfish I can be and brought up several insecurities.  It’s raised doubts and questions I didn’t even realized I had in me.  I’ve been grumpy and moody and lonely.

I look at my colleagues and other ministry workers I know and realize I put them on a pedestal.  They seem to have it all together…and that would mean that I’m falling apart and shouldn’t be a missionary.  But a missionary from Haiti just shared a message on Jonah a couple Sundays ago and quieted my heart a bit.

Being a missionary is hard.  Jonah was one of the first missionaries that we know of and let’s be real, he didn’t have his crap together either.  He deliberately disobeyed God and headed to Tarshish.  He wasn’t about to step foot in that rachet ole town called Nineveh.  uh-uh.  He ain’t about that life.  We may condemn Jonah because it’s easy for us, but we do the same thing every day.  Seriously.  Staying in Storm Lake doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as heading to Nepal, living in the mountains with a community and fighting sex-trafficking.  But, that’s not what God has called me to do.  I could ignore this just like Jonah did…but I’m learning from previous mistakes and taking God’s word for it…he’s never been wrong before.

Jonah struggled with what was appealing and what was necessary.  His decisions eventually led him into the mouth of a great big fish.  As unfortunate as this was, he turned back and eventually followed through with God’s plan of preaching to the Ninevites.  And sure enough, God’s plan worked and the Ninevites repented of their crazy sins.  This didn’t please Jonah…at all. He threw a little temper tantrum, sat under a tree, and asked God to kill him.  Though I’m not at that point, nor do I ever hope to be there, it could happen.

I brought this up in one of our prayer times recently and my fellow missionaries and friends gracefully and lovingly said, “Don’t dig up in unbelief what has been sown in faith.”  And this is where I’m coming back to and resting.  Those moments where I feel left out because I can’t talk about my job search, or relate to endless application and interviews or when I feel lame for staying in Storm Lake when others are going to exotic places like Minnesota or Missouri… I have to remind Willow-Tree-on-Lake-e1399900601773-1myself of the hours I spent researching and praying and journaling about this position at The Bridge and how stressed I was back in October when I was doing all these things…just months ahead of time.  I feel called to stay and serve at The Bridge.  This is the next logical step in my life and it makes the most sense.  So I will do my best to put the shovel away and rest in the shade of the tree He has planted for me.

If I complain about The Bridge, staying in Storm Lake or raising support,

1.)  tell me to shut up.
2.) grab my journal, turn to October 24 and shove it in my face.
3.) remind me that this is where I need to be.
4.) pray for me to get my crap together and trust God.

a letter for you.

For those of you that don’t know, I have signed on to be a short-term missionary with The Bridge after graduation in May.  I sent out some letters mid-December and they may have gotten lost in the midst of all the Christmas cards and traveling that occurred so I figured I’d post it here.

Dear friends and family,

katrin-turbanGraduation is just around the corner and I have been blessed enough to join a ministry in Storm Lake for the next chapter of my life.  I’ve been involved with The Bridge for over a year as an intern, volunteer, and Summer VISTA.  Though a missionary position is a new experience for me, I feel called to stay and serve the community in this capacity starting in June.

Storm Lake is a rockin’ place to live.  It’s opened my eyes to the world…in small town, Northwest Iowa of all places.  It’s the new home for African, Asian, Latino, and Micronesian families.  The nations have converged in Storm Lake and I get to be a part of it.  The Bridge helps adults adjust to life in America with a food program, job placement, and language classes.  They transport kids to VBS, merchant movies, and local schools for free lunch, as well as facilitate Bible studies, and an after school program during the year.

Volunteering with The Bridge has had its ups and downs but overall, it has been wonderful.  I have grown so much in the last year as a person.  I have been surrounded by godly couples that act as mentors to me.  I have learned so much about ministry and service while living in Storm Lake.  I’m so excited that I get to continue all of these great relationships and experiences.

??????????My position at The Bridge would be one of support.  I will serve as an administrative assistant in the office as well as continue to help with the Food Ministry and Youth programming   I will take on some of the communications and correspondence responsibilities to relieve the base directors.  I will also help coordinate volunteers and plan special events such as a fundraising banquet and youth summer camps.

nyaoop-crochetWould you be willing to join me in my Storm Lake Shenanigans? I’m going to need prayer…lots of prayer.  Life as a support-raising missionary is very different from the comfortable late-night life as a college student.  I will be challenged and tested in faith and everyday life and will definitely need some intercession to the Big Guy.  Would you help a sister out by joining my prayer team?

And some funding…because as frugal as I may be, I still need some money to live on.  Thankfully, God has provided housing for me but I am still looking to raise support for living expenses for a year and a half worth of service in Storm Lake.  Would you join my financial support team for my time in Storm Lake?   

If you would like to join my prayer team, please email me at hannah@thebridgeofstormlake.com.  If you would be willing to partner with me financially, please visit https://christforthecityinternational.cloverdonations.com/storm-lake-iowa/ and select my name from the drop down menu.  I would be eternally grateful.  Thank you for having a significant role in my life.

Bridge logoPeace and blessings this Christmas season,

Hannah

are you…okay?

I received this question a lot tonight… along with inquiries about my intake of Modelos and Mary Jane. Yes, I am perfectly fine. I showed a different side of myself tonight to my bosses and coworkers. I had my sassy pants on. the southern accent came out…along with my ghetto girl. I stood on top of things. I stopped and smelled every. single. flower. with four little boys. We picked our favorites and “accidentally” got pollen on our noses. I raced the chubbiest little 7 year-old boys and used the little Spanish I know to meet the quietest little Miguel. I rapped Ice Ice Baby and busted a couple moves. I danced in the rain and caught raindrops on my tongue. I played with kids even though it wasn’t technically in my job description. and I enjoyed it. Tonight was a glimpse of the real Hannah that I haven’t seen in awhile. It was nice and much needed.

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and there was a double rainbow tonight…I couldn’t get a good picture of it so I figured I’d draw it for you.